Monday, April 13, 2015

Work - Gets In The Way Of Life

Hi Dear Folk,

How are you?  It's a lovely sunny day today.  The daffodils are finally blooming I thought they would never burst forth, it seemed that everyone else in Blogland had a garden full of open blooms.

Back to work today, so as sunny as it may be I'm in an inner office with no windows, Grrrr!  It comes pretty hard after the weekend off, but needs must and that's all there is to it.  Busy day too.

Mr. B. said he'd work on my garden by the front door, Monday is a day off for him, so hope to see that looking clean and dug over.  I have one lonely daffodil growing in that garden and columbine.  We cut down the Andromeda bush that was there it was almost all totally dead, I have a matching one on the other side and that does quite well.

I have to get some quotes to cut the dying tree down.  Mr. B. finally agreed Hey Ho!  I want to get that done soon before all the garden really gets into bloom which will be quite soon.  What to do with the stump and roots, I'll find out how much it is to grind it out, or I may just leave it and do pots and a garden in-between the roots.

I started on a Queen Anne Lace Scarf, I never realized how narrow they are, I might want to use a thicker yarn and larger hook.  It took me a while to get into the swing of the pattern, but I think I have it now, thank goodness for You Tube.

Not too much else going on right now.  Hope I have a little energy tonight to potter in the garden.

Wishing you all well.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Tea and Art

Hello Dear Folk,

It's sunny today and cheery around 60 f, so still cool.  I had thought of working on the front garden just by my front door, but by the time I went out and attended the special talk we had, got home, had some lunch, went on line to print up the Vehicle Registration renewal, because mine had run out, and by the time we got the darn printer to print the temporary form which we need to take the garage to complete the emissions testing, well then it was pretty late and had got quite a lot cooler in late afternoon, so decided to write this instead.

Mr. B. dropped my car off for inspection yesterday and it needed a whole list of things done, so not cheap, but neither could it be completed because forgot about renewing my registration, so Mr. B. has to go back today and get that done, hope it's not too late.

I was invited to a Tea and Art afternoon and wasn't sure what to expect,  this is the tea part and how lovely it all was A. had such a lovely tea for us as you can see.  With lots of spring flowers dotted around.  The dining room table arrangement of flowers was lovely and I forgot to take a picture of that, because I was so busy partaking of the lovely afternoon tea.

Several different teas to try.

This was my selection of teacup.  It was A's grandmother's.

So what was the art part?  Well since her boy was in Elementary school A has volunteered for "The Art Goes to School Program"  where you go around the school district giving a half hour presentation with visual aids to the children.  Each year the prints of famous paintings change, but must be representative of the world American, European, Asia, Africa, Black, White, Asian, American Indian, Hispanic, Men and Women artists.  So you can see that just that choice alone is daunting, plus it has to represent the eras of painting, Classical, Impressionists, Cubist, Surreal and Graphic.  Sometimes it doesn't cover all the spectrum but they try.

So we had an interactive art lecture using the prints and prompts, fun and interesting.

My friend S. is going to Estonia for an International Convention this July, like Barb and I did to Hawaii so I said I would think of some small items as gifts, to make, for our brothers and sisters in Estonia.  Crochet may come in more handy as it's colder there.  So what to make that's small and packable?

S. is also stopping off in Paris on this trip and is going on an evening dinner cruise on the Seine so is going to make herself a pink chiffon flouncy dress with flowers on, sounds lovely.

Hope you're weekend has been fun.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Black Beach Maui Necklace and More

Hi Dear Folk,

I have found a wonderful haul from the thrift shop.  Three pairs of what seem to be brand new leather shoes.  The lace ups are Italian and fit like a glove.  The flat cream ones have genuine snakskin with the leather and the third pair are a differnet colour to the rather solid basic colours that I usually choose for shoes.  I will be well shod from spring into summer.

Wearing my blue cardigan, another thrift find,  It's so warm you can wear it like a jacket. 

Japanese crochet flowers ready to sew into a shawl.

My dear posy was fun to make and makes me happy to wear, and seems to us-sure in the spring.

The orchids eventually bloomed and showed their brave little faces.

