Sunday, August 25, 2019

Hands on History

Yesterday, the Linn County Museum (you might remember my post about them that kicked off our whole museum a month thing) hosted their second annual Hands on History day. 

We started out with spinning and wool carding on the lawn of the Moyer House. I've been wanting to see the inside of that place for years, so as soon as I could pry the boys away from the wool (We've got fleece and a set of carders at home!) we went inside and they chatted with a man in the parlor who was demonstrating Victorian toys while I wandered into the kitchen and watched the butter churning.  

I've got more than one butter churn here at the house, but the woman doing the demonstration knew more about the history of butter than I would have thought possible. Did you know that it was originally used as a lamp oil and not for food? Now I've got to research that. 

One of the volunteers told us that there was an embalmer setting up in the park. What impression do we give off that lets strangers know we're going to drop everything and send us in that direction?

We must've stood there for at least half an hour hearing all about embalming during the Civil War and it was absolutely fascinating. He stayed in character, but not obnoxiously so, and went into a ton of historical detail without dwelling on the gross stuff.

I thought I took more pictures than I actually did. My two younger boys tried a cross cut saw, which had me holding my breath the entire time. I didn't think they were going to lose a limb, but I was definitely worried about the saw. They panned for gold and we got our picture taken with a hundred year old camera.

And we sort of tried to lean to dance. I love the image of my son in his zombie Shakespeare t shirt danging with a woman in a hoop skirt. He definitely caught on faster than I did!

There was a mule drawn wagon and a man riding around the streets on one of those old high-wheeled bicycles.

I'm so glad my husband let me know this was happening! We learned a lot of things that may lead to other things...or may not.  Either way, we all had fun and we're looking forward to next year.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

More Arbitrary August

The random number generator was nicer to me this week. I got to work on Crocuses on the Windowsill, which I have lots of reasons for loving. The chart is clear, the colors are pretty, and I'm still obsessing over the idea of cross stitched still lifes. (I looked it up -- that's apparently the correct plural!)

I was nervous about Pyramid of Skulls but once I picked it up again and looked at the chart and grid lines it wasn't too had to figure out where I'd left off.

Peaceful Countryside is looking a lot better now that I've got a second shade of brown added to the hillside. This was originally someone else's kit and I'm trusting that she sorted the floss correctly. Hopefully that isn't a mistake!

The rabbit is definitely a "have to" choice. So much of this is backstitching and it's either one or two or three strands of black, so there's a whole lot of stopping and starting. It looks amazing, but I'm not sure I've got the patience for something with so much outlining and only three shades of gray stitches to show me where that outlining goes.

I'm having fun and making progress and that's the whole point of this thing. I'm also cheating and working on some projects I picked out myself, but the ones in this post were all chosen for me. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {8/23/19}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Row by Row Experience 2019 Wrap Up

There's still a week and a half left to visit shops and pick up patterns, but unless something unexpected happens I've made my last trip for the year. I think I made it to sixteen different shops not counting one that should have been open but wasn't.  

Yesterday it was my plan to head down to the shops in Eugene. I'd been wondering how on earth I was going to combine my collection of blocks into a quilt, then I saw this one hanging at Something To Crow About....

Isn't that amazing? I've got all of the patterns except for the one with the donuts and pie. Now I feel like there's hope I can combine my own random collection into something...that'll include the intricately appliqued crab from The Quilt Loft and the Roadkill Cafe from From Bolts to Blocks.
I'll worry about how to do that when/if I get some rows pieced. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

{Thrift Shop Temptations} There Was a Couch...

I can't find the originals posts to link to the pictures but there was a desk from an old schoolhouse at the  Salvation Army thrift shop for a hundred bucks, which was just ridiculous. A few weeks later there were the pieces of an even more battered old desk at an estate sale for ten bucks. I seriously thought about that one. 

And last week at the Goodwill Outlets, there was this...

For three dollars, in gorgeous condition with the groove for the pencil and hole for the inkwell. The ironwork wasn't fancy, but sitting right next to it and for ten dollars was this...

