Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Getting Ready to Dog Sit

 (Update on the swarm:  it seems they moved on.  So hope they find a happy home where they are not bothering anyone.....otherwise, George may be getting a call to come and remove them!)

I will be off Doggie/Kitty Sitting for our grand-dogs/kitty Friday for 10 days,
Isis and Otis
 so I have been gathering my projects to do while I am there.

I have my 1903 skirt pattern that I have to enlarge a few sizes.  So I will making a new pattern after fittings.  And I bought some inexpensive fabric to make a mock up.  So I am gathering all the sewing stuff I will need. 

Also, I signed up for an on-line hat class that starts May 16.  I had to get supplies for the class.  I also bought 2 hat patterns and a 1896 jacket that I need to copy.  (I copy my historical patterns so I always have the original in good shape.) 

I also take my paints with me just in case I get inspired. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

On Bees and Feet

Update on the bee swarm:  They haven't moved into the hive we have for them so they just might move on.  They are in the middle of a very bushy tree and there is no easy way to capture the swarm.  There were a few scouts looking at the hive but no moving in so far.

On Feet: 
A few years ago my feet decided to create a bunion situation.  I have been having to buy shoes with a larger "box" or front part.  It is hard to find them so the heel is still narrow enough to fit. 

Aunt Madonna had a tool that worked great for stretching her shoes to fit her hammer toes.  It was a Godsend for her and I have wondered where she had gotten it.  It looked like it was over a hundred years old!  BUT, I found one!  On Amazon!!

It looks just the same as Aunt Madonna's.  There is some spray that you spray on the shoe where you want to stretch it and then apply the stretcher.  I think this is a tool that is going to be passed around for all!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our Bees Swarmed!

This is our little bee hive in our back yard.  It looks very quiet in the picture because the swarm has left and the sun is starting to set so the 2/3's left in the hive are going to bed.  But earlier this afternoon things were really buzzing.  Silly me, I didn't think of taking a picture, but the girls were deciding on who was going with the new queen vs. those staying with the old queen.
Those deciding to go with the new queen gathered together and flew off to the neighbors bushy tree with the new queen.  Honey bees are very docile when swarming because they are intent on gathering together around the new queen and finding a new home.
It took about 45 minutes before they all settled down into a ball around the new queen right in the center of the tree branches. Wouldn't you know it would have to be in a difficult spot.

Our son-in-law and grandson, aka George, The Bee Man and Luke, The Bee Man, Jr., came over to try to get the bees to put them into a new hive.  Since it was to difficult to reach them where the bees  were in the tree, they put a hive up on the roof in the back of the playhouse and added a chemical that will attract the bees that have swarmed.  The hive is up high to help them find it.  So tomorrow we will find out if they decided that hive will make a good home.
If they do decide to move in, George and Luke will move the hive to a better location.  Stay tuned for further news updates!

Meanwhile, Dear Hubby was giving out treats to Isis and Titi.  What spoiled chickens!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Billy, the Goat

 I saw this strange looking thing as I was walking into Ardenwood this morning.  It looked like it could be.... a goat with a feed bag on its head?????

Not until I got closer I saw it was Billy, the goat.  Billy has weird markings especially on his left side of his head.

 Billy was going up on his hind feet and pulling down branches on the walnut trees and eating the leaves.  But when he saw I was watching him he wouldn't do it any more.

 Spring has sprung and there are tons of babies at the park, mostly goats and sheep.  But the mama peacocks are showing off their chicks too.

It's hard to see them though in their camo!

And the horses are all ready to go to work!

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Watch

Last year my little lapel watch gave out and I haven't found a person to fix it.  It seems that there are not many people that can fix a watch that doesn't run on battery power. 

You can see the workings from the back.
The front has a beveled crystal.
So I bought a watch on-line and used it two times so far.  It runs great but it is a little more difficult to read the time vs my old one.  This one is also a vintage watch.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Momento and a Treasure

The last time I was in Leesburg, Virginia I found this little treasure.  It was so pretty and I loved it immediately.  It was a little more than I really wanted to spend on a memento of my trip, but after all it was a treasure!

It was made in Austria and has crystals and enamel.  It has lost one crystal, it is probably somewhere on the grounds of Ardenwood.

I do enjoy little things that remind me of good times and this little thing reminds me of Leesburg and the wonderful times I had on our visits there.  I am usually very timid about going out and about alone in new settings.  I felt very brave going off on my own and exploring the countryside and places like Monticello and John Adams home while in Virginia.  The people were all so nice and helpful and the land is just so beautiful!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Purples are leaving, Yellows are coming

I am trying to document when certain plants are blooming in my back yard so I can add new plants to complement the old.  I never remember just when plants are blooming and for how long.  I have noticed the colors seem to rotate, totally unplanned on my part.  It starts with the purples and is now moving on to the yellows and a bit of orange.

See, the beautiful wysteria is almost finished booming and the clematis is starting though so their bit of purple is still with us in the arbor.

 And the Iris  is still at it also at it.

And the yellows are coming in,
Henry Fonda Rose smells good!

