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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Valentine Cat Doll

I spent yesterday shopping in Crystal Lake with my cousin Kim. I had a very nice time with her as I always do.  Before she picked me up, I had a little stitching time and finished up my red and white Valentine Cat Doll:

Very traditional, isn't it?  And here's a photo of the next cat in Hot Pink:

It easy to see the outline of the cat on this one.  As you can see, I run a basting stitch on the sewing line.  This way, I can see how far I can go with beads and other embellishments.  When I complete the stitching, I just pull out that basting stitch.

Today is my annual New Years Eve shopping spree at JoAnn Fabrics.  I really don't need a thing.  I picked up some of my favorite Watercolour threads by The Caron Collection yesterday along with another yard of waste canvas.  I received some nice CQ supplies for my birthday and Christmas too so today, I'll try to be selective about my purchases.  Wish me luck!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Slow Motion Stitching

I feel like I'm in slow motion these days.  The problem with Christmas is that it seems like it never ends!  I did have a little stitching time yesterday and worked on my Valentine Cat Doll for a little while:

I am so looking forward to Monday when life goes back to "normal"!  The tree and other things get put away tomorrow.  I like a very routine and structured life style and for the entire month of December, my routine is gone!  It's not that I can't bend enough to have fun, it's just too much all at once.

Anyway, I will have a little time for stitching today and hopefully, I'll have this little kitty doll finished for my blog post tomorrow.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crazy Quilt Dragonfly Purse

I've been looking forward to sharing this project with you.  It was a commissioned piece that I did but I had to wait until after Christmas to post photos:


I'll be staying home for the most of today.  I feel like my house is a mess.  It's really not but it feels that way.  I'll be taking the tree down after my annual New Year's Eve JoAnn's Fabric Store shopping spree.  The tree is very pretty and surprisingly, I have been enjoying it but I'm ready to have "normal" again.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Valentine Cats

I finished up on my Pink Cat Doll yesterday:

The little pink flowers are not the Cast On stitch.  I tatted them while watching television the other day.  Simple little tatted flowers in variegated #8 Perle cotton.  I just sewed them on.

And here are the seam treatments for this piece:


Click here for more Crazy Quilt Seam Treatment Inspiration.

This will be my next Valentine Cat Doll:

I'm going to stitch on this now for an hour before I get myself together to run up to the WalMart.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Vintage Hankies

After going out for breakfast yesterday, Bubba took me to the Colonial Antique Mall in Woodstock Illinois where I wandered around, in my own little world for awhile.  I found some gorgeous vintage laces but some vendors seem to think they have gold and I know better so I didn't buy any.  Instead, I found a few more pretty vintage handkerchiefs:

So Springy!  2 are for mom and 2 are for me. 

If you remember from my post yesterday, I said I would share a photo of the pink Mile A Minute afghan my mom made me for Christmas:

It's crocheted in strips and then the strips are crocheted together.  Yes, I have white wicker furniture in my living room.  When we remodeled our living room a few years back, it just wasn't in our budget to buy new furniture but I couldn't live with what we had so I bought a set of white wicker patio furniture.  It's really pretty.  Light and airy and gardeny however, it is not particularly comfortable for living room furniture.  The plan is, at some point to get something more Victorian looking.  Either a set of antique furniture that we can have reupholstered or something new that looks antique.  As you can see from the photo, it has to be cat friendly so I'm thinking of leather.  It comes in soft, pastel colors like pink and aqua blue now.  I can't live with anything dark.  We also plan to put a wrap around front porch on our house so we'll then move our wicker furniture outside to enjoy.

Anyway, that's the afghan mom made for me.  As you can see, mom is well aware of my love for the color pink!

Finally, I did do a little stitching yesterday:


When we got home, I put my Marie Antoinette movie on.  I may have mentioned that my husband has been working on Saturday's and doing a lot of side jobs and saving his money.  Last week, he bought us a 60 inch television.  Christmas has been very lean for the past few years and he wanted to do something nice that we could both enjoy.  All I can say is wow!  It was a surprise and I was blown away.

Of course, when you upgrade one thing, you have to upgrade everything.  The picture was quite grainy so we had to buy a new DVD player and we also have to upgrade our Direct TV box and service.  It's crazy.

But anyway, the new DVD player made a huge difference in the picture quality and so I decided it would be nice to see Marie Antoinette in all her pink fluffiness!

I was so taken with the quality of the picture and sound that I couldn't hardly tear my eyes away from the TV long enough to stitch!  Ha, ha, ha!  I felt like I had never seen the movie before.  Too funny!

