Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
Welcome to Ireland
A few years ago, my daughter Sascha and I took a trip to Ireland with the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. We went there to discover our Irish heritage. It was an amazingly beautiful place...I couldn't believe how beautiful!
How Green is Ireland?
This is on the West Coast on top of the Cliffs of Moher...the Cliffs of Insanity featured on "The Princess Bride."
There is a reason I fell in love with this postcard...
I saw this on the front stoop of a small shop...my first glimpse of shamrocks.
Patrick was a North Briton who was captured by a party of raiding Irishmen and brought to Ireland as a slave. During his time in slavery he spent much time in prayer...praying as often as 100 times a day. He tells in his "Confession" that he was able to escape after six years of slavery and hardship. He boarded a ship and was soon reunited with his family. One night he dreamed that a man named Victoricus handed him a letter headed "The Cry of the Irish." He imagined that he heard voices calling him to return to Ireland and walk again among the people.
The Village of Downpatrick in County Down, Northern Ireland.
"Downpatrick" is from the Gaelic "Dun Padraig" which means Patrick's Stronghold or Fort.
In Downpatrick, at the base of the hill where the Down Cathedral is located, we visited the Saint Patrick Center. In the center...interactive displays and diaramas with life-like human figures tell the story of Saint Patrick. I was very impressed with the presentation...which made Patrick seem like a real person who did heroic things, rather than some otherworldly superhero.
Down Cathedral...Burial Place of St. Patrick
St. Patrick is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Muirchu...a biographer of St. Patrick...wrote this about the burial site: "Let two untamed oxen be chosen and let them go wherever they will with the cart that carries your body and wherever they stand still, there a church in honour of your body shall be erected...untamed oxen were chosen and they steadily drew the cart containing the holy body placed on their necks and guided by the will of God, they went out to Dun Lethglaisse (Down) where Patrick lies buried."
Saint Patrick's Stone...a slab of granite from the Mourne Mountains.
Barely visible is one word...Patrick.
This plaque states that St. Brigid and St. Columba were reinterred there as well by John de Courcy in the 12th Century...fulfilling a prophecy that the three saints would be buried in the same place.
View of Downpatrick from the Cathedral
I hope you enjoyed this little visit with St. Patrick...I don't know why I never thought to write about this sooner.
Erin Go Bragh!
Some Pretty Travel Posters for a Vintage Irish Vacation!
Friday, February 28, 2014
Any nest can make a cozy home!
Why do I love birds nests so much? It's almost a theme in my home...but I never made a conscious decision to decorate with birds, nests, cages and bird houses. Just now I counted over 25 different bird-related items in just my bedroom and master bath...and heaven only knows how many are in the rest of my house. When I was little, some of my favorite pictures were of pretty nests in a blossoming tree.
Pictures that give me hope for Spring.
When a new mother-to-be fusses over her nursery, sewing tiny clothes and tidying up her home, we call it "Nesting." If I could choose a symbol of what "Home" means to me...I'm sure it would be a nest...a place of safety and warmth with Mother and Father watching over and providing for their chicks.
Isn't this the sweetest and most unique nest yet?
I am continually amazed at the creativity of my fellow crafters!
I found it on Pinterest...made by Vikkis Vintageworks on Etsy.
This one has sold, but she has several more...as cute or cuter!
I have made two so far...one for me and one for my sister's birthday.
I chose colors to go with our vintage kitchen décor.
She seldom reads my blog so I'm not worried she'll see it here.
A baby chick for Patti...
Beautiful bunnies for me...
Vintage chicken was a swap gift from a blogger friend...
Fun little hand mixer...
Over Valentine's weekend I went on an antique store quest in Vegas and Oatman, Arizona for potato mashers and I found four to add to the two I had on hand. I plan to make four more for gifts. I will probably use more traditional Easter colors on those. And I have some smaller nests that will fit inside some little tart tins. I have really enjoyed seeing holiday crafts made with unusual or re-purposed items on Pinterest. I bet I could get more blog posts done if I'd give Pinterest a little rest...lol!
Simple, simple little garland...rick rack, scrapbook paper circles and vintage images.
Happy March...It's only a day away!
Monday, February 24, 2014
So many beautiful bunnies!