California Poppies, our state flower.

This poor vine was frozen to the ground this winter, but its coming back!

You can tell I haven't weeded here yet!
 And there is a bit of orange showing:
Poppie variations

And this is the first time this plant has bloomed,  a tiny bit of lavender with creamy white.
 Those chickens better take care of those snails whether they like escargot or not!

Then there is the succulent garden I just planted.  So far so good, everything is healthy.  The netting on the little fences is working, the chickens haven't decided to jump the fence.  I plan to take the fencing down when the succulents are established enough they won't get kicked out of the ground by chickens scratching. 

 Now to more weeding.......

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hat Class!

About 20 years ago Ardenwood sponsored a hat making class for docents in the Patterson House.  It was a 2 day class and I learned a lot.  I have tried my hand at making several hats since then.  But, there is always a lot more to learn.  So, with that in mind, I signed up for an online hat class put on by

Jennifer has a series of several kinds of classes.  This is the first one I will have taken.  She puts out newsletters on historical sewing projects and problem solving.

I have worn my latest hat 2 times so far and am liking it more and more.  I do find I need to find another nice strong, sharp hat pin.  Strong because the wimpy stemmed ones just bend as you try to get them through 2 layers of buckram. 

So now I have to go shopping for my new hat!  What should I make?  It has to be 1889 -1912 period.

Maybe something in brown to go with my new brown skirt?  That would be 1903-ish.

Monday, April 22, 2013

An Unfinished Project

I was looking through my fabric stash and I came across this:

It is a quilt top that needs to be quilted.  All the applique is finished.  This is called "Country Love" and I started it about 10 years ago.  After the applique was done I was having problems with arthritis in my fingers.  I had been doing a lot of cross stitch at the time too but all hand sewing came to a halt.  Now my hands are in pretty great shape and I have been doing a lot of hand sewing with the Historical Sewing Fortnightly's Challenges.  Well, when life slows down a bit more maybe I can start to finish this project....maybe next winters project.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Leesburg, Virginia

I have been lucky enough to visit many places, one of them Leesburg Virginia.

I had joined my husband on a business trip to Reston, Virginia.  We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast in Leesburg.  I would drop him off at work and go play!  Great plan, I thought!

On one of my exploring trips in Leesburg I found these little treasures.

And this one:

I don't know if the stones are real amethyst or not, the pearls look real.  These pieces are old and I think they are pretty.  I wore the pin the other day at Ardenwood.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston, MA

I'm taking a break from planting all my new plants and the news from Boston.  So sad for the city of Boston and all across the country have them on our thoughts.  When you have visited an area it really becomes part of yourself.  We hear news from different places we have been on our trips and our hearts are right there.  We visited Boston last year on 4th of July and had such a wonderful time.  We visited places like the Old North Church and Old Ironsides and topped it off with a fabulous time at Boston Commons watching the fireworks!  The people were so nice and we loved their city.  Now they have all these problems.  Our thoughts are with them as they are going through this continuous scary events.  I am hoping this will over soon for their sakes.

Who knows why these young men chose to do what it seems they have done.  Hopefully the 19 year old surrenders and perhaps information can be obtained that will explain why all this came about. 

 Anyhow, to lighten up the mood:

We were included in Annie's Annuals slideshow!
We had a lot of fun that day!

PS:  Just heard the people of Boston can take a breath of fresh air.  The search is over and the kid is alive so best ending.  So sad for all victims and their families.  Now for justice's wheels to start turning.

Warm and Cool

It is finally getting warm again....hopefully we will have moderation and not have toooo much of the warm!  And I still have these plants to plant.

 This one was dehydrated from the wind and looked like it was dead for sure.  I put it in water and it came back to life!

But it looks like I will need to take a fan out with me when I head for Ardenwood this weekend.  (By the way, Sunday is sheep shearing day!)  I have 2 fans I use.

The one below I bought years ago at a Pennsylvania flea market.  The fabric is like a polished cotton.  It folds into the metal handles.  The handles are held closed or open with a little metal hook.  I have not had to do any repair to it.

This one I found in an antique store.  The fabric is silk and had some damage along the folds.  I added a sheer black material on front and back over the original fabric, then painted the design on the new front copying the original painting.
It has really pretty carving on the woods.  And the ribbon is original.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Exercise & Fashion

A friend and I have joined an exercise class.  She has belonged to a gym before but I never have.  I am always a little slow on the fashion up-take.....guess that is why I like fashion from over a hundred yrs ago.  So, I notice my big ol' New Balance walking shoes are just "not with it".  The young little things have gray or black little shoes that look a lot lighter in weight.  You think that might help me with some of those fast paced exercise steps?!  Well, I'm just going to have to look into getting me a pair.

And then there are the outfits.  Skinny little spandex things!  They are not going to want to see that on me!  So I am going to stick with my regular sweatpants, maybe future ones will be tighter down by the ankles so when I have my feet in the air my pant legs won't fall down and show my socks......oh, wait, they aren't wearing sock with those cute lightweight shoes.  Wow, change can be hard.  I must be getting old.