After that, Bubba put National Treasure on and again, I was just in awe of how different it looked and sounded on the new TV.  I'd better not plan on any movies today or I'll never get that cat doll done!

For today, I actually plan to do some straightening up and hopefully, I can finish up on that cat doll.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pink Cats

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas.  Ours was very nice.  We spent the day at my parents house and I was able see my sister and nephew for awhile too.

My mom made me a gorgeous Mile A Minute afghan in pink!  Pink, are you surprised?  I'm going to drape it over the back of my sofa later so I'll take a photo of it for tomorrow.  I've always loved Mile A Minute afghans.

I haven't had any stitching time but I thought I'd share my current pink cat doll since I have a bit of stitching done on it:

Both borders were worked using my Waste Canvas technique.  If you look closely at the white border, it's the Creten stitch with lazy daisies on the points.  Yes, even the Creten stitch can be worked using waste canvas.  It's the only way I can get it straight!

Scott is going to take me to the antique mall in Woodstock Illinois today.  One nice thing about the holidays is that I get extra time with him!  And he's willing to go anywhere I want to go.  He's a good man.  Anyway, if I find some cool goody's, I'll share pics tomorrow.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas!

I had a lovely Birthday yesterday.  It was sunny and almost 40 degrees outside.  I sure couldn't ask for anything better as far as the weather goes!

As planned, Bubba took me to the antique mall in Volo, Illinois.  It's a huge antique mall and just a hop, skip and jump from where we live.  I found a few nice vintage goodies to add to my stash.

First, a few vintage hankies:
The blue one is flocked!  I have a few in my collection from my flea market travels. 

Next, I found 2 yards of this beautiful machine embroidered fabric:

I love the scalloped edge on this!  And 2 yards will go a long way for what I do with it.

Next, I found this gorgeous vintage apron:

I almost hate to cut it up because it's in mint condition.  It just needs a good hand wash.  But I did buy it to cut up for my crazy quilting.

Last but not least, this pair of sweet vintage bunnies:

Yes, I'm always thinking of Spring! 

Today, we'll be going over to mom's for a few hours.

I hope ya'll have a wonderful Christmas Day!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

First, I would like to say thank you to everyone who sent me "Happy Birthday" wishes for today.  Your comments, no matter what time of year, truly mean so much to me!  Thank you everyone!

Well, it's December 24th and to date, we've had no measurable snowfalls!  And I am absolutely okay with that! And there's none in the forecast all the way to New Year's so one month of Winter down, 2 months to go.  I can honestly tolerate the cold of the Winter months.  I don't like the bitter cold but we've been around 30 - 40 degrees so far and it's quite tolerable.  It's the snow that I don't like.  I'd much rather look at brown grass than endless amounts of white snow which in time, becomes dirty and ugly looking.  So if Winter continues like it has so far, you won't much in the way of complaints from me!  LOL!!!

I didn't get much in the way of stitching done yesterday.  Just a little bit.  I went to mom's to help her with preparations for this afternoon and tomorrow.  I'll post an update of my current cat doll when I get a little more stitching on it.

For now, I have to get ready for my shopping spree at the antique mall.  I only ask my husband for one thing each year for my birthday.  I ask him to take me to the antique mall so I can walk around and see all the vintage things that I love!  Hopefully, I'll find some nice little do-dads to add to my stitching.  Although I have quite a nice collection, I'm always on the hunt for more beautiful little vintage handkerchiefs!  So perhaps I'll have some new ones to share here with you tomorrow.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve everyone! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wisdom On Turning 50

Well, tomorrow is my 50th birthday.  It sounds worse when I write it than it actually feels.  My aunt always says that age is just a number.  And I always say it's not the years, it's the miles

Some people have a terrible time turning 50.  I like to think of it in terms of condition.  You know, like on Ebay.  There's new, used, vintage, antique and ancient.  LOL!!!  I've reached the point of vintage and I'm ok with that.

Vintage is endearing.  It's charming and usually has a lovely patina.  It's worn but soft and still quite useful. And in my opinion, extremely attractive!  LOL!

With age comes wisdom and heaven knows, I've reached that point! Like I said, it's not the years, it's the miles.

I prefer not to reflect on the first 50 years of my life but rather look at the (hopefully) next 50 years as being where the fun is.  Heaven knows, it's time for some of that.  Especially after the last 3 years.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time, know what I'm talking about.

