We Will NEVER Have Cars in Our Garage..........

A friend used to kid me that I have never had a car in any of the garages  we have had! 
                             She's right - in our house, garages are meant for storage!!!!

                         Well, Carol- my 3 car garage was CLEAN for a whole 24 hours- 




D/H, aka, Mr. Green Jeans, rented a truck to help a friend empty out his mother's condo.The mother had passed away, the condo was sold, and the contents had to be removed.

This was all the stuff the friend did NOT want, and since Goodwill could not do a pickup in time,

 D/H brought it home.

      To our clean garage.............

I have spent the past few days (while D/H is in DisneyWorld!), sorting thru' the stuff. I have emptied ALL the boxes!
There are now several stacks of boxes ready to be loaded up in my car for donating to the thrift store; the kitchen counters are full of stuff washed, and waiting to be priced to go in the shop; a few things listed on Freecycle awaiting pickup; and there is a bunch of furniture yet to be unwrapped.

~Have a peek~

love this little chair - my mom said she had a similar pair when she first got married - but doesn't remember what they were called. I have tried researching under so many different names- but cannot find a similar style.
Anyone out there know what this chair is??? It is small, low to the ground, almost child sized, altho' I can sit in it comfortably.

Below, are several nice, but not my style, chairs. We will keep a nice, small, green wing back recliner. I had given it to my mother, but she was not strong enough to operate it......so, it's in my room temporarily.

Another piece of furniture I can't use below- a gorgeous, Ethan Allen (?) white on white cloth  6 ft couch. We don't do white cloth in a house with 3 dogs! It will remain in white plastic wrap 'til it finds a new home! Some of these pieces will be sold, to offset the price of the moving van.

                                  There is also a cute pull out bed/loveseat, of country blue gingham

                                                     Lamps or glassware, anyone?



I am keeping this cool old bridge floor lamp, with swivel bulb - if I can find the attachments to hang the shade. I found a company called Paxton online - but I would have to buy the shade and special socket attachment - which would run about $75. I did find a shade there, that I fell in love with, but I am going to try to hold out a bit for a less pricey solution.........I now know  why I see alot of these style lamps turned into planters or having bird cages hanging from them - it's too expensive to replace the shades!!!!

Well, hope you liked the tour of my once tidy (albeit temporarily so) house and garage.

           And, Carol, you were so right, my garage will NEVER house a car!!!!!!!!

Tea on Tuesday

Happy Holidays!! This is just a brief tea post, while I get myself organized!!!

My New Year's resolution is to be more organized and to definitely post more on my blog. (Please check out yesterday's post!!! I've already started!!)

Today's tea is a Stash Christmas Morning black tea- really quite yummy with some French honey( gracias, Teresa )!

                     Instead of a teacup, I am using the photo mug my son sent me for Christmas.

Also thanking Teresa, a little Xmas goodie - a mate cup and bombilla from Chile! She searched high and low for a gourd, but could only find what she called a muy feo one of the Chilean colors. My daughter thought it was Christmas hued!

Please drop by and visit Patty and Kim for a list of other tea fanciers!!!

The Christmas Spirit

From the gift of the Magi, presented to a small child, under a bright star and clear sky- Christmas has morphed over the centuries into crass, commercialized, frenzied buying in large box stores aglow with florescent lighting..

Quite a difference, eh?

I have to admit, in years past, I was a prisoner of these frenzied times!!

Way too many presents under the tree for my kids,  making sure there was an equal number, so no jealousy erupted.
Had I a chance to do it again, I would have approached the holiday differently.

Someone who has the season in the right perspective is blogger/quilter/artist Gene Black.

Not too long ago, he sent out a request for some "angels". He needed a certain number of quilts to bring to a shelter in Alabama. He knew it was kind of short notice, but he was hoping "his" quilters could come thru' for him!!

I told Gene I would try to be an angel, but was not sure I could commit on such short notice. Plus, not being the best quilter in the world, I wasn't sure my quilt would be up to snuff!

So, without really committing, I started a quilt, with leftover fabric from my limited stash.

As it got closer to the due date, I panicked! I had intended to do some spiral machine quilting, but the quilt was about 64" square, and there was NO WAY I was going to be able to fit that in my Pfaff!! I have sent a few quilts out to Joanne for machine quilting for just this reason!!!

I shot Gene an email, apologizing for being a failed angel, but I just did not think I would be able to make the deadline.

With my own self imposed pressure now gone, I sat down, rethought it, and just quilted it on the diagonal, just to get the thing out of my kitchen!!! (The basement studio was too cold, so everything was up on my kitchen counter and d/r table!!LOL)

Lo and behold, my simple diagonal stitching worked, the binding was  folded over, I rounded the corners of the quilt, and machine stitched in place. This quilt would certainly NEVER win a prize anywhere, but it wasn't totally bad.
I mailed it on the 19th- and it FINALLY arrived, in the nick of time, on the morning of the 24th!!! (I mailed a similar sized package from VA to California on the 22nd- and that arrived on the morning of the 24th- mail going to CA arrives quicker than mail going to Alabama- go figure!!!)

Gene sent me a lovely email. Of the several girls who were still at the shelter for the holidays(they got first pick!), one chose my quilt out of the whole pile!!

Here is part of what Gene wrote me:
"......One of the girls picked your quilt......the look on her face when she read the label was priceless. She was amazed that the quilt came "all the way from Virginia" and she loved what you wrote on it. You made her a very happy girl for Christmas...and for that- I thank you again. I managed to hold it in while I was there and smile alot....... I realize just how blessed I truly am."

Well, Gene, the girls there are truly blessed to have an angel like you in their corner!!

If you want to see the stack of gorgeous donated quilts, go to Gene's blog and see his post and short video about the Angel Quilt Delivery.
I don't see mine in the pic, I guess it was already claimed by its new owner!!!

And, Gene,  I feel blessed to have been able to be one of your "angels"- even tho' my quilting is not of great quality, it was not the quality that counted in this case.

And I hope the thought that others can care about these girls, without even knowing them, will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

(Sorry, blogger won't rotate the pic!)

The Sketchbook - A Confession

I have been working on and off, on my sketchbook for the 2nd year of participating in the Art House Co-op Sketchbook Project Tour 2012.

It's not due til the end of January. 2012.

                                 My sketchbook was not going as well as I would have liked.

                                        Then it took a different turn - it became Yoshi's story.

                                        Now, I've decided, I do not want to part with it!

I think the sketchbook project is a great thing - and I was proud to participate in it last year.
And, it's certainly not that I think my original art is too good to be included - quite the opposite!!LOL There are some extremely talented illustrators and artists participating this time around!! I don't know how they can part with their works of art!!!

Overall, on the tour, my first sketchbook was only seen by people who actually knew it was there. It kind of got lost in the thousands (literally) of books in the tour. I am proud to have it there - that was the first time I had ever attempted anything like that.

And, since, I am not the most prolific artist out there - I decided I really like these original preliminary "yoshis" too much to let them go!!!

Having procrastinated  on what the book should have in it, until the last month or so, helped me in that decision - but mostly, it was, I like my sketches too much!!! I hope that doesn't sound vain- I am just attached!!!LOL

So, I guess Art House can consider my entry fee a donation- 'cause I am keeping the "yoshis", to work on at my leisure!!

Here are a few of them - just beginning - done with pencil and watercolor pencils, some will be finished in Pigma pens.

                                                        Baby Yoshi, mini donkey - born Feb 2010

Yoshi with his mom, Ocean

  Now, this little Yoshi below, was taken at the proper angle- blogger refuses to acknowledge that - tried to crop, then rotate, save as, etc - blogger will not show this upright!! Frustrating!!!!! It was taken exactly as the others were, and they are loading properly.

                                                  Almost 2 year old Yoshi - he eats well!!!!

Naughty Yoshi - I discovered he likes to nibble on tails - two GORGEOUS flowing tails are now "trimmed" on the outer edges!!!!!!

There were a couple more, but they are not loading properly, so I will save them until another time.

Tea on Tuesday

                    'Tis the season to be jolly..............



                      by all the last minute things you feel you must do for the holiday!!!!!

So, it is always a good time to have a nice cup of tea, sit back, take a deep breath, and think about the real reason for the season..............

This morning's tea is a mug of chamomile- because I am hoping to go back to  bed after writing this post - it is wa-a-a-ay too early!!!!!! Words were struggling to get out of my head, so.......

My favorite tea of late has been loose leaf Provence Rooisbos- I just love the scent and the flavor- and it is caffeine free! From South Africa, it contains rooisbos, rosehip, lavender, raisins, black currants, blueberries, and rose petals. 

Yesterday, a friend gave me some Twinings Winter Spice to taste test. It passed the test!! It is a "camomile tea flavoured with cinnamon, cardomom and cloves".

This past Friday was Julieanna's 2nd Annual Holiday Dessert Tea and Teacup Exchange.

I designed and made the 43 ornaments, with some additional embellishment by Julie.

One of the teacup exchange attendees made a gorgeous pineapple centerpiece

The dessert included chai mousse, a peppermint scone, and another tasty treat with pecans-pecan puff, maybe?

The mystery teacups lined up for the exchange

Tea mistress Susan getting ready to read her traditional tea story

Some of the lovely tea cups that were exchanged

I LOVE this blue one, received by my friend, Judy. It is a pottery mug/teacup, created by one of the guest's mom. The potter goes by the name Hot Flash Pottery!!!! Gotta love it!!!

I received a lovely, delicate, vintage Noritake demitasse set- coincidentally, from the same lady who gave me a wonderful Shelley set last year!

The rest......

A lovely time was had by all - Susan and Julie outdid themselves, as usual!!

Today, after I get more sleep - I will be off to a cookie exchange. D/H and I spent several hours night before last, making 9 dozen pizzelles. Next week, we should be making another 9 or 10 dozen. The holiday is not complete without pizzelles- we have been making them together, for over 20 years....

