Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy Week After Christmas

Mary Ann Tate posted links to color pallet creation sites. That got the ball rolling. I love this panel and having a site that will select the Kona Cotton colors to use with it started my creative juices flowing.

I have signed up to participate in the CQ2015 Project. I know this panel is not a typical crazy quilt focus.  Silk ribbon has no place here which is fine with me.  Lace will probably not blend well. But I have a vision of trims and threads and exotic stitched seams.  This is more my style.  This panel makes me ecstatic .. ..excited .. makes my eye search every element of the design. It will be my main project for the year.

Then there is Madam Samm.  She started a new site..   Sew We Stitch  .  Something vintage..something cross stitched or maybe something appliqued.  Hopefully I will participate in something Madam Samm be it stitched or quilted.  I LOVE Madam Samm, who is a very gracious blog friend.

You see, I am suffering NOT from ENS, which you may know as Empty Nest Syndrome once again.
 Corey has flown the nest to make his own way.  I wish him well, but must admit I see a path back to me.

Terry has begun to renew the kitchen.  After 12 years of being a maintenance manager at a large apartment complex and a year of retirement adjustment he has again taken interest in the maintenance and upgrade of ... yay...our home.  Ceramic tile is going up in the kitchen.  The cabinet replacement will finally proceed and new tile on the floor.  He works each day until he is tired, which gives him a couple of hours a day to work and he accomplishes a lot.

Here's to More Stitching!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cyber Monday..Who Needs Black Friday

Monday was a good email day!!  So many invitations!  Verizon caught my eye.  I don't usually open their "invitations" but this time I did.  We didn't have smart phones because I never really investigated the cost of the data plans.  I thought there was a line charge PLUS the data charge. What a deal Verizon gave me, when I called to verify information in the email offer they sent.

On Wednesday we received  (2) LG G3
shared data $50 each reduced to $25 each for a year
$30 upgrade fee for each phone discounted to free

So for 12 months I cut my cell phone bill by more than 50% and got 2 free $600 phones.

I'm reading the manual on line to find out how the heck to answer it...LOL.  Not really, but there is a lot to learn.

Heck, Monday was a GREAT email day.  I opened another one.

Caron's offered a $75 leather purse for $15.  It came Wednesday.  Then my blog friend Kathy posted the Pantone color for 2015.  I'm pretty sure my new purse is pretty close to the new Marsala color. I'm on a roll. was having a sale too.  I got a new panel..The Princess and The Pea (Africa).  I absolutely fell in love with it and tried to select some fabrics to compliment it.  It came yesterday and I can't wait to see the fabrics in daylight. is one of my favorite fabric web sites.  FREE Shipping too.  Call me weird, but even if fabric is not on sale, if I get free shipping I'm happy. I love this site because you can click on a color in a fabric swatch and find other fabrics with the same color in it.  So, more fabric is coming my way!

Then I went looking for cases for the new phones...yay $18 for 2 and ... you guessed shipping!

Since I was finding so many deals, I thought I would search for Pearle Cotton #8.  Knitting Warehouse offered a HUGE color selection at $2.14 each and ...ta da...FREE SHIPPING.

Tell me, did you take part in any invitations in YOUR email on Cyber Monday?

Monday, November 24, 2014

What a Difference 50 Years Makes

This is not my family.  But I think our family Thanksgiving Dinner in 1964 would have looked similar to this one.  All adults seated at one table, dressed nicely for the day with men in ties.  At our dinners, the children were seated at another table.  Our family lived by the motto that "Children Should Be Scene and Not Heard".  How sad.

After dinner, the women cleared the table and took care of the clean up.  The men sat together talking.  My family was not big on football.  The Chicago Cubs were our sports staple and of course back then the world series was played at the beginning of September. Later the adults would gather at the table and play cards or Bunco.  I remember how happy I was when I was about 12 and was allowed to play Bunco.  I still love that game, though no one at my house will play with me now.

There was no shopping done on Thanksgiving.  Stores were not even may have found a little local grocery store open for just a few hours in the morning, but it would be difficult even in the small town I where I was raised.

