Jul 29, 2015

One With Nature

I have a large patch of spotted lilies in one of my flower beds.  It started out with one planting that I got from my Dad about 3 years ago.  He told me that it dropped seeds and new ones would grow.  Last year a few sprouts had grown and blossomed.  This year is the biggest one I've ever had.  I think of him every time I see them.

Long time readers know that I have quite a commute to/from work and that there is an awesome walking path that I get my daily walks done on.  Occasionally, I take photos.  It's been a while since I've shared observations so I thought I'd put up a pictorial:

Scary storm on my way home from work one night
Billowy clouds...
Awesome day for a walk...
Huge field of Queen Anne's Lace...

I've noticed this year there's been an unusual amount of butterflies flitting around.  Unfortunately, they wouldn't stay still long enough for me to get photos.  Trust me, they were beautiful!

Jul 27, 2015

It's All About Stitchy Goodness

One day, a coworker asked me if I was interested in some ‘embroidery stuff’ her daughter inherited from a relative. She brought it in for me to look at.   The embroidery stuff included:

175+ skeins of DMC floss in flossaway bags, 
some DMC metallic, 
1 spool of Kreinik blending filament...
2 packages of aida, some evenweave, 
and a sheet of perforated plastic canvas...
a couple of iron-on embroidery transfers, 
two hoops, needles, needle threaders, a xs kit...
a couple XS of charts, and 3 older XS magazines.
All for $15! Great stashing day!!

Earlier this month, it was Debbie's birthday.  She hosted a giveaway to celebrate.  I was the lucky winner!
She stitched the adorable little pillow.  It's a freebie by Snowflower Diaries that can be found HERE.  The 2016 calendar has lots of photos of the Vancouver area -- very scenic and beautiful.  Debbie also included two packets of flavored tea.... love me some tea!!  Be sure to visit Debbie's Corner to see what she's been up to.  Thank you, Debbie, for EVERYTHING.

In other stitchy news.... I *have* been stitching.  I'm about 3/4 done with the marriage sampler I started back in March.  Although I've been taking progress photos, I can't show them.  I'm also about to start my next mailart exchange... Halloween themed!  By September, I'll be able to show photos of both.

Jul 18, 2015

Who Was Ferdinand Ingold?

What little I know is what I've gleaned from the internet. He was secretary of the Harmonie Singing Club of Monroe, Wisconsin.  He could write German.  I believe he was the owner of Ferd. Ingold Import Co. which became the first Swiss record company in the U.S. by launching the Helvetia label.  The music label only lasted four years from 1920-1924 after which Ferdinand filed for bankruptcy.    The company also imported and sold goods from Switzerland to people in the Monroe area.  According to Find A Grave, Ferdinand was born in 1860 in Bischofszell, Bezirk, Weinfedlen, Thurgau, Switzerland and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Monroe, WI.

Why do I care?

Before my Dad passed away, he gave me his Victrola that he brought home many, many, many years ago.  He told me he got it from Monroe, WI.  At the time, I didn't realize it had been in the Monroe area for the past 100 or so years!  Not until a few weeks ago when I brought the Victrola home and looked it over.  The metal label inside the cabinet says, "Ferd. Ingold Import Co., Helveita, Monroe, WI".

Believe it or not, when you turn the crank, the turntable still works!  The exterior is not in the best condition, but I think with some TLC it will look better.

I spent a few hours working on getting the dark circle of stains out of the top.  Retailers sell a product called 'wood bleach' to resolve this issue.  More research on the internet to the rescue showed me that a paste of barkeepers friend took most of the stains out.  The ingredient in BF is the same as the ingredient in wood bleach!  At a fraction of the cost.  Several applications and look:

I'm hoping I can get the rest of the cabinet to look as nice.  Wish me luck!

Here's a tidbit of info:  I was kinda on the fence about whether to put this in the auction. In the end, I decided not to.  With how things went, it's a good thing I didn't.  The auctioneer told us after the sale someone had called him about it and said it was worth $800.  I'm sure that someone (or the auctioneer) would've walked away with a deal had I left it go in the auction.

Jul 13, 2015

Bittersweet Monday Update 7/13/15

It was one year ago today that my Dad passed away from soft tissue sarcoma, a rare cancer.  He was a Dad to four children, Grandpa to seven grandkids, Great Grandpa to one, and a Husband.  He was also a military veteran, mechanic, woodworker, fisherman, and carpenter.  He believed in self-sufficiency and doing for oneself.  His clothing of choice was a pair of jeans and a tshirt.  In the past, I've written about him HERE and HERE

Last Saturday, we sold my parents belongings and real estate by auction.  It was both an emotionally and physically draining day.  Sad to see a lifetime go for pennies on the dollar, literally.  Approximately three dozen people attended the auction.  Most were family members or people who worked with my brother.  Halfway through the auction, it started raining.  In hindsight, we would've been better off selling my Dad's mechanic, machinist, and woodworking tools ourselves and then donating the rest to Goodwill.

To illustrate my Dad's woodworking skills...  Twenty-four years ago, I saw a blanket chest in a catalog.  I think it was Fingerhut.  I tore the ad out and asked my Dad if he could build me something like it.  With no hesitation, he confirmed he could and hung the little piece of paper on a nail near his toolbox in the garage.  It hung there for months and months.

In 1992, he presented me with a beautiful blanket chest... with a few alterations he thought was necessary.  He lined it with cedar and put wheels on the bottom so I could move it around easily if I needed to.

Isn't it beautiful?  Handmade by my Dad from a picture only, this chest has moved with me from place to place and it has been one of my prized possessions.

While cleaning out my Dad's work area in the garage, we found the ad I tore out of the catalog... still hanging on the nail where he originally hung it.

