Change on the horizon

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It’s definitely time for a check in!

It’s been a mighty fine summer. I am feeling, just as I have last few years, very sad to see it go.

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Perhaps even more so this year with the impending polar vortex that is scheduled by mother nature to come through Michigan in September, and the insane winter we had last year.

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It must be my age that has changed my outlook on the seasons.  I can remember longing for fall, and being so pumped up for football and orchard weather.  NOT NOW!!!   I think I would be down right content if summer lasted for 8 months, then winter and fall could each take two months apiece.

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I find myself extremely reluctant to battle snow and ice these days, and now understand my Mom’s distaste for fall.  It’s not autumns fault, it’s just that it’s the harbinger of winter.  But I will clam my worries by living in the moment, and enjoying all that summer has left to offer. Surely the beautiful scents, and colors of fall will carry me through the frozen tundra until spring.  If not there’s always Florida, hehe, am I right?

We’re working on the Shasta and I’m excited to share some pictures very soon! We’re almost done, just finishing up the exterior paint job and ordering the Shasta wings.

This summer has been the “try new quilt blocks” summer for me, as far as quilting goes.

I became fascinated by,  and enamored with log cabin pineapple blocks. So I ordered up a Craftsy class and template and started one of my own.  I have some borders to plan and add, but I like it so far.

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I pieced together a few online tutorials, and added some of my own math to make a “Victory Garden” knock off.  It was on my quilt bucket list. Check!

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I’m finishing up the last rows of this kaleidoscope block quilt.  I ordered the kaleido ruler a month back, and couldn’t wait to try it.  They are fun little blocks.

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We have a week left until school starts and I’m interviewing for an “out of the house” job this week.

Yikes, changes are a coming!

Melissa

Digging in the dirt

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If your not into gardens you might want to skip this one.  Tons of baby garden pic’s ahead!!

We’ve been diligently working on our landscaping since the snow melted.   If only we had a million bucks right? We’ve got grand plans, but they involve  loads of dirt, rocks, driveway ashfault,  plants, trees, and bushes  that are just not in the budget.  We remind ourselves often: one step at a time. =)

I ran across this photo taken a few days before we moved in to our house and it did make me feel better.  What a jungle, you couldn’t even see the front stairs!!

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We cleared out all the overgrown flora and fauna and planted two manageable boxwood bushes in front. They are still babies, but will hopefully grown to nice round big guys.

There are very few sunny spots on our property to plant the flowers I love unless we just plopped a garden bed in the middle of nowhere!! Which I just might do someday.  But there are three spots.  The first is right behind our house.

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This bed is filled with purple coneflower, blackeyed susans, purple salvia, moonbeam coreopsis, lambs ear, sedum, shasta daisy, and some lillys that are just about to bloom.  Can’t wait!!

I had an extra ladder around so I threw it out here to hold my garden tools

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Just around the  corner on the side of the house is another sunny spot. Unfortunately this is also where all the electric and meter reading doo dads are.  Nothing messes up your pretty garden pictures like electric boxes. hehehe

This bed is pretty much all new plants this year with the exception of the spider wart, lilly, and roses.

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The roses were so pretty this year!! I just cut them back and hope to see another bloom.

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I used to think spider wart was just a weed, but it does look pretty in the morning when the flowers are open.

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Our new additions to the bed are:  Foxglove getting read to burst open.

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5 new hollyhocks

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A baby purple salvia

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I forgot what this is called but I love the wispy stems these purple flowers bloom on.

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There are two new of these things that I can’t remember either! Ha I think it’s in the pinks or carnation family??

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And one of these English moss rose plants

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It will be exciting to watch this bed fill out.

The other tiny little sun spot we have is at the right end of our shade garden.  There is a Rose of Sharon bush growing there  and another dratted day lilly (we have both of those ALL OVER and have to keep digging them out.)

I just planted some new sun lovers there this weekend.

A pink yarrow, purple Jacobs ladder, two delphiniums that are about to pop open and a hibiscus.

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The shade garden still needs some filling out but we are so pleased and geeky about our hostas!! We go out to watch them grow all the time.

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One addition in the shade garden we are excited about is this scottish plant.  It’s the prettiest green with tiny white flowers.

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We are trying our hand at a veggie garden this year. We put it out in the side yard.  We’re not sure if it will get enough light, but as I mentioned we are light challenged around here.  We planted tomatoes, cukes, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, squash, green pepper, onion, and sugar snap peas.

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The peas are climbing like champs!

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And the cauliflower is starting to make heads!!!

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Doesn’t take much to thrill us with our first veggie patch!! HAHAHA

Probably our biggest gardening feats to date is FINALLY getting grass to grow around our patio and fire pit!!! YAAYYY!

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We have plans to clear out the weedy mess along our driveway today.  I better go find some bandaids for my blisters!!

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Later gators!

Melissa

Summerizing the Homestead

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One of my favorite things to do each season is make new pillows.  It is amazing what a new pillow can do to change the mood in the house.  This year for summer I made simple red/white and blue/white striped pillows.  They feel nautical and patriotic at the same time to me, which is just what the season calls for!

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Besides my new pillows the things I am most excited about with my Summer decor this year are:

1. I finally quilted and bound my red and white quilt!!! I’m in love! It lights up the whole family room. It’s my favorite quilt ever. =) There is no pattern, just the very center paper pieced star block is from  Judy Niemeyer,  then  I added square in a square’s and some applique and borders to it.  It’s finished off with a scalloped border.

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2. This old coke box I found while antiquing,  another vintage red lantern, and a very sweet milk glass red and white bottle  for the kitchen table.

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3. My recent obsession with vintage picnic tins.

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5. It’s my first summer to decorate the mantel without the huge ugly mirror!

