Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ohhhhhhh Look What I Found!

You know I have been digging through boxes of an Estate and that a shop named BYGONERA was opened on Etsy to sell these pieces of some value, well, look at what was found yesterday!

A Miniature tiny Scripture Test Book published in the 1800's and not in print anymore.  I could not find this one at all other than as part of a Rare Book Collection...it is totally in tact but totally aged. 

Another piece is a Rare Rosenthal Trinket dish from the early 1900's.  So delicate and also still nicely in tact. 
Isn't it just so beautiful.  That it survived in a box for so long and has not seen the light of day in over probably twenty to thirty years is amazing!

I was so excited a week ago to have found a rare and old book written by one of my favorite people in Literature History, Beatrix Potter!  Miss Potter having become famous for her introduction of Peter Rabbit and his adventures to Children and then later in her life she introduced her Readers to Jemima Puddleduck and this is that little book titled "The Tale Of Jemima Puddleduck"!  Now how thrilling to find this.  To sit down amid the chaos and leaf through it, to see the drawings of Beatrix Potter bound in one of the first of old books to be found.  She was someone who knew how to write stories for children and then provide a pictorial illustration that I am positive kept children of that era enthralled....
As an avid reader myself I was thrilled to find old titles, like Hans Brinker and When We Were Very Young you just do not see these stories of my childhood on the shelves anymore!  Do any of you remember Hans Christian Anderson?  I do and I also remember how my imagination was carried away when reading these beautiful books!

While it is physically very tiring and totally chaotic in that house as you unpack box after box, it is also an adventure in that you have no idea what it is you will find!

I am off to put my aching legs up and do more research a my tiny house is filled with things I brought home with me from there to research and put up for sale, so I do hope you might find some time to either let me hear of your reading pleasures and come for a visit to Bygonera at Etsy, it is there where most of the Treasures found so far can be seen.....do come, you might enjoy see these pieces from another time and another place!

Have a super wonderful day today....

Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion.  You must set yourself on fire.  ~Arnold H. Glasow

Friday, June 20, 2014

Treasures from a Bygonera

Hey there, here it is Friday once again, don't these Fridays of Spring fly on by just too quickly?

Guess your wondering where I have been, well, not to London to see the Queen, but certainly to that wonderfully filled old house and I do see the Queen everyday!  You see there is a huge portrait of her from the 1950's - taken just after her coronation...but that is about as close to our Queen as I am ever going to get...LOL

My friend who bought this house has decided that a shop inside would be more productive than having perpetual yard sales so...........We are opening a shop right there inside the house because having everything outside on the lawns and on the front porch looks every so junky and besides there is just too much to put out and take in every evening and you simply cannot leave it there forever.  Our neighbors have been waiting years and years to see this property restored once again and to make the street look lived in and welcoming once again.  So a shop inside was the perfect solution and while we continue to unpack and sort through the treasures and the not so treasure-able we believe we can sell much of it.  Mind you there is a huge amount already sorted, gone to thrift shops, into the local churches where my friends attend and as for the damaged or ruined things which were exposed to the years of weathering to the garbage dump.  Already 7 huge containers have been taken away and loads of scrap metals, old tools and the like, even old bicycles and a car!   

You Gotta Eat Here Program on the Food Network got me to thinking this morning - instead of you gotta eat here, You Gotta Buy Here - LOL  HELP get rid of the accumulated treasures inside the house filled with over 70+ years of his collecting.  This man did not discriminate he collected just about everything and it is quite the adventure opening those boxes. 

Inside one box not but a week ago from a kitchen cupboard and inside was nothing kitchen related at all even though it was marked "kitchen" - I found pencils, lighters, and surprise when I almost cut my finger off by touching three circular saw blades packed in paper toweling!!!!  Yeouch I am so happy with myself for being careful..

We have stacks of dolls and we have found two collection items out of the possible 60 "Barbie" like dolls that are of great interest - one is Michael Jackson!!!  Yup take a look at this!

This poseable Michael Jackson doll made by LJN Toys and modeled from the 1984 Music Awards where he wore a red military styled jacket which had gold braiding over which he wore a gold sash with a red seam running down along his black slacks.  Unfortunately we did not find the microphone he held nor the famous Glove!  We are going to list him in the online shop though, even without the Sash and Microphone....possibly someone might still want him.

Then we found a new Barbie still in her original box - whoop - whoop!  Scented California Surfer and you can still smell the scent!  

