Sunday, February 19, 2017

Making a Table Mat...

It has been quite a while since I actually followed a pattern and pieced a quilted item.  It is lots of work and tedious since I've been away from it for so long!!!  Just trying to remember all the little rules and hints was what you can cut bigger so when you are done that you can trim to the right size, etc.

I bought three table mat kits so my two daughters and I could make them together.  There isn't enough time in their lives to spend a day or two sewing together so I thought it was time to just make mine and we'll go from there.

As I cut out the pieces and appliqued the four squares, I thought I will make mine and then offer to do their kits.  So....not so much after I spent most of two days getting ready to sew the 35" square mat together.  I'm going to suggest they use their fabric for other things being they have never pieced anything like this.  It is up to them, of course.  I will most certainly help them if they want to make their kits.

The top is to quilt it but I'm a bit stymied on how I want to do that.  I have a few months to figure it out before the holidays are here. I've cut the backing and batting.  Now that it is this far, I think I will finish this up for my holiday table sooner than later.

We are having a lovely February here in Minnesota!  A whole week of temperatures in the 50's and 60's!  Winter isn't over but we're getting closer to spring.

Take care,


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Enter Joy and Laughter...

My Hubby and I rescue older dogs from a great shelter.  Our Annie got breast cancer three years after she adopted us... her death left us so sad.  We never get used to this part of rescuing an older pet....but we know how many pets are out there that need a good home to live out their lives.

In September, joy in the form of a sassy little Schnauzer entered our home and our lives.  MacKenzie is a miniature Schnauzer and is the smallest dog we have ever owned weighing in at 17#.  Her personality is very big, however, and she won our hearts over the minute we walked around the corner at the shelter.  She is 6 years old and was found wandering around a small Minnesota town.  She had just had puppies and that is all we know about her background.

She never walks - she trots and runs and twirls and jumps 3 feet off the ground although we've been told she should not do that.  We have not been able to break this habit though.  We keep trying but that is what she does when she comes in from outside and whenever she wants a treat.

 Her effervescent personality makes us laugh out loud every day and many times a day.  There never has been this kind of visible joy in our home...

I think she came to us for a reason.  I had looked for different dogs to fill the void...we always look for a female, older and willing to put up with our kitty, who is now our 13 year old Bambi, that we adopted the year before.  When I contacted the shelter about a dog that I found that looked like she would fit into our family, we were told they had just the right dog for us.  This is the fifth pet that we have adopted from our favorite shelter so they know of what they speak!!!

Kenzie is our protector...especially from squirrels, partridge, pheasants, and cows, etc.  She perches in the window and warns us by screeching barking and then mumbling when we try to calm her down after thanking her for her vigilance.  We laugh every time it happens many times a day.

 Her little basket of toys is her endless joy...she loves to pick out a different one each time she wants to play although she has destroyed quite a few.  It is amazing what she can do to one that isn't puppy proof...she is a chewer.  She loves the squeaky ones - the noisier the better.


I'm convinced that she will extend our days on earth.  She removes the stress of these gloomy days and for that we will forever be in her debt.

Take care,


Friday, January 6, 2017

Ma and Pa Kettle-like Porch...

This little porch/gazebo had been on my mind for a while.  Meanwhile, my friend's family built her one...sigh.  So this summer when my grandkids, John and Addy, were with us a couple of days each week, we enlisted their help.  Well, their efforts along with lots of Hubby help, went way beyond my expectations. 

                                           I even love it in the winter!!!

We didn't buy anything except some final screws.  Otherwise, we used the boards from my daughter's old deck (floor, frame and roof supports), parts from old screen houses (back wall and side railings, leftover steel siding from our little red barn (roof) and porch posts that we found in the pole barn!!!

Can't wait to have coffee and read and play with Kenzie in the spring!!!

Take care, 


Barn Quilt Square...

Because I'm a quilter, I've always wanted to proclaim it on my barn.  I finally found a woman who would make me a large quilt square and after a period of time....she notified me that it was done!!!  It is two the red and white - and it is 6' square and in a frame.

So then I had to find a way to get it hung on the barn.  I kept asking around until I found the perfect person (and his brother) to figure out how to get it up very high without renting a machine of some sort.

So they did it the old fashioned way with ladders and ropes and brute strength on a very cold and windy winter day!!!

