Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Morning Fiasco

 I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We did, other than one "little" issue!  

No, the new kitten didn't climb the tree and knock it over, whew - that actually was a concern we had!

 Our kids were surprised with their gifts - they liked everything
My Mom made it here from Upstate NY to spend the holiday with us.
I actually remembered everything I needed at the grocery store.

Hmm....so for the perfect Christmas day.

This innocent looking appliance was just waiting...

 waiting for me to put in my Orange - Cranberry bread for breakfast, the first of several foods that needed to baked on Christmas day: homemade cinnamon rolls were going in second, dinner rolls and the ham for Christmas dinner.

For 15 years this WONDERFUL oven has done it's job perfectly - why did it have to pick Christmas day to go on strike?  

Here's a quick recap of the morning - I had just closed the oven door after checking on the orange cranberry bread - it had maybe 5 more minutes to bake.  No sooner than I close the door, there is a very bright light (like a welder's torch)  snapping noises and sparks  flying inside the oven.  In my state of panic I open the oven door (If I had read the manual I would have known this was NOT the appropriate course of action!)  I'm now screaming for my husband and trying to remember which side of the sink my fire extinguisher is on.  Thank goodness my husband is a little calmer than I am, he walked over, closed the oven door and waited for the show to be over.  (he did admit later that he knew I needed him immediately by my scream - it wasn't my "big spider" scream!)     
Can you tell from this picture that the element is fried?  It is completely bent out of shape and detached from the plug in.  The whole fireworks took only about 6 seconds and was contained to the oven, thank goodness, but my heart was racing for another  30 minutes!  

The dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls went into the garbage.  The ham, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes went into crock pots instead of the oven.   A new element was ordered within minutes and I'm expecting it today. 

I've told all the other appliances that New Years Eve is going to pass by unnoticed.   

Monday, December 13, 2010

Simple Decorations

If you read my last post, you'll remember this photo.  I put all (or almost all!) of my Christmas decorations on my dining room table and decided to use only what I truly LOVE.  So I've gone from this...
 to this....
 Everything I didn't want ended up in a LARGE Dell computer box, ready for a garage sale or a Thrift Store. 

I decided on a simple gathering for the dining room table.  One of my handwoven baskets, layered with a large snowman candle holder, filled with a grubby candle and potpourri and a sprig of faux greenery. 
 I pretty much left the corner cupboards alone, just added a few holiday items to the baskets and books...
 A new bottle brush tree on the left and an antique one on the right - from the Fuller Brush Company
 Small cross stitch pillow and a Santa...
 another small cross stitch cupboard tuck...
 I hung my wall pocket from Karen at My Colonial Home in my grain sifter

 I made a couple of these pea hens and this one found a home in an antique wooden bowl on my stove, nestled in a faux greenery wreath with red berries.
We finally purchased our Christmas Tree yesterday, hopefully tonight I'll get that decorated.  School was cancelled here today due to snow and icy road, I love bonus days at home with the kids.

I have enjoyed looking at all of your homes decorated for the holidays.  Thanks so much for sharing.
Have a great day.  ~Ann

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Simple Decorations Christmas 2010

Saturday I pulled out all my Christmas/Winter Decorations and filled the dining room table.  Carmen (Primcats Farmhouse) inspired me to do this.  Last year I just pulled from boxes and left lots in those boxes that never appeared in the decorating.  This is the year to clean out and put things into a garage sale box. 
I am really drawn to simple decorating - less is more.  So with that in mind here a few of my arrangements so far....

My friend Melissa from Farm Field Primitives made me this angel several years ago and I've loved her for all those years - I usually keep her up with the snowmen into February.  She's sitting in a bowl of dried black walnuts.

 I purchased this little tree back  in the spring for a great price of 75% off!  The tin bucket was a Christmas present from Sauder Village to all of us employees a few years ago, handmade by our tinsmith. 
 The little snowmen have a very mysterious way of jumping off the tree, hmm.....

 And here I was going to blame Frito for this mischief!  I see now that Frito is just sitting, but Shadow is batting! 
All I did was walk away and came back to this....

bad cat!

 Our old dining room is now the piano room.  I've added a few pieces of furniture here and am really liking the look of this room.  The spinning wheel was a gift from my Mom,  the 3 drawer dresser belonged to my Dad's parents and the desk in the corner was my great-grandfather's. 
I'm in the process of creating a make-do chair.  I'm planning on covering it in feedsacks.  I'm stumped as to how to cover the arms without having a seam run down the front.  Good Christmas project when my Mom is here over Christmas break.

