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Monday, March 23, 2015

A BLOGABLE LIFE?

I've been giving a lot of thought recently to the future of this blog.  Here are some thoughts ---
London Eye, 2008
I started this blog on July 22, 2008 after a wonderful 50th wedding anniversary trip to Europe.  I had been lurking in the blog world for sometime, and thought that maybe there was something in our 50 years of marriage about making a home and living and loving life that was worth sharing.  Also, I thought of it as a way to journal our lifestyle for our descendants if in the future they were interested.  Thus, SALMAGUNDI, was conceived. 
I've always been fond of alliteration; and my name, Sally Saulmon, and Salmagundi seemed to fit.  One of the definitions of Salmagundi is "A disparate assembly of things, ideas, and people."  That was what I wanted my blog to be.
It's been a journey as my computer skills were lacking (still are!), and finding a niche in blogland for my style was daunting and elusive (and still is!)  But here we are at Post No. 556.

THE THINGS:
Oh my, we have things!  And I have blogged about hundreds of them.  We have been antique and junk accumulators from the beginning of our marriage.  And, we still enjoy the hunt and incorporating them into our home; but have slowed down considerably.  There is simply no more room in our house. 
Christmas 2014

THE IDEAS:
I'm a thinker -- I over-think and try to solve everything within my sphere of influence.  Just ask my family.  However, I'm not an intellectual.  If I can't control a part of the situation; I, unfortunately and regrettably, don't give it much thought.  Therefore, the ideas on this blog are rather shallow.

THE PEOPLE:
I have had amazing Colorado pioneers in my family that worked long and hard to pass on the lifestyle I've been fortunate to enjoy.  I have blogged about several of them and the belongings they have entrusted into my care.  And, of course, I've had a husband for 56 years who has always supported me both emotionally and financially to allow me freedom to do what I wanted.  We raised two amazing children that have endured their own hardships and struggles, but have come out on top.  We've been blessed with two adorable, absolutely wonderful grandchildren.  But, how many pictures of "The Beauty" and "The Cutie" can my blog readers endure?

That leads us to the present ---
I'm to the point that I'm almost blogged out!
I'm thinking a sabbatical is in order -- not just a couple of weeks, but possibly six months. 

THE FUTURE: 
I have obligated myself to a one-woman quilt show in August; a retrospective of my 65 years of making quilts.  And, I have been thinking that a retrospective really should require that I finish the albatross quilt in the closet.  
My First Quilt (1950) and The Albatross (2015?)
 The albatross has been ten years in the making; but with arthritic fingers and declining eyesight, I've struggled with finishing the hand quilting.  I love this quilt, and it deserves to be finished and exhibited.
So, I figure if I devote 4-6 hours each day to working on the albatross; I can complete it by the August deadline.
I have decided to concentrate on that feat.

I plan to remain on facebook and pinterest, and regularly check on my favorite blogs as I can't break my computer habits so easily.  I'll be at church every Sunday morning, and hopefully increase my prayer time at home. Then, there is always the cooking to be done, and the need to dust all this stuff occasionally -- my least favorite activities but necessary.  Just as we have for 30 years; every Wednesday morning will find me with my girl friends having coffee/tea, eating, complaining, laughing, and solving the world's problems.  
And, there are still good books to be read.
Bob and I will occasionally be out there searching for that perfect piece we don't need for our home.  And, I will be running interference into the kid's lives.  As the Countess Violet on Downton Abbey says, "It's the grandmother's job to interfere."
And who knows, I may experience something blog worthy and occasionally pop in here at Salmagundi.
But, for now, a very tiny hand-quilting needle and an albatross in the closet is calling my name.


 My plans are to return in September to resume blogging regularly.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A RING OF POSIES

A ring of posies for those who are celebrating Spring ---- I'm still hoping for more Winter, so I appliqued them on 100% wool.
I made this pillow last week from two thrift store skirts -- both the black and the gray plaid skirts were from Harve' Benard (by Benard Holtzman).  The 100% wool was so soft -- my needle just glided through the fabric.  The reds and rusts were scraps from previous projects.
I've never used a variegated thread for embellishment before, but thought I would give it a try.  I like using #5 Pearle Cotton, and bought this variegated thread in two colorways at Hobby Lobby.  Not sure yet how I feel about it.  Guess it does add a little dimension.

I've started working on a table runner using my wool plaid scraps.  It will take me some time to complete; however, it is not going to make a dent in my fabric stash!

Happy Winter/Spring!!!!

I'm joining the following:
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Common Ground for Share Your Style Thursday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
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Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A TEACHER NEVER STOPS BEING A STUDENT

It's birthday time here again.  Our first-born turns 47.  How did that happen so soon?

