It’s Souvenir Time in my May Kitchen

My oldest daughter has traveled extensively and in the 1990s, I went along on trips to Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland.  In addition to the souvenirs we brought home, we have pieces that we painted about 20 years ago.  The Dutch and Irish souvenirs are displayed earlier in the year, but these treasures make up the decorations in my May kitchen.

My daughter’s folk art painting of a Swiss Alpine scene…

…my hand-painted wooden German spice set and some German beer steins…

….a music box and some small souvenirs from Switzerland …

…some Dutch souvenirs that stay up all year, German plaques, and two of my hand-painted wooden pieces….

…..pieces from Germany, Austria, England, Hungary and Switzerland in the window area over the sink….

….lots of little Schnapps glasses which are easy to bring home on the plane….

….and one of my daughter’s painted pieces that holds jars of staples and is in the kitchen year-around.

It’s fun to look around the kitchen all through the month of May and be reminded of so many beautiful places and times.

A Patchwork Memory Jacket

This is the first quilted jacket I made.  About 7 years ago, I was very new at quilting and was looking for anything I could find around the house to use as practice projects.

About 25 years ago, my oldest daughter had embellished my black square dance skirt with her gorgeous hand-painted and embroidered work.  When the skirt was no longer wearable, I cut out all of the hand-worked panels, not knowing what I would do with them.  When they surfaced again while I was looking for things to quilt, I had my answer.

I made the jacket first out of patchwork squares with colors that coordinated with the embroidered panels…

…then appliqued the panels onto the jacket.  At that time, I didn’t have the skill to piece the panels into the patchwork design.

The design that had been on the center front of my skirt was a beautiful rendering of swans and I used those as a panel on the back where there was plenty of room.

When I was making the jacket, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, so I just used a sweatshirt as the lining.  It has become a piece that I keep back for special occasions and if I were making it now, I would put much more thought into a lining that would complement the jacket.

The colors don’t come through too well but this is really an exciting, beautiful jacket and one that is filled with memories.  My husband passed away six years ago, but we had so much fun going to square dances and whenever I wore the skirt, I spent quite a bit of time standing still so the other women could circle around me, admiring each beautiful panel with my daughter’s handiwork.

Lunch and a Surprise Gift

Today I was invited to lunch by my oldest daughter and her long-time friend, S.E.  We met at the Silverton Cafe (Cincinnati),  home of extraordinary double-decker sandwiches. After we had ordered, S.E. handed me a beautiful gift box and this was inside:

This 3-1/4 inch pie looks so good you can almost smell the home-baked aroma.  S.E. hand-carved this out of basswood and painted it in a very realistic way.

The holder was her ingenious idea of a piece of an old bed spring.

The carving and painting are beautiful front and back.

The gift is especially touching to me because S.E. remembered that I love to bake pies – a real treasure.

And the sandwich was delicious!