'Stay, stay at home and rest. Homekeeping hearts are happiest.' ~ Author Unknown.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Our daughter Sarah and I are going 'Visiting'.  We will make our morning visiting calls, stay at home to greet visitors, and visit quilt shops, historic places, antique shops, and lots of family.  We will be visiting a pumpkin festival where the courthouse lawn is filled with ornately carved and decorated pumpkins and the town of Sycamore has a Pumpkin Parade which is second to none.  We will be visiting a corn maze.  We will visit the corn and soybean fields of my Uncle Ken.  We will more than likely visit Panda Express, Sarah's favorite restaurant.  We will be visiting cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas, and friends.  We will visit while we have a girls craft night, and visit while we do some yard work.  We will be visiting with trick-or-treaters as they make their way around town. We will visit with family on the drive to and from the airport.  We are going home to Illinois for a couple of weeks to 'Visit'.  Visiting is pure comfort, rejuvenating, and soul satisfying. 

Going from Idaho to Illinois is a journey.  We have our projects planned to take with us on the airplane that leaves at 'O Dark-Thirty' in the morning, and we have the Anticipation thing going on for the next few days before we leave.  We will even 'visit' the airplane window beside us frequently as we fly, looking below at all the beautiful fall colors across the many wooded areas, fields, and states we fly over.

Go 'Visiting' today.  You may lift spirits, even your own.

Happy Fall Harvest!


Friday, September 2, 2011

~Tis a Lesson on Anticipation.......~

Why did I wait so long?

I picked my settee up from the Upholstery Shop the other day and it wasn't love at first sight.......  it was 'why did I wait so long to have this done?  It was Anticipation.  I was getting up courage to re-upholster this myself, but just couldn't bring myself to it - scared I would make a mistake, not enough self esteem to undertake the challenge, on and on.  So then began the Anticipation.  Once I made up my mind to have someone else do it, it still was Anticipation.  When I took it to the upholstery shop and he said it would be 8-10 weeks, the Anticipation really began.  Every photo I saw in a magazine of furniture that had this fabric, every dream at night, and all the visions of what it was going to look like haunted me because I had taken so long to make the decision to get it professionally done.  But Anticipation is half the fun.  The settee is done, and I am so happy with it!  Can you see it peeking through the doors at you?

 As a reminder - here is the 'Before':

And here is the 'After':

I am very pleased with the results.  Anticipation is worth it. 

Summer is coming to an end, but Fall is right around the corner.  Again - Anticipation!  Tonight is my first Finish-It-Friday Night with the girlfriends after the long summer months of not having our sewing group meet, and I think everyone is gearing up for Christmas and planning some gifts.  I will be working on some needlework/sewing kits, pincushions, a family cookbook, and learning to crochet some edging on flour sack dish towels.  Anticipation...... which project to start with?

I am almost done with canning, and have been busy quilting on customer quilts, but the second biggest piece of news is that I finished quilting my first of many class models for my Living History Civil War Quilting Class that starts this Fall.  My first class is October 22.  Anticipation.  Won't you join me?  I think this quilted up well and the top and bottom border reminds me of Clara Barton and the American Red Cross.

  And the back so you can see the feathers:

I did take a quick photo of my Fowl Rack that I made last month.  It isn't 'decorated' completely yet because our son who is home for a week yet before going back to college is staying in that room.  I have so many things to get done once he vacates 'the spare bedroom', but this one I am not in a rush for.  It can wait this last week while we spend a wee bit more time together before he leaves - I am sure you know what I am talking about! This is what I call 'Bittersweet Anticipation...........'

Hope you enjoy this last official weekend of the summer.  I haven't seen my first leaf fall, but then again, there is that 'Anticipation' thing going on.  Blessings on your late summer days, and


Blessings on your Anticipations!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

~Tis a Couple of Finishes!~

This past week I am been fairly busy - when am I not busy?  This week it was cherries and the civil war quilt top I needed to have done for a shop model. Those squares are 3 1/2" unfinished.... and there are 350 of them.   I told you I have been busy!  I have also been cleaning my sewing room and hanging up some new colonial tavern curtains.  But truth be told, I am DYING to paint and finish my colonial fowl rack.  Someone somewhere, is saying 'what the heck is a fowl rack?"  Check back next post and see!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

~Twas a NICE visit!~

This weekend we had a nice visit from our son who is attending BYU-Idaho and some friends from the great state of Texas!  We had quite the fun time!  Whether sailing, barbecuing, or traveling back across the beautiful state of Idaho, we had a grand time.