It is so welcoming when I drive in the driveway and see my huge quilting symbol!!!

Take care,


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Gramma's Teacups...

My Gram was a collector....mainly of teacups and souvenir plates.  When her friends and family members would go on vacation, they would bring her back a teacup or plate - the plates usually had a picture of the area they visited.  They were very colorful and decorated the walls in her kitchen.

I still have many of her I decided to finally use them for a project I have been thinking about for quite some time.

Not every one sews but I think everyone has pins and needles.  So I made pinkeepers out of the cup and saucers.  I made them for my girls and my grandgirls for Christmas.


I wrote up this little description of my Gram and some of the things I remember about her and Christmas.  My daughters were able to spend time with her but my grandgirls never got to meet her.  She was such a special lady....

This teacup is from your Grandma/Great Grandma Matilda Wilhelmina Brandvold Johnson Solee's collection.  She was born in 1903 and died in 1982.  You never saw her without a crochet hook or needle in her hand.  She made and sold many Weary Willie dolls and gave away many afghans.  Christmas at her house was a feast of Swede sausage, meatballs, mashed potatoes,  lutefisk, Swedish brown beans, homemade rolls,  pickles, olives (one for each finger), and every kind of cookie imaginable - Spritz, Washboard Ginger Cookies, Fatigmand, Krumkake, Mexican Teacakes, Icebox cookies, Date balls, etc.  She must have cooked and baked for days ahead of Christmas Eve.  Her home was small - the second floor of a house built on the side of a hill at on the East Side of St. Paul.  It was crowded but we loved it there with her.  Her hugs were the best.  When her friends returned from a trip they would either bring her a souvenir plate to hang on her kitchen wall or a teacup to put in her cupboard.  So after taking care of her teacups forever,  I thought it was time to share them.  I hope you enjoy this remembrance of your Grandma/Great Grandma. 

Love, Mom/Gram 2016

I think everyone liked them and when they use them, will think of her and maybe even me...

Take care,


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Just a walk around my yard...

Thought I would get a post written even if it is just to show you my yard today.  I don't have all the weeds taken care of yet...not sure I will conquer that soon.

But my wheelbarrows that I have planted look pretty good...we've had hot weather with enough rain to make sure the lawn needs mowing every week.  Different for us in central MN...which means the weeds are very happy because in places, no one is interfering with their growth.

I have wanted a little garden shelter/gazebo/she shed for a couple of years.  Upon showing the picture I had from Pinterest to a couple of friends, their families got right to it.  

I think guilt got the better of my Hubby so he and my two g'kids have begun the project.  Yay!


It is coming along nicely - we're using all things we have collected....the old deck from my daughter's house, porch posts we got at a garage sale, the frames from two old screen houses will go up next for the side railings and back wall.  Decorating it will be so much fun.  I can't wait to show you more pictures as it progresses.

I'm in the house as the heat is climbing again and the humidity returns tomorrow.

I hope to post more regularly with projects that I am working on.  And for sure my new garden gazebo!

Take care,


Thursday, May 5, 2016

It's Farmgirls Country Sale time again!

The weather man just said that - because the trees are blooming, the nights are staying warm enough to let the blossoms open.  So little chance of frost - maybe just a light frost possible but not in the next weeks.  Yay!

This year we are doing a spring sale in our little barn so each day I try to spend at least part of the afternoon out in my shop painting and creating and upholstering, etc.

Last fall's sale....we have lots outside already!

 So I thought I would show you a couple of projects that I am working on...

A vintage shelf with book.magazine rack and hooks.

I used Reclaim paint and then contact paper to cover a rough area.

A little vintage 1/2 table in tough shape.

I painted it red so I didn't have to fight with the stain bleeding through!
 After talking with my daughter and Hubby, we decided to hold the sale at both of our barns with finished and unfinished projects for sale.
Way in the back of this picture is the other barn with more sale stuff.

Our theme this sale is going to be funky colors - furniture, garden things, my Junk Jewelry, Jen's lovely jewelry, Hubby's recycled creations, Alissa's green projects, fun pillows, colorful mirrors, wreaths, and more will be featured!

Mark your calendar for Farmgirls Country Sale on Fri., June 10, 9 - 5, and Sat., June 11, 9 - 3.  We sure hope to see you in one of the barns!!!

More before and after projects soon!

Take care,