Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dandelion Dreams Become a Dandelion Wishes Jar

Yesterday was a tease! I'm so bad and how well I know it. I got caught up in the busyness of afternoon company and never got back to my project even after permission had come in. My apologies, truly.

This Dandelion Wishes Jar is a fun and simple project found in Sharon Lovejoy's book Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars on page 6. I've been thinking about it as I've watched the dandelions sprouting up all over the lawn. This may be the one year that I don't wage war against them.

Sharon describes the jar this way:

When your visiting grandchild feels homesick or unhappy, open the lid and offer him one big wish, then let him blow.

Doesn't that sound like just the thing? I'm going to collect a lot and I may blow them all over the neighborhood. And why exactly is it that we get our knickers into such a knot over dandelions anyway?

I decided to attempt a simple little tag that turned into a four-hour project. Don't ask and I'll not tell. It involved learning some new tricks on Photoshop and playing with the camera so that's not time wasted, right?

Next time the grands arrive, I'll have a handy little diversion ready for them when they grow weary or bored. This nonni is going to need a whole truckload of tricks for those precious boys!

Please visit Sharon Lovejoy and thank her for allowing me to spotlight this nifty idea on my blog. (Yes, I requested and received permission to feature this idea on my blog.) Thanks so much, Sharon! You won't want to miss Sharon's California garden and her Maine cottage while you're there. Lovely!

Enjoy this wonderful day...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dandelion Dreams

Dandelion dreaming has taken over around here. Perhaps I'll be able to show you more in a day or two.

Have a fun day, promise?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Vintage Tablecloth Reconstruction After a Fashion

It all began like this with a cutting away of the damaged center and a failed attempt to preserve every little bit of fabric. Either that or I was creating a new continent. Take your pick.

It nearly ended this way as the second tablecloth you see above was much too thin and fragile to do the job. You may remember that my original intent was to have a reversible something or other.

I had to make a uniform center. I found all matching posies in the corners and pinned them together, squared up my fabric, folded it into quarters and hacked away at it. Seemed to work pretty well.

Next I added yet another vintage linen tablecloth. This white number had been left behind when I bought my first home back in 1980. The sellers had run a restaurant at one time and they had oodles of these. (It was also badly stained with lots of holes.)

Yards of homemade bias tape later...

I have something that looks like this. It will be suitable for picnic tables at least! The white tablecloth on top looks like a big table topper, but it is stitched to what remains of the flowered tablecloth.

This was my lovely break midday to receive packages from my Boston niece. She works in an art museum and I think you'll be able to tell when you see what she sent.

Two Mary Cassatts — Caresse Maternelle painted around 1902 and Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa Reading painted around 1876. My refrigerator is going to be so well dressed! (Thank you, Kea, love you!!)

As for the "Shalom" pillow...some day. Yes, Someday is coming.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Solitary Lilac Branch in Bloom and Linen Rescues

You know me. I get a lot of mileage out of the simplest things. Currently, it's my one, lonely lilac branch. Vickie had asked me what the flower in my header was. The lowly lilac and nothing more. Obviously, I gave it a hard pruning last year and it is holding it against me. Can't wait to see what my azalea thinks of me after similar treatment a few days ago. I'll have to wait until next spring for certain, but just now she's looking pretty miserable.

All this mileage on simple things is all in the photographer's technique don'tcha know. I, being poorly self-taught, am like the lowly lilac branch. Very little substance here.

In fact, this morning, I discovered that my camera settings have been on the lowest quality. That can't be good. In an effort to remedy the situation, somehow I made a huge mess of everything. Finally, I discovered the trick, which I share with you below.

Typically, I can't even get that right. It is not a "sytem restore" it is a
"resetting settings to their default values." Whatever! The problems righted themselves and I am no longer concerned about photo quality. Head to Ree's for that!

After rescuing my camera settings, I am now in hopes of rescuing some linens. Here are my three projects.

1. lower left corner -- napkin made from ratty old tea towel

2. top right corner -- two ratty vintage tablecloths melded into one...maybe...with luck and a prayer

3. lower right corner -- A crewel wall hanging turned into a crewel know the drill

Check back tomorrow for the results...

(I'm sorry if I've led some to believe that I'm away this week. Not at all. Probably next week. I'm very happy to have the book from Aunt Amelia, but I have already read it. This one is for my shelf and to reference from. The new books will be here soon enough.)

Have a terrific afternoon!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thank you Aunt Amelia!

Look what John brought in when he came home for lunch. Yes, he's having chips, egg salad sandwiches, bread and butter pickles, and coffee. Did you know that egg salad sandwiches are in my top five favorite sandwiches of all time? Did you know that sandwiches are in my top five favorite foods of all time? I could eat a sandwich every single day and never tire of it. Oops, pardon moi, this is not a meme.

It's my book from Aunt Amelia!

I'm very excited that I won't have to use my glasses to read this one! And look! It's come full circle sorta.

I've already visited Thorndike Press to see if they have any other books I'm interested in. They don't. But if you ever need a source for large print books, this is a great place to look.

Perhaps one day I'll find something besides Elizabeth's books to think about. Until then, it's over and out for now...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Florist Shop

The books went back to the library this morning and I ordered two more, both Elizabeth Goudge books: The Dean's Watch and The Scent of Water. Funny how I can go for weeks without reading anything more than the newspaper or the morning devotional and then I can't read enough. Escapism. I obviously need some.

Speaking of escapism, this week I hope to visit blogs and blog a bit myself before those books come in and I sink out of sight into the sofa cushions.

We had a lovely Mother's Day Tea here on Saturday. The entire house looks like a florist shop because of all the bouquets. That's what happens when two mothers are in the house. We have roses yellow and red, carnations of all colors, two azalea plants pink and coral, hanging petunias and a sage plant, too. It's been so bitterly cold that I haven't dared to put any flowers out. I hope that your Mother's Day was wonderful as well.

Here's Nan's bouquet of carnations, a gift from my daughter to her great-grandmother. Gosh, I love these things as they are so colorful and not one bit fussy like the roses have been.

I redid my little banner after I saw *some that Becky had done* at Sweet Cottage Dreams. John was forever bumping into the first and knocking things about. It's not fair to expect men to put up with fussy things so I set about to fix it. This is how it turned out.

Now to check in on some blogs... Yay!