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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gifts For The Bride

Looks like Mom has weddings on her mind!  Makes me laugh because she doesn't like going to Weddings!  Anyway, the lovely wedding items for the Bride To Be are mom's latest finishes.  First, are her Ring Bearer's Pillows made from vintage handkerchiefs:

Ring Bearers Pillow with Battenburg Lace

Ring Bearers Pillow with Large Flowers

Ring  Bearers Pillow with Small Flowers

All are hand-beaded.

Next, are mom's Wedding Card Bags:

Wedding Card Bag with Bow

Beaded Wedding Card Bag

Made from a vintage pattern, these are hand embroidery and hand beaded.  From what mom tells me, back in the day, brides would be given a special bag to keep their wedding cards in.  Neat idea!  These could certainly be used as a purse and trust me, they are so much prettier in person than they are in my photos!

Lastly, mom made this sweet little hanging pillow/tuck pillow from a vintage kitchen towel:

Vintage Towel Ornament

Again, mom added beads!

I'll tell ya, my mother is 70 years old, has serious vision problems & depression problems like I do, but I can't keep up with listing her things!  I keep telling her, "mom, would you please slow down so I have some time to make some things!"  Ha, ha, ha! 

Hey, it gives her some purpose and the opportunity to share her talents.  My mom is an expert seamstress.  Before she went to school to become a nurse (she's retired now), she used to sew models for a fabric store.  Mom made my wedding dress and my bridesmaids dresses.  So beautiful!!!  One of these days, I'll pull out my wedding photos and share.

Well, here is my offering for today.  I started embellishing my Pretty In Pink Art Quilt:

Pretty In Pink Art Quilt

I've already hand-dyed some lace daisies and butterflies for it.  When I finish up here, I'll be glittering some fabric leaves.  Stay tuned.  I feel another tutorial coming on!

Finally for today, I've started a mailing list for anyone who would like to receive our Kitty & Me Designs newsletter.  I'll be offering specials now and then and keeping our customers up to date on our latest projects.  I thought it would be nice for anyone who doesn't have the time to read my blog everyday but would like to stay up on what we're doing with the shop.

If you would like to be added to my mailing list, please drop an email and I'll get you added asap!

That's all for today folks!  Happy Stitching, crafting and sewing!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sneak Peeks!

I've been doing quite a bit of stitching lately!  In fact, I need to take some time to sew up a few things.  I may do that on Sunday but I also want to get some things planted.  I bought some Hollyhock bulbs and some seeds at WalMart today.  I don't have the energy yet to work too much in my yard but I've been wanting Hollyhocks for years!  They're so old-fashioned!  Anyway, I may do my planting on Sunday morning and then run my sewing machine Sunday afternoon.

Here are the couple of things I want to finish up.  First, I have 2 crazy quilt hanging pillows that I stitched:

Button Blocks

I don't know which one I love more but I am leaning towards the green and pink one!

Next, I stitched up several crazy quilt cottage style hearts.  These will be Sweet Dreams Lavender Sachets:

Lavender Sachets

It's kind of hard to tell from the photo what they'll look like when they're done!  Stay tuned for that!

Ok, so it's not a ton of stuff that needs to be sewn up but it will take me a bit of time.

My next project that I'll be starting on is this Pretty In Pink Mixed Media Art Quilt:

Pretty In Pink Art Quilt

I'll be starting on this shortly and believe me, I plan to embellish it!

I have a couple of other finishes to share with you today.  First is my mom's Pink Heart Cottage Pillow:

Cottage Heart Pillow

I think I've turned mom into a monster! She's really liking pink these days and never cared for it too much in the past!

And then there's my Strawberry Fields Birdbath:

Strawberry Fields Birdbath

I can't help myself!  I just love doing these birdbath's with vintage glassware.  I'm already planning on some Autumn and Christmas birdbaths but I have to find some more old glassware.  Since Garage Sale season and Flea Market season are getting underway, that shouldn't be a problem.