I guess there was a lot of shopping done on the day after Thanksgiving, but I honestly don't remember it.  My mother was a stay at home mother who did not drive.  Really!  We didn't even own a car! We walked every where or rode the bus. (Year later when I met Terry he thought I was crazy to enjoy walking.  He actually would drive the car if we visited a neighbor down the street).  Anyway, I'm sure we went Christmas shopping together.  A ride on the bus to downtown.  There were no malls.  (Heck, we didn't get a McDonald's until I was in high school.)  We ALWAYS stopped at Walgreen's drug store.  The had a cafe area and I remember that my mother always bought a breaded pork cutlet child's dinner for me.  OR we stopped at the fountain area in the Woolworth's Dime Store for a sandwich..a BLT club.  Then we either rode the bus home or maybe we went to an afternoon matinee at the theatre.  Back then you could see a movie for .25 and watch it over and over all day if you wanted to.  When I got older, I saw all the Elvis and Beach Blanket movies there.  I also remember seeing Exodus at that show.

So moving on, somewhere in history Black Friday became a frenzy.  I admit to getting out into the mix when we were younger.  The lure of the deal was too hard to resist when money was short.  We were grateful for the sales to be able to stretch our dollars.  In the past few years there has been nothing in the sales that we needed or wanted.   Terry still liked to get up and be at Menard's at 6 AM and then go to breakfast.

Then, Black Friday became Thanksgiving Day Black Friday pre-sale.  Walmart loads up on inferior products to offer a guarantee that you will get before Christmas as long as you are there to pay within the first hour of the sale.  Other stores follow suit.  Black Friday sales are no longer a secret put published a week prior with a map to the inner store where the items will be displayed. Oh, there is so much more to say about what Black Friday/Thanksgiving Day sales have developed into.

But how did it happen?  Terry and I discussed this.  There are plenty of reasons even if you eliminate the financial details from the discussion.  Our theory is that families have become so spread out across the country that many are unable to visit relatives on the holiday.  Many find it easier to eat away from home. (For me, that wouldn't be so bad.  My kitchen is small and many holidays I am exiled to the kitchen while the family cuts it up in the living room.  Then I want to enjoy their company so leave the mess in the kitchen until they leave.)  Anyway, eating out leaves more time to shop.   And don't you think that shopping together has become a form of entertainment?  The thrill of the hunt.

So, when people complain that Thanksgiving is a day for family and should not include shopping, I think they don't understand the underlying reasons some attend the sales.  After all, if no one showed up, the stores would close.  Perhaps the sales serve a social purpose.

For me, I'll stay home and enjoy my family's company just as we have always done on Thanksgiving Eve.  We'll find something to stream on TV and be cozy.  Black Friday is our traditional day to decorate the house for Christmas...almost as much fun as Christmas Eve.

What do you think about Thanksgiving Day Sales and Black Friday shopping?  What are your family traditions for those two days?  I'd love to know what you think.

Happy Thanksgiving...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stitching Busy

 Apparently the boot cuff rage has hit the midwest.  When my daughter asked me to make them, I searched the web for patterns.  Most that I found had been posted a few years ago.

That's how it goes her in mid America.  It always takes a few years for the fad to really hit here.

These are the start of making several pairs for two girls on my list.  Besides, they are a great way to use up yarn stash.

I was so happy to find Walking Dead fabric.  My 17 year old grandson is a zombie nut and watches the show religiously.  He'll be getting pillow cases.  There are several great tutorials for making the cases with french seams.  I have always made french seams but the techniques used now are so unbelievably easy.  I know I'll be making more to donate to a local charity that collects them.

And then there was a dog that needed a new cover for his bed.  I wash their beds VERY frequently.  A light bulb went off reminding me that it would be so much easier to wash a cover.  I went digging in my stash and found this fleece.  Can't remember what I ever bought this for, but Boscoe LOVES it.

