Autumn Has Come to my September Kitchen


It seems that almost every decorative item in my September kitchen was made by my oldest daughter…she carved and painted the pumpkin with a crocheted rose that hangs by the window…

…she painted the beautiful door crown….

.  she painted the plates and pitcher on the large shelf…

…in fact, she painted and distressed the shelf itself.

Also on the shelf is a miniature house and figures that the two youngest grandchildren always loved. They liked peeking in the window and seeing Grandma and Grandpa peeling apples.

My favorite of all is a piece that is up all year round in the kitchen.  My daughter painted an old dresser drawer depression green and used it to house a tiny 1930s era kitchen with vintage Tootsie Toy stove, sink, refrigerator and table.  She added so many details which I love such as a clock, a calendar, light fixture  and sink skirt.  There’s a tiny dishcloth on the sink, a grease jar on the stovetop and canisters on the shelf.  I use the bottom section of the drawer to store some 6 inch quilts.  I smile whenever I look at this little kitchen.


Now, I’m ready for bright blue skies, changing leaves, and cooler weather outside with a lot of baking inside in my September kitchen.

Garden Flag Made from Canvas Duck Fabric

I have a small garden flag stand beside my front walk and have a lot of nice seasonal flags for it, but I was never able to find a flag with a harness horse on it.  This past week, I bought some canvas duck fabric at JoAnn’s to make a floor cloth and thought I would try making a small banner out of this material, using the same general procedure I have used for floor cloths.

The duck canvas gets several coats of Gesso to provide a good surface for painting.  The design is painted with acrylic paint and inked with a Sharpie fine or ultra-fine pen on the canvas and then several coats of clear satin acrylic varnish are applied.

I cut a piece of fabric for the back from an old county fair panel I’ve had for years.  This was also coated with the varnish.

This piece is something of an experiment for me since I know the process works well for indoor floor mats and the acrylic works well for outdoor wood items, but I’ve never combined the two processes before.

I like the banner very much.  The barn is from a photograph of the horse barn my father had for his harness horses for many years.

It was a gathering place for the family in the 1950s and 60s, especially during county fair time when everyone congregated.

I’ll see how this banner works out in all kinds of weather and I may be making a few more throughout the year.

County Fair Table Topper

In a previous post, I wrote about resurrecting some old decorative art sketches to make pen and ink panels for a tri-stand quilt rack.  That post is here:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/july-4th-parade-tri-stand-mini-quilts/

I thought I’d give another favorite sketch a try and made a panel for my larger mini-quilt rack using a design from 1996.  I thought it would be nice to do a crazy-quilt border using actual fair award ribbons.  Although I have a box full of county and state fair ribbons I‘ve won through the years, I didn’t want to cut those up.  Luckily, my daughter found a box of Montgomery County award ribbons (Dayton, Ohio) in an antique mall and I used some of those.

It’s rather ironic that I’m using ribbons from this fair because it was a major event that we attended all the time I was growing up in the 1930s-40s.  I even posted about their big Labor Day Fair here:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/labor-day-in-the-1930s-40s/

I added strip borders and quilted in gold thread to match the lettering on the ribbons…

…and a sleeve, label and binding.

Back in 1996, I had made several wood projects with this design to sell in our craft mall booth.  It was like meeting an old friend again after all these years.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

July 4th Parade Tri-Stand Mini-Quilts

In the 1990s, my oldest daughter and I had a booth in a large craft mall in Cincinnati.  My contributions were mainly decorative art painted on vintage wood pieces and enamelware.  We had the booth for over 4 years and I made and sold countless pieces with designs sometimes from pattern books but mostly from my own sketches.  I’m not painterly at all and just did my thing with pen and ink accentuated with acrylic painting.

Although I haven’t painted anything since 1998, I kept all of my sketches and designs and thought I might be able to incorporate some of them into pieces for wall hangings or my mini-quilt racks.  First, I scanned the sketch which was bigger than I wanted for this project ….

…and then, using a light box, I went over the basic elements of the sketch with pencil.  I then scanned this sketch, made it the size I wanted and printed it onto June Tailor Colorfast Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet Printers.

I left the paper backing on the printed panel and painted the design with acrylic paint thinned with water.  When the piece was dry, I went over it and added details with an ultra-fine point Sharpie pen.  Then, the piece was pressed to set the colors and the paper backing was removed.