Something happened to me this winter that has thrown me for a loop...I got older! Yikes! I can't seem to summon the energy I once had. I have been very slow at getting the rest of Christmas off my front porch. It has been a mild winter in Utah...we haven't experienced the storms and frigid temperatures that the rest of the country has suffered through. So why do my bones ache? A question for the ages...or "aged" I guess. We had a warm afternoon today...in the 60's...so I was able to decorate my front door for spring. It felt good to banish Winter from the porch!
Springtime on Pinterest!
Sewing Machine Drawer Shadow Box
I love springtime on Pinterest! So many beautiful ideas to give one hope for sunshine and flowering trees. The other day I saw a display of sewing machine drawers that a crafter had turned into a vignette of Easter-themed shadow boxes. I was so excited. We had just returned from a trip to warm and sunny Las Vegas with side trips to Oatman AZ and Death Valley. In a tiny antique shop in the little mining town of Oatman I found a small sewing machine drawer with two compartments. But I had no idea what to do with it besides using it for storing craft supplies. Sorry the pics aren't great...I was in a hurry to get some sort of blog post done...my mojo has been sorely missing lately.
I added wooden spool "feet" and lined the compartments with antique-looking papers.
A small piece of rusty fence keeps the rabbit from escaping.
Holly from Damita's Pretty Wrap made the sweet peat pot nest for me last year.
The items in the box can be removed and new things added.
A tarnished silver spoon holds a little nest.
I have seen a few of these as well.
Close-up of nest.
I tried to use only the craft supplies I had on hand.
I'll be doing that more and more this year...I think the need to economize
forces me to be more creative.
Thank you for letting me share this...
P.S. Some Beautiful Bunnies....
Hop Along Now!
Saturday, February 8, 2014
What to do with an empty spool?
The Threads That Tie Us Together...
I really miss the days when sewing thread came on wooden spools. There is something about the warmth and texture of wood that gladdens my heart. I just don't feel that love for the lowly plastic things we have now. My Grandma Patta kept every empty spool for as long as I could remember. She was a doll collector...I can't recall a time when she wasn't making dolls or dressing them in fancy gowns. She even sewed doll clothes to order at Christmas time...Barbie, Chatty Cathy, Patty Play Pal, Madame Alexander...she made wonderful outfits for them all. Even G.I. Joe! I often tagged along with her and Grandpa Rich to thrift stores and yard sales looking for trims and pieces of fancy fabrics for her creations. Don't we all do that now? The thought makes me smile!
Grandma Patta and Grandpa Rich...50th Anniversary
My Grandparents were the perfect team. Grandma dressed the dolls and Grandpa made the doll furniture. That's where the empty spools came in. Grandpa made wonderful Barbie-size furniture...pink wardrobes with sliding doors, perfect little upholstered chairs and sofas and the cutest beds you've ever seen. The spools were stacked to make four-poster beds with wooden beads for finials. Grandma made the pillows and mattresses...with a quilt and pillow cases of course! No wonder I believed they worked for Santa. My Christmas Secret.
Years later I found a 3 ft. tall cardboard barrel in their attic...it was full of wooden spools! Grandpa Rich was still alive then and he graciously let me take it home. I have enjoyed many years of crafting with those spools. But until recently I had never heard of a "Spoolie" or "Spoolie Swap." I am still learning the art of making a unique decoration incorporating a wooden spool...but OMGoodness it has sure been fun!
Valentine Spoolie Swap!
Wooden spools are some of the threads that tie me to my Grandparents...so it makes perfect sense that making and exchanging items created from spools can tie us together as friends. Valentines Day is the perfect time to show our friends how much they mean to us...and swaps are a way to meet new friends and get to know our current ones better. I was so happy when Sue of It's a Very Cherry World decide to host a Valentine Spoolie Swap. My partner was Mariah of designsby2 and it's been a pleasure to get to know her and visit her blog.
Stacked Scrabble Tiles...
The Key to My Heart!
Sweetheart Pin Cushion...sealed with XXX Kisses.
Just right in my tiny vintage tin kitchen.
Thank you so much, Mariah!
This was her first swap and I hope she will keep on "swapping!"
A Spoolie for Mariah!
Red, Aqua and Pixie Elves...Happy Favorites!
Cute Little Face...
The mischievous twinkle in the eyes reminds me of Granddaughter Marley.
Had to make two...you know how it is...lol!
Time now to think of Spring...
Have the Loveliest of Valentines Days!
A Few Sewing Theme Valentines...For Spoolie Lovers!