Sunday, December 23, 2007

End of Insurance Treadmill..Merry Christmas!

Sorry that I've been absent. It is the end of the year and my medical insurance is going to go "poof" so I'm trying to get as much done this year as I can, so I've been on a treadmill (walking in place and getting nowhere). Couple that with the fact that my annual dental insurance year is coming to a close and I still have money that hasn't been spent because I am a chicken and hate, hate, hate, going to the dentist....so am having as much stuff done there as well. Periodontal work, oral surgery, cavities filled.....etc. etc. etc.

So, let's just say that I'm going to continue to be flakey in bloggerland for a week or so more, and leave it at that.

Recap the past week:
Monday ~ Dr. appointment to get medical clearance for Oral Surgery on 12/31.
Tuesday ~ Periodontist in Greensboro....whole day gone **poof**
Wednesday ~ Thank God for the Quilty Girlz.....yeah! We had our potluck luncheon and usual day at the quiltshop and I love them more and more each week. Mailed Xmas Cards (better late than never, don't you think?)
Thursday ~ Final shopping....I'm not going near a store 'til after the 26th
Friday and Saturday ~ no tellin what I was up to, all I will admit to is that I got to the noon 12 step meeting both days! (my story, and I'm stickin to it!)
Today ~ Drove my friend Melissa to Charlotte to catch a plane so she could be home for Xmas and got lost on the way home, which happens every time I go to the airport. Keeps me on my toes...LOL

Still, I'm grateful that while I'm busy and have a plate full, I'm not crazy with all the holiday madness that I see others going through. It's not about stuff, it's about people....and I'm sooo lucky to have good solid friends, a dog who loves me beyond all understanding, and peace in my heart. What more could a woman ask for?


Wishing you all the very Merriest Christmas with Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!

(I got this card from Barack Obama last year for Xmas, and didn't get one this year...maybe he's busy or something? LOL)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Seamstress

May Britt from the Abyquilt blog had the most wonderful little story (The Seamstress) on her blog today. Go check it out!

Be back later....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

How Did it Get to Be Sunday Already?

I cannot for the life of me explain where time got to this week. It's not like I have a stack of completed projects to account for it, but I know I wasn't just laying on the couch eating bon-bons. I had Dr. and Dental appointments and I had my lovely Wednesday with the Quilty Girlz, but what about all the other hours?

One evening I walked down the road to take a picture of the house up on the hill above me...it's soooo lovely with all the lights ablaze!


No lights on my house.
And, no tree this year. I'm just not "feelin" it. I do have a Christmas Ornament hanging from one of the knobs on one of the kitchen cabinets, though, so does that count?

So that you won't think Chrismas isn't welcome at my house....here's a photo of last year's tree...LOL.

Pajama day today, while I play with my new sewing machine and make some little tissue holders.

It's cold out, and the wind is at frenzy speed.....no snow though. I'm glad I'll be staying in.

Hope your Sunday is shaping up wonderfully.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Web Rings, Great News, and Miracles.....

Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My Scrabble© Score is: 66.
What is your score? Get it here.

Nancy from Patchwork Penguin had this little scrabble generator on her blog and since I'm a "me too, me too" kinda gurl .... well, you see.

She started up a web ring for the mid-Atlantic states and I'm eligible to join because I live in one of those states, but darned if I know what a web-ring is or how to join. Guess I'll email her.

Burning Questions of the Day ~~~~

What is a web ring?
Do you belong to one?
What are the advantages to belonging to one?

On another note ~~~Great News!~~~
I got a new sewing machine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is a Janome 6125 Quilter's Companion and I got it for two reasons.....
* Needle up/down feature
* Speed control
I bought it from Todd at the Quilt Shop here in Boone after watching her and a bunch of the quilty girlz sew on theirs for the past year. She recently became
a sales rep for Janome and I was ready.

My Pfaff, which is a wonderful machine is only 18 months old, but it lacked the two features I realized I really needed, given the amount of sewing I do and the limits to that sewing without those features. I'm going to sell my Pfaff. I'll miss the built in dual feed feature and will have to get used to using an even feed foot on the Janome.

The Miracle???
I bought the machine with just enough money in my checking account to cover it, and 3 more weeks to go in the month. I had groceries and gas money, but it was going to be tight. I balanced the check book that night and discovered that I'd made a big error. I had deducted a deposit in my check register instead of adding it....the correction covered the cost of my new sewing machine. Does it get any better than that???


Saturday, December 8, 2007

And this particular bit of madness is all Deb's Fault!!!

Oh yes, she of Red Shoe Ramblings fame can take credit for linking me to this absolutely hilarious video.

I think that the next time you get caught up in Customer Service Hell where you are talking to someone who obviously is living in Mumbay, India you will not be able to talk to them without mentally linking to this video. And feel free to respond to anything they say to you that is totally impossible to understand with this comment, "“My loony bun is fine Benny Lava.”

Who knows, it just might work!

This was Nancy Rose's fault!!

