A Haven for Vee

Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Wee Projects

Sooooo slooowwww this morning... I try to have my posts ready for early posting. Not today.

These are my wee projects: another spring wreath and blocks.

These little spring wreaths are all over Blogdom. I found them on multiple blogs. Basically, it's a wrapped wreath form (I used an old embroidery hoop) using the yarn that looks like bark on a tree. Now if I had saved the label, I could tell you, but I am too efficient for that. I do know that I purchased it on sale at Joann's and it's Vanna White's brand. Then I looked outside for a twig and decided to come right back inside where I snapped one off my stash of tree twigs way over there in the corner.

Usually, I see the twig portion wrapped in green yarn. I didn't care for that look, which is why I'm not linking up today and why I wrapped my twig with more of Vanna's stuff. Then the twig is attached by just wrapping with more yarn...no gluing here. I hate gluing. Other wreaths are then decorated with flowers or mushrooms or butterflies. I decorated with what I had...more crocheted flowers. I'm going crochet flower crazy.

Made a little French knot center and used the yarn tailings to tie the flower to the wreath. The end. Simple. Because I d.e.s.p.i.s.e. my kitchen window for that great block of white between the swing out windows (ugh), I slapped the wreath there and so far so good.

See? I wasn't kidding...I've definitely gone crocheted flower garland crazy.

This is my other little project of the day. I've had these blocks spelling welcome since I arrived at the Haven with teenagers in tow and couldn't toss out their baby blocks. Today, I've decided to try something and we'll see how it turns out together because right now I have no idea...

Here they are in the spray paint box.

Off to forage for food in advance of the coming storm. Stay well and be happy...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sweet Domesticity

Pardon this picture. It was taken to show you the finished table top and the entire garland. As you can tell, it shows neither. I'm not sure if it's Molly under the table or the fact that the table is put back together that makes me smile. Anyway, I just tossed it in here for no good reason. 

This may be the best table top picture I have...

Oops. That's the best opened tulip picture I have. Let me try again.

Okay, this is the best I can do. What I like about the four coats of poly, sanded lightly in between coats, is that the table is as smooth as glass. John's not allowing me the use of it until this weekend so we're still balancing meals on our knees. Can't wait to sit down to a meal again. 

I'd pop in a before picture, but one can see those throughout this blog. The table top was old, cracked, and tired. This buys us a little time until we can do better.

And, though it is a dark photo, this one best shows what the garland looks like. (See yesterday's post for details about the garland.)

We've got to keep spring going inside because we're expecting a blizzard in a couple of days. Are you expecting one, too?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Gathering of Spring Garland Ideas

For days now, I've been adding to my little pile of five petal posies. I found the yarn in my mother's stash and decided to make a spring garland. I was great company every evening as I sat with John ... double crochet, double crochet, double crochet, one, two, three... It's been years since I picked up the crochet hook. I found help on this video from Little Birdie Secrets. I went with five petals and also linked to a seven petal flower because it's so cute. For the chain, I used the information at Sarahndipities.

When it was done, I had no idea where to put it. Crazy! So I just piled it on top of my banner at the window. When and if the light improves, I'll pop in a better photo.

Now for some fun! I have gathered another list; this time spring garlands. They are so adorable. I want to make them all.

* From Our Lovely Nest comes a garland using old fabric scraps. It's very cute and no money involved. Gotta love that!

* Harujion Design provides this crocheted garland...very pretty flower done in all different colors and using a unique pattern based on Japanese pattern directions. I love it. Maybe I'll work up to it.

* This garland is made from yo-yos. Very colorful and B.Y.O.V. (Bring Your Own Vegetables) features her creation on a tree branch. Hmmm...I have tree branches.

* Oh this is adorable...have a little girl in your life? This is the garland for her: A Paper Dress Garland from Debbie Hodge.com. Oh darling, darling, darling is all I have to say about this one. It looks like so much fun that I have to find a little girl somewhere.

* Most suitable for Easter is this Paper Flower and Egg garland made from scrapping paper. Delightful and it doesn't look at all difficult. Okay, I may have to make this one, too.

* I'm always happy to feature anything going on at The Purl Bee where I found this Party Garland made from scraps of material. I can see it floating happily above a summer kitchen. It's cheerful, light, and bright.

* A Glimpse Inside offers a flower garland made from cardboard tubes. (I've been saving some ever since Suzanne showed me a bird project made from cardboard tubes, which I can not find at this moment.) So, yes, I could do this!

* Speaking of which, though it's not a garland, Suzanne gave excellent directions for an Easter Banner project that you or an older child might enjoy doing for the holiday. There's still time!

