Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Grandma's oil painting...

My grandmother Edna (my father's mother) painted this oil painting for my father in February 1981 and titled it Valley Fog. When I moved back to Minnesota (from California) in 1997 my father gave me this painting as a house warming gift. It is special for many reasons, especially given that my grandmother passed away in 1982. I am very fortunate to have this painting. I knew my grandmother was talented, as I had experienced her fabulous cooking and baking over the years, and watched her use a woodburning pen to draw a beautiful holiday card on birch bark -- which she actually mailed to me. In all my visits I don't ever remember seeing her painting with oils. Not sure where she found the time, she had 12 children and 36 grandchildren and who knows how many great-grandchildren. She was such a joy to be around.
I have 2 oil paintings in my house and grandma Edna's is one of them. It hangs with several of my watercolors. Technically it doesn't fit my color scheme (white and blue with pops of red)...but yet it fits my home, because I love it and that is what counts. Somewhere along the line I got over worrying about matching colors...which is good because there isn't any way I am going to get rid of the turquoise table below. It stands out because of the turquoise color. I have thought about painting it but I love the turquoise and wish I had more of it, and after all turquoise is a shade of blue. The detailing on this table is spectacular.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Almost didn't buy this...

Six years ago my friend Kirsten and I went to France. I have had the good fortune to visit many European countries, but hadn’t been any further into France than Strasbourg (northwest bordering Germany) until this trip. In the past my travel in Europe was primarily by train. On this trip we rented a car and drove everywhere...the roads in France are phenomenal and the countryside as scenic as it appears in pics. I did struggle with the food and the language. If you ever drive in Europe please know that the passing lane is exactly that…a passing lane…you only use it to pass…not like the US where it has become a driving lane. In Europe if you are in the passing lane any longer than it takes to get a few inches in front of the car you want to pass, you had better get over, as you will hear about it from the car behind you.

I can't remember what city we were in when I saw this 'tablecloth'. I actually waffled on buying it due to the price…which of course I can’t remember how much it cost. What was I thinking? This is perfect for my home...the blue is delicious looking and its delicate look adds softness to my dining room. Every time I look at it I think of Kirsten and France. Oh how I would have regretted it if I had come home without it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Year (Month) in Review...

I am foregoing my 'Monday Things that Make Me SMILE' post as Cindy from My Romantic Home is hosting A Year in Review today. I have only been blogging for a little over a month, so my post today is A Year Month in Review. I decided to participate as it was a good opportunity to learn how make a picture mosiac.

For months before I started blogging I was spending hours reading blogs...drooling over the creativity of others. In November I decided to take the plunge and begin blogging as a way to learn new things, force myself to complete projects and to tap my creativity. I am not sure I am any more creative, but I have finished several projects and thanks to blog templates I have only had to dusted off a few of my html skills. Unfortunately my photography skills aren't improving. Haven't missed a daily post since I started on November 18th.

Thanks to those that stop by and to those that leave comments!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Weigh in...

Bought this Hanson scale at an estate sale with the thought of selling it. Well, it hasn't made it to the sale pile yet, and I am not sure it will. I believe it is from the late 1930s. I actually used it recently to weigh an item for a recipe. It has been sitting on my kitchen counter and that was kinda driving me crazy as it was eating up counter space. Today I decided to put my fruit bowl on it and place it on my bakers rack. The white fruit bowl on the scale was a $3 TJ Maxx find years the design.
Bought the bakers rack 11 years ago at a local antique store. It was quite expensive, but I love it. When I moved into my 1906 house six years ago it had a tiny, tiny kitchen so I added 10 x 24 feet to my house to make a decent size kitchen and a wonderful screen porch. By luck the bakers rack fit perfectly in the corner in the new kitchen. Plan to have this piece forever. Thinking about removing the wine racks as I don't use the racks to store wine (there are a few bottles in it for looks). If the wine racks were removed it would open up three shelves, which I think would be a good place to house my sugar/flour containers and mixer. On the left side of the rack is a candy jar with Lollie's food, a colorful cookie tin for cookies and a jar with oxiclean soap, as the washer and dryer are next to the rack in a pantry type closet. On the bottom right is an ice-cream jar that stores Lollie's treats.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

So long old friend...

After 22 years together my mirrored, mahogany armoire is gone. Bought this beauty from an antique store in Walnut Creek, CA. It has been in my bedroom in 10 of my homes...but it couldn't make the narrow stairs in my 1906 it was time to part ways. The people who purchased it got the deal of a lifetime.

Unfortunately the pics below were taken when I put it in the garage so I could use them for selling it...after the photos were taken the mirrored door was stored in the basement. I have a picture of it in my bedroom but I've been too lazy to scan it in. The door, top and bottom come off and the drawers all come out...and even with all those items out it is still a big piece to move. Measurements when all together: height 92” (7' 8") x depth 24” x width 48".

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sew much organizing...

