Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Don't it Make Your Brown Eyes Blue?

I used to love to listen to country music while I worked on my doll designs. When "Don't it Make Your Brown Eyes Blue" came on, by Crystal Gayle, I always had to sing along (only when alone of course, I wouldn't want to damage any one's ears.)I love that song!

I was born a brown eyed, brunette - both dark brown, same as my Dad. My Mom, however, is a blue eyed blond. Over the years, my hair has dulled some, and gray hairs have sprouted, but that's to be expected. What's not to be expected is that my eyes are turning blue! It took me a while to realize it - then I did notice the transition. They are getting blue from the outside edges toward the pupil, with the area closest to the pupil a light brown shade. My eye doctor said to change the color on my drivers license to hazel... Don't it Make Your Brown Eyes Hazel?? hmmm ... It doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

Meet Stefan

Stefan is Bob's oldest grandson, one of 6, that I am fortunate to have in my family. He's a really special person - very thoughtful and conscientious, and hard working. He doesn't take anything for granted and is appreciative of all that is done for him.
He just turned 18 and attended Senior Prom. One of the things I admire most about Stefan is that he treats everyone with kindness and respect. He looks you in the eye when you talk with him and really listens to what you are saying. Stefan will be attending U of I downstate, in the Fall.

I'm sure there is no problem identifying him on the prom picture. In the birthday pic, he is sitting next to his cake, surrounded by his sisters and father.

Digital Fusion class at IQF

This class was a lot o fun. We tried lots of new techniques. Val Vivrik put together a great sample package for each of us that more than covered the class fee.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Amy's Necklace

Amy just made this necklace for her friend Wendy. Wendy saw my necklace and wanted to give her mother one for Mother's Day. The pictures are of Wendy's grandmother, Mother, herself, and her daughter. They are all beautiful, aren't they?

The picture is fuzzy, not the necklace!

Friday, April 23, 2010

2 new pillows - everyone seems to like tassels.

and to think that I saw it on Addison Street

Look who I saw on my way to my car!
If I don't get to work by 8:00 a.m. I can't park behind my building. There is a lot of competition for the parking slots. I've had to park in an alternate lot on Addison Street twice this week. Good thing the weather has been nice. I hate walking in the rain, with all the stuff I have to carry. Anyway, it's been fun to see the new or relocated shops that have popped up. There is also one called LaLa Land, which seems to sell children's clothing - I don't understand the name, but the shop looks cute. The bridal shop fills a space recently vacated by The English Garden. I'm sorry to see that one go. It was a cool gift shop.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Look Who Came to Visit

I think I'm going to have to stop saying "I'm not a dog person", because I am!
I was visited by this adorable fluff-ball yesterday afternoon and, of course, I had to brag about my 'grand dogs'. I even showed pictures. (You gotta work with what you got!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

International Quilt Festival April 2010 in Chicago

Wow! This was the best quilt class yet! This year I only took two classes, but one was 2 days long and I loved every minute of it. It was taught by David Taylor - called Picture Applique. (Check out his web site davidtaylorquilts.com) I choose an ambitious project and it will take a long time to complete, but I'm sure I will. The large picture is the size the quilt will be. It is of Amy's dogs Lucky and Rufus. Such a sweet picture. It will be fun to see it come to life.

After starting to piece the quilt together, I quickly realized that I had too many tiny pieces, so I revised some of the design and will do the rest as I go along. I also didn't have enough usible fabric, which was disappointing. I guess I'll have to shop, (It's hard to say that without smiling,) tho I had bought dozens of pieces of fabric. This is the first actual quilting class I have taken. Some of the more experienced students showed up with suitcases full of fat quarters! 100's of pieces!!

The Goat Quilt is Tinker, from David's barnyard collection. You can view them all on his web site. The detail and uniform stitches, all by hand, are incredible. The whole thing is created with small pieces of fabric, carefully chosen, and appliqued in place. Additional machine stitching and hand embroidery add detail, then the piece is quilted in tiny, even stitches. INCREDIBLE!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Facade or 'what to do with a blank wall'

This charming street scape is a facade. The building owner spent tons of $$ to create a charming walkway, where an alley used to be. He even recreated some old Elmhurst stores - Honey Girl's and Hesse's.

