Monday, June 19, 2017

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE OH SO SWEET!

As you can see, I have hoisted my flag to the top of my blog.  Canada's 150th birthday is less than 2 weeks away, so up she goes.  This is the flag that flies in my yard, picture taken last year after we replaced the old flag with this new one... you can still see the creases in it from being in the package.

I love having a flag flying in my yard for several reasons - one being that I am proud and so blessed to be a Canadian, but also the flag is the best weather indicator I have.  It is the first thing I look at when I open the blinds in the kitchen, and it tells me so much before I even stick my nose out of the house.

There are a lot of changes happening in my yard.  Some are beautiful and welcome... other's not so much.

Guess we will start with the not so much...

We have been in a drought situation here for all of May and most of June, until last week.  My vegetable garden has been doing nothing.  All I have growing are some sad looking beans, some onions, and some volunteer potatoes.  Nothing from the other seeds I planted have even sprouted - due to the heat and lack of water, no doubt.  Just before the rains finally came my vegetable garden started showing some small portulaca weeds.  Then it started to rain and the weeds grew and grew, until they completely covered the ground.




This is how dense a covering these weeds are across the whole garden.  It is impossible to see if anything I have planted is even coming up under this mess.

I am so upset - beyond upset actually - disgusted is more my frame of mind.  I will be very surprised if anything much grows in this garden this year.

So once it stops raining, you know what I will be doing... one by one picking this creeping weed out of a very large vegetable garden!

or I could get one of these...



Last fall Gary and I made a very crude bird feeder, too late in the fall to set out for the winter.  It sat in our cold room all winter and I last week I hauled it outside and set it up in my wildflower garden.  It has been an instant hit with my feathered friends.  Now when they come to visit, which is almost constant through the day, they have a place to stop and eat or just perch and enjoy the yard.


A new baby Robin from this years hatch loves to sit on top and chatter with me.  I believe this is the offspring of "Baby", the yearling Robin who follows me around the yard all day.  Both "Baby" and this new Baby are often together, and this new one is not at all afraid of me, just as it's parent is not.  So now we have "Baby" and "New Baby".  

I also have a pair of bright yellow Canaries, and a family of Catbirds who also come to my feeder.  Next nice evening, I am sitting on my park bench with my camera for as long as it takes to get some great photographs.

I might have obnoxious weeds, but I also have many many birds, and flowers that give me endless pleasure.

I picked you a bouquet of flowers last evening...

From Me - to You....

Enjoy!





Friday, June 16, 2017

BEING A FEMALE IN 1959!

Yesterday I ended my post with a promise to talk about the female form.  I think for as long as life on earth has been known, women have had issues with their bodies.  Perhaps we have made some progress with accepting our bodies for what they are, and how they look - but pretty much through the ages it has been all consuming for our gender.

Apparently in 1959 it was no less an issue for women.

Slim and trim has always been more popular than chubby and pudgy... and through the years that mindset has been fodder for billions if not trillions of dollars in products to ensure women looked like society said they should look.

Have you watched those old movies and seen how beautifully the Hollywood stars wore their amazing gowns and outfits... could be their breathtaking shapes were results of this practice from the 1940's and 50's

These take my breath away.... literally!

Corsets, foundations... I feel a headache coming on...



Don't stop there, lets add the bra and slip as well.  Just how many pairs of stockings were they wearing in this last image anyway - seems like there are quite a few garters hanging there!

If these contraptions were not enough you could always add some of these remedies...


and when all else failed, and you were left with no hope of ever getting into that slim fitting skirt...
you could Whittle the extra pounds off!


I hope you realize that I am not really making fun, but it is kind of a neat exercise to revisit another era sometimes.  

I just cannot imagine lacing my chubby body into one of those contraptions, dressing in my finery and going to an outdoor wedding in mid July on a hot sunny day!  Can you?


Speaking of weddings... the brides of this era were truly visions in their gorgeous hooped -skirt gowns.  If you ever watched one of these gowns progressing down an isle as a little girl, you would have been in rapturous awe like at no other time in your life!  The gown swayed and seemed to float all the way to the front of the church.  It appeared to carry the bride forward without the benefit of any movement by the bride herself.  It was regal, it was stunning, it was unforgettable.
I saw it myself as a very young girl when one of my older cousins was married, and I remember it still as a wondrous thing!

Imagine all that sway for 32.50!

