Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween House

Our tiny little house has become my playhouse over the years. This is where I do most of the things I love. One of those things is decorating for the holidays... any/every holiday in fact. I even celebrate Elvis's birthday. Sometimes it is really a season I am celebrating with my kooky decor not just a particular day.
My favorites are Halloween and Christmas. I have a hard time with Easter because it is a "serious" holiday. I mean it does involve a death, so I don't feel like sweet little bunnies and chicks represent the day properly ,but what do I decorate with? crucifixes?
I have many,too many says my husband,tubs of decorations in our garage and I get a lot of grief for starting too early... I start my Halloween decorating Oct.1st and I have a hard time holding myself back when it comes to Christmas. I am ashamed to say I usually start about... the first weekend in November. That's right, November.
I make Christmas last, although I am done with it before New Years Day and I bring out all my "normal" decor, which I haven't seen since the end of September. It all seems fresh and new by then.
On Halloween we carve pumpkins every year and put them on our deck but no one ever comes to Trick or Treat. For safety reasons the kids stay in one cul-de-sac housing area called "The Trails". The police block off the whole neighborhood so the kids don't have cars and such threatening them. It is nice and the families in that area really go all out... or they leave town for the night. I wish some hooligans would knock on my door this year.
If not... oh well,we'll just eat the candy ourselves, again. :O)

Isn't that the cutest little skeleton ever?

Holiday Homemaker

Today I have finished an adorable pair of Holiday Pillows. They feature pretty little Homemakers in Holiday dress... ala Donna Reed and June Cleaver.
Ahh... those ladies could really get things done, in high heels no less!
I pieced the tops/fronts out of red, white and green fabrics and then I machine quilted them. They feel wonderful, like an old quilt. The more they are washed the softer they will get. I am having a hard time not putting them on my own sofa... no... I must sell them. Here's a look at the back... they're both the same.
I have also finished my Caramel Cherry Pillow and I love it! I hope someone else does too, it will be for sale in my shop tonight.
The back.
I made these pillows with no thought as to the measurements of a standard pillow form.
I don't know!
So last night I was stitching away on "custom" pillow forms.
That makes them "better", right?
I can pretend it was on purpose. :O)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shop Pasquali Rumpus

Today I finally opened my shop... Pasquali Rumpus!

There are currently a dozen different Tie Dyes for sale and tomorrow I will add a few Quilted Pillows. I am so excited about this...I make things all the time and people have been telling me for years to start selling my wares. The Tie Dyes are made by my hubby and I will be selling Quilts, pillows, napkins, hand bags,crochet blankets, little girl's dresses and the occasional Rag Doll... to start with. In the future I hope to sell my birdhouses as well. I am not sure how well my shop will do but I know I'll have fun stocking it. :O)

P.S. We just sold our first Tie Dye! Yipeee!
I thought I'd be waiting months for my first sale. Amazing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jeepers Peepers

Do you see her?
When Kevin took the dogs out last night he saw a Mama Racoon ramble past Cosmo and climb up a tree.In that tree were at least two babies. That Mama hissed and Cosmo growled and Kevin said "get the camera!". The night was so dark my flash was just absorbed. This picture is with a flash and a flashlight shining at her. It was so cold out, under thirty degrees for sure but they didn't seem to mind. I bet they were hungry.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Railtown 1897

In July when my hubby and I went to Portland, Oregon, one of our stops was a night in Jamestown, CA. We chose Jamestown because they have a fantastic place for train lovers like us, it is Railtown 1897. Purchased in 1982 by the State of California, Railtown 1897 is a 26 acre park, one of North America's last operating steam era railroad facilities.
If you visit make sure you stop by the Depot Store.We met a very helpful young woman who was working behind the counter, I so wish I could remember her name... anyway she was a fellow train fanatic and a true local.
We were able to take a self guided walking tour through the park, my favorite kind.
Here are a few photos...

You gotta walk on the tracks... 'cause that's what they do in the movies.

The whole time I was in the roundhouse I was trying to get a candid shot of the men working on the engines. They were wearing the cutest overalls and one man had a big white beard... I mean they fit the picture so well. However they seemed to step out of my shot just as I pushed the button every time! Camera shy I guess.

The blacksmith shop. This room is an arachnophobe's nightmare. Lucky for me I like webs!

The machine shop has overhead belt driven tools. I was a little bit scared standing under those belts...must have been terrifying when they were all running. Oh... by the way, this is still operable!
I love the old electrical boxes mixed with new parts.
Looks like he is up to no good.
I think this wall is so cool. I want to duplicate it in my house... somewhere.
Many movies were made using these beautiful engines, here is a smoke stack that was blown up in Back to the Future III...

and the one on the right was in Little House on the Prairie.
Locomotive #3 was also in Bad Girls and Unforgiven. Many movies and TV shows were filmed in part at Railtown 1897, such as High Noon, The Great Race, The Rare Breed ( I love that one), The World's Greatest Lover, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, The Gambler (swoon), Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Father Murphy, Rawhide and Lassie. There are many many others, these are just the ones I remember well.

I had a hard time getting a complete shot of this back drop, it is an arch, which you can't see. I just needed a creepy man with a big black mustache tying a damsel to the tracks. Maybe that guy with the Tie-Dye on? :O)
One side of the roundhouse...

the other side of the roundhouse...
and tracks coming out of the roundhouse leading to the turntable.

Looking towards the turntable. It would be awesome to see the turntable in action.

This made me think of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

When we saw this on the bottom of this train car we wondered what cast iron shoes looked like...
then we found the shoes!

One big disappointment was that the passenger train ride only runs during the weekend... we were there on a Tuesday. Someday I am going to ride in this train car. It costs extra but I think it will be completely worth it. Those little windows on the top are stained glass on the inside.
The car is decorated with elaborate woodwork and cushy seats. A 1920's luxury passenger car. So beautiful... I must ride that train.
Can't you just see me waving goodbye?
Farewell :O)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pillow Talk

Today I can finally show you all a pillow I have made. My beautiful cousin and her lovely new husband will receive it this afternoon. This project just flowed from me... well... except the fringe. I made the front/top and quilted it before I went to their wedding in July but I couldn't find any trim to match and it needed trim. Our tiny town has lost it's fabric store and now the nearest one is 45 minutes away. They do have a nice selection of fringe and lace there but nothing seemed right. I did finally find a light green fringe that matched, I hope it complements the color of my cousin's living room walls.

I have to mention an amazing quilter named Tonya. Her blog Lazy Gal Quilting has been an incredible learning tool for me. She has taught me how to be "free" with my quilt blocks. Tonya's free pieced letters have changed everything I thought about quilting... I thought it had to be perfect. Her improvisational approach is just my thing. I have a tough time following other peoples patterns and I want all my projects to feel like my ideas. Several months ago Tonya was asking her readers to send her free pieced quilt blocks using four letter words that were happy, like hope and love, using bright fabrics. I joined her group of quilters and made two word blocks "Free" and "Luck". Here is the free block, I guess I sent the luck block off without taking a photo first... bummer.
Those two blocks were a challenge and a joy so I made more, lots more... Once I finished this pillow I started making more word blocks, but that is another project that hasn't been mailed off yet so you'll have to wait.

Here is a look at the back.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Playing with Pinwheels

The project that I have been working on the last couple days is a Pinwheel Quilt for a baby. I was admiring an absolutely amazing quilt over at Red Pepper Quilts and I realized that Pinwheels are just squares cut in half diagonally to make triangles and then sewn back together with contrasting triangles, easy! Rita is a quilting genius, you should check out her quilts on Etsy. My attempt does not compare...I know... but it's my first try! :O)

I really wasn't sure this color combo was going to work but I actually like it a lot. It reminds me of Juicy Fruit gum.

My next challenge will be finding the right backing and binding fabric. The fabric stash I have is really not adequate although I have a hard time convincing my husband of that! I have so may finished projects I want to show you but I can't... they are gifts that haven't been mailed off yet and I can't spoil the surprise.
I have sent out one that I can show you as soon as it is delivered.I am so excited about it.
Hope you all have a great day.