Monday, April 30, 2012

A Hooker's Gift and Prairie Homeplace Blessings

Got you puzzling???  Well, it's Monday, and I'm not feeling very clever with titles yet.  (Or anything else for that matter.....)  But some special gifts have come my way lately, and I am ever so late in expressing my gratitude and appreciation, and I'm feeling guilty about that so, I need to do so - creatively or not.....

First off:  Ever heard of a hooker who gave her "goodes" away for free??? No?  Well, you've never met a hooker like my friend, Miss Margie of Hungry Hook Primitives.  She is amazingly talented with a hook and worms (no not THAT kind), as well as many other crafts.....But she's probably best known for her amazing hooking.  She recently celebrated her blogiversary in grand style by having several weeks of generous giveaways.  I was the lucky chickie who won what I think was the best gift of all.....A little chick mat or ruglet hand hooked by Margie herself:

 I LOVE me my little chicks!! And Margie's hooking is absolutely incredible....Being a (part time/sometime) hooker myself, I appreciate the amount of work that goes into each piece....But, yes, it means I can be a wee bit judgmental critical discerning too....And, let me tell you, Margie has a beautiful gift.....Her hooking is perfectly even and smooth as glass.  When I grow up, I wanna hook like Margie.....

Margie also sent me this sweet little hooked pillow keep (told you I love me my little chicks and birds!!):
(You should see the sweet little legs and feet Margie stitched on this....sorry, the photo doesn't show them well....)
And this sweet magnet that says "Life has no blessing like a good friend:"
(Yes that's a rabbit head you see; and no, I don't have all my Easter down.....Heck, I didn't even get all my Easter "up.....")

Margie also sent a beautiful card that I neglected to photograph. :o Thank you so very much, Margie ~ I can't tell you how much the gifts of your heart and hands warmed my heart....but the gift of your friendship is a gift that warms my heart and soul.  

Margie has a wonderful series of hooking tutorials on her blog (and I believe they are all G-rated.....) So if you've ever wanted to learn the "craft," pop over and pay a visit.  She also sells her yummy hand-dyed wools, rug-hooking kits, and some of her amazing finished goods on her blog also. You can also find her on Primitive Handmades Mercantile

So that was the "hooker's gift....." part of this post....  Now for the "Prairie Homeplace" blessings....

Besides being a part-time/sometime (ok, maybe-never-again-after-seeing-Margie's-hooking-and-feeling-woefully-inadequate) hooker, I have another secret.....It's Prairie Homeplace, a wonderful blog where the madly talented proprietress, Mary, offers up some of her amazing hand-dids.  I love, Love, LOVE what Mary does and how she does it..... 
I recently ordered this wonderful whisk broom doll from Mary:
Pretty dang irresistible, hey?

What's not to love? A black doll, old blue calicoes, whisk broom, socking??? Prim perfection....
Anyone who knows Mary even a wee bit knows that not only does she have a amazing talent, but she also has a heart of pure gold.  As a gift, sweet Mary also sent me this wonderful sock kitty (I have a strange addiction to little kitties made from old socks):

Isn't he adorable??

And this sweet little "Woolens" ditty bag:

Thank you so very kindly, Mary.  I adore my new treasures.... Your creative gifts - and the gifts and kindnesses of your heart - never cease to amaze me.

If you're not familiar with Mary or her Prairie Homeplace offerings, you're missing something special.  Besides her blog, Mary also offers her wonderful hand-dids on her PictureTrail and on Early Work Mercantile. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

My New Girlfriends

Look who arrived in Nod yesterday!!

My new BFF's from Tammy at A Primitive Place!!  I was the winner of her "just because" giveaway.  Can you say "YIPPEE!!!"? 

I LOVE this gal (I've named her Immogene)!!  She's the most absolutely perfectly primitive rag-stuffed rag doll - made of old cotton fabric with wonderful, true, old, repairs on the fabric, and dressed in one of my all-time favorite color combinations: browns and blues.  Her dress is a sweet, vintage, brown-checked, cotton, and her apron is a dreamy mix of two beautiful old blue calicoes.  YUMMY!  Her bonnet is made from an old quilt.....

And, she came with her own sweet church doll (whom I've named Ida).  Ida is made of burlap and dressed in more beautiful blue and brown vintage fabrics....

Just look at that face!!

Thank  you so much Tammy!!  Immogene and Ida wanted me to let you know they arrived safely, and think they will be very happy here in Nod......(no doubt - they're being spoiled rotten....)  ;o)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Display Chain: Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary.....

How does your garden grow?
This week's display chain theme is our interpretation of spring gardens.....
(Note - it really is Tuesday even for me this time around.....)

