Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Phyllis Diller Mopped My Kitchen Floor!

She sure did --- in my dreams last night! And not only that - but I also went camping with Fred McMurray! I watched a little TV in bed last night - Antiques Roadshow FYI. They had a segment about Debbie Reynold's son, Todd Fisher, who heads her archives of vintage Hollywood costumes. It was fascinating to see what she has collected and preserved over the years - right down to a pair of Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers from the Wizard of Oz! Now there were no costumes shown of Phyliss or Fred's - they weren't even mentioned, but that's just how crazy my life is lately!

We are suddenly getting more showings of our house! We had one Monday and have another one tonight at 5:00. A total of four people contacted our realtor over the weekend, so there are two more to go! It's exciting, but very emotional waiting to hear if anyone will make an offer. And unfortunately, this means I can't spend any time in my studio on current projects, so I still have nothing to show you. But you don't mind as long as we're getting our house shown, do you?

I also want to help spread the word that Amy of Park City Girl is having another Bloggers Quilt Festival! If you participated in the last festival as I did, you know how much fun it is! If you haven't been over to visit Amy, please do!

I'm still trying to catch up with blog reading - it's been pretty busy at work this week. The good news is that my new monitor is scheduled to arrive today! I'll be setting it up later this evening after the showing, so I won't be participating in this week's Vintage Thingie Thursday. If you get a chance, though, please visit Suzanne at Colorado Lady tomorrow for all the great VTT posts!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Searching for Dolly

In case you wonder where I've been - I still don't have a new computer monitor and am pretty much relying on the one at work when I'm not busy. A new monitor is on order and should arrive by the first of next week. I hope to catch up on what everyone has been doing during the week!

Friday Mr. Squash and I took the day off to go on our annual search for Dolly Varden, or Bull Trout as some call them, returning to spawn. We first discovered them quite by accident one fall may years ago. We were on the river fishing and had a bit of a disagreement. Mr. Squash headed down river and I decided to stay where I was for a while. After a bit of a cooling off period, I thought I would join him down river. I started walking down and saw a very dark mass moving toward me in the water. The river was too low for it to be anything like the Loch Ness Monster, so I waited patiently as it moved toward me. When I realized it was a mass of very large trout I could barely contain my excitement. I could see Mr. Squash and waited until I got his attention. Once he saw me I was alternately waving to him to come back and also trying to tell him to tred softly and quietly so as not to scare the was quite a sight trying to pantomime this several hundred yards away! The rest of the day was incredible - we saw the Dolly's all up and down the river and totally forgot about any disagreement! They are quite large and really aren't interested in any type of lure you might present - they just want to get back to their birthplace to spawn.

Every year around this time we go back to this long stretch of river hoping to find the Dollys. We never see anyone else other than an occasional black bear out here and the elusive Dolly. The photo below is looking back on where we went in - about a half mile below. To give you some perspective, the river covers all the bare rock you see in the late spring when the snow begins to melt.

The deep pool below is where we almost always find the Dolly's pooling up as they wait for the water to rise. No one was home this trip! It may not look deep in the photo, but the green water is an indication of how deep it is. The river is about as low as we've ever seen it this year as we had a dry summer. Alas, we probably won't see the Dollys this year as the weather is now turning cold and fishing is pretty much over for the season.
Check out the gorgeous mushrooms I found growing on a tree the forest service had removed from a log jam.
Here is Mr. Squash throwing one of his last casts of the season. We each caught a couple of small trout for the day - pretty slim pickings for this stretch of river.
Click on the photo below. Off in the distance you'll see a hillside which is really where the trail slid off a couple of years ago. This is how we had to exit the river! We call it Rambo Goes Fishing! Actually, it isn't as bad as it looks. We just had to pick our way over some rocks and downed trees to get up to the old trail.
When we finally got back to the car we couldn't resist going back in where we started and throwing a few more casts - it was really a gorgeous day! I caught my fly on a tree overhead and had to break my tippet to get unsnared, so I found a nice rock and waited for Mr. Squash to finish. As nice a day as it was I was wearing three layers of clothing just to stay warm!
On the real estate front, we were supposed to have a showing yesterday. We waited all day and no one came! It was quite disappointing. But as I was composing this, I got a call that we have another showing from a different realtor today! We hope this is a sign that things are picking up as people try to take last minute advantage of the tax credit!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vintage Thingie Thursday - Postcards

Another Vintage Thingie Thursday is here - my how time flies! Don't forget to check out all the wonderful vintage treasures at Colorado Lady!

