Thursday, July 24, 2014

Assignment #2 - Piece and Hoop

Beginner Crazy Quilt Class
       Assignment #2

The class includes piecing a planned block.  The colors are neutral and mine are actually pretty light but the picture on my monitor is a lot darker than what the fabrics actually are.  I chose 4 fabrics and sorted them as light, medium light, medium, and dark.
I tried to follow Kathy's instructions for placing the pieces so the block is balanced.  There is a lot to learn in this craft.  I think a stitcher can take it as far as they want to.  I have never liked lace and ribbon too much, but I absolutely love fabric embellished by embroidery.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Crazy Quilt Class Supplies

The first assignment for the Crazy Quilt Embellishment class is to gather supplies.  Kathy gave us a list of what we will need.

I have just about everything I need in my stash already.  I'm glad of that because one think I want to do as much as I can is use my stash in every project I pursue.

Here are the frame, ribbons, threads, and other embellishments that I have chosen.

Kathy will look at my choices and make any necessary suggestions.  I'm so glad to have this kind of guidance.  Lots of times I start a project that turns into something very different than I envisioned which is sometimes NOT the direction I should have taken ~lol~  Think Glamorous Spirit Doll and you'll see what I mean in just a few days..REALLY LOL.

Anyway, this is the beginning of a long friendship. Me and Crazy Quilt.....

Friday, July 18, 2014

Our Brain Works in Mysterious Ways and a Crazy Quilt Class and Why I Love This Picture

Let me tell you why this is one of my favorite and most treasured photos that I have. It was taken in about 1988.  That's me in the middle.  My best and favorite friend ever is Phyllis who is on the right side of the picture.  This is one of the few pictures I have of me laughing.  We were sailing on Lake Syracuse. Phyllis died of cancer a few years after this picture was taken. Phyl was one of the few people that I have known that I totally enjoyed every single minute we spent together.  I could go on about my BFF and that day, but that is not what this post is about.

It's funny how certain things in our memory come back to us time and time again. I vividly remember a day when I was about 6 or 7 when my parents were planting bushes in our back yard. I remember playing in the mud from one of the holes my dad had dug.  I had put mud on my legs and was washing it off with the hose.  Who knows what game I had going on in my imagination ~ lol~.  I remember when my mother saw what I was doing she REALLY yelled at me. Something like --stopping playing around, you have work to do.  I remember thinking - What work? I'm not doing the planting- not thinking sassily just honestly.

Fast forward to growing into a hard working adult.  I have been thinking a little bit about why I do or don't do things.  It's been hard for me to cut loose in laughter except with Terry.  I always say that the reason we have been married for almost 43 years is because he makes me laugh and boy does he. It's also been hard for me to find "Me" time.  Not that I am so busy, it just has not been a mind set priority.

I have always loved Crazy Quilt and embroidery. When Kathy Shaw offered a beginning Crazy Quilt Embellishment class my first response was that I wished it was the fall when I am not so busy.  Really.  Not so busy in the fall with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas coming! For a split second that day in the back yard playing in the mud crossed my mind.  Is that crazy or what. I had a pretty crappy childhood so I am always psyching out why I think and do things. Here was Kathy, an accomplished Crazy Quilter, offering a FREE class.  Why wasn't I jumping at the chance to have "ME" time learning a skill that I have always wanted to accomplish.  So, I went back and signed up.  I have a new mindset about life in general.  In the past year the health issues of several people that are really close to me have made me realize that I have missed a lot of opportunities.  Thank you Kathy for making this opportunity available to me and thank you ME for taking advantage of it.

Back to that picture up there.  I keep it on my bulletin board in my craft room.  I look at it often. 
Because I miss Phyl.
Because it was a carefree day at the lake. (I love the lake)
Because it captures a side of me that I have not let surface very often.
All of that.

But now I am going to look at it as a reminder that it's okay to enjoy myself and take time for ME.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Surprise Gift for Someone Special

I've known her for two years.
She only liked dainty post earrings.
Then he bought her a dangley pair.
She called them her new obsession.

Out came my beads and tools.

Don't you love it when the person that you
make a gift for is surprised and treasures it!

What gifts do you like to make?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 4th was Tyson's Birthday

July 4th was Tyson's first birthday and boy did our neighborhood throw him a party!!

Music could be heard from all directions. Loud bangs from M80s went off everywhere.  There were LOTS of aerials when it got dark.  We saw them from the firework stand that's 1 mile away.  We saw the ones that the houses on the river set off over the water.  And of course neighbors on every side of us got in on the celebration.  How did they know it was Tyson's day?!?

