Friday, December 31, 2010

~*Happy New Year*~

My wishes for a joyously Happy New Year to all of you!

~*~*~*~*~

This week began with me working and crafting in full motion... but quickly came to an abrupt stop. Somewhere along the way I stumbled upon a flu virus and was down & out for a few days. Thankfully I'm feeling better now and the week did get better. Of course there was some extra play time this week too with the kiddo out of school. We enjoyed an afternoon watching movies (the afternoon that I was my worst, I could do that!), an afternoon at the skating rink, a meal out at the kiddo's favorite spot... McDonalds, and some shopping so he could spend the gift card money that was burning a hole in his pocket.

And, even though I didn't get everything finished that I was wanting to... I did get works done to offer on Early Work Mercantile... for tonight at midnight... but the update may be ready for viewing early 'cause after all... this is New Year's Eve!


If you are planning to go out to ring in the new year this evening... please be safe.

Happy New Year!

Warm smiles...

Betty

Monday, December 27, 2010

~*Busy Cookin' & Workin'*~

Hello Dear Friends! I'm busy cookin' & workin' & it feels so good!

I've got dollies drying in the oven...



And stitches marking their spots on linen...



It feels like it has been so long since I've worked with my hands... in a good productive, crafty, sorta way. I've feeling refreshed with creativity & my mind is just whirling with ideas!!

Don't forget, my debut on Early Work Mercantile will be on January 1st, 2011! I've got a few goodies finished... and a few other ditties in the works. I'm excited!

Also, I plan to have two, maybe even three, new cross stitch patterns to release in January too!

Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Sunday, December 26, 2010

~*Winding Down*~

Hello Dear Friends! I hope your Christmas was blessed with family, friends, and all things happy. Ours most certainly was! Now things are winding down... the kiddo is playing with his new toys and the hubby is too... so I'm going to enjoy a comfy spot on the sofa with my Peppermint tea...



and some linen & threads...



I pray that those of you on the east coast, in the midst of the big blizzard, are staying safe and warm. And for those of you on the west coast... I pray the flooding and down pours come to an end soon... and please stay safe too.

Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

~*Where I Create*~

Hello Dear Friends! It isn't 100% finished... and really there is a lot left to do... but I'm using it! Here is my new space...

Tony said there was no way I was going to fit all my furniture pieces in there, but so far I have. One room is full up... and one room is still empty.

I am reminded though... "A place for everything and everything in its place."



I've got a mish~mash of furniture... but I don't mind. It all works for me!





Here are a few of my favorite things... a sign given to me by Joanne (on the top) and another made for my by my little brother, Kelly.



Wanna see my wool? Here it is all clean and sort of organized... it is setting on a shelf that was in our basement when we moved. I slapped some green paint on the shelf long ago & have used the heck out of it...



The basket sitting up on top on the left is an heirloom. My Mom gave it to me long ago. She and my Dad bought it shortly after they were married. She told me it was the first antique she ever bought.

This old desk is probably my most cherished piece of furniture...



It may not look like much now... because it has been through a lot in all its years... including a house fire. The desk has a broken drawer (that I do still have) and the part that closes up, sadly, is now missing... but this old desk once belonged to my Great Grandma 'Gram'. You may remember me mentioning her before. She has been the inspiration for many of my cross stitch pieces. One day I hope to have this desk restored... but will have to safe lots of pennies and find someone I trust to do it right. Until then... I'm going to use it. I plan to use it as my computer desk once we get the cable run to the studio.

The other room is bare except for my bookshelf of craft books...





I do have furniture to go in here, but need to get it painted first. I have a table & an old buffet purchased from an auction awhile back. I plan to paint them black... and distress them of course. Once done, they will soon have a home in this room.

The princesses are really comfy. Ima is still skid-dish (you can see her above checking out the desk ~ she seems to like the smell of Pledge.), but Katie totally loves affection... and this chair!



Well, I better get back over there. I'm working on finishing a couple small mats for the update on January 1st.

Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Saturday, December 18, 2010

~*Whipping The Edges*~


Hello Dear Friends! While working on finishing my ~*Antique Cookie Cutter Pony*~ rug this afternoon... a rug that I started months ago & am finally getting it bound thinking it will be an offering for my Early Work Mercantile page on January 1st... I thought you might be interested to see how I finish the edges of some of my rugs.



