Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Winter on the Mississippi

Last week my husband and I went to visit our friends, they recently purchased a home on the Mississippi river. Winter is a perfect time to visit as the eagles are feeding on the open waters of the river.

We woke up to this view out our bedroom window every morning. 

A fish in his talons for breakfast.

 One morning we saw 8 eagles sitting on the ice with more flying in the sky looking for fish.

Of course we can't forget the Canadian geese who swim by every morning, some times more than 50 swam by.

With all this beautiful inspiration we had to put it into fabric.

This is the beginning of my friends winter wall hanging, (nothing is sewed on, with lots of thread work and embellishment to come).

I love this little wool mat she had on her counter. Tea Time, and we drank lots of chai tea while quilting in front of the windows watching the birds.

Her daughter-in law just finished beading this beautiful cuff bracelet.

We took a wonderful hike down by this old mill,

into the woods following a creek,

past wonderful out-croppings of rocks,

with tiny frozen waterfalls.

A great place for a photo.

Our wonderful friends, we've been friends 30 years. We meet at a conference with our husbands. While in a lecture Donna and I were both doing needle work (trying to hide it from the speaker). Introduced ourselves to each other and became instant friends. We've had lots of fun family vacations together, now our kids are all grown and we're still having fun together.

Along the river drive there were hundreds of eagles in the trees.

I sure am glad the turkey is not our National bird.

You know all those jars full of wonderful pearl buttons we have, well this little town is where many of them were made. So much so the mussels were almost extinct in the area. I believe they said it started in 1856.

This was a huge window full of the buttons with the clam shell in the background showing how they punched out the buttons from the shell.

More buttons and punched out shells.

They also made the white tops for the keys of the manual typewriter from the shells.

String of punched out buttons.

Their were beautiful sunsets over the river.


and the Full Moon shinning down, the light at the bottom is from a barge parked on the river.

Looking back towards the house glowing in the night.
Thank you Jack and Donna, your "resort" is wonderful.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lion King

Last weekend my daughter and I took the grand kids to see the Broadway play The Lion King. We braved a horrible ice storm to trave get there but it was worth it. Your not allowed to take pictures of the performance. This is the book we bought.

If  you only see one Broadway play in your life this is the one to see. There are not words to describe how wonderful it is. This is the second time I saw it, the first time my husband and I flew to Florida to see it. The kids were speechless during the 3 hour play. It never gets boring or slow.

One more suggestion, buy the absoulte best seats you can afford and try to be on the main floor, it make a huge difference.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Gifts from the other side of the World

My son and his girlfriend just returned from a month long vacation in Cambodia and Thailand. They brought home wonderful gifts for the family, everything purchased from Fair Trade shops. This is from a shop in Cambodia that produces it's own silk from silk worm to finished weaving, hiring local help and paying fair wages. It starts with this wonderful box (hand woven from palm leaves in the shop), no plastic bags here.

When you open it there's a hand-woven bird sitting on top

of a hand-woven, natural dyed silk cloth.

Beautiful rich color with a heavenly sheen.

In the next package they brought me

was hand-spun and natural dyed (from lac) silk thread. Spun on a hand-carved wooden spindle.

The name of this enterprise is IKTT, they brought me the book on it's history and the man who started it with a dream to bring back the lost art of silk weaving that was forgotten during the war. Cambodia used to produce some of the finest silk fabrics in the world.

In Thailand they found a couple more Fair-Trade shop selling hand-woven goods, This scarf was dyed using lac (a bug that lives in their trees, they use it's nest to dye with).

These were woven by the refugees on the Thailand-Burma border.

This scarf is hand-woven but not natural dyed.

They also picked up a lot of scarves for other family members, I'm pretty sure machine woven with beautiful colors and patterns.

Last night I met with my girlfriends for a Valentines dinner, my friend Laura decorates wonderfully for every holiday.

And look at these cute felted hearts draped over her windows.

I hope you have a wonderful, chocolatey, candy, flower holiday!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Storm

Last night it snowed and snowed giving us a total of 10 inches of new snow. This morning it was sunny and beautiful. Perfect weather to go snow-shoeing but here I am at work.

Anyone for downhill sledding? The tee pee is covered, you can't find the door. 

Miss Tigress sitting is her favorite spot watching over her neighborhood.
When she adopted us I let her share my dye studio with me giving her her own door and a heat lamp on her bed for winter. Most of the time she is very happy,
(I'm very allergic to cats and so is my youngest grandson.)

but when it gets real cold she knocks on the back door and we let her in to our finished basement. She is so cute sitting and knocking. And when she's ready to go out, up to the door she goes and meows.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wool Jacket

I finished my wool jacket, it only took me 6 hours, but I think anyone with a clothes sewing ability would be able to make it in 3. I like it but wish it was a couple inches longer, but it fits so I'm a happy camper. I took lots and lots of pictures of this jacket in different light and I guess this show the truest color the best but there are so many different hues in it due to all the over dyeing that don't show up.

It matched wonderfully with my silk/Pashmir scarf my friend brought me from Thailand.

I mixed all the left over dyes together (madder root, cochineal, and Osage orange) and put in a piece of dry wool fabric, it picked up so many different colors.

My friend Kay was our guest speaker at our quilt guild meeting last night. She did a wonderful lecture, I wanted to share a few of her antique quilt tops from the turn of last century with you. This is a small piece made from silks and satins.

Someone worked hard on this top with thousands of  different  size pieces.

How about this one with a red bulls eye in the middle and thousands of tiny triangles for the boarders.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo