Saturday, September 29, 2012

What is the Difference Between a Raven and a Crow?

Turns out . . the name Crow is used for the family of birds Corvidae that includes the Raven species.

All Ravens are Crows, but Crows include other birds like jays and magpies.

So what else?

The Common Raven is larger than The American Crow. 

The Raven averages 25" in height and has a wing span of 4 feet.  Holy moley. 

The American Crow is smaller--about 18" tall and has a wing span of 3 feet. 

The spell book is a spoof, a prop I picked up from a antiques and collectible shop in Galesburg, IL.
Just a couple of days ago, I stopped in at Main St. Market Place in Waupaca, and found three impressive gentlemen crows. 

Talking to the storekeep Bernadette, she informed me the biggest guy she'd already named Edgar.
"Oh my gosh, I said.  I think Edgar should come home with me today."

But that's not all, Bernadette showed me two more young fellows.  Excited I asked her, "what is this one's name?"  She said, I believe he might be, Allan?"

Here's a photo of Allan going after the apples.

I said, "Allan is a handsome bird, isn't he?
I think he'll be moving in with Edgar."

I brought the littlest one home with me too. 
His name is Poe.

Here's a scarey thought . . .   Can birds read?

The dining room clock is tick, tick, ticking,
The crows are click, click, clicking,
And suddenly I remember--
I better get dinner started
Ha. Ha. Ha.

Come back in a couple of days to my website.
I'm making another porch person (life-size doll)
to decorate the Juliet balcony
on the second floor
for Halloween


There will be
more photos on progress this past week
 repairing walls in the stairwell. 
Oh whooopee--as I try to sound enthusiatic about this
thankless and dirty job plaster work
that seems to go on and on and on. 

I've been taking photos during the project--
Trust me,
It gets a whole lot of ugly, before it get's pretty!

See Ya Later

Friday, September 21, 2012

Vintage Doily Stretcher

Just wondering . . . perhaps you can tell me more about my great grandmother Edna's doily stretcher?


shipping label on the original box (photo above)

Doily stretcher belonged to great grandmother Edna

Edna passed away in 1957

Here's a photo of the doily stretcher in the original box.

More Clues

This is doily stretcher No. 243

The framed doily stretcher is about 24" x 24"

A year ago I saw a doily stretcher listed in County Living magazine--in it's "what it's worth" section.  Wish I could find the article again. 
Do you happen to have that magazine article?

I like to share my magazines with friends and family--so I don't have the magazine.  

If I could re-read the article, I'd like to know if they were talking about the same HOSTESS doily stretcher made in Chicago, IL.

I remember the Country Living magazine article revealed it's value, and
suggested it would make a great art piece to hang on the wall.

The doily stretcher hanging on the wall of my art studio

I like having the doily stretcher on the wall near my sewing machine.  I've been using it to pin up sketches of handbags and totes I'd like to make, along with notes about current projects.

I'd almost forgotten about the doily stretcher packed away in the closet
I read Mark Ruffner's post about mandalas and I want to thank him for his inspiring post.

Check out Mark's ALL THINGS RUFFNERIAN article:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Is it too early for Halloween fun?

Jon came up with a great Halloween costume idea for our two little Jack Russell dogs . . . Fred and Rainie.   He asked me to sew polar fleece wrappers (jackets, with velcro closures) for the dogs.

First, I bought a bag of Tootsie Rolls.  Dog Gone if I could remember what a Tootsie Roll wrapper looked like.  By the way, I highly recommend eating Tootsie Rolls while sewing. 

Here are some photos showing the construction:

I hooped four 12" squares of chocolate colored Kona cotton on the embroidery machine and programmed a suitable font. The rest of the jacket wraps were constructed from chocolate, white, and orange-red polar fleece.

I took this photo while embroidering the 4th chocolate square. 

Sewing applique sign onto the body of the wrap.

Detail of sewing on applique

Finished wrap
Dog gone--they turned out cute. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tent Bag - Making Bags to Get Organized

We bought a new 12' by 12' tent this summer. The whole thing came in a big canvas bag.  The folded metal frame portion of the tent fit nicely inside the canvas bag, but the canopy--I couldn't figure out how to compress it enough to fit back into the original canvas bag.

So . . . I decided to make a separate bag to store the canopy. 

I cut out the pieces to construct the bag.  Then I machined embroidered TENT BAG. 
I thought--might as well label the dang thing.

The striped duck cloth reminds me of pillow ticking--only in a drab olive color.  I bought a 5 yard remnant (52" width).  Thought it would make lining for many totes. It sure worked out well for the canopy bag.
In the photo above, I pulled away the sides to be able to show the inserted silver color tent canopy, and to show useful center ties.  The center ties keep everything snug when storing or carrying it.

I liked the utility bag so much that I made traveling tote.  Here's one with a fun front pocket featuring an articulated bunny.  I called it Run Bunny, Run.   

I'm selling this tote for $40 - Contact me if you'd like to acquire it.

Back side of the tote has a double pocket and special message.

There he goes . . .

See bunny's legs move - he's running away.

I machine embroidered the articulated bunny.  I stitch the bunny a special heavy duty stabilizer rather than cloth.  Once finished, the stabilizer pulls away from the design, resulting in a free-standing lace.

Oh, but there's more - another travel tote with a bunny. 
Double front pockets and a key fob.  The lining and center ties made from a small pebble theme printed cotton.  The exterior fabric is durable, yet soft and washable with a damp cloth.

To give you an idea of the size--it put 4 double rolls of paper towels inside to take this photograph. 
This great travel tote is $40.  Let me know if you'd like this one.  It would make a great gift.

Center ties are great to keep contents secure--especially if you fill it to the brim. 
Detail of the free-standing lace carrot. 

Detail of Mr. Bunny running after the carrot.