She had this posted on her blog today and the answer to the question, "what kind of crappy Christmas gift are you?" was that she was a Fruitcake!!! LOL Totally accurate, given that she survives on such a small amount of sleep who wouldn't be a fruitcake? Anyway, I'm a sucker, so I ran right over to the site and my result.....taa daaaaaaaaaa!

You Are a Christmas Sweater!

Over the top, colorful, and totally flashy.
You're not afraid to be a little tacky.

That's about right on the money too


Friday, December 7, 2007

Pay It Forward.....

Lucy Byrd wrote about this on her blog as follows:

"Here's how it goes:I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it. The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. So, if you're one of the first 3 people to comment, copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog and share the crafty love!

I do need to be able to get a hold of you somehow. If I can't get you for some reason I will choose the next person. You need to post here and then Post this Exchange on your blog and I will contact you."

Okay so I responded (I was first) and now I'm joining her by posting this on my blog, so if you are among the first three to comment here and follow through on your blog, etc, etc, etc.....well you get it, right?

Make sure that I can get in touch with you.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sorry to have been absent...

but I have been caught up in trying to finish some little projects, procrastinating on others, and generally have been absorbed.

Yesterday I spent the whole day at the Quilt Shop with the girls, and I'm not sure if I got much accomplished, but I spent the day laughing and had a ball. If you aren't able to get together with others to work on your projects, I think you're missing something special.

I don't remember the conversations around my grandmother's quilt frame when "The Ladies Aid Society" convened to work on quilts. I sat under the frame with my dollies and only saw a sea of substantion legs. I came out from under only long enough to thread needles. I imagine, though, that those women really looked forward to those times when they could share with their friends the joys and sorrows of their lives on the farm.

I didn't come to be curious about quilting until many years later when my sister, Jill, showed me her work and talked about making quilts. I could see her face come alive and her work was really lovely ~ I thought maybe one day I'd try one. LOL One. LOL Betcha can't make just one!

My friend Barb, who works at the Quilt Shop is leaving in a few days to visit family and friends and she has more on her plate that needs finishing (Christmas Gifts to take along) than I think any one human can do. I'm going to be helping her, so think of me as one of Santa's Elves. Like this....only not blonde, not with long hair, not skinny........well, you get the idea.

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A picture's worth a thousand words....

and you gotta see this one for yourself.....click and enjoy!

(one might think I have waaaaaay too much time on my hands, but it's not the case...LOL)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back to the "routine" and since it's Wednesday....

that means spending part of the day at the Quilt Shop with the quilty girlz! Yay...I missed them and was glad to see them all today. I wasn't able to load it all up and carry it with me, so I just took some mending along and that was fine. I was out last night or would have packed it up and loaded the car, but as it was, I got all my mending done and had a great time visiting with the girlz.

Where was I last night, you ask? Well, I was at the movies with Barbie and either I'm entering a second childhood or my taste in movies has changed, because we went to see "Enchanted".

Loved it!!! I don't want to spoil it for you, but I will say keep your eye on the chipmunk........ohmygosh! We hooted!

Before getting out of here this morning I managed to get all the laundry done from my trip and so things seem to be getting back to normal. There is something satisfying about routine, and you heard it here from the woman who used to rail against the predictable, the boring, and everything slightly routine. Yes, that would be me. LOL

Tonight is my other guilty pleasure ~ "the Sopranos" and so I bid you adieu until next time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Home Again


May Britt posted the fairy name generator on her blog, and I was curious about what my fairy name would be. Wouldn't you know that the darn thing pretty much had me pegged...especially about the trouble maker part ~ pffffffffffffffffffffftttttttt! Let me see if I can find an image....be right back.

Nope ~ Couldn't find an exact one....so this one will have to do ~

Your fairy is called Feather Saturnspider
She is a trouble maker.
She lives in high places where the clouds meet the earth.
She is only seen when the dry seed cases pop.
She wears pale blue like the sky. She has delicate pale pink wings like a cicada.
Get your free fairy name here!

Okay as you can guess, I'm home from Cincinnati. Have a ton of stuff to do to get back into the rhythm of my daily life here in Boone. I had a great time with my Auntie and my cousins....I always do and I love them to death! Their kids are all wonderfully accomplished, charming, and good looking to boot! I come home always wishing I lived closer, but I do so love it here.

Maya was so happy to see me.....she did a 5 minute version of the happy dance and I was so happy to see her too. She crawled up on the bed last night for a long cuddle and we watched TV together until time to sleep. She's asleep behind me right now and hasn't left my side since I got here.

Life is good!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Day Before Thanksgiving....

I'm in Cincinnati at my auntie's house. Today we got all the prep done for the dishes we are bringing to my cousin Peg's house. I think I chopped, til I dropped! Cousin Jean's cranberry relish is cooling in the fridge ~ I made it and when I tasted it, I fell in love all over again. Woweee!!!

It's funny, that in Boone where I live, I don't really miss the major chain stores. We have a lovely little town with a variety of stores that offer a variety of shopping experiences, but to hit the bigtime stores you must travel to Winston-Salem, Charlotte, or Hickory. So, part of what I do when I visit in Cincinnati is get my shopping fix on. I've done Target, Joann's, Office Depot, Meijers, Kohl's, Border's, Kroger's, and have been surprised that nothing really called to me. I bought a few things for gifts, a new bowl to let yeast bread rise in when I bake, but not much else. On Friday, we go to Trader Joe's and I think that's about it.