Have you ever started a project that you thought would only take a few minutes and it lead to another project that lead to another project and here you are 6 hours later? That was me today...started by organizing a toolbox to contain the items I use every time I sew, and a basket to house the projects I am working on. From just wanting to organize the toolbox and basket it went to organizing two other baskets, a cedar chest, the rack that holds my fabric and my quilting table (I will show you those on another day as I am in a rush). The initial reason for organizing the toolbox was because a few weeks ago when my friend Nancy came over to help me with a sewing project...I had thread, bobbins and sewing machine feet in three places...and it drove me crazy having to dig for what we needed.

The quilt in the basket (below) is for my brother's dog Eva and was made from scraps from a quilt I made for my brother's family. The top is done, but it needs to be quilted. The only quilts I have ever quilted are dog quilts, as I am only capable of making tops...the quilting is a challenge for me. The dog quilts are small and I can somewhat manuever in the machine, and I figure the dogs won't care if I make a mistake or two or more. Also in the basket are several other projects (not shown), a 'cutter' quilt...which is a quilt top (or full quilt) that isn't in good shape (worn/torn or missing sections) that my friend Anita sent me, since it is blue and white she thought I could use the good sections for pillows, quilt pieces (for the pattern you see in the toolbox) that I have cut but haven't sewn, and some quilted potholder pieces that I did about 10 years ago when I was just learning to quilt...pulled them out today and plan to finally finish them this winter.

Last year I made 10 1/4 quilts (4 for friends, 5 for my brother's family, 1 for me and 1 dog quilt which I count as the 1/4) here is the quilt I made that resulted in the scraps for the dog quilt.

Check out the beautiful quilting pattern my 'long arm' quilter Lynn did.

The pattern pops on the back of the quilt.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Our Adventure...

Today Lollie (black and white cock-a-poo) and her cousin Eva headed out for a reindog walk to the North Pole, oops not the north pole just the north end of the lake. It just feels like the North Pole due to the temperature here.
Wonderful, the trail has been plowed...that will make it alot easier to find our way. By the way, it might be better to work together...

Do we just sniff our way there?...
"I thought you knew how to get there."
"I think I found a short cut!"

Oh, maybe not...
I see it...
We're here...

Now we gotta find our way home...
It could be a long reindog walk home...

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gift wrapping and feng shui...

I don't do any holiday decorating because it is just me and that is a lot of work for just me. However, I do enjoy putting effort into decorating presents. I found four angels at a thrift store and thought they would serve several decoration on a present and after it is unwrapped they can be hung on a tree, and for feng shui purposes.

My friend Elsa (aka unofficial feng shui consultant) provided me with guidance as to how to feng shui my house to help me sell a lake lot I have on the market. Elsa has had success with the process so who am I to question whether it works or not. Here is Elsa's advice with regards to what would help me sell the lot.

Put a silver box (first problem...I didn't own a silver box...but found a tiny silver tin designed as a gift holder for gift cards) in the helpful section of your house which is the section of your living room to the right of your front door (second problem, due to the layout of my house I wasn't sure if the small area to the right of my front door, which I call the library counted as part of my living room, I made an executive decision and counted it) – inside the box, put a piece of paper that reads “the perfect buyer for the lot on Hill Lake.... It's also good to put your realtor’s card (third problem...I don't have card for my I just wrote her name on a piece of paper) in the box and the names of anyone you need help with in the near term (fourth problem...the box may be too small for the list I would put in there). Along with the silver box with names and desired outcomes you can add anything gray, symbols of helpful beings (angels), bells, water, hands, and/or symbols of a favorite place. The angel was the perfect item for my helpful section.

I haven't sold the land but the fact that I have dropped the price twice is going to be very 'helpful' for whoever purchases it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Things that make me SMILE :) #2...

Each Monday I select something in my home that makes me smile and share it. These two bathing beauties make me smile. I am clueless as to why I enjoy these beauties...but I do. Bought one from a local antique shop and got a good deal...the other one was purchased online from a cottage shop in the Seattle area. Unfortunately both shops are no longer in business.

Check out last week's post Things that make me SMILE :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Taste is Changing...

Do you ever think back to what your home looked like when you were in your 20s, 30s, 40s, etc.? Did you even have a specific style you liked or incorporated when you were in your 20s??? I actually think I had some form of style in my 20s, but it wasn't until I hit 30 that my true style came to light. Along the way it has continued to evolve especially in the color category.

The one thing that has remained a constant is my love for watercolors. I am not so great at photographing art so I hope you can get a good idea of the colors in the following paintings. The following 3 pictures were painted by a family friend over 50 years ago. They were in the home I grew up in and I always admired them. About 25 years ago they made their way to my home. I think what I love about these paintings is that the artist didn't color inside the lines.

The tulip watercolor below was in my bedroom until last May when I fell in love with another watercolor. I tried to sell the tulip but haven't had any luck, so now I am trying to find 'her' a new home in my home.

While I was on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia I visited the studio of one of my favorite artists, Anita Lindblom of Blue Dot Art Studio and bought the following the tulip picture was out. Anita is a very talented painter and potter. Her studio is in a building on the same land as her home over looking the water (Pacific Ocean). I love the colors in the watercolor Anita painted as they are also in one of the quilts that is on my bed.