Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sweet Spring Blossoms - Inside

I forgot about this poor daisy while gone up north and it looked like it had melted into a puddle upon my return. I did give it some mouth to mouth - me saying "aaawwwwwwwwwwwhhhhhh!" And water helped some.
It has since recovered 80%. Still hoping. Doesn't it just give us hope?

And then there is this towel that had to come home to the Retreat.

Isn't that just too funny? That is what I think when I go to a thrift store. Drop a bag off, pick a bag up...........I guess I am just exchanging it for some different junk.
I do have to show you what I got on my last stop though.
Someone must have dropped off a whole collection of silver. I can pass on the pitchers and tableware but thought this was a bit unusual. The lighter is very heavy and thought someday it might be worth something. It didn't match the other for sale items so I didn't feel bad just getting one piece. Never seen a silver lighter before. I do have a silver baby cup collection along with a couple slender bud vases. I like the old tarnished looking stuff.
I hope you get outside today. Some of the retreaters are walking down Prouty Road where the grass is peeking out. I should go check the pussy willows. They should be out too. I heard lots of geese going over head the last couple days. Stacy and Brady, they are coming your way! off to see the maple syrup fire......patsy

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Waste not , want not - NOT

Ok, I confess! After my guests leave, sometimes while cleaning up, I will go through the 'leav'ins' in the wastebaskets!

Well, this is what I made from one wastebasket - thanks Lisa!
It is about 26" x 18". It had 3 squares already sewn together so it was easy. The outer border was the cut offs from too small of 3 squares. I still have more so I might just add a few more rows.
The Christmas quilt I cut up all the Christmas fabric that I could find in my stash and cut it into 1 and 1/2" strips x 7" (later squared up to 6"). Some of my long strips got a bit stretchy so I would recommend a foundation to sew to if anyone does this. Either that or count how many bars you have for each vertical strip and then cut it off there. Then add the sashing.
Next I am going to dye it either green or red. Someone at the retreat did this and it was so strikingly beautiful. So, there is the before picture! Wish me luck!
Better hit the hay - tomorrow is friday and I need to prep some meals ahead of time so I don't get so exhausted.
later, Patsy

March Retreaters Projects

The next few quilt projects were from the group the St. Patty's day weekend.

This wool Santa project is something that I just fell in love with.
It combines embroidery with wool! Both dear to my creative soul.

These 3 small projects were right up my alley as well. Might have to make me a few of these. Smaller projects are back on my plate again. Perhaps it's because my plate is so full, that is all the room I have?

The bedroom is the room my sister and I redid for our Mother awhile back. I wanted to show you the handquilted quilt. I bought it at an Amish auction which I believe is coming up the first weekend in June. Contact me for details if you want to come. They sell over 400 quilts that day! Some go for under $100 and the most I seen spent was $450. They sell in a big tent and you bring your own chairs.
The quilting on this one was exquisite! Oh yeah, you get to look at the quilts before they hold them up to bid on. The auction sells Amish furniture and baskets of hanging plants too. All the local wares.
Patsy at the Homestead - enjoying the warm, melty weather today.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Back from the Northwoods

For five hours,

This was the view from my windshield on my way home today.

For the first 148 miles, it rained and snow flurried.
I was concerned that it would change to freezing rain but it didn't and eventually subsided.

I am having a glass of wine tonight. Maybe a whole bottle! After 6 days of 12 hour days of painting, I don't think I'll be painting anytime soon.

This is my son Brady's new home. I will show you a couple before/after to give you a better idea of why the 'Mom patrol' was called to help!

The 'Pink Room' was changed to a pale green. We created our own color palette by dumping partial cans of cream/white together and got a miss mixed army green at Walmart for 50% off. If only my house came with storage like this one did. Two bedrooms had a wall of cupboards like this. The shag carpet had to go.

We did the same mixing of paint for a brown/beige for his man room. Dumped it all into a large waste basket to mix. At least the blue surfer wallboard is now brown! This house is held together with duct tape and paint.
He is in heaven on his 10 acres of God's country. I want to show you a bit of downtown Ashland. It is on Lake Superior's bay and really laid back.
Logging is still part of Ashland.

Not touristy like it's neighboring town Bayfield.

This is one of the 20-some murals in Ashland. Very cool and all historic to the area. This one I just discovered while stopping for breakfast at the Best Western Cafe.

