Monday, May 28, 2012

Random Summer Favorites

These are just a few of the things I love about summer. It's a time for being lazy at home, riding around the countryside, and listening to great music. Enjoy and have a safe Memorial Day.
Saturday in the Park” – Chicago
Icy cold lemonade
Sittin' on the screened porch at dusk watching lightning bugs
Windy” – Association
Breezy sundresses, sandals, and light cotton camp shirts
A delicious BLT made with Tennessee tomatoes
Fresh home grown veggies right out of the garden
I'd Rather Ride Around With You” – Reba
Bright tropical island prints and cool sweet pastels 
Soak Up The Sun” – Sheryl Crow
Juicy sweet watermelon and cantaloupe
Watering flowers in the early morning
Brandy” – Looking Glass or Kenny Chesney
Reading a romantic novel or a challenging mystery
Homemade ice cream, any flavor
Summer Rain” – Johnny Rivers
Watching the hummingbirds feed

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Cigar Box Full Of Buttons

Last Friday morning we explored a portion of the Tennessee Highway 52 Yard Sale near Celina. The weather was perfect. My first purchase was a cigar box full of old buttons. There was no price tag. When I asked, the man told me $10 so I offered him $5. He said they were worth $20 so I turned to put it back on the table. He took the five dollar bill and I had a heavy box of odd buttons.
I was hoping to find something exciting hidden at the bottom of the box, like a rare gold coin or a diamond ring. When we got back to the campground, I dumped the entire box on the picnic table to sort through my treasures. Finds include two little metal brooches with a big glass stone (clearly not a diamond), a fake pearl hatpin, snaps, straight pins and a 1940 Willkie campaign pin. We looked that up online to see it's selling for about $10.
The treasures are the buttons. What a variety of sizes, colors and textures! Most appeared to be from the 1940's and 50's, some possibly older. There are plastic, mother of pearl, glass and even some made of celluloid and bakelite. A few were strung together in sets on heavy cotton thread. None were on button cards, so I believe most were clipped off worn clothing or left over from a project.
I can picture the large art deco ones on ladies suits. Eighteen tiny oval cobalt blue buttons must have been on a delicate floaty dress. Utilitarian white or black half inch shirt buttons lined up down the front of a housedress or man's work shirt.
Looking at the array spread on the table got me to thinking. Was the woman who collected these from Tennessee? Did she live her life in the farmhouse where I bought these? Did she make quilts too? Of course, the buttons could have come from any flea market or estate sale, but they had to collected by a lady who sewed.
Many years from now, someone will buy boxes of fabric and sewing supplies from my estate sale. She'll find a huge collection of old patterns and ancient buttons from my grandmother, mother and from yard sales. She may wonder about me, what I sewed, how I got all this stuff. Maybe I should leave her my journals, a link to my blog, or a note in a cigar box full of buttons.
"Live life:  eat chocolate.  go to yard sales.  be your own woman." -- Anonymous

Monday, May 14, 2012

Secret Ingredient For Luscious Blooms

My flowers have been extremely pretty this year and my yard is a riot of color. I'm sure part of it was the early spring. Big bright blooms and lush green leaves cover my rosebushes. My New Dawn rose on the trellis has lasted longer than usual, although yesterday's rain shredded some of the hundreds of sweet scented petals. My iris were huge and spectacular.
Purple petunias, vanilla marigolds, bright pink pentas, and coral geraniums have healthy, gorgeous blossoms and seem to be spreading quickly. Orange daylily plants are budded and ready to pop out this week; the vivid yellow Stella D'oro and Asian lilies are already blooming. My ferns, shamrocks and hosta are thriving. Even the houseplants are happier.
Perfect spring weather may be the answer. However, I believe some of the credit goes to the new ingredient I added to my plant routine this year...ordinary household epsom salt. 
Once a month I sprinkle some around in each flower bed, and a few grains in the hanging pots, either right before a rain or when I water. The only downside is that the weeds are growing well too. 

Thanks to my sweet mama for sharing your love of flowers with me.  Love you, Sam...Happy Mother's Day! 
Joy is a flower that blooms when you do. ~ Author Unknown

Happiness is to hold flowers in both hands. ~ Japanese Proverb

Monday, May 7, 2012

Two Blissful Days escape to my sewing room! 
After a  week of trimming shrubs, weeding flower beds, mowing, washing paint trim, planting the garden, plus our regular chores, we declared a two-day break to pursue more relaxing hobbies.
I went right to work on this small quilted flag to hang at the entrance to our campsite. The shamrocks and our name are machine embroidered on khaki twill and bound together with a cute shamrock print from my stash. I can't wait to use it later this month at Dale Hollow. I may put it by our back door when we're at home.
I haven't done much machine embroidery lately, so I really enjoyed browsing through files of designs to find the shamrocks. Naturally, the floral, swirly, and geometric figures stimulated my brain with ideas for other projects. And, I need to reorganize the design files on my sewing hard drive. That gives me a never ending supply of things to do; I'm guessing I won't get bored for a while!
Cool Woodland Path
Looking through my tabletop scrap basket, I found a number of tumbler blocks left over from my last wall hanging. No sense letting those sit around. I just started stitching and created a pattern as I went. A neutral beige and white print worked perfectly for the lining and shoulder strap. Two pretty buttons were a last minute embellishment. The result is a new purse design that I'm calling Cool Woodland Path.
Completing these two new projects gave me a wonderful sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Time spent in my sewing room is rejuvenating, peaceful, and keeps my creative senses sharp. Even if I'm only straightening up the room, the machines and fabrics silently beg me to stop and play.
Useful Notion: Carve out time frequently for the hobbies or activities that you love. Balance your work, chores and responsibilities with play, creativity, and fun. Find your bliss!
Happiness isn’t a destination, but we’re best able to experience it when we follow where it leads.” – Lori Deschene
Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook


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