I had to work hard to convince myself that they wouldn't fit into the back of my daughter's car and  that if they did I had no place in my life to properly display them. But there was a fainting couch for twenty-five dollars that also wouldn't fit into the back of the Volkswagen and I drove back up with the truck the following morning to get it. If the three dollar desk had still been there, I would've given in to temptation.

There was also this, but it was thirty dollars and apparently someone had chopped the legs a few inches shorter....

When we went back up, the desks and the tea cart were gone, but they had this...

The cabinet was in absolutely fantastic condition and had all of its drawers and  the paint on the machine was good and it had its bobbin intact....for thirty-five dollars. I already have two treadle machines at home and the idea of wrestling that into the back of the truck with the couch was enough to keep me from doing something dumb.

The world is full of treadle machines and (apparently) old school desks. I'll have other opportunities and I don't feel bad for passing this one up. But it's still fun to take pictures to share with you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

{I've Been Reading} Claws of Action

Claws of Action by Linda Reilly

Lara and her Aunt Fran are happily preparing the latest addition to their High Cliff Shelter, a reading room where children can come read to the cats. Everything is coming together perfectly until the new health inspector, Evonda Fray, makes an unexpected appearance and claims that the cookies and drinks  they serve to visitors make the shelter an illegal cat cafe. She vows to return the next morning with a cease and desist notice that will put them out of business, but before she can do that her body is found in her car with the paperwork in her hands.

The one thing Lara knows for sure is that she didn't strangle the unpleasant woman herself. She's not so sure about the owner of the shelter's newest resident, who brought them his cat because his landlord, Evonda Fray, has ordered him to get rid of his beloved pet...or about the many others who had reason to want Evonda gone.

I'm not much of a cat person these days, but that doesn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the Cat Lady Mysteries. Lara and Aunt Fran are clearly devoted to their cats but they never come across as too judgmental of characters who aren't as enamored with cats. (Except for Evonda and she was just terrible towards cat and people.) The mystery was complex and kept me guessing...and worrying...until the solution.

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Lace Knitting Despite Myself

I'm honestly shocked that these socks have made it up past the heel and into the leg without a total disaster. When I pulled them out of my bag at the tire place a needle had slipped loose and left a dozen or so live lace stitches, but they were easy enough to tame. 

This poor pair of socks got its start while I was still on pain medication for the dental procedure and since then they've been hauled around in my purse with the tips of the needles working their way out through the fabric. My daughter reached into the back seat to grab my ringing phone and stabbed herself. The needles are unbroken and  the stitches, as far as I can tell, are un-dropped. I may actually finish these, despite a complete lack of enthusiasm.

Or I may frog them to free up the needles for something more fun. They've served their purpose and served it well.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Arbitrary August

I'm not sure who came up with the idea for "Arbitrary August."  I first heard about it last year on Flosstube. The rules as I understand them are that you let an app pick which project you're going to stitch on -- for the day or week or however long you decide. I'm taking it an hour at a time and since my phone doesn't have room for extra apps, I numbered my project tracker and I'm using the Random Number Generator pick for me. The other stitchers have fun colorful wheels.

Depending on what number comes up, I either feel like I "get to" work on a project or that I "have to." Southwest Mesa was definitely a "have to" -- at least for the the first hour. I started it for Stitch Maynia and, as much as I want to stitch this piece, I didn't enjoy the first stitches. After forcing myself to work on it for an hour I was actually happy that the Random Number Generator picked it two days in a row.

The Emerald City SAL was definitely a "get to" stitch on project. I was enjoying it at first, then got distracted by other things...until I started seeing people's finished projects. This thing is GORGEOUS once it's done. And it's a free download so if you're a Wizard of Oz fan you should click over and add it to your to-stitch pile.

Cuckoo Clock wasn't one I felt very strongly about. I love this project, but it hasn't been calling to me as strongly as some other things.

I've also worked on Canner's Kitchen and Furry Friends and (because it made me) I  cast on the second Smock Madness sock.