These are for sale and may definitely be found in the shop at bygonera@etsy.com

Your really should come and see just what we have placed for sale so far!  I do have some trouble keeping up with the listings because everyday we are finding hundreds of treasures and it really takes time to photograph, research the items provenance, if the item should have a provenance, and then list them, but we are working on it to be sure. 

And the vintage costume jewelry wow - what fun finding that!  Look at this interesting piece my friend found just yesterday!

A copper Cavalier Hat Brooch or as I call it a Muskateers Hat...LOL

So if you have some time why not come to the shop for a visit?  Bygonera@esty.com and soon I will have some photographs of the physical brick and mortar shop inside the house for you to ponder over..

Thank you so much for stopping by to see what I am up to once again, I hope to post again very soon with another chat about life in my neck of the woods...C Ya

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.  Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.  ~Pamela Vaull Starr

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Should be called SHARITY not Charity!

Hey there, it's Tuesday and from what I see it is going to become a very beautiful day!

I finally made the time to list my latest quilted tote in my Etsy Shop and I sincerely hope it will not be there too long.  Seemingly not many are buying quilted goods anymore.  Guess the economy is still in low slow down mode!  

Meet Daisy!  This fabric cried out to be used up and I had just enough to make this medium sized tote. 

I have discovered I very much enjoy the quilting process, no, not hand quilting as my arthritic fingers refuse to cooperate but with my sewing machine.  Like Leah Day says on her Free Motion Quilting Project Blog experimentation can be so much fun as well as rewarding, and I have taken her wonderful examples to heart.  

I find Quilters' to be very generous with their skills which they openly and freely share with their blog reading public.  There is also the generosity of quilters in general, advertise a worthy cause and boy, almost everyone steps up to the plate!  Instead of calling it Charity - I believe the correct word should be SHARITY if the donations come from Quilters... Quilters have HUGE HEARTS always there and sharing of their time, their fabrics and the costs of getting the completed quilts to their intended destinations.  

Take a look at just the one site, The World Wide Quilting Page!  It is on this site you will find another page dedicated to Charitable needs and causes!  Their quilting followers unite in all of these charities and share of themselves to be sure a lot!

To change the subject just for the moment, my foster dog Molly is allowing me to work on her matted fur, now I can see her legs and paws.  More to do on her this evening - she is like most other females in that she loves being brushed and cooed over!  When we are finished with her beauty treatments she will look 100% gorgeous!

Time for me to run I have people waiting with two doggies and I have just sent them to the "House" so will have to follow.....

Have a marvelous day wherever you are and do if time permits come and visit with me again tomorrow....

God hides things by putting them all around us.  ~Author Unknown

Monday, June 9, 2014

Activated the Week

Hello, it's Monday and I have clicked on the appropriate button to activate my busy week ahead...
My day began well with a KA-CHINGGGGG from Etsy!  Sold a collectible little handbag and so happy about that because someone is loving this vintage little piece!  
When it was delivered to me from my friends "collector/hoarders" house I immediately pictured it on Audrey Hepburns' wrist!  
See, it is not just so Hepburn?  I remember the late 50's early 60's when all girls of my age then were making every effort to dress in the Hepburn fashion.  I so loved her swanky sleek look and those coats with the wide cuffs, and the pill box hats she wore.. Her beautiful wide innocent eyed look, her gorgeous smile, her pixie hair cut, her always fresh look and that famous little black dress she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's!   Givenshy's Muse..  Admittedly I did all I could to emulate her style away back when!  You have to admit that lady had class of her own!

The long and short of this tiny handbag is that it sold and will leave here for its' new home tomorrow...far far away...

Today, many more vintage treasures were unearthed.  The more my friend and her band of volunteers work their way further into the main floor and more they find and the more I try to grab if I believe it is a valuable piece of nostalgia.  There are treasures and there is junk and lastly there is garbage the worst is how expensive it is to get rid of the garbage.   It is the Treasures I am most interested in and even though I hesitate to say it out loud I am thoroughly enjoying the hours of research into each and every piece I bring home.  
Once I determine the provenance of an item it can then listed at BYGONERA  for sale! 

An Antique dealer is now at the house so I scooted out of there with my found treasures as quickly as I could so that he would not take back what it was I wanted to list..
Tomorrow another Antique shop owner is arriving and with his two doggies, that means I will have four doggies in my home and their all small breeds, meaning they probably won't be nice to one another, oh my goodness, don't know what I want to do about that!  Being in the Antique business is very interesting with many dealers having such varied interests. 