I didn't make it clear, this was a blank wall of brick before the amazing make-over.

Friday, April 9, 2010

My son Joey and the guitar he just made

We just celebrated Joey's 39th birthday! I remember a comedian (George Burns?) kidding about being 39. He never admitted to being any older, and - that seemed old to me! Go figure...
anyway, I gave Joey a card that said - My three favorite words are - 'That's my son!' So true.

Joey has been working on this guitar for a long time. It's beautiful, isn't it?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mixed messages, or is that massages

My new neighbor across the hall.

The big signs says "Open, Come In"

The little door knob hanger says "Please do not disturb, I'm with a client"

I guess you get to decide.

Good Deed part II - the gentleman returns

I spent hours sorting and researching all the dolls in the tubs. It seems like there are hundreds, but I know there really aren't that many.

Today the gentleman came back. He said 'Do you still have the dolls I gave you last week?' I said that yes, I did. He said that someone wanted the one in the long white dress. I was very nervous about that.

The tubs were tucked into a corner, piled on top of each other for space reasons. I opened the top one - and there it was! The one he had come to retrieve. It was a 'Mint'* baby he was looking for. (*Bradbury, Danbury, Franklin Heirloom, whatever - that cranked out contrived collectibles in the '80's) I was so glad it wasn't one I had become attached to.

To me, this is the most special doll in the bunch. She needs some TLC - cleaning and reattaching her wig, but she is very sweet. The top of her dress is yellowed from nicotine and I have to find out how to get it off. She's going home with me - soon. I just have to decide where I'm going to put her once she gets there. The little chair is cute, but a bit small. It's part of my collection of props I'd like to sell. We used to take elaborate pictures of the cloth SewSweet Dolls in settings with all sorts of props. Now, I'd like to sell the props, but haven't had much luck.

Dolls are kind of an affliction for me. I have tons. It isn't my intention to keep these recent donations - well, maybe just a few . . .

Monday, April 5, 2010

Antique Bible

This is a picture of a very, very old Bible with a leather cover. The cover has metal clasps on one side. Sadly, it has water damage, but it is still a treasured possession.
We are wondering if anyone call tell us what language it is in?? Please help if you can, and show it to others who might be able to help. Thanks!

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, maybe . .

You know how no good deed goes unpunished? Well - last Friday (Good Friday) an old man (by that I mean lots older than us) called and asked if I would be willing to take some dolls his wife had collected. He said he had been trying with no success, to give them to someone who would appreciate them. He sounded so sad . . I said 'sure'. He showed up a short while later with 4 huge tubs full of porcelain dolls, plus bags of plastic dolls, clothes, shoes, wigs, etc! You know how much room I have here, so I think you can picture this. He was so sweet, and appreciative; talked about his wife a little. I thanked him profusely, and gave him my sympathy in the loss of his wife, and he left.

And, there I was, barely able to get in my office, with 4 huge tubs taking up most of my floor space. My original plan was to just pass it all on to some group that could clean them up and give them to kids, but these aren't toys, they are 'collectibles'. Joey was very encouraging, even offering to sell some on Ebay. His other idea was to offer them on our web site, which would bring in more (and new) customers. A really good idea!

The dolls turned out to be mostly 'contrived collectibles' and porcelain reproductions, but . . . (naturally) there a few I actually like. One, a repro, might even make it home! So what did I say about no good deed? hmmm

So, now to Ebay to look up values. Some have numbers on them, like 4579n, which I think means that they made 10,000 for each letter of the alphabet. That's a lot of dolls. They are probably about 25 years old, which I think is new, but Joey assures me that, to a lot of people that's OLD. Who'd a thought. I think I have to keep the little Fireman. He looks very much like my Tommy, when he was little. Tom always wanted to be a fireman, and he is!

The little 'Cub' is about 4". The doll in white is a lovely, repro about 16" tall.