And the tops, I just wear T-shirts, but they have kind of spandex going on there too.  I have to make sure my t-shirt is long enough so it doesn't ride up when my hands are in the air....don't want those stretch marks showing!

Last night I wore my "White Sands Monument" t-shirt that brought up memories of last summer's trip across the United States.

White sand all the way across the valley.
White Sands in New Mexico was quite impressive and that night we camped on a rise over looking the White Sands desert. 

 Just after we set up camp my Emergency Weather Warning radio set off beeping!  A huge sand storm was coming up the valley of White Sands right toward us!  It was huge and it set off a whole set of adventures! 

And after hunkering down in the restroom,  all was well in the end!

Wow, all those memories from a T-shirt!  You aren't going to get those kind of memories from me in spandex!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Windy, Again!

It has been windy since Saturday, a cold wind too!  I am sick of it!  I've been getting out in the garden early before the wind comes up but I am just wanting some still, about 75 degrees weather. 

I officially have gotten all the succulents planted but I still have another 15 or so 4" pots to go!


I did want to show you this locket and chain.  I found this at an antique store in Mariposa, CA on one of our "Girls trip" with my daughters.

It is not made of expensive metal but it does have a nice chain and locket.  I need to find a photo to put in the locket.  I don't really know the date it belongs to but I would say early 1900s.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Challenge #8 Nautical

Challenge #8 - By the Sea
"Everyone loves a day at the beach, and the sea has inspired and influenced fashion for millennia. This challenge is all about nautical fashions, whether you make BC pallas and stola to wear at a Roman seaside resort town like Pompeii, something for Cleopatra to lounge in as she barged down the Nile (rivers count as nautical), an outfit for a Viking to keep them warm on a longboat as they explored Newfoundland, a ship to perch on a towering 1770s hairdo, a chemise to be worn in a Regency bathing vehicle, mid-Victorian seaside promenade dresses, late Victorian woolen bathers, or 1930s beach pajamas to wear on the sands of the Cote d'Azure."

Well, I am going to be skipping this one.....No plans for swimming at Ardenwood this year!  for me at least! 

But, as I was checking out the different nautical fashions through the years I saw this one:
OMG!!!!!!!!  Going down memory lane... do I have to????  This is one of the BAD memories of junior high school.  I was lucky enough to attend Edwin Markham Jr High in San Jose, CA.  It was a very special school, it had a lot of neat features including 2 swimming pools.  We either had swimming or dancing on Fridays.....  And we had to wear suits just like this lovely bottle green item above, and it was in 1957-9, not 1938!  Did you notice it was made of wool,  yah, real flattering.  The only difference in ours was that ours had a dropped waist,  yah, that just added to its charm.  Sooooo ugly!!  Brings back just so many memories.  As you got out of the pool a huge bubble would form right under the boobs and then you have to  hold up the top part while the bottom (wool holds LOTS) was weighted with water...a look to die for...actually, maybe that dropped waist was from all the times the water pulled down the whole thing, the crotch was down to your knees.  There must have been 15 lbs of water in there. 
And then on the swim Fridays the boys would trot by from the field while we were getting out of the pool to line up.  Yah, that was a lot of fun, too.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Planting 2013 - part 2

Yesterday morning I went out nice and early to move rocks, pull weeds and plant some of my new plants.
I came to the conclusion I really do like the succulent garden.  Next year I plan on moving several of the plants that are in the side flower bed to a new area that will have more available water and be more compatible with other of their neighbors.

I have 3 rose bushes, a lilac and a mallow.  I think I will leave the mallow and move the others when they are dormant.

Isis and I were weeding the path and TiTi had finally gotten done laying her egg and joined us.  Isis decided to check out having a dust bath now that TiTi had come out.  They have to be together when they are both out.  So Isis starts trying to find a way through the fencing that I had just put up.  I figured chickens were to dumb to really find a hole and would give up.....NO!!  She just squeezed through and was happy as a lark, and then, of course, TiTi had to follow the leader and do the same.  Well, we played chicken for a while, I would get Isis out and chase TiTi, putting her out, by that time Isis went back in and then TiTi wanted to be where Isis was and she went in.  We played that game about 4 more times before I took Isis all the way across the yard then ran back to get TiTi and took her over there too...so they have been happy over there for a while now.  Dear Hubby was having a belly laugh at all that.  Looks like I am going to have to reinforce the fencing....who would think it.

I ended up putting the girls on restriction until I can do something about keeping them out of that area.  I think the simplest idea is add some netting to the fencing and stapling it together to hold it on.  I have yards of netting from a wedding years ago so I am set.

Here you can see the rocks I moved in and some of the new plants settled in.  Also, you can see the fencing in the background and all the weeds left on the right hand side.  That mass in the center front are bush lady bells.  I love them but will have to water them more this year since they will be with all the succulents.  I will move them this fall.

I have these yet to plant this morning (for the succulent area, there are plenty more babies to plant elsewhere!).  It looks so dreary out and is not inviting to get out there, but I will!

 I just had to take a picture of the California poppies.  I hope they are still blooming when I get over to them to weed!