Saturday, March 31, 2012


It's a fun week at the following blogs:  The PolohouseVignette Design,  Upstairs Downstairs, and Hyacinths for the Soul.         They are having a Tartan Day celebration to give us a chance to show off our plaids.  Be sure to stop by these wonderful blogs for a visit.  

A year or so ago, I did a post on my infatuation with plaid over the years -- you may view it by clicking here.

 When I go junk hunting, I look for wool plaid skirts in good condition which I can make into pillows. Most new Pendleton wools sell for about $40 per yard, but I have found skirts for under $10 that contain almost two yards of fabric.  My latest find was an authentic Royal Stewart Tartan according to the tag from Pendleton.
My method of operation is to completely deconstruct the skirt which sometimes takes longer than to actually make the pillow, which is O.K. as I have more time than money!  Once I have it in pieces of fabric, I wash them in Woolite, hang to dry, then steam out the wrinkles and/or pleat marks.
I was able to get two 12"x22" pillows from this skirt.  There wasn't enough fabric, however, to make a cording.  So I just made some using black twill, which frames the pillow well.
When out and about I also look for wool plaid travel blankets, but they are getting hard to find at a decent price.
Here are three more of the pillows I have made.  This is a pillow out of a piece of embroidery and a green plaid pleated Pendleton skirt.
Not a plaid, but a great check pillow made out of a Ralph Lauren wool skirt.
This red plaid was from a Ralph Lauren pleated skirt that had these great leather fasteners on it.
I enjoy making these pillows as it is sometimes a challenge to figure out how to match the plaids and make the size pillow I want from a finite piece of fabric.  Besides that quality wool just feels SO good!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I normally don't have a hard time focusing, but today is a different story.  I know I should just go take a nap, and give the brain a rest for an hour or so.  But, I've decided to do a blog post instead.  DISCLAIMER:  The opinions are strictly my own, and are just the observations of someone that has observed six generations of lifestyles.  My intent is not to offend anyone; I'm a realist and understand that this is just the way things are now. Fasten your seat belts!  I'm all over the place.

There's not much I want to watch on HGTV any more, but I must admit that I'm still addicted to "House Hunters".  I really enjoy "House Hunters International" -- I love seeing the homes in the European countries that I have visited.  But, I always come away from the regular U.S. "House Hunters" irritated.  It appears that a lot of the 20-50 age group want what they want when they want it (like right now); and it is often more than they will ever NEED.  My very own children fall into this group.  I think of them as the entitlement generation.  They are missing the joy of accomplishment that comes after waiting and waiting and planning for something; OR THE SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT YOU FEEL WHEN YOU DISCOVER YOU DON'T NEED WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU DESIRED.   

What could my generation (me included) have done better to raise a non-entitlement generation?  After 44 years of mothering, I now have some ideas; but that's another post.     
Sometimes when I walk into my master bathroom, I think about what those younger people on "House Hunters" would say if they were looking at my house to buy.  "Oh, that master bathroom is just way too small; I couldn't live like that."  OR: "No granite or tile - I don't even want to go in there." OR THE WORST TRANSGRESSION: "Only one sink!  No Way!"  I can kind of understand why an unmarried couple needs two sinks - trust me - it really does take the commitment of marriage to share a bathroom sink with someone for 50-plus years!  But, why does a single person need two sinks? 

I think about my best friend from childhood who raised her five kids in a one-bathroom house.  Years ago, I asked her how she did it.  (At the time, I had two bathrooms and two kids.)  She said that it was no problem.  You just didn't do anything in the bathroom that you could do someplace else -- for example:  reading, messing with your hair or fingernails, etc.  So, seven people can share one bathroom.  I need to ask her, though, if her now- grown children feel entitled to superfluous bathrooms.   When I was a young child, my parents didn't even have a bathroom or indoor plumbing.  I had a potty chair in the kitchen; then when I turned two, there was the outhouse.  But, it didn't take me long to figure out that if I ran past the outhouse down the path a few yards further to Grandma's I could use her indoor bathroom plus get a cookie for my efforts. And Grandma was always so happy to see me.  So much for potty training 70 years ago.  But, I digress----

Back to my tiny, one-sink master bathroom.  It does have some advantages.  I'm thankful that it is 'en suite'; and that when we moved in 14 years ago, we removed the tub ("HH" says, "That's a no-no.") and replaced it with a large walk-in shower.  The shower does have cultured marble, which the "House Hunter" youngsters scorn; but it sure is easy to clean and maintain. 
It also has a textured-glass enclosure which I'm sure (according to "HH") makes the room look smaller; but here again, maintenance is easy.  I haven't missed a bathtub at all.  I suppose if I needed a tub bath, I could walk the ten steps to the hall bathroom. And, there is only one sink in here to clean!!