One of my daughter's fondest memories, is pulling a chair up to get at the container of pizzelle "trimmings", that I would "hide" on top of the refrigerator.
Trimmings are just as delicious as the cookie, by the handful or, as she would do - in a bowl of milk!!

Please be sure to drop by Kim and Patty, for links to other tea fanciers.

Tea on a Rainy Tuesday

Torrential downpours from down south have made their way here. We have had unseasonably nice weather, and it is still in the 60's, but POURING!!!!!

So, that will keep me inside today, scrambling to finish the ornaments for the upcoming Julieanna Holiday Teacup Exchange and Dessert Tea.

Am starting the morning with some loose leaf mint tea from Frontier, mixed with assorted dried mint from my gardens.

I chose a vintage mismatched teacup and saucer, that rarely leave the cabinet. I don't remember if they are thrift store finds, but this marriage seems to work- since they are both of vintage blue design.

I love the scalloped rim of the cup. The maker's mark on the underside is barely distinguishable -from Japan, most likely. 

Here are the stacked pieces of the Julieanna ornaments that I am working on:

They WILL be done and delivered on Thursday!!!!

While waiting for paint to dry on the ornaments, I threw together these two little Christmas goodies:
Above is a canning jar "snow globe"
Two tiny trees, some batting, and a tiny Red Rose Tea English Wade snowman, with silver glitter for snow.

Below is a tiny Xmas mouse peeking out from under a tree- set in a vintage zinc canning jar lid.

                                               She is really cute- and needed a new home...


Please drop by every Tuesday, rainy or not, for tea. Visit Patty and Kim for a list of other tea fanciers..

Food For Thought

There are so many things to be thankful for this holiday season.

Despite all the bad news every time you turn on the television, or open a newspaper, I'm sure, if we thought hard, we could all come up with at least ONE thing that we are so thankful for...................

The other day, my daughter and I were leaving a parking lot in Harrisonburg, after a once in a very great while food shopping trip to Kroger. We spent an unusually obscene amount of money (in my mind), as is the case, whenever I go to that upscale supermarket- despite the coupons and buying generic items. We can always find things there, that the lower end or local supermarkets don't carry.

As we approached the traffic light, car full, - and a glaringly new car at that (only the 2nd new car in my whole life- and in 12 years), there on the center divider, a few cars ahead of us, sat a disheveled man. He had a section of cardboard box, with a hastily written message- something to the effect of - "...former Master Sgt, served in Viet Nam, out of work, ill...etc"
I looked at my daughter, and she at me- we should really give him something, when the light changes. All I had was a ten- which I had to put in the gas tank, in order to get home! She had $3- so quickly pulled it out of her wallet. 

As the light changed, I rolled down the window and offered the 3 dollar bills. He seemed surprised, and literally struggled to his feet - a man probably not much older than I, but looking like life had been rough. There was a long line of impatient drivers behind me, hoping to make it thru' the light, so I didn't really stop to chat. 
His thanks and the flicker of light in his eyes was enough. I found myself apologizing (!), saying I wish it could have been more. In a way, I did wish it could have been more, but despite that new car, the groceries, and an almost empty tank of gas, my funds were almost depleted, being near the end of the month. It was my daughter's last $3 before payday.
I am not writing this to give my daughter and I a pat on the back for giving someone three lousy dollars- but just to say that we all can find something in our lives to be thankful for, and we should help whenever we can, no matter how little we feel it is....

There but for the Grace of God, could be any one of us, sitting by the side of the road, depending on the kindness of strangers.. And you never know, the next person you help(and this should NOT be the reason for you to help!), might really be an angel, checking on the state of kindness and goodwill within the human race!

This short video is a tear jerker - Change For A Dollar- my brother posted it on FB a few days after Katie and I saw that man sitting on the center divider. It is something to watch and share - you never know how many people one small kindness will help.

To everyone in the bloggy community - have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tea on Tuesday.......

......will be short today!
Only 33 more days 'til Christmas, and only 16 days 'til Julieanna's 2nd Annual Holiday Teacup Exchange. I am making the little commemorative ornaments for the exchange- and am in a hurry to finish!! Will post a pic when they are complete!

I had my roobois tea for the morning, and now am enjoying a glass of homemade grape juice - from the end of summer harvest of our one huge  vine of vintage Concord grapes.

I keeping with the tea theme - here's a quick peek at Julieanna's tea tasting this past Saturday.
The construction of the tea room is coming long - the walls are painted, the window frames are a work in progress. The room is useable, and hopefully, come spring, the tea room will be ready, and the customers will be a steady flow.

Julie and her granddaughter at the gift wrapping station

I met 2 friends, Judy and Bobbie, at the tea tasting. The pic I took of them caught them mid bite into a delicious cookie - so, I better not show that!!!
We had a lovely time, and did a little brainstorming about my upcoming quilt retreat.
(where- BTW- Pat Sloan will be teaching a workshop, and local rug hooker Donna Bleam will be doing a show and tell)
Well, back to the ornaments!!!!!!

Be sure to stop by and visit Kim and Patty for a list of other tea lovers