Friday, January 17, 2020

the owl and the pussy-cat . . .

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
     In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of
     Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
     And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
     What a beautiful Pussy you are,
          You are,
          You are!
     What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,
     How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married; too long we have 
     But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
     To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
     With a ring at the end of his nose,
          His nose,
          His nose,
     With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one 
     Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married 
          next day
     By the turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
     Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
     They danced by the light of the moon,
          The moon,
          The moon,
     They danced by the light of the moon.

Edward Lear
So there's the poem. It's a darling, nonsensical poem, full of fanciful imagery and humor!  
Or is it?  So here's the rest of the story . . .

My maiden name is Fowler.  Here is the family crest:
That is an owl at the top ... Sapiens Qui Vigilat:  He is wise who watches.

Subsequently, many of my dad's aunts/uncles (and consequently wives, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, and so on ... you get the picture) collect owls.  
This collection belonged to my Great Uncle Bill Fowler.
My mom has a huge collection of beautiful owl pieces.  And I have a great affinity for them; they even regularly show up in my stitching.  
Everett's Owl Quilt; Joc picked the fabrics.
Jocelyn does too, and even Ellie, at eight, has a nice collection of them!

The thing is, my mom's mom was also a terrific historian and was very keen on her family's history.  She was a (Mac)Bean, and her family crest was thus . . . 
Yes, that's a cat--although I wouldn't [dare] call it a pussy-cat; at least not to its face!  (Don't touch this cat without a shield, is the translation of the motto!)  Mom has a cute collection of cats, too!

So, owl and pussy-cat, my dad and mom ... it could be the end of a cute correlation.  But wait, there's more!

In the story, the cat (girl) proposes to the owl (boy).  Well 1960 just happened to be a leap year (like this year is)! On February 29th, 1960, a day fondly known as Bachelor's Day, my mom proposed to my dad (as a joke).  She was a little shocked when he accepted! But they were married later that year! (My dad did buy a ring and make a proper proposal!)
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
     They danced by the light of the moon,
          The moon,
          The moon,
     They danced by the light of the moon.

So there's the story behind my love for owls and pussy-cats.  It all makes purrrrfect sense now, right?  And what a fun tale to be able to share with my children, grandchildren and so on!  (And it will one day earn it's rightful place as a quilt or stitchery of its own.)
Even Leia, wearing the owl hat, wants to be a part of the tail tale!

Thanks for indulging me in the telling.  Have a great weekend!


Sunday, January 12, 2020

forwards and backwards . . .

Because this post covers a lot of time, current and past!  
I finally finished up Ellie's bicycle embroidery, which was a good thing ... her (8th) birthday was Friday and we celebrated last night! It's a simple finish because I didn't want the fabric or the quilting to take away from the piece it was showcasing.  Mission accomplished!  *smirk*  Ellie had her first slumber party on Friday night, so we did family dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Edo's.  Her choice!
I love the complexity of this sweet girl.  For all that she loves girlie things (check out her new sparkly, dangly earrings).
She's also rocking her "Star Wars" necklace (which is just out of the first picture) and wanted a red velvet Star Wars cake (featuring Darth Vader).  Go Ellie!

I had two fun prizes late in 2019 that I forgot to share.  The first was a giveaway from Jacquelynne Steves's Happy Little Things blog hop.  
The book is filled with all sorts of hidden message possibilities, and aren't those little pins darling??

The second was a birthday giveaway from Lyndsey at Sew Many Yarns!
The grunge (*swoon*) was the prize and the pretty Regent Street was a bonus!  Lyndsey had to ship it overseas, so she wasn't sure when it would get to the states.  Her Christmas card of the magi was perfect, because (though it came the day I left for California) I received it just in time for Epiphany!  Thanks, Lyndsey!

Coming a little farther forward, I did want to share my fun haul from the two iconic shops I got to visit whilst in California.  From Temecula Quilt Co. I went a little crazy . . .
Both of her books, a pattern, a kit, some lovely fabrics (including a little cheddar), and some notions.  The sweet little ruler box was gifted to me by Kim (my daughter-in-law)!

From Primitive Gatherings, I got a darling wool kit for ornaments, a wool pattern for a crazy stitched stocking (full sized), some (more) fabric and some more notions . . .
Scissors.  I have a thing for scissors.  And since I had the pussy-cat pair, I decided I needed the owl pair, too!
Tah-dah!  The Owl and the Pussy-Cat! Someday I need to do a post exclusively about that poem and why it's so personal to me! Back to scissors, though . . .
I really do love little scissors.  They are a *needful* thing to me.  *grin* 

Our last trip of that shop-hopping day was a visit to a little tea room called, The Liquid Leaf.  Sweet little place with a marvelous selection of teas *and* freshly baked goodies (in house).
It was Kim's first visit, too, so we ordered and ate/drank (and cheesed around) in the shop.
I came away with two lovely teas (both of which smell as heavenly as they taste).
Vanilla Coconut black tea and Elixir #2 which is a camomile tea.  Yummy!

