Saturday, April 29, 2006

Grant Days continued

This area of Ohio has a lot of history most of it in some way connected with the civil war. The Rankin House, written about in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and part of the underground railroad, is in Brown county too. As a matter of fact there are many homes in the area that were used as safe houses for the underground railroad...including my Aunt and Uncle's.

If you would like to know more the Internet is packed with info on the civil war, Grant and Morgan's raid. I did find a few sites that might be of interest:

Ulysses. S Grant

American Presidency

John H. Morgan

Grant Days

Last weekend I attended the local Grant Days celebration for a few hours and thought I would post a few pictures. I wanted to attend because the ladies from the weavers guild were going to be there doing their thing. They were demonstrating how the spinning wheel and weaving loom were used. It turned out to be quite an interesting day.

I guess I should tell you a little about the celebration. Ulysses S Grant, our eighteen president spent his early childhood in Georgetown Ohio. The house he lived in and the school house he attended are local historical sites. Several of the events included a history walk through the home and school house and several historic landmarks in Georgetown also a Grand ball that evening with everyone in civil war period costumes.

One of the events that I got to see was the reenactment of Morgan's Raid. The whole center of town was cordoned off and all the actor's were dressed in period costumes. The raiders came through town on horses and locals were trying to fend them off with single shot muskets to no avail. The raiders then proceeded to raid the local shops looking for supplies and money. There was a considerable amount of comedy in all of the goings on too. And of course a few locals died in the fellow played his death very well... he died in the middle of the street. The sun was out and it was very warm so the poor dead man was dragged up on the sidewalk to the shade and remained there quite dead for the next hour or so. Finally the Calvary rode in and saved the day...with a horse back saber fight and muskets going off everywhere it was very dramatic and so much fun to watch.

The Cavalry arrives, or maybe it's Union troops, to save the day!

Monday, April 24, 2006


Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
I've been working on these daffodils for a while now. I just can't seem to get them to look the way I think they should :-(

Thank you Julia for the pattern and instructions. With any luck my next attempt at these daffodils will be much better.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Survivors

Thought I would share some pictures of the survivors...the tulips that is...I did get to see a few bloom. There is a closeup of the crabapple blossoms too. Something wonky happened to the pictures of the trees that's why they look of center. I left stakes around the tulips to remind the deer to stay away.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Gold Heart

Gold Heart
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
This heart has been in the works for more than two weeks now...and it's done!!! I wasn't able to take Sharon B's class but I did try to learn a few things from the ladies that did. Like planning the stitches...I made a color copy of the heart and drew what I wanted to do. I played with using Press and Seal too. It worked fine after I put a second layer over my ink marks so that the ink didn't come off on my thread.

I always try out books from the library to decide it I want to buy them. Last week I found Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches by Carole Samples. It's amazingly chock full of stitch combinations (along other stitch designs)...many are from antique crazy quilts. I always have trouble coming up with combinations on my own so this book is a gold mine for me. Several of the combinations on this heart came from Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

More Tatting

It took three attempts to get this tiny piece done. The first time I was almost done when I found a thread wrapped around the piece and I couldn't fix it. The second one I forgot to join the picots (yes, again). This design is in Tatted Snowflakes by Vida Sunderman (Dover Needlework Series). I did alter the chain by adding another double stitch on each side of the picot.

I love this little heart but all of my previous trys were sad attempts...until last night when I actually did justice to the pattern. This design is in Easy Tatting by Rozella F. Linden (Dover Needlework Series).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sewing corner

Sewing corner
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
This is my little sewing corner. I changed it around recently hoping to tidy up the area just not sure it helped. My fabric is in the plastic tubs and the drawer set is new...thinking of getting more of them so that it's easier to get to my fabric and see what I have. My sewing machine is a White and it has a few embroidery stitches that I forget to use. Someday I hope to have better storage, a big cutting surface and a nicer table for my sewing machine...but what I have is fine for now.

