Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School . . .

It is time for the new school year to begin. I always liked this time of year when I was a child. I liked school for social reasons; and, truth be told, probably a lot more than I liked it for academic reasons! Summer time at home on the farm was quiet and seemed to last a very long time. I filled the days of summer with helping my mother a little in the kitchen by setting the table for dinner (what we called our noon-time meal) and by washing the sink, putting out clean towels and making sure there was a bar of lava soap for them to scrub up with before they came to the dinner table. We ate dinner at exactly noon Monday through Saturday and there was usually 5-6 of us gathered around the table. My mother prepared a huge meal every day. I spent the rest of my days riding my bike around on bumpy dirt roads, and I would often go swimming at the local swimming hole, Call's Pond in Morganville. After supper, I sometimes would ride with my father in his pick-up truck to a field to cover up a wagon or implement with canvas because it was going to rain, or to pick up bales of hay or straw that fell off the wagon during the day when it was being loaded and we would cart them to the barn. Cousins and friends would occasionally come out to visit and stay over night and that was always a blast. We found all kinds of ways to have fun and get into trouble! But, even though summer was fun; when September rolled around, I was more than ready to get back on the bus and go to school.

As a teenager I poured over the pages of the big Fall issue of Seventeen magazine and marked all the pages in the Sears & Roebuck catalog where I found things I hoped my parents would order for me. Of course, I marked practically every page! One of the reasons I started sewing garments was due to the influence of looking at all those clothes on those pages. I knew if I wanted lots of clothes, I would have to find a way to buy them or make them. My babysitting money went toward additional pieces at the Bette Shoppe, or the Town Shop in LeRoy or Scott & Bean, Alexander's, C L Carr's, or Marlee's in Batavia; or toward fabric ordered from Sears from little black and white photographs of the cloth! Not quite the same as it is now with Internet shopping! In fact, the nice people at the stores would often allow me to take clothes home, with a small deposit, for my parent's approval. I don't think that would happen today!

Even now, as an adult, I think I still consider September 1st to be more of a "new year" than January 1st! There was a whole lot more preparation and excitement in my childhood days for school than there was for the new year. Although, my parents used to have a family gathering on New Years Day, with a big meal, which meant, at least for my mother, there was a lot of preparation! But for me, getting ready for school and narrowing down my choices to couple new dresses from the catalog and buying new notebooks, pens and pencils and getting a new pair of canvas sneakers was a fantastic feeling. :-)

But . . . getting back to September 2013, . . . I have just finished making a couple mini albums and matching covered boxes that are school themed.  I have put videos up on my YouTube channel. They can be found at the following links:

The mini albums and boxes were fun to make and I am now making a Halloween theme mini album and covered box. I hope to finish that by tomorrow so I can move on to Autumn and Harvest and then to Christmas mini albums! There was a big scrap booking trade show in Buffalo this past weekend, and I planned to go, but re-thought that idea because I know I would probably come home with even more paper crafting things . . . and I need to use all the beautiful things that I already have in my studio stash!
It is a rainy day today. Not what I expected. I can cross yard work off my list and do some things inside instead. There is always more than enough to do inside and outside!
What I have learned:
I can practice self control and not go to every scrap booking event to check out the newest items.
What I want to learn:
How to organize my paper crafting stash in a way that makes sense so I know what  I have on hand and where it is!
What I appreciate:
A rainy day that seems to settle me down a bit.
What I want:
World Peace. Amen.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I am still here . . . really!

Perhaps you have looked on occasion for me and my blog. Or, maybe you haven't!  At any rate, I am here. I did not leave the planet. There is a reason why I have been so quiet in the blogosphere. It is because most of the things I have been working on have been for a project that has yet to be revealed to all the participants. So, I did not want to show any photos here on my blog of the things I have been making for the project. The project is the Row by Row Round Robin project that the Museum Quilt Guild is doing. I am one of a group of 5 quilters. I think there are maybe 5 groups in all. We will be revealing all the rows made for each participant at the September guild meeting. So, stay tuned. After that meeting in September, I will post the photos I took of the rows I made for the project for each of the other 4 quilters in my group. I have photos, too, of the rows put next to each other as they came to me and along with the row I made. It has been fun and it will be great to see all of them revealed next month! The rest of the time that makes up my days, and often my evenings is my real estate career . . . so that takes me a way from my studio, and is not what I include in this blog. We are especially busy at this time of year when our real estate season is very active. My husband and I are a real estate sales team. I try, however, to get into my studio very early in the morning or very late at night when I have some "spare" time!

I have been making a lot of things in my studio at my paper crafting station. I have my studio set up for all the steps I need to take as I make an album, or a quilt. I have a sewing station, a painting / stamping station, a cutting station, a table for assembly of album components and a table for my various machines, storage for my stamps and  dies for die cutting used in making albums. I have lots of paper stored on my bookshelves and paints, ink and stains, and embellishments in bins on rollers with removable drawers that are nestled under and in between my work tables. I can remove the drawers from the rolling bins and place them on the little table next to my chair so I can see what is inside without having to practically stand on my head to see what is in each drawer! The windows face north, so the light is very nice for working in my studio in the daytime. I have taken over what used to be our TV room. I think when our house was built in the 1840's, what is now my studio was a library. It is just the right size for me and I like to be on the ground floor where I have access to the kitchen, the porches, and the living room. I can work in my studio in the evening and listen to the TV so I can "watch" along with my husband . . . even if I am only watching with my ears! My husband is very kind to me and he often pauses a show so I can run in and catch something especially good.  :-)

There is another small table across the room that has my portable sewing machine, Ott light, threads, rotary cutters, cutting mat, and iron and mini ironing board on it. I have been doing a lot of paper piecing lately. 

Machines, die cutting supplies, adhesives, punches, rubber stamps, & rulers (for quilting, too!)

A place to use my inks and storage to the left for my papers that are in tablets.
My studio angel, that my husband gave to me as a gift, watches over me when I am working.

Storage beneath and in between my work tables, and the little that I use so I can look in the drawers.

I have posted a couple of videos on my YouTube channel of mini albums I have recently made. I have more to post in the next day or so. I have two minis completed that are related to school days and another I am working on that is a Halloween theme. I will be making some Autumn/Harvest theme, some Thanksgiving theme, and of course, some Christmas and Winter theme minis. In addition I will make some engagement, wedding and new baby theme minis, too. There are so many topics that call out to me for mini albums. They are a nice size to hold, to leave out on the coffee table, and to give as gifts for just about any occasion. My paper collection is rather extensive, so I am anxious to get more and more of it used up! It is too beautiful to sit on the shelves in my studio!

I am mailing a mini album out today to a special little girl named Teri. I made a quick video of it and posted it on my YouTube channel. You can view it at:

Here is a photo of the cover of another mini I made for a client who wanted a gift for a young woman who is engaged to be married. I made it with the idea she could commemorate her wedding planning and shopping trips in the album. There is a video of this on my YouTube channel, too.

Another day is almost over. Now that it is past mid-August, there is a definite tinge of fall in the air at night. The night sounds are different now. The bugs seem to be singing with deeper voices. The leaves on the trees are drier and they sound different now in the breeze than in the spring when they were young and tender. The hummingbirds will soon be stocking up on food at our feeder for their flight south. I love this time of year and tonight there will be a spectacular full moon. I plan to sit on our deck with my husband and enjoy the sights and sounds that late summer brings to our backyard.
What I have learned:
There are many nice people in the world. I meet some of them every day.
What I want to learn:
How to streamline my paper crafting activities.
What I appreciate:
My husband who supports me and encourages me in all the aspects of my life.
What I want:
World peace. Amen.