A Few Good Things from this Past Week

Nothing amazing or earth shattering has happened, but this past week or so has been filled with so much goodness. My life is quite ordinary and I find such joy living in it. So here are a few of the high points.img_0584On their way from moving from Pittsburgh to Atlanta this sweet family asked if they could make a pit stop at our house for the night. They had been driving for I know, seemed like forever and around 8:45 that evening, I heard a little knock knock at my front door. I looked up and saw the happiest little boy waving at me! Hudson, Easton,  Bella and their mommy and daddy, Sara and Aaron blessed our home with so much joy. Unfortunately, it was a too quick of a visit. Early the next morning they piled back into the car and continued on their way. I’m so happy they decided to move closer to family.img_0585Two days later, I drove to Seabrook Island to refresh my weary soul. I am so blessed with such loving friends, like Angie and her husband Jack, who invited me to the beach. We rode bikes, snuggled with horses, walked the beach and found so many sand dollars! Luckily Charleston is on the way to Seabrook, so I made a quick stop to see my girl and her husband. Sometimes a momma just needs to hug her kid. My momma always said that ocean water is the perfect treatment for what ails you. I believe it…sunshine, salty air, waves lapping, toes in the sand and precious friends make the perfect medicine.img_5999On the way home from the beach, I decided to make a stop in Columbia overnight. Here I am with sisters Laura, Annie and Jane at my sister Jane’s house for lunch. That evening our brother David came by my mom’s for dinner, joining us girls. We were only missing sister, Susan. She was enjoying her grandsons Hudson and Easton! img_0586I could only stay in Columbia overnight because Superman, Adam, Elizabeth and I were going to our first hockey game! Watching the minor league, Swamp Rabbits, was so much fun! We have no idea how the players know when to hop on and off the ice, what the numbers mean that the announcer calls out when someone gets put in time out or what is this power play thing? It reminded us a lot like soccer in many ways. The adorable 4 year old little boys, who sat behind us, knew more than we will ever know. I guess we’ll just have to go to more games!

Hmmm….do you think they’d let me drive the zamboni?img_0587Guess what? Two days later Superman and I are driving to the Tennessee/North Carolina border to drop him off for his 6 day 75 mile solo backpacking trip. He packed and repacked his backpack for days. Measuring and counting each bag of Fig Newtons, freeze dried dinners and tea bags. It was forecasted to be cold and raining or snowing the entire time. Sounds fun right? This is the text he sent to the fam the first day: “8.5 miles today…almost all uphill with rain most of the day. Got to the shelter at 2:00 and chilled. It’s getting cold and it starting to snow–temp drops to 17 tonight. For dinner–2 cups hot tea + honey; Mexican rice with beans; cookies; almond joy bar; sipping on some merlot wine right now! Wine in first night only–have to rough it from now on. The shelter is full of young folks–an odd collection of weirdos who are out to do the 2000 mile AT in 4 to 6 months. It’s below freezing–one dude has no long pants so he is wearing a down parka with shorts. One gal is playing some sort of Indian flute–I’m waiting to bust out the “someone’s a crying me lord” song. All in all, we h she young folks don’t have a care in that the world–no job, no mortgage, no long term plan–I’m thinking about pontificating about Donald Trump is the greatest of all time and Obama’s a communist–I’m pretty sure I would be booted from the shelter so I’ll keep my mouth shut. All in all I’m as happy as a pig in mud right now. Everyone is talking about all the bears they have seen–I’m 👀 ING forward to seeing my share. I love all of you–a few of you should be here with me…” He is loves this stuff! Like Superman says “This ain’t no big deal”. img_0588This was his view the next morning. Beautiful.img_0589After dropping Superman off at the trailhead, I decided to stop off at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. As soon as I stepped through the doors, this lady was demonstrating weaving. Not only does she weave her own cloth, she sews it into gorgeous jackets and tops. I can’t imagine putting scissors into the cloth that just took me hours to weave! There were many artisans demonstrating their craft while answering questions and explaining the tools and process. I was mesmerized. As I walked up the ramp to the exhibition hall, I was taking pictures of everything. When I reached the top, I almost ran into a semi frantic woman looking for the person who was taking pictures! Who me?!? Not me, but some other unsuspecting soul. I get it. The artists don’t want their artwork copied. I respect that. So I put my camera down. Just remember No Pictures Allowed! img_0594I guess I’m so drawn to this type of artwork because it represents the common folk. According to Wikipedia: Folk art encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture or by peasants or other laboring tradespeople. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic. Take for example Grandma Donaldson in the photo above. She didn’t go to a fancy art school or travel the world to be inspired. She used the materials she had around her and made something beautiful. Whether it was the farmer who used his knife and a piece of wood or a stick to whittle a toy or the mother who took the outgrown clothes and repurposed them into a beautiful warm quilt. I LOVE IT! img_0596When I finally got home that day it was raining, so it was the perfect time to finish up some stuffed animals that people have ordered. Luckily for me, Joann’s had a big clearance sale on yarn among other things, so I stocked up for other orders of rabbits, elephants, monkeys and unicorns. I’ve got lots of work to do!img_0595This weekend, I have two more boxes of bees arriving! I need to get their supers and frames ready. Here are 40 frames that need the wax panel put in each. This requires I chisel carefully out a thin piece of wood, slide in the wax sheet then hammer the wood piece back on to hold everything tightly in.img_6043I went to the local hardware store to buy some very small nails and a small hammer. When I found this beauty, the young man assisting me kinda sorta rolled his eyes when I squealed with delight. He just doesn’t understand how things like this can really make me happy. I got 20 of the 40 frames done. Tomorrow is a new day. I was feeling a bit pooped.img_6049Are you feeling as tired as I felt? I had the house alone. It was quiet, just me, Sam and Lilly. I poured myself a cup of hot tea, snuggled down in my favorite chair and started reading my favorite book/magazine. Quiltfolk is a bi-monthly, beautiful magazine of 180 soft pages of no advertising, wonderful stories about the people behind the quilts and what inspires them to stitch. Each issue takes you to a different state or area and tells you their stories in the quilt world. The issue above takes us to Arizona. It quiets my soul and feeds my heart with inspiration.