 Then Tyson tried it out and decided that he might just like this bed better than his.
Boscoe  and Tyson are the very best friends.  They share EVERYTHING.  No matter who lays on the bed first, the other comes along and scooches in to share it.

I have lots more things on the sewing table.  I'll be keeping busy and hoping the snow stays to the north...and the east...and the south.  But not the west, which would be heading my way ~LOL~

Monday, November 10, 2014

What IF!! Happy Dance

No, I'm, not going to ask a bunch of what if questions.  I'm more a it happened and make the best of it kind of person.  But his Monday is a strange day for me.  I am in an absolutely wonderful mood.

First of all, the car is in the shop getting a much needed work over.  New brakes, struts, tune up, new fluids, new tires's the biggie...a remote start and door locks. We had a hard choice to make.  Ramp up our 03 Honda Element or go for a new something.  I LOVE my Element. It only has 106,000 miles on it.  Anything new I MIGHT have chosen was at least $25,000+.  Since we don't do car payments the scales tipped way to the Rev It Up side ~lol~.

My New Crush is Madame Samm .  Many of you probably know her.  Her on going Blog Hops are legendary. I really want to participate in at least one blog hop this year, hopefully more.  In between hops, she might post about products she likes, other bloggers or a bit of whatever personal thought of the day may be.  Today she remembers an old friend.  From her blog today, I took away this quote,  "You Cannot Win If You Never Play The Game".  That spoke to me for a couple of reasons. I really am challenging myself to do projects that I have never done before.  This year Terry and I decided not to give purchased Christmas Presents..or money.  We really only give to the kids and the homeless shelter and a family in need that the school selects.  In the past few years we have given the kids a generous money gift for each.  Retirement has a way of changing the way you look at incoming and outgoing finances. BUT, since I am so talented ~lol~, I'll be making simple gifts for the kids.  Boot cuffs are going to the girls and I found a great purse pattern that I think I'll customize perfectly and will involve doing an applique pet portrait.  I have never done it, but I'm going to give it a shot.  I found Walking Dead fabric and my youngest grandson, Ky, loves the show so he will get at least pillow cases and not sure what else but I have a few ideas.  Corey is the other story.  What can I make for a 19 year old young man. That is going to take some imagination....that imagination that Penny is helping me to expand!!

Kathy Shaw has started registration for the CQJP for 2015 and I asked to be included. Yippee!

Please share:
     at least one thing you are grateful for today
     if you are making gifts, what are you making
     if you aren't making gifts, do you have great suggestions
     if you have made pet portraits from picture, please give me any tips you may have

Happy Monday!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wicked Little Witches!

They are ALL gone!  Be sure they are not lurking around her somewhere.  But it WOULD be hard to hide 11 of us.

Yes.  They all left.

I wanted to get a picture of us all together.  Now that would be impressive!  13 Wicked Little Witches!
Such an appropriate number.

They wanted the book, but we hid it well.
Now they will have to wait 'til next year to read it.

We are such wicked little witches.

Yes!! we are such a pair.  Almost twins, made from the same mold.

Well, the rest of them flew off to Sara's house.  She is going to take them to work with her and ask a few of her friends to board them at least until next year. They all loved that little Serenity Girl so much.  Everyone wanted to buy one, but no.  That Carol said Serenity was special. So she collected 13 little witches to give 11 of Sara's friends a Halloween fright.

Carol loves my red hair, so she is keeping me here.  She likes you too, but she's sending you off to one of her friend's house.  That lady has a lot of dolls and she needs YOU to keep them in line.  Maybe you can teach them a few new tricks....or maybe they have some for you.

Well, as the story is told, I gifted Sara some scarey dames to give to her friends.  I can't believe I didn't get a group pic before they left. The pattern is from Raven's Haven.  I wanted to make them smaller...about 5 inches...but the patterns says that you can't alter the size. Well they were fun to make and even more fun to deliver them to Sara.

