May 31, 2012

A Gift For An Old Friend...

Gosh! It's June already!!! Time sure does fly. Sofie and I created a new set of napkins yesterday. The fabrics are from Red Rooster Fabrics. They're a line called "Heartstrings" by Terri Degenkolb of Whimsicals.

This is a set of four 12" napkins for a friend I'll be meeting with for a day of lunch and shopping. I sure hope she likes them!
Kathy and I met over ten years ago. When I closed my needlework shop, Stitches, she and her business partner purchased many of my fixtures and my cash register for a shop they were opening on the other end of Main Street.

We've kept in touch through the years and Tag and I were fortunate to spend time with her last summer. I'm so glad that we'll be able to be together again for a few hours today. I'm sure we'll have fun finding new items to add to our creative supplies.

I promise to share what I find with you, but for now I'd better finish getting ready. I can't be sitting around in my jammies when she arrives, you know!

May 30, 2012

I've Been Reading Again...

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I love to read. I caught the bug when I was a child and it's never gone away. I remember the summer reading programs I took part in when I was a kid. Every year, we kept track of the books we read so that we could earn bookmarks and other small prizes through our local library. I don't even know if they do that for young people anymore, but if they don't they should!

If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that once I sit down and start reading, I keep at it for a while. Last summer I read books for weeks at a time, and managed to read over a dozen books within a couple of months. Well, summer has arrived and it's that time again!

I think it's important to start kids reading at an early age, and am tickled that all of our grandchildren are avid readers. My younger daughter-in-law introduced me to a series of books that our granddaughters are reading now called "The Sisters Grimm". There are nine books in the series. I started reading Book One last Friday and I'm nearly finished with Book Nine as of yesterday!

Sabrina (11 years old) and her younger sister, Daphne (who is 7) are descendents of the Brothers Grimm. The Brothers Grimm stories, thought by many to be fairytales, are actually factual accounts of the magical and mystical beings encountered by them. The fairytale creatures are referred to as "Everafters" by the family.

The books chronicle the adventures of the sisters, who are now the current bearers of the family legacy. They, along with their Granny Relda Grimm and a few trusted Everafter friends, solve mysteries in a small, strange town called Ferryport Landing.

I know they're not what anyone my age would consider "heavy lifting", but they are fun reading for any age! I regret that there are only nine books in Michael Buckley's current set, but highly recommend them as entertaining reading for your favorite youngsters (girls or boys).

As soon as I finish these, I'll be sure to let you know which book(s) I tackle next!

May 29, 2012

Meet Nelson...

Yesterday was a day I'd been looking forward to for months. Handsome and I got to spend the evening with our dear friends, Mary (who was my Maid-of-Honor twenty eight years ago) and her husband, Jim. We also knew we'd see their daughter, Beth and the newest member of their family, Nelson.

Mary, Jim and Beth met Tag when we saw them last summer and invited him to come along for our visit. When he and Nelson saw each other the chaos began. Nelson is only ten weeks old, but he was all Tag could handle, jumping all over him and equal to whatever Tag was dishing out.

We stood outside with them for about ten minutes before Handsome said he'd had enough of all that nonsense. Dogs to separate corners and we spent the rest of the evening catching up with friends we see all too seldom.

Tag will share more photos about his new friend next week, but I didn't want to let this day pass without sharing a photo of my dear friend, Mary and Tag's new friend, Nelson. It was a wonderful evening, indeed.

May 28, 2012

Tuesdays With Tag - A Frappin' Good Time...

It's that time again.
Wanna hear what I've been doing the past week?
I know you do!!!

I've had a great time runnin' in the fields with Mom and Dad, so I thought I should show you pictures from one of our latest romps.

Dad always makes me sit like a good boy before he lets me run around like a frappin' fool. I told you what F.R.A.P. means, right? Well, just in case I didn't, Mom learned from corgi friends that when I run around like a "maniac" it's called Random Acts of Play. We corgis are famous for frappin'!

Anyway, I've had this huge field to run around in lately, and I'm makin' the most of it!

 I frap to the East...

I frap to the West...

 I frap with the guy that I like best...

Good Golly, Pops!
What's takin' ya so long?