No sunburns, but the crew had a 'slow' wind, so it wasn't too exciting for a sailing weekend, but the girls had their first experience steering a sailboat.  Beautiful neighborhood fireworks Monday night, along with a first attempt at our own BBQ pork loin ribs.  Not bad!  Then, Tuesday, driving back to Rexburg, Idaho, we stopped and saw our daughter in Twin Falls.  David and Sarah had a bit of brother/sister time:

And then on to Rexburg, the beautiful new temple:

And then the most amazing stop of the weekend:


This is a frozen yogurt place and the kids introduced me to Dance Central on the XBox 360.  Ummm, ya, no photos of me here, but I got this special, special, video of my son, such a crack up.  This video kept me smiling all the way back across the state on the drive home.  Sorry for the turning sideways, I didn't know my little camera wouldn't show this right side up, but you can get the same laughs I had.  Here goes:

I thought I was going to have an accident right there!  And I laughed for 4 hours driving home.  I never thought he could make me laugh so hard.  Go, Mr. David, my '22 going on 15 year old!!!!!!'

I sure hope you have moments that make you laugh, cry, and feel blessed.  I have an abundance of them.  Driving home last night, I experience sweet joy.  I spent time with loved ones and had a great time with family rejuvenating those batteries.

Sweet blessings to you!  ~Shanda~

Thursday, June 30, 2011

~Tis Simple Summertime Sharing, Makeovers, and Other Blessings!~

 Boy, Howdy!

Isn't summertime just busy?  Garden is in and growing, although everything is about 2-3 weeks behind.  And this evening I hung a bunting on my chicken house - just in time for the automatic sprinklers to go off!  Whew!  Our son and some of his college friends are coming home for the 4th of July Holiday, so been moving things about and 'tweeking' ~ some in our family call it putzing.  Anyway, here goes:

Anybody know who Arnold Friberg is?  Very famous painter who painted Prayer at Valley Forge?  I recently discovered he had another sweet painting called Winter at Valley Forge.  Found it for a very reasonable price and hung it above the pie safe......

Also discovered a Civil War clothing 'suttler' in my area - could hardly stand walking into his workshop.  I was jumping out of my skin at all the reenactors clothing, leather goods, and amazing civil war accessories he had for sale.  I have always wanted a 'cartridge case' to use as a kind of purse......  found one.  Can check that off my bucket list......

I did some shuffling in the spare bathroom getting it ready for company..........

This shelf was actually a made over thrift store find .......  see the star at the top?  It is covering up a cut out (shhhhhhh! - it's an 80's thing)  heart. After painting and antiquing the whole shelf that was (again, shhhhhhhh!) pink,  I just put some fabric over the 'hole', nailed it down with old upholstery tacks, painted a primitive star ivory, and antiqued it.  TaDa!  My new .99 shelf.  But my new super fun find I got last weekend at my FAVORITE store, Heritage Reflections, was this cute little red shelf.......... it really looks so much cuter than this, I just need a better camera........

My mother loves cabins, and I found this gem for her at the local thrift store.  She lives in Illinois, so this one is going to have to wait for alternative shipping, like when she drives out West this Fall, as I am fearful to ship it.  It is heavy resin, and that lamp shade I feel could get crushed.......

I am also working on my civil war quilt.  In fact, I was awake at 3 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so up I got and went in my sewing room and worked on it.  Here is a sample block.......

Now remember, I haven't blogged for almost two months, so I need to get caught up.  I prefer to blog once a week and not have quite such a gap in Posts.  This is my new 'vision'.  Weekly, not quarterly, Posts.

Anyway, two more topics and I will be done 'for a week.'  Remember my settee that I got at the thrift store over two years ago?  The one I have been scared to death to tackle?  You remember, this one?
It is finally in the upholstery shop!  Can you believe it?  But first, I had this old chair done........  I am in awe.......  I so wish I had a before photo, but alas, I have searched to no avail.  It is not 'in place' yet and all decorated about, but tomorrow I am cleaning before the weekend company comes and will make it all cozy.  Simple beauty:

See, I have been quite busy.  Tis good to stay occupied, but I also have been reading in the evenings.  Reading history, which I love.  I am always studying about the War for American Independence and the Civil War.  I truly believe I was born at least a century too late.  Currently I am reading a book on Johnny Appleseed.  I just finished the classic 'Farmer Boy' by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I skipped over that one in the series when I was little, and, wow, I am wondering, 'why'?  It was so inspiring. 

So what are my plans for next week?  If you could only take a gander at our family room upstairs, you would see this mess.  We are painting white walls a dark ivory, and I can't wait for the finished product:

You can kind of see the darker ivory in the corners and on the back wall to the right of the window, old color to the left.  I think I will just love it!

In closing, I know we are all busy.  Kids to raise, gardens to tend to, laundry piling up, day to day responsibilities.  But remember what it is all for.  Make good choices.  Be the person you are suppose to be, not who you have become.  I am an avid Glenn Beck fan, and he has inspired me to think, question, and act.  Be kind to your family, and enjoy the 4th.  It truly is a blessing to live in these United States.  It really is - don't take it for granted!  Please.  Don't take it for granted. 

