Bee's Hive

Saturday, November 29, 2008


The weekend after Thanksgiving would have been the visit to Santa. We would have been lined up like soldiers in Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia. I don't know why no adult had the sense to take off our coats & leggins but I can remember, 60 years later, the heat under my wool leggins & how itchy they felt.

What a magical day as you inched your way to the stairs that led to Santa! I can still hear the noise of the train display running, children crying out at all the amazing toys on display. Then you found yourself at the stairs. Just the site of him sitting in his gold chair made all that you were going to ask for slip away. I most likely walked away thinking of the Toni doll or tin tea set with the dutch girl on it that I wanted with my gift from Santa of a very sticky candy cane clutched in my hand.

Friday, November 28, 2008


This "resting" can get old quick! It did allow me to finish 6 of the 20 Matryoshka ornies I had cut out and didn't finish for this years swap. Now aren't they just too cute!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More than frost on the pumpkin :(

Lake effect snow..ugh..more like ice! Next 15 days looks like more of the same.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Grab your imagination.....

because your gonna need it for a little while to see where this quilt is going. Imagine puffy clouds and a beautiful garden with the sun peeking through, grapes hanging over the edge of the mountain wall, waves breaking against the rocks. Okay, now you can look at the first quilt block and know where it is going.

Shaylee, fairy of the fields, tends the castle gardens, keeping the smell of roses and sweet lilac's awake for the next trip into someone's imagination. Below the castle's rocky pedestal, waves gently break against the mountain....

Next block we will move across the bridge to the dark side of the mountain and into the forrest where Tiania, Queen of Fairies, and Latanya spend their time singing and dancing for Mr. Moon, keeping him happy and calm is a hard job. He controls the skies and oceans that surround the castle. Any unhappiness can cause bolts of lightning from the sky and thrashing waves against the castles walls turning a dream of princesses into a nightmare!
The art form....................the block

I've lightened this one up a little

(The rules call for using a piece of each thing in "The bag"=I've used 10 of the 21 fabric's in the first block)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Art Quilts and the story behind them

I have always had a huge imagination. I think it helped me to get through my childhood when things got bad. I would just go into a closet and find a place that made me happy.

I think this is why art quilts interest me. Behind each one is a story. I often wish the quilter would include her story with the quilt. I saw an oil painting of Leda from Greek Mythology. I had no idea what I was looking at but I knew I wanted to put her in a quilt.

Maybe that is when I realized that art quilts had a story. As I formed her face I felt I needed to know more about her and set out to the internet to read her story. That led to the purchase of 9 books on Greek Mythology!

This brings me to the Quilt in the bag swap. When I signed up I had a feeling I wanted to do an art quilt since it would be small. Then my partner sent me 21 hand dyed pieces of fabric and off went my imagination to a magic land! I will soon have my first block to share with you. At first I thought this would be a whole cloth crazy quilt but it has become a 4 block quilt with lots of embellishments and thread art.

The story starts with the castle of all castles, the one that lives in the hearts of all little and big girls. The castle where maidens are saved by princes, where they dance and leave behind a shoe, those who fall to sleep and wake with a kiss or have a bad sleep because of a pea under the mattress. My castle is cared for by 3 Fairy's, Latanya, Tiania & Shaylee. It is protected by 3 mermaids, Isme, Shene and the Queen maid, Oceandia.

Leda & the Swan...........and the Castle, my inspiration

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas busy!

I haven't tackled any of the sewing for a few days because this old house is just too cold! If I make it through this winter, I will not be living here next winter for sure!

I'm finding it hard to decorate this year. After leaving a huge victorian where I could have had a 10' tree in every room I am left to decorate a house that the whole thing would fit into the kitchen of the last house.

I have so many cute things and no place to put them. I started to pull out the trains and gave up. We collect G gage, large trains, there is just no place to set them up this year. But I did dig in and try to set up the things I really love. I'll add photo's to this post as I go along.

Of course there are the dolls. Can't have Christmas without Granny making cookies. I use to have a 6' server I displayed them on, but I am reduced to the top of my double school desk..a squeeze, but at least I can enjoy them. The stove is an old salesman sample. It weighs about 75 pounds. I wouldn't have wanted to be the salesman who had to carry that around! Also my wood dolls. These are just too cute to leave in storage so out they came.

Talking about wood, the wooden Santa on the tree is a gift from a special person in Vancouver Washington for a very special person in the south...I'll be shipping that one and some others very soon. I wanted to get one in a photo for my own memory or people's generosity.

We can't have a village without the North Pole and Santa's house!

Dept. 56 stage coach is another of my favorite holiday items so this also had to come out of storage.

The merry go round had to come out, it's my favorite! It lights up, plays music & the horses go up and down.

Many of the figures are lead from many years ago. All the skaters and the sleigh & horse, and ma & pa sitting on the park bench.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Snow, hot chocolate and lots of mail!

I woke this morning not feeling well at all. This happens when it's damp & cold. It didn't take much to explain why I felt so poorly. Looking out the sewing room window from my bed, I could see snow flakes falling. I was such a grouch all the way down the stairs, the poor dog hung his head and disappeared behind the sofa. This called for action! Heating from the inside out always helps so I cooked up some nice Hot Chocolate.

I grabbed the mail off the porch and wrapped up in a cozy quilt to enjoy opening it while I sipped my chocolate.

