Dreaming of Christmas

Me and MLW

A Florida Christmas many, many moons ago!

Here I am hanging the wonderful (Vogue Knitting) stocking that my mother made and my cousin with her “Florida stocking”! My grandparents wintered not far from Disney World and each year sent money to their daughters for a trip to Florida – or to put in the savings account. The two of us, the youngest of all the cousins, loved the (overnight) trip down on the train, from Trenton, New Jersey. Seeing poinsettia growing in the ground, having molded ice cream every night for dessert at the clubhouse and generally being spoiled by all the older people in the neighborhood was our idea of great fun.

Hope you all have a special Christmas…

Summer Memories…

Kerry, who writes Love Those Hands at Home, recently shared an old photo and Summer memories from her childhood. She suggested that we do so as well. Easily done, as some years ago I digitalized a bunch of slides that my father took long ago. I so enjoy looking at them. Maybe you will enjoy a taste of a 1950’s country Summer.

I had a very happy childhood and feel so grateful for it. I was a pretty naughty little girl; I adored my brother, detested my sister and gave my mother fits. But when I was happy, I was really happy!

Debbie's tricycle

This is a priceless picture and I am so interested in it. My father had a complicated and heavy 35mm camera which my mother rarely touched. For some reason Dad must have wanted picture of he and my brother and I in the wading pool and made Mom be the photographer. There are several shots of him giving me a drink from the hose and squirting my belly and then this one! You can see how horrified my brother was and for good reason. I have no memory of this so I can’t say what happened next. I’m sure it was like A Christmas Story with my father saying “Oh fudge” many times!

Dad gets squirted

When I was a bit older, the Summer was all about going to my Grandparents’ pool. Their farm was behind our house and going there included seeing my favorite cousin. I can remember staying in the water so long that my lungs ached! I am on the right, enjoying the cool, cool water from the spring down the hill and probably refusing to come out.

Me & MLW

So – do any of my readers want to share happy Summer photos and link with Kerry and I? You don’t have to be as old as I am to post some fun pictures…

Fiber & Cats

When looking through my digitized slides and photographs the other day, I came across a bunch of silly cat pictures… If you have cat/s, you know that they love fiber and must be in the center of it all, supervising or testing. For you cat lovers, here are some of our kitties over the years including a bit of history of my life creating textiles…

These are the kittens we called Big Boy, Little Boy and Caraway. We brought their mother, who was hugely pregnant, in from our apartment complex parking lot and she had these 3 before we’d even decided what to do! (Kept Caraway, and gave away the other three.) This is vintage 1970’s fiber, showing a latch hooked rug of my own design as well as a wool coiled basket. The basket was appropriated by Sassafrass (below) and never was completed.

Three kittens

And here is the very naughty Sassafrass, who was the first kitten we adopted who survived, sleeping on some wool shawls that were just off the loom. She was the Queen Bee for 19 years! She took it upon herself to nip every kitten we got after her in the ear – a sort of a I-guess-I’ll-let-you-stay marking.

Sassafrass on a shawl

We’ve had many cats who like to sit on the loom on whatever piece is in progress. This is Caraway on my first set of looper rugs. She was always a tiny girl because her mother was so malnourished.

Caraway & looper rug

Basil was one of our dearest cats. He was a stray who wandered to our back door one cold November night and was one of the most affectionate cuddlers we’ve ever had. He is napping on a Peter Collingswood double corduroy rug in progress. Yow – whatever was I thinking??? It was a gorgeous rug but how was I planning to keep it clean with four cats? I made it to replace the latch hooked rug and it only lasted a few years until it was just too catty. (That dragging the rug on new fallen snow business didn’t work for cleaning this rug.)

Basil on double corduroy rug

Widget is sitting on the diningroom table in Shanghai, China (a poor scan of a poor photo!). On the wall behind her is one of my entirely hand-made quilts. The pattern is called nosegay and is a favorite of mine. The plain colors were dyed to match the printed fabrics, which you cannot see. The shiny bits are buttons. Widget was a wonderful cat and was good company for me (along with Schminky) when we lived in Asia. She lived in three counties and three states and spent 17 years with us.