Oh, and one more parting photo for my Aunt Lynn of my clematis - I think the vine has hit the mother load for fertilizer, it has just taken off!

Blessings on your holiday weekend!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

~Tis National 'Wear An Apron Day'!~

Now this is a holiday that I can get into! Clean or dirty...... store bought or handmade....... frilly or simple...... aprons are just the best!!!!!! They have so many uses, but two of my favorites are to snuggle little children in when they come to you with little 'ouchies', and the articles that one can find in the pocket of an apron. These are better than what you could discover about someone by going through their purse. Pockets of aprons carry so many telling things. I have an apron I wear all the time when I am home. In the pocket of my apron this morning is a semi-clean tissue, some Chapstick, kernels of chicken scratch, and a quarter I found on the road out to my mailbox a few weeks ago. Must mean that I am boring - nothing but common items in my apron pockets.

My mother recently gave me a treasure that I will always cherish. 'Back in the Day', when she was in high school, apparently they gave out pins for 'homemaking' class. When she was a senior she earned this pin for attending all four years of homemaking education. The pin attaches in two places - and creates a chain in between in which two other charms slide - a key charm and a scroll charm. This is one of my favorite earthly possessions and I let it reside on my apron. I just love it!
Call me sentimental, old-fashioned, or just a plain simpleton, but I wish they had these programs still. Our children need to learn these things at home, but there are some that would benefit from homemaking classes during their schooling years.

So go put on an apron - and celebrate 'National Wear an Apron Day!' You might just feel a little more domestic in your duties today!

Blessings on your apron wearing day ~ Shanda

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

~Living Civil War History Quilting Class~

I am just so excited!!!!! Starting this Fall 2011, I am teaching a Living History Civil War Quilting Class. I am 'commissioned' to teach two battles each year at my local quilt store. This fall will be the Battle of Bull Run along with the quilt pattern "Prairie Bound" from Country Sampler in Spring Green, Wisconsin (oh, and by the way, I LOVE this quilt shop!). I am working on a quilt for each of the classes, have been researching 'hardtack', and am sewing on a civil war dress as I am going to be teaching this quilting class in period costume. The fabrics above are for the first quilt. Aren't they yummy? The dress I am working on 'tis the one on the left.

I finished quilting a quilt that my mother has been working on for sometime and mailed it to her today for Mother's Day. She cross stitched all these blocks and embroidered family member names on each square. Quite the project. She stitched, I pieced and quilted, and now she will finished with the binding. She lives in Illinois, so God bless the mail system!!!!!

Also, short post I know, but I have a 'find' to decorate. Pewter? Redware? Crocks? Quilts? These are delimas that must be solved. What do you think? Suffice it to say that this has found a home in my dining area, and I am so pleased with it that I can't bring myself to decorate this work of art. It is beauty in itself.

Enjoy your bounty this evening in the sunset and blessings on your slumber!


Friday, April 1, 2011

~Pantry Boxes, Cookbooks, and Projects - Oh, My!

Boy, have I been going through the sponge brushes!

Whew! These are my latest project to get done - I have had these unfinished paper mache' pantry boxes sitting in my laundry room for nigh unto 8 months. I painted, sanded, and stained them and they are now ready to put away. Let's see where they were placed around the house.....

In a grouping on the dry sink:

On top of the pie safe in the Entry:

On top of a dresser in the spare room:

Near a night light in another bedroom:

In the kitchen sink window area:

And on top of my dresser:

So glad they are all done and not taking up space on top of the washer anymore!

I also imbibed in some interesting cookbooks on Amazon - they are really interesting, if only for the verbiage they are written in and description of ingredients:

And last but not least, this evening is my monthly 'Finish-It-Friday' Night with the girls - we all plan our projects so carefully to get maximum benefit of serious sewing time. I have three projects that I may work on this evening - finishing the quilt binding on my log cabin quilt (notice Abe Lincoln as my backing - get it? Abe Lincoln/Log Cabin? - I thought it went together nicely):

Or possibly working on a counted cross stitch project started in 2008!

And last, I just started this wool rug hooking kit - this is my first, so I am learning:

So much to do and so little time. BUT, I have finished a bed and all my pantry boxes, plus a dozen other projects since the beginning of the year, so I am making some headway.

Blessings on your day and hold your family ever so close - practice patience and understanding and we will all be the better for it. I wrote our son an email this morning, wished my Aunt a Happy Birthday, and now I think I will go call our daughter. All live so far away, wish I could have them for dinner. Nice weekend expected here in the Pacific Northwest - I may just plant my peas tomorrow!