I began working on my foster dog Molly yesterday - her fur is so very matted and she needs immediate attention.  Now that she is becoming more used to me she allowed me to work on her four paws yesterday and a bit this morning, that is beginning to make her feel much better I think!

Finally, I haven't emptied my van from the Farmers' Market I was at last Friday, took things to sell from The Bag Lady From The Bay shop, so thinking I may as well leave them there because I am returning there for another try this coming Friday.  I didn't sell one piece last week but maybe I will get lucky and sell something this week?  I made a new quilted tote last week but have not yet found the time to list it, I'll do that next.  So many people handled the quilted bags and purses but no one seems to really need another bag!!!  Oh well, all I can do is try.  Everything quilted will come around again as it does with fashions.  

It will be a rather busy week for me, tomorrow the Antique Shop owner and his entourage and then back home here to rest up, then on Wednesday a research day for paintings and antique pieces I brought home with me this afternoon, Thursday is the day Ontarians' go to the polls to select a new Premier and party to govern, (well they call it governing, I have a different slant on that, but my thoughts are best left in the drawer, where all political and religious beliefs are being stored), Thursday evening I must cook or bake something for a pot luck supper event being held for the International Students and Host families get together on Friday evening,  Friday the market, then quickly home to change, grab whatever it is I am taking for pot luck and head on out to Brockville, Ontario for the event...hopefully Saturday and Sunday will be better rest up days..

Have I tuckered you out with all of my activities this week?  If I have I apologize,  but then again I am certain you all have weeks like this, possibly not the same activities but business all the same.  I will be happy if my friend can divest that house of all its stuff and earn something from all inside of it then she can go ahead and restore it.  She has some wonderful ideas and once the place has been emptied and cleaned she can make decisions on exactly what it is she would love to do with it! 

Thanks for stopping in today for a visit, having company is so much fun and your being here is a special treat.  I would enjoy hearing from you with any comments you may have, so, if you do have something you wish to share or say to me, please leave a comment, I promise I will respond...in the meantime have a wonderful evening, morning, or afternoon from wherever it is your reading this from and hopefully we shall see each other again tomorrow. 

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.  ~Mother Teresa

Sunday, June 8, 2014


SLOWLY ever so slowly spaces are beginning to open up in the house my friend bought, the driveway is actually a driveway now and not a junky to the sidewalk packed space with a man made Quonset hut like structure housing boxes and items the people who owned the house were saving inside of it!  The wet soaked boxes which also seemingly housed small animal living quarters has been obliterated!

IF you can imagine the largest of the large dumpster containers, just imagine five have already come and gone at a hefty price and this has only made a small fraction of a difference.  We await the delivery of another dumpster bin this Monday!  

INSIDE we have also made strides, making a concerted effort to distinguish the valuable from the junk and the garbage has been phenomenal.  Out on the front law are five wooden tables set up to hold FREE glassware, dishes, pots and pans of every size and use distinction, books have been piled up on the front veranda, records of all types of music genres are also piled high, mystery boxes have been put together with a variety of items and being sold off, of course the items have some value, but more useful as being a part of a mystery!  Many people love the idea of rooting through boxes to see what treasures, if any are within!

I opened a secondary ETSY STORE to take some of the more valued pieces we are finding, and we have sold a lot in the yard/porch sale.  My quilty life has taken a back seat to this monumental task...

ON TOP of that house and being my friends helping partner in this her huge undertaking, she also managed to corral me into take on a little dog that some owner said she had to give away because her little one had allergies....Shih Tzu dogs are know for being hypo-allergenic are they not?  She came with her report from her vet, a hair brush and a crate, no favorite toy, no feeding instructions and on top of that she is not spayed!  Poor darling Molly is missing the only home and family she knew!  Four years is a long time to belong to a family and then one day find yourself out of that environment.  Poor little mite, she was so frightened.   I will have to take great care to see that she isn't left alone or outside where a male dog can get at her.  I don't want her bred, there are far too many unwanted pets being thrust away for whatever the reason and far too many strays who end up bringing more stray animals into an already overcrowded pet population. I will somehow find a way to get Molly spayed.  So now I have Molly and am fostering until a suitable new and loving owner(s) can be found.  Today I cut away much of her matted fur, trimmed her paws, and this afternoon will be a bath and beauty treatment session, just Molly and me!  She's going to look and smell so sweet. 

This is Molly before I tackled her matted paws ad underbelly.....I realize I did not do the same justice as the groomer will have done, but I have to give her some relief from the matted fur under her paws and trim the leg fur as a beginning, also her tummy area really needs de-matting....She was so nervous when she finally arrived at my door, but she simply does not understand being taken from the only home she knew and was now being set into the unknown.