And to remind me how far I've come, we replaced the huge plate glass mirror with a mirror that hung in my grandparent's home.
To solve the small bathroom storage problem, we found an old large medicine cabinet to use over the stool. 
Plus, we use my grandmother's bedroom dressing-table stool to hold towels.  
It is very functional and all that we NEED.  And the best thing is that this bathroom (and the house and land attached) is paid for, as in no mortgage -- nada.  That's a wonderful feeling in its self.

And, FINALLY, that brings me to the reason for today's post -- to show you my new valance in the master bathroom.  I thought some pattern and softness was needed to counter all the hard edges. 
 I know the "House Hunter" young things would probably say, "It feels like my grandma's bathroom."  That's O.K. -- I'm a grandmother.

I'm not going to join any blog parties this week.  Some posts just should not be on the party circuit.  This is one.

Well, I've tackled HGTV, the entitlement generation, wants versus needs, parenting, marriage commitment, potty training, small bathroom advantages, the mortgage crisis, and blog parties.  Guess I better go take that nap.
After my nap, I will be taking a blog break for a little while to solve the world's problems; but I'll be back at some future time to report how THAT went.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


After all of those long winter months in Montana when we could hardly get out of our snowy driveway-----
who would have thought you would become a world traveler?
Happy Birthday, Dr. S.; and may you have many more wonderful experiences!

Friday, March 9, 2012


I'm so not through with Winter yet; but for those who are anxiously awaiting Spring here is a touch of the Spring/Easter season at our house!

 The bunny is a vintage Easter candy container, and the small tin basket is also vintage.  The old postcard signifies the meaning of Easter.
 To view the full table-top quilt, check out my quilting blog here.
I'm fortunate to live in Colorado, so I know we will have another month (or two) of occasional winter.  Bring it on, I say; but for the rest of my family here is a touch of Spring!

I'll be joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for her Spring Cloche party on Tuesday, March 13.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


  In 1961 when we first got out of college and had real jobs, I took part of my paycheck each month for a year and bought Ethan Allen furniture.  This was a great investment for our home -- over the years this modular furniture has been used in the living room, den, and while our son was growing up used in his bedroom.  When he left home 25 years ago, I claimed it as mine for my sewing/project room.  I've been fortunate that for most of my 53 years of marriage I have had a dedicated sewing/project room of my own.  Sometimes it has been as small as a closet, but for the last 32 years I've had a nice-sized bedroom to call the sewing room.
I thought that today we would take a tour of my sewing/project room to see what it looks like now and how it functions just for ME.
As you walk in the door, the first thing is my great-grandmother's desk.  I use it mostly for storage now, but the front folds down to use for extra table space when needed.
 As we move around the room, you start to see the Ethan Allen furniture.  It fills one full wall and wraps around the two adjoining walls -- bookcases and storage galore!  There are eight separate pieces bought one piece at a time.
 Continuing on around, the units wrap around to the third wall.  Over the years, I've added baskets to multiply the storage capacity.  That green mat is my rotary cutting area.
 Then, as we move around to the fourth wall you see my sewing machine corner.  I know it isn't a very big table, but I've sewn a million miles and made many, many quilts there.  I even wrote two quilting books by hand on it (before I  rewrote them on the computer).  The little red table beside my table was used by my grandchildren for their projects while I was busy sewing.  My 15-year-old granddaughter still likes to sit there to draw and talk to me.
 And yes, it always looks this picked up.  After every little project I clean it up, and put everything back in its place.  I've always worked best in this manner.  That is why storage is such an important part of my room.  Not all is neat and organized, however -- this is a basket full of trims.
 The drawers are organized, however.

 This bookcase holds my quilting books and some of my decorating books. The three little suitcases on top are from my childhood, and still hold my doll clothes.
 This bookcase is mostly full of cookbooks.  I don't like to cook and I'm not a creative cook -- I need all the help I can get!
 And, finally the closet -- this is where I store my quilting scraps and my notebooks and slides for all of the quilt classes I used to teach.  Someday, I need to get rid of a lot of this; but not yet.  Just hanging on to the past plus every once in awhile, I need a scrap of quilting fabric for a project!

I've always loved having a space of my own.  I realized recently how much -- the room was torn up for Bob to give it a new coat of paint and to add crown molding.  But, it's all back together now --  clean and ready for another project!

I'll be joining the following parties this week.  Check them out for a bunch of inspiration.
Northern Cottage for Partytime Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
No Minimalist Here for Thursday Open House
Miss Mustard Seed for Furniture Feature Friday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday