Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Just had to post a link to this story on Elaine Adair's blog, in case anyone missed it. Elaine is such a good storyteller and this one really cracks me up.

It's about her great great aunts, crossing the atlantic.

Monday, February 25, 2008

T.I.F. challenge

I'm old enough to remember:

*when racial segregation was more or less standard in the South
*girls had to wear dresses to school, unless the temperature dropped below freezing.
*even little boys wore hair oil or Brill Cream (one of my strongest memories from 1st grade is walking into school on a rainy day, the smell of Brill Creem (sp?) heavy in the air).
*air conditioning was not yet so common, even in Austin, Texas. It wasn't as hot then as it is now, but hot enough! In the late Spring, fellow students sometimes fainted away during choir practice and in the summers, the only way to survive was to spend every afternoon at the pool.
*those wonderful Mexican bakeries on the border--maybe they are still there? The screen door with the Buttercrust sign would slam gently behind you and there'd be that warm, buttery smell of empanadas and rosquitas and molletes...Mmmm.
*a half pint carton of chocolate milk cost 5 cents at the corner store, 2 cents at school. An Eskimo Pie or Dreamsicle cost 10 cents.
*smoking was still very common. At the university, it was pipes, especially. Summer evenings at the outdoor theater (10 cents), where you'd sit on white wooden benches to watch things like 1,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the smell of pipe smoke contributed to the romantic atmosphere.
*a married woman who worked outside the home was kind of unusual and you wondered if her husband was ashamed that he couldn't support her.
*Drug Store soda fountains. My sister Mitzie and i used to always split a grilled cheese sandwich.
*we wore lace veils to church. My grandmother had a drawer full of them and let us pick the one we wanted to wear and bobbypin it into our hair.
*corporal punishment was still allowed in school.
*if you went beyond "second base" as a teenage girl, you could kiss your reputation goodbye, simple as that.
*as little kids we spent most of our time playing outside, exploring.
*It was possible for a five-year-old to walk across campus unaccompanied (altho strangers usually asked me if i was lost and then regretted it bcs i'd end up telling them my life story--was a fearless and loquacious little kid).
*the Berlin Wall going up--i remember it being all over the news for a few days. There was an interview with a woman whose sister happened to be on the "wrong side" of the wall when it happened. She was crying, as if she thought she'd never see her again. I was only 2 and a half then, about the age I was in the photo above, but for some reason this made an impression on me--maybe bcs i had five sisters myself.

The photo above is of some of my family. The only one I have that includes all eight siblings literally would not fit on my scanner! I'm the one with the inflatable frog. I still remember a particular afternoon/moment, floating around in the sparkling water of Ramsey Pool on that frog, being pushed and pulled around by older siblings, most likely Ronnie and Ruthie.
The Cousins Club

My cousin Norma (upper left) just unearthed this photo from 1973 when my younger sister (middle, bottom) and I spent a summer with them in Arizona. The things i remember most about that summer are listening to Top 40s (Brandy, you're a fine girl!) and Aunt Livia taking us to the fabric store. Actually, this is the last time I remember seeing these cousins. She says we were all at a family gathering in San Antonio in the 80s, but that I didn't recognize her and she was too shy to talk to me. Her sister Sandy and my sister Mitzie and I were the youngest from large families and around the same age, so we formed a little club we called the Cousins Club. We even designed a logo rather like the Chanel one (ya think they ripped us off?!) We recently reconnected after 35 years and it turns out Norma is a quilter! She's just started a blog. I told her she should have a blogwarming, so you're all invited. Welcome to Blogland, Norma!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What Punctuation Mark are You?

I usually resist these things, but I ran across the little quiz below on Fairybread's blog and had to try it. I do think I'm pretty comma-esque, although they have a way of making it all sound more flattering than is perhaps fair.

You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.

You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.

You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.

(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark

Got bitten by Bonnie's Bargello bug. I started this for my friend Sophie. Took it over to her place yesterday to see if it goes with her sitting room. Since her place is full of gorgeous antiques and paintings, I was a bit worried about the quilt clashing or being too busy, but fortunately, it looked fine. Shows how much time i've spent in her sitting room--i seem to have her color scheme memorized.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

a favorite red fabric.
An idea for what do to with all those orphan 10" stars. Maybe a wedding gift for my nephew and his fiancée? Maybe too cold and pointy for a wedding gift?
(considering that knives and scissors are supposed to be taboo)

Originally uploaded by nhendricks

(this fabric has little valentines in it.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another star for the swap. It's called Twirling Star and it's from Marsha McClosky's Block Party. I like this book bcs she shows layouts with different values, so you can visualize how diff combinations of fabrics might work in different positions in each block. She also shows a bunch of whole quilt layouts, combining blocks to interesting effect.
I made cardboard templates for the triangles here, and put rubber cement on the backs to keep them from slipping on the fabric while cutting (a tip I got from a book), but next time, I think i'll try another tip: gluing sandpaper to the backs, as the rubber cement makes them so sticky that they're then difficult to store.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm thinking of making only one medallion and surrounding it with very wide borders for a baby quilt, perhaps with a very thin pieced border (these same little squares) breaking up the wide border. I didn't follow the pattern Lucy and the others are doing exactly, and ended up bungling it slightly, making the center section too big and not having the center point be a yellow square, but it doesn't bother me that much. At least it's a tad bigger this way. Maybe will add a few more rows to make the whole thing bigger, since i'm only making this one medallion.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My attempt at the Mennonite Mosaic inspired by Lucy's, altho mine won't look antique--didn't have the right fabrics--and the color scheme is slightly off. Was thinking of making something for a friend, but it's starting to look more like colors for a kid, and I just found out that my nephew is expecting a baby in August! The first time one of us siblings will be a grandparent.
This is the cushion cover I made out of the Dutchman's Puzzle block below. I set it at a slightly tipped angle, which turned out to much more trouble than I'd expected, but i think it was worth it. The back is just orange (tiny woven stripes, like the pinwheel at the center).
Step into my humble abode. OK., it's not my only excuse, but one reason I haven't been posting as much is that the kitchen renovations (below) have been making my life a bit more topsy turvy than usual.
This latest round of renovations inspired me to reorganize the china cabinet. The green boxes are for tossing mail and receipts (one for filing and one for action).
New floor in entryway and kitchen: can you believe this is bamboo?

Only newish: the upper cabinets, installed in 2006. I spent months and months deliberating over which style and how to arrange them, glass doors or not, etc.
I'd been longing for one of these Under Cabinet giant drawer thingies for years. Separate containers for trash separation.
And guess who finally has a dishwasher for the first time in her life? Such luxury!
The lower cabinets are not quite finished, but I love it that the dishwasher blends in with the other cabinetry. Trim underneath also still needs to be installed.
The new counter. Not real wood, but much less hassle than the rotting beechwood counter i had before.