The first package I saw came from Tom at the quilting & carving blog. He has loaned me a knife and is giving me long distance instructions on carving a face. I really needed to learn something new to keep the mind working and for those hot July days when you don't want to deal with yards of fabric. I figure I can sit by the river behind my house in the shade and practice this art.

The second package I opened was a surprise from my HGTV friend, everythingquilts. I fell in love with this crazy quilt bird ornament she had posted and she gifted it to me! She also sent me some girlie scents and nice girlie supplies for my office. The little bird is a treasure that will be saved along with other handmade ornies that my sons and grands have made through the years. THANKS DONNA

Also in the mail today was Amy's package for the Bag Swap. Wow! For someone who said she likes brown's her choice of fabric's for this swap doesn't reflect that! It's a good thing too because the image I have for this little quilt calls for all those brights! THANKS AMY!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Let's label the handicapped so we know how to treat them

I am so into Christmas right now, enjoying all the magic that happens at this time of the year. I have tried all day to avoid saying anything about this subject but it is really bothering me.

It is really hard to live in a wheelchair. I know who I was, even feel myself running and jumping through life. It's heart breaking to know you can't do something so little anymore because you don't have the use of your spine or legs. It also makes me angry & depressed but at the end of the day, there is nothing I can do about it.

People in general either don't see you or are annoyed that you are there. I can't tell you how many times I've used a handicapped ramp only to find that I am shut out of a building because they don't have an electronic door. I'm not talking about little privately owned stores. I'm talking about the Post Office, Social Security and even my doctor's office. It takes away a lot of your dignity when you have to travel with a poker so you can beat on a door for entry.

Recently I visited the moving wall across the street from my home in the community park. The city had recently repaved the street, raising the street level above the handicapped payment ramp. This caused my front wheels to become trapped in a ditch when I tried to cross the street to the park. People stared at me, ignored me or looked at me annoyed because I was out and not home where people like me belong.

What has me wound up today is reading the blog of an injured military boy. I know people make suggestions from their heart but maybe they should put themself in that persons place before they decide what should be done with them. To stop people from staring, it was suggested that a "sign" be pinned to the wheelchair saying your looking at a hero. Or, wear a hat that makes this statement.

Maybe everyone should wear a sign pinned to them..head lice, divorced, gay, herpes, welfare victim, retarded, diseased. How would they feel? The little dignity those of us manage to hang onto when sitting in our chair would fly out the window once we had our "sign" pinned to us. Adding the word "hero" doesn't change anything, in fact, those who might not stare will stop to read the sign.

You have to get a tough skin when your in a wheelchair. You have to learn to deal with rude people. I'm not going to wear a sign or a hat so people know how to treat me. It's much easier to look them in the eye and tell them they are being rude.

Inside Santa's house

I did the best I could to show you the inside of the Santa House. Some photo's are blurry.
The angel on the tree. This is the train under the tree and the bird cage in the toy room. One elf "checks the list".

The kitchen with brass cookware and wooden phone. Another elf at work.

This is hard to make out. The cat has a stocking and the elf is trying to get it back.
More kitchen, one elf sweeps. There is a silver plated tea set on the fireplace and a victrola.

This elf is painting a house at the work bench. I hand rolled all those ribbons.

Santa's bedroom. The elf is holding up a candy cane so the cat can't get it.

Today's photo of the hill....all gone to fall..a cold look at winter to come.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

If it makes you smile, buy it

Today was shopping day for me & son. Not fun shopping, the kind of shopping that stocks up the house for a while. On our way home I spotted a thrift shop. My son was nice enough to stop and let me spend some time just roaming around all the junk.

I think everyone has a style. There are just some things we like when we see them and other's that we past by without seeing at all.

I like to have things sitting around my sewing room, things that make me smile when I look at them. They usually fit my style. I have a few doll sized dress forms that I just love. This one is my style, girlie and cute.

But today I spotted this one. NOT my style at all..Fru, Fru style...but it made me smile and ended up in my shopping bag. Sometimes when something makes you smile it just needs to become yours!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting in the holiday mood..Santa's house

Santa's house is never done. There is always something to add or repair. This year I should make a quilt for the bed and finish the sleigh and deer for the roof. Last year I added the tree lights that really do light. I wonder what will happen to all this junk when I'm gone?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My first carving..done! Ta da

I can tell you one thing, a slip of the knife and Santa becomes a wizard or gold rush panhandler! The eyes are not a clean cut so he ended up with just a dot of blue for an eye. He also has a problem with his mouth being too far down. I was so busy with his mustache I didn't leave room for a mouth so I just slid it in where I could. Maybe not a good idea?

I still have all my fingers and although he is crude, I'm told I used the wrong wood and knife..I just love him anyway!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Carving, a new art?

This may not look like much to a quilter or even to other's, but it's my latest challenge. The piece of soft pine is from my days of making doll houses. The locking brass ended knife is a gift from the days when we were in the buggy business with the Amish.

The idea is to learn how to carve a face into this wood. Today I went through at least 2 pounds of potatoes trying to carve a simple face. I was able to get a really nice nose but each time I tried to cut in an eye the nose broke off. Of course a potato is not wood, but I would think it would be
much easier. Tomorrow I'm trying a yellow turnip which is much stay tuned.