Saturday, October 30, 2010


Finished this cute primitive style chicken that can be used as a pin cushion, paper weight or just farm country decor. 

I think she is just too cute!  

She's made out of some of my extra rug hooking wool and felt and wool penny rug circles. 
I'm sure she would make a great gift for primitive lovers and folks who sew.  I've listed her in my Etsy store:

I hope she sells.....I want to make more!!!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


This is George..... before being groomed!

George was my grooming job for today.  I am starting to get pretty busy now as lots of 'snowbirds' have returned to Arizona for the winter.  In fact, I have 5 dogs booked and one cat's nails to trim over the next couple of days.  

Back to George......he is such a cutie.  However, he is NOT fond of being groomed and absolutely hates his nails being trimmed.  It's difficult for me to admit but I have to muzzle George to get his nails cut because he WILL bite me.  In twenty some years of grooming I can attest to only having been bitten once and that time was my fault because I wasn't paying attention to the signs!  Mind you, I've groomed all kinds of dogs as well as boarded some of the freakiest, meanest, biggest dogs there were and was only bit once.  
That's pretty good.  

I actually had to break down and buy a muzzle just for George.  His owners know it.  They know his quirks first hand, though not bitten thankfully, they too know he will!  Poor George even had to be de-barked or he was going to be kicked out of their summer park.  George is a rescued dog so who knows what his previous life entailed and why he dislikes grooming so much.  One can only imagine. 

I got him done today without incident thanks to the dreaded muzzling but when I tried to take a finished picture, he turned his back to me.  Hmmmm....wonder what he was saying!!!

I bet he's thinking he would like to give me the 'furry paw'!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I am so close to having the background around the sunflower done.

Yikes......don't know if I am going to make it or not!  The strips on the left-hand side of the photo are all I have left!

And of course....I don't have anymore of this wool.  

I love the background color.  It's called Faded Ivory from Sun and Wind Farm, 

The piece I used started out lighter on one edge going to darker so I started by cutting and hooking the light color around the sunflower to give it more distinction.  I love how the background gets darker farther away from the flower.   

Hope I make it!!


Sunday, October 24, 2010


It seems that my little shopping excursion to the antique mall last Friday has motivated me.

I used to love to hunt the shops for vintage dog figurines of various breeds and then re-sell them in my Etsy store.  It often supplemented 'treasures' that I wanted to keep in my personal collection.  Life tends to get in the way and sometimes you get bogged down and find you haven't pursued the things you enjoy.  That's what happened to me.

I've been carrying a small box of treasured dog figurines back and forth from Arizona to Indiana for about a year and a half now.  They were bought to re-sell but somehow, I just never got them out, took their pictures and spent time writing up descriptions and listing them in my store.  

Sunday is a pretty quiet day here in our community and I found myself digging that box out of my closet and pulling out the vintage goodies.  I managed to photograph and list two of them.  

I even unwrapped one little Spaniel figurine that I had forgotten I bought.  

It was almost like Christmas!!!  

Friday, October 22, 2010


I had a couple of hours to myself today while the aide was at the house with dad.  Usually I have to spend that time going to the grocery, picking up prescriptions and running errands that don't have much to do with me.  Today was different! 

Someone had told me about an antique store on the eastern edge of the Mesa city limits, not too far from here so I decided today was the day to check it out.  Oh my, I had such a good time meandering down the rows by myself.  I don't think I even got through half of the shop. 

This store seems to have a bit more western type antiques than my usual haunt in Apache Junction.  Great cowboy decorator items, like spurs, lariats, western theme pictures, Indian blankets, turquoise jewelry.  You get the picture! 

I sometimes buy antique dog figurines and sell them in my online Etsy store, but today I really was enthralled with the western stuff.  Until I walked around a corner and found this figurine.

The price was great so I scooped it up thinking I would re-sell it.  As I walked through the store, glancing occasionally at my find, I felt myself getting attached!  Well it is a Spaniel you know, so why wouldn't I.  It could be a Springer Spaniel but I think he/she is a black and white English Cocker Spaniel.  For those that don't know, English Cocker Spaniels are my breed.  I bred and showed them for about ten or twelve years under the name of FenceRow for which I am grateful to say I had several Champion FenceRow English Cocker Spaniels. 

Now, I certainly don't need another figurine to add to my collection which is at home in Indiana. 

However...........this one is really nice and..........I don't have one like it so I think I should keep it. 

Yep, I think I have a new treasure!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Here's where I'm at with my sunflower.  I am starting to get excited about it after I hooked some of the background last night.  I think it really makes the flower 'pop'. 

I wish this was a better picture but my camera phone was all I had at the moment.  The background is not as 'white' as it appears.  Actually it is a faded ivory color.   

