Friday, October 27, 2017

My South Carolina Trip - family, photos, fabric, fun!

I'm finally back to posting after my trip to Greenville, South Carolina! It was great to be back home despite having a great time seeing some of my family - on both sides.

My lack of posting as soon as I returned was delayed due to sinus issues that escalated last weekend, and are still plaguing me, plus my laptop is having issues with its hard drive and will again be worked on by my trusty computer guy downtown for several days. Getting this post written will be a good thing right now!

I stayed with my sister, Cindy, where my mom lives also. I hadn't seen my sister in over two years. I was able to relax, go shopping at Jo-Ann's fabric store - YAY - and another fabric warehouse. I purchased fabric to make some lovely envelope purses and carpet bags. Photos of my fabric finds will follow below plus I've included photos of family and friends. I'll narrate briefly about each photo.

It was wonderful blessing to be able to go to church with my family at Mount Calvary Baptist Church - hear glorious music from the organ, piano, choir, and special music from the young adults - and Bible messages!

If you read a previous post of mine (see it here) about my 1948 Singer Featherweight sewing machine, you will know that "she" is named Emma Thea Rose. Well.....the lady in the middle of this photo is my cousin Thea (on my father's side - a cousin once or twice removed?). We have not seen each other for about 50 years - since I was a child! Not exaggerating! She is seven years older than me, so at that time in my childhood, we probably didn't cross paths - maybe once or twice? - it's not in my memory banks. I mostly saw her mom and dad and her aunt during those years and when there was a wedding in our family, her mom usually came. It was a thrill to be able to see Thea and get reacquainted! Thea is, of course, from Massachusetts, as we all are. She moved down to SC several years ago. Her son and family live in a nearby town. And the lady on the right is my sister, Cindy. :-)

These dear family members sitting around me belong on my husband's side. His sister, Aida is to my left. Laurie Beth - my brother-in-law's daughter - is to my right with her children (Benjamin and Kaylen) and husband (Justin). Unfortunately, Aida's daughter and family had already left the house before I thought about taking a group photo! Sorry, Caroline! We all did have a great time at Aida's that evening. Thanks, Aida, for the delicious meal!

I spent another lovely evening at Laurie Beth's house enjoying good food and company. She had asked to hear some of the piano pieces I had played for two Piano Concert Teas I had given in my home this past August (I had posted about these teas on FB). Both her children are taking lessons and they played for me as well. We also had a sewing machine lesson. She had a sewing machine stashed at Auntie Aida's house for some time, and somehow the subject of sewing came up that night, the sewing machine materialized, I gave her a quick lesson on threading the machine at Aida's - and then at her house, we had a second lesson on winding bobbins. I think she has been bitten by the sewing bug!
I also came home with some curtains! Aida pulled a pile of curtains from her archives that she had made years ago and presented them to me - made out of this cute toile fabric. I have no idea what I will make with this fabric. Any suggestions?

I selected some photos of our trip to Charleston, SC where my mom, Cindy, and I spent part of the day there (a three-hour drive from Greenville). The first photo below is of my mom, Paula. Eating ice cream was the first thing we did before walking the streets - some cobbled - and viewing the beautiful pastel houses, window boxes dripping with gorgeous blooms, palm trees, and historic buildings, including a Huguenot church that still has regular Sunday services.

 My mom and sister are walking ahead of me in the above photo.
 The next few photos are taken in the lower level of the Exchange Building - the dungeon - where prisoners were housed during the Revolutionary War. The Exchange Building was also the shipping center of Charleston.

  The photo below is of our very knowledgeable tour guide. He knew his history and dates!
 A copy of the Constitution of the United States is shown in the upstairs of the Exchange Building. The "copy" on the table was where visitors could sign their own "John Hancock" - but I decided not to. :-)
I couldn't resist taking a photo of this beautiful B&B. The flowers are gorgeous!
My dear friend, Ruth Smoke, took me out for lunch in downtown Greenville near the suspension bridge. The restaurant had tables outdoors and since it was a beautiful day, that is where we chose to eat! I've included a photo of the restaurant building below.
Here's the restaurant building - Mary's at Falls Cottage - we only went inside to use the rest room. The inside is very quaint and the food was delicious!
And the last of the family photos shown today. My sister's family and grandchildren. Husband Steve with their beautiful German shepherd dog, Dunimus, their daughter, Holly and husband Nathan - with children (L to R), Zoe, Ashlyn, and Kurt. Cindy's other daughter, Audra, is missing because she moved to New Hampshire in August! (boo hoo) I probably spelled the dog's name wrong and I didn't get a photo of Audra's gray kitty, London Fog, who stayed behind to keep doggie company. :-)

