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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Memento Crazy Quilt Block 2

Today, I have Block #2 of my Crazy Memento Quilt:

A few years before my friend Lula passed away, she painted this little Victorian lady for me.  It's on fabric and if you click on the photo to enlarge it, you might be able to see her signature on the bottom right-hand corner of the dress.

Lula had a very unique style, so whimsical and colorful!  If you would like to see more of Lulu's work, her husband has kept her website up.  Click here to go to Wooly Dreams Designs.

In the bottom left-hand corner, there is a blue rose brooch.  I purchased a set of 2 of them from an Etsy shop a few years ago.  I used one of them on a gift for Lula for her birthday one year:

You can find the other one on the bottom right-hand corner of this piece.

I thought it was fitting to use the second brooch along with the painting that Lula made for me.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Crazy Memento Quilt

About a year ago, I started on a new crazy quilt project.  I did a few blocks and then put it down to do some other things.  I've been working on it again so I thought for today, I would tell you about it.

I have been saving things almost my entire life.  Just little things that my grandmothers gave me, things from my childhood, things from my mom, my cousin and friends.  It seems a shame to leave them just sitting in a box so I'm using them, on this quilt.

The purpose is to save my little things and my memories.  It'll be a reminder of the things I love.

I think part of the inspiration came from the fact that I've had a lot of losses lately.  My very dear and beloved aunt and godmother (my mom's sister) passed away about a year ago. 



In November of 2014, my long time close friend, Lula Chang (artist and needlepoint designer) passed away.

Over the years, Lula had sent me all sorts of wonderful little embellishments to use on my crazy quilts.

So anyway, before I start crying, I'm going to save all these little things that I collected and that were given to me over the years on a new crazy quilt.

The blocks will be 6 inches square.  I have no idea how many blocks there will be and I don't care.   I have a wall open here in my little pink room so I have plenty of space.

As I do each block, I will share with you the specifics, the mementos and the memories.  I have also set up a special page with a link in my side bar so you have quick access to looking at the blocks.

So far, I have 12 done and I will share them with you as I have time.  Then as I do more, I will share the details on those.

So here goes with Block number 1:



I'm a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs.  I love baseball.  Ever since I was little.  I remember my dad listening to the Cubs games on WGN radio in the Summer.  My paternal grandfather always had the Cubs game on, my maternal grandmother and great aunts always had the Cubs game on and even though I was little and didn't really "get it", the sound of the game was a comfort to me.  It was just always there.

When I was about 6 years old, we lived on the northwest side of Chicago (Harlem and Irving) and I remember mom taking me downtown on the Addison bus one day.  When the bus stopped at the stop light at Addison and Clark (1060 W. Addison), my mom told me what that building was.  She said it's Wrigley Field and the Cubs play baseball there.

At that point, I didn't really know what baseball was or the Cubs but mom made it sound like Disneyland!  To this day, I can still remember being in awe!  Mom just made it sound like the coolest place on earth.  Little did I know!!!

So this block represents my love of baseball.  The little bat & ball buttons came from Lula.  There's a little baseball bat charm in the bottom right-hand corner.  Mom bought me that.

Historic Wrigley Field is known for the ivy on the outfield wall so I tried to give this block an "ivy" theme.  The little green leaf at the top right is a pin from Avon, I think from the late 70's.  My mom sold Avon for many years.  It was in my jewelry box and I thought it was perfect to again, keep the theme of ivy.  I added some pink to the block because I had to give it a little bit of "girly-ness".  LOL!!!

Finally, the buttons are vintage Mother Of Pearls.  They represent the baseballs!

I'll share Block #2 when I have some free time.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Thank You Note From Mom

Mom asked me to post a message to everyone who sent their best wishes to her.  She's very grateful for your kindness and prayers.



A trainer from Leader Dogs For The Blind came out today and is working with mom and Cassie.  Hopefully they will both get their confidence back.

Leader Dogs For The Blind is a wonderful organization.  Please visit their website to learn more about how they help the blind and visually impaired.

The photo above is of Honey B.  She is mom's first seeing eye dog.  She's retired now but she too came from Leader Dogs.  And yes, she is still with mom!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dog Bites - Pitbull Attack

Many of you know that my mom is legally blind and has a seeing eye dog from Leader Dog For The Blind

On March 29th, mom was in her neighborhood walking with her guide dog when a Pitbull made it's way out of his collar, ran away from his owners and attacked my mom's dog.

Mom couldn't get the Pitbull off of her dog.  The owners finally got the Pitfull off.  Mom was so shaken up, she couldn't walk home.  A neighbor who heard the commotion took mom into her home and called my dad to come and get mom.