And speaking of strawberries, here's my little Strawberry Basket:

Strawberry Basket

Don't you just love strawberries?  I love the way they look and the way they taste!  Strawberries are my favorite fruit!  Have you ever tried slicing some up into some some sugar free vanilla pudding?  YUM!

MOTHER'S DAY SPECIAL!!!

In other news, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on MULTIPLE ITEM orders in my shop.  PayPal & USA orders only please.  The offer runs from now through Sunday May 2nd.

We offer so many lovely things that would be appropriate for Mother's Day gifts.  Please take advantage of this offer.

Well, I'm off to stitch.  Wait, must fold laundry first.  Argggg......

Happy Wednesday Everyone!!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How To Block A Crocheted Doily Tutorial

Happy Sunday everyone!  I've been busy, busy, busy!  Yes, too busy and I'm winding down now but I am the way I am!  My ADD motor is always going!

I made a big pot of soup, 2 batches of cookies and a loaf of wheat bread.  I have all the laundry caught up and added 2 more of my mom's Victorian Tussy Mussy's for Mother's Day to our Etsy shop:

Mothers Day Tussy Mussy with Kittens

Mothers Day Tussy Mussy with a Robin

Aren't they pretty?  Mom really has a knack for these!

Another thing I did today was to block a couple of crocheted doilies and I thought I would write a tutorial for anyone who doesn't know how to do this.  Many crocheted pieces can be ironed into shape but there are some that just won't cooperate unless they are blocked.

This one for example is quite large.  My mom made it for me years ago.  I had it out for quite some time but decided to wash it and put it away for awhile.  I have never had any luck with ironing this piece into shape:

How To Block A Crocheted Doily Tutorial

I pulled it out today because I knew it would fit my new little vintage table which I'll show you at the end of this post.

HOW TO BLOCK A CROCHETED DOILY

You will need a cardboard cutting board, a big box of pins and a misting bottle of water.  I scent mine with lavender.

Step one is to lay out your crocheted piece on the cutting board.
Step two is to start pinning it to the board:

How To Block A Crocheted Doily Tutorial

I just started with the center of each scallop around the outside.  One pin in the center of each scallop.  After going all the way around, you may have to make some adjustments for shaping purposes.  It's a matter of eyeballing it.

The next step is to add more pins around the scallops.  This rounds them out:

How To Block A Crocheted Doily Tutorial

Add as many pins around the outside as you have to in order to shape it properly.  It seems like it might be a lot of work but it actually only takes a few minutes. 

Once you have all the pins in place and the doily is shaped appropriately, mist the entire piece with water and let air dry.  It takes about an hour for large doily and about 1/2 an hour for a small one.

Here's another type of doily that needs to be shaped this way:

How To Block A Crocheted Doily Tutorial

Those little flowers are terribly difficult to iron.

How To Block A Crocheted Doily Tutorial

Just pin the flowers open, spritz with water, let dry and then remove the pins and enjoy the beauty!

Be sure to click on the photos to see the large versions.  That'll give you a good idea of what to do.

Also, if you have small children, dogs or cats, you may want to do this in a room where you can close the door while it's drying.  They may be a little too fascinated with the pins.

Here's my large doily on my new vintage table:

How To Block A Crocheted Doily Tutorial

My husband bought me this beautiful vintage sewing table at a flea market back in February.  It was only $15.00!  He repaired it, stripped it and refinished it for me and added new knobs.  The sides open up!  It's really too cool!  And it's not as dark as it looks in this photo.

Anyway, that was my day!  Now, it's time to relax with a cup of tea and some stitching:

Tea Cup

Have a good night!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Buttons

I've been stitching on my little crazy quilt blocks.  My intention for these are to play with my buttons!  Pure & simple, I just love my old buttons!

This is my newest finish:

Crazy Quilt Hanging Pillow in Blue & Pink 

The Marie Antoinette colors on this one are just so pretty!  Anyway, this can be found here.

And this is my current button block:

Green Button Block

This of course will have buttons too!