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I don't love to cook.  

I'd rather be outside doing something like working in the yard, riding a mower, watering flowers, or inside creating and being crafty. 

And.....might as well be honest here.....I'm not a great cook either.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not bad, just average.  I can make a pretty mean pot roast and potato's or homemade blackberry pie, but I would just rather do something else.  Like those bumper stickers you see on the back of cars that say things like, 'I'd rather be sky diving', or whatever! 

I have cooked for dad ever since my mom passed away nearly 5 years ago.  I manage his meals as he is diabetic.  As if balancing his diabetes and sugar levels with the food he eats isn't enough, lets just say, it is an understatement that he is difficult to feed!  I am forever at my wits end about what to cook.  

You see, there is not a lot of food that he likes.  Chicken is strictly forbidden.  I don't think he'd eat chicken if it was the last morsel of food in the house.  Something about too much chicken as a kid.  That and working for his aunt on the farm where he had to clean out nasty, stinky chicken houses.  I am also guessing he probably had to wring the necks of the poor chickens he later found himself eating for supper.

He doesn't like Chinese, Mexican or Italian food either, just meat and potato's.  I'm guessing you can imagine some of my angst by now?  

It seems like over the past year, his eating has become even pickier, if that's possible.  Things I have fixed in the past, he is leaving on his plate uneaten.  Ham, cube steak, pork chops, steak, pot roast and so on.  Now what gives?  Is this dislike of meats now a thing related to his age??  (he's 82)  Most of the time, he says it's just too tough.  Could it be his dentures?  Have his taste buds changed??  I don't know.  

It's difficult for me though.  I work hard to put something on the table that he will eat.  Like last night for instance.  I bought a small round steak that had been cubed and tenderized.  Yesterday morning, I placed the meat in a plastic bag, soaked it in marinade and put it back in the refrigerator.  Early in the afternoon, I placed the meat and the marinade in a crock pot and it stewed away.  

By supper time as I was serving it, the meat was so tender it fell off the fork as I was trying to remove it from the pot.  Yum!!  To go along with it, we had a salad, dinner roll, baked potato and cottage cheese.  A country meat and potato meal just like he likes.  

He took two bites of the meat at my cajoling and left the rest to be thrown out in the trash, but eating everything else.  *@#*^&*  I failed again!

I've tried everything I know to do but one thing, aside from getting his dentures replaced.  There is an AC vent above the table that blows cold air down on us as we eat.  (remember we are in hot and sunny Arizona).  Since dad eats everything else first before his meat, I am now guessing the meat that was once tender, cut with a fork juicy, has gone cold and hard.  Turn off the air while we eat!  Could that be the remedy?? 

I don't know.....I am frustrated and we are going out to eat tonight!!  Let somebody else cook!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010



I have started rug hooking again and it feels great.  I picked out one of my patterns to start with, for those of you wondering which one......the sunflower.

 Am trying to get used to hooking on my new frame and it seems to be some what of a challenge.  Overall, I like it.  I like how the canvas stretches and holds in place better than in a quilting frame.  I like how it sits on my lap and I have both hands free.  

A couple of things I think I don't like.  The grippers do scratch your arms and the frame is a bit more clumsy than the quilt hoop.  I can turn a hoop around much easier than the frame.

I may be doing some reverse hooking with the color I lined the sunflower petals in and go all yellow.  Not sure yet.

What do you think?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


 I know it wasn't hard to figure out what I was going to do with my bargain tab curtains but here goes anyway!

As I only had two panels and three windows, I decided to cut each panel in half.  Believe it or not, the length was just right and didn't require any hemming! 

 I think they finish the windows off nicely.  The only problem now, is after hanging the denim, I don't like the wall color!  The curtains almost make the walls look a little pinkish.  Hmmmm.....I may have a painting project in the near future!

Here are some pictures of the rest of the kitchen showing the red accents and horse and cowboy decor.  Enjoy!

 Note the bridle hanging off the curtain rod.  I managed to bring some of my horse tack from home to decorate with. 

A martingale.  
Can't wait till I can finagle a way to get my saddle out here too!

 Even the backdoor sports a red bandana as well as a red rug.

Yeah ok, so it's not your usual kitchen makeover, and it may even be a little 'tacky' (to you non horse lovers!), but it has been fun to do and dad likes it.  

SOOOOOO much better than chickens and apples!

Friday, October 15, 2010


I love a good deal.  I relish in finding the 'find'.  And, I hate paying full price for just about anything, so be warned flea market and garage sale vendors!

