Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crochet Edge with Skip Stitch Rotary Blade

This is the Skip Stitch Rotary Blade, a handy tool you might not know about.  Mine was given to me by my dear pal Carmella.  We use it in our service projects, making fleece blankets with a crochet edge for the hospitals.  You use the blade in a regular rotary blade holder, but instead of cutting a line, it cuts evenly spaced holes, perfect for a crochet edge.  It can be used on any fleece, felt or woven fabric, and in this post I used it to edge a flour sack dish towel.

The holes are just large enough for a small crochet hook.  I tie off one end and slip stitch across the bottom of the towel. I use a small hook for the slip stitch, then use my favorite hook ( a well worn G hook) for the rest of the crocheting.

The yarn is from the Hob Lob, I Love This Cotton, Spark. 

Using the slip stitch as a foundation, I half double crochet across, and the next row I start the shell stitch.

You can see my favorite hook, it was my Mom's and a treasure to me.  A special request was made for owls on these dishcloths.

It's a great tool and if you can crochet, you can put a bit of trim on anything.

 The finished product.  Thought you might like to know...
 Have a great day.

The Birds and the Bees

I've been playing with two options for a springtime table, the Birds and the Bees.  I bought the bird plates at Pier One, then found the hobnail plates at the dollar store.  (Similar one's were in the spring PB Catalog $$) The table runner is a rug from Ikea, $2.00.  The accessories from my stash.  I love the perching birds, they were from Hallmark a few years back.  The napkins are dishcloths from a discount store.  I was pleased with how it all looks together.  Then, I went to the blog event and got Bee plates and some napkins from the lovely Monika, from Chasing Butterflies.

A whole new look.

What's your favorite?  Free for lunch?  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meet Barb!

The dream of every blogger, (at least my dream...) is to meet people who love the things that you do. Someone that inspires you and sparks your creativity. I found all that and more in my friend Barb, (in black) from Babs Just a Babblin' We met in person for the first time on Saturday. Barb, was coming to town with her sister and nephew. We took a leap of faith, (some people warned us about meeting people we met on the internet ;-) and got together for a chat, a little breakfast and a crochet lesson. (Barb asked me about a crochet pattern I posted on my blog, that's how we started to comment and email each other.) Barb is, as I knew she would be, sweet, kind, generous, quick to laugh and an all around creative girl. She also has the need to create, and we found that we have so many things in common.

Barb came bearing gifts, all in the polka dotted bag. She made me this pretty mat  for next to the sink, a cute little wallet in a burlap bag...of course, she made them both. On the bag tie was a brass locker number and a tiny old key. This lady speaks my language!

She does the nicest work, don't you think?

We talked for a couple of hours and might still be there if time permitted. The good news is, though Barb lives in another state, she has ties to the Chicago area...and with a new great-niece on the way, I hope to see her again very soon. Thanks Barb for all the beautiful gifts, but especially the gift of your friendship. Visit Barb's blog for great recipes, beautiful crafts and a smile every time she posts.

Enjoy this beautiful day! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

When Picasa Gives You Lemons...

These are the photos from the last post, of Mariano's Fresh Market and of my rummage sale finds.  The problem with Picasa is still a problem, but I got tired of playing around and taugh myself how to post again without picasa, like I did when first blogging.  Sorry for the sloppy posts and missing photos.  I appreciate your patience.

Weekend Fun, Using your Imagination...

I've tried to post this so many times this weekend...Picasa and Blogger won't play nice.  Please use your the owl post.  ;-)  Please let me know if you are also having a problem. 
We had a great weekend, finally stopping at Mariano's Fresh Market in Arlington Heights at 802 East Northwest Highway. There's one in Vernon Hills  and soon to be one in Palatine. Their motto is, Shop Well, Eat Well, Live Well. I was able to take ONE photo before I was approached by a employee that gently told me there was no photography allowed in the store. He mumbled something about the competition...Well, I don't understand, really, because there is NO competition for what I saw. THIS STORE IS AMAZING! It's like one of those bustling markets you see on TV, in Seattle or Los Angeles. (Without the flying fish)  There was the biggest produce section, everything from hydroponically grown Boston lettuce, still growing it's in own little water pot, to a huge selection of organically grown fruits and vegetables.
If you are in the area, you've gotta go and see it. The bakery alone is worth the trip. My DH was in his glory with all the free samples. I wouldn't go back on a Saturday as it was so busy and crowded. Did I mention the piano player? I want to go back just for the live music. I thought that their prices were reasonable, and they had many items on sale. Did I mention friendly, with a funny guy in the deli. Cheese, wine, an olive bar...this is where photos could have told the story! If you get the chance, check it out.
We went to one of the first rummage sales of the Spring. I spent $5! There are a couple of items DH bought that aren't shown, I know...I did great. The french manufactured canister set was $1.50. I'd hoped that the letters would come off, but sadly they are permanent. For the price, I can play with them, and cover up the words with something pretty. The 2 ceramic planters are so cute and something I need right now for displaying spring plants. One has a crackle glaze and the larger is from Crate and Barrel. I rescued the small knitted afghan. It was covered in stains, but with a little oxy-cleaner and a good wash, the little bird has a pretty blankie for her babies. The tablecloth with the yellow print is beautiful...that may cover my table or my shoulders. Its big and know where I'm going with this one... Nada Farm perhaps...