If you decide to do a spring garland...ohhh, I think a spring garland could wrap right around a spring wreath...let me know. I'd love to see what you create.

(In other news, the last coat of poly is on the table and we just have to give it a day to dry well. I'll be updating for you tomorrow.)

A wonderful Tuesday to you...

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Gorgeous Day Above

Mt. Washington far far away...60 miles away...and zoomed up close

You do know why I refer to the weather in terms of above and below, right? I've referred to it so often. It comes from E.B.White who differentiated between the two. It can be a perfectly rotten day below...snow and mud, but a delightful one above.

It was a gorgeous day above yesterday when my daughter and I headed for Portland to shop at Michael's, The Christmas Tree Shop, and the new Goodwill. We found bargains at the first two and zip, nada, no bargains at the third. I can't imagine why...

(Darling Daughter is feeling ever so much better after that rough patch and will be finding out this week if there's anything she can do to avoid troubles in the future...a special diet or medication or closer monitoring. Something I hope! Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes.)

OOps! Published too soon and I'm not going to fix it. Darn. Someday I'll learn the difference between am and pm.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Just Buy Some~Mosaic Monday

Has ever one bouquet of tulips been so well documented? I adore them!  I've been denying myself the pleasure of tulips for several weeks now. On Friday, I could take no more — the snow, the cold, no sign of spring — where is she? Have you seen her?

My recommendation for cheer? A five dollar bouquet of tulips. It'll do you good.

Linking to Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Thanks, Mary!

Ephesians 3:18

Blessings on your Sunday!

Comments are always closed on Sunday posts so that you may skip off quickly.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Can Do That...

do you ever feel that way when watching a decorating or cooking show? While I sometimes enjoy T*he N*ate B*erkus S*how, I don't often get the sense that I could do or would want to do the things featured. That all changed when I saw M*andi G*ubler on the "H*ouse P*roud" segment of N*ate's show this past week.

(Tip: If you don't enjoy all things old and crumbling, this would be a good time to skedaddle. ☺)

Specifically, I like what Mandi does with old mirrors. You can take a look *here.*

I have an *old mirror purchased dirt cheap years ago that was already significantly etched. The frame was painted using some technique that I had seen on a L*ynnette J*ennings' show (this is really dating me) where a piece is painted with whatever color and allowed to dry. Step two is adding another coat in a complementary color painted in small sections. A lot of the paint in that second color is lifted back off while still wet by using an old, scrunched-up plastic shopping bag. I'd like to do this again with a flat paint instead of the semi-gloss I used.

This paper was recently purchased at the dollar store and several of you told me that you had purchased some as well when I featured it back along. (I was planning to paper the inside of my china cupboard; it turned out to be way too busy.) I think it's really nice using it as the backing of this old etched mirror. In fact, this project exceeded my expectations.

Have you ever tried to photograph a mirror? Good heavens! I finally had to ask for advice by Googling and discovered that laying the mirror on the floor below a white ceiling is best. I'd have to agree. Still the first photo with the reflections of the windows and my old Sessions clock suits me fine if I weren't trying to show the details.

on the shelf above my desk

So tell me about something you decided to try as the result of watching a program. Did it turn out well? 

*Old mirrors are not the best for this project because they contain mercury and you don't want to disturb their backings. Lucky for me, my mirror was already mighty disturbed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Painting the Table Top White

I'm so glad that when I was visiting The Inspired Room earlier this week, Melissa mentioned that she had painted her dining room table white. She further said that, though it was done imperfectly, it was done. That's my story. If anything is accomplished around here, it is imperfectly. This table was begun the week my mother left us. I have not wanted to return to the task. Melissa's words gave me the permission to get going again. When I asked John what he thought about the table project, he said, "It's time for it to be done." Exactly.

Penny's redoing her dining room table as well. You can follow her project at The Comforts of Home. Penny paints her table whenever she tires of it. I do not have that much ambition, though I find it equally inspiring to know that anything we don't enjoy can have a new life.

Check in again if you have time. I'm going to be showing my progress through the day this post. I do have to run and get darling daughter some groceries and some more meds. Why is it that pharmacies don't have everything and only give partial prescriptions? Don't they know there's a gas crunch? Ai yi yi.

Edited to Add @ 11:42

I decided that the white was going to be too stark with the other things going on in the room. I didn't want the table to match the molding and closet doors. Therefore, I decided to match the cupboard in the background. I didn't want to have as heavy a hand as the last time I was working with that antiquing pot. Now it needs three or four coats of poly: clean tables are important.

Guess that's it until I show the finished project always remembering that I can redo it if need be.

