My family, quilting, gardening,
woodworking and friends
are all things I might talk about

Behind My Picket Fence.....

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wish you were here………..

A very, very good friend of mine is somewhat of a connoisseur of all things Halloween.  She has also diligently instructed her children and grandchildren in the art of enjoying Halloween.  In other words, they like to have fun!  And, even better, they sometimes take pity on me (whose 11 year old granddaughter lives too far away to enjoy Halloween together), and invite me along.  Pretty sure – like positive – my 2 year old grandson is not ready for this activity.   Last year they went to the haunted house at the old “Insane Asylum” – I did not make that name up.  It was called that.  I understand from Miss D that the experience was well worth the ticket price and said she was thoroughly scared but only peed down her leg a few times and she did not “have the big one” (heart attack).  Sometimes I even question my own sanity for hanging out with this woman!  I think I’ll wear double depends and will make sure the ambulance is on standby.

So check out this website, and let me know if you want tickets.  Wish you were here but you may be glad you aren’t!


I managed to drag out a few fall decorations which I thought I’d share with you.  I’ve tried Smilebox for the first time and I “think” it works.  It was easier to use than I feared.  Unless of course, I’ve screwed it up and it doesn’t work.  That would explain why it was easy to do.


Click here to open Smile Box

Short & sweet today – Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

And now, a word from our sponsor

Oh for heavens sake, I don’t have a sponsor.  Who would sponsor me – and for what?  I’m not an athlete and I’m not in AA either as I rarely drink anything stronger than a latte.  Hmm, now I could be a member of CC (Coffee Cravers).  I don’t think there is one but let me think about organizing the first chapter – would you join?  Should we taper off or just quit cold turkey?  Shudder.  Let’s just taper off.  Oh wait.  I don’t think I want to do that either.  I’ll think about the whole thing and get back to you.  In the meantime, why don’t you start without me?


Really, I don’t have a sponsor.  But I do have an advertisement.  This is kind of a new thing for me – well actually I did it once before.  It was the same thing really, only different.  Winking smile    I’m talking about what I “lovingly” call  “Crap I’ve Made”.  Since that seems to have a negative connotation, I’ll just say that I will have some of the things I’ve made from wood at a craft (not crap) show.  It will be this upcoming Saturday, October 12th from 9:00 to 2:00 at the Breckenridge Senior Citizens Center.  I really don’t know what to expect as to what other things will be offered from other “artists” such as myself.  teehee.  But I will have 2 partners in this crime.  My sister-in-law, aka, Jean, aka Gracie’s Closet will have all manner of clothes and accessories that fit an American Girl doll or one of a similar size.  Jean has also knit poncho’s and caps for Gracie as well as quite a variety of things for your bitty baby.  Check this out:

photo 1


photo 2


photo 3

My other partner, aka Jolene, aka Take Two Mittens has wonderful (can you guess?) mittens!!!!  But no, these are not ordinary mittens.  Jolene has used old sweaters which she then felts and combines with other pieces of wool to make the best pair of mittens you have ever had.  Ever.  Here are a couple of her mittens:


Jolene mittens


And then there’s me.  Not much to say there so I’ll just run a bunch of pictures.  I just wish I could sell bags of sawdust.  I’d make a killing!

This is my version of Santa’s sleigh which is shown all decorated up – because this one is mine.  When you buy a sleigh you can decorate it any way you choose. 






These next pictures are all trays (or boxes) with slanted sides.  I have 2 sizes, 12 1/2” or 10”.  These are just a couple ideas to get you thinking about the possibilities.

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These next 2 are the smaller trays:      

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This one is called a candle box which would traditionally hold – you guessed it – candles.  But what if you put a hand-stitched pumpkin on the front and filled it with fall colors?  Even tho I made several of these, I’ve got to warn you, this is the only one that is decorated. 



