Sunday, November 29, 2009

It is Beginning to Look Like Christmas!

Thanksgiving has come and gone--Whew! that was a great day spent with family. Now, the stores are filled with shoppers and the spirit of Christmas is moving within us. Although, the weather is humid and the sky is filled with clouds and threatening rain, we go tree shopping. We like a real tree! There is nothing like the smell of fresh greenery in the house!

This one looks perfect for our space! Of course, before we can place the tree it is necessary to move furniture--chairs from master bedroom to upstairs studio, chairs from living room to master bedroom--okay, now we are set.
Shopping trip to Brookwood Community is the perfect opportunity to purchase lovely holiday flowers. Whether it is traditional red poinsettias or the unusual colors; maybe, you prefer Christmas cactus, the greenhouse is filled with these blooming flowers.

If you are a quilter, don't forget to check out Quiltville for the first step in the Carolina Mystery quilt.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quilting Tuesday!

Yes, it was another day spent with quilting buddies before we all go our separate ways for the Thanksgiving holiday. We talk, talk, eat, and quilt throughout the morning and early afternoon and then it is too soon for us to depart.
As a tribute for her son-in-law, who completed the Ironman competition, Linda created this huge Texas flag. Under the quilting talents of Sandy, the flag quilt will be given as Christmas gift. So, shhhh, keep the secret! (sorry for the fuzzy photo)
And Linda is smiling because she is finishing up an UFO! Hurrah!
This was a sampler that she began in Venzuela and we won't count how long ago that was--we are just happy she has one less UFO in her stash!

Judy, the hostess for this quilting day, is showing off her newest addition to her lovely quilt collection. This one is called "Whispering Pines" from Thimberries patterns.
Close-up of one block.

Can't you just hear the wind whistling through the pines!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

"Did you know?
Turkeys can have heart attacks. Groups of turkeys, sometimes known as a rafter of turkeys would drop dead when the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier nearby.

Apparently turkeys can drown if they look up when it is raining.
Excessive turkey breeding has caused turkey breasts to grow so enormous that the turkeys sometimes fall over.
The Pilgrim Fathers would not eat lobster because they thought it was a giant insect.
How Were Turkeys So Named?
The word may have come from the noise a wild turkey makes when it become frightened: it sounds like 'turk - turc - turk.'

The original inhabitants of America called this bird a 'firkee.' It's not hard to see how firkee could become turkey.

Christopher Columbus, the explorer, took some of the wild turkeys of North America back to Europe. People enjoyed eating the meat. It is possible that traders along the Mediterranean casts, known as Turkes, may have brought some of these birds hence they came to be called 'turkey birds.'

In Spain, the turkey was often referred to as Indian fowl, an allusion which is repeated in the French 'dindon' formed with d'Inde which means 'from India'.

Some say Columbus thought the turkey was part of the peacock family. So he decided to call them 'tuka' which is the word for peacock in Tamil, a language spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka.

Pulling the wishbone is a tradition of Thanksgiving. It's bes to allow the wishbone to dry. Then, two people each grasp one end of the wishbone. After making a silent wish, they pull it away. Whoever gets the bigger portion with the joint, will get their wish come true. This is the same at Christmas in the UK"

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Riding as a passenger in the backseat gives one the opportunity to see things that the driver wouldn't even think about seeing! "Stop! Stop! Turn around! Back in the ditch are some interesting plants--teasels!" Yes, it's time to turn around to take a photo and pick some of these wild weeds as souvenirs and maybe make a fuller's brush remembrance of earlier times.

Photos of earlier teasel brush.
During historic times, in the cloth dresser’s workshop, a piece of cloth was hung over a perch (bar). The surface of the cloth was brushed using handles of teasels thus raising the nap of the cloth. A handle was a wooden, cross shaped hand tool which held several fullers’ teasels (Dipsacus fullonum). Cleaning and repairing the handles was done by the preemer, usually a boy. One cloth would be raised and brushed several times.
A mechanised teasel gig was developed and introduced by 1770. There is a splendid model of a teasel gig designed by Hadens, on display in Trowbridge Museum (England) alongside a genuine machine.

Lovely, sticky things they are and when laid out on the cloth, a million little seeds fell out!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Okay, another mystery has been solved! In fact, two mysteries have been solved! Of course, we all knew these patterns, if knitted correctly, would produce hats, but only the designer knew what they looked like.
Here is the view of the tops of the hats, both are berets.
My friend, green head, models the look. She is a good companion--never speaks or objects to anything that is placed on her head.