Sara had disturbing news.  The Chemo drug they have been giving her can cause heart damage. Because of some symptoms she has, they have discontinued the treatments and she will be having a test Tuesday to find out if all is well.  Please say a prayer.  Sara is having a difficult time remaining positive.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What If She's An Angel

Today Deb's post really got me thinking about something I've been thinking about. It really is worth taking a moment to click the link and read a heartfelt story.

Now, let me tell you a story that kind of gives me goose bumps.

Did you ever hear the country song "What If She's An Angel"? I don't listen to Country Music, but this song always provokes a thought and one came home to me this week.  I don't write much here about my daughter.  In a lot of ways we have different views on life, but in some ways we are the same and in some ways she is better than I am.

Laurie does not know how to make a long story short...ever.  So sometimes when she starts one, you want to roll your eyes and make that circle in the air with your index know the one that means speed it up. She gives you EVERY little detail.  When she called the other night just when I was fixing supper, that's kind of how I felt.  She works in an RV factory and has for about 15 years.  There is a LOT of drama amoung the women in that environment.  Lots of catty women.  The story started off about one of the new women and the trouble she was having with some of the others.  You know how some women can attack the weakest.  The rumors were that this woman had been in a bad marriage...left with only what she could carry and got nothing in the divorce.  She was living in a local low cost motel and walked to work until she could save to buy a clunker to drive. My daughter struck up a friendship with her, but never asked details of her story.  Laurie lives in a very nice apartment complex.  Her apartment is well decorated and maintained.  She has had her own struggles being a single mother.  Since Corey moved back into our home, that left an extra bedroom in her apartment.  She offered the young woman  to stay with Laurie until she could get on her feet and save more money.  At this point in the story, my fear of the unknown rose up but I didn't voice my thoughts.  This impulsive action is one way that Laurie and I differ.  I must think things out and rarely jump right in.  Anyway, Laurie continued with her story.  When the woman entered Laurie's apartment and saw her family pictures on the wall, she told Laurie that she had thought Laurie looked familiar and asked if she is a DeLater.  That is Laurie's maiden name of course. Well, the hook in the story is that the woman is my brother-in-law's ex daughter-in-law.  We haven't seen her since she divorced his step son more than 20 years ago ( her first marriage).

There is a little more to the story..nothing like drugs, or drinking etc...and I don't know how it will end.  But for right now I'm wondering which one is the angel.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gone Girl

It's been a long time since I read a book that didn't involve self improvement, psychology, or some form of crafting.  I used to be an AVID reader, but somehow reading novels slipped away.  Over the years I have collected a few I thought I would enjoy and set them on the shelf for "future" reading. The last novel I read was "The Girl With The Dragoon Tattoo" when it was on the best seller list.  Quite a while ago, huh!

Then I saw Gone Girl on the shelf at Walmart.  I had not yet heard anything about it...nothing. The back cover description sounded OK so I picked it up.  Sometime later I started reading...actually I would call it plodding through the beginning.  I didn't much like the author's style and in the beginning scanned though what I found to be too much character thoughts.  But I kept reading.  It got better.  The characters unfolded and I started to see Ben Afflick on the talk show circuit talking about the move.  Well, THAT renewed my determination.  Then the book really did get better, but I still was not at the "can't put it down" level yet.  Then...THEN..I turned from page 291 to Part 2 Boy Meets Girl. POW!!!  The ZINGER that grabbed me. Caught me by surprise.  Pushed me to the "can't put it down level".  But at 2:00 AM I had to and can't wait to get back to it. (If you are reading the book and haven't reached this point...DO NOT turn to Part 2 until you get there).  Now I am seeing what all the hype is.  I EXPECT this book to get even better and after starting Part 2 I KNOW it will.

I don't like to see a movie then read the book.  I often don't mind seeing a movie AFTER reading the book, but usually find that the movie does not live up to a great book.  I can tell you that the movie comes out Friday.  I'm not sure when, but I will DEFINITELY see this movie.  Ben Afflick is the absolute perfect match for the husband in this book.  If nothing else..he has the necessary smile.  If you are reading the book, you will know what I mean.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Can We Talk About Pinterest?