Often times I whip the edges of my rugs with wool worms... the same wool worms used to hook the rug. I don't have a large collection of wool yarn... and find it easier to finish the edges this way. I begin by marking the linen 2 inches around the boarder of the rug with a Sharpie marker. Then I sew a stay~stitch with the sewing machine... a straight and/or zig zag on the marker linen. Then cut away the excess linen. Next, I cut the corners of the rug off to prevent too much bulk. To estimate where to cut the corners, fold the point of the linen towards the corner of the hooked rug. Finger press. Then open the fold and cut on the fold line. Next, with the rug facing up, fold the raw edge of linen up to the outer edge of your rug as close to the last row of hooking as possible. Then fold the linen in again ~ so the first folded edge is now against the last row of hooking.



I don't always add cotton cording, but for this rug I did. Often times I have left the cording out & just whipped around the linen only. Also... a penny saving tip... cotton clothes line from the hardware store is a little less expensive than the cotton cording you can purchase at the fabric store. You get a lot more for your money with the clothes line.



Set and pin your cotton cording inside the folded linen as shown.



Grab your gold, bent tip needle & thread it with a woolly worm.



Poke the needle down as close to the last row of hooking as possible. Pull it through leaving a short (1/2 inch or so) tail. Hold the tail with your thumb and poke the needle through the linen again about 1/4 inch from the first poke. You will need to guide the worm as you pull the needle to keep it from twisting. Pull it down snug, but not too tight... having it hold the tail as you do this. Continue whipping until the worm is too short. Thread the extra worm under a few 'whips' on the backside of your rug and then trim the tail. (I haven't trimmed the tails on my rug yet.) Start another worm and continue until finished.





This is just how I do it... and I've never had a lesson... so it may not be right... but it works for me.



Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Friday, December 17, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

TGIF Dear Friends! Look at this chipper fella...



This is the ~*Snowy Tony*~ freebie brilliantly hooked by Rhonda. I found it on her blog... and she has him offered on her Ebay auctions currently. Isn't he just the sweetest, cutest, most chipper fella? Doesn't he just make you smile instantly?

Rhonda's rug is actually the only ~*Friday Finish*~ I have to share with you this week. With Christmas so quickly approaching, I'm sure most of you... me included... have been swamped with holiday preparations, shopping, and school/work parties. I hope to bake some cookies this weekend to share... and am happy that the presents are all wrapped and waiting under the tree.

I'm sure I'll visit with you again before Christmas... but I would still like to wish you a gloriously Merry Christmas now... just in case.

Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

~*If I Owned A Laundry Mat*~

Hello Dear Friends! Please forgive me... this post is not really related to anything crafty... it is just my silly sense of self. You see, this morning I loaded my wool into the car and drove into town to visit the laundry mat. Once there, 10 washers were filled and running... and I sat waiting. While waiting, it dawned on me that my camera was in my purse. I was alone in the place... so where does my mind wander? Well... I got to thinking about how the laundry mat could be better... and I got to thinking that I could share it with you. So...

If I owned a laundry mat... this would be important...



I've visited the laundry mat many times in life ~ from childhood on into adulthood. I have never been bothered by going & often times have really enjoyed it. It is nice to be able to get a bunch of laundry done at one time... because you can load up so many washers at once.

I remember going with my folks when I was a kid. We would play on the laundry carts ~ you know, the ones with the wire basket & caster wheels. This laundry mat only had two. My laundry mat would have MANY... and the wheels would all be good. No one wants to use a clumsy cart. For some reason today, I forgot to get a picture of the cart I was using. But don't worry... there are lots more pictures to share with you from my laundry day.

My laundry mat WOULD have all the vintage charm of old soap signs...



and a fortune telling scale... even though it does seem to LIE about weight...



My laundry mat WOULD have a candy section for customers to treat themselves for all their hard work... the kids always like this too...



My laundry mat WOULD also have a soda machine... it it WOULD be fully stocked... unlike this one...



My laundry mat WOULD also have a television... but a clearer picture WOULD be nicer...



My laundry mat WOULD also be NO SMOKING... that pretty much goes unsaid with me anytime...



My laundry mat WWOULD have rows and rows of washers and dryers... the more the better... and as many as WOULD fit in the space comfortably...




For my laundry mat, I WOULD find and hire the best, smartest, most dependable mechanic in the area... one who WOULD NOT put tacky duct tape signs on the broken equipment. My mechanic WOULD FIX anything broken...





Where is the door?


Note says, "Out of Order takes your money :(" Really? Is that good?


Also for my laundry mat, I WOULD hire (or do it myself) a friendly and reliable attendant... one that WOULD be there to greet my customers with a friendly smile and WOULD be able to offer assistance when needed. And... one that WOULD also clean the messes and restock the toilet paper.

Why is there a lock for the toilet paper holder? It doesn't seem to be working to have a lock.



