Thursday, September 27, 2012


 Bob often brings me something from the garage; and asks if I want it, or should he just sell it?  Recently, that something was this wooden box that he bought at a yard sale for $2.  I usually  bring it in the house to give it an audition, and then decide later if I want to keep it.

Boxes like this make great storage.  
They often have wonderful details and great character.
 The problem is where do I put another box that is storing magazines that I probably should be throwing away?  

What do you think?  Should I 'love it or list it'?

I'm linking to the following blog parties.  Please check them out for lots of inspiration.
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Southern Hospitality for Thrifty Treasures Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday Treasures
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday

Friday, September 21, 2012


The past year or so, I've noticed in the antique malls a plethora of string on cones.  They were of interest to me because I'm just naturally a textile/texture/tactile type of person.  But I was not smitten enough to fork over $5-$10 for one.  Then, during our last trip to Denver; I saw first one, then a second string cone with a holder/dispenser.  Now, I'm really interested if you combine string with rusty iron.  I showed Bob the second one I saw -- and he said, "Oh, I've got one of those in the garage!"
Well, I couldn't get home fast enough to check this treasure out!
To me, it is just pure sculpture.  I'm now smitten.
 And, it didn't cost the $50 asked for the ones in the antique malls.
 So, what else is lurking in the depths of our garage?  I'm going shopping there more often.

I'm joining the following blog parties.  Please go by these blogs and thank them for hosting their weekly parties.
Southern Hospitality for Thrifty Treasures Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday Treasures
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Things Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


In my previous life before retirement, I was a quiltmaker.

Over a span of three decades, I had some moderate success just lolling around making quilts.  I guess it was work, but it didn't seem like it; because I was doing something I thoroughly enjoyed.  I designed and made 
 quilts that were featured in magazine articles.

Then, I was fortunate enough to receive contracts to write two books on the subject. 
I traveled and taught quiltmaking nationally; and my quilts were exhibited all over.  Some of my quilts are more well-traveled than I am!  I've never considered myself to be an artist, even though I've had several one-woman gallery shows.
Occasionally, I was even asked to furnish an Artist's Statement. Who Me????  I'm not an artist!
I just made quilts because I loved geometry, fabric, and to sew.
 Writing an Artist's Statement was much more work than making a quilt.  As I would labor to write about my artistic (?) journey, I would start by mentioning my sixth-grade art teacher who said I didn't have an aptitude for art because I couldn't draw or paint.  But, I loved color, texture and shapes -- At the time, I wondered why can't that be art? 

Fortunately, I had a high school math teacher who said I was a whiz at understanding proportions, design, and geometry.  And previously in grade school, his wife had been my 4-H leader; and she taught me with such enthusiasm to sew with accuracy.  Together the two of them led me to find my niche. 

Do I consider myself now to be an artist?  Not yet, as   
  I remember so vividly when that art teacher told me that the pig I had drawn looked like a cow; and to give up any thoughts of future art endeavors. The message I received from her was that I would not, could not, should not be an artist.  Those are hard thoughts to shake!

The point of this post is to never discount how our words might translate to a child -- there is no way of knowing our influence or where those words might lead that child.   As an adult, it is important to always encourage young people; so they may attain their ultimate potential - whatever that may be!  Who would have thought -- a career as a quiltmaker?

I'm joining the following parties.  Please check out these blogs for great inspiration.
The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Things Thursday
Jann Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays

Sunday, September 16, 2012


For years, I've been interested in Penny Rugs.  Their origin dates back to the Civil War era, when homemakers used wool scraps from old clothing, etc. to create mats or rugs.  Using coins as templates, they created circles and stitched them with a blanket stitch to a background fabric.  They weren't necessarily made as floor rugs, but more often decor coverings for beds, tables, and mantels. 

Recently, inspired by the blog site of Ashton Publications, I decided to try my hand at making a penny rug since it appears I will never find an antique one in my price range. 

