Friday, December 24, 2010

Emergency Project

I bought my granddaughter this really huge poster of the Eclipse (Twilight) gang.  You know how each year, there is at least one gift that you know is going to be perfect, and you are really excited about it?  This was the one for 2010. 

When I started to wrap it Thursday morning, I discovered that the kittens had clawed the plastic and left scratch marks on it.  We jumped in the car and drove 35 miles to the nearest Target to try to replace it, but they didn't have one--naturally.  We ended up getting her an ugly one about half the size of the original.  I was crushed. 

I came home and dug this tote out of my stash, cruised some Twilight websites for ideas, and came up with this design.  She is going to love it!!!

Merry Christmas to My Friends

No matter what you celebrate, I wish you love and joy on this day. You all mean the world to me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Things I've made

I worked really hard today to finish all of my housework so that I can have tomorrow free to sew.  I still have 3 major things to make and 4 towels to embroider.  For now, I'll show you some things I've made in the past.

I made this cross stitch calendar in 1985.  Before I was finished, I'd made one for my mom, my sister, and my MIL.  It wouldn't be Christmas without it.

I made this back during the 1980's too.  The inside is a straw wreath.  The fabric was gathered and stretched over it.  I haven't used it in a couple of years, although I'm not sure why.

One of my biggest complaint about giving gift cards is finding an interesting way to wrap them.  Last year, I went to the dollar store and bought several stuffed animals.  This one was for my teenage grandson.  Then, I stitched up a little felt billfold for the card and sewed the billfold to the animal.  I had several of these under the tree, and they were really cute.

I'm always looking for new ways to give gift cards, so feel free to share.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas makes me sentimental

I recently made a trip to the next state to visit (and check on-but don't tell him that part!) my elderly bachelor uncle.  While I was there, I tried to take a picture of this family picture.  It has been on my grandmother's wall my entire life--I'm 57, so that's a long time.  It's in an old oval frame with the convex glass.

The handsome man on the left is my grandfather, Hester Jones.  The handsome young man on the right is his best friend, Bill Walker.    Pa and Bill joined and went off to World War I together, and were lucky enough to serve together.   Pa caught influenza and spent time in the hospital in France.  I have letters that he wrote home during that time--a treasure.  Pa survived the flu, came home, married, and raised a family.   Bill never made it home, but he always had a place of honor in my grandparent's house.

When my grandmother died, my uncle gave me the family pictures, which included almost as many of Bill as the family.  I tried for years to find a descendant, although I knew he never married.  I hoped to track down a niece or nephew in that small community, but I was never able to find anyone.  So, my family picture albums include this nice young man.

I had hoped to get a picture that was good enough for me to have a copy made for myself.  I'm afraid that, even if he would permit it, there is no way it would survive being removed from the frame and copied.   This was the best I could do.  I may try to find someone who is a photoshop genius to see what they can do.  In the meantime, I can look at it on my computer.

I also took a picture of this one--my grandfather's parents.  He was a circuit preacher.  He farmed all week, and on Friday night, he saddled up his mule and visited his churches, Monday morning, he went back to his farm. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rag quilt

I finally finished my first rag quilt.  It was surprisingly easy.  I can see myself making more of these--especially since I've already got most of the blocks cut out for the second one!

This one is an I Spy quilt.  Each block has a partner on the quilt, so there are two fish blocks, 2 cat blocks, 2 truck blocks.  The reverse side is the same way, except with flannel instead of cotton.  Two of the blocks are handmade chenille, which is extra soft and fluffy.  I love making chenille!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I'm back--I think!

So, it's been a busy spring around the Wren House. Nothing new there, but this time, I have pictures of one of the projects. The rest of the stuff wasn't picture worthy!

For the 5 1/2 years that we've lived in this house, the biggest room was Johnnie's pool room. He had a pool table, a stereo, and a big bar table. The walls were decorated with a cow skull, a framed front page from when UT won the national championship, a display box of his pocket knife collection, and a gun rack that held bows, arrows, and bb guns.
No one ever went in there. Ok, that's not really true. When the grandkids were here, they would shoot a game of pool now and then. At Christmas, the kids hung out in here and shot pool. When it was just us here, the door was never opened.
The floor had burgundy carpet that came with the house. It was really pretty, and we meant to keep it. But, when we pulled up the carpet in other rooms and saw how filthy it was underneath, we couldn't stand to keep it.And, the dog didn't like it much either--or maybe she liked it too much. I think I may have someone lined up to refinish the floors, but until then, I have some ugly, cheapo carpet on it.

