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Monday, February 28, 2011

The Lord's Handiwork and Mom's sick day

I have been sick the last couple days. The grandbaby gave me his bug or a variation of it. I didn't have the barfs which he so generously shared all over me last Thursday or the cough he has now but I was hit by a flu bug freight train. I just went to bed Saturday and pulled the covers over my head and slept til this morning! I talked to one of my friends and she was worried about me since I hadn't posted here! Thanks Debbie! I didn't get out too much to take pix, so I am sharing one of mine and 2 of my friends pics. This first one was taken by Betty Moore in SD earlier this winter. I love the smile from the Lord and the beautiful sky!

This one is one of mine. It was pretty much what I saw this weekend..the sassafrass tree that sits next to my garden outside my bedroom window. I had noticed at certain times of the morning, the branches appear mustard yellow, outlined in black and I love that color combo against the bright blue sky! Some mornings it looks even yellower than this. Even tho' there are no leaves, it is still beautiful!

This last one my daughter's friend Miss Ashley Myers took a couple days ago. Gorgeous a mom, I hope she wasn't driving since this is the interstate but I fear she was. She has amazing photos she posts on facebook and calls it her hobby, but she really has an eye! Now it is Monday and I have recovered enough to wash the piles of dishes and clothes and deal with the trash that somehow piles up when Mom is sick! I never get sick during the week somehow..I guess my body knows it is not allowed! Hoping you all are in good health and are taking a minute to see the beauty that is around us daily! Til next time! Julia

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Farmhouse Chic feedsack no sew pillows

So.. I know how to sew, I have been sewing since I was 6..doll clothes to start..then 4-H outfits, my clothes, my kids clothes (at least until Mom sewn clothes were no longer "cool"!) The trouble is 1. I have no time and 2. I am sort of lazy! I figure I am not the only one so I thought I'd show you how I do "no sew" pillows. Farmhouse chic is a buzzword lately and I have quite a few vintage feedsacks I have been selling on Ebay and Etsy. These have a few spots. They were emptied of their feed and tossed in a barn bin for 50 years or so until I bought them last summer at an auction! Now these bags were made with inks that were supposed to wash out. Ladies in those days used the bags for toweling, quilt backing, even underdrawers! To remove all the spots I would also remove the ink so these just went into the wash machine with some Tide on cold, delicate and the shortest cycle. They did fade a bit, but are technically clean! I decided to show how to wrap a few pillows...most of the spots end up on the back. This is an easy technique that you probably already know..but just in case, here we go! I picked a square pillow I had on hand, put it inside the feedsack (they are like a big pillowcase). I centered the graphics how I wanted them to appear on the front, flipped it over and pulled the excess fabric to the back.

I then made a pleat in the center tucking up all the extra fabric..

Added a safety pin...

Folded the "top" down and made corners like I was wrapping a present and pinned..

Folded the bottom up and pinned. (at this point you could tack on some large buttons if you want it more finished than safety pins)

And there you go! These would also look great finished off with some jute twine wrapped around it like you do with ribbon on a gift!( Also, If you wanted a crisper look, I would iron and starch the fabric before wrapping the pillow)

You could also do this with any fabric remnant that is big enough..if farmhouse isn't your thing, imagine the trendy french grain sack, floral, a yummy vintage scarf or even muslin or linen layered with vintage lace or doilies..add ribbon or lace and tack with a rhinestone brooch!

I actually made one once out of my favorite black knit mini skirts (the one my husband referred to as "the belt" ha!) and a wide gingham ribbon once I turned thirty something! Look at what you have and give your pillows a quick makeover! Til next time! Julia

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I finally got some pics of the daffodils I have been seeing for the last couple days! I kept forgetting my camera..I'm reeeeeally not much of a morning person. When I take my little boy to school in the morning I pray I am never in an accident or run out of gas. I'd rather not get caught with bedhead, a pajama shirt and my hubbies sweats on! Spring has sprung in East TN..although it is supposed to get close to freezing tonight. These flowers grow wild in the ditches here..runaways from their original plantings. Sometimes where a house used to stand, you can still see them raising their heads! I hope spring is on the way for you too! Til next time! Julia

Monday, February 21, 2011

Signs of spring

I have been searching for signs of spring..hungry for winter to be over. Now I know here in TN I really have nothing to complain about..I think my family in SD got 14" of snow yesterday! I have seen some signs of spring here. Some of the trees are starting to show pink buds..there are daffodils blooming in the ditches...and I saw my first random shirtless guy at the gas station on Saturday! At least he was young and in shape..not always the case! I plan to get some pics of those daffodils..very cloudy today. So to satisfy my need for spring I made these mini bird's nests. The nest is layered treated satin. I made some little eggs for it out of polymer clay. Of course I didn't have the right color of clay so I painted, speckled and glazed what I had! The feathers are from the rogue peacocks that roam my yard. I have posted pix of them on here last month. Look for "view in my backyard" I have no clue how to link things on here yet! LOL..I am NOT tech savy. They are the downy underbits..not the showy tail feathers. These little nests are listed in my handmade Etsy shop hopeandjoystudios. I can add a pinback or barrette clip. I love nests and eggs..they are such signs of hope and home to me! I also love the color aqua or turquoise. I used to roam the yard in the spring as a girl looking for the brokens robin's egg shells when they were hatching. My girls used to do the same. I did see a robin in my backyard the other day..hmmmm. Hope spring is on the way for you too..if not, feather your nest and hunker is on the way! Til next time! Julia

