Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Doll Past and Present

I received this vintage doll from my sister for Christmas this year.  There is a story to why she gave me this doll.
According to Family Legend - When I was a very little girl (probably Christmas 1950) I found a picture in the Sears Christmas catalog of a beautiful little doll.  Her name was Amosandra and I carried the catalog around and repeatedly ask for this doll for Christmas that year.  My mother wasn't too impressed with Amosandra but my Dear Daddy said that if I wanted that doll, then I should have her.  I loved her and carried her around and made clothes for her.  Here is a link to more info on Amosandra and a picture of her below.
Years later my sister (she is 11 years younger) played with the doll and considered it her own.  In 1965 our family moved to Arizona and my sister gave Amosandra to her friend Violet.  I had no idea Amosandra had been left in Ky.  Many years later, I asked my sister about Amosandra and was told she had been given away.  As my love of vintage grew, I occasionally would remind my sis that she had given away my precious Amosandra.
So when my sister saw this vintage doll at a Going Out of Business Sale at an antique store in Scottsdale, she bought the doll for me.  She said that her original clothing fell apart when she tried to wash them.  So she searched and found her the new outfit.  You should have seen my surprise when I opened the package and there was this lovely doll.  (Not Amosandra but a special doll to replace her)
Thanks Amy, you made my Christmas special as did Santa many years ago. 
 Does anyone have any idea of her name of anything about her.  She is rubber and in her youth her legs and arms were bendable.  Feels like some type of heavy wire might have been what made her bendable.  I'd appreciate any info.  Thank you.
I'm linking to Vintage Thingie Thursday here.

Quilt Finished After Many Years

I finished this quilt top in 1999.  All the butterflies are hand applique.  There are 24 butterfly blocks on the quilt.  Once the top was finished I basted the quilt top to the batting and backing and began hand quilting the entire quilt top.  I used a quilt frame made from PVC pipe.  It was my first (and last) time to use the frame.  (It's still in the garage in it's original box.)   Things were going along just great and then as I neared the borders of the quilt my backing and batting began to shift.  I tried to remedy this but became frustrated and took the quilt off the frame and put it in the bottom of the cedar chest.

Fast forward to this summer when I discovered the quilt while organizing my cedar chest.  I decided to try and finish the quilt as a gift for my DIL (who wasn't a family member when I started the quilt!).

I worked to realign the batting and backing and finally was able to finish the quilt.  You can see Marcy and the quilt below.  She is showing half of the finished quilt.
Marcy likes butterflies and it was the perfect Christmas present for her.   It turned out beautifully but I have memories of those times when I wanted to pull out my hair or cut the quilt to shreds.  Glad I did neither.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas in the Desert and Remembering


Our family celebrated Christmas in the Desert yesterday with my sister's family.  We took time to remember our son Paul.  Paul had a huge Beanie Baby collection.  We distributed some of the Beanie Bears to family members yesterday along with this special message. 
The kids made decortions for the tree and did other crafts at their special Craft Table.
We decorated the tree.
Cooked hot dogs.
Rode on the quads and ATVs.
Then everyone when home and DH and I enjoyed a quiet evening in the desert.  No dishes to wash, just tossed them in the fire!  Wonderful day.  Everyone has requested that we make this a family tradition.  Looking forward to hosting Christmas in the Desert II next year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vintage Blue Ridge Pottery Poinsettia Pattern

For a number of years I've been picking up Blue Ridge pottery at Goodwill and other thrift stores.  I have a number of pieces displayed in my vintage kitchen.  Occasionally I put out a few seasonal pieces.  These are the Poinsettia pattern.  I only have four pieces (the dinner plate, large bowl, and creamer).  The creamer has a chip but still looks great displayed in my kitchen at Christmas.  The live poinsettia was purchased when we visited the Poinsettia Festival a few weeks ago.

Here is a closeup of the bowl.  The colors are rather muted.  Leaves are almost a gray color.  I'd love to find more but it is getting harded to find Blue Ridge pottery.  I saw a set of glasses on EBay for $110.00.  They were beautiful but ????? 

