Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mother's Day Reflection

     Even though it's a bit late, I would like to post a little Mother's Day reflection.  Last Sunday we spent the day at my youngest daughter's ( and son-in-law's) home. There were 17 of us in all.  It was a beautiful day and the food was great.  After lunch many of the women sat in the "parlor", "sitting room", the room in a four square home that isn't the living room, dining room or kitchen.  It was a look back on why perhaps a room such as this existed.  It was a memory of days gone by.  I remember my mom and her sisters doing the same thing.  After the dishes were washed and leftovers securely put away, the women would sit and relax and "visit".  I'm not sure how much of that happens anymore.  I know my mom would have enjoyed the day.  She also would enjoy seeing her grand-daughters "all grown-up".

     I'm extremely proud of my daughters.  Their success and happiness are great gifts alone, but I also received a few other gifts that day: 

Mr. Solar Frog, a gift from my environmentalist daughter. She knows I love decorating my outdoor living spaces.

My NYC daughter sent this beautiful hanging basket. She knows I love flowers. Wish she was closer.

This special plant was given to me by my temporarily adopted daughter, Neikko.  We have been caring for my cousin's German Shepherd while her family is away from home. But the best part of this gift was the card that came with it.

This special gift of course brought tears. The photo of me and my mother, me and my daughter and the blue garter ( made from my mom's wedding dress) is certainly a keepsake. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Auction Day

Danny the auctioneer

Yesterday I went to an auction.  I wasn't planning on going, but I thought I'd check it out and there were a few things that looked interesting, (a hat to be more specific) so I hung around.  Besides I couldn't mow the lawn until the grass dried so... that was my excuse to kill some time.  Auctions can be quite entertaining and the food isn't bad either.  This particular auction had the local Lions Club doing the lunch and they always have a great selection of home-made pies.   Auctions can also be a mini course in history as this one had several items from the past.  I'm pretty sure at least 60% or more of the people there were not planning on buying anything.  They just like to come and look at people's old stuff. Here are some pics of what I successfully bid on.  Unfortunately after I mowed the lawn and was going through my purchases I was missing a small chair that I had gotten for $5.  From the time I went to the car and came back I obviously didn't realize it was gone while I was loading up.  It didn't help that my mind was focused on having that piece of homemade custard pie before I left. Next auction I will bring friend Judy!

1. Old shutters
2. Linen fabric with two colors/same design
3. Old clothes drying rack
4. Several hats and hat boxes (even though I only wanted one hat)
5. Old canister jar set
6. Copper pan
7. Galvanized tub
8. Old picnic basket
9. Old crocheted table cloth with embroidery work
10. Old chair with reed seat (came up missing)
Here is a grouping of all of my purchases.
Floral hat
linen/cotton fabric

Another floral hat

Straw cap, jar set and table cloth

copper pan

This is the hat I thought my daughter would like. What's funny is soon after the auction I received a photo of my daughter and boyfriend attending the recent wedding of Matt's brother in Ireland.  As you can see, my daughter likes hats...a blue one too.
My daughter informed me this is not a hat.  It is a "fascinator". I guess some of the other head pieces I purchased might be fascinators too.  Anyway, I have quite a selection for her when she needs some head wear again!

Here's how I used some of the purchases to accessorize my porch


Since the post I retrieved my chair!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crocheted Bracelets: New Obsession

I have a new obsession!  A friend of mine showed me a bracelet that she had purchased from a friend of hers on Etsy.  I really loved it.  It was very crafty, comfortable and casual... and crocheted!  Of course I went home and found the box of beads from my daughters previous craft projects and along with my mom's microscopic crochet hooks, I was on a roll.  The next day I bought some silver and gold crochet thread and created a few more.  I finally figured out a better technique to add the beads and now I can't wait until I get more supplies!  It's also a great weight loss technique, keeping me busy in the evening instead of snacking.  Thanks Mandy!
Here is her bracelet.

...on a roll

This is the most recent, which is now my favorite.
The next bracelet I make I will take some "how to" photos and put them with my project pages.  Check back again for the details on how to make these bracelets.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Size Does Matter

Medium is my favorite.
Today I ordered a medium unsweetened ice tea from our local McDonalds.  For the third time in the last month I was told that the ice tea was only served in large drink cups.  The first two times I accepted the cups in a puzzled manner.  I tried to ask why, but the only answer was: "It's our policy."  Never mind, that for the past two years I've been ordering a medium ice tea without any problem, and got one in another city just a week ago.

If you're wondering why I'm making a fuss about this, I'll tell you why.  First, I don't want that much to drink.  The cup is heavy and it's hard to lift from the cup holder.  If someone else wants to use the cup-holder next to it, you can forget it.  That tall large cup over powers the entire drink area.

