Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Ramble IN Old Hilo Town

By the time I started feeling better from the flu I was so stir crazy I couldn't stand it anymore and decided to take a ramble through the shops in Old Town Hilo. I wandered first into one of the few antique shops and was pleasantly surprised to find a few Delft nic nac's I liked.

 This small Delft shoe was so cute I couldn't resist it. I am a sucker for windmills on Delft.
 Here is the same shoe from a different angle. It is only 4" long and very well hand-painted.
 In the same cabinet was this delicious little butter / sugar crock with a lid.
 Here is a shot with its lid off, it too is very well hand-painted with a windmill and town scene.
 In the same collection were these two 6" x 6" hand-painted Delft tiles of lovely windmill scenes.
 They were so lovely I had to take them home with me. It must be my Dutch ancestry calling out to me or something?!
 In another part of the cabinet I spied these cute little windmill salt and pepper shakers.
 I have seen salt and pepper shakers before, but none this well done. I had to have them for my Delft shelf.
Here they are in my shop, I think they make a lovely gathering of Delft. I do love small pieces and these were just too delightful to stay in that dim dingy shop.  I think they cleaned up very nicely.
After I left the antique shop I thought I would cut across the Hilo Market. Since it wasn't market day, all the vendors were gone, and it was easy to cut across the gravel under the market tents. As I was walking along I glanced down and found two real pearls in the gravel. A couple of steps further and I saw a bit of bling in the gravel. When I bent over to pick it up, what should it be but the above purple sea turtle necklace, complete with little purple glass stones. This chirked me up no end.
 The next shop I venture into is one of my absolute favorite shops. It is called Dragon Mama's and has a couple of very nice Japanese ladies who run the shop and do all kinds of custom sewing. They also carry bolts of fabric that are to die for. I couldn't resist getting a yard of this hilarious doggy fabric. It made me laugh just to look at it.
 I had a surprise in their shop too because they had a big basket full of fabric scraps which they were giving away for free. I felt like it was my lucky day and so picked out a few bright scraps to take home with me and use for my projects. Aren't they delicious?!

 After Dragon Mama's I passed on up the street, window shopping as I went. In the window of a lovely gift shop I saw this whimsical little fellow and fell instantly in love with him. Doesn't he just want to make you laugh?!
 I must admit I am a lover of funny little stuffed animals of every kind. I am pretty picky about what I like, but this funny fellow hit all the right points. Soft, cuddly, cute, and whimsically silly expression.
I couldn't resist his delightful charms. He is a Jackson Chameleon, and the company had put Colin on his paper tag. Colin the Chameleon just came across as too trite to me, so I renamed him Franklin, which suits him much better. Beside he doesn't look like a Colin to me at all.
I thought Franklin was going to be my last purchase, as I was getting pretty tired, but I decided to go clear to the end of the street to my friend Anala's who has a lovely jade shop called Anala's Jade. While I was there chatting I saw this lovely purple jade cricket in a cabinet and couldn't resist buying it for Andrew. He likes jade and I like getting him pieces when I find them in the right shape and good color. Anala had these in green too but all of them were too pale. She was busy making jewelry like mad and packing up most of the contents of her shop for a trip to Los Vegas over Christmas to sell her jewelry. Normally this fellow would be hanging from a fine cord, so I will have it strung for Andrew when she gets back.

After I left the shop I had a long walk back to my car and was pretty pooped out. I think this flu took more out of me than I expected, but I am so glad I went for this ramble, it really cheered up. It was so nice to chat with people and see a few friends I hadn't seen in ages. It was also nice to get out in the world instead of laying at home in bed or lying on the couch, staring at the four walls until I went mad.

My husband has just come in to say he is going off to town so I shall avail myself of the opportunity to get out again, tho going to town the day before Christmas may be some form of madness all in itself. Wish me luck!

More Ornaments On My Tree

Since I had so many ornaments and I couldn't get them all in one post, I made a second post. Nifty thing about blogging you can quickly share as many pictures as you want. I hope this gives you some idea's for your own Christmas projects in the coming year. Enjoy!

