Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Trip Back in Time

We Dreamers hopped on a time travel machine.
We took a trip back in time on a visit to New York.

If I made a timeline, our time-travel adventures might look something like this:


1972

Back to the scene of the crime wedding.
The groom waits for the ceremony to begin.


Now.... still waiting (Will you hurry up and take the picture?)


The wedding takes place.


I am sure I could hear the echoes of our vows as we peeked 
into the church. It hasn't changed much!


After the ceremony...

 The chairs have changed, the carpet has been ripped out.
No one was around to take our picture, 


So, we muddled through on our own. 


1971
I attended Bennett College in Millbrook, NY. The main building, Halcyon Hall, was formerly a luxury hotel constructed in 1893. The story I heard was that the proprietors would extend invitations to wealthy families in New York City to come enjoy a restful week in the country. Evidently the invitation hinted that the stay was free, but in fact, families received a hefty bill upon leaving!

The building was purchased in 1907, and may have looked something like this.


In my day, it looked like this. (I didn't have any pictures of the building,
but found this on the Internet, and must give credit to CardCow.com.)


The school ran into problems in the mid 70's as enrollment declined. 
The original trust did not allow the school to admit men,
nor could they turn the school into a four-year college.
The property was ensnared in the trust decrees and was left empty
when the school closed in 1978. 

What a shame.
It was difficult to go visit, but I felt compelled to see it again.



My dorm, first year.
My room was on the top floor, 4th window from the left. 


1969

High school graduation.



Here I am with a few of my classmates (just a few years later!)
In the picture above, I am on the far right in the front row.
The handsome fellow in the picture below is top row, third from right.
My friend is on the bottom row, on the left.


1967

We had the opportunity to visit with my beau from 10th grade!
We remarked that we had no pictures of us together from back in the day.


1966

We attended a reunion for Mr. Dreamy and his classmates.
They were the first class to spend all four years at this "new" high school.


Some of the attendees took a tour of the school.
Much of it remains the same and "students" pointed out their lockers,
where they sat in in the music room, and where they used to
go outside to smoke during lunch.

~1810

Mr. Dreamy has been exploring his genealogy for years. 
Some of his ancestors attended this one-room school...


... and met in this Quaker Meeting house in Greenfield, NY.


1720

Hugo Freer, an ancestor of Mr. Dreamy's, built this house in New Paltz, NY.


It still stands, much as it did back in his time.


We had a great time visiting, and talking, and remembering, and talking....
I'm ready for some quiet time now.
I'm all talked out! It's good to be back in 2016, in the here and now!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It Started With a....

... bit of inspiration from embroidery software I purchased last year. I saw the designs and thought that they might be interesting to use.... some day!


Then.... I found the perfect fabric as a background
for the embroidered designs.

It looks kinda like rock.
It's bright.
The designs would "pop" on this.



Then.... I found another fabric.
It reminds me of the red rocks of Sedona,
and Bryce Canyon,
and Santa Fe....


Several of the designs I liked the most required machine embroidery
and applique.
This fabric would be awesome in an appliqué!
(Don't you think?!)


Then I went to a quilt guild sew day and I was introduced to
"Stack and Whack" quilts.
The finished results look somewhat like a kaleidoscope.
I found fabric in great colors for a "western" quilt,
and made some blocks using this technique.


Then I put it all together. 
I found some thread with the perfect colors for quilting,
and I dreamed up some Indian-like designs to quilt,
and I went to work!


Nope, they aren't perfect!
 But, considering that I've only been using the
longarm machine for a few months, 
I'm not dissatisfied!


And, 
finally....

Ta daaaaaa....


I completed the quilt, which I named "Navajo Nation",
(even though some of the designs are Hopi)
and I sent the quilt to my sister.

I sure did have fun on the whacky road to dreaming, designing and completing the quilt!








Thursday, September 8, 2016

Walking on the Edge

Sewing is wonderful, but it isn't exactly aerobic. One day I did log 3.3 miles walking from the embroidery machine to the quilting machine and back.... and forth.... and back.... and forth. But, generally, I don't get enough exercise while sewing.