For some people, life is a walk in the park, a picnic and a piece of cake.  For others, life comes with many challenges.  I hope I learned the lessons I had to learn by now.  I've always been one of those people who has to learn the hard way.

One nice thing about vintage, is that it's reached a point of being loved for what it is.  It doesn't have to "prove" itself anymore.  It is what it what is.  It's respected for it's age and withstood the test of time.  And so have I.
 
Well, now that I've amused you with my age and condition analogy, I'll move on to my stitching.  In between baking a couple batches of cookies yesterday and listening to some Christmas music on the radio (which I have not done in 3 years), I finished up on my Pink & Blue Valentine Cat Doll:

And here is a close up of the seam treatment on the right:

See more Crazy Quilt Seam Treatment Inspiration here.

I pulled some lace and trim for this little Pink cat doll before I went to bed last night:

They never look like much of anything until I get them sewn together. If you're new to my blog, you can see my Cat Doll Collection here.

Today, I'll head over to mom's to see if she needs help with anything.  For now, I'm going to sit here and stitch for awhile.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Valentine Cat Dolls

I had some stitching time yesterday between wrapping my Christmas gifts and doing laundry.  Here's an update on my Pink and Blue Cat Doll:

Today, I plan on doing a little baking and then some more stitching.  I don't care to spend the entire day making cookies, just 2 or 3 batches.  I'd really like to do some sewing but that's going to have to wait until after Christmas.

I expect to finish up on this kitty doll today so I'll post an update photo tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2012 Series Of Cat Dolls

I finished up on my Green and Pink Valentine Pillow last night:

I doubt I'll have any sewing machine time until after Christmas.  But when I do get these pillows sewn together, I'll post more photos.

For now, since they're small and I have several sewn up, I thought I'd start on my 2012 series of Crazy Quilt Cat Dolls.  These are the little 6 inch kittens.  Again, when I have some sewing time, I'll work up some of the tall cat dolls:

Yes, this is the first of the Valentine Cats!  Since these are small, they're perfect for me to work on in between holiday activities.

Finally for today, my mom asked me to see if anyone would like to have this Better Homes and Gardens book:

It's free for the cost of shipping.  I can ship it in a flat rate Priority envelope for $5.00  (USA only please.)  The first person to leave a comment telling me they want it can have it.  I accept PayPal so let me know.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Seam Embroidery on Valentine Pillow

Not too much in the way of stitching time these past few days.  Typical for the week before Christmas but for today, I thought I'd share what I do have.

Here is an update on my current project, a Valentine's Day pillow:

The little red heart is a brooch that I found at a flea market this past Summer.  And here is the seam embroidery on this piece:




Be sure to click on the photos to see the seam embroidery up close!  I'll add these to my Crazy Quilt Seam Treatment Gallery for future reference.

As you can see, I used a lot of cross stitches in these borders.  It's the perfect way to add hearts to the design.  These are all worked with my waste canvas technique.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How Nightmare Got His Name - A Christmas Story

I didn't get to doing any stitching yesterday.  After taking mom and her dog to the vet, I was so tired when I got home, I laid down and fell asleep for a few hours.  I woke up when my husband got home from work.  He surprised me with a new, big screen television.  We've been wanting one for years and he's been working his butt off every Saturday for months now.  Well, there was a method to his madness! 

Once he got it all set up, we ordered delivery and watched Christmas Vacation.  That has to be the funniest Christmas movie ever made!

Anyway, back to my Lucy....I talked to my vet yesterday when I was there with mom and yes, he said Lucy did indeed have a stroke.  The reason she was so frightened is that a stroke causes temporary blindness.  She's almost back to normal now.  She's always been a happy, little bouncy kitty.  Not afraid of anything, very independent and very talkative.  She's talking like crazy again.  Huge relief.  Our vet said that she may never have another one.  I sure hope not.

I shared photos of Simba and Lucy yesterday but not my Nightmare.  Did I ever tell you the story of how he got his name?

We adopted him from our vets office when he was only 3 weeks old.  His litter was found on a construction site in Woodstock, Illinois.  One of the construction workers was able to rescue the kittens but not the mother.  He took the kittens to our vets office.

We had taken Garfield in for his shots one night just before Thanksgiving and the receptionist was holding the tiniest little kitten I'd ever seen.  Scott and I adore black cats so we asked if they had a black one and they did.  The next week, I called the girl that handles the adoptions.  Normally, they don't adopt kittens out until they're 6 weeks old but she knew that I would do what was necessary for such a young cat and she let me take him home at 3 weeks.