These panels were combined with strips of fabric to make them the correct size for my Tri-Stand table topper.  I added batting, binding, a sleeve and a label to complete the panels.  I also added a patriotic button to each that I found half-price at Joann’s.

I was pleased with how the panels turned out and since I don’t intend to wash them, the colors should stay vibrant for a long time.  It made me happy to be able to use an old familiar sketch again and to be able to do a little painting.

This particular design was used for 5 different projects which were sold from our booth.

Happy Thanksgiving

In the 1990s, my oldest daughter and I had a booth at a large craft mall which we kept supplied with a variety of handmade crafts.  My interest was in decorative painting.  I liked to scour antique malls and thrift shops to find old wooden or enamelware items to paint and sold hundreds of pieces over the years.

Fast forward to 2010 and a walk through the Ohio Valley Antique Mall in Fairfield, Ohio (near Cincinnati).  In one of their beautifully decorated booths, I saw a familiar object….an enamelware platter that I had painted in 1996.  I had adapted the design from a picture in a school textbook, simplifying it and adding a few items.

I had painted the design on several projects through the years but had never kept one for myself.   A week before Thanksgiving, this old platter seemed to call to me to take it back home, so I bought it and after 14 years, it’s on display in my living room.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYBODY.

Granddaughter at her First Grade Thanksgiving Dinner

Hens and Roosters

I spent the first 11 years of my life in a downtown Cincinnati apartment and had very little acquaintance with chickens, but I was always fascinated by them.  Our Grandma lived in rural Vandalia outside of Dayton, Ohio, and she had lots of chickens.  When we weren’t trying to avoid getting pecked by them or trying to chase them from the outhouse before we went in, we sometimes got to feed them.  I notice in this 1942 picture that Mother had made my little sister and me short sets for the summer.  This was very unusual because although my parents married as teenagers, my 20-something father went back to the early 1900s for his rules and he didn’t like to see his women in slacks or shorts.

We saw chickens in wooden crates in the butcher shop at the old Sixth Street market but otherwise, our only contact though the years has been at  county fairs. 

For Mother’s Day in 1994, my oldest daughter made two handpainted aprons for me which featured my favorite morning glories and a flamboyant rooster. 

After the aprons became worn, I cut out the painted portions, not being sure what I would do with them.    The remnants surfaced this past week and I made a wall hanging from one section – fusing the rooster and flowers onto a background fabric and adding borders. 

I didn’t want to put the other section back into a box for another 4 or 5 years, so I made a table cover with it, fusing and using a blanket stitch to sew it down. 

I like the bright colors and cheerfulness of the two pieces and especially like the idea that I’m able to get some more enjoyment out of this beautiful painting.

St. Patrick’s Day Decorations

With the help of my daughter, I have a good display of St. Patrick’s Day/Irish items.  She is good at so many things like decorative painting……

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She painted a wooden plate with a scene inspired by a photograph taken when we were in Ireland and she added our favorite border collie.

I smile to myself every time I see the plate and remember the farmhouse and those wonderful dogs herding the sheep.

She is also skilled at collages and made this one up using some unusual items.  There is some very nice fine hand quilting on this piece.

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I have a quilted wall hanging that I made, also remembering our trip to Ireland.  At a country farmhouse, women were making a huge apple tart.  In this case, I scanned a photograph and printed it on fabric.  The block is Wonderful World from Judy Martin’s Stars & Sets CD.

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Many years ago, when my daughter and I had a booth at a craft mall, I designed a scene with an Irish piper, dancers and a small brown dog.  I used the design many times on decorative painting items and tried my hand at using the design in a fusible applique picture. 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Halloween Around the House

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Thanks to the creative efforts of my two daughters, I have Halloween decorations all around the house – on walls, shelves, chairs – just about every surface.  The oldest daughter made the wreath and the three items that are on my piano – the scottie pumpkin is new this year.  Her blog at Salmagundi Express describes exactly how she carved and painted this pumpkin.  

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Some more of her work:

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The youngest daughter made the little Dracula and pumpkin man along with the door handle piece when she was a teenager.  She also made the cute candle holders.

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Her main handiwork now is crocheting the most gorgeous afghans and I have one for every occasion.  She also contributes a large number of these every year to the local Linus Project.

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I love to look around my house and see so many beautiful things that my daughters have made for me over the years.