This past summer, back home again in Indiana,  I was checking out the goodies at my local Goodwill store with nothing particular in mind.  Sometimes I think items there are overpriced.  Like the time I was  looking for a crock pot and found that I could get a brand new one at Walmart for the same price as a used one.   This particular day at Goodwill however, I came across two denim tab curtains. They were in like new condition and marked $2.50 each!   Two dollars and fifty cents each!  Really??  I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I couldn't pass up the bargain and I grabbed them, furtively glancing around me to make sure no one was going to challenge me for my find.  Visions of women, tugging at them, pulling my hair and screaming, "I found them first", ran through my head as I quickly made my way to the cashier.

When I smugly left the parking lot with my steal of a deal on the front seat, it hit me,  "Oh yeah, take them to use at the house in Arizona", and I knew right away what I was going to do with them!

A little background would be appropriate here.  When my dad bought the Arizona house five years ago, this kitchen was filled with chickens.  Chickens on the wall paper, chickens above the cabinets, chickens on the stove burner covers, chickens on the dish towels.  And to make matters worse, there were these wooden apples the previous owner had screwed into the upper cabinets.  Now, I'm not opposed to chickens or apples, both are pretty country, but let me tell you, the chicken stuff was overkill and the apples were over nothing!  They made no sense to me with all the chicken stuff. 

I must also preface this description of the old kitchen decor, (for which I have no pictures to show you how bad it was, as I was concerned it might break my camera) that my dad HATES chickens.  As a teenager he had worked at his aunt's farm where she raised chickens to sell eggs.  He cleaned many a chicken house and ate way too many chickens that I suspect he probably had to behead himself.  To this day he refuses to eat chicken.

Needless to say, I immediately started purging the kitchen of all things chicken.  It took about two winters to get it all down, including the wallpaper and then I didn't have it all.   As I was cleaning out a cabinet last winter I found 4 tiny chicken plates stashed on the top shelf way in the back. 

I digress.  I began a journey to redecorate the kitchen to something more pleasing to dad and me.  Not really a hard decision......I'm in Arizona, in the desert, home of the last frontier of the rough and tumble Wild West.  

My biggest problem was what to do with the holes in the cabinets where the apples had been screwed?  I couldn't reuse the screw holes.  I couldn't fill and patch the holes because.....the cabinets are inexpensive board, covered with a wood look alike paper.  After much searching and shopping, I found some little rusty looking metal ornaments to start me off with the look I wanted!

I glued the cactus, suns and horses over the old screw holes.  To finish off the look, flat rocks from the yard were placed underneath the cactus!  

For window decor I used wooden poles for curtain rods, bandanas for curtains and  some rusty metal cactus tea towel holders to hang the rods from.  A little secret here, the wooden rods are actually tree stakes purchased for a few dollars at the local hardware.  The ends and edges were whittled down with a pocket knife to give a more rounded, rustic look. 

It was all quite nifty but somehow, the windows just didn't seem finished.  
And that's where the denim tab curtains come in.

You might want to stay tuned for my next post to see exactly what I did with them! 
I mean....after all, I don't want to give away all my bargain decorating secrets at one time, right!  

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Arizona Quail in the backyard

They scamper across this back wall but not sure where they are going!

I love their little top knots!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Now that I have opened my new hooking frame and am anxious to try it out, I seem to have a problem!

I brought several patterns with me to Arizona to work on this winter.
That's a good thing right?

Only problem I don't know which one to do first!!

None are very large projects, just small mats really.   I will probably end up doing them all this winter, but Oh Me, Oh My.....which one first?!?!?!?

Hmmmmm......eeney, meeney, miney, moe..............

Monday, October 11, 2010


I'm like a kid at Christmas when I get a package in the mail!  
I just want to rip it open and see what's inside.

Silly me.....I already know what it is because I ordered it!

But it's exciting none-the-less.

Oh goody, goody....gotta get it out.....can't wait....yeah, yeah, hurry up girl!

And there it new rug hooking frame.

 Well sort's in pieces and there's no 'destructions' but I'm sure I can figure it out.

Pretty sure this piece fits on the ball thingy.

Now to screw it down.

Voila...and there it is!  
My first ever, 360* rotating, gripper lap frame.
This should be an experience as I've only hooked with a quilt hoop.  

Now.....what to hook?

Hmmm.....that may be my next blog, stay tuned!

Friday, October 8, 2010


I had errands to run today so as soon as dad's aide came to stay with him this morning, I took off.

It was a usual run, pick up a prescription, drop some stuff off at Goodwill, pick up groceries.  When all that was done, I found I still had a good 45 minutes before I had to be home.  Hmmmm....what to do with 45 luxurious minutes for myself?  Do I dare?  NO, I should just go home.  But it was calling to me, loud and clear.  I HAD to do it!