But Tyson was not impressed.  In fact he was scared to death.  He hid behind Terry's chair.  Then he got behind mine.  Then he found a cubby hole next to the couch and the wall.  When he wasn't hiding I was hugging him.  He didn't get to sleep until WAY after 1 AM.

Usually if Tyson is nervous he his calmed by his Daddy's presence. But Corey and Brandi went off to Chicago early in the day to enjoy the antics happening in Chi-Town.  They pack their bikes on their car and make a day and night of it.  They chugged in about 3 AM.

This is a picture taken July 5.  They are both SACKED OUT!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Storm Damage July 1, 2014

At 1:00 AM on July 1 a storm roared though our area.  We were lucky because it grew in strength as it roared east and turned into a tornado about 50 miles east of area.
We woke up to very large branches down in our back yard.  The tree they broke from is rotted at the top.  We will have to think about topping it or taking it down.
A few months ago I posted this picture from when the electric company trimmed or removed trees in our area.  This picture was taken as the crew removed the large tree on the left.  They left the smaller tree next to it.  In the picture it is the tree directly under the guy in the bucket and it IS a tall tree.  Well, that tree broke off at the bottom during the storm and landed just next to the house next door.  Lucky for them that the only damage to their home was from a branch that broke a window in the bay window in the living room.

We were all so lucky.  There we lots of trees in our neighbor hood that were felled or left broken.  You could hear chains saws in every direction.  As you can imagine we were left without electricity.  We were only out for about 13 hours but many in the area are not expected to have power returned until Saturday night.

The only good thing I can say about the storm is that it is bringing cooler air and the humidity level has dropped to the comfortable zone and is expected to continue until Monday when more rain is expected.  Our area set a record for the second highest rainfall on record for the month of June.  I fear that we will suffer when the cost of produce skyrockets due to the effect of all this rain in the fields.

BUT!!!!! We WILL be able to work in the yard and believe me, my pond area looks like a rain forest.

Hope everyone reading this dodged Nature's Fury.

Friday, June 20, 2014


This is a picture of my father-in-law taken a couple of summers ago. He is 89.  His name is Henry. Some call him Hank.  At my house we all him Biggy Papa,  a title long ago given to the oldest living grandfather in Terry's family.  I am extremely fond of this man and I love him very much. Thoughts of my reflecting start with him today.

My blog friend Penny posted today about another thing she is grateful for.  That made me realize how much I have been thinking about being grateful.

Sometimes I slip off the blog wagon.  My recent absence has been due to my encounter with a ruthless allergy season.  It started with Terry because on May 22 we discovered that his had developed into pneumonia.  By the time we went back to our doctor for Terry's follow-up a week later, I was in the throws of a horrible respiratory infection that just would not respond to medicine. We were both  pretty sick for weeks.  Terry never had any trouble sleeping but the meds I was on caused me to remain awake most of the nights that I was fighting it, though I did catch up during the day.  Many times I found myself looking at Terry in the middle of the night thinking how much I love him and how worried I was about HIS health. Terry retired in January,(but in truth his health has failed some and it became apparent that he would no be able to continue to work).

This illness zapped his strength, and mine pretty badly and it was kind of scary.  We were starting to wonder if we would EVER have any energy. Then just when we were STARTing to recover our home started to feel IT'S aches and pains.. sewer problems from roots from the old trees next door, a pipe leak under the bathroom floor and then one in the laundry room.  Corey learned a lot about plumbing in the last few weeks under Terry's guidance.

Then the left punch landed.  They found a spot on my father-in-laws lung that tested positive for cancer.
Thyroid cancer. Prostate cancer and now lung cancer. All at the same time.  He only has one half of one lung able to function and uses oxygen all the time.  At first the doctors thought they would use some new technique to zap the lung cancer, but that was postponed.  A group of doctors will discuss treatment and tell him next week.

So, as you might guess, today I am reflecting on so many things I am grateful for.

Gratitude is like a web. One thought just attaches to another. Grateful to be married to Terry--that Terry is getting well--that we have a wonderful and knowledgeable doctor--that Corey lives with us and is able and willing to help when needed--and on and on and on.

Make your things to be grateful for like a web....or like the 5 degrees to Kevin Bacon thing...but think about them often and soon your thoughts will be spiraling one thing to the next.

Be well, be happy and please leave a comment today.  I'm feeling a bit disconnected because I have been reading all your posts when I could but fell short a little in the communication department.