Sadly, this is our last week of the display chain hosted by Misi from 1890 Gable House Musings.  (This week, Traci from York Mountain Primitives is co-hostessing.)  Misi and Traci saved a dilly for the last.  More than any of the other clever themes, this one has thrown me for a loop, because, as you know, I live in Nod.... And, Lady Spring finds Nod ever so slowly.....I think, with the long, relentless, winters here, she just forgets about us sometimes or loses her way (but don't tell her I said that....I'd hate to be subjected to one of her cruel hail storms ~or worse~ out of spite....)

I didn't think I would find myself apologizing so often for my pitiful offerings, yet here I am doing it again.....but here we go.....

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?
Well, this Mary's spring garden grows quite contrarily, for I live in Nod you know....."

What I see are blank canvases......waiting to be painted with color and life.

Beds waiting for new plants to nourish and roots to tickle their deep dark recesses:

Containers waiting their turn at being useful again:

Restored to glory with treasures from here:

(Yeah, that's barren and empty too - I told you....things are different in Nod!)

While I say goodbye to these:

And dream of things to come, I am wooed to sleep by the lullaby of my little froggy friends:

And wake to the melodic songs of my feathered neighbors:


I hope you visit 1890 Gable House Musings to find the links to all the other chain gang members' posts.  I strongly suspect that Lady Spring plays favorites and has already visited many of them, so there is sure to be color and beauty to more than compensate for my contrary spring garden offerings.....

I also would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Misi (and her several guest hostesses along the way, including Traci and Amy from Bumble Bee Lane) for organizing and hostessing this wonderful thing called the Tuesday Display Chain for as long as I can remember....I know it brought me - and many others - much joy.

(PS - A special thank-you to Linda of Parker's Paradise for my new blog header....)

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Friend Shirlee.... one of a very special kind.  She has a mad talent with her needle and thread....but the gifts of her heart are treasures beyond compare.

A bit ago, as most of you know, I celebrated my birthday (in grand style, I might add, thanks to so many of my incredible blogging friends)....One of those friends was Shirlee (a/k/a The Easily Influenced Stitcher), who honored me so wonderfully.

See, not only did she thoughtfully think long and hard about what things I hold near and dear to my heart, but she actually worked long and hard to make me a gift that she was sure I would truly like and that was "me."  And she was so spot-on in her assessment of my "me-ness," that, lo and behold, in a post of mine (a few days before my birthday), she saw that I already had the piece she had chosen so carefully for me and was working so diligently to complete:

(A Pineberry Lane design made by Pam from basketsnprims.)

Now, at this point, I would have thrown in the towel.  After all, it's the thought that counts, right? But (and despite the fact that I said collections are best in 3's and the bowl would look awesome with another), Miss Shirlee went back to work with her magical threads and golden needle and made me this awesome needlekeep:

It's a Stacy Nash design called Pine Tree Farm Pinkeeps.  I absolutely, positively, ADORE it!! I haven't met many SN designs I don't love, but this one couldn't be more perfect for me - colorwise, motif-wise, or otherwise..... 

Sweet, huh?  Yeah - I know.  But on TOP of that, that incorrigible Shirlee also sent me this precious chick pinkeep made by Mona from My Old Crow Primitives.
This was truly special to me as Shirlee knew that I love Mona's work and Shirlee gave up a very special gift because she knew how much I love Mona's handwork and all things little yellow chick-ish and pinkeep-ish.

Now THAT is a heart of pure, precious, gold.

Oh - and she also sent me this adorable little pincushion (fashioned in a bottle cap), also made by Mona:

And....some candy cigs (kind of an inside joke....Shirlee and I were reminiscing about candies of yesteryear and I didn't know they even still made these things!):
Thank you so very much my dear, sweet, friend.  You are a dear heart - for sure and for certain.  The gifts themselves are amazing treasures - but the gift of your thoughtfulness behind them will be a treasure my heart will hold forever.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuesday Display Chain: On Wednesday....

Yes, that pretty much sums things up around here.

The ever-creative and overly-talented Misi at 1890 Gable House Musings is once again hostessing the Tuesday Display Chain.  This week's theme is "Crafting Secrets Exposed."  Really?

If you don't know me by now, I'll let you in on a little secret: I get very little crafting done....and I am not very ingenious in that regard.  I do have a slick way of finishing/binding hooked rugs, but it's not MY idea (lifted from my clever hooking pal, Cathy), and seeing as I don't have a rug ready to bind, there wasn't any way of showing you it.
Add to that some family issues that have put me behinder than usual, and I thought I'd be sitting this one out. But, I don't like feeling left out.