This is the inside of his greenhouse. I wanted to haul this building right home with me, but alas Brady is an organic gardener and can't wait to start his seeds next month! I'm so jealous!
Well, I hope I didn't bore anyone. Loved my trip away but loved coming home too. Tomorrow is grocery shopping and we all know how I love that! NOT! Patsy home in no where!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Busy Weekend

Check this out

This weekend is flying by.

This is just some of the beautiful 'eye candy' that graced the Retreat this weekend. Just take a look at the teeny tiny log cabin. I wanted to slip it in my pocket, but I wanted her to finish it first. He, he, he. It will be 9 blocks when completed.

The 'virgin retreaters' initiation was fun! This week they(those here before) had a plan. And executed it perfectly I am told. There was one car load of gals racing to get here on friday night. They arrived about 8:30pm after working a full day. They unloaded their car and got set up. They were just going to start sewing. Then, unbenounced to them, Denise rings the bell, announced to everyone, "bed time", and procedes to shut the lights out. This is at 9:00pm! Everyone else (in on the prank) shut their machines off and went to get their pajamas on. I am not sure who let them in on it finally, but they were 'kept in the dark' for about 5 minutes. They were thinking to themselves, "my machine has a light on it and they were going to stay up and sew!". Later, I found out that they didn't know Denise and thought she was me, Patsy, the owner.

This was just too funny! I think it was A First here at the retreat. But then I don't hear of all the evening pranks that go on.

Lots of work did get done too. And a major shopping trip into Spring Green's Country Sampler. It was nice of them to help out Spring Green's economy. 16 women went!

My cranberry scones are made for breakfast, so I better get to bed. And it really is 9pm. Saturdays wipe me out - in the kitchen since early morning. And then I forgot the buns for lunch today so went to town at 6:30am and back in the kitchen by 8:30am ! Nighty night, patsy

Friday, March 14, 2008

Newsflash: It's Mud Season at the Homestead!

Mud season is O.K. though. I know this is just a transition to something better! The chicken girls are enjoying this mud and running water. I don't have to fill their water dish so much. (We use an electric dog watering bowl and run a very long extension cord to their chicken house in the winter) No water? No light? No eggs. Simple as that.

Juice was catching the rays of sun in the morning, but the sun has moved on. He will figure it out and relocate to another side of the house. I am affraid this isn't a very flattering photo of him. He really isn't that fat anymore. He's just kinda twisted funny with his very large ribcage.
I bought this 'Pretty' at a Wild Bird store in Baraboo Wisconsin. Along with a very nice CD with bird sounds, thunder storms, crickets, etc.
The hanging ball on this garden stake glows in the dark.
Today I worked on organizing my tax information and I also loaded up my car with things to take 'up north' to my son Brady's new place. I am leaving on tuesday. It is my painting vacation. But I'm very excited to have a week off! The rest of this weekend's group is due to arrive very soon. They are from the Gurnee IL and Libertyville IL area. All are one big group this time. Soon I will be enjoying the sounds of laughter and the hum of the sewing machine motors. I will get pics of some of their work. Later, patsy

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's Maple Sap time!

This is how modern day maple sap gathering is done. Plastic containers and rubber hoses. The time to tap the maple trees is when the nights freeze and the days are above freezing. I think it takes 40 gallons of this sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.

Now you know how precious the stuff is. I will later show you how our family cooks it down into the syrup over a wood fire round the clock.

Yes Virginia, there is a Spring! And I think its coming! patsy

Monday, March 10, 2008

Icicles hanging on

I had to run to Richland Center today to get this years cookbooks printed. I really went to get these photos. I saw a bald eagle up close and personal too but didn't get my camera out of the case fast enough. These are the icicles that are hanging around all winter. The photos don't show it much but depending on the minerals, some are a aqua blue color, some plain, some tan/brown. Very cool. heh.

This week we are almost balmy!
It is to be in the 40 degree range for a few. I am totally liking this! Only one more weekend and I get a break! As if painting and fixing on a house is a break, but I look forward to it. I havn't seen son, Brady's new house yet. Only a five hour drive and I'll be rolling up my sleeves. Marty said he heard a robin this morning. He never did 'see' it so he wasn't for sure. Keep watching for those signs of Spring!! Patsy

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Rug Hooking Ready

Isn't she a beauty? I got this from in Burnsville Minnesota. It is awsome and awaiting Lisa's rug hooking class on May 30th weekend. We still have two spots available by the way. Contact me, if interested in joining in the fun. In a couple weeks, I will have more information for supplies needed list. Rumor has it , Lisa is working on a "Homestead Cabin" kit for us if folks want.

