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August 2009
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October 2009

Two of a Kind


A pair of handbags for mommy and daughter in a delicious mix of Amy Butler Midwest Modern--ready for the French Market barn sale in 19 days!  See my "upcoming events" info to the left for more info.  

Treasure Hunting

Last night Nora and I were tipped off by her daddy about a vagabond pumpkin growing in the field near the house.  We set off at once to "investigate", as Sid the Science Kid would say.

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Turns out that basket full of squishy mini pumpkins I threw out last November grew into a new little plant--smack dab in the middle of all of those GMO, herbicide-ridden soybeans.  That's one tough pumpkin! 

There are several more blossoms and buds, so I hope we are able to harvest some more of the pretty white-husked beauties before the combines come in and swipe them all away.

With our irritating yet faithful dog, Harry by our side, we packed our favorite adventure tools--camera, butterfly net, magnifying glass, and bug catcher box--and began exploring our big back yard for more autumn treasures.

We found rosehips,

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a new crop of fall raspberries and some interesting button weed seedpods that refused to be photographed, and many flowers still in bloom

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including more volunteer surprises like this sunflower.

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Soon the mosquitos began to carry us away and the light began to wane, so we were forced to pack up for the night, but we were happy to find that there is still plenty of beauty unveiling itself in nature as the weather grows cooler and the dark grows longer.  Step outside and find it for yourself, and mark your calendars for Oct. 4--the Harvest Moon!


Since fueling up on inspiration and materials at the Country Living Fair last weekend, I've been lying in bed for hours every night dreaming about new projects.  This morning when I drug myself out of bed--before I ate breakfast, got dressed, or made the bed--the first thing I did was whip these babies up:


They're made from old quilt blocks and punched in to antique embroidery hoops.  


They look great grouped together on a wall just hanging from the hoop, or you could thread a piece of ribbon through the adjuster in the top and hang them that way too.


I found some really cool oblong hoops at my favorite antique shop yesterday--still thinking about how to make them work with this project.  In the meantime, I'll be working on a new set of mother/daughter handbags in a lovely mix of brown, pink and yellow Amy Butler fabrics and maybe some belts using my stash of vintage buckles.  

I've been adding new items to my Etsy store daily.  Stop in if you haven't visited lately!  

Columbus or Bust!

Last Friday morning Dan and I dropped Nora at Grandma's and set out into a thick fog heading east--toward a wonderful weekend birthday/anniversary celebration.  Our destination was the Country Living Fair in Columbus--but first there was a quick meeting with a dear old friend in Mansfield, a stop at "Wholly Craft" in Clintonville, 


and a late dinner at "The Happy Greek" on High Street--Keftedes and a Pita dip sampler, followed by Pistachio Baklava--all yummy!  

I was less than diligent with the minute-by-minute photo commentary, so there is no picture of Jodi and me during our shopping trip at Gabe's, the picturesque lone windmills on the side of the highway, nor the 100mph mini van with the "PITCHFRK" license plate, which eluded us for miles soon after we entered Ohio.  What I can share are these stellar pieces of eye candy from Saturday, where the real fun begins!:


Here is the real reason Dan wanted to come to the Fair.  He also made sure to attend the hot dog topping cooking demo in the Country Living Kitchen:  carrot slaw, cherry mustard, and tomato relish.  Good stuff!


Framed art at Bloomsbury Loft

This was hands-down my favorite booth, and the first one I stopped at.  I bought one of the lovelies above with a "J" as well as a frilly little yellow crepe paper posey--still imagining the possibilities for that one.  Here are some more shots from their booth:


Owls are all the rage lately, but these are really special--look at all of that texture and pattern and color!  Seriously, I would have to shoot myself if I brought home another plush animal figure to this house, so little Mr. Hootey was left to find another owner, which I'm sure all of his friends did before the weekend was over.


This genius display got my wheels turning for my own display.  I think I may have to kidnap the vintage tandem Schwinn over at Mom's for my booth at the Barn Sale in October.  I even found a circa 1980 bike basket at an antique shop on High St. later that day.  Perfect!

