Friday, January 30, 2009

Vintage Pretties

In an effort to initiate decluttering and organizing, I have been sorting through plastic containers and boxes that I put away until "later." I went through a box of vintage linens and doilies that I had purchased at an auction last fall. These will all go in the "keep" pile. I love the fraying fabric and beautiful embroidered and crocheted hand crafted treasures.

This is a green and white rectangle vintage crocheted doilie. Granddaughter Payton made me a flower on a card in school. It is so pretty that I placed it on the doilies and took a picture.
This is a tea tablecloth. The flowers are hand embroidered and the tablecloth has pink trim.

This large vintage linen tablecloth has vivid printed flowers.
These are ecru crocheted lace doilies.

This is a large crocheted net lace doilie.

This hand embroidered scarf with the deer and lace trim would be nice for a boy's room.

This tablecloth is huge. I really like the blue trim.

This small assortment of handcrafted work is lovely.

Bonus! An Agricultural Almanac from 1966 was at the bottom of the box.

In an attempt to make my decluttering and organizing a more manageable task, I have decided to sort one box a day. I will let my daughters go through the things that I am not keeping before donating them to a thrift shop.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Quilting Saturday

This past Saturday some of my daughters and granddaughters got together at my house to work on family quilts. Stephanie has been making quilts for several years. Her enthusiasm must be contagious as the girls had a great time. They cut blocks from clothes of living and deceased family members.
Of course, Michele had to "cut up" a little bit.
This is Stephanie being serious. Stephanie, who seldom irons, said that it was necessary to put up the ironing board to iron the fabric.
Stephanie cut blocks of fabric with such precision that I was impressed.

This is Michele and Stephanie hard at work with Payton in the background. Sheila was at the quilting party also but, somehow, I missed taking a picture of her.

Mallory thought that it was really neat to cut out squares. She is anxious to begin sewing.

Since I began blogging, I take pictures all of the time. Kristen, a sophomore in college, tries to hide her face every time she sees me with a camera. Kristen is taking an elective course in fabrics.
Her assignment was to make a landscape out of fabric. Kristen really worked hard on this project.

This picture is really blurred but I wanted everyone to see Michele's first quilt. It was made using Sherry's clothes. Stephanie bought photo fabric so that Michele could place a picture of Sherry in the center of the quilt. On Saturday Brooke, Sherry's youngest daughter, stopped to see her aunts and cousins. She fell in love with the quilt made from Sherry's clothing. Michele gave Brooke the quilt. Actually Michele had planned to make a quilt for Brooke but Brooke liked this one so much that Michele gave it to her.
This is a rag quilt that Stephanie had made for Johnny. The fabric has a hunting theme with pictures of deer and bears.
This is a hap that Stephanie made. I have it on the daybed in the spare room.
The girls still have another cutting session before they actually begin to put the quilts together. On Monday I went with Sheila to JoAnn Fabrics and another fabric store to pick up quilting supplies. I am amazed at the popularity of quilting. Amber and Jennifer will join Michele, Sheila, and Stephanie at the next session.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Blue Monday

Daughter Sheila works at the high school with students. She is currently helping students complete their senior projects. One of her students is in the Culinary Arts program. As part of his Senior Project he prepared a complete meal. Sheila asked if they could use my kitchen. Although there are not blues in every photo, I think that there are enough that we appreciate both the blues and the talent put into the Senior Project.

Sheila does not prepare the meal but works with the student. Here are some of the ingredients that he used in preparing the meal.

The cheese stuffed shells served as the basis of a delicious pasta dish.

Here he prepared the delicious Italian bread.

There was a scrumptious cavatelli soup with bits of tomatoes and Italian spices.

This is a pasta casserole with a rich sauce and sweet Italian sausage.

The student arranged the napkins.

He began to set the table.

Here the student is teaching me to fold napkins.

I think that he set a lovely table.

As with every good meal there was a big mess.

We were served a delicious meal consisting of of a variety of h'orderves (the stuffed mushrooms were my favorite), wonderful warm Italian bread, a delicious Italian salad, cavatelli soup, pasta casserole, stuffed shells, and tiramisu, an Italian dessert.

Sally at hosts Blue Monday. Blue Monday participants increase each week because of Sally's hospitality. Thanks Sally!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lunch at Elaine's

I have a very dear friend, Elaine. I first became acquainted with Elaine when I began attending Historical Society meetings just two years ago. Elaine's husband, Murray, is President of the Historical Society. When our daughter, Sherry, was murdered, Elaine was there for us. She was also there for us when Johnny's brother died. Then Johnny started attending the Historical Society meetings. The four of us began going out to dinner and having dinner at each other's houses. We developed a deep friendship. Elaine is a minister who currently ministers at a nursing home. Elaine has a positive attitude and is my role model. When Johnny passed away, Elaine was there for me. She was so warm and loving with our entire family. Elaine accepts us as we are and only sees the good in people. A few weeks ago Elaine had a heart attack and was hospitalized. She now has a stent and is recovering. Instead of thinking of herself, Elaine invited a friend of hers, Kathy, to visit and stay overnight. Elaine then invited me to have lunch with her and Kathy. Elaine is a wonderful hostess. I love to visit her home. It is filled with beautiful antiques and other treasures that she has collected over the years.