Molly is a gentle as a lamb, with such a sweet disposition and very quiet personality and it took her nearly 48 hours to warm up to me, but seemingly we are bonding quite nicely and I am loving her to pieces, which isn't a good thing because I am worrying it may hurt her in the long run to become attached to another human and then be given away again.  Hopefully she will not be with too long before another human who really is waiting for a gentle loving companion. 

So between my friend and her hoarder/collectors' house, a second Etsy Shop and now Molly, time is flying past and my sewing machine and I have become separated for awhile...

Friday past was my first foray at a local Farmers' Market, not too many people came, but that's okay, I am hoping next Friday will be better for sales, if after the third week I see no sales at all I have decided I won't bother again. 

This spring seems to be the beginning of a Heavy Construction year for me in my personal life, so many activities to participate in and I bet some changes are on the horizon, guess I will just have to go slow, make every effort to smell the roses and enjoy Molly until we find her a new home. 

THANK you so very much for making the time to visit with me today, it is so nice to know someone else is out there who I might be sharing my tribulations and blessings with and I confess to having more blessings than tribulations and Universal abundance is always present....please, come and visit with me again. 

I've got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end. "Larry Bird"

Monday, May 26, 2014


It has been awhile since I posted and told you all about my friends purchase of a house filled with "collectibles" and "junk"!

I have been busy since that post what with a few dogs coming to stay while their human owners were away and going to that house that used to smell so terrible!  Now the house is almost able to be in for more than a few moments.  We have had the grass mowed, and 1/2 of the driveway emptied of rotting trash which the old fellow believed to be collectible stuff and actually since it got wet and was molding it has been dealt with as a new collection in a huge container.  So far three of those extra huge containers have been filled and taken away only to be replace with empty ones which the men are now working on filling.  
Inside the house the kitchen has been dismantled, cupboards emptied, and table set up out on the front lawn with a huge "FREE" sign, and many more items set up on tables on the front porch for sale.  Items go bit by trickled bit from the porch sale, and the free items while some disappear, more and more gets loaded onto the table tops...
I have spent over 100 hours on the internet researching items which we believe to have value and have put them up for sale in a new Etsy Shop we named BYGONERA and each day we come across more and more.  

The research is really necessary because there are things of value and if you ask a price for something valuable, it should it at all possible have a provenance attached or an age verified added with it.  Many pieces this previous owner believed to have value had none at all, and, many of the paintings need to be authenticated too.  Then there are the most wonderful of old picture frames attached to some paintings which really simply cannot be thrown into a junk heap, they deserve their purpose to be nicely displayed in a new home where the craftmanship can be appreciated all over again. 
This piece is from a pottery manufacturer which is now no longer in operation!

Yet the pieces available on the open market place are few and far between....it's vibrancy still rings true and not a mark on it, no scratches, nicks or breaks.  Such a beautiful piece. 

Yesterday we found this magnificent Brown Glass Wine bottle from 1934 - what a rare find indeed...it actually has its own provenance and I am hoping some glass collector will snap it up soon. 

Then too this lovely collectible handbag, 

And this piece of trench art - 

Now at least there are more than just pathways to walk through and eventually given a few more months we may even have the house emptied.  
Yesterday while I was there people just came waling into the house uninvited, how spooky is that?  Everyone wants to see inside - scary, you walk into a room and there standing is another human form - one woman actually walked out of the upstairs bedroom and here while I thought I was the only one upstairs she walks out and scared the bejimminies out of me!   I think I aged about 10 years!

Time to go, the house calls and my knees are groaning, but, I gave my word to help and another few hours and we'll find more than enough to keep me busy researching for hours on end. 

Have a great day today and thanks for stopping in to visit with me for those precious few moments you had to spend. 

One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.  ~Jack Penn

Monday, May 19, 2014


TODAY Canadians are celebrating Victoria Day with a long weekend and fireworks tonight, and my neighbors in the United States are celebrating Memorial Day and for them it is also a long weekend which will also have fireworks, so HAPPY LONG WEEKEND to everyone on this side of the Atlantic!

I realize it has been a few weeks since I last posted, but honestly, I have been busy helping a friend who has bought the house of a collector turned hoarder!  What a mess!!!  THIS summer journey is going to be like going back in time...

By way of an explanation, do you recall that program on television which takes you into the houses of Hoarders????  WELL I have been helping with an estate property which is one of those houses...almost 70 years worth of collecting is in this house.

