Friday, January 31, 2014

Polar Vortex #2

Well, we survived another polar vortex here in Chicago.
The temps have risen and now the next snowstorm is on its way...

The sub-zero temps have meant lots of ice on the Chicago River.

These pictures had to be taken quickly so I could put my gloves back on :)

I thought that I would share my January mantle before it is time to pack it away.
I have a large Rubbermaid tote of "decorations" for each month of the year.(OK, some months have more than one tote lol)
I love to celebrate each season and the "special-ness" of each month.

I like to keep little white lights burning throughout January to help with Christmas Light Withdrawals and also to brighten those long January nights.

You can't see them here, but I have timer tapers in each of the punched tin lanterns to help appreciate the beautiful workmanship.

I also have a battery operated candle in my antique foot warmer as well.

I love my little antique box with hand-carved hearts and cross. It stays out all year long, but next month is its "special" month :)


This is my newest "January" addition. 
I love the winter scene painted on this vintage bellows.

Sometimes it is sad to pack away a month, it feels way to soon to put items away - not to be seen for another year. But then as I open the February bin, I find old favorites that have been forgotten over the year.

Wishing you love, comfort and contentment this weekend.

"Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy."
~Psalm 86:4-6

Blessing, Patti

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On Winter...

"Live Simply BOM - January"
design by Buttermilk Basin

I joined this BOM with JJ Stitches and am so happy when the package arrives.
I switched out the pretty binding provided for red velvet and am happy with the results.
You can read more about this BOM here.

It has been a long, hard winter. I think that everyone is about done with it.
I am tired of the frigid sub-zero temps and I know the coldest is predicted to arrive on Monday.
I am tired of all the ice that I am fearful of falling on.
But I have a confession to make...

I love *SNOW*
I love the quiet and peacefulness that it brings as it falls.
It brings a hush to the landscape even in the City of Chicago.
I love the crunch of it underneath my feet.
I love the clean bright sparkling white that it brings to the barren winter landscape.
I love *SNOW*

I have two other little snowy projects that I am working on, but I will need to set them aside temporarily. February 1st is creeping up and I must finish a few Valentine offerings that I will be offering for sale on February 1st.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
~Philippians 4:8

Blessings, Patti

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Final Festive Finish

designs by Stacy Nash Primitives
"Country Sampler Snowed In"
"Country Sampler Silent Night"
club kits from the Stacy Nash club through Country Sampler

Sorry, the quality of these photos is not as good as I would like, but the best I could get on a grey snowy day...
This is a combination of club kits from 2013 and 2012. I thought they would look so nice together. So I decided to stitch them on all the same fabric with the same threads and finish them alike.
Now I think that they make a nice set...

I love stitching snowflakes so much that I decided to omit a bird motif and add more snowflakes.
you can see the original here.

I waffled for a few days whether I should use white rickrack or red, but I decided that the red sets the design off better.

Tomorrow the weatherman says the sun will come out later in the afternoon. I might try to get some better photos then...

I have a few snowmen projects that I am going to try to finish and then move on to Valentines.

And tomorrow while doing laundry, I will try to get to phase two of cleaning Craft Corner ~ before the Inspector General comments again ;)

"Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf."
~1 Corinthians 10:17

Blessings, Patti

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Craft Corner Condemned

For years the Inspector General has been giving Craft Corner failing marks. This year, right before the holidays the Inspector General declared Craft Corner condemned and a disaster area. I cannot show you pictures due to potential liability. But the Inspector General (my husband) stated that Craft Corner (my corner of the laundry room) was a fire hazard and exhibited signs of a hoarder.
Clean-up was to start immediately after the first of the year.
Thus, last weekend was spent knee deep in wool.
I can show you after pictures :)
A shelf of cutter quilts, full size tickings, coverlets and wool blankets.

Wools organized by color.

I have realized that I probably don't need to buy any wool for a long, long time.
I'll try not to.... but I just might ;)
The Inspector General stopped by and declared Craft Corner 10% complete.
I have a loooong way to go...
Next up velvets and flannels.
Needless to say not much sewing getting done here.
But I did do a bit... 

Last Christmas I received a gift certificate to JJ Stitches from a dear friend. I bought this lovely "Snowy Days" kit and rediscovered it when trying to pull together all my wools.
One block down and 5 more to go...  
I wonder what other treasures I might unearth :)
 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Christ who strengthens me. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles."
~Philippians 4:12-14
Blessings, Patti

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Primitive Paradise on the Prairie

Twice a year primitive collectors journey to a primitive mecca in central Illinois. Three adjoining towns of Arcola, Arthur and Tuscola, Illinois host primitive antique shows in six separate locations. Lucky for me, my parents live in one of those towns and we have made attending a twice yearly family affair. (My husband and sons are happy that my parents and sister are happy to attend so that they don't have to lol.)

I am always so swept away by all that there is to see, that I never take pictures once I get in the shows.

Luckily Roberta of Cottonwood Lane Primitives does a great job of capturing the shows in photos.
You can see her posts about the shows here, here and here.

It's fun to see what we both admired and what I totally missed (darn!).
Here is what I found at the last show:

This little table top cabinet is made of quartersawn oak and square head nails. It's pretty heavy and quite substantial for a small piece. At one pont it was used to store crayons and art supplies. When you pull the drawers out, underneath them you see little crayon drawings from a small child. I love the stories that it adds... I am still moving it around trying to find the perfect place for it.