Sew.....

I decided I needed to start my day with a walk. I live "on the edge". That is, I live right next to suburbia, but I am fortunate to be "almost country"! My home is in the upper right corner of this picture, and you can see where suburbia begins to encroach on us in the lower left corner. 



Suburbia has a beautiful network of paved trails. But there isn't great access from my home. In the past I have driven down to a park in the populated area, where I could access the trail, but it is a bit of a pain. Luckily for me, the farms/ranches/ranchettes just south of me left easements between their pastures, and I can walk along those. The green dotted lines show my options for walking along the easements or along the roads. 


Each "leg" is a bit more than a quarter of a mile in length, and I can change my route following any of the paths. The easements are partially mowed. The terrain is up and down hills (there is a 100 foot change in elevation!) Some of the pathways have serious erosion that makes walking a bit of a challenge. But, it is beautiful....

Why don't I take you along with me?!

I have always loved these red barns....

And, the view of the mountains to the west can be spectacular!


Once I'm off the road I have not encountered another two legged creature. I did see another dog taking his human for a walk in the distance, and when I'm on the road I am occasionally overtaken by a runner or I meet someone on a bike. 

Even though I've not seen another human, I am not alone! 

Ducks frequent a pond in the lower right quadrant.

 A buck checks me out as I trudge up one of the hills.

Yearling cows are curious as I walk by. 
(See suburbia in the background?)

 I find this ant colony to be fascinating. 
Nothing grows in a 6' diameter circle around the ant nest.

Two does watch my approach.
Once a doe held her ground and stomped her little hoof at me!
When I stomped back, she turned tail.

 This property owner, on the edge of civilization,
has horses... and a deer.
(Yes, we have a lot of deer.)

The young buck has decided he'd like to leave. I'm too close.

On this walk I surprised the yearlings when they were close to the fence.

This pasture has some sheep (almost as wide as they are tall) and 
a llama (on the right) who acts as a guard animal.

These fine fellows are carrying beautiful racks, still in velvet.
Soon they will scrape that skin off and become more aggressive.

Glad you could come along. It's time to head out for another walk. I wonder what I will see today?






Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Contagion

I have been sewing quilts with my vintage machines. (I wrote about the machines here!) I attended a "Sew-in Saturday" at a local quilt guild and met an amazing young woman. She also admires the Singer Featherweights and owns 10 of them. Oops, Shhh! Her husband thinks she only has 9, the 10th was still in its packing in the garage! She came over to our house to make a "table" for her Featherweights. (That's another Blog post!) While she was here she greased and oiled and tweaked my second Featherweight. She has learned how to service her own machines. Oh, my gosh!  After she worked with my machine "She" became so quiet. I found out from my new friend that many people name their machines. Names for my machines became evident to me as I got to know them. The first machine I acquired, a 1947 model, was christened as "Sewphia Claire". Claire passed away last year. She is my DIL's grandmother, and I have some of her "stash" to use in future quilts. My second acquisition was 'born' in 1938. I named her after my Mother-in-Law. Moving forward she will be called, "Elizabeth". But... I digress!

So, when my friend came to visit, Mr. Dreamy's ear tuned into our conversation. As he was sitting in front of his computer, he began looking around on eBay. My Mr. Dreamy decided he would like to learn more about the Featherweights. He wanted to find a "junker" to play with. And thus, the yearning for Singer Featherweights shows its contagious nature! He caught the bug.
Mr. Dreamy found a torn down skeleton of a Featherweight and soon it was at our home. But, while looking at other machines, and reading about Featherweights, Mr. Dreamy decided he'd like to find unusual machines. He is obviously in the throes of the illness! He soon had a white Featherweight on its way, and a Featherweight Free Arm. Both rather rare machines.


When UPS delivered the free arm, the black machine, we discovered notes to "Bette" from someone who had serviced the machine. 


So, of course, this 1955 model must be called "Bette"!