Now think about when you are in the kitchen trying to come up with a good recipe for supper.  And there are a zillion recipes to be found on your iPad.  They (iPads) are not cheap little items so you hate to slap it on the counter while you’re slicing and dicing.  What if you had a breadboard that would stand up and hold  your iPad?  Something like this:



It even works for your e-readers and the good old-fashioned paper cookbook.  


There are 3 sizes of these risers.  They are used for decorating – sort of like the ideas I’ve shown below.


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These are colonial style soap holders, which as you can see don’t necessarily have to hold soap.  Whatever.




Pumpkin City:





  It was at this point that I got tired of taking pictures.  I want you to know that I have even more Crap Crafts to show on Saturday.  I have a bad feeling that this commercial message has gone way over 30 seconds.  I guess you’ll have to just put it on my bill and hope I’m good for it.


See you Saturday,

Hollyhock Farm

aka Ms. Faye                                         

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Early to bed and early to rise–sometimes

So, what time do you get up in the morning?  I have to admit that it’s been a lot of years since I’ve had a “real” job where I needed to rise at a specific time.   As opposed to being the stay at home wife of a farmer.  And truthfully, that job consists of mostly – nothing.  Oh  sure, I used to work in the field during sugarbeet harvest but I’ve resigned, retired, and quit that position after last year’s harvest.  I’ve quit a number of times in the past without the desired result but I must have used my hidden assertive side this time and they believed me.  They hired another truck driver and my brother-in-law took my spot.  Harvest started last night (technically it  was this morning, but it’s so hard to call it morning when it’s really the middle of the night, you know?) at 2 am, and I stayed in bed!  Can you say Happy Dance?   Woo-Hoo! 


I don’t know why you are reading this.  I do it every time.  I start out with one thought in mind to mention and before I know it, my fingers have run away from my brain and gone off on a whole other tangent.  What’s with that?  Am I dyslectic, bipolar or just a bit on the strange side?  (please pick option #3)  But getting back to the question of what time do you get up.  I was up before the rooster (again) this morning.  Yep.  5 a.m.  I find that as I get older, I tend to not sleep as late as I used to.  But seriously, 5 a.m?  I knew there was a 4 pm and a 5 pm but 4 or 5 am?  Apparently I didn’t want to miss a second of my birthday.  Not!  Who needs birthdays?  They are so over rated, unless you’re under 20.  After that, a person starts to get nervous about the number and then after that you just want to forget that number and then after that you really do forget the number.  My MIL is in that category.  She always asks, “how old am I"?  I tell her she’s 93 and she says she thought she was at least 100. I would think you’d want to reduce the number not increase it. 


It’s been so long since I’ve written so I have a lot of pictures stacked up.  I’ll try to not get too carried away.  One of our sons is an Optometrist here in west central Minnesota.  Last week at the Minnesota Optometric Association convention, he was surprised to receive this award:


This is a huge honor and we are so proud of him.  With or without an award, he’s a great man, husband, father and son. 


Now and then we are blessed to babysit our grandson, age 2.  After he’d been doing some gymnastic type moves, he sat nicely in the chair & looked innocent.  Uh, huh.  Innocent.    BTW, lovely chair, isn’t it?  I have 2 of them and they are fairly new – I love the chairs but I also have a farmer & a dog who like to sit in them.  Do you blame me for covering them?



When you’re 2 and you eat fresh peaches and cream, this is what happens:


There’s that innocent look again!  Ha.


Here is where I was going to add a million or so photos of a house tour I went to a couple weeks ago with Ms. Karen, Jolene & Jean.  It  was an 1890’s farmhouse that had been very lovingly and creatively restored and decorated.  I was going to make a smilebox but I discovered that most of my pictures were sideways which would really be viewed best laying down on your side.  Oh, botheration.  I really don’t want to take kthe time to learn how to rotate them without losing so much of the picture.  How’s this?  If you want to see some of the house, amazing wood shop and beautiful garden landscaping, just head on over to Ms. Karen’s blog  My Yellow Farmhouse.


