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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Small Blessings

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious and quite.  My husband, daughter and I drove to my sister's house and spent the day with her family.  She prepared a wonderful feast and we spent the afternoon visiting and playing with my niece's darling children. 

Today my husband and I spent the day with our daughter.  They tiled her back splash in her kitchen.  I watched and cut out a lap quilt.  My goal is to finish piecing the lap quilt this weekend.  That is if the weather forecast still says RAIN.  We have been having unusually warm weather for southeast Michigan and if it doesn't RAIN - then I need to finish working and cutting back my flower beds and prepare them for the winter season...

I recently purchased this cutting from a 1940s quilt.  I plan to purchase red fabric for the back and make a long pillow for my family room couch.  Being a basketmaker I thought the fabric was meant to be....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessing



Psalm 111
Praise the Lord.  I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who have pleasure in them. Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures for ever. He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy, they are established for ever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant for ever. Holy and terrible is his name! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures for ever!



Thanksgiving Blessing

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Wonderful Surprise

Hello blogging friends.  I've been without a computer for two weeks and boy did I miss it.  I've been able to post a few comments with my daughter's Ipad, but I was challenged when it came to uploading photos.  I received a wonderful report two weeks ago from my oncologist that my cancer no longer appears on my lungs.  The spots of my liver are smaller - I have another scan in January to review and discuss the next steps.  We are encouraged and thankful to family and friends for their continued support and prayers.  Being a Christian woman, I believe in God and that he has a plan for each and everyone we just need to hang on and follow his plan.

Approximately three weeks ago I was fortunate to win gifts from Earlene of Primitive Passions.  Thank you Earlene for your kind delivery.  Isn't this adorable.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

History of Cranberries

The cranberry, along with the blueberry and Concord grape, is one of North America's three native fruits that are commercially grown. Cranberries were first used by Native Americans, who discovered the wild berry's versatility as a food, fabric dye and healing agent. Today, cranberries are commercially grown throughout the northern part of the United States and are available in both fresh and processed forms.

The name "cranberry" derives from the Pilgrim name for the fruit, "craneberry", so called because the small, pink blossoms that appear in the spring resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane. European settlers adopted the Native American uses for the fruit and found the berry a valuable bartering tool.

American whalers and mariners carried cranberries on their voyages to prevent scurvy. In 1816, Captain Henry Hall became the first to successfully cultivate cranberries. By 1871, the first association of cranberry growers in the United States had formed, and now, U.S. farmers harvest approximately 40,000 acres of cranberries each year.

The History of Cranberry Production
In 1910 the more efficient, but still labor intensive, rocker scoop replaced earlier scoops used to harvest cranberries.

Of all fruits, only three - the blueberry, the Concord grape and the cranberry can trace their roots to North American soil.

The cranberry helped sustain Americans for hundreds of years. Native Americans used cranberries in a variety of foods, the most popular was pemmican - a high protein combination of crushed cranberries, dried deer meat and melted fat - they also used it as a medicine to treat arrow wounds and as a dye for rugs and blankets.

Cultivation of the cranberry began around 1816, shortly after Captain Henry Hall, of Dennis, Massachusetts, noticed that the wild cranberries in his bogs grew better when sand blew over them. Captain Hall began transplanting his cranberry vines, fencing them in, and spreading sand on them himself. When others heard of Hall's technique, it was quickly copied. Continuing throughout the 19th century, the number of growers increased steadily.

Cranberries are a unique fruit. They can only grow and survive under a very special combination of factors: they require an acid peat soil, an adequate fresh water supply, sand and a growing season that stretches from April to November, including a dormancy period in the winter months that provides an extended chilling period, necessary to mature fruiting buds.

Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. Instead, they grow on vines in impermeable beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay. These beds, commonly known as "bogs," were originally made by glacial deposits.

Normally, growers do not have to replant since an undamaged cranberry vine will survive indefinitely. Some vines in Massachusetts are more than 150 years old.

