Monday, August 27, 2007

Crochet, Crochet

Ahh, another dishcloth. I've been on a roll with these lately. I love creating them. It sort of makes me feel very 19th century-like. :) I'm surprised at myself that I've stuck with crochet for this long. But I even find myself pouring over blogs and free patterns, books in the bookstore, magazines and the like. I've had "Crocheting School" for some time and I'm starting to experiment with some new stitches, not really creating anything but just practicing.
The cloth above has a picot edging. I've never done it before so it's less than perfect but I think it has a nice effect. I'm giving this to a friend as part of a very very late birthday present.

Here are some of my current purchases under consideration:

The Happy Hooker

Total Crochet for the Home

Cozy Crochet

Hip to Crochet

I haven't decided because, well, there are just SO many choices and I want to make a good one. I'm only going to invest in one or two books right now so they must be marvelous!

On another note my sweet little Daisy has been such a good sport in tolerating my new found crochet addiction. She just cuddles up next to me, sniffing and pawing at my yarn now and then.

When she starts to look like this I know it's time to take a break and play with her for a while!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lazy Day Banana Bread and a few other things...


I really shouldn't buy bananas. I can never manage to eat them all before they start to go bad. Yet, for some reason they are the one thing that I can't seem to leave the grocery store without. I don't like to eat them after they get the least little brown spot on them (hence, not being able to eat them fast enough) and I'm not really sure what else there is to be done with over-ripe bananas. So needless to say, I make a lot of banana bread.
Here's the product of my little banana obsession. I usually end up making a loaf towards the end of each week.

Crochet has really captured my attention lately. I dabble in so many things that I tend to not stay focused on any one thing for more than a day or two but lately it's been crochet, crochet, crochet. This week I made a few dishcloths. The patterns are from a little Sugar 'n Cream book that was displayed near the Sugar 'n Cream brand yarn.

Doily Dish Cloth:

Lacy Scallops:

Granny Square Cloth:

In other news...

My husband and I finally finished the first Lost puzzle in the series of four. I really don't think that we'll be putting together the other three. I gave the first one to him for Christmas last year and we are just now finishing it. It was a more challenging puzzle due to the fact that they don't show you what the finished product is supposed to look like, however, what really made it take so long is our lack of motivation to work on it. Over the past week and a half we've made a concerted effort to sit down and work it out, mostly because we were getting tired of it taking up table room in our office. One really cool little feature is that there is a secret message of sorts on the back of the puzzle which can be seen when you shine a black light on it. The down side is that to get the full message you have to put all four puzzles together and turn them over then fit the four of them together to reveal the message. It's supposed to unravel the secrets of the show and all the mysteries behind the island. But, needless to say, we'll just have to keep watching and obsessing over all the little details because we are really no more enlightened for having put in the long puzzling hours. We did preserve our efforts though with modge podge, to be displayed in our office.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Antique Store Finds

I hate shopping. There, I said it. I hate it. I hate shopping for clothes that never fit me because of my unevenly proportioned body. I hate shopping at superstores where everything is the same and you can't get anything unique or individual. BUT, I LOVE antique shopping! I can spend hours browsing at an antique store. I don't pay attention to collector value or anything like that. I just buy what draws my eye.

Luckily, the town that I live in has no shortage of antique malls. I space my visits out so that each time I go the merchandise has changed and it's like a whole new experience. That's what I love about it. You can go to the same store over and over and it'll be completely different each time. Pictured are some of the lovelies that I found. I adore the little ducky cups. I'm enjoying drinking my coffee out of them at this very moment. :)

My other finds were these lovely cottage sheets and a floral print linen tablecloth. There's nothing like old sheets. No matter what I do, I can't get new sheets to feel like the old ones. No matter how many times I wash them, they just aren't the same.

Friday, August 3, 2007

My Inheritance

My grandmother was not a woman of means. She worked for decades in a sewing mill that produced bathroom rugs. She spent long hours in front of an industrial sewing machine, her merit measured by how many rugs she could produce in an hour. My grandfather was a groundskeeper. So needless to say, they weren't exactly rich. They were even known to live in places without indoor plumbing or with holes in the floor where you could peer down into the basement.

When my grandmother retired though, she could relax a bit. Having spent her life at the machine, you wouldn't think that she'd relish in making things for herself or for anyone else. But this she did. Relax? Sure, she may have relaxed her body but her hands were always busy. She was always tinkering with something, always had some kind of project going, whether it be embroidering a pillowcase or making a full size quilt.

When she died nearly two years ago, my family and I couldn't bear to go through through all of her things. So we hastily packed everything up and stored it away, until we were ready to deal with it. That day has been a long time coming. But several weeks ago my mother and I loaded up some boxes and started to make our way through. Naturally, the sewing items went to me. And boy did she have some stuff! My grandmother was physically unable to go to the store and not pick up some rick rack or some lace or some embroidery thread or a yard of fabric
that caught her eye. And this is just about 1/10 of what I actually have. She saved everything so I have pieces of her collection that date back at least several decades. It took a solid week to wash and fold all the fabric from her collection.

I found the patterns for doll clothes that she made for me when I was little.

I even found a few remnants that I, no doubt, left at her house when I was
there for the summer.

She taught me to embroider when I was about 7 years old. This little kitten is the very first thing that I ever made. I remember that I embroidered this onto one of her pillowcases.

I came home with about 75-80 packages of iron-on transfers. I sorted through them, many of which
were duplicates or tattered or very obviously used up. There were a few vintage patterns that I recognize as pillowcases that she made.

I now have four of her unfinished quilt tops. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with them just yet, seeing as how I don't quilt.
This one is most intriguing as it was completely done by hand. And the fabric has that near papery feel to it that tells me that it's very old. It's also the only one that my mother could not identify. So it's a mystery.

This little needle book is one of my favorite finds.

But my most favorite discovery of all was this little collection of quilt squares. They were stacked together amongst a myriad of other things. And a small slip of paper was pinned to the top one...with my name on it.