I mentioned yesterday that I did some sewing and worked up a couple of art quilt pieces.  Again yes!  Buttons!  One of these days, I'll have to really show you my button collection!

In other news, I'm planning on having a drawing when I reach 150 Followers.  The prize will be something that I make.  I'm still thinking about that and will have more details soon.  In the meantime, if you enjoy my blog, please click on the "Follow" button in my sidebar.

For now, I was wondering if any of my Facebookers would be willing to hop over to the Top Etsy Shop Facebook Fan Page and vote for Kitty & Me Designs Etsy Shop.  I would really appreciate it!

I think it's time for me to go stitch now.  My mind is feeling a bit scattered.  Well, it's feeling quite scattered so I'll get away from my computer for now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

History Of Victorian Tussy Mussy's

My mom just goes to town on these:

Victorian Tussy Mussy for Mother

Tussy mussy's are so beautiful and it never ceases to amaze me how Mom makes each one is prettier than the last!  I know she has some more in the works.

Tussy mussy's have become quite popular again.  During the 1700's, pestilence was quite prevalent while indoor plumbing was not.  Ladies would carry little bouquets of herbs and flowers to avoid the unpleasant odors around them.

In the Victorian era, every flower had a meaning.  Gentlemen callers would offer a floral bouquet to their sweethearts and the girls would have to decipher the meaning of the flowers chosen for them using a book called,  Tussy Dictionary.

Today, our Tussy Mussy's are used of course for weddings but we also use them as ornaments, gift holders and home decor just because they're pretty!  Mom's of course are adornments but many paper crafter's make them as gifts and fill them with candies & cookies, laces & other sewing trinkets and all sorts of little bits &  bobs.

Don't you just love old-fashioned things?  I do!

Mom's Tussy Mussys are available for purchase in our Boutique!

I have a couple of finishes to share with you too.  I made these over the weekend for gifts:

Birdbath

Birdbath

I don't know why I suddenly have a thing for making birdbaths out of vintage glassware!  I just love making these!  I've done what, about 6 of them now?  And there will be more I'm sure!  One of these days, I'll make one for myself!

I've been a busy bee all day today.  I ran my sewing machine and sewed up a whole pile of fun new projects.
Some Crazy Quilt cat dolls, some Crazy Quilt hanging pillows, some sachets and several new art quilts.  Oh, I'm just itching to play with those!  But I must finish up the little CQ door knob hanger that I'm working on now.



Please visit our Shabby Chic Boutique!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Little Things

What is it about "little things" that we women just love?  Beads & buttons, bits of lace & trim, cookies & cupcakes and anything that sparkles.  We love them, we gather them and we hunt them down!

Several years ago, Scott went to a wedding.  I couldn't go because our windows were being replaced that weekend.  Anyway, a poem was recited at the wedding and Scott asked for a copy because it reminded him of me and all the little things that I love.

LITTLE THINGS

It's the little things
that let you know
Not the words or fancy show
It's the little things
Lovers do
That say so much
With words so few.

A gesture of warmth
A moment of care
The little things 
Lovers share

An intimate glance
Encompassing two
The way you touch me
The way I touch you.

The smiling eyes
That trust and know
These little things
Set hearts aglow.

Watch for them
Look for them
With Open heart greet
The gestures of Love
That flavor life sweet!

So if seeds of Love
You want to sew
Start with the little things
And watch them grow!

I was so taken with this poem.  Not because of the poem itself, but because it made my husband think of me.  It's just one of those little things.  I guess I'm sort of funny that way.  I get all excited when he brings home a piece of bubble wrap or a couple of small boxes for me for shipping.  It's not what he does, it's the thought.

I really love little things.  Tiny seashells, old keys, kittens and puppies, flowers and even certain bugs.  Nothing that bites or stings!  I even like spiders.  I'm fascinated with them!  I don't want them on me, but I like to look at them.