Next was a stop at the famous McMaster & Storm


I was giddy with excitement that I got to meet the sweet clerks behind the counter of this remarkable little department store and shop their unique wares. I chose a little glass vial of aqua-colored mica dust sealed with a cork, a box of oh-so-cool French safety pins, and a yard of vintage-looking crushed-velvet rickrack.  I felt like a real lady from the olden days shopping for fancies at the local general store!

While I was shopping, I was making notes as I became inspired by all of the creations and snapping pics of some creative displays:


I love the yard rakes adding a hand to support the braided garlands on this booth!

I also met another crafting diva of Etsy fame, Lisa Price, who makes some beautiful block-printed textiles and sells a really swell variety of mid-century "goodies" that would be oh-so-at-home in my kitchen. 


I just love the way she groups everything by color inside her booth.  It's like a pack of jolly ranchers in there!  I can almost taste it.  The best part about my stop here, though, was my surprise find of the day--another huge vintage dogwood-print tablecloth in green--just like the one I've used to make several of my most popular bags.  Wow!  I never thought I'd see another one, and my first one was whittled down to nothing.  How exciting!

Other buys included some vintage bingo cards at two-for-a-buck from Urban Farmhouse , a stack of 15 quilt blocks for $5, and a darling little needle-felted fairy for Nora, complete with curly red hair and an acorn hat. 

We wrapped up our day by heading back into Clintonville to visit Sobo Style, The Boomerang Room, Mad 4 Mod vintage clothing and interiors shop, and a delish vegan restaurant, where I chose an avacado sandwich on whole-wheat croissant.  Dan had pierogi and kraut.  Here he is enjoying his dish.  You should have seen the cook!  I wish I'd had the nerve to ask for a picture.  I loved Dan's remark after his first bite:


"That hippy knows what he's doin'!"

My gift of a weekend ended with my darling husband taking the scenic route home just for me--through little burgs and burbs all the way into Indiana: Neptune and Pleasant Mills, Wapakonetta and Decatur--all of them glowing with brilliant swirls of gold and green beans under a bright blue afternoon sky. Though I didn't make Dan stop the car to shoot it, the image of a cautionary "curves ahead" sign against a red, weathered barn is still fixed in my memory within a view-finder frame.  

Tonight in the Village


I found the vibrant sunflower tea towel used for these pillows in a second-hand shop a few months ago  They are vintage, and I was really pleased with the quality.  I don't think they've ever been used.  After ordering a piece of Heather Bailey's new bijoux print in a coordinating yellow, I discovered they were a match made in heaven!  I topped off the edge of each pillow slip with some of the most adorable trim ever.  It's a white rickrack with jade green crocheted lace attached.  Now I'm wishing I'd bought the entire bolt.  It looks perfect on everything!  The pillow slips are made to fit a 16 - 18 inch throw pillow and are a really nice way to dress up a room quickly, plus they fold away nicely without taking up much room at all in your linen closet. 

Find them (along with other tea towel creations, fine watercolors, and more) tonight in my booth at The Village at Winona's Signature Studio at 902 Park Avenue. 

I'm also really excited to let you in on a little secret about another show I am planning on doing--it's a barn sale in Goshen, IN, hosted by the most talented group of ladies from "Junk Evolution." Save the date for October 17 & 18, and check back soon for more details!  I may be in need of a boothsitter for Saturday afternoon.  Any takers?

Back to School!

Noras1stday09 Nora was back to school again today.  Though there was a tiny pang in my heart as I drove her to the little white school house, thinking about all the fun she'd be having without her mommy, I was thankful for 2 hours of uninterrupted time to zip away on some projects at my machine.  I finished 3 pillows for my little booth at the Village at Winona Shop Hop on Friday night.  You'll find them along with some of my original watercolors, greeting cards, and vintage stitchery at the Signature photo studio right next to the ice cream shop from 6 - 9 p.m.  

After carrying an overstuffed handbag all summer, I decided it was about time I made a new carryall for myself.  


another dimple bag using my very favorite vintage find ever--this gorgeous red, white and blue oriental pattern which arrived via ebay in the form of a drapery panel.  There's that lovely aqua polka dot again against another favorite vintage piece--weathered to the perfect shade of red--topped off with a vintage button.  Gotta run--muffins burning, kiddo nagging, life hurries on!