Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Saying Goodbye to a Special Person

In Memorium

Irene Laden Duncan August 16, 1908 - February 25, 2015
Aged 106

I'm reprinting this post from 2011. I have edited it a little to be more current. It is a tribute to my grandmother who passed away yesterday at aged 106.

Me on the left, my grandmama in the middle, and my sister on the left. (She would probably not be pleased that I posted a photo in which she was not "fixed up".  This photo was taken in 2011.

My love of quilts began with this sweet lady, my grandmama.
My grandmother was born in 1908 as a twin. This is her on the left and her twin on the right. They were named Irene (my grandmother) and Pauline (my aunt). 
This is a picture of a photo that was sitting on her dresser.As a young woman, my grandmother's twin eloped. Their daddy, who was a little harsh, was so afraid she would also elope, he nailed her windows shut and locked her in at night. She eloped anyway when, after a church service, the sympathetic preacher called her in to talk to her and performed a marriage ceremony right then and there! She and my granddaddy left in the preacher's wagon!   Again, my grandmother is on the left and her twin on the right. (She was slim all her life!)

    Her "world famous" chocolate cake recipe  can be found here.

It is the fudgiest cake you will ever hope to find! Her story of this cake can be found at the link above.  

My grandmother had "spunk". She once chased a burglar out of the house with the broom to protect her babies! (She had three sons.) 
Her purse always smelled like juicy fruit gum and she always had embroidered handkerchiefs that she knotted into "hanky babies" during the sermon (to entertain my sister and I). She also showed us how to make carnations out of Kleenex tissues and a pipe cleaner. We made carnations until we sat in a pile of torn tissue edges!
Her popcorn was the best I've ever had. She made it in a big heavy pan and used butter instead of oil. The butter browned as the popcorn popped, so it had a wonderful flavor!
And this is a peak at the quilt that started my interest in quilting. It's a Little Dutch Girl quilt that my grandmother made. The little socks and ribbons at the back of her neck have been carefully colored in with something (I am guessing crayon) to make them match the dress. I used to pretend the sashing was a road. I would go "visit" each little girl on the quilt by driving along the road and turning into their block. I was a little shocked that her panties were showing as the wind lifted her dress. I wanted to grow up and make a quilt just like that! Sadly, I haven't done that yet, but if I can just live as long as my grandmother did, there is still time! 

Grandmama, We love you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

We Support You Blog Hop! My Day!

Thanks for joining me today on the We Support You Blog Hop!

I have a dear friend who has just finished a round of chemo after surgery for breast cancer. She didn't want anyone making a big deal of it and has gone through her ordeal with quiet grace and dignity. We love you, Betty! My project is for you!
Betty is a sweet, sweet lady with a tiger of a spirit! She is very active in several ministries serving others.

This bag is for hanging in a laundry room to hold clothespins or plastic bags, or hanging in a closet to hold socks, "unmentionables", fabric, shoes, bras (of course!)....anything that will fit! I lined it with the same tiger stripe that the bra is made from. 
The pattern for the applique and embroidery is available from Mdm. Samm. 

This little doll*is to remind all of you that there are "angels" among us thinking of those of you going through your own ordeals. Mdm. Samm of Sew We Quilt and  Pat from Life in the Scrapatch are two of those and have thought of this hop to honor you! You are not alone! 

Be sure to visit my fellow bloggers today!

Feb 11th  
*Doll is from the Tilda pattern by Tone Finnanger

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thrifty Doings in the Hill Country!

We were in the Hill Country last weekend and I made my usual stop by the thrift shops! I found this fairly large (about 18" x 22") framed needlepoint. I am thinking I will remove the piece from the frame and make a throw pillow from it. Someone put a LOT of work into this!
We also started moving cabinets into the pantry. It will be a "prep kitchen", "dirty kitchen", "butler's kitchen", "working kitchen". We've heard it called so many things! We are going to call it a prep kitchen. It will have a sink and dishwasher, the coffee pot, crock pot, mixer, etc. This is where the dirty work will happen and the "mess" can be hidden during parties. Our kitchen/living room/dining room is so open, we decided this was a good idea.
I also worked on my glass cabinet doors. The glass in the cabinets can not be easily changed. The trim that has to be removed to get to it is on the front and the top is curved! I wanted to put antique glass in the fronts, but decided that was too complicated for me. Instead, I used Gallery Glass and "textured" the inside of the glass. If I ever decide to change it, I can peel it off. 
First, I bought Crystal Clear Gallery Glass. I bought 6 small jars, but only used 2! I spent about $5 and less than an hour to do all my cabinet glass (6 panels)!
I left the cabinet doors in place and cleaned them really well with Windex! Then I squirted the medium onto the glass, working just half the glass at a time to keep it from drying before I could finish.
I chose to smear it to cover the area I was working, then pat it out with my fingertip. You could try other ways to texture it.
Here you see it drying. Only one glass has been done. It was fully dry within the hour, but that would depend on the temperature and air circulation.
Here I have shot the picture through the door toward the kitchen window so you can see the texture. I am really pleased with how it turned out!
I did not put it on the outside of the glass because I wasn't sure how it would hold up to regular, grease splatters, dust, etc. It might have been fine, but the inside of the door is more protected.
Be sure to join us for the We Support You blog hop, starting on Thursday! I will post on the 11th! In the meantime, I'm working on my project for that!
See you then!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tammy 4 All Seasons - My Day!

By now you've seen so many pretty Tammy bags adorned with the wonderful cross stitch patterns from Brooke Nolan! The idea was to go VINTAGE! So I thought of long ago days spent at my family's lake house, getting sunburns and hoping our swim caps didn't leak. (We hated sitting under that old bonnet hair dryer, hooked up to a cap and hose!) So...I chose Summer!

I did my cross stitch twice, the first time I had to relearn everything I barely knew 34 years ago! I made quite a few mistakes and ended up with my purse panel not quite exactly right. I think it looks pretty regardless! I tried it again on larger Aida cloth just to be sure I could do it. I purchased a Q-Snap frame this time. It was much easier the second time! I made a large pin cushion from that. I also found that good readers and a good light made all the difference! My readers are from and I chose the Clover in orange! Great choices for great glasses! Give them a try!   
And, although I don't have one, a Beam N Read light would have helped immensely!!! I need to get one soon!
My "pinny" (I wasn't familiar with that term. It's like a needle case that holds thread, needles, and can even hold small scissors.) was designed by Cori Blunt and is also the Summer design. It was designed to be made in applique, but I wanted it to match my cross stitch, so I traced it off on the canvas and just cross stitched it. (Remember, I had done TWO already, so I was a master at it now! - I wish!) Anyway, my little pinny has a magnet so it snaps on the back of the little bag.

On the back of the pinny is my little pocket and needle holder.

My "Stick With Me" magnet held my pattern in place so I could more easily follow along! You can find them here! Believe me, this is a STRONG magnet! The back actually jumped out of one hand into the other (where the other side was held). It will hold your pattern pages securely!

When I think "vintage" I get all nostalgic! The pictures above are some of the only ones we have now of my husband's family. The little boy is him! He's still cute, I think! 
So are you ready to add cross stitch to your skill set? Or how about a cute little pinny to give as a Valentine gift? You can purchase these patterns too! 

My thanks to Mdm. Samm and Mary Winegar  for all their hard work on this hop!

Don't stop here though! Check out the other blogs posting today, the last day of the hop! You won't be disappointed!
January 20, 2015

Buzzing and Bumbling - You are here!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Update on the Hill Country House - Appliances in!