Do you remember when Pinterest first came on the scene?  You could only join by invitation.  So many people refrained from joining due to image theft.  I, myself stayed away because I found it to be a time absorber.  But that was when I worked.  I still spend very little time on Pinterest.  Most of the time I spend is trying to locate the origin of the picture to find out more about whatever image it is that catches my eye.

Why post pictures to a board?  Well, that's easy enough for ME to answer.  Inspiration...Admiration..a place to collect ideas...

But I spent some time there today and it got me to thinking even deeper about my purpose on Pinterest.  I saw a lot about myself there. Mostly found in my thoughts about why I post some of the pictures that I have collected.  It solidified the knowledge that one of my personal traits is organization and a purpose for everything I do.

Tell me what you know about Pinterest.

Tell me how to better navigate there.

Tell me how to be a better pinner.

Do you mind if your pictures are pinned?

Why do YOU pin.

How much time do you spend on Pinterest.

Where can I find YOU on Pinterest? and do you want me to?

Ain't I nosey!!??!

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Few Questions

I wanted to post today.  I was going to take pics of my garden.  But since we are re-landscaping the pond area (which is taking entirely too long) the only beautiful flowers I have right now are my Rose of Sharon and Hibiscus.  I have several unique varieties, but I have pics in past posts. It seems like our whole summer has been in slow motion this year.  The heat and humidity caused us to be inside most of the summer.  The oppressive humidity practically leave Terry immobile due to his COPD.  We did have some plumbing issues under the house.  That horrid winter gone by caused a pipe under the house to break and our tub drain was leaking water.  Since we have a crawl space it was not easy to repair.  Terry ended up cutting a trap door in the bathroom floor and Corey went down to do repairs only to find there is another crack.  We will be removing the tub and putting a shower unit in, which we have wanted to do for a long time.

When I completed the CQ block from Kathy Shaw's class, I asked her to give me the list of supplies for the next class so I can start gathering what I have and buying what I need. So, first let me tell you that though I love Crazy Quilt, I am not too found of very encrusted blocks.  I love to look at the very Victorian pieced blocks, but I personally prefer the less embellished blocks in a book I have by J. Marsha Michler "The Magic of Crazy Quilting". That said, in the next class, Kathy will give the choice of using "fancy fabric" or cottons.  I am teetering between ordering fancy fabrics from Kathy in Iowa (Crazy by Design) or buying a selection of appropriate cottons. So, do I use fancies because, after all it's a class and the purpose is to learn something new.  Or do I use cottons?  What do you think?

I've been thinking a lot about blogging and comments.  When I retired, I resolved to leave comments on the blogs I read.  Some bloggers never acknowledge the comment.  Some reply back via email, while some respond via a blog comment.  I try to reply via email.  I like that more personal interaction.  I think it promotes a stronger cyber friend connection.  Sometimes I click the box asking for a email notification of future comments, mostly when I want to see comments about questions the blogger asked.  Sometimes when a blogger is known not to respond, I read the post but don't leave a comment.

What do you think about blog comments?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Finished Class Block

Here is my completed block.

Thank you Kathy Shaw, for offering the class and for all the information that you shared.  It was just what I needed to jump in and begin a CQ journey.

I learned so much.  It's funny how you can look at a block and think it looks great.  Then you see a picture and are able to better critique your work.  I see the purpose in having a center focal point to fix your gaze before your eyes move around the block.  I want to further study that aspect of CQ.

I look forward to the next class and can only say that I dearly wish I had begun CQ long ago.

I learned that my best stitching area is in my room where I can close the door.  When I was set up at the dining room table, the dogs liked to bother me by nudging my arm which often caused me to pull the silk ribbon all the way through the fabric, when it was supposed to sit fluffy on top.

I also know that would try other brands of ribbon on future project to test what I like the best.  If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.  This project is done with YLI, however I just got an order from silk which I haven't used yet.

I think future work will probably involve threads more than ribbons but we'll see.