I started this necklace several months ago and finished the one side, when I went back to finish the other side it was amazing how I forgot what I did, especially with the wire wrapping, not a good thing to do, I should have finished it off all in one go.

I took some volcanic stones off the Black Beach in Hawaii,  some smaller ones and the larger one is an interesting combination of white and black.  I had an idea of wire wrapping them,  this is my first go at wire wrapping.  The other beads I already had, they are quartz I like their translucence.

It's quite a long necklace so hope to wear it with a shift dress in the summertime.  Taking something of the beach and making it into ones own creation is rewarding.

Well better shake a leg I'm meant to be at a get together in an hour, kind of an Art and Tea do, not quite sure what to expect.

Hope your weekend is good.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Winter's Discontent Made Glorious

Hi Dear Folk,

How are you weathering?

I cannot take credit for this wonderful title Winter's Discontent Made Glorious.  As you can see it is an old underground poster from London.

Along with this other poster Always Warm And Bright.

We are in some need of Gloriousness and Warm and Bright.

I keep thinking of Enchanted April, maybe I need to gather a few friends together and escape to Tuscany or wonderful enchanted places.

Monday was a beautiful day and I actually got out and walked the mile track at the park, but since then it has plummeted back into winter and I feel like having a wood fire again.

I am sewing together my Japanese crochet flowers for my new scarf/shawl, it is Joseph's shawl of many colours, bright would be the word, so maybe I do have something Warm and Bright.

A glorious orchid, another miniature one is on my desk.  They last a long while and give you such beauty.

My other orchid at home, after having two buds for about three months, actually decided to unfurl itself and now I have two blooms there on my dining room table.

Mr. B.  cleaned up all my broken pots, did I tell you about my broken pots?

Well when we put the new furnace in all the pots that winter on the steps to my basement had to be moved and we forgot to put them back, consequently most of them cracked, including my teacup pot.  You see the outside steps are covered with a lift up outside trap door, so a great place to winter ones pots. 

Also my little water tub with the pump fell to bits, so another item that will need replacing this spring.  It lasted a long while, but I would like things to last even longer.

I wore my Felt Posy and everyone liked it, more glorious things.

Hoping that things are Glorious, Warm and Bright for you.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hawaii Quilt Square

Hi Dear Folk,

Patchwork quilts are loved by so many, some folk seem to be able to complete a quilt in no time at all, I'm the type of person who works on a patchwork quilt for years.  So why I'm starting on one I'm not sure, especially one that is not that simple, but I decided it's not about the destination, but the journey.

I have wanted to have a go at the American State Quilt Squares, from 1907 Hearth and Home.  Contributors from around the county were asked to contribute original designs or a favourite pattern for the state they lived in.  These were published from 1907 to 1912.

I thought that I'd start with Hawaii.  I was going to start at A, but thought it would make it more personal to start with the states that I have been to.  So my first is Hawaii and this is my fabric choice.  You may think shouldn't there be plumeria flowers and Hawaiian prints, but I decided since it's my quilt and my journey this quilt will express my impressions of the state.

Hawaii sits in the Pacific and is the closest state to the orient, so when I saw the oriental sunshade fabric, it just seemed appropriate, plus the influence of so many Japanese and Chinese immigrants who came to the islands to work on the sugar cane plantations.  I coupled that with the dark stripes which reminds me of the lovely late lunch and cocktails which we had at the Fleetwood Mack restaurant in Lahaina, which was decked out in Indian style, and this fabric reminds me with the rich colours and gold of India.  Coupled with the light gold little circles of sun, which dapple the islands in light.

All state squares are made up of a combination of a dark, medium and light fabric.  I traced the pattern onto wax paper and cut them out and used these as my pattern.  I did think of re cutting the striped pieces, but decided just to leave them running the way that they do.

I took these photos at night, so a bit on the dark side.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Historical Society Tea

Hi Dear Folk,

I didn't get to tell you about the Afternoon Tea that I went to a couple of Sundays ago.  A dear friend and I were meant to go but unfortunately she fell ill and I took along Mr. B.  Mr. B. turned out to be the only tea partaking gent there.

Here I am arriving, most of these photos were shot by the Historical Society photographer and I'm wearing my shawl over an Aran swing cardigan that my sister made for me.