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It obviously doesn’t take much for me to get excited! Hehehe.

Later gators!

Melissa

Our Spring Dining Room

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I’m too chicken to drive whenever it’s snowing, or if there is snow/ice on the roads. I haven’t been antique shopping since before December. So when we had a little break with clear roads this weekend I was outta here!  I drove to all my favorite antique spots and to the local green spot to get some springy plants to scatter around our house for some much needed cheering up. Enough of this cold snowy winter I tell ya!!

This cheery pot of daffodils became the center of the spring table arrangement in my big dough bowl.  I added some moss balls, eggs, and cabbage heads.

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I found many new ironstone pieces at really good prices while I was out. Here is one of the little servers on the plate rail. I threw in some faux sprigs in the mercury glass vase.

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On the other side, I placed a couple clock faces. One I found at an antique store, and the big one was from Hobby Lobby. I took it out of it’s frame and used the frame in the dry sink.  Guess how much it was?  7 dollars.  STEAL!!! =)   I also found this sweet milk-glass vase at antique and  filled it with a real rosemary plant. The little chalkboard sticker came from Michael’s dollar bin.

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I bought a few clay pots and white washed them and used the little chalkboard stickers on them.  Here is one on the dry sink.  I can’t remember what kind of plant this is.  Hope I don’t kill it! LOL

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The rest of the dry sink has a frame I found in the basement, and the clock face frame with a mossy wreath, bunny and faux flower arrangement.

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My next plant went into an enamel Tea can.  The ironstone platter was another find on Saturday.

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The hutch always looks pretty much the same I just tried to spring it up a little.

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And my very favorite thing I bought?  This framed sheep print I’ve had my eye on for over a year.  Every time I visit the antique store where it came from I always stare at it and long to buy it.  I could never make myself spend the money they were asking for it because of the condition it’s in. But I finally bit the bullet and I am so glad I did.  I love it, even in it’s tattered state. It’s perfect for spring.

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Lastly I hung up my new quilt I made for our sew along.

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I’ll be back with the rest of the spring decorating and the other fun things I picked up on my shopping spree!

Crossing my fingers for spring to get here!!

Later gators,

Melissa

Linking to Wow Us Wendnesdays

Oh, Captain Wentworth! A free pattern and sew along

I’ve been working on something fun the last few days for us to sew together ! It is my interpretation of Jane Austen’s famous diamond quilt, pieced by Jane, her mother, and sister.

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There is a wonderful article about the quilt written by quilt historian Barbara Brackman here CLICK

Like many before me, I’m an avid Jane Austen fan, and have read  all of her  books and watched all the PBS films over and over.  My favorite Austen man is Captain Wentworth from Persuasion ….ahhhh so dreamy.  So that’s what I’m calling this quilt.

I’m not finished designing it yet but I wanted to give you a heads up to prepare in case you want to sew along.

Here’s the quilt so far:

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It will finish somewhere around 30 x 50, so it will make a nice little wall hanging.  I’m going to add some applique in the center triangle, and finish the pieced border, then I’ll start posting the directions here on the blog.

I cut way to0 many triangles so I will probably offer a few kits if you would like to use the same fabric as I did.

Okay so what do we need?

1. VERY HELPFUL, but not mandatory is the Marti Michell 2 1/2 inch stripper template.

41EqIcfCCiL._SY300_If you don’t have this, and don’t want to purchase this handy dandy tool, you can still use your regular ruler with the 60 degree angle mark, but the tool will make piecing the quilt a lot easier because the template ruler has squared off points that help you line up your triangles.

2.  About 1 and 1/2 yards of white cotton

3. A variety of 2 1/2 inch strips of your color choice cotton prints for center of quilt, and 1 1/2 inch strips for the border.

I hope you’ll join me!

Later gators,

Melissa

Blueberry Buckle Quilt Pattern

The pattern is finished and added to my patterns page.

It’s a fun one to make! The background is Marcus Brothers aged muslin which is so deliciously old looking!!

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Finished size is 48.5 x 58.5

$7.00 PDF pattern

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Have a great weekend!!!

Melissa

Quilts and Clocks

Hi friends! Are you surviving the Polar Vortex? If you are reading this somewhere warm, be thankful! =)  The kids just went back to school today in my neighborhood after 4 canceled school days in a row! I’m sure we are well over the allotted snow days now after having 4 or 5 days cancelled the previous polar vortex go-around as well.  We are not out of the woods yet with a huge snow storm heading our way next week.

YIKES.

Here’s what the sidewalk looks like in front of our house already:

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The snow is up to their shoulders!! Any more and it will be over their heads. LOL It’s kind of fun actually. We just make sure and stock up on supplies when the roads are okay to drive.

With it being tough to get out and about, I have been staying warm inside quilting.

In my effort to lighten and brighten I made a white background album block quilt for the piano room.

album block quilt cornbread and beans quiltingI really want to paint the walls white in here, but will have to wait to dig out to go buy paint. In the meantime, I thought a brighter quilt would help out.

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Did you notice my  recent acquisition of vintage alarm clocks?

Here’s a closer look:

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I love them!  I talked an antique dealer into letting me have 6 of them for $40.00!! Mom and Dad and I spotted them while Mom was home for a visit from Texas.  There were 50 or so in boxes and when I first asked about them he said they were 10- 15 bucks apiece. I said, ” watch this Dad, I’m going to take these up there and ask if he’ll take 40 bucks.”  I’m getting to be a wheeler dealer! Ha haha

I’m trying to finish writing instructions for a new pattern called Blueberry Buckle I’ll be putting out next week.  Here’s a sneak peek:

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Doesn’t it remind you of a blueberry desert? Yumm.

Later gators!

Melissa