Today I was not going to put up with it.  As soon as I placed my order at the intercom, as expected, the usual: "I'm sorry ice tea only comes in large." came over the speaker.   I immediately said, "Why?" ( Normally I only harass the servers at the delivery window) I could tell she was stunned with the question.  There was no response, but then it came, " It's our policy."  I'm still at the intercom, and I say, " Why is it your policy when for the past two years I've always been able to get a medium and actually if I came inside right now and got the drink myself I could get a medium?"  "OK,"  she said.  

Of course when I pulled up to the window, I apologized for being so difficult.  She said, "It's alright, I really have no idea why it's the policy". I got my medium ice tea. 

One thing I cannot complain about is McDonald's drink prices.  It's just one dollar for any size drink.  That's a lot better than the drinks at the movie theater we went to yesterday.  I ordered a small drink for $4.50.  Of course a small drink is about the size of the large at McDonalds and after drinking it, almost had to miss the end of the movie.  I was so uncomfortable. (I know, I could have stopped drinking it, but when it's there...)

Well congratulations if you made it to the end of this, and special congratulations if you read this because of the title and you were hoping for another topic.  Actually, in my opinion, no matter what the subject:  Bigger's not always better.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Window Quickie

Sometimes I need a "quick project" fix.  I love some of the projects I'm working on, but sometimes I need some  instant gratification.  I was going through my linen cabinet and found some curtains I had purchased at Goodwill, that I loved, but didn't know what I was going to use them for at the time.  That happens a lot!  I was getting a little tired of my battenburg lace valance in the bedroom.  Valances are popular in our house, because I love the light coming in, but it needed a little different look and maybe a little less light.
Battenburg valance.

Flipping the bottom embroidery to the top.
The Goodwill sheer embroidered panels were originally from the "The Company Store" which has some very nice quality linens.  Unfortunately there were some holes in the top of the panel. (Obviously why someone got rid of them)  I didn't need the entire length of the panel, and I really wanted to emphasize the embroidery.  I folded over the embroidered bottom of the panel and flipped it to become the top of the panel.  I sewed a channel for the curtain rod, cut off the other end of the panel eliminating the holes, restitched  what now would  be the hem and less than an hour a "quick project" fix was achieved.  Oh, by the way the panels were $3.
Even though the site says that their down comforters are manufactured in LaCrosse, you can see these panels were made in India. 
I didn't even realize the Company Store was in LaCrosse, WI; an hour away.

Here's originally what was the bottom of the panel.


After...maybe not a big change ... but I love them!  P.S. The crocheted throw made by my daughter, Leah.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Bernadine

Happy St. Patrick!
This Sunday my mom would have been 91 years old.  Since her birthday followed St. Patrick's Day, quite a few of her celebrations included a meal of corn beef and cabbage.  I'm not sure that she actually cared for it all that much. If she didn't, she wouldn't have said anything.  That's just the way she was.  My mom had no exclamation point.  My mom never got too excited about anything.  Sometimes when you did something really marvelous, her reaction was very minimal.  I quickly learned that wasn't a bad thing.  When I totaled the family car my senior year, all I remember her saying was:  " I'm glad you're still alive."  Not in an upset, frantic voice, but just a calm, matter of fact tone.

Bernadine Cooper
I learned a lot from my mom.  She taught me how to sew and crochet.  She inspired my love of flower gardening and landscaping.  She would have taught me more about canning and food preservation if I would have let her. She taught me how to play Euchre (a card game of necessity in the Midwest).  Most importantly she taught me patience and perseverance and the importance of family.

Her memories are always close.  It isn't hard to see her everywhere around us.  I use her crocheted pieces throughout the house.  She even had afghans and doilies made for my daughter's high school graduations and weddings prior to her death in 2004.  So, some of her gifts are yet to be given.

"The Workbasket"magazine was one of my mom's favorites.  I've included a few scans from the March 1951 issue along with some pictures of her handy-work.  Enjoy. 

Size 12 was the smallest back then, what happened?
Wouldn't that be nice to have?

Thanks Mom.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Politically Correct Decorating

Normally I don't get too involved in politics.  Generally I vote with very little research. I listen to the opinions of a few close people and the hardest part is remembering to get to the polls and vote.  Yesterday I received a "forwarded" email.  You know the kind.  If it's not political, it's religious. It's a chain letter email. " If you forward this message to ten people, your prayers will be answered at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning."  The email I received yesterday was a political slam on Obama.  Normally I would have just deleted it, but it talked about re-decorating the oval office and I thought, well I can form an opinion about that myself.

The email basically said that Obama was not having flags behind him during press conferences and that he had changed the red, white and blue oval office to a "middle eastern" theme.  It also said the golden drapes behind Obama had Arabic symbols on them. (It's his secret code to his Muslim terrorist friends)