Edited to Add @ 2:50:

Shopping done, groceries delivered, still have prescription to pick up. Wanted John to feel encouraged by progress on the table so decided to slap on a doily and set the tulips in the center. He'll need to feel encouraged because he's doing the polyurethane over the weekend; he doesn't yet know this, but he is.
< insert cheeky little grin here >

Edited to Add on 3/26/2011:

Oh boy! I'm sure that I'm going to love this in three more coats. We're going to the flea market...way too stinky at home. We're cracking a window for the pets.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

That Book

Shhhhhhhh... Today I want to talk about that book that has me thinking so much, that I've made wide arcs around, and that I promised to critique back there.

I'm nervous writing about it because I have a few concerns about the book. No, I have no concerns about the author. No, I have no concerns about the main subject Who is God Himself. Yet some little concerns...

First, allow me tell you a little true story. The phone rang between three and four this morning. Phones ringing in the night alarm me as I'm sure they do anyone. I've had terribly alarming news in the wee hours of the morning on at least three occasions. This time it was my daughter who was indeed calling from the Emergency Room. I thought that she was there with her grandfather, my father. No, it turns out that she was there for her own health having awakened in great pain around midnight. She drove herself to the hospital and for the next four hours she went it alone as far as any family with her. (I know that no one is ever truly alone.) When it was time to release her, they would not because she was in no shape to drive herself home. Moms are good for something. I told her that a midnight call would've been fine.

As I say, those calls in the night — unsettling — panic mode. I hastily got myself dressed, grabbed my coat and keys, and set off. I was praying, though they were what John calls "pickle prayers." Those are the kind one prays when in trouble and not from any deep and abiding sense of faith. A mile or five down the road, a word much used in that book made its way into my consciousness: Eucharisteo — grace, thanksgiving, joy. "In this, Lord? Even this?" I asked. Especially in this.

So to say the thing I am concerned about saying after having had the experience I just had... Can we just say conflicted.

After the wary arcs, I finally settled down with a pen and this book is as marked as any I've ever read. Ann is a lyrical writer, a true poet. It is worth reading her book for the beauty of it alone. She has been given such talent and there are times when a phrase is going to rip your heart out.

In the end, I sat thinking about what I'd read and wrote a letter to the author on the back pages of the book.
"Ann, dear, you are much too hard on yourself" my letter began... Christianity is not a self-improvement program. There is nothing in our life as Christians that depends on a formula.  Not the way we dress, look, nor in the writing of a gifts journal. We look to Him in every circumstance, decision, new day, and when we lie down at night. He is still the vine and we are the branches responding to Him. We do not all respond in the same way; we each have a unique experience. I am so glad that His ways are much easier than my own. All He asks is this: Come unto me and I will give you rest.
Please forgive me if I tread on any toes. The comments are being kept open so that you can offer an opinion. Oh, do I recommend the book? A resounding yes with the caveat you see above. Let's simply be receptive to the Lord's love and His prompts and nudgings...

Thank you for your prayers for my daughter. I'm taking her to see the specialist this afternoon.

A good day to you...

(Oh, I meant to thank you all for your sweet comments about Nan's bathrobe. It is being tenderly wrapped and delivered to my daughter this afternoon. She is the only one tiny enough to wear it.)

ETA at 7:17 pm : It's the dreaded waiting game for my daughter. She has been prone to developing kidney stones and that is what the trouble is this time. She's on six different medications and even had a shot of painkillers at the urologist's office. Lots of water in her future...funny thing is that she drinks more water normally as a matter of course than anyone I know. Thanks for all the good wishes and prayers. She is feeling pretty rotten.

ETA on 3/26/2011: All is well... Thank you so much for the prayers and good wishes. Now L only has to finish up the antibiotic. No more mind-numbing pain killers...phew! I think she's smiling just as you see her in my sidebar. Yup, we've got a happy camper this morning.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Made in Japan

Lovella at What Matters Most was the first in "my circle" to raise the question of noticing all the items in our homes that were Made in Japan. She does this in her post titled Remembering Japan where she shares her mother's jewelry box with us. It so happens that I also have a jewelry box that is similar. It has another family story, though I'm not sharing that today.

God will use little things to help us remember to pray Lovella suggests.  She's right. I know that God wants me to remember Japan in prayer because He is using these items and He caused Lovella to first write about it. How neat is that?!  

From the jewelry box sitting under the Easter cactus...  

to the little green bowl in my sewing room... 

to this sweet little find at the flea market last weekend for a mere dollar.

And there it sits high on my corner shelf where I see it dozens of times a day. Giving money and donations is a wonderful thing to do and prayer changes things.