THANKFULLY while the food stuffs are very aged - there was no rotting food only the wee mice to contend with.  There are only tiny pathways to this nightmarish maze. Everywhere you look you will see rocks of all sizes, dimensions, colors and textures lining the floors, windows sills, mantels, railings, hallways, even in the bathrooms.....there is no where to sit down because each chair or chesterfield is full of things, there is no surface space because each and every thing that can be called a surface is literally piled high to overflowing with things.  The windows are sealed by old storm windows which need to be taken off and which I hope will happen tomorrow, once we clear a pathway to the windows or at the very least one window so that we can get fresh air into the house and not breath in the stale air of 50+ years.

This elderly person was not only a rock enthusiast, but a collector of anything and everything he decided could be classified as antiques, paintings, books, glassware, china, porcelain, clothing, shoes, handbags, silverware, you name it I bet you I can find it in that house or on this property.  No matter where you look, no matter which building you are in (there are five buildings on this property) or on which part of the property you want to place your feet, you must literally look to where it is your placing them as the entire property is filled to its capacity, each building houses boxes, crates, piles of STUFF!!!!

Apparently this person and his spouses were collectors and his latest spouse was a hoarder. There isn't a wall that isn't plastered with paintings, posters, etchings, plaques and glass plates of all sizes and dimensions. 

BESIDE the hoarding of the 8 years, there was the collecting over the past 50 years and combined it is quite the nightmare!  The chaos of the hoarding coupled with the collections is very overwhelming.

There are boxes and boxes of Vintage everything, calendars, post cards, old pictures and jars of marbles, boxes of silver cutlery, childrens' stuffed toys, dolls and books, old and what he believed to be rare books, old 78 rpm records as well as vinyl records, cameras, moving picture apparatus as well as fittings for old time cinema movie projectors, old iron black kettles, old stone jugs and jars, old old tools used for carpentry and construction, maps, magazines, comic books, boxes of ladies hats, mens' hats, jewelry both good with precious stones and racks of costume jewelry too!  I could go on and on, but really just repeating it all is giving me a headache.

For the items of any value whatsoever we decided to open a new shop on Etsy for anything Vintage and boy is there every a lot of Vintage!  Not many items listed yet because it takes time to research, photograph and list each article, but, if your interested come and browse the shop!

I will be spending days, weeks possibly months researching, cataloging and photographing each and every piece all of it fun, but, time consuming and exhausting.

I am worn out from just sharing all of this with you... I found some old snap shots taken in the early 70's and there were quilts in those picture but I haven't found them yet but am keeping an eye open for sure.  If I find them I will share with you.  

Looks like the rest of this year is going to be exhausting...but I am going to keep smiling just the same so people will wonder what I have been up to!

I'll check in again in a day or two and share more of my exploratory house travels so if I have not bored or tuckered you out, come back and check up on me if for no other reason but to make sure I haven't become a missing person.

 Instead of counting your days, make your days count.  ~Author Unknown

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Where'd The Week Go?

I simply cannot believe it, another week has flown by and I haven't posted since last Sunday!  The time really flies when your busy and not paying attention to the days of the week as they fly on past.  Last week my Exchange Student went home.  While he was here, his presence helped keep me tuned into what day it was, what time it was and the chores that come with having another being in the house with me.  When he left, there was no reason to set the alarm for a certain time each morning, or to make certain a good supper was ready for him on time, nor making certain his school lunch bag was properly filled...nope, none of that needed to be paid attention to because he went back home to his Host Mother, who had a wonderful week at the Annual Quilt week in Paducah. 

This week while though I have not been posting, I have been busy, first I changed the bed linens and washed the ones I took off, I gathered up as many of my sewing tools and notions and put those all away where they belonged and then set about creating and sewing more totes and cosmetic bags.  I am crossing my fingers some of these if not all will be sold out over this coming summer at the weekend markets.  I have stocked my Etsy Shop with the hopes that buyers out there might see something I have made and want it.  Right now the many sellers who sell handmade fabric items are not selling like they did last year and the competition is fierce what with Etsy now allowing mass manufactured goods to be sold as well.  This doesn't help those of us who make handmade goods for sale at all.  

I decided that this year I would try my hand at selling at the weekend Farmers' Markets and a store in a town a half hours run from my home. One can but try, right?
I also have some charity quilts to finish up so the sooner I get those out and finished and delivered,  the better off I will feel.. 