This week I'll show you a tiny bit of my postcard collection. Most of it is packed away at the Squash House but this framed collage is still with us. These are postcards from Mr. Squash's hometown of Bridgeton, New Jersey in Cumberland County. It's a small rural town in Southern New Jersey. Several years ago the Nature Conservancy called it one of the "last best places in the US". I could tell you so much about this wonderful area, but I will try to keep it short. There are many farms and orchards in the area and a lot of great places to sport fish for Weakfish and Blues in the Delaware Bay.
Amazingly these postcards are hard to find and I have seen some really rambunctious bidding for them on eBay! Top right is a Civil War memorial. Middle left and right are pictures of the raceway going through town which is water that was diverted from Sunset Lake to run a mill. You can still walk along the path and bridge. Bottom left is the old country club and bottom right is the old high school where Mr. Squash's dad taught and later became princial.
The one above is my favorite! I've never seen anything like it!
Above is the old Broad Street church dating from the 1700's. It still stands just as it is, but there are now quite a few more residents of the cemetary since this postcard was made!
This is the lake at Parvin State Park just outside of town. Mr. Squash spent a lot of time here and at Sunset Lake in his youth. Parvin State Park was named after one of Mr. Squash's cousins family! Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Thank You and At it Again....

My late post today is due to the fact that my computer monitor bit the dust this weekend. I have my trusty little Netbook, but looking at the screen for any amount of time is a definite eye strain, so I had to wait until this afternoon so I could post from my work computer!

I realized this morning that today marks my first year of blogging! I wanted to send a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has stayed with me this first year. This experience is unlike anything I had imagined. I've not only been inspired beyond belief from all the gifted quilters in blogland, but I've also made some true and lasting friendships! Thank you - everyone!

I've been testing bags again. This time for Linda of All Stitched Up. Her latest creation is the Kakadu bag, which is named after one of Australia's national parks. I decided to go out of the box on my fabric selection this time! My friend Carol whose embroidered jeans I showed you a while back helped me with the selection. I used Andalucia by Patty Young for Michael Miller fabrics.
Remember the bag, Sugar Baby, below that I tested for Stephanie? It's a very small bag that I thought would be perfect for my next door neighbor's granddaugther, Malia, who is really into purses!
In Saturday's mail was a cute little Hello Kitty letter. I didn't recognize who it was from until I opened the envelope. It was the most adorable thank-you card from Malia!
She even drew a picture for me on the back!
I spent some time working on my hourglass blocks this weekend. Hopefully by next weekend I'll be able to show you some good progress on the quilt!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vintage Thingie Thursday - Oak Secretary's

After last weeks folly of thinking Thursday was Wednesday, I'm back on track with a VTT post at the right time! Don't forget to go over to Suzanne's at Colorado Lady for all the other great Vintage Thingie Thursday posts!

Mr. Squash and I love antique oak furniture! Most of our furniture is oak - many pieces are antique. Today I'm showing you our two antique oak secretary's. The first one Mr. Squash got many years ago. It was found in a barn with only the top and was quite black with dirt, grime and stain. He refinished it and had the base cabinet built to coordinate with the top.

Here is the secretary in its open position. I love it for all of the cubbies and drawers!
The Queen Anne style secretary below was purchased a couple of years ago from a small antique dealer we really like. Times are so hard for independent dealers right now. We were quite happy to give him this sale! This secretary sits just inside of our front door. The wheat bundle on the floor next to it is the only little decoration our realtor would let us keep for showing!
Here it is open....during the holidays I like to dress it up! At Halloween I have a quirky "pumpkin tree" that sits on it along with other Fall decorations. At Christmas I put a whole bunch of holiday village houses on it with "snow" under them. When they are lit, they look so pretty through the window! This year with the house being on the market it will have to stay empty - I'll miss my decorations!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tease Revealed!