So what's in your home that is Made in Japan?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Vintage Bathrobe~A Sweet Gift

Yes. It snowed. Four inches. Probably will be gone soon even though temps are not expected out of the 30s this week. Thank you, sun and your new angle!

This is the view from the breakfast table...love this view, just not so much on March 22.


If you read here much, you may know that I sometimes follow Mosaic Monday with a mosaic that didn't make it. I debated, but decided that a mosaic about my grandmother's bathrobe probably didn't have too much appeal. ☺

The robe was my find in the attic on Sunday morning — Nan's vintage (circa 1940) chenille bathrobe. (My mother must have put it there for I had no idea where it was and wasn't looking for it.) Yes, it's heavy, which is probably the reason for the excellent shape it's in; Nan seldom wore it. The robe was a Christmas gift from my grandfather to my grandmother way back then. I am so blessed to know the stories behind so much of what I am sorting through. What I'm discovering is that my grandfather had a way with gift-giving.

When my grandmother left her home to live with my parents, this robe came with her and hung on the back of her bedroom door where she could see it often. Even though she didn't wear it, she admired it and appreciated it. 

The only problem was that over the years the buttons were lost. They are the kind of buttons held on with what looks like a miniature hairpin. I remember the day that my mother found the buttons in an old tin being stored in a box in her attic. We all oohed and ahhed when the robe was put back together again.

I had the opportunity to remove the buttons so the robe could be laundered. I had to get out my pliers for the task. Though I was worried about laundering, I used the delicate cycle and a mild detergent. Because it is so heavy, I did dry it in the dryer with a lavender sachet from Trader Joe's. Hmmm...the robe came out so soft and smelling so heavenly. I hugged that robe for a good long while there in the basement beside the dryer.

Hope that you've enjoyed seeing this vintage bathrobe. The images should enlarge if you'd like a better look.

Thanks for stopping by and create a beautiful day...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome Spring~Mosaic Monday

Spring officially arrives in my corner today at 7:21 p.m. It would be wonderful if I could offer a spring mosaic of crocuses and daffodils. Alas, no such sightings like those here. (In fact, we're under a winter storm advisory expecting a major snow event tomorrow.) What I do have are sap buckets hanging from my neighbor's tree, a visit to a Sugar House, a country store that ships maple syrup, and a jug of maple syrup bought just in time for last night's supper.

Have a wonderful spring!

Joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Psalm 107:9

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Perigee Moon

Here's my perigee moon shot. I never have quite got the knack of taking the moon's picture and it doesn't matter how coyly she smiles or how close she is or how luminous. Just going to mention here that most of the light in this shot is from the streetlight at the end of my driveway, which was where I was standing. The shot above is not zoomed; the one below is. ***I know that there are going to be some amazing offerings from the photographers among us. Let's hope so anyway!

Have you taken your best shot yet?

*** Edited to Add: Sure enough! Have you seen the amazing photographs taken by Lavender Dreamer's Beloved? No? Go look, you won't be disappointed.

And another: Lynda Naranjo's Amazing Photo of the Super Moon. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Gathering of Spring Wreath Ideas

Okay, so how long was that before I caved in and had to return? I'll tell you — long enough for me to clean the house, get a few fires under control, and to settle down and realize, yet again, that blogging is what it is and I should not fret the small stuff. As they say, "it's all small stuff."

My mission over the past few weeks has been to find some sweet spring wreaths around Blogdom. This from the gal who still has a snowflake on her front door.

I offer my own spring wreath from Christmastime. I've dressed it up for spring (probably more like summer) with a few cabbage roses and a ratty old homemade ribbon ripped from painter's cloth.

Here is a wonderful list of spring wreaths. The good news is that there are many more. A simple search will yield one that's just right for your home.

New Grass and Daisies Spring Wreath This one is so cool and easy. I've got mine well begun. It's going on the front door.

Whimsical Spring Wreath It may be described as whimsical, but I find it elegant. I want one of those moss flowers!

Coffee Filters and Dye Wreath Very Easter! Your dye choices are going to make or break this one.

Curtsy to Spring Sweet little bird and leaf pattern on a grapevine wreath make this one of my favorites. Love it!

Eclectic Flower Bouquet Wreath Now this one! Ahhhh, this is the one that I want for my china cupboard. So darling ... I am oohing and ahhing all over the place. Do check it out!

Square Wreath This is way cool. I love a square wreath. I think it's beyond my abilities, but I do love the look.

Spring Wreath Using Paper Flowers Sooo cute, I had to add it.

The Eclectic Flower Bouquet Wreath truly sparked my imagination. I looked at it, analyzed it, and walked away from it to do my own thing.