My favorite Antique haunt in Apache Junction was yelling at me to come and visit.  After all, I hadn't been there in 6 months.  Could I do it in only 45 minutes???   Well no of course not.  It's a mall for goodness sakes.  A mall with booth after booth of old goodies.  BUT.....I could make a dent in a few of the crowded I did! was sheer delight!   I wandered the aisles drooling over all the old stuff.  Stuff that meant something to someone before it landed here in the Antique Mall.  Where did it all come from, who owned it and what was their life like.  That's what I think about when I wander Antique shops.  

I love looking for that certain treasure that might need to go home with me.  A piece of turquoise jewelry, a spaniel figurine....maybe even an old hooked rug.  I saw several things I might like to bring home but........I turned a corner and there it was.

 Needless to say, it came home with me.  I couldn't pass it up.  What you's just an old metal clock and horse.   Well that's true, but for me it's more than that.  It's a memory of my past.  You see, I remember as a youngster, visiting my grandparents who had a clock very similar to this and they let me and my brother's play with it.  Somewhere in all my things back at home in Indiana, I have a picture of me playing with it on the floor at grandma's.  

Now, grandma's was a bit different mind you.  Gold in color not copper, and it's clock worked, whereas this one does not.  But I don't care.  I've seen these clocks in shops for many years and always told myself one day I would buy one just for me, however, they are usually more than I want to pay for just a memory.  

This one though, because the clock was not functional, and a bit of the horse's tail is missing, was only $25.  Typically I see them for around $100 and in better condition than the one I purchased.  I don't care however, I just bought it for the memory. 

And memories I have, thanks to 45 stolen luxurious minutes!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Just got back from dropping my youngest brother off at the airport.  He's not really a baby anymore, (somewhere in the area of 50 yrs old, give or take a few!!!) but to me he will always be my 'baby' brother.  

Obviously this is not a good picture of him, but it does show his good side!

All kidding aside, I'm so grateful to Kurt for driving dad's truck out here to Arizona every year so dad and I have transportation over the winter.  He always stays long enough to help me open the house and fix anything that might have gone astray over the winter.  Fortunately not much needed fixing this year.

His biggest chore was fixing a loose gutter and getting a great deal on a ladder to do so.  I've needed a ladder for some time but just never 'bit' the bullet to purchase one.  He managed to locate a used, multi-function ladder for sale right here in our community, Montesa.  It can be used as a step ladder or fold out to reach 17 feet.  It will come in quite handy for me when I decide to finish painting the kitchen walls.  The ceilings are peaked and I could never paint higher than I could reach standing on a chair! 

He also helped me clean up debris in the back yard and thanks to him, I am almost done with it and can start trimming the purple sage on the side of the house.  

It's looking a bit shaggy.

Anyway, thanks baby're the best!!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Made it back to Gold Canyon, Arizona yesterday, safe and sound.  Had a good flight, small amount of turbulence, but overall good.  This time it seems like the trip was a bit harder on dad.  He seemed a little more uncomfortable on the four hour flight.   But flying is so much easier than the 27 hour drive that my brother endures to drive dads vehicle all the way from Indiana to Arizona so that we have a way to get around during the winter. 

Although hard to leave home and family, it was genuinely good to get back.  We left rain and 56 degree weather behind and flew into 106 and sunny.  My cozy little house was cool and welcoming inside.  Last evening we sat out on the carport and watched a storm blowing up from the Southeast.  The wind was wild and taking a lot of desert sand with it and producing lightening but only a few drops of rain.  I wished I had my camera to take shots as it was beautiful to watch.  Alas.....the camera was still packed away.  

Today was time to get busy though and I also found my camera.  

Although our lot is small, there is always yard work to do when I get back. 

There are two wonderful shade trees behind the house that create a lot of debris and mess, however I wouldn't trade them for the world for the shade and privacy they give!  

But boy are they messy!!!  

As you can see, they drop these dried up, crunchy, pods. 

They are not easy to clean up either because the yard under them is gravel, not grass of course.  

It takes a good hi-powered blower to get them in a pile so you can pick them up.  Even then, they manage to worm their way down amongst the rocks trying to avoid detection!!

The water fountain is bone dry too and full of the crackly little pods.

I noticed several little birds flitting around as I was cleaning it.  I'm sure they are just waiting for it to be filled with life-giving water.   

I even saw five huge flickers, land in the trees and screech out a shout.  I'm sure they are passing the word that water will appear here soon.

Will have to watch for coyotes as we were told they had been gnawing on people hoses this summer trying to get a precious drink.

I managed to get about half the yard done today and can see the rocks that were hidden under the mess.

Got the fountain cleaned out and fresh water running as well. 

 Tomorrow, onto the next half!

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