Yesterday The Boy came to visit. He coaxed me up onto the sofa and then said, "Hey, Grandma! Look at us." Mom looked in the doorway and saw me up where I'm usually not allowed. I was afraid I was gonna get chewed out, but she just laughed. The Boy has that affect on her. I gotta keep him around!
Hard to believe that I can look this regal, isn't it?
Well, gotta run some more. See ya next week.
'til then...
"More Waggin' and Less Barkin'!"

May 27, 2012

Memory Lane Monday - Warm Hugs...

This is a picture of the first "real" quilt I ever made. It's a chenille four-patch quilt made from shirting fabric, chenille and flannel. I made it in September of 2004. It's still one of my most favorite quilts to cuddle under.

You can see that it's not large enough to cover the top of our quilt guest bed, and I had enough blocks left over to quilt a couple of pillow shams, too. Great for napping, I tell ya!
When shopping with my daughter-in-law last week, I came across a fat quarter assortment of...flannels! I knew right away why I wanted them. Right! A new four-patch quilt. I'm going to use chenille for the large blocks again, and I'll have enough fabric to make a larger quilt. I might even make two new shams to match.
The last piece of fabric in the pack is the same fabric I'll be using for the back of the quilt.

I know this is a little different for my Memory Lane Monday posts, but I chose to write about my first quilt for a couple of reasons. One is that I want you to know that I've only seriously quilted since 2004. Even then, I didn't make another quilt for a year or so. After that I was hooked.

Reason Two is because I wanted to give you a break from my old family photos and share a project from my past. I've always sewn, but this was the beginning of my obsession with quilts...those warm hugs on chilly nights.
Thanks for sharing a more contemporary Memory Lane Monday with me. If you have a story you'd like to share on your blog, you can link your post below.

Wreath by gigigibson on Etsy
Don't forget to take time to remember why you're off work today, and say thanks for the commitment and sacrifices of the men and women of our Armed Forces...past and present...this Memorial Day.

May 26, 2012

Sunday Scripture...

 "These things I have spoken to you,
that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation,
but take courage; I have overcome the world."
                                                                  - John 16:33
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May 25, 2012

Let Summer Begin...

Memorial Weekend has always marked the 
un-official beginning of Summer for midwesterners.

There are flowers that always come to mind...
Queen Anne's Lace  

Enjoy your holiday weekend and take time to remember
those brave men and women who sacrificed so much for our freedoms.
Don't forget to take time to smell the flowers, too!

May 24, 2012

An Evening With Frank...

Photo from Frank Almond's website
We've been together thirty one years, but Handsome still delights in surprising his wife. He told me last week that I had to clear my calendar for a surprise date on Monday, May 21st. He wouldn't give me even the tiniest hint all week, even though I have to admit I might have teased once or twice.
We drove to Milwaukee, WI (Brookfield, actually) and turned into Mitchell Park. As we were entering the parking lot for the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, it occurred to me that he might be surprising me with an evening with my favorite violinist in the whole world - Frank Almond (concertmaster for the Milwaukee Symphony). When I asked, he smiled and said, "Maybe."
The impressive, carved fireplace in the lobby.
The Wilson Center is nestled in an area surrounded with fields and forest. Its decor settles right into the landscape. What a beautiful place for an evening of music.
Glass birds light the ceiling in the auditorium with their changing colors.
I didn't take photos inside the auditorium (except for the ceiling lights prior to the concert), but I can tell you the venue was beautiful, inside and out.

Frank Almond performed a program called "A Night of Tango", with three other artists: Stas Venglevski (bayan), Rosa Borisova (cello) and Nell Buchman (piano). Not all the music was tango music, but every piece was a delight for the senses.

Frank and Stas are obviously good friends as they spent the evening entertaining us with music, humorous banter and information about the pieces they performed. All four were consumate musicians who easily moved from one number to the next.

I have been a fan of Frank Almond's since Handsome and I lived in Wisconsin and held season tickets to the Milwaukee Symphony. For many years, we drove to Milwaukee once a month during each season for their performances. It's one of the major things we both miss about living in Wisconsin.

When Frank plays the violin, I'm frequently moved to tears of joy. He plays the "ex-Lipinski" Stradivari violin crafted in 1715 and makes some of the most beautiful music I've been privileged to hear in my life. 

Thank you, Husband for a wonderful evening of music - followed by a quiet dinner in a fabulous restaurant (NorthStar in Brookfield, WI). It's an evening I'll long remember.