He has been bright-eyed and inquisitive since he was a few weeks old.
10 weeks old
However, he did flunk out of pre-school for expressing his opinion and knowledge a little too frequently!  Does that surprise anyone who knows him?   Homeschooling was in order until he could attack kindergarten.
2 years old
From then on there was no stopping him from loving to learn.
First, there was high school graduation, then a college chemical engineering degree, then a master's degree in chemical engineering.  As if that wasn't enough --  then another master's and a doctorate in biochemistry were earned.  It got a little old going to graduations, so we all missed the last two (thus, no photos).

He finally found his niche -- teaching high school math and science, plus sponsoring the International club at school enabling him to travel the world with his students.
Happy Birthday, Dr. S.  
 You continue to enrich our lives immensely. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

PENNY RUG PILLOW

subtitled:
441 FRENCH KNOTS LATER -----
I like to have some handwork to sew on in the evenings while we watch TV.  After all, we can't miss 2 hours each week of Antiques Roadshow, many reruns of NCIS, innumerable episodes of American Pickers, plus the unending sports programs.  And how can I forget Downton Abbey; the only night I control the remote!

This has been my project since the first of the year.  
I like something repetitive as my creative mojo has died by evening; and I also like something that gives me a few week's work without switching gears.
You wouldn't think that an 18-inch pillow would take two months --- but, it did!

Time for a new project. 
It's almost the TV season for one million baseball games!!!!

I'm joining the following:
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Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
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The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

FINDERS KEEPERS

A few weeks ago at an antique mall, Bob found a great old crusty tool box -- one that had seen a lot of use!  After a short negotiation we brought the box home with us.
Some people like to keep things in their found condition; but, Bob sees everything as a project.
He likes to take everything apart to see how it was constructed; polish everything up; repair it; and return it to its original intent.
 Under the grime was unusual handmade copper hardware.  
He figured out that some of the hardware was designed to hold leather straps that were missing.  Also, that the tool box was designed to hold saws.

And to add to the story --- last Fall, Bob was walking down to get the mail one day when he spotted some antique saws in the neighbor's trash at the curb.  He asked him about them -- they belonged to his grandfather, and no one in the family wanted them.  Bob was happy to take them off his hands and out of the landfill!
Now the saws have a home.

Yes, finders keepers!

I'm joining the following:
Common Ground for Share Your Style Thursday
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The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
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Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday

Friday, February 27, 2015

WOOL HOARDING VERSUS WOOL GATHERING

I love sewing with wool, but it is very expensive to buy new.  So my best source are the thrift stores, where I find 100% wool garments for $2-$3 each.  Admittedly, it is very time consuming to then deconstruct (removing darts, pleats, seams, hems, etc.); and wash in very hot water; and dry in the dryer to felt the fabric.  But, it is that old thing with me --- more time than money!
I just completed the deconstruction process on this stack of skirts; which then necessitated the need to clean and organize the sewing room to make room for my 'new' supply of fabric.  I was positively giddy playing with all of this wool for several days.
I store my largest pieces in these two big drawers.
 The medium size pieces go into baskets along with my small supply of wool felt (purchased new at a quilt store).
  I store the smallest pieces according to color in plastic boxes then in baskets for easy access.
I don't throw away even the smallest of scraps - you never know when you might need a specific color for a tiny piece in a project.
 All this fun led me to think that maybe I am a wool hoarder.  I enjoyed it so much without even starting a project.
But, then again, having it all clean and organized has me thinking of all kinds of projects to make in the future.  So, maybe I could be considered a wool gatherer.

What do you think? --- wool hoarder or wool gatherer?

PS:  I can't help myself as it is in my DNA.  I come from several generations of sheep ranchers.

I'm joining the following:
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The Dedicated House for Before and After Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
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French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

Thursday, February 19, 2015

IN A QUANDARY ---

I crave change -- After all of these years of collecting and changing out stuff, I still want something different to look at in our home.
The problem is that I really do like the things that we have inherited and accumulated over our 56 years of marriage, and hate to pack anything away.

I love my great-grandfather's lamp sitting on a textile I purchased on Portebello Road in London.
Everyone knows I'm crazy over brown transferware, and love looking at it every day.
I'm sold on wool, handwork, plaid, and texture.
And, I can't live without color plus wood that has lived a previous life.
So, I guess I don't really want change -- just would love to add a HUGE addition to the house so that I could look every day at MORE of the stuff I love.