 


I do remember all the Eaton's catalogues had a Bridal section in them... it was the first place a girl like me went to look.  In my childhood, brides were the ultimate.  Every little girl wanted to see a bride for real, and dreamt about someday being a bride herself.  It was what we were taught and believed a woman should be - a bride, and then a mother.

And so for Christmas, you would ask and then hope and pray you got one of these...


because playing bride and wedding with your dolls, was almost as good as being at a real wedding any day.

Being a doll collector, I have several of these... a little different than the one for sale above perhaps, but looking at her still makes me smile and remember the days when being a bride was all any little girl ever wanted to be.


Have a great weekend everyone...

See you next week!







Thursday, June 15, 2017

LIFE IN 1959, ACCORDING TO THE EATON'S CATALOGUE!

I am going to start this post off by showing you that the Tajmahal look is gone from my living room.  I was able to get some nice drapes that I can live with, that also block the west sun from this window.


Much better, don't you think?



I found another gem at the recycle store the same day I found the knitting machines.  Just as I was walking out the door, I looked down in a box and there lay this precious piece of Canadian history!
I couldn't leave it there, before I even opened it I knew I would be sharing some of it with you!



A 1959 Eaton's Spring and Summer Catalogue! 


I now see why people used to read the catalogue so studiously!  

I thought it would be fun to share a glimpse of 1959 over the next few days.  Some of these will bring a chuckle, and if you are my age or older, you most likely will remember things you had long forgotten.

So welcome to 1959!

It was a time of style.  Women wore dresses in and out of the house.  Slacks were not yet popular, and you would never have seem a pair of blue jeans on a woman, unless she was a cow girl.  Sweats?  Don't even got there....

Colours were bright, lots of flowers -  in clothing, draperies, rugs and even linoleum.


I know women who would wear these kinds of shoes today - but they would never get them at this price!


Check out this fabric, and the prices... no wonder so many women sewed back then!

 

Love this last bunch of fabric... flowers, stripes, patterns, solids ... just think of the quilts and mug rugs one could make with this fabric!


Hats were in...

For Women...

 
 And for men...


And even for children!

 


And then, just as today; women worried about their shape and size.  Tomorrow I will show you how they dealt with weight issues in 1959!






Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A BIRTHDAY GREETING AND A REAL SUPER FIND!

First of all I want to take a minute to wish a very special person in my life a Very Happy Birthday!  That person would be one of my very BFF's, Denise.  Happy Birthday, Dear Heart.... I love you!

Remember when I made the little square quilted piece last year with the three women walking away arms together.  .. well Denise is the one in the blue outfit and the hot pink boots...


So - what have I been doing with myself for the past couple of weeks?  Guess I need to catch up a bit.  First of all not much is growing in my vegetable garden.  Until last night we have had no rain since early May, so things just aren't coming up, and what has popped up is not growing.  We did receive over an inch last night, so I am hopeful that will get things going out there.  As pretty as our property was a few weeks ago, it is burnt to a crisp now.  The grass is brown, the new trees we planted are suffering and even my perennial beds are nowhere are nice as they have been other years.

While I was stewing away about the condition of everything outside and the lack of rain, I decided it was past time to finish some of the started "home" projects.  There were paint cans lined up in the hall on the main floor for weeks - maybe even months.  On
e was for the hall wall itself, the others were for the bathroom cabinets.  So I got busy and finished both those areas and put the paint cans away for hopefully a very long time.

The main floor officially has been painted in it's entirety!  

I have been mulling over what project to work on in the studio, hadn't really decided, so Monday morning I went off to work at the library.  I finished my chores there, and decided to stop into the recycle store next door to the library.

If you read my blog regularly you will know all about this shop.  It's the best little kept secret in McCreary - sometimes....
And sometimes it is just a store piled with junk.  You have to stop in often to know when things change in there... and I do!

So in I go.  Right away a see a long white plastic case lying on the floor.  I thought it was a gun case to be honest with you, so I didn't even go near it.  There were a bunch of metal pieces lying beside the box, but I didn't bother with those either.

I headed over to the area I always check out first, and there lying on the floor were two boxes of stuff.  I poked through the boxes and pulled out a book I thought was knitting patterns.  It was an instruction book for a knitting machine.

About turn and head for the long white plastic case and the metal pieces lying beside it!

I didn't even really look, I just started carrying everything to the car.  

For two days I sorted, and cleaned and assembled and in the end, I had three complete knitting machines and enough accessories to do some serious knitting projects, if I actually knew how to use the machines.