Speaking of locks... is all this really necessary? It kind of makes a customer feel a little unsafe. My laundry mat would NOT be riddled with locks and I would do anything possible to make my customers feel safe and comfortable...



Locks only keep an honest person honest. If a crook wants to be a crook, he or she will just get some bolt cutters.




And finally, my laundry mat WOULD be pretty too. I WOULD NOT have peeling wallpaper and old broken plastic (there were busted chairs too that I didn't get a picture of). A little paint can go a long way towards making a room clean and pretty...



My wash day wasn't really unpleasant... but I did notice a few things that could have been improved. My laundry mat would be a nice place to visit... but maybe I don't know anything about running a laundry mat... maybe I would go broke. At least my customer would surely enjoy their wash day at my laundry mat.

If I owned a laundry mat... I'm must saying.

Thank you dear friends for letting me be silly & posting some random goofiness. My wool is all cleaned and smelling fresh. It is folded and stack on the shelf... but needs to be sorted into color groups. I ran out of time today... but will work on it more tomorrow and share a picture of that soon.

Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Sunday, December 12, 2010

~*My Princess Kitties*~

Please meet Ima Jean (left) and Katie Jo (right)... my sweet princess kitties. (The queen kitty lives in the house... and she wouldn't have it any other way!) Somehow we became cat people here. (between the house, garage, barn, and studio we now have 7... and another stray that comes around once and awhile!) When we moved to this home just over 4 years ago, we started becoming cat people. They just kept showing up... so we just kept taking care of them. Living in the country, they are good to have around. Field mice and pack rats are NOT my friends! Ima Jean and Katie Jo showed up about 2 years ago. They have been living in the old house... in the shambles and mess. They have a new home now. They are now in the finished studio... and are enjoying the royal treatment!



A better picture with the flash... Katie is curious about the ceiling fan...


They had a vet visit for shots and spaying a few weeks ago... and today they moved in. Before I took them over though, I did a little shopping. They have a new liter box, new dinner dishes, a new fleece blanket, and a new Sleepy/Play corner...(I forgot to cut those ugly tags off... oops)



They also have heat...



This is one of 2 space heaters for next door. The area isn't very large, but I do have a heater for each room to keep it comfy. This is the pretty one... and only in operation when I'm over there due to safety. The other heater is an oil filled digital one~ much safer to leave on when the space isn't being occupied by a human... and keeps it cozy for the kitties.

I think the Duraflame heater is KEWL! My Mom gave me a large, old (but not antique) picture frame. I painted it black and distressed it ~ facing down. Then I laid some old bricks inside it & put the heater on top. It isn't a real fireplace ~ but it looks like it could be now!

I've spent most of the weekend working on painting my old furniture collection. We have moved some of the pieces next door & I've began setting things up... but have a long way to go. There will be many many many trips from the basement of the house to the studio over the next few days. I guess all the arm workout I had while painting and working will now be followed by a leg workout!

Would you like to see my wool collection?



Not so great lookin' right now, huh? My wool has been on shelves in our basement... and I'm worried it may have that musty, basement smell. It is all packed up ~ 3 trash bags & 4 laundry baskets full ~ ready to go to the laundry mat for a good washin'. I could just wash it here, but our dryer seems to collect too much lint near the trap. It scares me that it will catch fire one of these days. Do you ever worry about that? I've vacuumed the inside trap area with the crevice tool, but it seems I can't get it clean enough. I'm a worrier!

On the down side this weekend ~

We had a bit of a disaster yesterday with the greenhouse. The wind was horrible... and took out several of the panels. Oh those Kansas Winds! It looks like we have some major repairs to make before we can use it in the Spring...



Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Saturday, December 11, 2010

~*Santa Visit*~

Hello Dear Friends! The warm holiday traditions are going strong this weekend. We met up with Santa Claus this morning in Lebo, Kansas. He was there to help the small town celebrate their Christmas Festival.



Trinity had a nice visit with him and was able to share his wish list... and yes, he has been a good boy. :)



While we were there, we also took advantage of the kid's store at the Baptist Church ~ where the kids could shop for presents to give ~, the bake/craft sale at the Senior Center, gave a toy for SOS, and stopped by a really darling home decor shop... where I was able to do a little Christmas shopping for some special folks on my list. We had a very nice time!

The weather has turned frigged cold... and the wind is bone~chilling. I'm happy to be finished painting next door (photos will be posted soon). Yesterday I cleared a spot in the basement. This is so I could get to work painting some furniture we have collected the past few years... that will be put next door. I've been sure to take some before pics of the pieces... and will post them soon too. Guess I should go get my paint brush and get back to work!

Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty