Sunday, January 31, 2016

End of January Blues

Shortly after my husband started his family practice office, his cousin, Eddie joined him once he completed his medical school training.  
Eddie later changed to orthopedics & had a very successful career in that field. 
He & his wife, Terry, often vacationed together with us in FL & we golfed together almost weekly here in Ohio when the weather was nice.

They had 2 daughters, one of which is the very talented artist Diane Arthurs, the designer of many cards & posters along with this line of dishes from Pfaltzgraff.  

She named the line "Evergreen Ernie" & I like to think it was after my husband Ernie!

I first saw these dishes on my friend Mary's blog, "Home is Where the Boat Is".  
Thanks Mary for showing them & for the 20% off code to help offset the purchase price.

Each salad plate has a different scene with the snowmen holding various garlands & wreaths.  The coordinating dinner plates have snowflakes around their rims, which also echo the mugs.


I was tickled pink to discover these little snowmen on sleds, 
(which I've had for YEARS), matched the teal blue colors perfectly!   
I used them as holders for tucked napkins between the sled runners.

 I found them at the Dollar Store a long time ago & I'm so very glad I kept them.  

I've heard it a million times....
"Mother, you never throw anything away!"
...and this is exactly why!!!

Aren't the snowmen's expressions just precious?  
They resemble my Ern, always smiling & making people laugh with his jokes.

Oneida's "Americana" silverware along with snow white quilted placemats completed the table setting.  
There are nice deep soup bowls that go with the set & I KNOW I took photos of them later in the day, but I can't find the pictures of them now.  Duh?  Mentalpause Moment!

I have many snowmen blues on my bakers rack this month along with the newly released reproduction Ball jars in the same turquoise color.  
I have several of the original colored ones but didn't dig them out yet & now January is almost over.  It will be time to put up the RED Valentine's Day items next!

Thanks to Mary, I also have the sugar & creamer as well as the S&P shakers that go with the set!

We've not had much snow here in Ohio, (♥♥♥ thanks to El Nino ♥♥♥) so I added some free standing lace snowflakes to the kitchen table light fixture.

I first made them for Sandy Hook & used them in a tablescape HERE

 They are done entirely in the embroidery hoop & are specially designed to hold together once you wash away the stabilizer. 

 Diane's dad, Eddie & my Ernie have both passed away now.  
I'm hoping to have both Diane & her Mother over for lunch, using these dishes, soon.

Next week, it will be a full year since my sweetheart went to Heaven.
  I miss him terribly every day still & always will.   
His smile would light up a room & everyone loved my Ernie!
Rest in Peace, Darling...I'll see you again in about 20 or 30 years, God willing.

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today!
I hope the sun is shining wherever you are &
you'll come back to visit again soon.
I have TONS of quilting projects to share next.
You're always welcome!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

"50 Shades of Red" Quilt Challenge, 2015

Every year, my Memory Makers quilt guild has a different challenge to keep us sewing on task through the year.  When they asked for ideas at the end of 2014, I suggested doing a "50 Shades of Red" challenge.  My idea was chosen & the parameters were set that one could use as many red fabrics as you wanted.  In fact, the more, the merrier!  A background of either white or cream could be chosen along with one other color. 

Years ago, there was a huge display of all red & white quilts in New York.  You can follow THIS LINK to see a wonderful selection of them. 

We had three different categories, based on size.
We got to vote for our favorites in each section
along with picking our "Viewers Choice".

I foolishly forgot to bring my camera...(Bad Blogger!)
so these photos were taken with my friend, Robin's phone.

I know I must have missed capturing some of the quilts,
 as people arrived later in the evening.  
I'm so sorry for not realizing that error before we left that night!

Just look at those feathers....DROOL!!!  I happen to know Sue Palumbo quilted this one for Connie.
The pattern is called "Irish Mist"...I ♥♥♥ it!!!

This quilt was my entry, made from the patterns in the book titled "10-Minute Blocks"...See below:

Very fast & easy project that left me lots of wide spaced to practice my free motion quilting in the red blocks.
I used the computer to place the floral daisy motif in the center of each white square.  This pattern ends up with a very thick intersection of seams right in the middle of that block so I chose something that would avoid hitting them & perhaps risk breaking a needle...or worse, messing up the timing on my Innova.  

These were from the smallest category...a tiny 1" blocks & an almost completed table runner, made from leftover toile from her dining room valances!  Great idea!

 I've forgotten the names of these two blocks, above & below.  Perhaps someone who was there that night will pop in to remind me?

We had lots of delicious  food to enjoy too, 
as everyone contributes something to the evening meal.

These "Quilt Block" cookies were a hit on the dessert table!!  They are made with edible rice paper that is placed on the wet icing of the cookie.  What a special treat!
Below is a photo from the website that sells them along with a link, just in case you want to make them next year.

Edible wafer paper Quilt Blocks

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House during the busy time. 