May 23, 2012

Window Shopping...

I managed to take a little time to visit my favorite antique mall recently, and thanks to the modern miracle of the "camera phone" (my trusty iPhone), I'm able to share some of my favorites with you.

These are the sorts of things that never fail to catch my eye. Colorful, hand-crocheted potholders and table runners. Then there are the knitted slippers on the second shelf of this rack. Imagine the hours of blissful creating spent on all of these items.
I thought this satin wedding dress was pretty as I imagined the young woman who must have worn it on her special day. I wondered why she hadn't kept it to pass down to another young woman in her family...perhaps her daughter? It was lovely.

I know many bloggers who would have snatched up these suitcases to stack with others to create a side table in a bedroom or living room. These were in great condition!

I might take some measurements and go back and check out the prices. Remember, Sofie still needs a case since the tooled leather one I used last summer fell apart. The one front and center above might just work!

Yo yos always make me smile. 
These were joined to create a sweet pillow cover.

Stunning silk ribbon embroidery on a velvet background makes for not one, but two gorgeous pillows.

If the velvet had been a shade of steel blue rather than peach, this pair would have gone home with me. Just look at the detail!
This party dress was part of a booth that was artfully arranged with items of clothing, jewelry and handbags. All were meant to be used for festive occasions, and more than a few items were begging to jump into my basket.

I had the needlepointed footstool in my hands for quite a while before I set it back down and walked away. I loved it, but thought it too pricey for my taste.

I couldn't walk past this array of 18" fashion dolls (including more than a few Barbie™ dolls) without taking a picture to share with Twyla's daughter, Lindsey. She is a hard-core collector of all things Barbie™, and trust me. Her collection is truly impressive. She has every single piece of Mattel's most beloved set of dolls and attendant paraphernalia ever made. She has all the pieces I had as a long gone.
This display of hats made me smile. It took me back to my childhood when my sister, Mum and I would shop for that special outfit for Easter. It usually included a new dress and coat, gloves and little handbag and a hat. I stood and examined these hats for quite a while. I love hats, but don't often wear them in Florida. Can't you just imagine this whole display in a corner of your bedroom? Swoony!

I behaved. I only purchased what I had in mind when I went into the mall. A whole, four dollar purchase. Aren't you proud of me? I may yet go back for that suitcase...if the size is right and the price isn't crazy expensive.

So. When you go to your favorite antique store or mall, what catches your eye? What to you always seem to gravitate to and what always begs to go home with you? I'd love to know.
Can you believe it's nearly time for another stroll through my favorite remembrances? Monday, May 29th is my next installment. Memorial Day Monday.

If you're interested in joining with a story of your own, you might want to write it before the holiday weekend takes hold of your time. I'll put my post up on Sunday and add the linky so you can add your blog to the list. I'll also leave that link open for a week, so you can join after the weekend if you'd like.

If you're on your way out to do something special for the holiday weekend that heralds the start of summer, have a great time. We'll catch up when you get back!

Catching My Breath...

The past few days have been pretty busy, and I'm a little tuckered out.
I've decided to take a cue from the resident corgi and rest today.
I'll be back tomorrow to tell you all about it.
Have a great day, my friends!

May 22, 2012

Tuesdays With Tag - My Girls...

It's me! Tag!
I stayed overnight with my two favorite girls in the whole world last night.
Today I want to tell you about "My Girls"

When I showed up yesterday for our sleep-over, both girls showed Mom their "Official Pet Sitter" credentials. Lady R. showed hers to Dad just as soon as he stepped out of the truck.

MufFinn showed hers to Mom and we started giggling right away. I think she's practicing for her picture that will go on her driver's license when she's old enough. Too funny!

 So, you know we're gonna sing together again, right?
Are ya ready?

"I got sunshiiiiinnne on a cloudy day...

 "When it's cold outsiiiidde, I got the month of May."

 "I'd guess you'd say...

What can make me feel this wayyy?"

 "My Girls"

"My Girls!"

 "My Girls!!!"

I'm one lucky corgi, I tell ya.
Nothing in the world like my girls!

Here's a video for you!

I'll be spending time with our grandson tonight, and
I'll have pictures (and a song) for you next week.
'til then,
"More Waggin' and Less Barkin'!"