Once mom got home, the first thing she did was call me.  She was so shaken up she could hardly talk.  I turned my computer off, got in my car and picked mom and her dog up and took them to the vet.  Thank goodness I did. 

While sitting in the vets office, I noticed that mom's hand had bruises on it.  She didn't even notice.

Mom's dog is a beautiful Golden Retriever with long hair.  When our vet shaved Cassie's neck, she found puncture wounds and bruises.  She was put immediately put on antibiotics.

It didn't occur to me but my cousin Kim suggested that mom get a tetanus shot because of the bruises on her hand, which she did.  Thank you Kim!

The police were of course called, Animal Control has been involved and our local newspaper, The Northwest Herald reported the story. 

Click the link below:

Legally blind McHenry woman, guide dog recovering after pit bull bite Published: Friday, April 8, 2016 11:40 p.m. CDT
By KATIE DAHLSTROM
 
Cassie's wounds have now healed but she's still showing signs of trauma.  She isn't guiding like she was and mom has contacted Leader Dog For The Blind to come and help.  Sometimes, after an attack like this, guide dogs don't want to work any longer.  They're afraid.
 
Seeing eye dogs are not trained to protect their owners.  They are trained to lead a blind person, to keep them safe from tripping and falling over things, from running into things, from walking into traffic, getting them safely up and down stairs and so on.  Not for protection.  They are taught not to bark and growl.  They are extremely obedient and very loving and loyal to their owners.  And they know their job.
 
Today, this article about the incident was found on the Pitbull Attacks And Dogfighting In Illinois Blog:
 
 Apr 08, 2016 McHenry Pit Bull Attacks Guide Dog
 
It seems they picked up the story too.
 
I think this blog is run by Dogsbite.org

Now, on a side note, I was attacked by a Pitbull last Summer in my neighborhood.  I went for a walk down by the lake and a Pitbull came running out at me, growling, hissing and barking.  He jumped on me, grabbed my shirt and wouldn't let go.  I kept yelling "no, stay, no stay!".  I grew up with dogs so I figured most dogs know the basic commands.  This one didn't.  He just kept charging at me.  Luckily I didn't get bit and despite all the screaming I was doing, no one in the neighborhood came out to help me. 

I knew better than to run so I stood there shouting "no, stay" and he finally turned around and went back to his house.  I slowly walked backwards until I got to the lake.  I sat down on a bench and called my neighbor.  I too was so shaken up, I couldn't walk home.  My neighbor came and picked me up.

When I first posted this story on my Facebook page (I shared the article from the Northwest Herald), I had a lot of people write to me in defense of Pitbulls.

Okay fine!  I know there are no bad dogs, only bad owners.  I really don't care what breed of dog it is that attacks but Pitbulls are known for this kind of behavior.  Irresponsible people should not own Pitbulls!!!  No dog should be able to pull out of it's collar.  No dog should be outside unless on a leash.  No dog should be left unattended.  

The point I'm making is that my mother is legally blind!  And her dog is her eyes!  And not only is her dog having problems working now but the Pitbull's owners are trying to get out of paying for my mother's expenses.  There is a court hearing tomorrow which my mother will be attending.
 
How many more innocent children, innocent dogs, handicapped people and even regular people have to be attacked by Pitbulls and other untrained dogs before this stuff stops?!!! 

If you're reading this and you own a Pitbull, don't bother bashing me for my opinion.  Do not defend them.  I happen to know a really great Pitbull named Otis.  I already know that they're not all attack dogs.  I already know that any dog can bite, any dog can attack.  The problem is with the owners not the dogs.  But unfortunately, Pitbulls have a reputation for this kind of behavior.  It has to stop!!!
 


 
 
 
 


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Redtail Hawk

I wish I had the time to take a few more photos of this Redtail Hawk.  He was sitting on the railing of my deck this morning.  I didn't have time to adjust the camera. 

He was looking right at me.  I was actually able to walk out on the deck to take the photo.  So sad though that it came out blurry.  This is the closet I've ever seen one.  Well, except for the one that almost flew right into my windshield a few years ago.

Anyway, just thought I'd share.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Blackwork Biscornu's

I've had so many requests for some of my retired cross stitch designs.  So I've decided to release them over on Magcloud.  I've started with the Blackwork Biscornu's because that was the most recent request:

As I have time, I will work up booklets with my other designs and list them at Magcloud as well.

In the meantime, this booklet includes Biscornu finishing directions written by Cathy Drolet.  It also includes my Tudor Rose Garden pattern.


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