Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Wishing you a Happy Memorial Day filled with parades...

And marching bands...

and long walks with family and friends...

And time to enjoy nature (like these prolific mayapples)

And time to reflect...

And time to remember those that we have loved that have moved on to their heavenly home.

Blessings, Patti

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's Blooming!

I've wanted a lilac bush ever since we bought our house 14 years ago. Each May I walk down they alley sneakily cutting blooms from branches that hang over the neighbors fences. Last year we planted three lilac bushes, but not until mid-June after they bloomed. I've been anxiously awaiting their blooms this year - and wow are they blooming!

I took this picture after I cut bouquets for every room of the house - including the bathrooms! I just walk through the house and happily inhale :)

A German friend of ours told us to look for flowers with three or five petals as they are good luck. How fun! We peer over the bouquets and can usually find at least one - much easier than a four leaf clover and the smell is divine!

The lilacs aren't the only thing blooming - so are the perenial geraniums.

And the strawberries, too!
Hope your weekend is filled with blooms and fragrant flowers!
Blessings, Patti

Sunday, May 17, 2009

and more treasures...

What a wonderful weekend! I made it to the Garden Club plant sale early. I've been admiring the bleeding hearts throughout the neighborhood and now I have some of my own! I bought an Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart and two Everblooming Bleeding Hearts. I just couldn't resist a Columbine plant, too.

Then I headed over to the estate sale and this is what I found:

I'm not sure why the metal document box appealed to me, but it was cheap enough :) The little candle snuff was sweet and useful, too. You can usually find a sewing box in every house and here I was thrilled to find not one but three emeries in it! The pink one is made of pink and green velvet with pearl beads. The tiny tomato is so heavy for it's size - filled with emery and who knows what else.

I was so excited about the souvenir book from the Wisconsin Dells - we have spent our New Years there for the past several years. H. H. Bennett, a Civil War veteran, was a famous photographer credited with bringing tourists to the area. I have one print newly made from his negatives and a few postcards of his. I've been trying to buy a stereoptiscope card of one of his photos, but they always go higher than my budget. Well, I was thrilled to find this booklet filled with his photographs published in 1926, some years after his death.

Look what was in the wooden box that I bought:

It's filled with vintage rick rack, ribbons, lace and binding tape. I'm sure they will be appearing in some of my creations soon...

Saturday night was spent at my youngest son's 5th grade class party. They will be done with elementary school next month and heading to middle school. It was quite a party with over 125 fifth graders at a local community center for inline skating. The boys favorite part - a huge dodgeball game!
Did you know that today is Norwegian Constitution Day?
We had a parade in our town today to celebrate. My oldest son marched with his high school marching band. It was so much fun to watch families celebrating their culture. Beautiful hand knit sweaters were seen everywhere and it was cool enough to wear them. The booths were filled with lovely woolens and rosemaling.
Well, it's time for bed and the start of another busy week.
I hope your weekend was filled with treasures!
Blessings, Patti

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The weekend before last a local clothing boutique had their twice annual vintage garden market. They open up their back room and display vintage garden and home items. Their style is french country which is not my style, but still fun to peek and be inspired...

As I was wandering, I found a completed needlepoint canvas. The colors and design really spoke to me, but I put it back down. I went back to the piece at least three or four times - picking it up and putting it back again. I thought about all the hours of time and effort that went into this piece and then it was never finished and displayed. I realized that it had to go home with me and that I needed to finish it and put it out so that it could be appreciated for the art that it is...

I'm so happy that I bought it! How could I have hesitated??

I love making scissor fobs and I switch them depending on the seasons and holidays. Today I pulled out my very favorite fob and scissors.

I may have stitched it eight years ago, but I still enjoy it just as much today. These are my favorite scissors as well - isn't the little rabbit sweet?

I can never decide if I like the front or the back better :)

And my final treasures to share:

I purchased both of these necklaces to wear together from Lana Manis of Honeysuckle Lane. It was so hard to choose as all of her necklaces are so pretty, but I am thrilled with them both.
Tomorrow the garden club is having a plant sale. Hopefully I will get there right when they open. Then it will be on to a local estate sale. Maybe I'll find more treasures to share...
Blessings, Patti

Thursday, May 14, 2009

just a little knot

Many of you know that I work in downtown Chicago on the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue) in the historic Wrigley Building. (That's the new Trump Tower behind the Wrigley Building.)

The gothic Tribune Tower is to the right of the Wrigley Building. (That building is a story for another day.)

Most of my stitching and creating is done on my commute to and from the office each day on the train, bus and/or boat.

Just the other day, while stitching on the train I encountered a small knot in my thread as I was stitching away. You know that little knot that if you just tug a little bit will come right out...So, without another thought I tugged on my needle. Then it happened. I'm not sure how it happened. But the needle came off the thread and flew from my hand! I froze! I waited for a reaction from someone in the train car - a yelp, an exclamation, a "Hey did someone lose a needle?" After a few moments I realized that no one was hit and wounded and the needle was lost forever. I assumed that no one had witnessed my major faux pas. So I quietly looked in my purse for another needle...
Horrors! That was my only needle! I spent the rest of my wasted time looking out the window and thinking of all the stitching I was missing.
You can be sure that I put an entire package of needles in my purse that night! And now when I encounter a little knot, I tug lightly with a firm grip on my needle...
Blessings, Patti

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day! & addendum

I can now share this as I have confirmation that my mother has received and opened it :)
The pattern is by Beth Twist of Heartstrings Primitives.
I'm off to enjoy my day with my husband and sons...
Blessings, Patti

p.s. Just had to share my fun day and it's not over yet...
I was awakened this morning for the traditional Mothers Day breakfast. I saw a huge gift which frightened me slightly... what on earth could it be? Would I need to put on the needed smile and say "just what I always needed"? Finally it was time, a lovely handmade card then time to open the monstrosity of a gift...