As as you know, I like to make little things.  After doing those last 3 crazy quilt ornaments, I decided to sew up a few blocks to make more.  Here is the next one I'll be stitching on:

Blue Button Block

When I finish up here on the computer, I'm going to relax and stitch on this and watch me some Food Channel!

Here's another little thing I loved making:

Cherub Altered Art Piece

My little "Altered Art Cherub".  I saw this in the thrift store uptown and it reminded me of a friend of mine.  Someone whom I haven't sent anything to in quite awhile.  I like to send out little surprise gifts or cards now and then.  People will always remember how you made them feel.  I like to make people feel special.

Anyway, this little angel was all white.  As you can see, I painted him, set him up in a small wire basket (also from the thrift store) and created a garden around him.  Of course I added glitter.

I so enjoy taking little odds & ends of what most people would call "junk" and turning it into a lovely treasure.

Here is another of my "trash to treasure" pieces:

Two Doves On A Birdbath

This was a tea-light holder.  Another thrift shop find.  Now it's Two Doves On A Birdbath.  It was white so again, I painted it and added a glass lid from a perfume bottle.  Then I grew the garden!

Another little thing I like to play with is paper.  I made these 5 little Violet Gift Tags at mom's the other day:

5 Violet Gift Tags

I had some tiny little vintage greeting cards with violets on them.  I thought they would be nice for Spring birthdays!

Mom likes to make little things too.  Here is her latest Mother's Day Tussy Mussy:

Mother's Day Tussy Mussy

Just look at those sweet little kitties!

Well, I'm off to stitch.  At least until the dryer shuts off.  Speaking of little things, my husband just ran uptown for a car part.  He stopped at McDonald's and bought me a small fry.  Love those little things!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Peach Fluff - Low Carb Sweet Treat And More

I have a nice Low Carb Sweet Treat Recipe to share with you today.  But first, I thought you'd like to see a few of our latest finishes.

First, mom made some pretty little Straw Hat Ornament/Gift Tags:

Straw Hat Ornaments or Package Tie On's

These are just too cute and would be so pretty tied on to a Mother's Day gift!

Next, I finished up my little Crazy Quilt Hanging Pillows/Ornaments:

CQ Ornament With Vintage Leaf Brooch

CQ Ornament With Vintage Daisy Brooch

CQ Ornament With Vintage Gold Flower Brooch

Each one has a vintage brooch on it as a focal point!  I sewed up several new blocks the other day so I can make a few more of these.  They are fun and I really enjoy choosing buttons for them!

Well, onto my recipe.  Actually, it isn't my recipe, it's my sister's recipe for Peach Fluff:

Peach Fluff

PEACH FLUFF RECIPE

1 package Sugar Free Peach Jello
3/4 cup Cottage Cheese
1 medium can of Peaches in pear juice (chopped into small pieces)
1 small carton of Whipping Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Drain peaches and reserve juice.  Pour into measuring cup and add enough hot water to equal 1 cup.  Mix with Jello and let it dissolve.  Next, add peaches to jello.  Refrigerate until set.
Whip the whipping cream and vanilla.  Fold cottage cheese and whipped cream into Jello and refrigerate.

This recipe is so good and it's light and low carb!  My sister came up with it.  You can use any flavor of jello and any fruit that you like but we prefer the peach.

Well, I'm ready to stitch for a bit now.  I need my husband to tear himself away from the Model A and start the grill!  I have chicken marinating for salad.  Men!

I'll leave you with a photo of my little Lucy:

Lucy

Is she just the sweetest little thing?  She only weighs 7 pounds!  One pound of body and 6 pounds of hair!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Little Late On The Flea Market Finds And Another Sweet Treat Recipe!

Better late than never!  I've been busy as a bee these last few days.  A little too busy actually.  Been rearranging some things in my home, stitching, finishing and junkin!

On Sunday morning, Scott and I picked up my mom and we went to the Grayslake Flea Market & Antique Show.  The theme for this month was "Everything Vintage".  That's right up my alley!