I like stitching with a hoop. I like the tube hoop. I bought two about 30 years ago and never used them until this project.  I found a smaller one ( 8 x 8) at Hobby Lobby and grabbed it.  I will give stitching without a hoop and determine which I like better. I always bead embroider without one so it will be interesting to see the difference.

In the future, I'll stitch the perimeter of the block in a dark thread.  I came too close to the outer lines here.  I think I will frame the piece with the backing fabric, like you see hexie quilts finished.  I like that look.

So, if you have any tips, suggestions, links to great places to purchase supplies I would love to know. I thought I had a lot, but I don't ~lol~.  So much for what I thought was my "Retirement Fund".

Have a great holiday.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

CQ class WIP

Here is my WIP for the CQ class I have been taking.

I am learning a lot.

I love roses...
I don't think I like manipulating 4 mm ribbon..
I'm a visual learner...
CQ embroidery is very forgiving...
It will take a lot of stitching to be proficient.

Notice I didn't say perfect.

Novice stitchers will see beauty~
Intermediate stitchers will too~
Experienced stitchers will remember when they began stitching and hopeful give suggestions and definitely will be encouraging.

I will remain excited to continue on this journey forever.....

Thank you Kathy Shaw.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sara's Doll - Serenity

This is the doll I made for my niece, Sara, that I have posted about.  Sara is still undergoing treatment for cancer and really not doing very well with the side effects. I knew I wanted to make Sara a healing/spirit doll. I wanted the doll to be able to sit, so I chose to make a wire armature. At first thought, I was going to make an earthy type healing doll. But honestly, I'm more of a glitz and glitter type girl and when I went to my stash, the materials I used just jumped in my hands! And the hair...well I should have taken a side view picture because her hair is bigger than an 80's rock band.  Serenity is about 6 inches tall and sits nicely on a necklace gift box.  This is her story:

Her name is Serenity.
She comes to bring you peace and healing energy.
Her core is brass, for strength and flexibility.
Her body is turquoise, the color that radiates calm and tranquility.
Her body suit is a kaleidoscope of happy color to lift your spirit.
Her tunic is net...see all the shimmering prayers and healing energy gathered in it!
She wears the survivor charm strung from your birthstone gems,
encouraging you to remember you have many more birthdays in your future.
Her hair is wild and uncontrollable, a reminder to let your spirit soar.

There is so much love coming to you.
You are so often thought of during each and every day.

Each thought is a prayer.

I used a blank card stock card and glued the story inside the card.  I cut cool pictures from my Midwest Living magazine and glued them in a collage on the front of the card.  I glued a small print version of the story in the back of the box she sits on.

So, I'm coming back to my roots with my recent projects. Years ago I took greatest pleasure in making dolls, needlework and making purses. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Crazy Quilt Embellishment Class WIP

This is my block as it is now.  I made some mistakes, mixed up some seams, but I didn't stress over it.  As it is now, I see one seam that I may have to change before Kathy approves me to move on to the 1st ribbon assignment.  I didn't really see it until I posted the pic.  Not one to want do-overs I'll wait to see what Kathy thinks.

I have pieced blocks before, but never embellished seams.  I found it to be very relaxing.  I'm eager to work on blocks that I have created and seams treatments that I select. Eager to try more stitches on more colorful fabric.  I'm eager for more assignments and hopefully another class.  If I had a bucket list, this art form would be at the top.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Puppy Love

The weather has been very cooperative lately making it possible to work in the yard.  The re-landscape of the pond area is finally progressing.  We are not getting all that we want to do done.  Terry often says "when we were young, we would have been done with this by now". Gone are the days that we can work outside from 9:00 to 5:00. But it feels good to be out working hard, even if we can't move the next day!

So, being outside so much has caused my class project to suffer, but today and tomorrow will be rainy so I'll catch up.

I thought I'd share some pics of Corey and his dog.  Terry is like Candid Camera, always snapping and the dogs are often his favorite subject.  They are CRAZY together.  Tyson lives for Corey to come home.  Corey gets up at 3AM to go to work.  Tyson can barely open his eyes.  But when Corey comes home 9 hours later, Tyson is waiting at the door and is glued to Corey whenever he is home. Tyson often sits on Corey and uses Bosco for a pillow.
When Corey came home from the lake.