Doesn't kitty look like he wants to just eat that pine-cone?! He sure is eyeing it. I wonder what sort of mischief he is going to get up to when my back is turned? I fear he may go for a hunt for my mice.
 At least he is well away from my mice at the moment. They are hiding away in the branches from him quite nicely, tho they do look nervous.
 I do love these little metal bird houses I found, they were so cute I couldn't resist them. They go well with my homemade star don't you think?!
Here is a better picture of Hammish Ewe, he is hanging out and enjoying the view, tho he tries to act indifferent. I caught him kicking the ball wreath and had to have a word with him. He can sometimes be a very naughty sheep, but only when he is bored.
 Here is a nice closeup of one of my pine-cones. These are very simple to make and are just pieces of folded velvet pinned to a foam egg. The thicker the cloth the larger the cone.
 When my kids were little I made ornaments by tracing their hands onto old Christmas cards. It made for a simple and fun project to do with them and they seemed to enjoy it. It looks very cute beside some Ady mice and another velvet pine-cone. I wish I had made more little hands as they were growing, it brings back such fond memories.
Here is one of Ady's little figures. He is a drummer boy and simply adorable hanging out beside some yo yo Christmas tree's.
 Here is another of Ady's little mice, a veritable angel. I love little wooden ornaments and tin ornaments too.
 A yo yo Christmas tree, a folded ribbon pine-cone, and a silly little pig peeking out of the foliage. How funny is that?!
 I do have just a few blown glass ornaments, which tho not old fashioned, I still like putting up. Every tree needs a little dragon I think, just for the whimsy of it.
Here is another Ady figure. This one is made from a wooden clothes-pin, the little painted face is just so cute, I simply love it. A crochet and felt heart, a nice metal jingle bell, a gilded leaf, and a vintage glass pine-cone ornament that was once Moms. This really makes for an old fashioned Christmas tree and I am truly happy with how my tree turned out this year.


Christmas Decor 2017

Merry Christmas everyone, I have been so wanting to post my Christmas decor but have been laid up with a nasty flu. This has put me behind schedule on all sorts of things, but mostly I wanted to finish making up Violets sister dolls, but that will have to wait until I am stronger.

I did take pictures of my Christmas decor before I got sick and was glad I did it right after Thanksgiving or who knows what my house would look like?! Anyway I am on the mend, another ten pounds lighter, and my clothes hanging on me like old sacks, but I am fast gaining my strength back and don't miss the extra weight.

On to the decor...
Here I hung a real fir bough wreath inside my front door, because I love the scent of the foliage. My tree sadly is a faux one, because the cost of a real one here is too prohibitive. The wreath came with a bow, but I added some bells and some golden holly leaves with berries. Just to spruce it up a bit.
 Andrew and I decided this year to just go with my old fashioned ornaments and my handmade one's. This was a good decision and made for a fun and old time feel Christmas tree. I think it turned out really well and saved me loading the tree to the gunnels with all of the other ornaments I had. Andrew actually did most of the hanging as I unpacked them. It made for quick work.
I keep all of my ornaments in decorative boxes so once I am done hanging them I put the boxes under the tree and it makes it look like Christmas presents. Of course if I was still putting presents under my tree it would look even cooler.
 I love my tree topper, it was made from some Christmas ribbon, a bit of felt for the star and some nifty little mini Christmas lights on a string. The base is an up-cycled paper thread cone, which makes it easy to slide over the top of the tree.
 I just love handmade ornaments and have been making them for years. I was actually pretty surprised at how many I had made. I made pine cones out of foam eggs, little yo yo Christmas tree's, but the cute little mice were made by a dear friend, Ady Arens. She has such a talent and I just adore her little mice and little people.
Here you can see Beulah Ewe and Hammish, as well as my Blue Belle and a few yo yo tree's. I am thinking I just might have to make some more sheep, since they look so fun on the tree.
 My crochet heart, is hanging here along with more yo yo tree's and one of my spool dolls. I was right, she does look good hanging there. I think she is a perfect addition to my tree.
Here is my other spool doll, as well as my old fashioned star made from a scrap of my 18th century Dutch outfit. Also one of my velvet pine-cones and another yo yo tree. I went kinda nuts one year making yo yo tree's, but I think they add a nice touch.
 Here is another Ady mouse, isn't it adorable?! Also tho I did not make it, I love the bit of yarn ball wreath that was given me by my daughter, Yvonne. I like it so much I even bought more yarn balls intending to make another length of it, but I got the flu and that was that. It will just have to bead up some of the balls I got and try to make them as nice as the one she got me, in the coming year. I must say tho, hers has cute little spots, beads, and other additions that make it truly adorable. Plus a wonderful variety of colors and sizes, which I am not sure I can replicate?! For an old fashioned tree it is truly perfect.
Here is my little pink Sunbonnet Sue, a fun project that I copied from an old housewife needle saver that I showed you as a project earlier in the year. It was such fun to do I just may have to make another as I really liked making it.
On the left is the Santa I made some years ago, he is decorating his tree and hanging out with my other purchased Santa's. It is always funny to me now that I live in the tropics, trying to make things look and feel like Christmas. No snow on the ground and temps in the 70's and sometimes 80's. Tho we did get snow on the mountain. So it was add more blankets to the bed and wear my fleece hat at night, to keep my ears warm.
 Here are my sock monsters hanging out on the dining room table. They wanted to be a part of my Christmas decor too, so I put them here hoping they would behave themselves. They can get a bit unruly, and you have to keep them away from the food. Sometimes they seem a bit spooky lurking there, but they are good fun too.
 Here is my Jim, Shore Santa's Workshop and Christmas Train. Violet wanted to hang out here so I was happy to oblige her. I just wish illness hadn't kept me from getting her sisters done in time to be with her...sigh.
In the main I am happy with what I did this year. I had such fun making up the little sewing projects, especially the spool dolls. Having never made any before I wasn't sure how they would turn out and am happy to say I really enjoyed it. So in the coming year I am looking forward to making more and sharing them here with you.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

My Dear Violet

If you have a love of all things crafty and you are wondering what to do with those bits of scrap, and strings, and things. Maybe you will like to attempt  to make a doll like, My Dear Violet. Now to begin with I don't have any pictures of the makings for her head, which I do apologize for. It was something I was making one day, that I wasn't at all satisfied with, so I had set it aside where it had languished in various locations in my shop for months.