Remember I teased you with a sneak peek here? Today is the reveal! I've had the wonderful pleasure of being a "Supreme pattern tester" for Stephanie at Loft Creations again! This time it was a dual task! Here are Ladyfingers on the left and Sugar Baby! These were a lot of fun to make!
I decided to go out of the box on fabrics. For the Dresdens on Ladyfingers below I used my favorite new Fall fabric, Gobble Gobble by Sandy Gervais. The body of the bag is - believe it or not - Holly Jolly! It just happened to coordinate well, so why not, I said! Each Dresden tip is held down by a little glass bead and I used a King Tut variegated quilting thread for the stitching. The back is identical to the front.
On Sugar Baby below I used my charm pack of Authentic for the Dresdens and Dinosaurs by Michele Wojcicki for the body. I also used the Dinosaur fabric for the inner border and binding on my Halloween stitchery. I decided to alternate green and black beads to hold down the Dresdens.
If you haven't already been there, please check out Stephanie's bags at Loft Creations! I am continually amazed at her sense of design and whimsy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Good Weekend!

A few days ago I showed you a peek at my latest project here. This weekend I began work on the body of the quilt using my favorite new tool, Stitching Lines. They are SO easy to use and so accurate, not to mention the fact that you don't have to spend time drawing lines on your fabric! The quilt calls for 84 hourglass blocks which is a lot of half square triangles! Here is the first step - a light or medium square placed right sides together with a dark square. I always oversize my squares so I can square them up later. Stitching Lines are placed on one side with the dark line centered on the diagonal. You sew on the dotted line, 1/4 " from either side of the center line. I shorten my stitch length a tad so the paper tears easier.

After the paper is torn away, you cut between each stitched line to get your HST's.
Then you pair up different HST's and repeat the first step using Stitching Lines.
After I've cut them apart, squared them up and pressed, here are some of my hourglass blocks! Visit Mary, the inventor of Stitching Lines, at her blog for more tips on using this great product! Mr. Squash decided his back was feeling much better, so we took advantage of a beautiful Saturday and went fly fishing -- first time in a couple of months! Here he is below casting into a lovely deep pocket.
Click on the photo below and you can get an idea of how quickly the colors are changing! In fact, I think the reds and oranges got deeper as the day wore on!
Toward the end of the day we separated - I went back the way we came to retrieve my jacket which I had taken off and hidden when it got warmer as well as the car and picked up Mr. Squash further down the road. On my way back up the river, I cast into a spot where Mr. Squash had earlier gotten a fish on, but it got off before he landed it. So as not to be accused of an "alleged fish", I took a photo of the little guy who apparently liked my Adams Parachute fly better than the earlier nymph! Of course I put him back in the river so he could grow much larger!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vintage Thingie Thursday - Vintage Posters

Would you believe I thought this was Wednesday? I just sat down to post and realized today is Thursday!! Sorry for the late post, but with a four day work week, I got a little mixed up! Don't forget to visit the other great Vintage Thingies over at Colorado Lady.

This week I'm showing you Mr. Squash's collection of World War II posters. He loves WWII history as well as collecting the posters! This first one is our favorite! It hangs next to the dining room table. Anything behind glass is difficult to photograph, so some of these wound up on the floor for a better picture!
This is huge and hangs in our entryway. I've been planning a 4th of July quilt to hang near it!
This one is pretty ominous. The more I look at it, the more I see.
Mr. Squash thought this was a poster and bought it. Then he looked closer after he got it home - it is a photograph of a poster!! We're not sure if it's WWI or WWII.
This one is not from WWII but purchased for obvious reasons! It's by the famed artist David Lance Gaines. We have another of his, but it isn't war-related. I love it's Art Deco style.
I had to sneak the last one in. Mr. Squash's dad was a watch officer in the Navy during WWII. He was at sea when Mr. Squash was born. One if his jobs was to code and decode messages. He received a message that said his son was born, then it finished with "decode no further".
This was taken after he got home. The only transportation he could get back home to New Jersey from California was by train. He and his friends pooled money to get a car attached to a train and saw the entire country on their way home!
I hope you enjoyed this look back at WWII!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Rumors are True!

You've seen some of the wool pieces I've purchased over the past few months, you've heard me talk about wool, but you haven't seen any of my work! I'm here to quell any rumors that I'm all talk and no show! I really DO work with wool and here is a project I began today.