Bosco makes a good pillow.

Recuperating after a game of tag.

If he can't get on the chair, he sleeps under it.

Are two heads REALLY better than one?

Waiting while Corey surfs the web.
Bosco interrupts their nap.

The dogs don't care if Corey is sleeping.

Playing with Bosco while Corey naps.
Just getting comfortable on Corey

Always with his Corey.
Terry and I aren't sure if Bosco has selected one of us as "his" person.  He seems to follow both of us and is always where ever one of us is.  He went to the vet a week ago to be neutered.  I expected them to call me around 9:30 to let me know how the surgery went, and we would have picked him up about 2.  However, at 10 they called to say he had done great, but could I come to get him.  He would not stop crying and they thought he would rest better at home.  They were right.  He layed on the floor by the couch and Terry sat next to him scratching his neck and he was a happy pup.  Its hard to believe that he is 11 months old and weighs 90 pounds.  We wonder what happened to that tiny pup that used to hide run under the end table to his "Safety Zone" to keep away from Tyson. Now Tyson hides in our bedroom to keep away from Bosco.
Junior stays away from BOTH of them!

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

CQ Class Progress and Lessons Learned

This is the progress I have made on my block for Kathy Shaw's class. I think the stitching is nice.  Kathy's class is very well organized and she supplies all the information we need to follow along.  The mission here is to learn how to use templates, which I have never done, and how to place them properly on the seam, ie centered or off center etc.

My experience before the class is really none. I have SEVERAL blocks stitched for a quilt with no embellishments added yet.  I have embroidered quite a lot years ago, but never seam embellishment or using templates.

I was excited to start. The size of the project and hoop was a little awkward for me at first. And it wasn't long before I was mixed up on which seam I was working on with which template.  That's OK.  I didn't stress out about it and just stitched on.  Luckily, I am not far enough along to have interfered with the future lessons and with Kathy's approval I can just pick up with the next seam as assigned.

So, I have learned a couple of things so far that aren't being taught in the class.

My "room" has a couple of work stations including the computer area, office desk, sewing machine counter, and a small work table. I felt that I needed a larger work area for this project so I took over the booth table in our dining nook.

I recently pulled a muscle or tore a ligament in my hip area and after a couple of hours of stitching, the the oak nook chairs were not comfortable even with an additional seat pad added. I remembered that we had a Secretary Chair in our storage room with the ability to adjust height and lumbar support and it has arms. It is so amazingly comfortable it has found a new home at my new found work station.

** An ample work space, a comfortable chair and good lighting are essential for this kind of needlework.

Part of the reason that I got mixed up on the seams and templates was that I let myself be interrupted while I was stitching.  "Where is this?  Where is that?" and off I went to help find what was there if they just looked harder.

** A new CQ friend suggested that I take time to stitch each and every day.  I'll take that advice and add that I will not allow interruptions. Do not allow myself to lose focus. Also read instructions more carefully.

I am so happy with myself that I am learning this type of stitching.  I have fallen in love with it already and know that I will continue to stitch and learn.

**I am grateful for the serenity I find in embellishing seams.

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.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Corey's First Sanctioned Fight-Winner!!

My father was a big boxing fan.  We used to watch the Friday Night Fights on TV.  That was a long time ago.  When I met Terry, he was a fight fan too.  Ali right up to today.

 I remember when MMA fighting first came on the scene. Too gorey for me.  I never watched.

Then, when Corey started 9th grade at a new school an 11th grade group of boys took an instant dislike to him and he was horribly bullied.  My daughter suggested that he take self defense classes.  From the moment he stepped in the gym he found his nitch.  He has trained religiously in some form of Martial Arts and Boxing.  At 16 he attained a Blue Belt in Jiu Jitsu.  The test was brutal but he stood the test. He has continued to train at the Midwest Martial Arts gym under the instruction of Todd Brown who has fought professionally.