Isn't it amazing how similar my Dad's chest is to the ad?  Even the hardware is the same!  I like the stain he chose for my chest better than the ad.  I think he used cherry or maple stain.  I had forgotten what the ad looked like until we found it.  Now, it will stay in the bottom of the chest with a story about how it was built.  A time capsule of sorts.

It's been a tough year for my siblings and me. The loss still brings tears to our eyes and hurts our hearts.  :(  We all still miss him.

Jul 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July

I hope all my U.S. readers have a safe and festive celebration!

A few weeks ago, I sent off my Patriotic mailart to Shelley in CA.  While I was on vacation, hers to me arrived in my mailbox.

Shelley did a great job.  Thank you, Shelley!

I brought home my SM Sue's round robin.  It's a design called A Sampler Story by Brenda Keyes.  I chose to stitch the mermaid.  It was a quick stitch, and the chart is perfect for a RR.


Happy 4th of July!
by Brookes Books Publishing

Jul 1, 2015

Glorious Getaway - Part Five

Despite our daily excursions, we *did* get loads of stitching done while binge watching Gilmore Girls.  We must've watched 20 episodes over the course of the week. LOL

My first finish actually occurred the night before I caught the plane to Virginia.
I recycled a retractable name badge holder I got from work.  The design is called Knob Appeal-Tomato Pincushion... published in Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine Jan/Feb 1991.  I stitched it over-one on 36ct Light Gray Linen with DMC floss.

I finished the next two while in Virginia.  It's amazing how much stitching I can do when I don't have the stresses of every day life.  I think more vacations are in order!

Designer: Palkó
Design: June  Monthly SAL.
Fabric: 28ct Cashel Linen
Fibers: Six Strand Sweets Butterscotch,
Carries Creations Marina,
and Dinky Dyes Aquamarine
Designer: Lizzie Kate
Fabric: 28ct Evenweave
Fibers: DMC, Carries Creations*
*I swapped out 3816 with Carries Creations Marina,
and 3865 with DMC 415.
I also took along the marriage sampler I've been working on.  Made quite a bit of progress... about 3/4 done!  Can't show photos yet, though.
While at the airport waiting for my flight home, I started an ornament called A Memory of Williamsburg.  SM gave it to me as a remembrance of my trip.  It's stitched with Mosiac and Smyrna stitches.
Speaking of flights, I thought I'd comment on mine.  I flew from Chicago to Philadelphia to Newport News, and came back the same route reversed.  From Chicago to Philly, I was on an American Airlines flight.
There was quite a bit of turbulence on the way to Philly.  It didn't really bother me... I'm so trusting, LOL.  US Airways provided the flight from Philly to Newport News.  It carried 37 passengers.  I was *not* impressed with the plane.  It was old, noisy, and smelled a bit musty.  The window trim and surfaces were not very clean.
If you've never used US Airways, you may want to think about another airline.  Although, I did overhear the stewardess telling other passengers that they were phasing out these planes.  So, maybe the newer planes will be better.
I'd like to conclude by saying I had a great vacation.  I can't remember the last time I felt so relaxed and stress-free.  I slept really well, which was surprising considering I never sleep well in a strange environment.  A big THANK YOU and ((hugs)) to Sue and Butch for welcoming me into their home.

Glorious Getaway - Part Four

Colonial Parkway, Jamestown Settlement

Lots to see during a drive on Colonial Parkway. It's very scenic with several pull offs to park and get out to enjoy the view as well as learn a bit about the history of the area.

Upon arrival at the Jamestown Settlement, we were met with an awesome fountain and display of all the state flags.  I even spotted the Illinois flag... fifth one back on the left.
This was a display of uniforms used to defend the English crown from the 1600's thru 2006.  After I took the photos, I saw a sign that said "Do not take photos of the exhibits."  Whoops.

The Ships
So how did the first settlers get to America? On three ships named the Discover, Godspeed, and Susan Constant.  I really cannot imagine a crew of 125 plus a hundred or so settlers sailing on that thing for months to get to Virginia.  Not to mention the supplies that had to be brought also.

 The Jamestown Settlement included replicas of the ships docked in the water.  Visitors were invited to climb aboard and explore.
I explored the Susan Constant.

How would you like to sleep next to the canon?
View of Discovery & Godspeed from deck of Susan Constant

James Fort
After looking at all the indoor exhibits, we headed outdoors to see James Fort, the three ships that brought the first English settlers to America, and the Indian Village.
We were looking for the advertised "talk" about clothing worn during the time period, but wandered into a lecture given by one of the settlers about the history of Jamestown.  I got pulled into the talk as a stand-in for Captain Perry, lol. That's what I get for sitting in the second pew of the church!

There were at least seven cannons positioned on platforms around the perimeter of the fort to protect settlers from Indians.
Entire buildings were devoted to artillery.  Each of the reproduction guns were handmade and cost $2,000 a piece!  This build was full of them!!
Each building had a specific purpose: Blacksmith, Woodworker, Church, Food Storage, as well as living quarters.
The beds were teeny-tiny!
Food and Tobacco Storage
Settler tending to the gardens and chickens.

Powhatan Indian Village 
The Powhatan Indian village is based on archaeological findings at a site once inhabited by Paspahegh Indians, the Powhatan tribal group closest to Jamestown, and descriptions recorded by English colonists.  It includes reed-covered houses, crops and a ceremonial circle of carved wooden posts.
This plaque sums it all up:
It's mounted on the base of a tall brick monument
Hope you enjoyed the tour of Jamestown Settlement. In Part Five, I'll be wrapping up my vacation.  Thanks for sticking with me :)