On Thursday night I was feeling awful so I picked my own project and managed about twenty minutes before giving up and playing silly games on Facebook until the Benadryl kicked in. I don't know if this is allergies or a summer cold, but it's hitting me hard. This isn't a competition and no one else cares what I stitch.  What it is is a good way to pick up projects I've been neglecting a remind myself that I really do like them, or maybe just put in a few more stitches before tucking them away again.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

All Our Yesterdays Cross Stitch Collection

Do you ever pick up a book and feel like you could stitch (or knit, or quilt) every single project? That was my reaction to All Our Yesterdays Cross Stitch Collection by Faye Whittaker. I love the Edwardian costumes and the scenes that make me think of storybook childhood.

Even though they've all got similar colors and the same feel to them, there's still a big variety. The little girl in the tree is going to be different from stitching the children watching fireworks which will be different from the others.

There's also a mix of big and little projects.

This one has so many things I love -- the ocean, the lighthouse, the old wooden rowboat.

After stitching one of the bookmarks, I'm absolutely loving the shading and back stitched details. As soon as this goes back to the library I want to order a copy for my bookshelf.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {8/16/19}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Borealis Socks

My sock blockers are hiding from me today and that might not be a bad thing. I didn't care for this combination of stripes while the socks were on the needles but on my feet it's much less obvious. 

The yarn is Deborah Norville Serenity Sock in the Borealis colorway. 

They kept my hands busy and  now they'll keep my toes warm.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

New-to-Me China

For a while now, I've been on the prowl for a set of inexpensive thrift shop china. We've gone through plates at a ridiculous rate because this old house has never had a dishwasher and I'm a klutz. The fourteen-year-old has taken over hand washing the dishes and I don't think he's broken a plate since, but I already had the idea in my head.

I keep seeing articles about how no one wants Grandma's old china sets and they have no value. Why not make our next set of dishes pretty antiques instead of Dollar Tree plates?

Then my mom visited a rummage sale on the last day and the plates were a dollar a set.

Look at these! 

I'm swooning over the grapes and walnuts.

This set seems to be a little newer and if I wasn't giddy about that vintage fruit, they'd probably be my favorite plates in the world.

Now we've got two partial sets of gorgeous dishes and I love them so much more than I'd love a brand new set from the department store.

There's also a third set that's white with blue stripes. It nice looking and functional and exactly what we needed...but these are what I wanted.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

{I've Been Reading} Let's Fake a Deal

Let's Fake a Deal by Sherry Harris

The latest book in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series opens with a yard sale....and with Sarah face down on the lawn getting arrested because the items she's selling are stolen property. There's also a murder to solve when a body is found in the car belonging to one of her old friends from the Air Force base...and she's got a client selling off an extensive collection of cat stuff.

This is one of my favorite books in the series. I complained that the previous book, The Gun Also Rises, didn't have enough garage sales in it -- this one more than made up for that with sales that are a major part of the plot. It's a fun and fast paced read and I was definitely worried about Sarah.

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 

Monday, August 12, 2019


I've been comparing the pain from my recent dental work to a skinned knee ....but I really didn't need to confirm that by tripping over the feral-ish cat in the gravel driveway and doing a face plant into a new-to-me box of vintage china. I'm okay, the pretty plates are okay (and that was my first concern) and the cat is just annoyed that I didn't put down my box to scratch her back like my husband or the boys would have.

Now that we're done with vacation and I'm starting to feel more functional after the dental work, I'm scrambling to get things done before the schedule gets wild again. Saturday we were out all day, headed to the library and all of the grocery stores and to some quilt shops because the dates on the calendar keep rushing by and summer is almost over.

Friday I had a follow up visit with the oral surgeon and, after getting his permission to eat actual foods again, we headed down to the Scandinavian Festival for meat pies and aebleskivers. They always have demonstrations of bobbin lace and blacksmithing but I've never seen how wooden shoes are carved. Or thought about how it was done.  I'm absolutely fascinated by this!