Here are my Flea Market Treasures from Sunday.  As you know, I just love vintage hankies:

Flea Market 1

Flea Market 2

I only paid $1 for each of those hankies!  I really don't "need" any but I love them so I keep buying them.

Next, I found some buttons:

Flea Market 3

Check out those green rhinestone buttons!  They're mint and gorgeous.  So sparkly!  And, then a bagful of little white rose buttons.  Last but not least, I found some pink buttons.  I'm always on the looking out for old pink buttons.  If anyone has any they don't want, I will gladly give them a good home!

The little pink pieces are flowers.  It was hard to open them up so you could see them but when sewn down, they'll make these cool little flowers.

Next, a bag of lace and trim:

Flea Market 4

Again, I have plenty of lace but I just can't help myself!  I love it!!!!  And I adopt all unwanted lace and give it lots of love!!  :)

I just spent some time photographing our newest projects.  I'll save those photos for over the weekend.  Very time consuming actually.  But as you've probably noticed, my photos have improved greatly!

And speaking of time consuming, I've finally had enough of dial-up and have decided to get a high speed connection.  Next week, I'll make the phone calls and get the process going.  I like to read a lot of blogs (see my sidebar) and those blogs are very graphic intensive.  I get tired of waiting for pictures to load so high speed, here I come!

Let's see, what else have I been doing?  Oh, I baked this afternoon.  Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!  YUM!!!

Cupcakes

I did indulge!  And I don't feel guilty in the least!  Ha, ha, ha!  The recipe is from one of my vintage baking booklets:

Bakers Chocolate Cookbook

This little book is by Walter Baker & Company, Inc.  The copyright date is 1931.  And here is the recipe if you would like to try it:

CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE

2 cups Cake Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (real butter)
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, well beaten
3 squares Baker's Unsweetened chocolate melted
1 1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites stiffly beaten

Sift flour, once, measure, add baking powder, soda, and salt, and sift together 3 times.  Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks and chocolate, then add flour, alternately with milk, a small amount at a time.  Beat after each addit;ion until smooth.  Add vanilla.  Fold in egg whites.  Bake in 2 greased 9 inch layer pans in moderate oven (350 degrees) for 30 minutes.

Well, I didn't make mine into cake.  I made mine into cupcakes with pink Cream Cheese frosting and they are quite yummy!  Do give them a try!

Over the weekend, I'll share a low carb sweet treat recipe.  Perfect for a warm Spring day!

For now, I'll leave you with a photo of my Nightmare:

Nightmare

I swear, there is no creature on this planet who can make themselves more comfy cozy than a cat!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookie Recipe

I've kept myself quite busy today!  Ran errands, stopped at a garage sale (will share those treasures tomorrow), been doing laundry and made some cookies:

Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies

Here's the recipe:

CHOCOLATE ORANGE SHORTBREAD COOKIES

1 pound salted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
grated rind of 1 medium orange
4 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
1 bag mini Chocolate chips.

Mix butter & powdered sugar together.  Add vanilla & orange rind.  Add cocoa powder.  Add flour 1 cup at a time.  Add mini chips.  Mix well.

Roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet (I use Parchment Paper on my baking sheets).  Press with a glass dipped in sugar.  Add pretty sprinkles.  Press again with glass dipped in sugar.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until done. 

Heaven help me!  These just melt in your mouth!

In other news, I've been stitching on a few small Crazy Quilt blocks.  These 2 are ready for sewing together:

Crazy Quilt Button Blocks

And this is what I'm stitching on now:

Crazy Quilt Button Blocks

These will be 6 inch ornaments. 

Finally for today, I thought I'd share my mom's latest projects with you:

Bunny Pillow

Bonnet Lady Pillow

Violets Pillow

These are crayon tinted, embroidered and beaded! 

Tomorrow we have a nice Flea Market to go to.  Oh, how I love my flea markets!  Scott & I will pick mom up around 8 am and we'll head up there in hopes of finding some nice vintage treasures. 

See ya tomorrow!
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