Then, FedEx delivered Hubby's machine Number 2, the white  machine, circa 1964. I opened the carton, and immediately gagged. Bleech! The case, the accessories, and the machine smelled of mildew. Not just a little bit. Enough that the case, the manual and the cardboard box for the accessories went out onto the porch to sit in the sun.... for several days! The machine sat on the table and gave off wretched, mildewy odors. Yuck! The machine had to be called "Stinky"! Nothing else was fitting. 

Mr. Dreamy set out to work on the white machine. He pulled out the hook and cleaned all of the pieces. He reassembled the machine and adjusted a drive shaft, and.... oh, my! The machine actually does work! After cleaning most of the machine, inside and out, it no longer smelled quite as bad. So.... she will now be called "Flower". Flower was the skunk with a leading role on "Bambi". Or,.... maybe she should be "Betty White"?!

And.... the illness quest continues. Mr. Dreamy found a bargain machine that wasn't in very good shape. Most recently he has been working at stripping its paint so he can repaint the machine. It has proven to be quite the task. 


Besides sewing with the machines, what is my role? I have been working on restoring the cases that came with Elizabeth. The handle on the case was half off, and the wooden bottom was split and in danger of falling off. I  removed split rivets to take off the hardware on the case, and then began the task of removing the Tolex cover. The covers were originally applied with "hide" glue. This glue has been used for years for adhering wood for furniture and instruments. It is water soluble, so dunking the case into hot water for a few minutes loosens the glue so that the cover can be pulled off. 


I ordered new "Tolex" material and we have "hide" glue. When I run out of sewing projects, maybe I'll have a moment to finish the case!

And what's next?! What knows! More machines? More refurbished cases? No matter. Life will be  interesting!














Saturday, September 3, 2016

Walking on the Edge

Sewing is wonderful, but it isn't exactly aerobic. One day I did log 3.3 miles walking from the embroidery machine to the quilting machine and back.... and forth.... and back.... and forth. But, generally, I don't get enough exercise while sewing.

Sew.....

I decided I needed to start my day with a walk. I live "on the edge". That is, I live right next to suburbia, but I am fortunate to be "almost country"! My home is in the upper right corner of this picture, and you can see where suburbia begins to encroach on us in the lower left corner. 



Suburbia has a beautiful network of paved trails. But there isn't great access from my home. In the past I have driven down to a park in the populated area, where I could access the trail, but it is a bit of a pain. Luckily for me, the farms/ranches/ranchettes just south of me left easements between their pastures, and I can walk along those. The green dotted lines show my options for walking along the easements or along the roads. 


Each "leg" is a bit more than a quarter of a mile in length, and I can change my route following any of the paths. The easements are partially mowed. The terrain is up and down hills (there is a 100 foot change in elevation!) Some of the pathways have serious erosion that makes walking a bit of a challenge. But, it is beautiful....

Why don't I take you along with me?!

I have always loved these red barns....

And, the view of the mountains to the west can be spectacular!


Once I'm off the road I have not encountered another two legged creature. I did see another dog taking his human for a walk in the distance, and when I'm on the road I am occasionally overtaken by a runner or I meet someone on a bike. 

Even though I've not seen another human, I am not alone! 

Ducks frequent a pond in the lower right quadrant.

 A buck checks me out as I trudge up one of the hills.

Yearling cows are curious as I walk by. 
(See suburbia in the background?)

 I find this ant colony to be fascinating. 
Nothing grows in a 6' diameter circle around the ant nest.

Two does watch my approach.
Once a doe held her ground and stomped her little hoof at me!
When I stomped back, she turned tail.

 This property owner, on the edge of civilization,
has horses... and a deer.
(Yes, we have a lot of deer.)

The young buck has decided he'd like to leave. I'm too close.

On this walk I surprised the yearlings when they were close to the fence.

This pasture has some sheep (almost as wide as they are tall) and 
a llama (on the right) who acts as a guard animal.

These fine fellows are carrying beautiful racks, still in velvet.
Soon they will scrape that skin off and become more aggressive.

Glad you could come along. It's time to head out for another walk. I wonder what I will see today?





Scene Along the Side of the Road: Farms

Our drive through central California seemed long and frankly, boring. However, the monotony was broken by observing the produce along the s...