A dear friend went to Paducah last week and came home with pretty fabric gifts for me, she hasn't had time to share what all she saw whilst there, but, I will see her soon and get to experience Quilt Week second hand.   I have already used some of the fabric in a tiny tote bag this week, isn't it cute for the size of it?  I have been hatch quilting my fabrics over these past many months, but the other day I just felt lazy and so I used a stitch from my sewing machine and sewed controlled lines of it,  as the picture shows, it didn't turn out too badly.  Then I embroidered another stitch around the top of the bag, close up it looks great, far away, hmmmmm I am not to certain. What do you think?

Don't you just love being gifted with fabrics?  I certainly do and when I get such gifts I walk around constantly thinking about what I might use them in.  

Time for me to wish you a very Happy Weekend and thank you so very much for stopping by to visit, I certainly appreciate it.  Any comments or opinions you might have are also welcomed. 

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.  ~Thomas Alva Edison

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quilters Like Authors an Analogy

It's Sunday afternoon and I am taking a well deserved rest....supper is simmering, my exchange student is doing his homework, and my house is tidy.
Very early this morning I finished reading the latest book in the Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer!  
Mr. Archers' books are not written fast enough for me, unfortunately I am one of those who cannot seem to put an Archer Novel down until it has been read from cover to cover on the day I open the cover and read the Prologue.   I am sorry I didn't make myself put it down and treat myself to this series in portions, but, I do this to myself all of the time!
Since being introduced to the Author and his particular writing style, in the mid 70's with his first novel, "Not A  Penny More, Not A Penny Less"  followed by "Kane and Abel"   I have read every book written by Mr. Archer and in truth I never seem to tire of his storytelling.    His style of writing keeps me page turning until its' ending and then as is usual for me,  I am sorry I read it so quickly.
This latest book "Be Careful What You Wish For"
finished with another of Mr. Archers' cliffhangers.  The 5th book in this series is not due to be published until 2015.  Darn, it is simply isn't fair to have to wait so long to read the next installment of the Clifton and Barrington families.
Are you an avid reader?  I read 3 books on average a week and am running out of those brilliant Authors who write in the style I so enjoy reading. I so enjoy good fiction! 

To me a quilter is like an author, dissecting the plot (pattern) and painstakingly putting it back together, piece by carefully constructed piece.  Then when it has finally been pieced together as in a Quilt Top, the characters are able to stand on their own merits as does a quilt.   I imagine it is as much an adventure for the author as it is the reader and so as it is with the quilter. 

A quilter explores which quilt block(s) to piece together, which color pallet to chose, then painstakingly assembles the quilt.  Block by block, row by row, choosing the setting of the blocks also becomes an adventure in and of itself, should it be straight rows, or should the blocks be set on point, the all important quilting motif and all the while not too certain if your going to like the end result when the top has finally been assembled.  
This is how I felt when finally I began piecing a quilt from a pattern I had discovered in a McCall's Quilting "Quick Quilts" magazine from 2000.  When first I made the Quilt from a pattern designed by Linda Augsburg Stirratt which she named as "Autumn Nights".
Actual Magazine Cover
My rendition of that quilt turned out to be as beautiful as the one made for the magazine, and when it was completed I was very excited and thrilled I had made the correct fabric choices for it. 

Last year I was asked to make something for another fundraiser and while trying to come up with something which I thought might generate some worthwhile funds, I dusted off this pattern and set about constructing the top. 
I confess while I was in the piecing phase I wanted to rewrite the pattern by adding something different to make it my own,  so I changed the border design, thereby making it a bit different than the one in the article.  I was not happy while it was in the construction phase, I really thought I was lacking oomph and not nearly as nice as the pictures of Ms. Stirratts' quilt.  When I finally finished it I managed to like it,  I wasn't as thrilled with this one as I was when I actually made the first one.   
While critiquing it I discovered that to my way of thinking my focal fabric (the main character) should have had more color and movement.  However, in the end, when I finally saw it hanging, I agreed I could allow myself to like it just a bit. 

This is why I like to think Quilters are in some ways similar to being Authors.  Setting the plot and planning the main characters, then adding the supporting cast and giving them a life all of their own.  Choosing color, texture and how to set it before adding the final chapter of the Borders and how it should be quilted and then the very important ending, the binding.    
I am not certain many will agree with my analogy, but, it is what it is. 

Thank you for stopping by to visit with me today, in some small measure I hope what has been written will be of some useful meaning to you. 