Yesterday I revisited a semi-local yarn shop (it's really so much more). The first time I was there I mentioned that I tatted and the owners invited me back and to bring my tatting. Their weaving guild meets at the shop on Tuesdays and they wanted me to come and show my tatting to the guild members. I spent a very nice day with the ladies. When I walked through the door they ask me what I do when I said tatting there were lots of oh's and ah's and I proceded to show them some of my motifs and books. Then they wanted to see how needle tatting is done so I showed them how to do rings, chains, picots and joins. After lunch at a local coffee house I watch as three of the weavers set up their looms and another lady was spinning yarn. The yarn spinning was very interesting; she was using a wonderfully soft white lambs wool to make the yarn. All and all a very nice day and I learned some things too.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fun Threads

Rosemary sent these fun and fancy threads along with the heart. I'll have lots of fun using them.

I'm stitching on a gold heart now but I'm taking my time and working at it a little differently than I normally do.

I have had so many nice complements on my tatting which has evolved into two swaps. So now I have even more tatting to do. The swaps push me to build my skills and I get lots of practice...which is a very good thing.

It's time for coffee anyone want to join me?


Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
I swapped one of my Dragonfly hearts for this lovely one from Rosemary. The butterfly is beautiful and there is a little mirror inside that circle of stitching.

I have some sad news, you may remember my post about the deer nibbling the tops out of my tulips...well they finished them off buds and all. At least around the two trees closest to the road. The trees must be right in the deer path across the yard. I did find one that they didn't was on the side away from the I put a tomato cage around. The tulips around the tree closest to the house were spared..but I'm taking no chances and I put a chicken wire fence around them until the tulips bloom. Looks like I'll have to move the tulips closer to the house and put something deer proof around the trees. Which upsets me to no end...the tulips would have been so pretty there. I'll post a picture of the survivors when they bloom.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Tissue Holder

turkey feathers has been making beautiful bags (purses) and she has made tissue pouches to go with them. She had a link for the instructions too so I gave it a try and this is the result:

I would love to make more (Christmas gifts maybe) but I definitely need to get better at making them. When I had it finished I noticed that I had sewn one end crooked. It's for me so I'm not too worried about it.


It's surprising to me just how many people like dragonflies...and enjoy making replicas. Jo introduced the Chain of Hearts group to these dragonflies along with the instructions to make them. So of course I gave it a try.... and posted a link to the photo on the CoH site. Today when I opened my flickr site the dragonfly has been viewed 43 times and I had two exciting!!!! It never occurred to me that so many people would look at it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Purple butterfly

Purple butterfly
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
Look!!! I did it...I figured out how to finish this butterfly! It was driving me nuts! Then I was working on another piece that had the same problem...ended up slipping the work off the needle...stuck the needle through the picot and finished the work on the other side of the picot. So easy, then I knew that I could do the same thing with this butterfly. It will be one of my favorite patterns now that I know it's secret.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Purple butterflies

Purple butterflies
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
I've been playing with this butterfly pattern from "The Complete Book of Tatting" by Rebecca Jones. I just can't get the last wing attached to the picot on the head correctly...I'm doing it on a needle. Anyone have any ideas??? I'm about ready to attach it with invisible thread and leave it at that. The one on the right is missing a wing...not an angel although it could make a good angel too. LOL

We are having a lovely spring day. I actually have two windows open!!!


Vintage Buttons 3
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

Yesterday I met a dear friend for lunch. We hadn't seen each other for a year or we had a lot to catch up on. After lunch we went to a nearby historic village...Old Washington Kentucky. Many historic buildings and most have antique shops. We found a magnificent stash of buttons in one of the shops and I couldn't help myself...I came away with this little collection.

Most of the buttons are made from shell. I have been told that there was a button factory in the area many years ago. The story goes that they would dredge the river for mussels and used the shells to make the buttons. Many of these buttons aren't finished on the back so you can see part of the outer shell. If anyone knows anything else about this type of button I would love to hear from you.

I have added another picture of the same buttons...they reflected the camera flash but it shows how shiny and colorful they are.

Well... we sprang forward today and I forget to set the clocks last night. I slept in this morning so instead of feeling like I lost an hour it feels more like I lost two hours. It always takes me a week or more to get used to the change.