Me & My Stitches

Me & My Stitches
Click on the picture to go to my website. These are 1' x 1 1/2" pendants.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Picture Overload

I haven't posted any Civil War Love Letter blocks for awhile, so I thought I would share some with you today.  I need to make some more - I have posted almost all of them!



I also posted a few new pieces of jewelry on my website that I will share here - first a few new scissor fobs...


 And some new pendants...







 Pink and purple batiks...a little out of my box!

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Snake Alley Art Fair

On Sunday I attended the Snake Alley Art Fair in Burlington, IA. (It is called Snake Alley because of it's shape, not because it is snake-riddled!)  For those of you who are not familiar - this art fair is held every year on Father's day.  Here is some history that I copied from their website - see the link... Snake Alley ...
Snake Alley was constructed in 1894 as an experimental street design. The intention was to provide a more direct link between the downtown business district and the neighborhood shopping area located on North Sixth Street. Working together, three public-spirited German immigrants conceived and carried out the idea of a winding hillside street, reminiscent of vineyard paths in France and Germany.

Charles Starker was a German-trained architect and landscape engineer who settled in Burlington partly because it reminded him of southern Germany. He took a prominent role in many of Burlington's development projects, including Crapo Park, which was built at the same time as Snake ALley.

William Steyh, the city engineer, was well respected for his engineering capabilities and his enthusiasm for park projects. Steyh was also involved in developing Crapo Park, as well as the street railways and stone viaduct construction.
George Kriechbaum, a paving contractor, was a Burlington pioneer whose parents had immigrated from Germany. He constructed the first brick paving in Burlington in 1887. The brick paving of Snake Alley is still the original brick that Kriechbaum provided in 1894.

Local newspapers proclaimed the street "a triumph in practical engineering." The city had considered constructing more streets in this same manner, but the switchback design proved to be less successful for horse carriages than the city had anticipated.

There is a legend that the fire department used this alley to test horses. If a horse could take the curves at a gallop and still be breathing when it reached the top, it was deemed fit to haul the city's fire wagons. Unfortunately, many teams would run out of control or stumble over the limestone curbing, sometimes resulting in a broken leg.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not titled Snake Alley "The Crookedest Street In The World."
The alley is composed of tooled, curved limestone curbing and locally-fired blueclay bricks. The constantly changing slant from one curve to the next necessitated a complicated construction technique to keep the high grade to the outside. Snake Alley consists of five half-curves and two quarter-curves over a distance of 275 feet, rising 58.3 feet from Washington Street to Columbia.
The craftsmanship and soundness of materials used in the construction of Snake Alley have made it a durable street. It stands today as a singular landmark in Burlington and a reflection of the city's ethnic heritage.

It is really cool, and what an interesting history.  As usual, I didn't think to take my camera with me and as I was looking online for some pictures to share, I did come across this one: Picture - on Burlington's Facebook page.  It doesn't show the Art Fair, but it is a wonderful picture of the Alley.  During the Art Fair, there are vendors set up on the Alley and on the streets above the Alley.  Luckily the weather held out, and was mostly overcast all day and decent temperatures and most importantly...no rain!  I worked in the Art Guild's booth, selling water, for a couple of hours.  Afterwards we helped tear down then we took Dad out for supper for Father's Day.  He's very hard to buy for (what do you buy a farmer with no hobbies?) so I made him a batch of peanut clusters. 

I made a few purchases that day - a couple of pieces of my pottery dishware that I've shown you before.  And this rusty yard stake...

I love sunflowers and thought this would make a good addition to our front yard.

And while I was taking pictures in the yard, I had to take some of the flowers that are starting to bloom.  We've been waiting to see some color and it is finally coming...







Now I'm back to work on my new pattern and trying to get creative on how to set up my booth at the Galena show next month.

Oh...one last picture, so you can see nothing has changed...
Doesn't she look ornery?

Have a great day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wool Crazy!

Ok, some of you out there are very bad influences and have introduced me to the wonderful world of wool.  It didn't take me long (once I gave it a try!) to fall head over heels in love! The problem is...I don't need a bigger stash (although wool is a nice addition and gives me variety - says the devil on my shoulder) and I don't have time to do anything else!  But, what's a girl to do?  I love it!  I showed a picture a few weeks ago of some wool that I purchased.  A fellow blogger saw that post, and e-mailed me to see if I would be interested in swapping a pendant for some wool.  Well, sure thing - sounded like a grand idea!  I got the particulars of what she wanted in a pendant, and told her that I am clueless about wool (she could really pull the wool over my eyes - hahahahaha) to do whatever she thought I needed - knowing she is wool-savvy!  Oh. My. Gosh.  Look what came in the mail today...
YUMMY!  It is all really wonderful!  This came from Gayle of The Middle Sister blog.  I'm sure many of you know and love her. You can see that I "borrowed" her pictures (with her approval, of course) - they are better than anything I could take.  So...Marty my mail lady...I bet you wanted to open this one up and fondle it, huh?  It's a good one!

Gayle asked for a 2" scrappy pineapple pendant with no white, so here is what she got...
I think we are both happy with the swap, and I'm so glad that she asked! Now I have to figure out what my next wool project will be since I have such a great stash.  Or...maybe I should finish the one I have started!! 

