Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Sewing Box

Definition: A sewing box or sewing organizer is a container which is designed to hold sewing equipment and accessories. Sewing boxes may take the form of literal boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they can also come in the form of large canvas bags or sacks. Unlike a sewing kit, which holds some basic equipment which people can use for quick sewing repairs and other tasks, a sewing box can become quite large, and the contents may be rather esoteric, especially for crafters who are involved in unusual fabric arts.
I like sewing boxes, don't you? I like the idea of sewing boxes used through generations of women. If you are lucky enough to find one with its original contents you can find all sorts of things. The usual buttons, thimbles, needles, old thread...but also receipts, handwritten notes, old notions you would never use now - but the packaging is interesting. Well used sewing boxes can have a history. Some people have very fond memories of a relative with a handy box that was used to keep all items needed for repairing clothes, sewing on a lost button, embrodiery...that's what I remember about my Mum's box.
I have some boxes but not many - while I love them they can take up a lot of space. I prefer the smaller kind like these when I can find them.

Some I keep old button cards in. I do the same with old cigar boxes.
My favorite (and not because it is especially spectacular) is the one that sits by my sewing machine. It was a gift from my Mum many years ago (I can't even remember when - I think it was a Christmas present). It has survived many moves and remains my "work" box (as evidenced by its contents).
While looking up sewing boxes on the Web I came across the book called Jane Austen's Sewing Box. While I have not read it (maybe one of you have) it does intrigue me. After all, women (and men) have been sewing for a very long time...I wonder what I would have found in Jane's box ? Or, for that matter, yours? Cheers, Jewels

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tales from a Wanabe Swapper

I joined my first ever mail swap this year. Lenna is hosting a wonderful exchange of Vintage Note Cards and thought I would like to participate. So with some trepidation I decided to take the plunge and have been working on my cards to send her. Along the way I learned some new things and thought I would share my tips (and of course the fruits of my labour!)

1. Respect your Glue...especially Super Glue. There is, after all, a reason why they put First Aid instructions on the label. I won't tell you what happened but suffice to say Miss Gwendoline got to watch me while I frantically tried to "unstick" two of my fingers for a few minutes. I think I need to teach her how to dial 911...
Card 1 - Vive Ste. Anne
…the patron saint of Seamstresses! Also a line of sewing machines. I have several vintage pictures showing young ladies posed as they sew. Don't know how they got any work done!
2. Simple is Better...yes it is REAL easy to over think what we do. After counting a possible whoping 16 embellishments for one card I decided to stop (yeesh, you could have used it for a paperweight!) and go back to basics (I like to think I learned SOMETHING from Mary's classes). So while they may seem relatively simple, I think the effect is better. Besides, the whole point is to have fun!
Card 2 - Friend
My friend Carol is an avid quilter AND blogger! The picture here is her Mom – Nan - and a best friend. She shares wonderful family pictures on her blog Pieces of the Past and was kind enough to let me use this one.

3. Check All Things in Daylight (ESPECIALLY before gluing) - Since I have a day job I often don't get to artsy things until the evenings - and these days it still gets dark early. Funny how the colours and shapes you put together late at night that you thought were SO brilliant don't stand up to the harsh reality of the sun. What I thought was a rich gold turned out to be a real pee yellow the next morning (seriously).
Card 3 - A Merry Frolic
I have several pictures of dancing couples from a friend who was on Flickr. This one always makes me laugh – don’t you love their Roller Skates! I think this is my favorite.

4. Beware the Post - While I would have loved to create an artist envelope to deliver these to Lenna, reality is I don't trust my Postman. Sadly a wonderful tag I recently sent over to Elizabeth at Creative Breathing never made it. That was a first for me and a hard lesson learned (especially as I thought I had done everything right). My precious pieces will be appropriately packaged and paid for to make their final destination (How much should I state for insurance purposes? $1,000 perhaps? They are vintage after all, LOL)

Anywho, I am really looking forward to seeing everyone elses cards - especially the three I will be recieving some time in March! Thanks so much Lenna for doing this (and answering all my newbie questions). It really was fun! Cheers, Jewels
(For the base card, I copied actual fabric on to cardstock. Where possible, original paper (Music, Sewing Pattern) were used. Stamps and gesso were also used on different cards. Embellishments are from my "stash".)

Friday, January 21, 2011

And the Winner Is...

...(according to Miss Gwendoline) Leslie. Who does not have her own blog but is a Quilter extraordinaire and a big fan of all things crafty! Congratulations girlfriend! I'll bring your Vintage Tag to our next Guild meeting. Jewels

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Give Away Reminder

Is it already Jan 19th (arghhhhh - at least if time goes by quick Spring will be here soon!). Well just a quick reminder that on Jan 21st Miss Gwendoline will be drawing a name to receive my oh so lovely give away! Leave a comment on any posting since Jan 10th and it puts you in the running. I'd love to keep it but me and Carol already have our own! Cheers, Jewels

Sunday, January 16, 2011

And the Golden Globe Goes To...

...(I hope) The King's Speech. Hubby and I ventured out in the cold last night to see Mr. Darcy (I mean Colin Firth) do a splendid job of portraying King George VI. What a great movie. I have to say though I was a little perplexed with comments I heard from the audience as we were leaving the theatre ("wasn't that the actress in Harry Potter" (huh, why not focus on her performance as Elizabeth), "so when did this all happen"? etc). Hubby had to gently remind me that both of us, being brought up by British parents who lived through this period in time, had a much more thorough education in the history behind the movie. And Guy Pearce as King Edward VIII was bang on. One can only imagine if he had not abdicated how different the war might have turned out (frightening). Anyway, this got two big thumbs up in our household - we will be glued to the Telly tonight to see how it does. Definetly a contender for the Oscars - if you get a chance go see it!