At our last Threads “meeting”, Lori had these awesome pieces to show.  The little stitchery will be framed and given as a gift.  THEN, take a peek-e-poo at the little quilt.  I can only hope it will be given as a gift – to me of course!  No??????


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This little baptismal gown was made by a friend of mine for her granddaughter.  What a lucky little girl!



The Woolies enjoyed a great day at Denise’s newly remodeled lake home.  They made some major changes and additions and it turned out wonderful.  I wish I had better pictures but I have only a snippet here & there.  But maybe it’s enough to be a little teaser.






I want to point out – the coolest silverware I’ve ever seen!


I guess you can’t tell here, but this tray is mounted on the wall and serves as a frame for this little quilt.  Adorable!


I’m not sure, but I think Denise’s hubby made this super-simple bench.  I just love it.


Just a few more pictures and I’m going to let you go for today………..

A little show & tell from Ms. Denise.  Among her many talents is punch needle projects. I love ‘em all!

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     20130926_144945                20130926_145058  I made the little bread board for this one which she told me today she has painted and the old witch has been attached to it and hung on the wall.  I’ll bet it looks great.


And from Ms. Karen, a little project she’s working on.   Another winner Karen!



I’ve been working in my woodshop to make some crap – oops, I mean lovely works of art for a craft show on Oct. 12th along with Ms. Jean and Ms. Jolene.  Here are just a couple of the things that will be up for sale:

An iPad stand:

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A couple pumpkins of course  

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Yes, this is on Denise’s wall but I made similar ones in both black and red. 


I hope to get some decent pictures of my crap before the big show.


Well, this old lady needs to toddle off to bed.  Up early again tomorrow to leave the house by 6:40 to meet Ms. Karen and a couple of her peeps for a little road trip.  Oh, gosh, I hope we have some fun…………………………..don’t worry, we’ll be fine!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

But I’m too old to have a baby!

How many people had to grab their hearts when they read this title?  It could be a scary thing but in my case, not so much.  See, I’d always told my hubby that I wanted a BobCat for doing important and big jobs in the yard.  I mostly said it just to see if I could get a reaction from him but secretly, I would not have turned one down had it shown up on my doorstep.  One day he explained to me that a BobCat would rip up the lawn.  While it is very, very true that I don’t have a beautiful lawn – especially in this dry summer – I would not like to make matters worse.  So I gave up on the BobCat.  I just always felt I would look good in one.  You know?  Then again, I think I’d look great in a snappy little sports car too.  And I’m not getting one of those either.  Sigh.


As usual, I’ve gotten a little off the track.   Back to babies.  And yes, I really am too old to have the kind of baby that wakes you up at night and makes you smile the rest of the time.  My new “baby” is green.  Take a lookee-see:



I did not realize that John Deere (& others) make little compact utility tractors but as I live and breathe, I have one of my very own.  I think every woman should have all the babies she wants!  You go girls!


And just so you know that my baby looks even better with my favorite 2 year old grandson………..

20130702_100254the very adorable and innocent looking key thief! 

Several years ago I decided to organize my gardening life by putting plant labels on everything.  I had these cute little black markers and with a label-maker, they just looked very nice.  Unfortunately, my little doggie Baxter thought they were cute too and he stole them one by one.  Pretty soon I had no clue what was growing in my garden.  So in another attempt at identifiying/organizing, I took pictures of all the day lilies as they were in bloom so that I would know what colors I had and where they are.  These are this year’s day lily blooms:

Unnamed of course.



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This is my favorite clematis at the back of the house.  It’s just a blooming fool I tell ya.  I confess I had to crop off the bottom of this picture.  I noticed there was a gi-normous weed right in front that looked suspiciously like a Canadian Thistle.  (no offense Canada friends, but I do not like “your” thistles)  Winking smile



And lastly, this bad quality photo of one of my fav’s – old fashioned hollyhocks.


That’s it for today.  Here’s hoping you get all the babies you want in whatever form you want them.  Maybe I should think a little more about a “baby” car.  Like a convertible maybe.  Hmmm.