Now, let's roam into the back of the house, to the smallest room of the house. That's my office/craft/sewing/library. In there, I run my business, keep the piles of paperwork related to that business, store the overflow from the workroom (previously know as The Dining Room), have 5 bookcases of book, 3 of them for my BookCrossing hobby, and craft and sew. It's a disaster. I had almost given up sewing or crafting because it took so long to find, haul out, and put away anything I wanted to work on--it wasn't worth it unless I had the rare entire day to craft.

But, he's wanted a pool table his entire life, and I wasn't going to ask him to give that up. Just knowing it was there made him happy, and that made me happy.

A few weeks ago, a dear friend said that she was coming to visit. I was so excited--it had been 5 years since I'd seen her, so excited is probably not a big enough word. But, I have no guest room. While I was trying to figure out where we could put an air bed or something, Johnnie offered a shocking suggestion. He offered to sell his pool table and give me that room for my hobbies. After refusing for several days, I accepted, with guilt. And then excitement!

This is the result.

Final version

I kept the pool table and had a piece of plywood cut to fit. I then put 3 coats of raspberry chalkboard paint on it. So, I can cut fabric, craft, write shopping lists, and the kids can draw on it too. Lots of wins there. And if someone wants to shoot pool, it's no big deal to take off the plywood and lean it against the wall.

This is the fun part. I padded one end of the table for an ironing board. I can sew, and press seams without even getting out of my chair. Big happy grin!! And, I've already discovered how handy the large surface is for pressing yardage and tablecloths.
Ironing board

The storage part needs some work, but it's getting there! Of course, moving these two bookcases into the craft room left a lot of books with no place to live. Must start registering and releasing at BookCrossing more often!
Fabric stash and craft stuff

Johnnie's bar table is pretty handy for the sewing machine, but the stools are really uncomfortable. I still have to work out the extension cord issue, so for now, I'm sewing without my foot pedal, using the stop/start button. This is my first modern machine, and the button thing is really hard to get use to, at least for me!

I don't know if you can tell, but the table and stools are really massive. The table has ball and claw feet that are bigger than both of my fists put together!

Bar table

This is my handwork/reading corner. Nice and cozy, isn't it? You can see that Johnnie's knife collection is still there. I'm in no hurry to change the walls until I find exactly what I want. For now, things are fine.

Cozy corner

And last, but not least, the guest room part of the deal-the humble futon. I was actually amazed at how comfortable it was--not fancy hotel standard, but better than a cot!

So, that's how I spent my winter weekends. And I will spend my spring and summer basking in the joy of my own sewing space!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


1. Not having to go anywhere on a cold day.
2. Hot chocolate with marshmallows
3. Sewing

1. The rag quilt
2. Lucky catching a frisbee
3. A clean bathroom

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Three more things


1. The sun peeping through the clouds

2. Lucky

3. The empty laundry hamper


1. Waffle House breakfast

2. I was able to step down from the back porch and walk around the back yard, and step back up onto the porch.

3. The feral kitten went into the box I made for her to sleep in during the cold weather.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Good and Beautiful

sunset, originally uploaded by texaswren.

1. Looking through old pictures and remembering happy moments.
2. Getting the Christmas decorations down and packed away
3. Doing all of my commissary shopping without a wheelchair or one of those dumb (but thank goodness for them!) motorized carts

1. The house being neat and uncluttered after the Christmas decorations are put away.
2. The rosemary bush
3. Our library

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year Full of Good Things

I find that last year was a bit too full of whining and fretting, when there was really no reason for it. So, I decided to resurrect by Three Good Things each day. Then, I saw blogging friends doing Three Beautiful Things. That led me to realize how often those are the same thing.

I won't commit to every day, but I have learned enough about myself as I've grown older to realize that I don't like anything that has to be done every day. But, I'll do it when I can, and I'll have a record to remind me of how lucky and wonderful my life is when days look gloomy.

Three Good Things---TGT
1. Lucky is feeling better
2. Sitting on the sofa with a laptop instead of stuck in my office in the back of the house, all alone.
3. Spending the day with my husband.

Three Beautiful Things-TBT
1. Fort Worth skyline
2. My snuggly sofa quilt
3. Johnnie's eyes.