In addition to Massachusetts, the major growing areas for cranberries are New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, and in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Quebec. Additional regions with cranberry production include Delaware, Maine, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, as well as the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island. Altogether the entire cranberry industry is supported by approximately 47,000 acres, of which 14,000 are in Massachusetts.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pumpion Pie from Colonial Times

Take about half a pound of Pumpion and slice it, a handfull of tyme, a little rosemary, parsley and sweet marjorum slipped off the stalks, and chop them small, then take the cynamon, nutmeg, pepper and six cloves, and beat them, take ten eggs and beat them, then mix them and beat them all together and put in as much sugar as you think fit, then fry them like a froize*, after it is fryed, let it stand till it be cold, then fill your pye, take sliced apples thinne round wayes, and lay a rowe of the froize, and layer the apples with currents betwixt the layer while your pye is fitted, and put in a good deal of sweet Butter before you close it, when pye is baked, take six yelks of eggs, some whitewine or vergis*, and make a caudle* of this, but not too thick, cut up the lid and put it in, stir them well together whilst the eggs and pumpions be not perceived and so serve it up.

*froize = a kind of pancake or omelet
*vergis = verjuice, juice from unripened grapes or from crab apples or other sour fruit
*caudle = a warm spiced and sugared drink

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Treasure

I was recently given this beautiful spinning wheel from my mother.  Isn't it lovely.
My mother is 89 years young.  She is a treasure to be with. 

LOVE IS A HEART GIFT

Love is a Heart Gift that cannot be bought or sold
For any amount of silver of gold
And there could never be another who loves more deeply than a Mother

Helen Steiner Rice

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Early Birthday Present

Well I could not stay away. I had a good week and a little break from treatment, so my husband and I took a drive in the country to get one more look at the fall colors before all of the leaves drop. Michigan's warm weather days are a thing of the past. While we were out we decided to stop by our favorite antique mall in Howell.  We picked out a few pieces as an early birthday present.

Top of Rack











Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Welcome Fall



Could not resist posting these beautiful photos.  Indian Summer has arrived in Michigan - 70's all week long.  I'm hopeful that I will be able to get out a little this weekend and work in my flower beds and prepare them for the cooler season. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Where Have I Been

It's been a month or more since my last post.  I decided to take a little break over the next few months due to my treatments.  It's been difficult to post and research daily blogs.  I hope that my small group of followers will keep in touch and look for a return post sometime in December.  Going thru treatment confines me to home and doesn't allow much time away from to post photos. 

Blessings to All,

Debbie

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prayers

Its been a difficult time for my family since my last post.  We found out this past Wednesday that my chemotherapy treatments over the last nine weeks didn't work.  My cancer has spread although my oncologist said it's nothing like my initial diagnosis in 2008.  So we picked up our chins and discussed the next step.  I will be start this Wednesday with a chairside treatment for 3 hours then come home with a fanny pack machine which will pump chemotherapy in my system for 48 hours.  It's a rough regiment, but I know that I can handle anything due to my faith and relationship with God.  I have been researching diets for patients with cancer and searching for answers.  I'm fortunate to have a strong and supportive family and friends.  My time at out of the house over the next three months will be limited.  I plan to make the most out of my good days and survive this bump in the road.

I was able to get out yesterday and stopped by the Goodwill for found this lovely pitcher from England for $7.00.  Makes a lovely addition to my current collection of Ironstone. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

UFP

UFP you are wondering what that stands for - Unfinished projects.  How many of you have UFP's sitting around in your home?  I have to many - unfinished baskets, unfinished crafts and unfinished quilt projects.  Every year my two sister-in-laws participate in the Northern Michigan Relief Sale Color Challenge which is held in Mio, Michigan the 1st weekend of August.  Participants are encouraged to submit your finished project.  The project consists of five fabrics to complete the project.  You may also add up to five additional fabrics.  Your finished project can be any size up to 40 x 40 inches.  Proceeds from the sale benefit missionaries in the field.  Included is a photo of my fabric stash.  I will keep you posted of my progress and post the finished project soon.  Also are two photos of quilt squares sewn by my grandmother.  I believe each are at least 50 years old.  Any suggestions on how to incorporate them for other projects?

