life is just a bowl of cherries….

is there a red more lovely in this lovely world?

is there a red more lovely in this lovely world?

I’ve been very quiet this summer ~ introspective… studious, almost.  This is partly due to the fact that I am actually a very quiet, introspective person who likes to study things that interest me.  Partly, though, it’s because many things that affect my life are changing without any help or hindrance from me.  Nothing major, nothing life threatening, just some things shifting a little.  It feels a bit like I’m standing outdoors on a calm autumn day.  The sun is shining, the brilliant leaves lay (or do they lie?) in piles at my feet.  Unexpectedly, from nowhere, a playful gust of wind blows and all those leaves rise up, like a flock of birds in Central Park, and I’m not prepared.  I haven’t moved a bit, but my immediate world has changed dramatically.  Then, the gust of wind passes, the leaves readjust themselves into piles again, my world appears the same as it ever was, but it has changed in subtle, indefinable ways.  Not for the worse or for the better, just… different.

When my mother-in-law called the other day and asked if I could help pit cherries I grasped at the offered reed of normalcy.  Some things never do change ~ cherries ripen when they’re ready and if one wants to smell the fragrant, heavenly aroma of summer fruit baking in a winter pie, one has to pit those cherries right now.  That’s something that just never varies.

my mother-in-law

my mother-in-law

When it comes to food I excel at eating…. preparation?  not so much.  It takes me an hour and a half to peel a cucumber.  My mother-in-law, who is a fabulous cook, bears with me and never points out that she could make an entire salad, including growing the vegetables, picking and cleaning them, in the time it takes me to slice up one green pepper.  When it comes to pitting cherries, however, I am the bomb ~ at least, I think I am.  I can pit a lug of cherries in no time and ask for more, which is why I always say yes when my services are requested.  I mean, who doesn’t like to be good at something, even if it’s just taking a cherry between fingers and thumb and squeezing?

my father-in-law

my father-in-law

My father-in-law, on the other hand, does NOT like pitting cherries, but he does it without complaint.  That’s another thing that doesn’t change.  His generosity and good humor along with my mother-in-laws kindness and kitchen knowledge persevere.  These are things I can always count on.

my husband and sister who are not quite the same height...

my husband and sister who are not quite the same height…

There are other people I count on to remain nicely static, who are ballast in my life.  My husband, my sister, and my friends.

my friend ellis

my friend ellis

my friends otis and lilly

my friends otis and lilly

my friend duke

my friend duke

One other thing that never changes ~ my favorite authors.  (They never change because they are mostly all deceased. :~>)  I turn to them when I’m feeling good, bad or just plain ugly.

So, I’ll leave you, today, with a favorite quote from a favorite writer….  (Oh, and before I forget, today is the July update for Primitive Handmades Mercantile.  If you’d like to take a peek you can click here.)  I think Oscar sums things up nicely…

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rebecca

 

ticking horse….

lilly says hello

lilly waves hello

I have this fabric that I love…

vintage-inspired ticking

vintage-inspired ticking

…of course, I love almost all ticking, but there’s something about this dark blue and cream stripe… it brings to mind old Americana and things that are soft and warm.

As I was looking through my Valdani perle cottons the other day, I realized that I have a blue that matches this fabric perfectly.

left to right:  Valdani 5, blue, and H212

left to right: Valdani 5, blue, and H212

Just look at all those beautiful variations in that blue ~ isn’t it lovely?  I’ll bet you’d like to know what Valdani it is, wouldn’t you?  Yes?  Well, so would I.  However, I always give the little paper discs with the perle cotton identification to Lilly, who loves playing with them as much as I love playing with the Valdani.  I always think to myself, “I’ll remember the color code because I like this color so much.”  MmmHmmm.  Not a chance.  So, what’s a girl to do?  I don’t know about you, but this girl goes to snowflakememories.com and orders every ball of blue perle cotton available. Surely, when my box of blues arrives in the post, one of those balls will be the right blue!

In the meantime, I have enough of the mystery blue to work on a project I have in mind.  Keeping things as simple as possible, I decide to use just the three colors in the above photo to create a horse and rider make-do.

beginning the ticking

beginning the ticking

As I finish punching the rider, I consider the ticking possibilities.  I could tick along in parallel lines, just like the fabric and have a horizontal striped horse when I’m finished.  I think that would look nice.  Instead, I decide to punch the ticking in blocks of opposing lines for a more whimsical look.

punched and stained

punched and stained

This pattern of blocks reminds me of old quilts.

stitched, turned and pressed

stitched, turned and pressed

I want to stuff this horse and rider, so I sew the vintage-inspired ticking to the back of the horse, rider and the riders hat.  Now, I’ll be able to make a pillow.

stuffed and rocker

stuffed and rocker

I’m going to make this a rocking make-do, so using the same ticking I cover a slice of an antique wood bowl.

ready to ride

ready to ride

A mane, tail and button eye complete the horse.

back

back

I capped the ends of the rocker with coordinating fabric, added a few antique metal tacks and nails and …

front

front

…voila!  My rocking horse is (not) quite done!

The question becomes, what shall I do now?  Shall I decide that Ticking Horse is finished?  Or, does it need a set of perle cotton reins?  Does the rider need a monocle button and string over his “eye” (which doesn’t actually exist)?  I address my questions to Lilly….

hello?

hello?

…no response.  Ellis and Otis?

"go 'way"

“go ‘way”

 

What do you think?  Should I leave it as is, or do a bit more primping?  Comments/suggestions welcome!

May there be sunshine in your heart today and every day!

 

rebecca