Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Union Quilters ~ On the Bookshelf

Jennifer Chiaverini is one of my favorite authors. I discovered her quite by accident one day in the library. She has written a series of novels called "Elm Creek Quilts" which are about a group of women who run a quilting "camp" and the various quilters who pass their way. Excellent books.

She has also written several historical fiction novels in the series -- one about the Underground Railroad which was absolutely riveting, and another which followed up on the central character of that novel -- and this one which I was so excited to discover!

The Union Quilters is about a group of women who love to get together to quilt, but then the Civil War points them in another direction. After Lincoln's call to arms in 1862, the men of Water's Ford, Pennsylvania hurry to join up, leaving the women to run their homes on their own. They rally together to form the Union Quilters, using their talents to provide for the soldiers on the front lines and for those who have been wounded and returned home. They draw strength and encouragement from each other as they face hard and often sad times.

Throughout the novel are woven the stories of these exceptional women and of their brave men who are at war. We learn of the soldiers' experiences through letters written home and shared by the women around the quilting tables. Ms. Chiaverini brings these stories to life with historical facts, letting us see up close the suffering of the men engaged in battle, the problems faced in dealing with the wounded, and the loneliness of those left at home.

This is an excellent book, written so as to capture not only the pain and suffering of soldiers on both the Union and Confederate sides, but also to give us the hope, love, and humor of these very brave women. Women just like the ones in our own ancestries.

I highly recommend Ms. Chiaverini's novels, and will be bringing more of them to you. If you read them, try to do so in order since they tend to build one upon the other and some of the same characters, or their ancestors, appear from novel to novel.

To read more about the Elm Creek Quilts novels and Jennifer Chiaverini, go here to her website and blog.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Halloween will be here sooner than you think!!!! 

So, have you started your Halloween stuff for your shop? Or are you starting to sniff around Etsy or ArtFire or Zibbet for cute, scary or maybe repulsive decorations?

I lean toward the cute myself. I don't really decorate for Halloween, although I do put out a few cutie things for Noli. Just a small space on my room divider shelves.

I'm working on a few Halloween things for my shop -- this trick or treat basket filled with pretend candy. Very oversized pretend candy!

I'm almost finished -- as you can see, the swirl candy is pinned together at this point. I, of course, don't have the right purple thread -- not even embroidery floss and I have about every color DMC makes, but not this one!! I prefer sewing the pieces parts on with sewing thread, maybe using the yarn to anchor it first. I like the way it virtually disappears into the crochet!

Oh no! The swirl candy didn't have its wrapper in the first pic -- it was feeling a bit *naked* so I promised I would show you it when *dressed* -- it's a happy swirl candy now! Also I can see I'll have to fiddle with the color on this purple. Miss *dressed* candy is closer to the true color.

Question for you:  should I put a face on the basket and let it be a jack-o-lantern? If I do, I think it will be felt sewn on (with black thread!!) Noli said it had to have a face if it's for Halloween....

That's her vote, what's yours?


Monday, July 25, 2011


I'm so in love with this treasury that I just must post it here!

I really had a fabulous time creating it.....I so enjoy finding just the right item for what I have in mind for the treasuries I create. And sometimes I just have to post them here. Maybe I'll start doing that all the time since I know that a lot of you might not see them otherwise on Etsy. And I know you love, love, love to look at treasuries : )

I know I do...

Anyway, here is my latest....

Just click on the title or this link and it will get you to the full-size one on Etsy, and you can go to each store too.

Hope you enjoy it!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ugly Truck Day!! Or So They Say.....

Today is Ugly Truck Day! We must celebrate all those beat up and battered trucks out on the roads (or in somebody's front yard....)

Here's a fine specimen! Late 1970s Ford Work Truck by Classic Wrecks. Have a look through his junkyard!

But, you know, I also like the cute stuff -- so I'm celebrating "Cute Truck Day" too! Let's see what we find around Etsy...

This one's a cutie! My son would have loved playing with this one -- but, alas, he has owned and driven (pickup) trucks and doesn't much play with them anymore!!

I love the different woods and the simple design. Organic Walnut Flatbed Truck by A Summer Afternoon.

That same son is a volunteer fireman in his town so maybe he would like to have this out in the backyard!

Be sure to check out all her super cute playhouses!
Fire Station Card Table Playhouse by MissPrettyPretty. 

It was hard deciding on a truck to show from this shop! But, in thinking about that same son..... he used to love watching cement trucks, and called them "see me trucks" !!

Go see his other vehicles -- you will be amazed! And everything works!!
Ready Mix Cement Truck by Wisconsin Woodchuck.

Love this cross-stitch! I have the pattern and have always kept it in the back of my mind to stitch! Guess it would have been a good one for that certain son : )

Here's another one that qualifies as a junker -- the truck, not the painting! I love the old rustic look of the watercolors in her shop! Fantastic!

Thanks for going truckin' with me today -- now go out and celebrate and find yourself some "ugly trucks"!!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lizard, lizard, show your money bag!

When I was a kid, I would say that until Mr. Lizard bounced his neck up and down and showed me his wonderful red money bag!

This Mr. L was no exception!

I looked out my window and saw him on the side of the greenhouse -- got my trusty camera -- and asked him to please pose for me.

I had to say "pretty please" but he accommodated me! Note his bright green color -- he might be a bit apprehensive as to my intentions, but he's still trusting of me.

OK, what's that human going to do? Catch me by the tail? And what on earth is that weird black thing she's holding? Think I'll just hang out a minute and see what's up....
Not so trusting anymore...

Not so trusting at all. Now he's completely brown and in "I'm going to bite you if you get any closer" mode. But, wait! His money bag is appearing! Will he show it?


Zip! Zap! Off Mr. Lizard goes -- the show is over!
Can she see my hiding place?

I'm outta here!



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