I found this Poinsettia creamer and sugar at Goodwill a few years ago.  It is vintage but I don't know the manufacturer.  The sugar is missing the lid.  I display them on the shelf above the sink with my vintage plaster Santa. 

I am joining Vintage Thingie Thursday.  To see more vintage items check the blog.

Popcorn Snowmen

I made these two Popcorn Snowmen to give to my neighbors.  They are simple to make.  Just print your snowman face on a piece of card stock and wrap around a pkg of microwave popcorn.  I made my hats from Christmas socks from the Dollar Store.  The original had a hat made of a black mittens.  You just tuck the second sock or mitten inside to add fullness to the hat.  Tie a ribbon around the top, add the message below, and you have a "Popcorn Snowman"!

I also tucked in a bottle of Cajun Popcorn Seasoning.  I got the recipe from the Martha Stewart web site.  I also tucked a few packages of hot cocoa mix behind the snowmen.

Now our neighbors can enjoy an evening sipping hot cocoa and eating popcorn.  Hope they enjoy it.  I haven't done any baking this year since we were in Mexico last week and are planning a special Christmas in the Desert Party this weekend.  Hoping to bake a few cookies and pumpkin bread tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Carnival Splendor (Our home for the past week)

The Carnival Splendor has been our home for the past week.  We had a lovely cruise with our son, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters.  Weather was beautiful.  We visited Puerto Vallarta and Cabo.  I'll be sharing some of the photos later this week.   For now I'm trying to catch up on reading all your blogs and making final preparations for Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vintage Christmas Cards

 I received these postcards in the early 1960's from my penpal in England.  We kept in touch through high school and into college.  Her name was Jean.  I'm not sure where I got her name.  One thing I remember was that she sent me pictures of the Beatles before they became famous here in the US.  I still have some of those pictures that she clipped from the British newspapers. 

I love all three of these card but the top one is my favorite.  I just love the hat and holly.  Every time I get these cards out, it reminds me of the fun we had corresponding alll those years ago.  I'd love to know what happened to her.

I'm linking to Vintage Thingie Thursday.  Stop by and see other posts of vintage items.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Poinsettia Festival


If you are looking for the Vintage Card post for Vintage Thingie Thursday, click here.  For some reason the wrong link posted.   Sorry for the inconvenience. 


Today my DH and I visited the Poinsettia Festival in Phoenix.  This is the 27th Anniversary of the festival.  We began by a tour of the greenhouses where we saw all the various poinsettias.  This is only a small sample of all the ones we saw.

This display shows the many different poinsettias available for purchase in the sales tent. 

Here are two closeups of the many lovely poinsettias on display in the greenhouse and sales tent.
The Festival also included craft and food booths.  We enjoyed our tractor driven wagon ride to the greenhouse, even if we could have easily walked the distance.    Weather was beautiful in the high 70s.  It's a great time live in the desert. 
I am linking to How Sweet the Sound's Pink Saturday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Our Holiday Season Has Begun

As a part of our Christmas, my DH purchased tickets to the Donny & Marie Christmas in Arizona.  I'd seen them in Las Vegas on a sister's weekend and loved their show.  When we saw the Christmas show advertised for Gammage at ASU, DH immediately bought our tickets.
 Last evening's concert was wonderful.  Their show is such high energy.  They certainly don't "act their age".  The show was filled with Christmas plus vintage Donnie and Marie.  Such a great way to begin the holiday season.  DH had selected the most wonderful center tickets and when we arrived, we were upgraded to row 15 center due to equipment in our original seats.  To make the evening even better, Mohammad Ali and his wife were in the front row.  I got goosebumps just being in the same room with him.  We've been at D-back games where he was in attendance but to be so near him was awesome.  What an inspiration he is!
The Christmas Season is officially under way and I will be decorating the front porch later today.  Time to put the snowmen on their bench.  I'll post photos later.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Vintage Montana Box Purse

I haven't been thrifting as much as in the past due to health issues.  But I recently visited one of the local Goodwill stores in the area and found this lovely vintage box purse.  There are a few black marks on the white paint but isn't it a beauty. 
Imagine my surprise when I looked inside and saw that it was "Made Expressly for Missoula Golf & C. C. Montana State Women's Championship.  I wish it had included a date.
I'm assuming the names on the houses represent places in Missoula.  Enjoy the tour of Missoula.
Above are The Mansion and The Spinning Wheel.