When we arrived at the first show, as we were walking in Stacy Nash was walking out :) She had several purchases and I was sure hoping that she left a few things for me to buy lol. It was nice to chat for a moment before heading in. 

Folk artist Steve Shelton had a booth there and I was so happy to purchase this wonderful little painting from him. I also bought this funky faux pumpkin from his booth as well.

I was so looking forward to the next show as a favorite folk artist of mine was there - Maggie Bonanomi!

She had a lovely booth, of course, and I was delighted to purchase this great handmade penny rug of hers featuring old worn velvet pennies. I also bought two great antique quilt squares and two tiny antique document boxes to add to my collection. 

On to the other shows...
My final purchase of the trip:

This wonderful hand painted wooden bowl. the quality of the painting and the details draw my eye to it again and again. I love the patch of blue sky and the skaters on the river. It appears that when the paint was wet, they lightly sprinkled it with mica flakes adding a light shimmer here and there.

This photo doesn't do it justice, but I love the little old man with hiking stick walking up to the house while a woman runs towards him. Someone else waits in the doorway for him to arrive.

The best news? At the end of next month I get to go back for the spring shows! Who knows what I will find this time!

"In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; 
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, in the bleak midwinter, long ago. 
Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain; 
heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign. 
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there, cherubim and seraphim thronged the air; 
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss, worshiped the beloved with a kiss. 
What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; 
 if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; yet what I can I give him: give my heart."
~Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894

~Blessings, Patti

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What happens at 40 degrees below zero wind chill?

I thought some of you in warmer climates might wonder what happens when it is 40 degrees below zero (with windchills) for a couple of days...

* A less than an hour commute turns into 3 hours - each way!
*The heat in your van goes out when you drive your oldest son back to college. An hour spent in an unheated car at extreme temperatures is painful.

*Your windows freeze up on the inside.

*Interior door thresholds frost up along with door knobs and locks.

*You dress your dog in a handsome new blue sweater (Orion's Christmas gift compliments of my sister!)

*Then you bundle him up in a winter coat. Spend 15 minutes wrestling him into boots only to have him shake them off in 15 seconds before going out the door.

And after all that, what is the best way to warm up?

Spend your evening sewing up a few snowmen, of course :)

We hit the positive digits in temperature today during the day, but it is still dipping below zero at night.
Winter in Chicago (lately nicknamed Chiberia). I think it just shows what a strong people we are and up to the challenge :)

"Seek good, not evil, that you may live.
Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.
Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.
Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy..."
~Amos 5:14-15

Blessings, Patti

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January Winter Offerings

Although winter has only officially been here a few weeks, the cold temps and snowfall have been here longer. Here in Chicago we have about 15 inches of snow on the ground and are expecting another 9 inches today. The deep freeze arrives tonight and we will be below zero until Tuesday... 
All of my offerings this month celebrate this peaceful, quiet season.

Sewing Snowman Pincushions. 
This original Winding Vine Design features a cream velvet snowman with wool plaid scarf. His eyes are doll buttons, his nose an antique shoe button and his smile appliqué pins. He also has snaps for buttons and corsage pin arms. He is filled with crushed walnut shells for weight and to keep your needles and pins clean and sharp. As with all of my creations, he is completely hand stitched.
~*Sold. Thank you ever so much!*~

My next offerings are Antique Mitten Sewing Companions. These Winding Vine Design originals are little mittens made of antique fabrics that are hand sewn to a wooden stem on the bottom. The stem is then set into a vintage wooden spool of thread. These mittens look sweet sitting on their vintage spools, but feel free to move them to whatever spool of thread you are working with to make them truly useful. They are filled with crushed walnut shells for weight and to keep your needles and pins clean and sharp. 
These mittens measure about 3 to 3 ½ inches tall (about 5 inches including the spool). Mitten Sewing Companions are offered at $13 each plus shipping.
The blue antique coverlet mitten and the blue antique indigo mittens are sold. The black antique cotton print in the back is still available.

Here is another view of the black antique cotton print mitten that is still available.

My final offering this month is Winter Tyme Pillow ~ based on a sweet design by Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm. I love the simple monochromatic look of this design. This cross-stitched piece is backed with a cream and taupe windowpane homespun. As with all of my creations, it is completely hand stitched. It measures approximately 4 1/2 inches square and is accented with cream rickrack and an antique skeleton key. This pillow can be hung from its key, but would be equally at home resting in a wood bowl or tucked in a cupboard. Winter Tyme is stuffed with vintage cotton batting. ~*Sold. Thank you ever so much!*~

If you would like to see these offerings before I list them on my blog, just send an email to me at and I will add you to my monthly mailing list.

I also wanted to mention that I have lowered the prices of all items in my etsy shop. If you have been looking at something there, you may want to take another look - it may now be in your price range :)

Please stay safe if these winter storms are in your corner of the world.

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
~Matthew 2: 9-11

Blessings, Patti

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Here in Chicago our New Years Eve snowstorm finally ended today - two days later. I took this photo about half way through. We now have over a foot of snow. Getting to and from work was a challenge today, but I do love the stillness that snow brings and the crunch of it underfoot.

This photo reminded me of my favorite pyrography box:

Sometime I'll have to do a "collections" post on my pyrography boxes.

I love the artistry and detail on this box. Wish I could step inside the scene...

The details are exquisite and the monochromatic colors are so peaceful.

My photos don't do it justice.

I think that is may be from Russia.

2013 had more than the usual share of challenges and sadness, but I have decided instead to remember the blessings.

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
~Genesis 28:15-16

Blessings, Patti