I knew that I didn't want to purchase anything for this wreath so I had to go on a treasure hunt in my own home. 

This was what I found in the garage. A Christmasy wreath that had seen better days. The ribbon was faded to rust so I just took it all apart saving what I could. The cornhusk (?) wreath itself was what I wanted. It seemed in pretty good shape. I did spray it with Lysol. You know me... ☺

Although my tutor suggested cutting linen on a bias for wrapping, I didn't bother. I simply ripped strips of painter's cloth, wrapped the wreath foundation, and pinned with simple sewing pins. It worked like a charm.

The next idea came from Lorrie at Fabric, Paper, Thread. She has a picture of her tutorials on her sidebar. I'm sure you can tell the one that influenced me.

Again, the doilies were simply pinned on with straight pins. I called it good enough and it was easy, easy, easy.

Then a few silk flowers were added to the side using pins...

And a ratty painter's cloth strip as a tie on top.

That's it!
The End.

No, it's never "the end" with me. I just keep on going and going. The most difficult part of this was adding a cup hook to the inside top of my cupboard to hang the wreath from. Last night, my daughter was visiting and I showed her my project. She was typically quiet. I should have left well enough alone; instead, I asked her what she thought. Her response was, "I don't know what to think about that."

So, please, if you don't know what to think about that, just check the links for the other wonderful wreaths. There is always so much to choose from in Blogdom.

Have a very pleasant day...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Test

The maple sap was collected this afternoon...

Picture will enlarge

In addition to the old-fashioned maple syrup buckets, there's a new collection system with a big tank on the back of the pick-up. Trees are tapped all over town as this producer has asked permission to tap the trees of many homeowners. It's labor intensive on his part because most large operations have systems that don't even require collecting. The sap comes to the sugar house via tubing. Nevertheless, I'm glad to see someone doing it the old-fashioned way.


In other news, John and I went to Mickey D's tonight for a shamrock shake. We went to our usual haunt and found it closed. C L O S E D for good for renovations. We then went to a second one and it was also closed. I find this shocking. These establishments have been there since I began dating right after the Civil War.  Finally, we found one new Mc*Donalds and John had his shake and is good to go for another year. (He really is a strawberry shake kinda guy.) I decided against one at the last minute sticking with diet coke.


My cactus isn't confused anymore now that I've decided that it's an Easter cactus; it's blooming sort of on schedule if Easter weren't going to be so late this year.


Blogdom seems to have slowed significantly since a few weeks ago. I think our minds are all on Japan or Libya or Egypt or Israel or our own pocketbooks or all of the above. I'm going to take a wee break...a few days or more perhaps. The annoyance of this blog not updating has taken its toll and when one is stewing about a blog, there's simply not enough to stew about. You can find me in the sewing room shredding paperwork. Piles and piles and piles of paperwork. Ugh.

Until next time...

Comments are closed. This is really a test to see how long it will take this time.

Edited to Add: And just to make a liar out of me, it updates instantly for the first time in a week. Terrific! No, really, that's terrific.

Of Spring and Sap Flowing

Spring inside if not out

*new cups with pretty blue insides

seeds and a letter

spring vase

swan candy dish holding pastel M&Ms

I can't help it, I am thinking about spring, which will arrive Sunday. This is strictly a calendar event right now though it will most certainly come in a way that we recognize, first with melting snow creating lots of mud and ending in flowers and birdsong.

Still, the good news is that the sap is running and the trees on my neighbors' lawn were tapped Monday afternoon. This means that I get to watch and I do find it interesting. Wonder if I'll get my cup of sap water to drink this year while it's running good and cold. It's like maple flavored water, mild and delicious.

Best of all, they're the old-fashioned sap buckets! So quaint, so charming, just the way I like them! There's a great maple scone recipe right *here* and just as soon as I get some maple syrup, I'll be whipping up a batch...love those things.

(I am trying something new with posting today...writing this up in the evening and postdating it for sometime in the wee hours of the morning hoping to find it updated by the time I wake. This writing a post and not having it show up for hours and hours is for the birds. Perhaps it's just my blog's turn, but I don't like it one little bit. Anyone else having trouble with your blog updating as it should?)

{Posted at 12:10 am and it is now 7:13 am, but not updated. Yikes! This is getting worse every day. 8:13 am: not updated./ 9:17 am; shows up and says it was posted 9 hours ago. Finally!)

*Edited to add: Having just learned the name and brand of my cups, I'm dropping in the information: Taylor, Smith, and Taylor "Forever Young" or perhaps it's really "Boutonniere Ever Yours," which seems more likely. Either way, it's definitely Taylor, Smith &Taylor.