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.  ~Mary Engelbreit

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Done and Dusted

I made it, all of my Spring cleaning is done and dusted!
I also have a visitor in my home for a week, a Chinese Exchange Student, he came from China to improve his English language skills and go to University.  His Homestay mom is on her way to Paducah, Kentucky, which is Quilt City, U.S.A..  This is the Annual Quilt Show and Convention week and thousands attend this event from all over the world.......One place I would love to visit and which remains not crossed off my Bucket List. 

This link will take you to pictures "Scenes from the AQS - Paducah Annual Quilt Show and Contest" and this link will take you to read all about the "Eleanor Burns Tent" and the activities taking place with Eleanor and the Quilt In A Day events.
I am never certain which is more popular, Quilt Market both are so significant in their popularity.

It is at these venues where new ideas in quilting are placed before the buying public, new fabric lines, new quilting methods, new quilt patterns, new quilting notions and tools and all are shown off and demonstrated and eventually end up in the quilt magazines and quilt books we all covet and enjoy and make great uses of. 

Seeing as it is vary wet, dark and gloomy today and I am physically exhausted from my cleaning and getting up to get my guest student off to school in time, I believe I will treat myself to a nice fresh brewed cup of coffee (made from the coffee my cousin brought me from Holland this past summer) Mmmmmmmmmm, a few slices of toast and then sew for the rest of the morning and into mid-afternoon, at which time the school bus will be returning my guest and my free time will no longer be mine..

One last note, I made a new bag for Toddler and Preschoolers to carry their personal little toys in.  I am waiting to see how well it is received at my Etsy Shop
before investing in more of the large zippers I have used before ordering more.  I did however order lots more zippers from ZIPIT. IF you want a great zipper, contact Jennie from Zipit, she'll give you terrific service as sends me exactly what it is I want without problems and carries all sizes, styles and colors.  Now that I have my new supply of zippers and zipper pulls I can get busy and make more bags....

 I also have more donated fabric and am also sewing special little bags with zippers for a fundraising event this coming June....A young family lost their home to fire and a fundraiser is being organized to assist them with building materials...I have given myself enough time to make at least 75 to 100 which when sold will also become my donation...I get great satisfaction out of being a part of my community.

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting with me on this dull and dreary day today, knowing your out there fills my heart full of sunshine. 

The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.  ~Author Unknown

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UGH! Spring Cleaning Resumes

Good Morning to you!  

I spent yesterday with our Community Kitchen Group not far from where I live and it was fun. Community Kitchen was instigated by our Church not far from where I live.  It is held every third Wednesday of the month. This is when the group meets together, cook together and share the meal we cooked, socialize and often a Speaker will attend and give a talk on something of  interest to seniors or about programs which might be available to us living within the community.  Before our group breaks up we set aside time for a Prayer Circle, the best time of all, communicating in fellowship with God thanking Him for our Blessings and asking for help for some in the community who are in need of Gods' Blessings of healing. 
Some months ago, we had a speaker in from our Community Health Services giving a talk on simple and safe exercises we as Seniors could perform for ourselves and it was during that talk she gave each person who wanted one a pedometer  (a step counter). 
As a group suggestion after the talk and during our shared meal we thought it might be nice to add up our collective steps from each counter and decide just how far a distance those steps would take us, had we been actually walking, lets say to the next town, or another province, or a place in the United States, or even across the ocean to lets say Paris, France or London, England, of Dallas Texas - get my drift?  Then having decided where it was we might have ended up with our combined walking steps we would plan a meal indigenous to that place. 

This month our collective step count took us to New Orleans, Louisiana. 
 What we knew would be an easy dish for us to try would be a "Gumbo" which we all agreed  was an authentic dish which Louisianians eat.  So a Gumbo dish is what we decided to cook and share!  We made two simple and easy versions, one a chicken gumbo the other a shrimp gumbo, both were so delicious!  I even tried Okra and Hot Sauce for the first time....Mmmmmmmm it was so good.

By the time I arrived home I was totally worn out and with company coming for a week this Easter Sunday, I made a start on the balance of my Spring Cleaning.  Did manage to get all of my cleaning supplies ready for today,

 I simply did not have the physical resources to start actually cleaning, but, this morning bright and early, I made my move on the master bedroom. 

My spare room is where I have all of my fabrics, sewing machine, etc. set up, but, now it is all going to be arranged differently.  The thought of moving all of that fabric is mind boggling!  However,  I am going to move all of my sewing essentials into my master bedroom and sew in there.  This move will allow for my spare bedroom to be available with just the occasional cleaning being needed and for me to sew no matter who is visiting.