Elaine's friend Kathy was charming. I felt as though I had known her for years.

Elaine has a wonderful collection of cups.

This is a display of Elaine's beautiful glassware.

The picture on the left is that of the young man playing a saxophone. The picture on the right is the gentleman in his later years. Elaine and Murray developed a deep friendship with him and remained friends until his passing.

This is one of the teapots in Elaine's collection. It was created by a local artisan.

Elaine collects sugar bowls and pitchers.

This beautiful tablecloth was hand embroidered many years ago by Elaine's mother.

Elaine invites her guests to select the tea cup from her collection that they prefer to use. I selected this beautiful tea cup and saucer. She told me that it is Russian. She served a wonderful lemon dessert.
I thank God for Elaine's friendship.
"Don't walk in front of me,
I may not follow;
Don't walk behind me,
I may not lead;
Walk beside me,
and just be my friend."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fun Day with Daughter Michele

Today I had an appointment in Altoona which is about an hour's drive. Daughter Michele said that she would take a vacation day and drive as she had to stop a few places herself. I drove to Michele's house and we left there at about 8:30 a.m. I stopped at the post office and then we were on our way. My appointment was at 10:00 and lasted about an hour. Michele had to buy some supplies at JoAnn Fabrics for Granddaughter Kristen who is in college. The supplies were for an elective class that Kristen is taking. It is a "Fabrics" class. Also, Michele has taken an interest in quilting. She and Daughters Stephanie and Sheila are having a "quilting class" at my house on Saturday. I have been wanting to make a vintage look apron. I picked up a pattern and was selecting fabric when I saw "Domestic Diva" apron kits. I decided that I would buy two and try them. I'll probably work on them while Daughters are working on quilts.

Michele and I then drove to Kristen's college Mount Aloysius, which was about a 20 minute drive, to deliver her supplies. This is the administration building. I think that it looks like a Gothic castle.

Kristen was happy to see us. This photo of Kristen is one that I've had. Kristen is studying to be a medical assistant. She is now doing an internship. We caught her just as she was finishing lunch. I had hoped to see her room (she redecorated) but she had to get to a class.

Michele and I were starved. We drove back to Altoona and
stopped at the Olive Garden. She had Chicken Parmigiana and I had Fettucine Alfredo. Of course, we filled up first on salad and bread sticks. Everything was absolutely delicious.
I love Fettucine Alfredo. I found this recipe on the web. It is supposed to taste like the Olive Garden's. I'm going to try it next week.
Fettucine Alfredo
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 pint heavy cream
1 teaspoon garlic powder
black pepper
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (preferably fresh)
1 lb fettuccine, prepared as directed
1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter.
2. When butter is melted, add cream cheese.
3. When the cream cheese is softened, add heavy cream.
4. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
5. Simmer for 15-20 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly.
6. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan.
7. Serve over hot fettucine noodles.

Of course, no trip to Altoona is complete without a visit to their Super Walmart. Michele and I were so stuffed from eating at the Olive Garden that it was difficult to maneuver through Walmart. She bought some more quilting supplies. I did a little shopping. I am looking for a four or five drawer filing cabinet and Walmart only had filing cabinets with two drawers. On the way home we stopped at a surplus store that I was told sold filing cabinets. Unfortunately, the only one they had was scratched.
We arrived at Michele's house and moved my purchases from her car to mine. I arrived home and Daughter Sheila was cooking my supper. I didn't have the nerve to tell her that I was still full from my visit to the Olive Garden.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Blue Monday

Over the years I have gone through various decorating phases and themes. My apple phase was about 12 years ago after the second remodeling of our kitchen. I had one wall that was wallpapered in blue and white checks with an apple border. The valances on the kitchen curtains matched the wallpaper. I had apple tea towels, an apple clock, apple baskets, apple glasses, and about anything else you could imagine. My apple decor was all trimmed with blue. About the only thing left from that period is my set of apple dishes which I still love. The set has a blue accent color.

The big mug is wonderful for a steaming cup of coffee.

The bowl is the perfect size for some delicious home made soup.

The dinner plate is huge. I usually use this set of dishes when I have guests for lunch.

Christmas is past for this year but I'd like to share this lovely vase that my third grader Grandson Dawson lovingly made and so proudly gave to me. He had it wrapped beautifully. I can hardly wait for summer weather so I can use the vase to hold gorgeous flowers. In the meantime, I have it displayed on my hutch.

Sally at hosts Blue Monday. Blue Monday participants increase each week thanks to Sallie's hospitality. Please visit Sally and you will open the doorway to a varied assortment of beautiful shades of blue. Thanks Sallie!!!