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Quilted Christmas Wreath Wall Hanging

I'm blessed to belong to a long arm guild that meets once a month in Zanesville, OH...(almost a 2 hr. drive me) but SEW worth the trip!!!
These gals are awesome quilters....many are published teachers & everyone shares their talents so generously.
  Well, a few months ago, one of the teaching members held a trunk show that knocked my socks off.
  What an incredible body of work that spanned decades, no lie!!!
At the end of her show, she brought forth a big blue tub of quilt TOPS & the board members proceeded to random draw names of all the members who were present that day & each of us received a GORGEOUS quilt top from the teacher. 
Many were the samples that she had made up for demo purposes with her classes.  We were stunned...there were 28 quilt tops that she gave away...many of them bed sized, too!
I was so very grateful to have gotten a small one, given my lack of expertise at this point.
We made a secret pact to have them all completed by yesterday's Christmas Luncheon/Meeting to surprise her with our *Show & Tell*  She was really touched & even though not everyone who got a quilt was able to be there, we had a really nice representation.
Every one was so different & beautifully done, too.
Here is my little wall hanging &/or table topper that I did.  It is 34” x 34” & fits a little square table that I have in my sun room but I really prefer to see it on the wall, so as not to cover up any of it.
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She fussy cut all the red & green Christmas poinsettia & holly fabric into little pieces to form the wreath shape.

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I used a gold thread to mimic the gold veins in the fabric & the shape of a wreath...first with my computer then proceeded to echo & embellish it a bit more with free motion.


I stitched in the ditch (seam) between the dark squares that outlined the wreath, then used my Auto Pilot to place a quilted design in each corner.  I'm sorry I don't remember the name of the design.  I did this 4 or 5 months ago & have been sitting on it, just waiting till after the guild's meeting to share it with you here.

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This shot shows the quilting so much better on the back.  I had to lighten the photo a bit, so you could see the is really a rich, deep navy blue.

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This last close up lets you see the cross design I added to the center as well as the tiny little almost Celtic looking motif in the middle of it.
(A wee nod to my Irish heritage)

What a treasured gift this has become & I will think of M. every year when I unpack it for display.

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today especially when everyone is so busy with their holiday preparations.
Remember the “Reason for the Season”!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner, 2015


November has been a sad month here at The Gazebo House.
  It started off on November 1st, when my husband's hospital held a Memorial Mass for him on All Souls Day. 
The Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland officiated & at the end, read a portion of Ern's obituary.
  I cried, of course.


They gave me these beautiful flowers &
this lovely candle to bring home & I
enjoyed them for days until the fluffy gold stuff
in the arrangement started to make me sneeze!
It was all very touching but sent me into a blue funk for days.   


However, keeping busy is the antidote for
wallowing in sadness,
so I dove straight into making an elaborate
EARLY Thanksgiving dinner
for my daughter & family.

  My oldest grandson was invited to spend
Thanksgiving with his girlfriend's family in Boston,
so we decided to hold our gathering a little early
so they could be together here with us
to celebrate ahead of time.


This is the first year I've ever been able to cut some
of my own flowers to use as a centerpiece!
We've had an extraordinarily warm autumn
plus that fact that the celebration
was a week early allowed me to cut
the last of my yellow mums,
plus a few yellow roses, too!  


Ms. C. immediately noticed that one of the blossoms
had PINK on it! 
She has loved PINK since she was a tiny toddler &
said "My PINK",
every time she saw it anywhere.


You've seen these pinecone adorned napkins,
placemats, wooden chargers &
my Eternal  by Lenox china all before.
  I think I even used them
last year for turkey day, too.



However, the flatware is new!
I've always wanted a touch of gold to go
with the gold trim on my china &
when Mary (Home is Where the Boat Is)
featured this Mikasa "Cameo Gold" pattern,
with 24 karat gold trim,
I jumped at the chance to buy it
with her discount. 
Thanks Mary!


I must also thank Mary for the idea to make these
goofy turkey cupcakes with Nutter Butter cookies,
candy eyes & red licorice.
They were a HUGE hit with the kids....
of all sizes.
  The only thing I did differently than
Mary was I used orange Tic Tacs
for their noses.


They look so silly, perched upon my antique
Americana cut glass square cake pedestal. 
Thanks for the inspiration, Mary!


I used both the dining room table
as well as the little round table
off to the side to set up the desserts...
pumpkin & pecan pie,
chocolate chip cookies (DGS#1's favorite),
along with cashews &
chocolate covered almonds (MY favorite)!
Of course, per tradition,
my Mom's little after dinner mints
were on the table in my sugar scuttle as well.
She ALWAYS had those mints out
for every occasion &
this is my way of remembering her on holidays.



My daughter bought me this
beautiful leaf-embossed oblong
serving dish by Hallmark.

It looked so pretty with its copper colored ribbon
that I didn't have the heart to unwrap it!

She knows I have a serious addiction to dishes!!
My collection of milk glass
continues to grow, thanks to my friends, sisters &
their families' contributions.


I wish for each of you a very Blessed & Grateful Thanksgiving holiday. 
I'm counting my blessings & one of them is that my sweetheart went to Heaven before me,
because this grieving process would have been
so much harder on him!
  I'll be glad when this year of "Firsts"
without him are in the past. 

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.