So here's my contribution - lame as it is:

I can only imagine what you're thinking....but I warned you it was lame.  These are just some of my "old reliables" that I reach for time and time again.

Old English Scratch Cover:  In addition to doing what it's marketed for (i.e., cover furniture scratches), it's a wonderful "fix everything."  I do have my Bri Wax that I use for distressing and faux finishes, but I find that my Old English is much more versatile.  For example, I had a friend repair this old hand mirror for me. In doing so, he gouged a piece of the wood.  I didn't mind the gouge itself, as the piece is primitive and has gouges (and carving) anyway - but the exposed wood was not attractive.  A little Old English to the rescue, and you never would know:

I also used it to "blend" the finishes on some replacement pieces on this old child's rocker:

   (The sweetie in the chair is "Joyce," one of OLM's creations.....)

I have two bottles - one for light and medium wood and one for dark, but find I use primarily the dark one.  This stuff lasts forever - I've had these bottles for at least 10 years (so if you're looking for it in the store, it may not look the same anymore).

Next up:

Lighter Fluid:  This stuff is amazing at removing tape and sticker residue.  The above said mirror also came with a residue on the mirrored surface.  I could remove some of it with glass cleaner, but it had been on there so long that the adhesive residue was actually becoming part of the mirror.  Lighter fluid took it right off.  (Works great on removing price tags from books that are to be gifted as well, and I use it to remove labels from plastic and glass containers for storage/reuse.  For large labels, remove as much of the top of the label as you can, then use the lighter fluid to remove the adhesive.)


My Snippets:  My husband thinks I save everything. I disagree - but I do save my snippets from hooking.  And, on the rare occasion that I actually craft something that requires stuffing, and I want that lumpy, old timey, feeling, I reach for my stash and use them. 

There you have it....not really "crafty," and definitely not "ingenious" - but it is what it is.  For some truly "creative" and "crafty" ideas, check out the posts from the other chain gang members at 1890 Gable House Musings.

Over and out....The Crow.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Special Thank-you's to Two Special Friends

As tumultuous as life can be at times, there are moments when the kindness and caring of certain people bring things back into focus and provide a healing balm....In recent days, this happened through the kindness of two special blogging friends, Marly and Laurie.

Marly, from Samplers and Santasis somewhat of a new acquaintance to me.  Initially, I hesitated adding her to my "follow" list, as I am not doing well at all keeping up with those I have already committed to follow.  But I simply could not resist Marly's humour or talent.  Knowing I was going through a bit of a "rough patch," and having been there herself, Marly sent me a little "care package":

   A wonderful little crow box (can you say "ADORABLE??"), and tucked inside, a little candle and tart warmer.....

 Not the best photo, sorry - but a sweet little printed heart tied on top of two little pillow keeps....

Marly is right - "things" don't make a situation better - but the sentiment and thought behind them certainly brought a sweet solace.  Thank you so much, Marly.  Your compassion truly touched me deeply - and I love, love, love my Marly treasures!

Another friend near and dear to my heart, Laurie, from when the bough breaks, never ceases to amaze me with her talent or her generosity.  You've seen her work on my blog previously - as I can't resist Laurie's sheep or crows....or nests...or....Yeah, you get the idea.  (And that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of the plethora of amazing things Laurie paints.....)

This lady has one kind of crazy good talent.  I couldn't say "no" to this sweet painting of hers:

 (I swear she had a photo of my and my DH "discussing" our kitchen remodel in front of her when she painted this....)

Well....I'm not exactly sure which one I couldn't say "no" to, and had a hard time making up my mind.....Sweet Laurie made sure I didn't second-guess my decision and sent me the other two as well:

Can't wait to get these framed!! Thank you my dear, dear, Laurie....Your heart is every bit as big as your wonderful talent.  I truly can't thank you enough.....

Seems like every time my faith in the goodness of humankind starts to falter, there is someone there who makes me believe again.

Here's hoping your days are filled with belief....   

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Merrie Easter Greetings

 (Punched eggs pattern by Stone & Thread; punched by me)

(Sitting bunnies by Kim of The Barn Hollow) 

(A Rabbit Hill Primitives' creation) 

("Hare Heist" design by Ewe and Eye - hooked by me)

(Bunny pouch by Sweetpeas Primitives)

 ("Easter Egg Hunt" punch pattern by Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle & Thread)

 (Bunny and her dolly by Tina of The Burlap Owl Primitives)

(Calico eggs by Traci of York Mountain Primitives; Bunny by Kim of The Barn Hollow)


May the joy you give bless you tenfold this Easter tide.....
Easter joy to you!