Have a great weekend...if you need me I will be petting my new wool...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Strawberry time

Here's whats been going on here lately - quite a bit of this...
I didn't think to take pictures of what I made with them. After the first picking, I made a cake (the best cake ever - made with tons of butter!) to put the strawberries on.  After the second picking I made two strawberry chiffon pies - very easy and a favorite of DH.  I need to pick them again, but it has been raining forever!  Picking is not an easy task - Boomer is soooo helpful.  When we get in a shoving match, he wins.  He is such a big lug and has to have his big nose in the middle of everything.  Who knew that a black lab would eat strawberries?

This was an order from last week...
I did win a cool hot pad made from selvages...
I knew I shouldn't have thrown away that bag of selvage edges I was saving!

And here is what Callie has been up to...

Hope you have a great day!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Catching up

I just keep plugging along on making jewelry.  Here are some finishes from the weekend.  You can see that some of them are a little outside my box, but not too bad!
I made a few new patriotic things that are now posted on the website...
And some more with the hand dyed fabrics...

A few scrappy pieces...
And some pineapples...

How about some hearts?  Yikes....you can quickly see that a couple of these are clear out of my box!
Some with batiks...
And just a little of this and that...


And...look what was in the nice squishy package that my mail lady brought the other day...
A nice selection of wool!  I've found that I really love working with wool (although I am very new to it!) and wanted to have a little stash of it.  These came from Shakerwood Woolens.  Cathi was very helpful and gave me a lot of needed tips and hints.  Be sure to check out all of the wonderful colors on her website.  I have a couple of cute pin cushion patterns that I want to try and hope to use some of these new gems.

That's all for now...hope you have a great day!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

CWLL for Saturday

Just a quick post to show you a few more Civil War Love Letter blocks. 




That's all for now - have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New toys

Callie and CC found themselves a new toy the other night...
Can you see it?  It's a tree frog on the window of my sewing room!  Poor kitties really wanted to get at that little frog!

As always, the pictures are really bad, but hopefully you get the idea.  I wonder how long they would have sat in the window and tried to get at him?  After taunting the felines for awhile, he finally hopped away.

I also have some new toys!  Mom and I went on another little road trip last week.  First stop was The Quiltmaker's Shoppe in Manchester, IA.  I actually remembered to take my camera...but forgot to use it!!!!  One of these days I will remember to take it AND to use it.  Baby steps, you know.  This is a really nice little quilt shop - I have been here a couple of times before, but it's been a few years.  They have a nice variety of fabric - Civil War repros, 30's prints, batiks, lots of Kansas Troubles, a nice baby section and more.  They carry a lot of notions and patterns as well.  Here are my treasures from that stop.  Can you tell which ones were not my choices? 
I will give you a hint - there are 3 of them.  Also...If you live in the Manchester area, they now carry my jewelry - so you will want to check that out too!

We ran across the street to a nice little tea room for lunch.  We both had a salad that had chicken and lots of fruit on it - really good! 

The next stop was Quilter's Quarters in Lamont, IA.  This is a large shop in a wonderful brick building, out in the country.  Imagine my surprise when we got there and the building was EMPTY!!!!!!  I could not believe it.  Again, I hadn't been there for a few years, but I hadn't heard anything about her closing her shop.  This place used to have TONS of fabric!  So sad.  Not sad enough to go home, though!  We were close to Independence, IA - so we ventured on.  You will never guess what we found there....QUILTER'S QUARTERS!  She moved!  The shop has the same name and the same feel to it.  I knew when we walked in the doors that it had to be the same owner.  Still a really nice shop, all re-done with super-high ceilings (again...no pictures!) and lots of space.  She has loads of fabric - some oldies, but goodies with great prices. She also now carries my jewelry - so if you are in the area, pop in and check it out - there is lots to look at - here are the ones that made their way home with me.

Again...can you pick out the one that Mom made me (twisted my arm) buy?  I think it will be pretty obvious if you enlarge the picture.  If you haven't already noticed...Mom and I have totally opposite taste!  Her choices will make nice jewelry, though - if I can keep her from stealing it all!

You know that I love presents, right?  Well...I won another blog giveaway last week.  How exciting!  The blog is The Silver Thimble.  Be sure to check out her website too - she has the coolest pattern for a tree skirt.  I had seen it on someone's blog a while back, but had no idea what the pattern was.  Somehow I stumbled across it on her site - I was so excited - I am now the proud owner of that pattern!  The book that I won from her blog is:


I love pieced borders so this is the perfect book for me - thanks Pat!

Last Saturday I received month 6 of my Civil War Chronicles.  I actually cut them out and finished them over the long weekend...

Just four blocks this month (16 last month!).  They are busy, but the whole quilt is busy - and I think it will be cool when it's finished. 

And lastly some quick pics of recent jewelry.  You will notice that some of these are a little outside my box!  Aunt Nancy gave me a nice selection of hand dyed fabrics awhile back and you will see that I used some of them in this batch. Sorry it's sideways - you know I am challenged. 

These look more like me....
Again - I apologize for terrible pictures (you should really just expect that from me) - these have a lot of glare on them.  I am not putting any of these pieces on the website, saving them all for the show in Galena in July.

That's all for now - hope you have a great day!