In the meantime, I guess the least I could do is put the Valentines away for another year.And pull out part of another collection that hasn't seen the light of day for awhile --- antique silver.
A sugar bowl with a birdie on top with slots to hold teaspoons.
A spooner with a collection of sugar spoons.
A covered butter dish with a butter-knife holder.
And, a beautiful little creamer.
I remember now why they were hidden away --- they really need polished!!!  A project for another day.
At least, tarnish is something different to look at for awhile.

I'm joining the following:
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
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Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

VALENTINE READING PLUS MY SPECIAL HEART TUGGERS

My friend, Marsha, is my personal librarian.  She loans me books to read that she thinks I would enjoy; and she is always right about my literary preferences.  I love that she is my friend in more ways than one!!

Recently, she loaned me two books with locations in Paris.  The last time, 2011, that I was in Paris; Marsha was also there.  She was with her adult daughter, and I was with my adult son.  The 'youngsters' had us running all over with busy schedules, so we were unable to meet up at the time.  But, it is a fun thought that we were sharing so many of the same places at the same time --- just not together.

The first book, "Paris in Love" by Eloisa James is a memoir about her family's year-long sabbatical in Paris.  This book was pure delight.  I loved her take on the schools, sights, and food of Paris.

The second book, "Hidden in Paris" by Corine Gantz is a novel also about Americans living in Paris.  I would have enjoyed this book more without the cuss words and intimacy issues.  Marsha warned me, as I'm a self-professed prude.  The house in the story and the plot were interesting enough to keep me engrossed, however.
If you have ever experienced the magic and love
 of Paris, or wanted to; these two books are fun reads.

My two special heart tuggers --
Wyatt was born late in the day on February 13th, so we have always considered him our Valentine baby.  He has an 'over the top' personality.  So if anyone should turn 13 years old on Friday, the 13th; and have a middle-school Valentine dance on his birthday, this is the boy!!
His sister, Caitlin, hates that he has passed her in height just a little and is now a teenager --- he is still her little baby brother.


Happy Birthday, Wyatt and love to both of you on Valentine's Day.

I'm joining the following:
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Monday, February 9, 2015

FROM WOOL GATHERING TO CARTIER

It was a beautiful weekend in Colorado.  Almost everyone heads to the hills to ski, hike and bike!  But in our usual reverse migration, we head to the city to explore our favorite V.A.T.S. 
(Vintage, Antique, Thrift Stores).

Antiquing was kind of a bust -- maybe because we don't need a thing.  I saw a couple pieces of large, beautiful brown transferware, but they were way out of my budget.  On the other hand, it was a good day at the thrift stores.  I'm always on the lookout for wool garments to cut up, felt, and repurpose in needlework projects.  I found nine (yes, 9) 100% wool skirts for the average price of $3.50 each.

The top three are Pendletons, the fourth is Ralph Lauren, and the rest are other notable designers.  That's a whole lot of beautiful yardage for a cheap price.  Now I just need to come up with some new projects to make, in order to not become labeled as a wool hoarder.

On Sunday, we had tickets for the "Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century" exhibit at the Denver Art Museum.  Our son came into the city to meet us at the exhibit and for lunch, so that was an extra bonus.  
The exhibit is magnificent -- not just the jewels (I could look at diamond tiaras forever!!); but the whole presentation was wonderful.  It included the cultural aspect from kings and queens to Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelley.  Plus, there were many displays about the making of the jewels including original designs on paper to actual work benches and tools.
If you are in the area, it is well worth the price of admission; and will be on through March 15th.

So, from thrift-store skirts to million-dollar jewels, it was a great weekend.

P.S.: And yes -- one small purchase, a brown transferware bone dish in the same pattern as some other pieces I have!

I'm joining the following:
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From My Front Porch To Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
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Monday, February 2, 2015

PURSE PROJECT - PART TWO

In my previous post (here), you can read about my purse issues and what led up to making a purse to test what I need for size and function.

 I have finished my 'test' purse, and it seems to function well.  Still not the prettiest purse, but that will come when I find the PERFECT purse to purchase.

The outside pocket works really well for the two main necessities in my life - chap stick and a cell phone.
Even though I rarely have cash on me, an inside zipper pocket will function when I do.
I made a small pouch to corral all of the little stuff that I do not need everyday.  It fits nicely in the bottom of the purse.
The purse ended up being 9" wide x 7' high x 2" deep, and holds all of this stuff with room to spare.  For aesthetic reasons, I probably should have inserted a 7" zipper instead of a 9" one, and then squared off the top corners of the purse.  Possibly that would have been too small an opening to function well, however.  Good thing I'm not going into purse production!
Now that I am sure of size and function, I'm ready to go out shopping again for that PERFECT purse.  I'm confident enough now that I may even raise my budget to get my forever purse!!

I'm joining the following:
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