 Just a few touches of Decorations.  I'm excited as there is snow on the ground here in Ohio (finally!).  I'll share some more simple decorations later in the week.  ~Ann

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Prim Poinsettia Tutuorial

I bought a neat felt Poinsettia at a craft show and wanted to make some more to put on one of my Christmas Trees this year.  Once I figured out how to replicate the one I bought, I thought I'd share with you.   You will need:

Maroon felt or wool (ofcourse you could use white or pink!)
3 Rusty Jingle Bells
Black embroidery thread
Wire coat hanger - approx. 8"

First you will need to make your template.  I used a 3" long by 1" wide rectangle.  Round off one end with your scissors and gradually point the other end so you have a raindrop shape.

Cut 12 petals.

Using a 2' long piece of embroidery thread, take 2 large basting stitches through the large end of one petal.  Keep adding petals until you have all on.  Pull up your stitches to bring the petals together in a circular shape.

Don't cut your thread!  Bring thread to front and add 3 rusty jingle bells.  I anchored each bell separately, I didn't add them all on the thread and then attach.  I felt they would hold better anchored separately.

 You can add a section of wire coat hanger at this point.  Simply slip it through and anchor it under the bells in the front.  Leave the long end hanging down the back - maybe 8".  This way you can tie or wrap to your tree or wreath if you want.
Last step - spray with Walnut Ink.  Make sure to lay your flower on wax paper to protect your counters! 

My first flower is drying on the counter overnight.  I suppose you could put this in the oven at the lowest temperature - just watch to make sure it doesn't burn.

Have fun and let me know if these directions work (or don't work!) for you.

Have a good week.  ~Ann

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Baskets

 I've updated my Lemon Poppy Seed Shop for December 1st with a couple of new baskets.  Click my link on the sidebar - upper righthand side to see these two new baskets.  Both have Free Shipping! 
Thanks for checking them out.  ~Ann

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A long distance swap

 I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!  We traveled from our little corner of NW Ohio to the Milwaukee area for Thanksgiving with my sister & her husband, their 3 little ones and our Mom.    

A few posts ago, I highlighted the new blanket crane that my husband made me.  Karen (My Colonial Home blog) commented that she would love to have a blanket crane one day.  
 I just happened to have 2 extra ones - my husband went a little overboard making them!  (Yes Melissa, I have one left if you want it, but like Karen you have to finish it!)  Knowing that we would be in WI for Thanksgiving, Karen and I worked out a swap. 

I just love the goodies that she made me.  If you don't have any of Karen's stitching, all I can say is - You Should!  Her stitching is perfect and the detail is amazing - something that really can't be captured to show up in photos and online. 

After our swap, Karen and her husband Doug and my husband and I went out to breakfast and then attended a local craft show.  The venue was very cool - it was a  Y camp that had cabins situated in the woods and each cabin had one or two crafters set up in it.  They had fires burning outside among the cabins and the cabins were connected  by boardwalks so the walking was easy.  Unfortunately for us, the craft part of the craft show wasn't as cool!  Lots of polar fleece people and cutesy painted things.  Not really my taste or Karen's either.  We did have a good time walking and chatting and I think our husbands had a good time getting to know each other too. 

After leaving Karen and Doug, we stopped at a consignment shop in Mukwonago WI and LOOK what I found!  The Folk Art lamp.  Happy Day. 

 I will have a Cyber Monday special on my other blog - 1803 Ohio Farm Baskets.  You can visit that blog by clicking the link in the upper right hand corner of this blog. 

Have a great week.  ~Ann

Friday, November 19, 2010

Free Primitive Quilt Patterns

While I was out "blog hopping" about a month ago, I found Quilts by Cheri.   Cheri has been designing quilt patterns for some time, but only recently started a blog.  She has offered 2 free quilt patterns on her blog, found here

This first one is a small holiday pattern. The small blocks are only cut at 1", I was a little hesitant, but I'm glad I tried my hand at this small piecing. I Love how it turned out. I need to add a halo to my angel and quilt it yet, but all the other wool applique is on. Have I ever told you I LOVE to blanket stitch? I'm serious, I could sit and blanket stitch all day long, it's so relaxing, so the applique part of this quilt (and the next one) is my favorite part. 

This second pattern is actually the first free pattern Cheri offered, it's called Soots and Ashes.  Cheri did hers in blacks and grays.  I chose a brown/taupe/burgundy combination.  I do not have all my wool cut to applique onto this one.  You REALLY need to visit Cheri's blog to see this one finished up. Mine doesn't do the finished one justice, I just had to show off what I've done so far. 
I think Cheri started posting directions for this quilt back in August, and every few days she would add directions for a new block. They are easy blocks and go together quickly.