Now going backwards a LOT (and yet looking to the future, too).  Barbara Brackman is re-introducing Grandmother's Choice BOM, which she did originally in 2012.  I hung with her through almost half the blocks, but then I had my second ankle surgery and it 'crippled' my sewing foot for a while.
So I'm excited to have the nudge to do something with these blocks and get the second half of them finished! I'd purchased Block Base (which has all the blocks in it) to do this BOM, so it's only right that I should complete it.  

Bringing it current . . . 
Slow progress, but progress *is* progress.  This is what I'll be stitching on today, getting in some slow stitching on a Sunday afternoon!  Linking it up with Kathy's Quilts--be sure to check out what the other stitchers are working on.

Happy Sunday!


Thursday, January 09, 2020

back-up beeps . . .

I realized that before I could share more about my quilt shop adventures, I had to have pics of my purchases, which I haven't taken yet.  Mainly because I've been going pretty much non-stop since I got home from California!  Then I also realized I wanted to share my quilt-related Christmas haul, and that I could also share some quilt finishes (of which I had FOUR in December)! So let me start with those . . .
All three girls were super happy with their Christmas quilts! They're so sweet! ♥ 
Leia even got in there and tested its catability. It passed with purrrrfect marks!
I did all the labels the same . . . the names were changed accordingly. *wink*

This is Olivia's finish . . . 
I can't believe I didn't think to get a picture of her with it. Doh! She was thrilled with it, though!
I really like being able to print a label, press it on, and blanket stitch around it.  

Here's my Christmas morning haul . . .
Didn't my family do good??!  I was thoroughly tickled!  There was one more book, which came in late, from Todd. 
It was Art to Heart's I Believe.  I love those Art to Heart books! 
He also got me the updated All-in-One Quilter's Reference Tool on Kindle.  This is a fabulous tool for quilters and I'd consider it a "must have"!

Then there was one more quilty-gift.  A class!  My mom has talked about taking a beginning quilting class for a year or two and I told her I'd take it with her.  Todd gifted me with that!  The class is taught by Barbara Black, who is a sweet friend, and I know that I'll pick up some good tips and learn a lot!  This is the quilt we'll be making . . .
Our first class was on Tuesday, and she walked through supplies and fabrics.  And then we shopped.  Tough class, eh?!  Baahaaahaaaa!  So we were supposed to pick a focal fabric, a fabric for the sashing, a background fabric, and fabric for the inner border.  Then were were to pick three groupings of colors with a light, medium and dark value.  Then we needed a "pop" color.  So here's what I ended up with:
This is my first four.

Here's grouping one:

Here's grouping two:

Here's  grouping three:

Here's my groups with the 'pop' color ... it's pretty easy to spot, eh?!

And here they are all together!
I think this will be a fun quilt.  It finishes at 49" square, if you leave the borders as is.  Not sure what I'll do yet.

I also saw this darling folksy animal print and decided I *needed* to have some of it, too. 
It reminds me of a Hungarian Camp MACOBA scene, with all of our little animal friends!

So there it is.  Not sure what this weekend holds.  Our guild (the membership committee) is hosting a New Member Tea that I'm helping with, but we also have severe storms/tornadoes/flooding in the forecast for Friday evening and Saturday.  It's been such a crazy winter here in North Alabama!  I do hope to get in some stitching time, though!

Have a terrific weekend!


Sunday, January 05, 2020

happy 2020 . . .

Happy New Year!  I have so much to share since I posted last, which was before Christmas; the day after which I hopped on a plane heading to the sunny west coast to visit my son and his family!  It was a marvelous trip, though it passed way too quickly. I so enjoyed spending time with these three:
Baaahaaahaaa!!  No, no ... not those three, THESE three . . .
My California Crew!! ♥ ♥ ♥

I also got some sight-seeing in . . .
Yup.  James moved within a ten mile radius of BOTH the Temecula Quilt Co. *and* Primitive Gatherings!  Whoop!  I share more on those (and my purchases) in a later post. ;)

June and Olivia both came away from that trip with some fabric and wanted to do things with it, so I also got in some slow stitching . . .
The girls and I shared the work on their respective projects, but they both did planning, cutting, and stitching!  They were so proud of their finished pieces!  ♥

Just about the only thing that made leaving those three behind the slightest bit tolerable, was being able to spend some time with these two, seeing Little Women yesterday afternoon . . .
Did anyone else go to see it over the holiday?  We *loved* it!  I pretty much held back sobs off and on through the whole thing.  LOL!  :)

I do have some Slow Sunday Stitching I'm working on (still) . . .
It's slow snow progress, but it's progress!  Oh, and it's fun to get away and visit, but it's lovely to come home, too!

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts.  Happy (sunny, for a change) Sunday!!