Fabric Stash
Square from Grandmother

Square from Grandmother


Monday, August 8, 2011

Colonial Weekend

Colonial Kensington - Actors will portray settlers and American Indians bring Michigan's history to life as the two day event kicks off at Martindale Beach in Kensington Metropark, a few miles east of Brighton, Michigan at 2240 W. Buno Road.  The event highlights include more than 200 costumed re-enactors representing the years 1700 - 1796.  18th century merchants selling authentic and reproduction home decorations, clothing and toys, music instruments and Punch and Judy theater entertainment.  The 18th century crafts and demonstrations including carpentry, medicine, blacksmith, tinsmith, candle making, cooking, quilting, sewing, woodcarving and storytelling.  The event will be held August 13 - 14, 2011. 

Doesn't this sound like fun.........

BACK YARD GARDEN PHOTOS






Thursday, August 4, 2011

Not much to post this week.  This was my third week of chemotherapy and last week really knocked my socks off.  I didn't recover until the weekend rolled around.  Yesterday I had another infusion and was surprised to sit next to a former co-worker.  We were diagnosed within 6 months of each other over three years ago and lost track of each over while going thru treatment.  Monday I attended my first group support meeting at the Cancer Support Community and found it to be extremely helpful to talk to current patients who are experiencing the same symptoms and fears.  We meet once a month.

Now I'm going to have a two week break for chemotherapy and that's a little slice of heaven.  It will allow my levels to come back to normal and give me a break and have my quality of life back in place.  I plan to start basket weaving again and working on a few quilting projects for Christmas presents. 

I hope to post again next.  Thanks so all for your well wishes and good thoughts.

Friday, July 29, 2011

History of Civil War Quilts

Union and Confederate women rallied to the war effort when the Civil War broke out in 1861. Patriotic fervor abounded with both sides certain the war would be short and decisive.

Great Fairs For the Northern Cause

Great fairs were held in the North and quilts were among the more expensive items made and donated. Craft bazaars were already a way to raise funds for churches and other causes. Most of the items sold involved sewing. Now that effort went to the war.
typical of gunboat quilt
Although there were some who frowned on the idea of women being involved in any commercial venture patriotism won out as fairs became more and more elaborate. Women created beautiful quilts often of fine fabrics like silk. Album quilts and Flag quilts were popular styles. There is even mention of silk Log Cabin quilts. These fairs brought in a great deal of money to help buy needed supplies for the Union.

Gun Boat Quilts for the South

Southern women did what they could to help buy desperately needed gunboats. Excitement was high as communities competed to raise money for this urgent cause. Beautiful Gunboat Quilts* were made. Some of these displayed elaborate medallion style floral arrangements cut from printed fabric. The motifs were cut out and appliqu├ęd to solid fabric. This method is called broderie perse and requires very fine sewing skills. Through fairs, raffles and donations southern women raised enough money to pay for three of these ironclad gunboats.

During the spring of 1862 the enthusiasm for this confederate project waned when naval defeats made it likely that seaports would fall to the enemy. It was decided that the funds should go for medical supplies for soldiers instead. The war would continue for three desolating years with southern women's energy going primarily to help their soldiers.

Sanitary Commission Quilts in the North

Unfortunately the war that was supposed to "only spill a thimble-full of blood" drug out over four devastating years. It soon became obvious that there was a desperate need for clothing and blankets for Union soldiers.
Civil War quilts for soldiers
Northern women were accustomed to gathering together and sewing for a cause. Church and abolitionist groups simply changed their focus to helping soldiers. Many thousands of soldiers' aid societies were formed. An organization called the Sanitary Commission was established to do what was possible to prevent the death of soldiers from disease and injury. As the urgent need for soldiers' bedding became apparent the Sanitary Commission added the collection and distribution of donated quilts and comforts to their activities.

At first family quilts were donated but very quickly women begun to produce quilts specifically for the war effort. The military had requested that quilts be made about seven feet by four feet, the convenient size for a military cot and bedding pack. Many quilts were made from available fabrics and sometimes quilts were made by cutting up two existing bed quilts and sewing them into three cot quilts. Eventually money had to be raised to buy the fabric to make soldiers' bedding as existing materials were used up. By the end of the war it is estimated that over 250,000 quilts and comforts had been made for Union soldiers.