Friday, January 14, 2011


There are some critters (besides hubby) I love very much ....
Case in point, Miss Gwendoline. I worked from home today - but as usual she just ignored me and spent most of her time in her favorite spot. I've discovered it is right over one of the heating vents in the basement which has been going pretty much non stop since this cold weather kicked in. Nice and toasty for her - she very much likes her comfort. The only times she comes up for air are:
- when it is time to go outside
- when it is time to be fed
- when someone is in the kitchen
- when it is time to be fed (yes I repeated - anything food related gets her to move her kiester)

Other critters I am not so keen on - especially if in or near the house. Carpenter ants. Mice. Bats (ask Sis about that one). Chipmunks are the great dilemma. Yes they are cute (unless animated and singing) but I've been known to slay a few. When we had a particularly bad population control problem one year I went to one of our local lawn and pet stores. It has been family run for over 40 years. They are very nice people and there is a grain elevator on the property - I always find it neat to visit.

Any way one of the regular staff (a lady with a rather gruff voice) offered to answer my question "How best to manage my chipmunk problem". "Catch and release or kill em", she gruffly said (you had to be there). "Well kill them I suppose", I said. She disappeared for a few minutes and upon return slapped the biggest "trap" on the counter I've seen - think mouse spring loaded trap but built to catch rats. "This 'll do er" she said. At that point not wanting to debate options (really) I paid for my new device and went home to test out. I did, much to hubby's dismay, catch a lot of chipmunks that year ("Poor Alvin" my relatives were heard to whisper in shock). Finally there was the day I came home and (I swear with a tear in his eye) hubby informed me I had caught yet another one and could I please take care of it. At that point I realized I would need to curtail my chipmunk slaying. I have to say they've not been too bad since (they got the hint).

My Dad, on the other hand, has no problem encouraging these critters. He has actually become quite friendly with one and hand feeds him regularly. He has become so used to my parents place he has been known to take advantage of all feeding areas - like this one.

I thought this picture my Dad had taken was a hoot....All I can say is he won't find the accomodations at my place quite as welcoming! Enjoy, Jewels.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Dark Side? and a GiveAway...

I mentioned a spiff Christmas present I recieved from Hubby. After much research on ebooks he decided to get me a Kindle (thank you sweetheart). He would also probably say I made some "hints".
I have to say I was very undecided before I got this present. How could it possibly replace the "feel" of a real book. Would I be going to the dark side if I owned one? But I am hooked! I spent much of the holiday online looking for freebies (check out Project Gutenberg) to download - mostly classics.
And, as you can see, the librarian in me had to "organize" my collection right away (obviously I am in a P.G. Woodhouse kick - the result of watching the whole Jevees and Wooster series at the cottage). What fun; however, I consider my Kindle a compliment to my book collection and won't be stopping purchases of the real thing any time soon. The Kindle really is not good for anything with pictures and everything is black and white - I am sure that will change eventually with future models but for now I am happy to use it to read straight text. The funniest thing I had to get used to what was NOT reaching for the top corner to turn the page (LOL).
Besides, this past weekend we invested in new book shelves (not these ones but you catch my drift) so we could get all our books out on display again after a remodeling project (that, ahem, was over 4 years ago!). Our physical collection is not going anywhere anytime soon...
Moving on - I cannot believe I have passed the 10,000 mark for hits on my Blog - thanks to all my Peeps who visit me on a regular basis. Since I was in the process of making my January tag to exchange with Carol, I thought I'd make an extra one as a token of my appreciation.

If your interested in receiving this small piece of "art" leave a comment on this and any other of my next posts before January 25th and I'll put your name in for the draw. (I need to give credit for the photo to Beth over at Gathering Dust. It was part of her and Karla's Romantic Christmas online tutorial). The definition just cracks me up - a man's home certainly was HIS castle, egads. Good luck! Jewels p.s. Carol, the most luckiest person on the planet, is out of contention for this as she gets her own tag - so your chances are actually pretty good!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year, A New Me?

Ugh, Ugh
Ugh, Ugh, Ugh
Ugh, Ugh, Ugh, UGH UGH - Enough said...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Here We Go Again!

Happy New Year everyone! My only resolution this year is to figure out how to make 2011 the best year ever for myself and others. We have two significant milestones in our family this year (parents turning 80!) that we look forward to celebrating this summer. On the other end of the spectrum, we have two friends who have recently brought new babies into their lives – another reason to celebrate! Hubby and I have started our plans for special times throughout the year – coming up a Valentine Snowshoe Hike in February… I think I am off to a good start.
Meanwhile, we had a wonderful time over the holidays. Family gathered for a lovely Christmas and some cool gifts (more on that later). Then it was off to our “second residence” for a much needed break.
At the beginning of the week there was lots of snow on the ground – but fortunately not too much for us to travel through (unlike other parts of the world).
While it was cloudy for the most part we did have some have some nice days.
Very pretty sunsets - these are from two different evenings.
As you can see from the Icehouse – what a difference a week makes! Temperatures were in the low 40s by the time we left!

Even Miss Gwendoline had a good time - here she is "shakin the bacon" - funny girl.

And as you recall from our November trip - here is our "storage area" for the canoe (LOL)...
I also had time for “art” stuff – some additions to my glue books (I think the young lady is miffed about the size of the dog).

And also a couple of ATCs.
Now it is back to our regular schedule and catching up with email, blogs, etc. Look forward to sharing a wonderful 2011 with all of you! Here we go again...Jewels
P.S. I cannot believe I have now had over 10,000 friendly visits to my blog – time for a giveaway to celebrate. More to come!