Jasmine just likes to be in the middle of whatever project I am working on.

Jasmine quilting

Gizmo is  more of an equipment and procedure guy. He likes to get in things and sleep in them. This is a rug hooking frame!

Gizmo framed!

He also likes to make sure that I get my dyeing recipes done correctly and clean up well after I’m done.

Gizmo dyeing

This last picture has nothing to do with fiber, but I had to include it. This is Kascha, our only dog, sleeping with Schminky, her best friend. Schminky grew up with Kascha and we were fairly sure that she thought she was a dog. Kascha would run after the frisbee and Schminky would run after her and they would end up in a flying heap as Kascha tripped over her. Most nights they slept together. It was a sad day for Schminky and Peter and I when we had to give Kascha up before we moved to Asia. Schminky was never quite the same.


I know many of you have animal helpers and couldn’t manage without their aid. I hope you’ll add a comment or link to your post of animals and fiber in your life.

Merry Christmas from the 50’s

50's Christmas

This is how Christmas looked in the late 1950’s. Pictured are my cousin, my sister and my mother. I am the one wearing the red shoes with ankle straps!!!! Though I don’t remember them, I am sure I adored them. In the old days, all kids wore “sensible shoes” like Buster Browns or saddle shoes. They had to tie and have good arch support. Sneakers were only for summer and sports and Mary Janes only for dress-up!

This was a Florida Christmas, hence the orange bag stocking.

And here is the very 50’s thing in the picture – – – my mother and my sister and I are wearing matching dresses! We often had them for holidays and my mother often sewed them.

Not pictured are the menfolk, wearing string ties which my mother made! {really!}  They were very elegant and sewn with sequins and beads. I am going to have to carefully search the photos to see if I can find anyone wearing one. My father quite liked wearing his as he never liked tied ties.

Hope you all have a memorable Christmas………….

Another Happy Birthday…

… to my favorite cousin! She is celebrating a very big birthday today, but of course when you get to my age, it seems like everyone is having big birthdays. I made her a photo book and thought you’d enjoy some very old pictures. My grandparents had three girls. M and I were the youngest of the second and third daughters and lived a stone’s throw from each other. We spent lots of time together.

Here we are at the smallest kids’ table at my grandparents farmhouse for some Spring birthday or other. I’m on the left.

Kids dinner

I thought this picture would tickle you. For many Christmases when we were young, we visited our grandparents at their winter home in Florida and in those days, traveling was a dressy affair. Check out these outfits! I would also like to explain that since we were the youngest, we got hand me downs from the older cousins….

Train trip

When in Florida, one of our favorite things to do was be driven in Poppie’s golf cart. Here we are with my uncle, M’s father.

Uncle Eddie drives

I went to summer “sleep away” camp for many years. My cousin did not, but my parents invited her for a visiting day one year. I was terrifically excited and I remember making her a name tag out of macaroni in the craft shack.

Camp visit

We did, and do have happy times together. Here’s to many, many more years of fun!

Hugging cousins

{we are the youngest and the best!}

A Very Happy Birthday….

to my big brother! He’s celebrating a Big Birthday today and I’m sending lots of hugs his way. I have a lot of slides of our family, mostly taken by my father, which I had digitized. It’s such a walk down memory lane to look at them. Isn’t he a cutie?

Baby Mac

I love this picture. We often went to Florida for Christmas to be with one set of Grandparents and he is driving my mother to dinner in Poppie’s golf cart. We all loved that cart!

Florida visit

He played football in high school and so my mother usually made cakes with a football theme and added the score after the game. Since he’s smiling, I’m assuming that his team won!

Football birthday

When I was young, I absolutely idolized him! I still think he’s pretty wonderful.

Mac and me

Here’s to many more happy years.