Here is the assembled machines and the accessories.  The machine on the far right is for knitting fine yarns, lace, and fancy things.
The one in the middle is a basic knitting machine, it has larger needles in it so can be used for a heavier yarn or wool.
And the one on the far left is a ribber.  It can be used with the one in the middle.

I have learned a lot about these machines since Monday, by reading the three manuals front to back... now comes the fun part!


more tomorrow!


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

GOIN CRAZY!

I was going through my my 759 posts ( yeah, can't believe I have written that many either) and I noticed that I have 34 posts still in Draft.

I am wondering why I started posts and didn't finish them or publish them to my blog, so I started reading through some of them.

I came across this one, written June 12th of last year.  Hum.... I like the subject, and I really like the images... and although I have yet to start it, I still want to do the project at the end of this post.



Have a Read.... "Goin Crazy"


If you have read enough of my posts, you will know by now that I love anything Victorian.  The Victorian Era produced some of the most beautiful buildings, homes, decorations, and certainly the most notable needlecraft's in history.

I'm not saying it was easy being a woman in those times, but I am saying that women were their best in those times.

One of my favourite things that was so prevalent during the Victorian Era - are the beautifully hand sewn and embellished Crazy Quilts.

These amazing quilts were made from pieces of special fabrics such as silks, velvets, brocades... the colours were vivid, but what made these quilts so beautiful were not the fabrics they were made of, but the detailed embellishments done with embroidery, lace, beads and ribbons.

The few Crazy Quilts that have survived from the Victorian Era are now in museums throughout the world and are considered treasured works of art, but the craft of creating these quilts lives on today.

These quilts may have started off as a quilt made from leftover fabrics  - a poor woman's quilt, if that's what you want to call them - but they are anything but today.

Crazy Quilting has been elevated to a new art form, and the supplies to make just one quilt can be expensive.

Today's woman may find these quilts busy or overpowering, not a thing they would want hanging in a their super modern home to be sure.  You might not love the style of the quilt, but if you took the time to look at the amazing colours and the incredible work involved, I don't think anyone could fail to be impressed with today's version of this historical type of quilting.

Take a look at some of these examples of this amazing art form I found on Pinterest...

 


 




 These are the quilts that can tell a story, or keep a memory of someone alive.  They are personal, heartfelt and amazingly beautiful.

Many of these quilts take years to complete, by talented crafts people women and men alike.

There are no rules, and any form of needle work can be used to embellish these works of art.  





This is a piece that my Aunt Margaret did years ago - she embellished her piece with some of her favourite broaches.


A few years ago I was given several small pieces of Crazy Quilting that has been pieced but not embellished.  One is a nice wall-hanging size, and the other are smaller, suitable for a table top.  I have chosen this one to be my very first piece to work on.  I want to try my hand at this smaller one before I work the larger one that I want to finish for my bedroom wall.

I plan on using crochet,  thread embroidery, lace and beads, and a new craft I have never tried before - ribbon embroidery.  This will be a great project to work on while the TV is on - hopefully it won't take me years to get it done.


I have already started crocheting some small pieces to applique on this quilt, then I will embroider around my crochet piece with thread and bead work.  On one of those coloured patches will be a Victorian lady walking through an arbour covered with flowers...

I can't wait to get started!



My ideas for this piece have returned... now all I have to do if find where I stashed this little piece and get started....













Friday, June 2, 2017

HOW NOT TO SPEND A DAY!

In case you are under the impression that every one of my days are idealyc, I am here to share my day yesterday with you... well part of it anyway.

June 1st 2017!

We were expecting our first very hot day of the summer, even though summer isn't really even here yet - so I decided we would finally put up the double curtain rods I bought months ago, and hang the sun and heat blocking curtains on my West and South picture windows.  Especially after Gary discovered that the air conditioner wasn't blowing any cold air.

I bought the curtains last fall in Winnipeg.  They were fine then - but now I just didn't want the very light cream colour.  Well, to be very honest I didn't want them last fall either, but they were on sale, so I bought them.  Mistake #1.

Sometime during the winter, I decided it really wasn't such a big deal that I didn't like them - I'd just dye them - so I purchased 4 boxes of chocolate brown dye.  Maybe Mistake #2.

How hard could this be?  I had 6 curtain panels and 6 sheer panels and 4 boxes of dye.  I decided that I would spilt the job in 2.

First load - three curtain panels, three sheer panels - and oh I had some nice long cream panels - why not throw those in the mix - one for each load.  Mistake #3.

I hope you see where this is going?

I filled the washing machine with hot water, pre-mixed the 2 boxes of dye, added the dye to the water and curtains in the washer, and let the machine do it's magic.