Then there's the English textbook. Me write pretty someday... Tomorrow, I'll post about meeting the lovely Barb from Babs Just a Babblin'. Have a great day dear friends.
 Looks like Spring here...feels like Winter!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

In Like a Lion...

It's one of those March days in Chicagoland when your hopes for Spring seem to have been dashed. My dear SIL Elizabeth brought me some spring..and those cool carnations that look like moss. She says that they last forever. We first saw them at the Flower Show a few weeks back.
Gerber cheerful.
This is a little idea I am stealing from my dear friend Barb from Babs Just a Babblin. She hosted a birthday party for her Mom, and used her Mom's cast iron lamb mold as a decoration. One of those moments when you think, why didn't I think of that! Mine are aluminum, and they are at least as old as I am. (56!) I have no success at getting a decent lamb cake from these pans. They have no face, or no ears, no backside...when they come out of the oven. I gave up a few years ago, but this year I'm gonna try again...not on Good Friday, or Holy Saturday when the pressure is on. Maybe next Tuesday...I'll read the detailed directions my friend Jean sent me, and have a go of it. (Monika, the ribbon from your gift was perfect for my lamb, thanks.)
Speaking of dear Barb...We are going to meet for the first time this Saturday! Barb lives in Michigan and we've become friends through our blogs and emails. She is an excellent cook, baker, and she sews and knits, loves vintage and is of Polish heritage. I am so excited to meet her and see her smile and hear her great laugh in person. I don't know if she really has a great laugh, but I bet she does!  Sometimes you just know these things.

In like a lion...still waiting for the out like a lamb;-) Enjoy this beautiful day.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Give a Hoot-Read a Book

Strange title for a post, you might think. My family is rolling with laughter, since this is a family joke, and I was TRYING (think PeeWee Herman when he's "TRYING TO USE THE PHONE!!!"...) to post some photos of an owl all morning. Son Jon works in downtown Chicago, and recently sent me 2 photos of a man holding a great horned owl that was knocked off the building during some regular maintenance. The owl was fine, just stunned to suddenly find himself on the sidewalk, and then wrapped in the hoodie of the maintenance man. Jon sent me the photos, but I wasn't able to post them. Picasa is a moody thing, or maybe I am just inept. (The owl was beautiful, with the largest soulful eyes. I'll try to post it later when techincal support gets in ;-)

Plan B. Post about what I am reading now... Magazines, I can never get enough, and catalogs. Pottery Barn could make a bundle if they sold their catalogs. Country Living, gotta have it. I still miss Country Home , Home Companion and Vintage Victoria. The new Celebrate, so colorful, and a free trial, though I think I will subscribe. I thumb through the Somerset magazines at the book store. Studio, Home, Sew, $$$$$ I just can't unless there is something or someone featured that I have to have.
Just got this great book this weekend. Romantic Prairie Style, by Fifi O'Neill. Featured in this book, local girls and bloggers... Joy from Savvy City Farmer, her daughter Angela from Parisienne Farm Girl, dear Anne Marie of Na Da Farm and Tracey from French Larkspur. It's beautifully photographed, great narrative...inspiring. It's loaded with ideas and has traditional, romantic and vintage prairie styles.
I am drawn to birds. Have them all around the house and 2 beautiful parakeets I have never mentioned in my blog. Blue and Dill are cheerful companions, hard to photograph and extremely messy. I've sewn birds before, but the birds in this book will be a challenge.
I'm rereading this book. I could not, I repeat, could not, live on a farm. And I think cleaning up after parakeets is gross. It's a perfect day for a good book and laundry...plenty of laundry. Enjoy this beautiful day.

To all my new friends and followers from the blogging event, thanks so much for your kind words in the comments and emails. I so appreciate your support.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Illinois Blogger Event

On Saturday, I met with a wonderful group of women who blog and live in Illinois and Indiana. Heidi, of Dreams Intertwined was our gracious hostess, along with Jennifer Rizzo, who started it all last year. We started with introductions as everyone said a little something about themselves and their blogs. Some of us were already friends, and it was great to see each other again. There were many new faces. and a round table discussion about the ups and downs of blogging. We had a swap, and I received the cutest bee plates and napkins from Monica, and she was the recipient of my pillowcases. Many of the bloggers brought something for the treat bags, beautifully hand painted by Jennifer. My gift for the girls was a needle keeper, I saw in Somerset Home. There were treats, a handmade wallet, made by Suzanne of At Home With The Farmers Wife, paper ephemera from Heidi, a beautiful necklace from Jeannie, from The Gilded Junqueyard. Heidi's home was the perfect setting, her creative style and unique approach to decorating with vintage items was a treat in itself.

My needle keepers...
There's Suzanne, glad I got a photo of you. The treats and snacks were endless, and one of the only things I photographed! What was I thinking? I'm sure Jennifer took some great photos.
I did get a shot of this awesome chandelier.

We all remembered Annie, our dear friend we lost last year to cancer.Thank you Joy, for helping to heal our hearts, and remembering with us. In this group of women we experience life... our daily lives, our creative endeavors, our challenges and triumphs, our families and friends and share them in our blogs. Having a connection with these creative and wonderful women means so much to me. Blogs really do celebrate life, and record the moments that make life so precious. Thanks again to Heidi and Jennifer for all their hard work organizing this great event, and to all the Illinois Bloggers, thank you for your support and friendship.

Posted by Picasa