My house looks like a tornado has been through here, there is not a space that isn't being taken up with things and furniture waiting to be placed, what a mess I have made.  There isn't even a place to sit where it is free from clutter and all things I have been moving around.  Thank goodness  for throw rugs, I can just push those little rugs under the furniture and slide them from one room to another...doing the move this way and at this rate I should be finished by Saturday, hopefully leaving me enough time to gather my wits about me and have a relax before company arrives...LOL

Guess you've heard enough about my spring clean and I hope I haven't tuckered you out as well. Hopefully tomorrow I will have better news to share...Lets see how far I get today!  Though I admit in all honesty I am wishing I had not even begun this chore cause I am feeling rather lazy with this daunting task in front of me...


Life's problems wouldn't be called "hurdles" if there wasn't a way to get over them.  ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Yesterday, Monday, began nice and bright and oh so humidly warm and I began dreaming of a moving my sewing machine out onto the deck and beginning a new project while soaking up the sunshine I hadn't really enjoyed since last September!    As is usual for me,  I made my first cup of coffee, played my begin the day game to get my fingers and reflexes limbered up (for those who suffer with Arthritis, you'll know what I am referring to), and by then it was time to feed my flock of birds, sweep off the deck from left over seed spillage from the day before, and generally tidy up my humble abode and then hit the sewing room.  NOT to be, nope, the rain came and took away that beautiful day I thought would be and when I finally sat to have my second cup, I spilled it all over the floor and me!

I did something so dumb and I am kicking myself for even contemplating it.  I actually took a finished tea cozy I had made and thinking it looked too plain, thought I could quilt it.  Dumb, dumb, dumb!!!!  So last night I sat picking out the unsightly mess I had made.  I learned when not feeling very well, I should leave well enough alone!

This morning can you believe it, snow!!!!  I cheered up a lot when I received this in my mail box and enjoyed it so very much I am thinking you might enjoy it too, especially if you were born in the 50's or 60's!  Head on over to You Tube and watch this delightful video, it's filled with nostalgia!!!

This entertaining video got me thinking of quilting in those by gone years.  Of course I was young then and quilting never entered my thoughts, I was too busy being a teen and Elvis was king...
Lets see, this picture 
was used for this interesting article about Extension Homemakers clubs in the 50's , where quilters would gather in Quilting B's, make quilts, raffle them off and with the funds from those raffled off quilts would put that money towards helping local groups, such as sending local children to college, or assist in fundraising efforts in their area.  You can read more of this interesting article here
Here is a fashion item which I found 1stdibs.  I grabbed this picture just in case it ends up being removed because this item sold. 
Here is the write up for it, "Incredible muted metallic silver vintage 1950s dress with a quilted skirt and classic fit and flare 50s silhouette. The dress features sleeveless sleeves, a high neckline, and glitter buttons up the back. It is unlined with rear zip and button closure. Side pockets." 
I don't remember seeing such dresses away back then, you must admit it is absolutely beautiful, this close up of the quilted motif shows just how beautifully quilted it was!  Too sad there is no mention of who designed or quilted this wearable fashion quilt works.  
In the early 20',30's,40's and 50's Quilt Exhibitions at County and State fairs all across North America were the place to showcase quilters hand quilting skills and many a quilter vied for a ribbon on their entry which they may have labored over for more than a year, maybe even longer!
I found this interesting picture 
The last picture I would like to share with you is this wonderful green cocktail skirt 
found here at Viva Vintage Clothing which I suspect was somehow machine quilted or possibly even mass produced look at it close up 
apparently it's label says "Joyce of Chicago".  I tried to find out more of this possible "Fashion designer or fashion company" but came up with nothing more than this wonderful photo from Viva Vintage Clothing. 
I admit, I never ever thought about quilting and fashion before I began quilting as sewing my own clothing was something I never learned, (no home economics classes where I went to school were offered).  Even today, I can piece and sew a quilt top, but ask me to make a simple article of clothing and that somehow is quite beyond me. 
This trip down memory lane was spurred on because wonderful nostalgia the video from You Tube  so inspired me to think of those years when I was a carefree teen who would rather go to dances and play baseball rather than investigate the possibility of learning what could be accomplished with a piece of fabric, a needle and some thread...
Now it is time for me to bid you a fond adieu for the day and re-introduce myself to my sewing machine and make the effort not to attempt something dumb like I attempted yesterday, why I would even contemplate quilting something all ready put together is beyond me!  Have you ever done something you deemed DUMB?
Have a simply marvelous day today and come back for a visit soon.  

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.  ~Author Unknown