Southern Women Made Clothing and Blankets From Almost Nothing

Southern women were somewhat hindered in producing bedding for soldiers because they did not have a tradition of sewing for causes and the wealthier women were used to having slaves to do the everyday sewing. Nevertheless many of these women learned to sew and pitched in to help their soldiers. Once prewar textiles were used up fabric became scarce. The South could not get goods in through their ports and had no real manufacturing base of their own. Calico was said to cost as much as $25 a yard toward the end of the war. Eventually women had to make homespun fabric, a much slower process. Old mattresses were torn apart for fiber to spin. Even carpets were cut up and made into blankets for soldiers.

So Few Surviving Quilts

Just a very few of the quilts made for soldiers have survived. As you can imagine these quilts got a great deal of wear and probably did not seem worth saving after the war. Many completely wore out. If you add to that the fact that many soldiers were buried in their quilts you can understand why these quilts are extremely rare today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Simply Primitive

 Living Room

 Dining Room

Cabinet in Dining Room

 Jug

Tobacco Basket
Purchased during HGTV Longest Yard Sale

Monday, July 25, 2011

University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center ranks No. 13 in the country for treating cancer

UM Comprehensive Cancer is very near and dear to my heart.  I continue to receive excellent care from this facility.

Overall, U-M earns a spot on national Honor Roll for 17th straight year; ranked No. 1 in Detroit metro area

-added 07/19/2011
Ann Arbor - The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center was ranked No. 13 among cancer programs nationwide by U.S. News & World Report magazine. It is the only hospital in Michigan ranked nationally for cancer care.
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center ranks No. 13 in country for treating cancer
Learn more:
View the rankings.
Overall, the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers was ranked 14th for the third consecutive year. U-M was also ranked No. 1 in the Detroit metropolitan area, both overall and for cancer care.
The results, released online today, mark the 17th year in a row that U-M has been named to the honor roll of "America's Best Hospitals." The hospital is the only one in Michigan ranked among the 14 institutions on the national honor roll, which signifies all-around excellence in multiple areas of specialized medical care.
Cancer is one of 16 specialties U.S. News ranks individually. U-M earned a high national ranking in all 16 categories. Of the 4,825 hospitals considered for the rankings, only 140 made the list in even one specialty.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Baskets, baskets, baskets

As you can see from my previous post, I love baskets.  I've been weaving for over 15 years.  Below are photos of baskets in our home.  Enjoy....
Market Basket

Egg Basket

Market Basket

Pumpkin Basket

Fishing Basket

Gourd Basket


Americana Basket

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Colonial Craft of Basketmaking

Colonial Williamsburg basketmaker Richard Carr working white oak into strips.
COLONIAL AMERICANS used baskets to haul grain, store sewing implements, and carry vegetables, fruits, and eggs. By the eighteenth century, the need for baskets had fostered a thriving English industry. Full-time basketmakers, members of a large and powerful guild that tried relentlessly to boost output and income, supplied much of the demand for their nation and its American colonies. Each basketmaker tended to specialize in a type of basket.
English basketmakers shipped many of their goods to America. Usually, people in cities and towns bought and used them. In rural areas, colonists often made their own.  
Terry Thon weaving strips into a basket; technique determines a tight or loose weave. Farm basketmaking began early in Virginia's history and remained a common part of rural life until about World War II. After the conflict, a changing economy led country people to leave for cities. Rural basketry began to wane.

Colonial basketmakers fashion basket types common in eighteenth-century Virginia, including square and round-bottomed models, small and large. The preferred construction material is white oak. It has a straight grain and is strong, flexible, and durable.  Once basketmakers have a tree, they fell it and take a five- to six-foot section. Using mallets, wedges, and knives, they reduce the trunk to long, thin strips of wood to weave into a basket, starting from the bottom. When the sides are raised, they finish with a rim. Weaving should be snug. The key is to achieve the right tightness without unduly straining the wood. A basket for harvesting field crops might have large gaps to let rocks and dirt sift out. Other baskets might require a tight weave and a top to retain small items, like sewing pins.
People in the 1700s saw baskets as strictly utilitarian objects.