First load done, not bad - not brown, but a nice dusty sandy colour.  I could live with it.


Load two... REPEAT!

Hmmm.....the water's not so hot down at the bottom of the washer tub... oh crap - I had done 3 loads of laundry before dye load #1.   That's 4 loads of laundry on my old 1980's hot water tank.   Mistake #4.

Well too late now... let the machine do it's thing.

FYI - I'm not counting mistakes any more.

I am here to tell you - never divide a dye job in two... NOPE!

Second load - no colour change to the curtains or sheers - well maybe a spatter of orange here and there - and some more splatter that looked like black ink from a fountain pen.  And the not bad dusty sand colour I saw on load #1, turned dusty sandy orange after being in the dryer for a few minutes!

Here's my dilemma.  I need 4 curtain panels for the west window and 2 for the South... and  I divided the loads into 3 panels each.  I have 3 nice dusty sandy orange panels and 3 fountain pen spatter panels.

About now, you know the meltdown begins, and Poor Gary is sitting very quietly on the couch pretty much not making eye contact with me.

The sheers - well,  Ditto sheers to curtain panels.

By now it's mid afternoon, the sun is blasting that big west picture window, and Gary says the thermostat in the house says 27C.

I have a pair of striped curtains that I had up in my living room in Winnipeg.. I always liked those striped curtains, they might go with the dusty sandy orange panels - you know 2 of those, 2 striped and we're done!

The thermostat might have said 27, but I'm at a boil by now.  Lets just hang the darn things and be done with it already!

If you have something you need to be doing - this might be a good time to leave... spare yourself.... please!







I'll wait until you get back on your chair.... there now, take a breath...

Okay - so Tajmahal?

I nailed it ... right?

Wait until you see the sheers...

Like I told my friend Louise  - it's a waterfall with menses!






Okay - so It wasn't my best day ever...

It certainly wasn't my best project ever, either!

If you call and say you are stopping over, I'm going to have to tell you I won't be home.

Yup.

By the end of the day the thermostat topped out at 28C.  Mine - much much higher... but we do have a repairman coming to fix the AC this morning.


Next week I am going somewhere where I can buy 6 new panels, all the same, in a colour I want, no matter now much they cost.  


Bad day?

Not at all - I got my CT scan results and all is clear... so who cares about the darn curtains anyway.

I'm going to enjoy them, even if I can't stand them.

How was your day?













































Thursday, June 1, 2017

LETS SPEND SOME TIME !

Welcome June 2017!

I want to thank everyone who reached out and offered support and positive thoughts to me yesterday and the past couple of days.  I have the best friends anyone could hope for.  I love you all... Thank You!


The other thing I love is to spend time with my camera.  When I am looking through the lens of my camera I forget everything else that might have been clogging up my thoughts and feelings.  After I posted yesterdays post, I did take my camera outside and spent a couple of hours just looking at my world through it's lens.

I decided that I should take more images of my Canada 150 tulips before they are done for the season, so that was my first stop.  I love these flowers, and everyone who walks by makes a comment about how lovely they are.  I agree!  I hope next year they are even better, but I certainly can't complain on the show they have given my yard this year.

So here is some more images of my Canada 150 Tulips ...







...


While I was on my belly in the grass, I looked up, and there was my ever present garden companion.  This little Robin is not far each and every time I am out in the yard.  He almost took a worm from me  yesterday afternoon.   I still think this is the same baby robin from last year who sat on the wire above the garden and chatted with me all summer long.  

We may not be from the same nest - but we surely are good pals!


...

I have another crop of tulips in one of my other flowerbeds.  I didn't plant them, they were here already.  Last year there was only one bloom, this year I got four blossoms, so things are looking up.  

Aren't they adorable?


...

I walked around the house and as always my eyes are everywhere - and look what I found peeking over the back hedge... a piece of McCreary History.  
These prairie sentinels are disappearing from our landscape across the country.  There was a time when every town or even railway landing had one along the rail lines that crossed our great country.  We are lucky to still have ours standing tall to identify our prairie town as a grain producing community that it still is.
It's not as close as it looks - it's about a 7 minute walk from our home, but there it was, just begging to be captured...



...


And then after supper I happened to look out my kitchen window, and the evening sun was hitting the top of the hedge with bright light while the rest of the yard was just being covered with shadow.  It looked so peaceful - so calm and I don't know - I just had to grab the camera one last time for the day.


...


Thanks for spending time with me in my garden...