Corey's first sanctioned amateur fight was on May 17. His opponent's record was 8-1.  It's 8-2 now after he submitted to Corey in about 2-1/2 minutes.  Corey used a MMA  technique called an Arm Bar.

Here's a collage of pics from that night.

I am so happy for him.  It might not be what I would choose for him, but he has trained for this for so many years.  Even if he never makes it to bigger venues, his dream is to open a gym.

Adrenaline release!!

The disc Jockeys on the radio station that is a sponsor of The Midwest Martial Arts League were talking about Corey on Monday Morning commenting about how good he was on Saturday.

Proud Papa.

You could never know how close these two are.

Congratulations Corey.
We are so very proud of you.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Arm Chair Projects

 40+ years ago I taught myself to crochet and to knit.  Crochet came easier to me so I ran with it, but I have always loved knitted lace and felt that someday I would work at learning how to knit as well as I crochet.  When my daughter said she wanted to learn how to knit, I signed us up for a class.  When she was young, we used to take classes together all the time....ceramics....clay...painting.  Well, even though the instructor knew her stuff, my daughter didn't get the hang of it. I told Laurie that I felt crochet was much easier and that I would be glad to teach her.  We both agreed that lessons will start after the summer.  I look forward to that!   I'm not sure if I will pursue knitting.  Perhaps when the snow flies again I'll pick it up.  We'll see.

I have a blog friend, Penny who does amazing needle punch.  I thought I would like to learn this Russian craft. I bought the needle tool and a book.  When I saw a local craft shop was offering a class, I jumped at the chance to learn hands on.  I have to tell you I was really disappointed in the instructor.

When I signed up, I paid a fee for the class and what the store calls a Class Pak which included a hoop, the tool, a threader and practice muslin which all cost about $25.  I was also required to buy a needle punch kit and the floss it required at a cost of about another $25. The instructor mentioned that she was not well and recovering from surgery.  She was, in my opinion, ill prepared and not familiar with the Clover brand of tools that came in the class pak.  I left with the knowledge of how to thread the needle and tested setting it at different lengths.  All in all I'm glad I went, but I don't think I'll be taking another class at Erica's.

Ok, the hexie craze is making the blog rounds again. I thought I'd make good use of my scraps and get on the band wagon.  I have a 1-1/4 hex paper punch so I am killing 3 ( not - birds) with one stone. I can't kill or cage birds but that's a whole other story. Using scrap fabric, scrap paper and keeping my hands busy.  It's very addicting!

So, here I am, back to my old stand-by crochet.  I needed a no-think project to take along to doctor appointments  etc.  I have some wonderful boucle' yarn in my stash.  It's a shimmery tan/blue variegated yarn that is absolutely beautiful.  This will be a summer shawl for me.  I haven't made myself anything for a really long time.

I HAVE to have an ongoing Arm Chair Project.  My hands can't be still.  I spend time with Terry while he watches TV, which usually doesn't interest me.  The only time my eyes are glued to the screen is for NCIS, NCIS LA, The Good Wife and The Americans.  Occasionally something else really good comes along...True Detective...Fargo...The Vikings.  I didn't have HBO when Game of Thrones started, or I probably would watch it religiously too.

Here is my arm chair with project tray next to it and my ever present companion laying so close that I can't lift the recliner foot rest.  I can't bring myself to make him move.  If Bosco isn't laying there, then Tyson is.

I don't talk about it, but I have tattoos.  I got them back in the 80's before the ink craze hit and it was unacceptable for a woman to have tats.  They have special meaning to me...a Queen of Hearts and the other is bumble bees.

I am honored that I was Corey's first human canvas.  I love this tattoo.

So what are YOUR favorite go to crafts?  How about your favorite TV shows?  What do you think of tattoo. Do you love them or are they taboo?  I'd love to know your thoughts.

BTW:  Today I am grateful that Spring has finally sprung.  Yesterday we broke a record with temps reaching 91 degrees.  It was sunny heaven!