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather! A Stickley jewelry chest! Oh my goodness gracious! No need for a fake smile - I was beaming! I adore Stickley and have been fortunate to acquire a few pieces over the years. This was such a surprise! I love it! I cleaned out my old jewelry box - found a few pieces I had totally forgotten about and everything is safely put away... :-)

We took a ride to a local flea market and saw a sweet groundhog munching dandelion flowers at the edge of the forest on the way. Here is what I found for $7:

All from the same vendor (after doing lots of digging...) I loved the little heart shaped pincushion in the bottom left corner with its blanket stitching around the edge. I saw embroidered letters, but couldn't make them out with all the pins. When we got home, I carefully started removing pins and found the word "ouch"! I truly LOL! When everyone came to see what was so funny, they weren't quite as amused. Maybe they haven't stuck themselves as much as I!

Don't you love the needlebook?

I thought it was perfect for Mothers Day! I love the expression on that boy!

Well, I'm off to sit on the swing for a few minutes while the laundry finishes up. I hope to finish a project - then I can share this week.

Blessings again, Patti

Friday, May 8, 2009

Better than April in Paris...

Is Springtime in Chicago! O.k. I haven't actually been to Paris (in the spring or any other time), but I think that Chicago is hard to beat!

Michigan Avenue is especially beautiful. Each block reveals tulips of different colors and shapes, one more beautiful than the next. I never knew that there were so many different types of tulips.

They certainly bring a smile to my face as I walk to my office from the train station on sunny mornings.

The planters down the center of Michigan Avenue are filled with tulips as well.

They always have white tulips around the historic Water Tower - very elegant. I have to admit that I felt like a tourist taking photos of my everyday sights, but it's fun to share and look at it through new eyes.

This photo doesn't do these planters justice, but I love how the pansies perfectly match the hydrangeas.

In April, Macy's hosted its annual flower show at the historic State Street store. (I can't help it, but it will always be Marshall Field's to me...)

The moment you walk through the doors you are greeted by the lovely fragrance of flowers.

It helps you to feel like spring even when the weather doesn't cooperate.

These arrangements are in the center of the jewelry and cosmetic cases.

I hope you are enjoying your springtime in your corner of the world!
Blessings, Patti

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mama bird and babies three

In May, my thoughts always turn to birds nests and eggs. Maybe it has something to do with Mothers Day. Mama birds always seen to be good mothers - making the best nests that they can, spending so much time sitting on their eggs keeping them warm and waiting for the first signs of movement. Then feeding their babies day in and day out until they teach them to fly away...

TDIPT is having a theme launch this month...Take a peek at all the patriotic offerings at TDIPT Mercantile this month.
My patriotic offering is sold already, but favorite item is on my TDIPT page this month...

I really enjoy doing"schereschnitte in wool" and this is my favorite design.

Nests and mama birds and babies always make me happy.

How about you?
Blessings, Patti

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day!

"And ever when the happy child
In May beholds the blooming wild,
And hears in heaven the bluebird sing,
'Onward,' he cries, 'your baskets bring,
—In the next field is air more mild,
And o'er yon hazy crest is Eden's balmier spring.' "

Isn't this design so sweet?! The very talented Betty Dekat of primitivebettys shared the pattern as a May Day gift on her blog - here. Thank you ever so much Betty! I finished this just in time! (don't look to closely - I made several mistakes and don't believe in ripping)

Growing up I loved May Day. I was a girl scout and every year we would buy African violets for the teachers. We would decorate little plastic berry baskets to put the violets in. Early on May Day, we would sneak into school and hang them on the doorknobs of the classrooms to surprise the teachers. As this happened every year, I look back and realize the teachers were probably not surprised, but oh we felt so sneaky and excited! In middle school, May Day was lilac day and everyone would arrive at school with bouquets of lilacs for their favorite teachers. The school would be scented with that lovely scent for days to come...

I had to share my other favorite May Day item - a sweet little May Day dew gathering basket made by folk artist Lana Manis of Honeysuckle Lane. I love the little story that came with it. Doesn't it look so sweet with my papercuttings by Beth Twist of Heartstrings Primitives? a few of my most favorite things!

"Wreaths for the May! for happy Spring
To-day shall all her dowry bring,
The love of kind, the joy, the grace,
Hymen of element and race,
Knowing well to celebrate
With song and hue and star and state,
With tender light and youthful cheer,
The spousals of the new-born year."

I've just finished putting the finishing touches on my May Day pillow. Now I'm wondering how it would like teeny tiny over one... I think I'll go pull out some fabric :)

"April cold with dropping rain
Willows and lilacs brings again,
The whistle of returning birds,
And trumpet-lowing of the herds.
The scarlet maple-keys betray
What potent blood hath modest May,
What fiery force the earth renews,
The wealth of forms, the flush of hues;
What joy in rosy waves outpoured
Flows from the heart of Love, the Lord."

-excerpts from May-Day by Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Happy May Day to you!
Blessings, Patti