Posts Tagged ‘chickens’

Counting pin cushion chickens

October 13, 2011

I expected to get back in the swing of things this week. I assumed that my cough would go away. I was counting chickens before they were hatched. Wa-a-a-ay before they were hatched.

My favorite chicken to count

The cough has gone away, but not before it worked itself up to a right powerful hissy fit. I wrenched my back, and discovered that pain doesn’t contribute to creativity. It also doesn’t contribute to a clean house, or meeting deadlines.

Although I couldn’t clean the sewing room, or finish any projects, I could wander in on my little walks around the house (the only exercise I could manage). On one of those walks I became aware of pin cushions – specifically, of my pin cushion collection. Like most of the collections in my sewing room, it is accidental. One day I’m happily using the box the pins came in for storage, and the next I have more options for holding pins than I have pins to be held (well, almost). Most of them were gifts – I believe I actually bought the chicken shown above, although I can’t for the life of me remember why.

These two are handmade, and were gifts:

Heart and flower

The little felted ball was a gift, but the jar may have been a door prize:

This is the device I use most for pins, mainly because it holds plain old straight pins. I use them most often because I don’t mind destroying them. Somehow, it always seems that the glass-headed pins are too pretty to bend, fold, spindle and otherwise mutilate.

The purple pin eater

Now that I mention it, pretty pins aren’t the only things I hoard. There’s pretty fabric and pretty ribbons and pretty beads, to name a few. That’s why my sewing room is in such a state, of course. And as soon as I can think about more than my next dose of ibuprofen, I’m going to do something about it.


August 10, 2011

This is the beginning of harvest season for us. I gave up the back yard garden once the farmers market came to town, but we still have the fruit trees. Mind you, I do enjoy the fresh fruit, but this time of year I spend a lot of time picking, peeling and chopping.

In years past, I would bake a couple of pies, then freeze bags of applesauce. Then I moved to baking one pie, one crisp, and freezing bags of applesauce. Both kids are out of the house now and I still have a bag of applesauce from last year, so I’m thinking this season I’m going to dehydrate most of the apples. We’ve always done that with the pears, and sometimes with some of the apples. I love dried fruit, and my husband has developed a fondness for our dried apples. Also, I need something to put in the cookie jars.

Back when the kids were little and I baked cookies, the Frosted Fish Fannies jar always had something lovely inside. Then my tiny tots got big enough to snatch the cookies as soon as they had cooled down to eating temperature. The Frosted Fish Fannies jar sat on the counter, empty. Now the kids are on their own, neither my husband nor I need cookies, and not only is the Frosted Fish Fannies jar empty it is abandoned.

So, of course, I bought another cookie jar. The BBC America catalog came in the mail and I couldn’t resist the Talking TARDIS jar. It makes the wheezing sound of the TARDIS landing when you close the lid. Anyway, I really can’t justify two empty cookie jars taking up counter space, so I think I’ll store the dried fruit in them.

I managed to do one sewing project this week. I really did turn Rocket Chicken into a table cloth, just as I threatened in the last blog, by backing it with some fabric I bought years ago for a quilt I never made. I’m not sure one actually needs to name table cloths, but this one is special so I called it Rocket Chicken and the Cowgirls.

Now I’m off to the kitchen to peel some pears.

Fragile Immortality

August 3, 2011

My sewing room is overflowing today, and will be for some little while. Ann Anastasio – co-author with me of Death by Chenille, co-producer of Art Quilt Santa Fe – gave me half of her stash for my prison class.

I’m thrilled to get it, of course; not so keen on storing it. Right now it’s in bags in the sewing room, my daughter’s room, the garage, under the piano. My husband is even less keen on storing it, but he can see me moving it about, so there it is.

I intend to put it in bins, eventually. Ann has promised me some of hers, and I might even be able to get some from my husband. He is buying plastic bins for reorganizing his tools, drill bits, nails, fasteners and the like. He found some small purple bins on one of his trips to the hardware store and got some for me.

He bought me the little cute ones for my buttons and embellishments. I’ll need bigger ones for the fabric, but I’m not certain which size yet. Certainly larger than a shoebox, which is another thing Ann gave me, the shoebox containing the time capsule for the Challenge Group.

This is our second time capsule. We made the first one when the group started and opened it a few years ago.

This is also the second time capsule that I’m in now. The other one is for the California Writers Club. I’m in it because I was fortunate enough to be selected for the Jack London service award from my local branch, and a list of all the award winners is part of the collection. The capsule was presented and sealed at the awards ceremony. It will be opened in 2035.

It’s an odd feeling, being in the California Writers Club time capsule. There is a fragile immortality to having your name on a list preserved for the future. Which brings me back to Ann.

Like all of us, Ann has stacks of tops and completed quilts. She is also an art quilter, so many of her pieces have no obvious home. As she was cleaning out her sewing room, she started wondering what would happen to all of her quilts. She made these pieces to express her artistic vision, and preserve part of herself for the future.

But how to do it? How to make sure your work doesn’t get turned into dog bed covers after you’re gone? What should be done, for instance, with Rocket Chicken?

I’m thinking of turning it into a table cloth. How are you planning to secure your place in history?

Who else is watching but us chickens?