Its been a long week or so. Thanks for stopping by!

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One Lady’s Crap is My Treasure: part 2 rag rug

Yesterday, I shared with you the story behind all of this treasure. That Sunday afternoon, I met Trudy and her husband at her mom’s house just down the street. I figured Trudy’s mom, Marion, would have only a few items. Boy, was I wrong! There was yarn, fabric, fiberfill, embroidery hoops, thread, crochet hooks, large cans of quilting squares, Mason jars, and even a quilting stand. 

Trudy would lift something up and say “All of this is junk.” And I would say “Are you kidding me?!? Trudy this is awesome!”  She would look at me and shake her head. I guess she thought I was crazy. 

When I got home, I figured it would be easiest to unload if I just pulled up to the basement door. As I unloaded, Superman called down to ask if I had gotten anything. I figured it would be best if he didn’t see All of the stuff quite yet. So I hollered back up “Yup! Just got a few things!” 

Junk?!? Trudy, Trudy, Trudy.So like the picture above says, I started sorting all of the bags into keep and throw away. I admit that some of the items had been ruined by little critters, but most were waiting to be resurrected into something fun. As I was separating the fabric by color, I uncovered an old brown and gold Charles Chips can. (Do you remember the truck that would deliver chips to your house? Why in the world did we need potato chips delivered to us? The truck never came to my house, but I remember the joy of it arriving at my best friends!) 
Anyway, I opened this particular can and inside were spools of 1-2 in strips of fabric and a big old crochet hook. Hmmmm…..again, what in the world was Grandma Marion thinking of doing with this?  Well, by golly, I sat right there and started crocheting a rug.

Forget about sorting, I’m making a rug. As you can see in the picture above, I began crocheting in a circle, tying one fabric strip to another as I went.When I had finished with the strips Marion had expertly cut, I rummaged through the rest of the stash to see what I could use. Let me say that Miss Marion had quite an assortment of fabric choices. Some were quite pretty and vintage, while others were…..how do I put it? Just ugly. Check out this patriotic beauty. I think this may have been a slip cover for a sofa. I figured I probably couldn’t use this in one of my sale items, but it just might work in my rug. I dug through the remaining boxes and bags and began cutting and tearing ugly fabric into strips. I gave up on the round look, when the piece became more like a bowl than a flat rug. But even doing a large 4 1/2 foot rug, I noticed my rectangle was turning into a triangle/trapezoid shape. I guess I need to work on technique. 

Even so, I loved the way this was turning out! Initially I thought it would be a great addition  to my craft room under my soon-to-be made cutting table. Then it came to me what a terrible idea it would be to have a rug in there. I just imagined all of the pins that would get lost in this thing.So now what do I do? Do I get upset because I just spent hours cutting, tearing and crocheting this thing? Nope! I started pulling it all out. Pulling and pulling….until I had a big ol pile of fabric strips. My friend Dagmar saves her fabric scraps to fill her dog, Button’s bed. Sam needs a bed in the craft room, so she can keep me company.I dug around some more in the boxes and found this crazy fabric. I stuffed it with the fabric strips and voila! Sam has a bed!

Now, I just have to figure out how to get her to come downstairs and hang out with me. If she won’t will you? 

Thanks for dropping by!