And the last of the photos are of the fabrics I purchased in SC. My cousin Thea gave me the iridescent green & blue silk. The other fabrics were purchased at the fabric warehouse. The photos don't do the fabric colors justice. All of them are beautiful.
Burgundy, gold, and silver silk pieces
 An African-style velour - stiff but soft.
 Cindy chose this red and gold tapestry for a carpet bag.
 I love this one! It's hard to tell the colors exactly, but the design is a very light mint green over a medium brown.
I'm sure there are little details I have missed that were wanting to be told from my South Carolina trip, but I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of my family and viewing a snippet of my scenic and savory time. I forgot to mention some of the savory! ooh! At Mary's restaurant, I had the most delicious version of a BLT - it had a layer of grilled salmon on it! Something for you to consider if you love salmon AND BLTs! And last of all, in Charleston over the harbor, we ate at The Fleet Landing Restaurant. I had a real southern dish of grilled shrimp over grits with brown gravy. Oh yes, it was delish! I do love grits and I do love shrimp. I must look that recipe up and try it, but will have to order grits online as it's not available in the north. I should have bought some locally. Oh well!

Till next time......
"Thou art the God who doest wonders; thou hast declared thy strength among the peoples. Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known."
Psalm 77:14,19

Monday, October 2, 2017

More on Amazima...more bags....more beads!

A happy October autumn day to you!

Up in the north country, we had been experiencing a bit of warmer weather as a second summer, but now we're back down to cooler temperatures and winds that chill - all the while wishing there was a roaring fire in the hearth to cozy up to. The leaves are getting crispy and touches of autumn colors are beginning to show. The above photo was taken a year ago when my mom was here. This is a trail in the National Park.

Since my last post, I've been working on more bags - for myself this time - as I am going on a trip! The need for new bags for my trip to South Carolina is not a necessity, but it gives me joy and happiness to have new things when I travel, especially when it involves a beautiful bag. I'm looking forward to seeing my mom and sister, Cindy, and other family members. Leaving on the 4th and returning on the 14th.

What kinds of bags do you like to use? What colors and fabrics make your heart sing?

I wanted a new backpack/tote for when I travel through the airports. Something I can sling over my shoulder, but also sling on my back when my hands are busy pulling suitcases through the airport hallways. The fur totes you see in my Etsy shop were the perfect size and shape for the backpack/tote I was envisioning in my head.

I used the same fur tote pattern, added a large front flap with swivel hook, added two inside zippered pockets, and added two straps - for shoulder and backpack use - as you can see in the photos below. It is very roomy for stowing an envelope purse, magazines, book, water bottle, and snacks!  Plus, I can use it for church to carry my envelope purse, Bible and notebook!

And yes - it's made with my most favorite fabric! The flap is adorned with a piece of black corduroy with tiny white polka dots (used for the lining as well), a piece of lace left over from my daughter's wedding gown, black lace and black and pink covered buttons. The pink buttons are from my pink velvet Victorian couch that I reupholstered some years ago with the help of my dear friend, Janie. That antique sofa is now wearing black microsuede.
Here is a close-up of the flap.
Here is the back side and the backpack straps.
Here are photos of the inside. My shop label is attached to one of the inside pockets.
Another peek of the inside.
And a close-up of the backside where I added loops for the backpack strap to fit through.
And the bottom of the bag is made with a sturdy black textured velveteen that I've also used to make one of my Victorian carpet bags sold in my Etsy shop.
And an envelope purse stitched in the same ivory textured velvet as seen in my Etsy shop. I have one and you can have one, too!
A look at the inside of the envelope purse. It has a small pocket. The folds inside can be used to hold an assortment of essential items. The strap can be stowed inside when used as a clutch or pulled out as a shoulder strap for when hands-free shopping sprees are called for.
I finished a blue suede beaded necklace last week to wear while on my trip. If this style suits your fancy, and you'd like something similar, drop me a line! It comes with matching earrings.
 Here's a close-up of the necklace and earring set.
Last time I introduced you to Amazima Ministries - about Katie Davis and her work among the Ugandan women and children. (You can read that post here.) In a small way, we all can help this ministry and these women provide for their families. In addition to praying, I purchased a paper bead necklace and bracelet. Here they are! Amazima Ministries packages them very sweetly as you can see in the following photos. I've photographed the pamphlet that came with my order so you can see - in more detail - what this ministry is doing.

I'll be packing this jewelry for my trip to South Carolina and reading again Katie's story and the beginnings of Amazima Ministries. This book will be stashed in my new backpack. As I mentioned in my previous post, her second book is coming out on October 3rd!

My next post will be published after I return from my trip. Any purchases from my Etsy shop during my vacation will be shipped out after October 15th. If you have any questions about any of the items in my shop or would like a custom piece of jewelry or special bag made, drop me a line. I will be checking my email during my stay in the States.

Have a great week! Until next time....

Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
Psalm 92:13