My appliances are in!!! I really almost hate showing my kitchen still unfinished, but this is it so far. My cabinets still need crown molding. The island countertop (the red cedar one) is not installed yet either. The wood supports you see poking out will be cut back and hidden by a "skirt" when finished. 
The pot filler above the range is not installed and the vent surround still needs primer and plastering.
For some reason, the plumber didn't hook up the water to this faucet and to the dishwasher line, so although the dishwasher is installed, it isn't functioning yet. These are actually dishwasher drawers. They came free if you bought a range and refrigerator. 
The refrigerator still needs door panels to match the cabinets. It is a 48" refrigerator built in to the wall. Those blue things taped to the front are trim pieces for the sides.
Here is a view from the other side. You can see that we had to remove the wall board from the inside of the wall. It turned out that the space was about 1/2" too narrow! (We paid to have the wall built to the refrigerator specs and we paid to have it dry walled and plastered! It hurt to have to tear some of it down!)
My dual fuel range is in! (We still need to plaster the vent surround and the pot filler has not been installed yet.) It is a 48" DCS (made by Fisher-Paykel). The ovens are electric but the burners are gas.
We haven't even started on the pantry, so that is still looming ahead. We have the cabinets for it sitting by just waiting!
We went "high end" for re-sale value. We are following the realtor's advice on that for homes in this area. 
I can't believe I'm going to have these great appliances! I can't wait to bake bread again!
Mountain Cedar (actually a type of juniper) has started speading it's pollen all over the hill country. I am miserable with sneezing and itching eyes if I go outside even long enough to get in the car. (Despite Nasocort and Zyrtec!) I am trying the old German settler's folk remedy of swallowing juniper berries for two weeks, starting with one the first day, two the next.....up to seven, and then counting down. I probably started too late in the season.)
Sew we quilt
Be sure to join me on January 20th when I show my Tammy 4 All Seasons as part of a blog hop by that name. I have managed to get a little stitching done between trips to the hill country!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Little More Progress on the Hill Country House! (and Watch for another blog hop!)

We chose a light to hang over our island. You will notice the Texas stars! (How perfect for a Texas Hill Country house!) 
We also found a bathroom vanity light that has been discontinued. (That means we got it for $20! instead of $90!)
One light shade doesn't match, so we will be replacing either that one or all three, depending on what we find. There is a star in the center of the bar above the lights. Do you see it?
I'm anxious to post pictures of my appliances installed, but we're waiting on the installer to do that! Waiting seems to be a recurring theme!
In the meantime, I have been stitching up a storm for the Tammy 4 All Seasons blog hop, which starts January 9th. You can find details here!  will post on the 20th.  Be sure you join us for the "party"! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Something Old, Something New for the New Year! Hill Country House Update for December!

Something new:
We have a floor! I love it! It is a "distressed" wood that will work really well with the "hill country" style.

The kitchen island is not finished but the appliances are in the garage waiting for installation and the gas line and water lines have been run as of Tuesday. The cedar island countertop is just sitting there and the baseboards are not installed, as you can see, but we are getting close enough that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Speaking of baseboards, I spent some time caulking and painting baseboards after the floor was installed. 
I'm pretty handy with most tools, but I found that I was extremely clumsy with the caulk gun! I had an entire main floor to caulk, so I knew I had to come up with a solution! I just couldn't imagine trying to run a fine line of caulk around the shoe molding (or is it toe molding? I know it has something to do with a foot!) when I was ending up with more on my hands than in the cracks!
I decided to draw on previous experience that gave me much more control!
I used the caulk gun to squirt all of the caulk into a quart sized Zip Loc freezer bag. Then I snipped off a tiny bit of one corner.

 (I have used this method to decorate cakes. I knew I could make it work although my sweet husband was pretty skeptical!) 

I was able to control the fine line of caulk easily! I also filled in nail holes and then smoothed the line out with a soft rag. (Sometimes I used my fingers, I must admit!)
All finished! (This is the same area in the photos above.) I know that those of you who are professionals at caulking are shaking your heads, but it worked and looks pretty good!

Now for something old:
My sons gave Doug these two stretched canvases for Father's Day. They will be hung in the entryway. The one on the right is a photo of his great grandaddy, known as Little Buckshot. The one on the left was his sidekick. Little Buckshot, Conrad Wentworth, was a colorful figure who scouted for wagon trains and actually taught Buffalo Bill how to shoot! (They were in the Pony Express together. Buffalo Bill was a young teenager.) Do you see the buckskin jacket he is wearing? He loaned it to B. Bill to use in his sideshow and it is now in the Cody Museum. The Cody family gave it back after Buffalo Bill's death and I have actually seen it in person before Doug's family donated it to the museum. It is much more colorful in person than it looks in the picture. There is a pass in Montana named after Little Buckshot. It is so much fun to have the photo. There is quite a bit of family resemblence to my husband and sons!   His daughter Harriet, known as Hallie, was my husband's grandmother. 

Another old item:
I have removed the slate centers from the old Craigslist coffee table and side table. I plan on making a shallow shadow box center where interesting photos and mementoes can be displayed.
Hopefully soon, I can show you a finished kitchen! Things are looking better now!
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