Friday, February 18, 2011

Message from heaven

Our first baby Tyler was born with a heart condition and passed away during surgery when he was 2 days old. I seem to find a lot of hearts. I have come to decide that maybe they are a message from him to me. Whether or not that is true doesn't's true to me! I found this one in the parking lot today...a shabby little mirrored peach one that probably was on a little girl's ponytail holder at one time. I photoed it on one of my oldest dictionaries. It is also quite shabby and sewn back together. There is no date on it, but it appears to be 1800's. This little heart will go in my collection. It's been 27 years but I think of you every day sweet one!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vintage McCoy Pottery

McCoy pottery is one of my favorite collectibles. I especially have a weakness for the aqua or turquoise pieces. *sigh* This is a piece I actually listed tonight in my Etsy vintage shop, hopeandjoyhome. It is circa 1947 and is a bulb bowl..meant for forcing bulbs such as narcissis, tulips, hyacinths. (I am a bit hazy on the exact directions, but I believe it involves pre-chilled bulbs, gravel and water) I have pictured it here with some of my hand dyed paper peony rose pins from my handmade Etsy shop, hopeandjoystudios. I love the pinks and corals with the aqua! I also like the cute scrolly wave motif on the bottom of this. It would also look great with shells or my vintage mother of pearl button collection..hmmmmm... This is what started me collecting pottery..the matte white pieces. I love this urn shape. I have several so this piece is going to my antiques booth. I have a similar one that is still piled with vintage pink and silver Christmas pretty they may stay a couple more weeks! These are generally unmarked and sometimes are marked floraline. They were more of a utility vase for the floral industry. They also come in mossy green and black and other mod shapes. Floraline is a great collectible..very modern looking and classic at the same time and still lower priced than some McCoy.
This is one of my older pieces. This is a jardinere from the 1920's. It is unmarked but in the McCoy book...very Deco!

This is a circa 1961 flowerpot with saucer...again in my favorite robin's egg blue shade.

I plan to share more of my favorites..hope you like them too! Til next time! Julia

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Antique Valentine postcards

Hello! These are a few Valentine postcards from my collection. I love Valentine's day..hearts, pink, lace, and can it be any better? I picked these 3 at random and they ended up being all from the same family. 2 are to Burton Brown of Forbes, North Dakota and one is to Ava Brown. They are signed but apparently were hand post marks!

This pic I dialed down the color a bit...very pretty!

This one is to Burton from "your friend Maude". Names have certainly changed over the years..not alot of Burtons and Maudes running around the playgrounds today!

My honey bought me these chocolates..we have been hiding them from the kids and eating a couple a day! I can't believe we haven't been discovered yet..I told him to destroy all the evidence. It's like we are secret agents or something! I believe these cards are from the first quarter of the 1900's. I have a big stash of valentines someplace..If I can unearth them, I will share here! All I know for sure from looking today is where they are NOT! May your days be filled with pretty! Till next time..Julia

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pictures from Home

Hi guys! These are pictures of my hometown Redfield, South Dakota. I haven't actually lived there since 1984 but my family still does and we go back there every summer. My daughter wrote a paper for college about those trips back to Grandpa and Grandma's absolutely brought tears to my eyes. I'll have to wrestle it from her to post on here! THIS is what I grew up calling an "elevator". It is a grain elevator and on the Dakota prairies, they are the biggest things around..our "skyscrapers". We lived 5 miles west of town and always could see the elevator in the distance. My Grampa and Gramma lived about 5 blocks straight to the right of it so whenever I saw it, I thought of it as "their" elevator and knew they were near. That is train cars and snow piles in front of it. ..that will be long gone in the summer!

And this is Main Street..the only street with a stop light! I have been in every one of these buildings over the years..some are long gone..Silins Bakery where I got the best long johns and doughnuts ever and bought my wedding cake.. and the Ben Franklin.. almost the only place they had toys in town! Some carry on, Stacey's Drug, Leo's Good Food ( moved into the former bank building..the salad bar is in the vault!) My husband's aunts and uncles still gather there once a week. My brother and sister's coffee shop Simply Charming is here..home of the BEST frozen coffee's I've ever had! Terry's bar where the Kiwanas, Lions and Jay-cees still meet. This is were my parents grew up and their parents before them. Down this street marches the Homecoming Parade (go Pheasants!) and the 4th of July parade every year with everybody in town and country turning out. Home sweet home..I do miss it! (Just not that dang cold weather!) Thank God for my small town roots!