Above are Ft. Missoula, The Depot, and the Missoulian.


The ends were labeled Boutique and Hansen's Ice Cream.  

Here is a view of the inside of the purse.  Sure has a vintage look.  I'm so happy with this wonderful find. 



Thursday, November 22, 2012


Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  We will be spending our Thanksgiving meal with family.  My nephew and his wife are hosting the celebration this year.  It will be their first time as host.  We are looking forward to a wonderful meal out in their newly landscaped back yard.  Temps are to be in the 80s tomorrow here in the desert.  We have been blessed with lovely weather the past few weeks.
I am thankful for - faith, family, freedom, health, and the list goes on and on. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another Snow Family Pillow

I think this is the last Snow Family pillow I'm making this holiday season.  This is to be a hostess gift for my friend Dolores and her family (DH and doggie).  We will be spending the night with them in Calif before leaving on our Christmas cruise to Mexico.  Our son's family will accompany us on our Christmas cruise.  Last year we did the Polar Express.  As we were standing in freezing weather, my son commented "I think I like swimming in the ocean at Christmas more than snow and ice!".  So we're off to the Mexican Rivera for a week in December.
The granddaughters are excited about swimming in the ocean and we're all excited to spend some time as a family.  We are so glad that Richard and Dolores have asked us to visit them while in the LA area.  I'm sure they will like their Snow Family pillow.  I purchased the bird print at last year's after Christmas fabric sale.  It is perfect for the pillow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Baby Quilt Project

This is the first block of a baby quilt I am making for the newest addition to our family.  My niece's family will be welcoming a  baby girl to family this spring.  Both the block and the sashing are made on my new embroidery machine.  I probably won't finish the quilt until after the first of the year but I wanted to see how it was going to look.  I really like it. I'm using fabric from my 1930s fabric stash for the sashing and border.   I make a quilt for each new baby in the family. 

I've been away from blog land for some time.  I was hospitalized the end of October and continue to recover.  It has been slow going but I feel better each day.  Haven't accomplished much in my studio but I'm hope to change that this week. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Another Snowman Pillow

When my DH saw the pillow I made for his brother and wife (and cat), he asked if I would make one for his mother and her cat.  I finished this pillow today.  This is another of the Snow People from Anita Goodesign. 

My MIL lives in assisted living and it is difficult too select something for Christmas.  Last year we sent a lovely "fresh wreath" and the facility rejected it as a fire hazard.  Rob and Connie (from the previous post) enjoyed the fresh wreath and purchased a potted plant for MIL.  We're hoping a pillow won't be an issue.  We don't fault the facility.  We should have checked first.  We have sent small live trees in the past and just thought a wreath would be nice.

That's the last of the Snow People for awhile.  I have a block of the month quilt from last year that is calling my name.  Goal is to finish the top by December 31, 2012 (should have been finished last December).

Thanks for visiting and enjoy your weekend.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Snowman Pillow

I've been away from blogland for a few days.  We've been busy with things here at the house.  washing windows, trimming shrubs, finishing some decorating projects, and planting a new shade tree.  I was however able to get into the studio yesterday afternoon.  This is the pillow I made for my brother-in-law's family.  I used Anita's Goodesigns SNOW PEOPLE Collection and Horizon Link for my Janome 12000 to design the pillow front.  .  There were a number of snowmen to choose from and I decided the king and queen would be perfect dressed in their holiday red and green.  Once the center panel was completed, I auditioned a number of fabrics and decided on this Christmas print.  I had the pillow form in the closet. 