Anyway, a week or two later, Scott was putting the Christmas tree up, trying to get the lights on it and our tiny kitten, whom we had not chosen a name for yet, kept climbing up the tree.  Scott kept pulling him out and finally, after about the 5th time, Scott said to him, "you are a little nightmare!".  LOL!!!

Well, we looked at each other and both knew at that exact moment, that "nightmare" was the perfect name for our little black kitten.  And Nightmare has lived up to it!

Nightmare is 16 years old now.  He's had a heart problem (cardio myopathy) since he was 1.  You would never know it.  He bounces off the walls and he's always into something!  So far this year, he hasn't tried to climb my tree.

Bubba always says that Nightmare will live to be 25, just out of spite!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Crazy Quilt Valentine Pillow in Green and Pink

My seam embroidery is now beaded so this is ready for larger embellishments:

I'll share close up photos of the embroidered borders when I complete this piece.  I hope to have a few quality hours of stitching time later today.

I also thought you'd enjoy seeing this photo of my Simba:

As you can see, I put up a Christmas tree and wrap a quilt around the bottom so my cat has a comfy place to curl up and sleep!  LOL!!!

In other news, my dad's surgery went well and it looks like he will be fine.  The cancer was superficial meaning, it was on the surface.  Let's hope it stays gone.

Finally, Scott and I suspect that our Lucy had a stroke earlier this week.  Lucy is my little girl kitty in my blog banner.  I got home late Monday afternoon and I couldn't find her.  When I did, she was hiding in the corner under the bed.  She didn't come out to sleep with us that night but I didn't think much of it.  Tuesday morning, I woke up quite early at 2 am.  I spent 10 minutes looking for her and finally found her cowering in the corner behind my rocking chair.  She looked okay but wouldn't come out.  When I moved the chair to pick her up, she ran under my sewing machine.  I took her food and she did eat so I figured something just had her quite frightened.

The rest of Tuesday was much the same.  She kept hiding under the bed but she looked okay.  On Wednesday morning, she looked at me like she didn't have a clue who I was.  She seemed disoriented and confused and terribly frightened.  For the record, Lucy isn't afraid of anything.

Anyway, I was driving to WalMart on Wednesday and all of a sudden the word "stroke" popped into my head.  When I parked my car, I called mom to ask her what the symptoms of a stroke were. She said that the symptoms where a little different in animals than in humans but the main signs are confusion and disorientation.

I looked it up on my IPhone and those were really the only symptoms that she had.  Lucy wasn't walking in circles or leaning to one side.  Just confused, disoriented and terribly frightened.  The article I read did say that cats recover from feline strokes very quickly.  Usually within 1 to 2 weeks.

By Wednesday night, I was seeing improvement.  Thursday morning she was better and then more improvement by Thursday night.  She's still hiding here and there a little bit but she spent most of yesterday sleeping in my rocking chair rather than hiding under it.

It's the improvements that are making me think it was a stroke.  It took us so long to figure out the symptoms that she was having.  Anyway, let's hope the improvements continue and that she'll be her normal self in another few days.

Sometimes I wish they could talk so they could tell me what's wrong.  I have to take mom to the vet today with her dog so I'll talk to our vet about it.  I at least want to know what to look for in advance if it happens again although from what I read, cats can have one stroke and never have another and go on to lead a normal, healthy, long life.  Lucy is 12 years old.  She my youngest kitty.

Isn't she a beauty?  She the sweetest little thing.  I took this photo about a year ago.  Bubba rescued her back in 1999.  She was 8 months old when he found her.  Just a kitten.  I hope she recovers and that this doesn't happen again.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Update On Green Valentine Pillow

Finally, a day that I can stay home!  At least that's the plan for now.  I've been running like crazy lately and can feel that I need some down time.  If all goes well, I don't have to leave the house today!

Here's an update on my Green Valentine's Day Pillow:

This is ready now for beads and other embellishments.

My to-do list for today includes cleaning my bathroom, getting laundry caught up, baking some chicken for salad and stitching, stitching, stitching!  Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Valentines Day Pillow

I started on a new project yesterday.  This will be another Valentine's Day pillow:

As you can see, I'm getting ready to stitch another seam!

Marjolein asked a few questions about my Pink Valentine's Day pillow:

I thought I would answer her questions here in case anyone else was wondering about them.  The silk ribbon work is simply French Knots worked with 7MM silk ribbon that I hand dyed myself.  French Knot cluster flowers require a lot of silk ribbon so be sure you have enough of whatever color you choose.

