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Friday, July 29, 2011

Pecatonica, Illinois, my home town

My home town consists of about 1900 fine folks, and even though I've been gone for many, many years, I still miss it and all of the people.

This is where I went to church, and I still maintain my membership there:

I graduated from high school here:

And raised my family in this house:

I taught Sunday School in this Fellowship Hall, adjacent to the church:

Many, many happy times in good old Pecatonica!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Family Reunion

Every couple of years or so, all of the cousins on my mother's side have a reunion.This year it was in Field Park in Mukwonago, Wisconsin, and my second cousin Paula organized it.

About 50 people attended, ranging in age from 3 to 83.

We came from far and near:

Far (Florida)

Near (Mukwonogo)
  Although our families originated in northern Illinois, we are now scattered all over the country, so it's nice to see everyone to reminisce. Sorry I didn't get everyone's picture

We also hold a 'fun auction' to help defray the expenses. My nephew Terry is the auctioneer; everyone brings something and then we auction it off to the highest bidder. The bidding is fast and furious, and we bid early and often!
Colonal Terry Dieken, Auctioneer

Terry and His Crew of Expert Professionals
We picknicked on chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and brats plus all of the fixins', and a good time was had by all.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pillow Talk

This is sort of a combination Victorian - Shabby Chic pillow. The pretty lady is from the graphicsfairy. I used two striped fabrics, which I had left over from other projects. There are a couple of doilies and many handmade rolled roses, embellished with pearls and other beads. I have many pillows for sale in booth spaces, they are very fun to make, but labor intensive. No two are alike.
Linking to  graphicsfairy for Brag Monday.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Racy Lacy Shady Lady

Carol at The Polka Dot Closet provided information on where to purchase dress forms - you can find the information by clicking here:

I bought two, and mod-podged lace onto one of them. I used a thrift store lace tablecloth and I took care to center the design on her. The whole process was messy and not as easy as it looks. When I was finished I decided I didn't like her very much - she looks too "bosomy". Maybe I should have placed the lace in more strategic spots. We'll see. I'll decide later if I want to adorn her with something else, like French book pages.
Linking to Newbie Mondays at

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cover for handmade album

This album has handmade pages and covers. I've had it awhile and started to embellish it some time ago. I ran across it tonight while I was (unsuccessfully) attempting to organize my craft area, so tonight I finished it - the peacock, paper backing, butterflies and rectangular label are from The graphicsfairy, there is a strip of burlap and some white fabric trim on the left and the strip on the right is from the scrapbooking department at Joann's. I plan to put it in my flea market booth.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stencilled Table

I've had this garage sale table for some time; it served us well but needed a change. It was of natural wood, so I gave it three coats of white paint and then applied a stencil. I purchased the stencil at Michael's and it was kind of pricey, so I'll be using it on other projects as well. There were lines to cut the stencil into halves and even fourths, so I used half a stencil around the edges of the table, and then pieced two together for the center stencil. Hope you like it; I think it's kind of classy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Upholstered chair

We purchased this chair, along with a matching one, a few months ago at a thrift shop. They were each under five dollars and were in remarkably good shape - the caning was intact and the wood only needed a good cleaning - no painting or stripping. My husband took the seat off and then I upholstered it with fabric (on sale) from JoAnn Fabrics. I also made a pillow to match and added a coordinating strip of fabric. It was quick and fairly easy. The hardest part was choosing the fabrics. We found out, however, that if you're going to offer them for sale, to stick with neutral fabrics that will appeal to the masses. These colors definitely do not match most decor.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mixed Media Collages

I've been trying mixed media collages, where anything goes! I used the images from the graphicsfairy   and was inspired by the art of christytomlinson . The technique is fun and easy - I started by applying French book pages to the canvas, then adding paints. To achieve the circles, I brushed paint on bubble wrap, then pressed it down. The squares and birds are stencils. I also used a butterfly stamp. There are lots of ways to embellish the collage, use your imagination and what you have available.

I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment.....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Child's Chair

This is a child's chair that I purchased at Re-store, the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store. I painted it cream, then crackled it with white to get a very subtle crackle finish. I added a French decoration from the graphicsfairy. I'm posting this on missmustardseed. This is my FIRST attempt at posting on another blog - wish me luck!

A Shaggy Dog Story

  1. This joke is compliments of my brother-in-law, Jack, who lives in Big Timber, Montana.

    Ten Dollar Dog

    A guy is driving around the back woods of Montana and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: 'Talking Dog For Sale ' He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.

    The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there.

    'You talk?' he asks.

    'Yep,' the Lab replies.

    After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says 'So, what's your story?'

    The Lab looks up and says, 'Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.' 'I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger so I decided to settle down.. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.''I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.'

    The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

    'Ten dollars,' the guy says.

    'Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?'

    'Because he's a liar. He never did any of that stuff.'

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Brown Sugar Spice Cake in a Slow Cooker

Just what I needed to sweeten my life without heating up the kitchen! I found this on An added bonus is that it smells wonderful while cooking.

Brown Sugar Spice Cake


vegetable cooking spray
1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Tomato Soup (Regular or Healthy Request®)
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake mix

1 1/4 cups hot water

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

vanilla ice cream


Spray the inside of a 4-quart slow cooker with the cooking spray.

  1. Combine the soup, water, eggs and cake mix in a medium bowl and mix according to the package directions. Pour the batter into the cooker.
  2. Stir the water, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour over the batter.
  3. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Spoon the cake into bowls, spooning the sauce from the bottom of the cooker. Serve warm with the ice cream.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Canyon Collectibles, Loveland, Colorado

You can find these gifts at our booth at Canyon Collectibles.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dining Out

On Sunday we had a Greek lunch with a cute child and his pretty mother.  Tuesday we split a yummy sub  at Subway, always a good value! On the way to Estes Park we enjoyed coffee and cherry cobbler at the Glen Haven General Store. We do enjoy our food!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rocky Mountain National Park

Today we drove to Rocky Mountain National Park, which is about 35 miles from our home. We especially enjoy the elk but they were a little camera shy today. We did manage to snap a couple of pictures. The mountains were lovely, as were the rivers and meadows. Truly God's country.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Victorian and Shabby Chic Pillows

These are all handmade, and are really fun to make. I use vintage fabrics where possible, otherwise I try to use fabrics that I have on hand, along with lace, doilies, rosettes, and of course, graphics from the Graphics Fairy. Hope you like them!

I read other blogs about working in a 'studio', which I don't have. My work space is all over the house. I work at the kitchen table and a card table. When we paint and upholster furniture, that's done in the living room (don't worrry, we use drop cloths). We work on the back porch in good weather. The ironing board is set up in the living room, as well. I really have to scramble when company is expected. It all works out...

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Wine bottles, gift bags, tea tins, all decorated with French graphics, burlap and other fabric, plus handmade rosettes and trims from the scrap booking aisle at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Graphics are from the Graphics Fairy online. (Sorry, I don't know how to link it yet.)