Another present finished.  I'm making progress on the Christmas list.  Would like to be finished the middle of November.  We have a cruise in December.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Owl Sisters

I finished the Owl Sisters yesterday evening while watching the baseball game.  I posted the first pillow yesterday.  There is also info on the pattern source there.

Aren't they cute. They are for my two grandnieces.  Their room is decorated in pink and green.   I decided to reverse the fabrics so the girls can tell "WHO'S is WHO'S"!

Not sure what will be my next project.  I still have a couple of potholders with copies of recipe cards to complete.   Maybe I'll work on them tomorrow.  After church today I'm taking the granddaughters to see  Hotel Transylvania.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

An Owl Pillow - a must-have for fall

According to an article in today's Your Home section of the newspaper- "If you give a hoot about your decor, be aware that one design element is a must-have this fall: an owl."  I just finished this owl pillow yesterday.  I had ordered the book, Curiosities & Mischief, by Nancy Halvorsen, from my local quilt store and I picked it up on Wednesday.  I had fallen in love with the owl pillow they had on display.

I am making Sister Owl Pillows for my niece's two daughters.  They share a room and the colors are pink and green.  This is Sister # 1 and I finished her last evening.  (Before I knew she would be a "must-have".)  Today I began on Sister # 2.  She has a pink polka dot body and green wings.  By making them with the same fabrics but reversing colors, I'm hoping they won't fight over the pillow! 

I'm now thinking I "must-have" one of these pillows for my sofa.  Maybe I'll make one in vintage fabrics from my vintage fabric collection. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Special Potholder & Sculpture in the Botanical Garden

I made this potholder for one of my nieces.  I save ideas from magazines and keep them in a folder.  I recenly found this idea in my folder.  Don't know what magazine or how long ago.  The idea is to make a potholder and embellish it with a special recipe.

 I used vintage fabric from my collection.  This is vintage cotton from Indian Head Mills, Inc.  When I  washed it,  I found that it isn't pre-shrunk since the piece I put in was much larger than the piece I took from the dryer!

The recipe of one of my mother's in her handwriting.  I know my niece will appreciate a recipe from her Grandma.   I think I make a tea towel and embellish with the vintage fabric.  They will be a small Christmas gift with a very special message.

Now for the Botancial Garden

As promised yesterday, here are the photos of the "Whispers of a New World" exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden.  The sculptures are by Carolina Escobar.  She works with steel and resined cloth to create these organic sculputres.  These are only a few of the sculptures.  I hope to go back on a day without kiddos and photograph all the sculptures in the gardens.  Yesterday was a "Kid's Day" with butterflies as the focus but we did encounter these sculptures as we visited the butterflies.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Break and Desert Botanical Garden

The granddaughters are on Fall break.  Today DH and I took them to the Desert Botanical Garden to see the Monarch Butterful Exhibit.
The girls took the photos below in the Butterfly Pavilion.  I'm not sure which is a male and which is a female but one of the workers explained to the girls how to tell the difference.  Thegirls went around explaining which ones were male and female.  I need them to identify the photos.  

This photo was taken at the entrance to the gardens.  Shown in the background are the Desert Towers by Chihuly.  Chihuly had an exhibit at the gardens a few years ago and these were purchased by the garden and remain on display at the entrance. 
The graden just open a new exhibit called Whispers of a New World  by Carolina Escobar inside the garden.  It features beautiful organic sculptures.  I'll have pics tomorrow of some of the sculptures.

Monday, October 8, 2012

From Halloween to Christmas

Yesterday I worked on a Halloween project.  Today I'm on to a Christmas project.  This little framed machine embroidery (11" x 14") is for a friend that collects snowmen.  I loved the design from Anita Goodesign's most recent design pack, Christmas Trio.  I was able to use fabric from my stash and the frame was in the garage.  I try to pick up a few frames at yard sales and thrift stores to use for craft projects.
I love this little snowman and may have to make one for myself.  Next time I think I will use fusible web behind lighter blue background.  It did wrinkle a little during embroidery.  But I still love it and know my friend will too.