The large, light pink flowers are vintage millinery flowers that I took off of an old hat.  I just sewed them on.

The small, dark pink flowers are new.  They're just silk flowers from a floral stem that I got at Michaels or Walmart at some point.  I just popped them off the stem and sewed them on then added beads for centers.

A quick note to Gail, I tried to reply to your message but I don't have your email address.  Thank you for your comment on liking my tall cat dolls and thank you for "Pinning" it on Pinterest!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pink Valentine Pillow and Seam Embroidery

I finished up my Pink Valentine Pillow yesterday:

It just needed a few hearts and some butterflies.  I added a bee too! 

And here are the seam embroidery photos:



If you click on the photos, you can see them closeup!

These will be permanently available to view in my ongoing series page of Crazy Quilt Seam Treatment Inspiration photos found at the top of this page.

It seams that the vote for my tall cat dolls is unanimous!  Everyone seems to like the tall ones.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to let me know.  I will plan on a series of tall cats for 2012.

For now, I'm off to start on a new project.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Crazy Quilt Valentine Pillow Almost Done

I didn't have too much in the way of stitching time yesterday so this is almost done but not quite:

This just needs a few little hearts and some bugs.  I love bugs on crazy quilts! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Flea Market Beads

I mentioned yesterday that Scott and I were going to Grayslake Flea Market and Antique show.  I really enjoy that one because it's all indoors!  Many of my favorite sellers weren't there which surprises me.  We've been going to this flea market for years and years and December has always been a "productive" treasure hunting month.

Anyway, onto my treasure.  Now I usually don't find cool beads at the flea markets.  Vintage hankies, vintage lace, vintage jewelry pieces, old cook books yes, but not beads.  I think I hit the mother load yesterday!  LOL!!!

These are all all vintage glass rice beads from Japan.  They were still on the original strings and had the old paper "made in Japan" tags on them.  Check out all the colors!  And they were not all from the same vendor!


These are all vintage glass seed beads and vintage glass pearls.  Again, still on the strings with the "made in Japan" paper tags on them:

Those aqua blue ones on the right are absolutely gorgeous!

There was a new vendor there who had some strings of crystals so of course, I had to have a few of those too:

I usually find tons of pretty vintage handkerchiefs at Grayslake Flea Market but yesterday, not too many.  I only found this pretty one with pansies on it:

In other news, thank you to everyone who left me comments regarding my cat dolls.  I will definitely plan on a series of the taller cats for 2012.  I personally like the little ones but the taller cats definitely give me more room for stitching!  LOL!!!

After our trip to the flea market, we stopped at Kohls.  I needed a new pair of shoes.  After that Bubba wanted a Christmas tree so we stopped for one of those.  I could have lived without it but we haven't had a tree in 3 years so I conceded.  We decorated it last night so I'll take a photo of that later today.  It is pretty and does smell good so I guess I can live with it in my living room for 3 weeks.

Finally for today, here's an update on my Pink Valentine Pillow:

I can stitch on this for about an hour before I get ready to go into town.  I think I'll use a few of my new vintage beads on it!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pink Valentine Pillow

Well it doesn't look like I've done much stitching on this but it does take time to sew all those beads and sequins on!
When I finish adding beads to the last seam, I'll start adding some larger embellishments.  This definitely needs flowers!

We're going to the Flea Market and Antique Show in Grayslake Illinois today.  Maybe I'll have some goodies to share later!

Back to my cat dolls, Sandie told me that she likes the taller cat doll:

I'm open minded so I'm thinking of doing a series of these in 2012.  What do ya'll think?  Does anyone else like this taller version of my Crazy Quilt cat dolls?  Let me know please!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Crazy Quilt Cat Dolls List Complete

This is the original, the very first, Crazy Quilt Cat Doll that I designed for Pat Winter's Comfort Doll Project:

As you can see, he's a little goofy looking.  Too tall.  So I shortened my pattern to the size that I use today.

I've completed my list of all the cat dolls that I've made over the years and I've dated them so if you have one of my cats, you can now find out when he was made.  Also, if you have one of my cat dolls and you don't see him on the list, please email a photo to me and I will gladly date him and add him to the list.

Starting in 2012, I will be dating and numbering my cat dolls and of course, I will continue to add them to the list.  The newest cats will always be at the top of the page.  Enjoy my Collectible Crazy Quilt Cat Dolls page.
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