Wool fabric is very expensive, so the search began to find affordable materials.  Since this is raw-edge applique, the wool needs to be felted so that it doesn't ravel.  The options are:  Wool felt (different from craft felt) which sells for about $18 a yard in a limited color selection at Jo-Ann Fabric.  I found my wool felt at Ruth's Stitchery in Colorado Springs in a bunch of yummy colors.  Another option is
wool that has been over-dyed and felted and is available on Etsy, and also at some quilt stores.  This is expensive at about $3.00 for a piece 5" square; but, oh, it is so luscious and I can't resist it.
A third option is to purchase new wool fabric at approximately $30 and up for a yard.  Then, it is necessary to felt the wool yourself by washing it in very hot water and drying it in a hot dryer.
And finally, another option is to find 100% wool garments at the thrift stores; deconstruct them and felt them yourself.
I used wool from all of the above sources so that I could have a variety of colors, textures and patterns.
This was a fun project; and was easy to accomplish using a #22 chenille needle and #5 Perle cotton for the embroidery, taking a couple of weeks working in the evenings.
This is a small piece measuring just 12" x 20".
Now, I'm thinking about another project using wool and embroidery; but not necessarily circular shapes.  We'll see!!!

I'm joining the following blog parties this week.  Please check them out for lots of inspiration.

Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow us Wednesdays
Jann Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Continuing on with more of my favorite small drawers from around our house -----   Previous posts on drawers may be viewed here and here.

Card catalogs are great for storage.
 They hold all of those old CDs that no one listens to any more!
I don't remember where we got our card catalog, but it was not from the University of Utah.  I think it was picked up cheap at an antique mall.
 I love the next two individual drawers for their character.  The top one originally held stove bolts and is made of tin.  The front pulls down to access the interior.
 The larger drawer on the bottom originally held hasps and screw-eyes in a hardware store.  This drawer is tin and wood, and the top opens for access.
To me, they are beautiful enough just for sculpture!
We found this little homemade drawer unit at a yard sale years ago.
The drawers have little compartments -- wonderful for holding 'grandchild' treasures.  Wyatt brought to me these little eggs that had fallen to the grass one day from a high-up nest.  I asked him if he wanted to take them home, and he said, "No, they are for you for taking good care of us."  When he was a little older and in school, I found him doing his homework at my dining room table with this stub of a pencil.  I gave him a new pencil, but couldn't throw this old one away.  Aaawwwwww!!!!!!!
Excuse the 'grandmother' moment - back to the drawers.
 The pulls are made from sawed-off thread  spools.
Enough drawers for today -- I'm sure a future post will feature more!
I'm linking up with the following blog parties.  Be sure to check them out to thank the hostesses.
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Southern Hospitality for Monday Thrifty Treasures
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
From My Front Porch To Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday

Monday, September 3, 2012


Heading north to the big city -- Denver -- taking a day to celebrate our 54th wedding anniversary doing what we love best - junking and antiquing!  This has been our favorite activity together for over 50 years -- why quit now?
We were headed to the monthly (in the summer) Paris Street Market in the Aspen Grove area of southwest Denver.  
We hadn't been all summer because it has been so hot.  We thought by September it would have cooled off some, but we were wrong.  It was still HOT!  
 We enjoy going just to see what is HOT in the market place.
We saw lots of people carrying out chippy windows.  Crocks seem to be making a comeback. 
And, of course; gears, pulleys, farmstead stuff, and rusty anything are everywhere.
 Rusty letters!
 We saw lots of drawers -- they must be reading the blogs.
 This was my favorite - a cabinet made out of old wooden cheese boxes.  If it had been $39 instead of $139, I might have considered it.  However, who knows what I would have done with it!!
After the street market and some lunch, we headed to the Colorado Antique Gallery mall on South Broadway.  Then we checked out a couple of stores.  The first one was called 'Patina' - its card says, "found things, lost things, wah wah; oldy, moldy, rusty, musty; old things, new things, blah, blah, blah...".  This is a great store if you are in the vicinity of 5989 S. University in Greenwood Village.  The second store we stopped at was
 'Old Glory Antiques' at 6851 S. Gaylord in southwest Denver.  They sponsor the antique fair that we went to in the spring (see here); and their store never disappoints showing the latest finds in antiques, vintage, and home decor.

SO, what did we buy?  Our crazy, impulse, happy anniversary buy was a seed separator.  That's right -- a seed separator.  This thing is huge at about 4 feet wide by 4 feet deep by 4 feet tall.
 Bob loves working on this type of stuff, and will take it all apart and return it to working order.  Our only plans for it is to use it for Halloween in a pumpkin display.  Then we will decide on its future.
It just goes to show that you can't account for taste!!!!

The stores, antique mall, and street fairs are linked to their web sites.  For further info, just click on their names.