These hats will sent to Knits for Needs to add to the total for the year. The goal is 500 knitted items and so far, the total is sitting around 400.
Sure feels good to solve these two mysteries, but guess what? There is another mystery brewing in the wind and it is entitled "Miss Marple"! Now, how can anyone resist the urge to knit with Miss Marple!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

When is Wool Felt?

When is wool felt? Not to be confused with fulled, which happens when you take a woolen sweater and throw it in hot water and then in dryer--you get a fulled woolen sweater. No, felt is like a hard wool product. In our weaving circle there is a gal who loves to felt and she's good at it too! She can take wool roving, lay it out into a nice soft mat of nothing and then put all her power behind the wetting, rolling, sanding (yes, she uses a sander) to achieve a fantastic felted piece of art.

Here is member Kate admiring the table covered with wool 'fluff'. Antje takes this wool fluff and creates this masterpiece. Simply amazing! Here are a few other things that she has made with wool 'fluff'! Wonderful houses in the night. Or how about these whimsical creatures?
And Christmas trees
and a lovely butterfly, a gift for a small friend.
Yes, in the hands of Antje, wool fluff definitely becomes felt alive!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sights of Old Mexico

Standing in the middle of Progresso Bridge with Rio Grande River flowing freely under, we pause at the boundary marker before proceeding into Old Mexico. We choose this location to cross as we can park close on US side to walk the short distance to the markets. In the days of old, beggars would stand on the Mexico side near the river and yell up to passerbys to throw down some money. Now, the Mexican government has enclosed the bridge and made it almost impossible to throw anything down. At one spot we saw the dirty face of a youngster as he poked his hand through a small crack in the concrete break. How he managed to stand under the bridge is anybody's guess! Armed vehicles and soldiers greeted us as we walked onto the main street of Nuevo Progresso. In one way, it was a calming feature to see as there has been many times of trouble for Mexican citzens in recent months. We felt well protected! A common site when we lived in Venezuela.
Sandbags piled high and screen netting concealed soldiers behind their 'bunkers' at the foot of the bridge walkway. But, a few steps away from this, we found sidewalks busy with activity as vendors promoted their creations (most likely from China)
The colors of small trinkets for sale--"only one dollar, miss" the street vendors say.
The favorite selling feature this visit were these woven bracelets with names. This fellow was madly weaving away on a special order.
This lady was stitching away on her colorful project as she worked her sunglasses booth. Here you could even buy DVD copy of the new movie "2012", all in Spanish, of course! Young lads wearing white lab coats were hocking available services; it seems you could visit the dentist and have a pedicure and manicure at the same location! Folded magazine pages create interesting purses. The vendor demanded one dollar before he would let me take his photo! Guess he has to make money somehow.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Okay, there are days when we travel to interesting and quaint places. And there are days that we visit repeat places but it doesn't matter where we travel we always find something unique and unusual. We can't number the times we have traveled to Rockport, TX area but have never visited the Fulton Mansion,which is an 1870s French Second Empire Historic House museum constructed by George and Harriet Fulton. It is a wonderful and unique site for its unusual construction method, modern mechanical systems, and architecture.

Too bad we arrived past the last tour, so didn't see the inside of the mansion and hear the history. Maybe next visit we'll arrive before 3 PM. We did relax on the fishing pier outside our hotel. At sunset and
at sunrise.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lookee! More Quilts!

It was Quilters Day! A grand day! A Lovely Day! And the viewing was super as usual. Not only did we bind five quilts for Binky Patrol but we also had interesting fall dessert: Pumpkin Bread Pudding. Well, you know quilters make good cooks and we have to eat. The bread pudding was delicious.
Now, what can you do with this fabric?

One of our quilters, Linda, took this fabric and stitched up a One Block Wonder and wonder we did! This quilt won honors at Kansas county fair. It takes top awards in our group!

Here is closeup of quilting pattern on small quilt that is gracefully lying across the sofa back.
Another creation from the talented hands of Linda. She is also finishing up the binding on this Christmas quilt. We'll see it fully 'exposed' soon.

Brenda is displaying her latest addition to her Christmas collection. The quilt top and backing are heading to the hands of our long arm quilter. We are truly lucky to have two long arm quilters in our group!

Here is Karen's completion--what wonderful colors! She is going to add numbers on the snowball blocks for added feature.