Jack Frost photo is I am hopeful and affraid that it will be the last of the last for this winter. On friday when I was driving home from my thrift shop cruise, I finally felt that winter had broken it's back. That it finally felt like the end was near. I had been bummed and depressed for quite awhile not sure it this white would ever end! I want to show you the outcropping of rocks with colored icesickles that I drive by in Richland County. I will take my digital camera next trip and catch them before they melt. Better be monday since we are having a meltdown this week. Taaa taaa, patsy

Friday, March 7, 2008

Thrift shops finds for the day

Oh how I love to go antiquing. The thrill of the hunt just gets my soul racing! Here is what I found today . The iron's cord is like knew - havn't plugged it in yet. The metal knitting needles I figured could be used to hang a little wall hanging quilt.

And the thermos just jumped in the cart with me. It will either show up for a picnic display for August or maybe the September back-to-school display.

I don't know what it is about little kids chairs but I am a sucker for them. Just can't seem to pass them up. These two will find my way outside in the flower garden since they are metal. And only $1 each!

This is what Juice does most of his day. When I die, I'd enjoy coming back as a dog lover's dog like myself. The other photo was the night we had a thunder storm. Polly was scared and hides in the bathroom. She usually scoots under a piesafe in the bathroom, but I was late with the camera for that.
all for now, patsy

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Office Clutter gone *snap* just like that...

Boy, it's true. If you declutter your living space, you really do declutter your soul. While Marty was gone up north, I rearranged my office area and added some badly needed tabletop space. Upon his return, I had some hefty he-man jobs waiting for him. He screwed the upper cupboard to the wall (It use to sit on the back of my desk) so that can be used

more efficiently for display mostly. But hey, not willing to part with that. It was the top part of a hoosier cupboard. I bought it at an auction, refinished the salvagable parts and wah-lah. The roll top part was long gone before we met. In the closeup, you will see my hero - Hermee from the Christmas show, "Rudolph". You see, Hermee wanted to be a dentist and persued his dreams, in spite of all his oppositions. I always thought his name was Herbie, but after seeing the story in print, ok now it's Hermee who is my hero. Or at least what he stands for.

I had been experiencing right shoulder problems and relieved the symptoms by lowering my labtop. It is on an old typeing table with drop down sides. These are nice for sewing side tables too. Note the new carousel from the Pottery Barn (on sale now). This would be a fantastic sewing notions thing. They even sell a 3 tiered one.

I removed very delapodated boards from the top of this table and had this enamel top out in the snowbank unsure of its new use. Well, it fit perfectly and now I have extended the work surface in my office by lots. With all the mailings I do, it will be a pleasure and not the chore it was.

Yes, the floor is still concrete but after waiting 6 years, I now know that I want cork! So that is a someday project. Not high on the priority list.

Well, this weekend I am spending it with the colored pencil artists from Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana. Or rather, they are spending it with me.

In the historical aspect of blogs, I must mention congrats to Brett Favre and his wife for getting through that tough interview/announcement this morning for his retirement. He seems like such a normal person and shared his personal life with the public right along with the professional life. Never holding an aire of "rich and famous" ness out there. Guess thats why we all love him. We will miss him, but life goes on.

Take care, patsy

Sunday, March 2, 2008

How high's the water, Mama?

As I was closing down the retreat for the week after guests left, I was exiting the old cabin door. There to my right, was a drip, drip, drip. The water was coming through the roof and running down the side of the logs and chinking. It was above the window, ran behind the window frame and splashing onto the window sill. Looked like it was raining - only on the inside. It was running right behind one of the mounted deer heads so I called my BIL Kevin to "help". Since I knew if I mentioned that one of their deer mounts was in jeapardy, it might get them to shovel the roof while they were here. Well, he put a block of wood under the deer head so the water would rush on by. And since he didn't offer to shovel the roof, I let it go at that. I might try later , or maybe not. Just wait till if freezes again tonight. Oh, I hate it when stuff goes wrong and Marty is not around to fix it. He went up north to discover Brady's new digs. Son, Brady bought a 10 acre place and Big Daddy went to fix stuff. Guess, I'll just save this leak thing for when he gets home. Don't want him to think we can get by without him. I remember an Andy Griffin show where Opey and Andy were left home alone while Aunt Bee went somewhere. Well she was devistated upon returning to a clean house. So Andy quietly told Opey to go mess up his room before she looked in at it. Guess we all just want to feel wanted. Off to inspect the drips, dump the bucket and sop up more water. Love the warmness, no coat at 40 degrees! Patsy