It will be the center applique on Jo Morton's Baby Rose quilt - from the Jo's Little Women series. The applique was supposed to be in 100% cotton, but I thought it would be fun to do it in wool. The background is a brushed cotton homespun. I'll let it sit tonight using Anne's "big tub" method, then begin stitching the edges tomorrow evening. There will be more sneak peeks of the rest of the quilt as I get further along!

I hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend! Ours was rainy and cold! We even had a bit of thunder today. I think my Bernina 630 protested the rain on Saturday by having a large piece below the thread take-up come loose and nearly fall off! I've never seen a Bernina do this, so I brought out my trusty back-up - another Bernina 153QE - Alex Anderson edition, and took the 630 in for service today.

The really good news is we had two showings of the house on Saturday! Actually, one was a realtor doing a walk-thru, but that's really the same thing. We think we might start to get more showings because the $8,000 tax credit will go away Nov 30th. Our realtor said someone needs to be in contract no later than early October to take advantage of the credit. So keep sending that good Karma our way - we can use it!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday This and That

Well ... after a busy week, I'm ready for the long Labor Day weekend - how about you? I plan to do a little sewing and quilting, just a couple of chores, and spend a lot of time with Mr. Squash!

In my last post I mentioned Kaaren at The Painted Quilt was getting ready for her very first "First Friday Freebie" beginning today. If you haven't been there already, please go over and check out the free design - it's adorable, very Fall-like and right up my alley! You won't be disappointed

The other day Mr. Squash called me from work to say that he had dinner "in the bag" from one of his co-workers, Rocky! Immediately I knew what that meant - Rocky's husband had been out crabbing! Sure enough, she gave us two beautiful cooked and cleaned Dungeness Crabs! Thank you so much, Rocky! What a wonderful dinner we had! Fresh crab, local cantaloupe, tomatoes and sliced bread!

I like my crab dipped in a little lite mayo mixed with lots of fresh lemon juice. Mr. Squash prefers his with melted butter! Ah, the joys of the bounty from the Pacific Northwest!
I'll be back on Monday or Tuesday with some peeks at what I'm up to in the studio! Enjoy your weekend!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Vintage Thingie Thursday - Bakelite Tableware

Welcome to Vintage Thingie Thursday! Don't forget to visit all the great contributors over at Colorado Lady! This week I'm showing my vintage Bakelite Tableware. Below is service for 6 which I keep in one of my vintage Shawnee vases. When I first combined households with Mr. Squash, I put all of my things in storage as I was working so much that I didn't have time to sort through it all before moving. The best solution was to have a moving company pack it up and put it in storage until such time we could "sort and combine". Mr. Squash seemed to have everything we both needed, so all I took with me were my clothes. seemed that the tableware Mr. Squash had was rather - shall we say - inexpensive, and if you weren't careful, you could cut yourself on the sharp edges of a fork handle! So off I went to the antique malls and eBay in search of Amber Bakelite flatware! I had seen it in various magazines and always loved it.
The first pieces I managed to find - in two separate purchases - were this matching set of knives, forks and spoons. There are many different patterns in bakelite flatware, with subtle variations and I just couldn't believe I scored a matching set! I even have a second set, but it is currently at the Squash House so we have something other than plastic to eat with when we stay there!
One year I was shopping in a local antique mall for something else when I stumbled on this very rare complete set in it's original box of Amber Bakelite Corn Cob holders! We use them frequently!
Below is a Bakelite salt and pepper holder with its original glass salt and peppers and a nakpin ring holder. I decided to begin collecting the myriad of fun napking ring holders - birds, fish, elephants, Scottie dogs, etc - and found this one on eBay from a seller in England! Unfortunately they are extremely collectible (translates to VERY expensive) so I stopped here. I keep hoping that someday the prices will drop and I can collect more of them.
Here are some serving pieces. Some were gifts, some I purchased. There are more steak knives, but the rest are at the Squash House for when we barbecue steak!

Before I go, I want to tell you about the First Friday Freebie beginning tomorrow over at The Painted Quilt! Kaaren is going to offer a free design the first Friday of each month! Go on over and join in the fun!