I hope you all have a good weekend.  ~Ann

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Auction Find

On a cold, windy Saturday in March, we stopped at our first auction for the year.  I wasn't really sure I wanted to stop, the house was a DUMP but my husband persuaded me and this is one of 2 pieces of furniture that I picked up that day. 
 The marbled doors are actually contact paper - didn't realize that until I got home.  Started thinking about having punched tin panels custom made for the doors...
 The drawer fronts had a lovely art deco design routered into them and beautiful handles! (sorry I'm just kidding - UGLY!) 
 For some reason, the shelf inside was cut in half, so the left side didn't have a shelf.  Lots of extra contact paper and something wrapped in tin foil under the right side shelf. 
 A very nice surprise when I unwrapped the foil package.  It was the door panels!  Not crazy about them yet - the tin punched panels still sound really good!

 We spent the better part of today finishing this piece so it was house ready.  Over the summer when we had time, we worked on preparing it in the garage, so today it was just the finishing to tackle. 
 Close up of the piece.  I REALLY like it now - even the doors have grown on me - I'm keeping them.  Punched tin will have to be in some other piece, later on down the road.

My husband planed down the drawer fronts until they were smooth, which led to another problem.  The exposed wood wasn't worn like the rest of the piece.  He made up a custom color of stain and brushed on.  It's perfect! 

We painted the inside with left over paint from some project or another, can't even remember!  Good use of left overs.  Our 10 year old even did some painting in there - he loves to paint. 

We moved several pieces of furniture today, making room for our new piece.  This small wall is between the sliding doors in the kitchen and the dining room.  I just love the simplicity of the piece. 

The mirror is an antique my Mom gave me, the primitive broom was a GW find and I made the candle sconces over the summer from items I found at the TS.  The sconces started out their lives as a vertical welcome sign and a note pad holder!  I didn't make them to be hung together, so one is longer than the other - we'll have to fix that over the Christmas holidays. 

Have a good week ~Ann

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weaving Weekend

Thursday afternoon I drove to Shipshewana, Indiana (1 1/2 hour west of my house) to join with 18 other basket weavers for a weekend of weaving, shopping and fun.  Jody came the farthest - over 4 hours away in Illinois and several gals from the Heritage Weaving Guild in the Dayton area joined us as well. 

When I drove into town this great big basket welcomed me!  I knew it had to be a good omen for the weekend. 
 While I didn't make any baskets this big, I did accomplish quite a bit. Thursday afternoon and evening I made the following:

The three small baskets in the front will go on my basket themed Christmas tree.

Friday I finished the large magazine basket with the decorative accents in the back and wove the other small to medium baskets in this photo.  2 of the small baskets will go on my basket themed Christmas tree.  The other small basket is a "gift" to a friend.  She gave me the kit for it, because she doesn't like making small baskets - I made it and it will be returned to her tomorrow. 
This is all I got done on Saturday!  I look like a slacker.  LOL.  I did make 2 trips into town on Saturday ( I never left the retreat center on Friday - I guess it shows) 
If you've never heard of Shipshewana Indiana, it's home to a huge flea market in summer time, antiques and crafts all year long.  It has a very large settlement of Amish in the area, lots of buggies and bicycles on the roads. 

The combined total for my 3 days of weaving.  Now I just need to stain and paint these to finish them up.  17 total baskets!  Yeah. Not only did I weave all these baskets, I taught my friend Barb how to text!  Barb is now a texting queen!  
Have a great week.  ~Ann

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blanket Crane

I have been wanting a blanket crane for awhile now, after seeing several of them in homes that I admire.  I printed the directions from Kris's Blog, Simply Prim.  You can find the tutorial for the blanket crane here.  Thanks Kris for the directions.  I did have my husband change the plans just a little.  I wanted the crane part to actually swing, so he made it that way, rather than stationary. 

I painted it black with a coat of taupe and then finished with a coat of dark brown Briwax.  I found the coverlet at the Thrift Store.  It was a silent auction item that I was lucky enough to win.  I love the colors, antique white, mustard and brown. 

My living room is so boring and this helped bring it some character.  I'm working on that room, but just can't get it like my kitchen/eating area.    I'm thinking that I need a mantle/fireplace like this one. 
This is in my brother & sister-in-laws house. 

My brother put in an actual fireplace.  When we were growing up in this house, there was a door to the outside where the fireplace is.  He built a brick chimney and the hearth surround.  I love the simplicity of the whole thing.  I also think it screams primitive.  Unfortunately for me, my husband isn't willing to build a chimney!  I'll have to settle for a fake fire, but I'm sure working on selling the idea of a mantle - wish me luck! ~Ann