They had little gifts at the tables for all in attendance, my company donated the little boxes that you see, that I put little sachet packets of tea in.

Below you can see all the boxes in the bags ready to distribute.  I am definitely not going in for a job pick and packing as it took Mr. B and I two evenings to do this.  Assemble the little boxes, stamp some little packets for the teas with my willow pattern stamp and make sure that all was distributed evenly.

This is the fireplace in the Library where we sat I like all the paneling, the Clifton House dates back to the 1700s.

Here is the library a very cozy room.  We sat in here last year when a whole group of us attended, we had the table for eight then.  It was lovely as it felt very cozy on that day as it was pouring with rain, but on a sunny day I think it is nicer to be in the other room, but both are nice.

Here are some of the ladies.

This is the sunnier of the two rooms, catching the afternoon sun.  I sat in here the first year that I attended.

The hard working ladies of the kitchen.

Kettles on, teas up.

Our display of sandwiches.

The lovely little cakes.

I think they are thinking of two teas this year, another one in autumn.

I definitely think it is a girls thing, it was OK with Mr. B., not quite his thing, but the men in my family are pretty good in indulging mum in afternoon tea, as last year The Boy came with me to the afternoon tea at the Philadelphia Flower Show.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Crochet Shawl, Heather Cinnamon Spice and Robin's Egg Blue

My selfies are terrible, but here I am wearing my new crochet shawl over a jacket, it is super warm.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Posy of Felt Flowers for Spring

Hi Dear Folk,

We are starting to see some sun, although it is still chilly, so this may be just in time.

Here is my Spring Posy of Lily of The Valley and Bluebells.  I enjoyed coming up with the idea of  how to cut and make the Lily of The Valley and the Bluebells, they are cut out just a bit differently, but sewed in the same way.  The length is a bit short of the length of my hand, so would be nice on a jacket or cardigan.  I thought a little bow just finished it off.

I may make posies for all four seasons.

Have a happy day.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lees Columbia - Minverva

Hi Dear Folk,

I have several Columbia - Minerva books, but never realized there was a local connection.  This book says Lees Columbia - Minerva

Look at this wonderful knitting pattern on The Vintage Pattern Files.  Isn't this a must have jacket?

When I looked the pattern up I noticed that it came from James Lees and Son in Bridgeport, PA, that's just down the road across the river.  So I did a search and there really isn't much information on the Internet about them, except that they discontinued making wool yarn in 1954.  I will probably need to go to the local library to look up some information on them.

The quote below is from the New York Times.

November 17th 1954

JAMES LEES & SONS DROP WOOL YARNS; 700 of Carpet Company's 1,650 Employees to Lose Jobs at Bridgeport, Pa.

BRIDGEPORT, Pa., Nov. 16 (AP) -- James Lees Sons Co., one of the nation's major carpet manufacturers, announced today it is discontinuing the manufacture of woolen carpet yarns.

Here are some old photos of the mill.  It would be interesting to see the connection between Columbia Minerva Knitting Patterns and the Carpet Mill. 



Friday, March 27, 2015

The Plunge Into Winter

Hi Dear Folk,

My goodness will spring ever come, from yesterday to tomorrow we are plunging 40-50 f, unbelievable and snow showers. 

I've been working away on a little Felt Posy for Spring, so will work on this over the weekend and take my mind of this never ending winter.

I am very happy with the way it is coming along, it will have all spring flowers in it.  I am thinking of doing one for the other seasons, summer, autumn and winter.  Our summers are quite hot, so not sure that felt goes with summer here, but we do get some cooler weeks in August.

I looked up the derivation of the word Posy and it has such a lovely origin.

Posy also posey 1530's, "line of verse engraved on the inner surface of a ring." from Poesy "poetry a passage of poetry, which is recorded in this sense from early 1500's, meaning "flower, bouquet" first recorded 1570s from notion of the language of flowers.

It is such fun to work on and I love when an idea becomes tactile and it's as you envisioned or even better.  So will show pics when I'm done.

Hope your weekend coming is good.


P.S.  I was going to take my snowy scene banner down, which I took just last week, but I think it needs to stay up a while longer, spring has not sprung here in Pennsylvania.
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