To Do List

-- buy a dress for my daughter's wedding
-- find that missing library book I'm sure we returned, or convince the library they've got it
-- install the new modem
-- get to the Eugene quilt shops before Row by Row Experience ends for 2019
-- take pictures of that pretty china for a blog post

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Canner's Kitchen

Don't be so quick to throw out those old cross-stitch magazines -- there are some fantastic patterns hiding in some of them! This one was in the October/November 1990 issue of Cross Stitch Quilt and Easy and it fits in well with my current still life obsession. 

How many brand new patterns that I've been drooling over have mason jars and kitchen stuff? (A lot!)

I'm loving all of the details and shading in Canner's Kitchen, but I'll leave off the blue tile background and just stitch the jars.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {8/9/19}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Less Than Accurate Lace Knitting

I need something to keep my hands busy while I heal from Monday's dental work so easy lace socks it is! One of the rows seems to have become a combination of two different patterns but I wound up with the right number of stitches and no one is  going to be looking at the top of my foot that closely. 

If it all goes horribly wrong, I can just unravel and cast on again.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

{Antique Shop Temptations} Lizzie Borden's Dirt?

Last week, Hubby and I took a detour to Virginia City, Nevada. You know, that town the Cartwrights were always riding into...

We didn't have the kids with us, so I was hoping to get a glimpse of The Suicide Table. We've driven past the billboards for it so many times over the years and my husband wouldn't let me take the kids into a saloon -- which is pretty much a gift shop in the middle of the afternoon, so I'm still convinced it would've been okay.

It turned out that the Delta Saloon, home of the suicide table, blew up in March. The table has been moved across the street, but without the fancy signs detailing its history.

There are a few antique shops in town and if I ever wanted a rotary phone, it's this one! Isn't that so much better than the one the boys brought home last month?

The envelope in the middle of the top shelf has dirt from Lizzie Borden's basement...for a hundred and fifty dollars.

What I didn't know that I desperately need is a Victorian pickle castor. What do you think the odds of finding one at an estate sale are? Because I'm definitely not going to pay the prices the antique shop wanted.

{I've Been Reading} The Perfect Girlfriend

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

We know from early on that Juliette's relationship with Nate is one-sided. They were together, but now they're not...or at least Nate thinks they're not. She hasn't given up on their future. She has plans. She's going by a different name and has a job as a flight attendant with the same airline Nate is a pilot for. When the time is right, she'll reveal all of that to him.

This one is just an average thriller. The pace is slow and I never did find anything to like about Juliette. Or develop an uncomfortable fascination with her ...unlike books like You by Caroline Kepnes, which kept making me forget that Joe was a bad guy. Even when it started to look like she was backed into a corner, I never worried about her.

What I do appreciate about this book is that it was all told from one character's point of view and, although there were several flashbacks, it didn't rely on missing information and untold secrets to build the suspense.

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an ARC.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

{Tutorial} Dollar Tree Scarf Tote Bag

Dollar Tree has some of  the cutest scarves,  but I don't wear scarves so I couldn't quite justify buying one.  I did wind up with a couple...but I couldn't come up with a decent excuse for the purchase. Not until I saw my daughter's new camera strap and realized that this scarf could be a pretty strap. 

Oregon's bag ban has been spreading from town to town for the past few years and I can never keep track of which place has which rules. What I do know is that between grocery shopping for five of us and library runs and everything else, I'm going to need a LOT more bags.

So I made one.....

I also made a video tutorial so you can make one of your own.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Four Seasons in Cross Stitch

The kids were taking forever at the library, so I browsed through the entire needlework section and turned up Four Seasons in Cross Stitch by Jayne Netley Mayher and Nicki Wheeler. 

The cover wasn't terribly promising, but there are definitely things in here that I'd like to stitch.

I like the realistic mushrooms. They're also shown as separate projects, but I think they'd look great as a sampler. With botanical names, if I could figure out what they are.

Adder and Autumn Leaves is the one that I absoutely need to stitch, if only because it's so puzzling. Why hide a snake in a project? Is this the perfect mother-in-law gift? It took me forever to find the snake, but he's there. My sons and husband would definitely appreciate him -- as much as they're likely to appreciate any needlework.

If you want to see all of the projects, click below for a flip through.


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