Well yesterday I saw the sad little head, lying there in a corner, and decided it was high time I got to it and finished her. As all of my creations evolve as I go, usually, I thought this time I would determine what she would be by the yarn that I found for her hair. Now as I have a rather large stash of yarns, I was not limited in my choices. I have my daughter to thank for this, and also my dearly departed mother in-law, Maryann, who tho she has passed away, still remains near to my heart. Both of them loved, and the former still loves, all thing yarny and sheepish, and tho I don't knit, I too love the soft fluffy feel of a delightful ball of yarn.
First of all I assembled what I call my kit. This is an array of materials I feel I will need for my project. In this case I was drawn to contrasting colors of yellows and purple's, and you will soon see why.
 I found a bit of wire, a couple of old bamboo chopsticks, a couple of plastic beads, and a used up spool to be just the thing to make the body for Violet, and proceeded to make it along the same lines as I did my Spool Gypsy's, only using the bamboo chopsticks instead of cording.
 Then I looked through my yarn stash and found this lovely purple hand-spun fat yarn. It was just perfect for my needs and really determined my color palette.
 I stitched it carefully in place, making a halo around her head like that of an old-time monk only cuter. I knew I was going to make her a bonnet so I didn't bother covering her entire head with my precious yarn.
 Instead, I cut a 5" circle of fabric, basted and gathered it 1/4 " from the edge, stuffed a bit of polyfil under it, and sewed it down over the yarn.
The spool and bamboo was easy to drill with my husbands small battery powered drill. He is good that way about sharing it with me. It just took a trip to his garage to get it done. At this point I got tired of stopping at each stage to take pictures. A fault of mine, I know. I just so want to get on with the project, and I get so involved I forget to stop and record the steps.
Here is My Dear Violet completed. Like my Spool Gypsies I gave her wool felt boots, this time purple in color tho, instead of black.
None of the things I used had to be purchased, as I was fortunate to have everything I needed right in my stash of goodies. All those years of hoarding up left over scraps of things really paid off.
 Even her eyes are some tiny green glass beads that were leftovers from a Christmas project years ago.
 As you can see from this view, I was able to put on some tiny ribbon to hide my stitches on her bonnet. It is actually from a lovely ball of deliciousness made in Italy and distributed by Cascade Yarns. It is called Malizia. The minute I saw it, it was love at first sight, and I had to have a couple of balls of it. Now I am so glad that I had it, for it was perfect for Violets bonnet, and trim for her outfit.
 Even some scraps of sheer flat ribbon came in handy. I stitched it up and it made the perfect pantaloons for Violet. I have made her blush tho showing you her undergarment. She is a very modest personage.
I think the thing I love the most about this project is how quickly it came together, and because she is small, just under 10" in length, it took very little fabric to complete. I would tell you her skirt lengths and such but since spools are of different sizes, I will leave it to you to determine those things. Just like the Spool Gypsy's I used a bit of cord for her arms, but not liking the bright green look of it I sewed a small scrap of the ribbon yarn over it, to make it look more like she might be wearing long gloves. After all My Dear Violet is a lady of refinement.
 I was equally delighted to remember that in my collection of fake flowers were some Violets, which lets face it, the Violet fabric was the inspiration for Violets name, as well as the purple yarn for her hair. She is a lover of all things violet.

A light dusting of blush for her cheeks and face and My Dear Violet was ready for the garden party.
Here she sits waiting for her cup of tea, and holding her violet blossom very carefully in her lap.
She is such a sweet doll and also a homage I pay to my grandmothers sister, Violet, seen here in this picture, who was one of my favorite grt. aunts. In fact this little doll reminds me of her, as she was always cheerful and full of smiles whenever I saw her.

Now I shall have to get with it and make the other sisters as they were all named for flowers too. My grandma was Lillie, her eldest sister was Rosa, whom we all called Rosie. The other of the four sisters was Daisy. They had a brother too, but his name wasn't so floral nor whimsical, it was just Lemuel Russell, which always reminded me of a name you would call a horse or a mule. I never knew him, as he moved away to California when I was but a wee child.
I think, My Dear Violet, also looks like my grt. grandmother, whose name was Flossie Jane, and was above all others my very favorite person. I loved going to her house. She was the funnest sweetest grt. grandma a girl could ever have. She died too young at 75, but I will always remember her cheerfulness and love of adventure, as well as that plate of rabbit she had on her kitchen table, that my twin sister and I at three years of age enjoyed so hugely. But as I believe I have told that story before, I will desist from telling it again.