No pics today because I can't access them and didn't bring my camera ~~ D'oh!

Have a great time with friends and family tomorrow as you join together to remember all that you have to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cousin Jean's Zingy Cranberry Relish!

This was a hit at our Thanksgiving celebration last year. My cousin Nathan's smart, funny, beautiful wife, Jean, hosted us at their home and she made a relish that I still remember fondly and can almost taste. I begged for and got the recipe, and am sharing it. I'm also going to be making it for our dinner this year.

Here you go ~ your tongue will thank you!

Cousin Jean's Zingy Cranberry Relish

2 cups cranberries,

1/4 c. red onion, small dice

1 lg. jalapeno, seeded and chopped finely

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice,

2 oranges, peeled, cut into ¼” pieces reserving the juice,

2 tsps. fresh grated ginger,

1/2 c. sugar,

2 c. celery, diced,

1/4 c. fresh mint leaves, chopped,

1/4 c. pecan pieces, toasted, finely chopped

Place everything except the mint and pecan pieces in a large saucepan and heat until cranberries pop and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and mix in mint and pecans.

Can store for 3 days before using to let flavors blend.


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium ~ FANTASTIC!!!

I loved this movie. I just got back from the theater and am still thinking about it. I have an image to upload but blogger isn't cooperating and won't let me. So, just trust me, image or not....this is a magical movie and I think if you are able to suspend logic for a minute and get back to that place where the tooth fairy, Santa, and Tinkerbell live....you will love it too. Go treat yourself.

Great Design and possible upcoming T-Shirt!

One of my blogger buddies is Lizzy at LizzieHouse. She wrote on her blog today about one of her favorites ~ Mike Laughead and I skipped over there to take a look at his work. I love it! He has an illustration that I thought would make a great T-shirt for any young mom who is juggling it all ~ go take a look and tell me what you think.

I picked up the phone and talked with him for a minute, asking him to let me know should he decide to get this design printed on a T shirt. I committed to buying it if he did and left him my email address.

What a talent! And thanks to Lizzie for linking him on her blog so that I could see his work. To all of you who link other artists on your blogs....many thanks. Those links have taken me places I never would have known about and introduced me to a community of creative people that I might never have met.

Cincinnati Bound!

I think one of the reasons I'm "stuck" quiltingly *heehee, new word* is that I'm getting ready to boogie on down the road. I'm going for what is becoming a yearly visit to my sweet auntie and my fun, fun, fun cousins and their kids. I love that branch of the family, and since it's the only branch left, it's a good thing I do!

I spent last Thanksgiving there and will again this year. Auntie has asked me to help get her back on track with a UFO she started some 20-25 years ago...LOL...before rotary cutters. I'm taking my cutting mat and rotary cutter to help get all the pieces cut. And, am travelling with some frozen zip lock bags of soup to throw in her freezer for those days she doesn't feel like cooking.

I might take along some yarn, crochet hooks and a book on making granny squares...I want to learn how to do this so I'll have something to do in meetings.

When I get back, I hope that my get up and go has returned as there are several unfinished projects that need to get done before I can seriously embark on two that I'm dying to get going on. Cross your fingers for me!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. See you soon.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My get up and go Got up and is Gone!

No excuses....just the facts, ma'am. Life has intruded here at the happy little trailer by the side of the road. Errands, stuff that has to be done at specific times (maintenance of the new-to-me car), and some wonderful stuff too!

I was gifted with a ton of salesman's quilt shop quality samples! Manna from heaven and how did this girl get so lucky??? Good friends....that about sums it up. They are wonderful large chunks of fabric collections from Free Spirit, a rainbow of possibilities and for a minute I got derailed. You know how new fabric can send your mind spinning? Well, if you're a quilter you do know and that is what happened to me.

First of all....there was much ooooohing and aaaaahing! Running my hands across it......sorting it into piles for projects I knew would probably get done and then those I was pretty sure I might never use. And a lot of moving fabric back and forth from one pile to the other and back again. Greedy me! Yes, I am....there I've said it, and I'm not proud to tell you too. ***sigh***

Okay, I had it in mind to share and so I made my choices and then sent out some emails. One woman has been here to take some, and another is coming today. And next week I'm sending out one box. It goes to a woman who is coming to visit family in the US, but who lives in the southern hemisphere where she has trouble locating good quality fabric. I feel a kinship to her because when I lived in Mexico I too had that problem.

No pics today. I'm still in the midst of re-organizing my studio and have a lot to do today. Hopefully next week I'll be able to settle back into my usual routine. Until then.....be well.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Why do I create?

Sally Bramald (Feather On A Wire) in the UK tagged me with this little questionnaire and I'll give it my best shot ~

1. When did you start and make craft?
I remember making things as long as I can remember me. As a young child I threaded needles for the Ladies Aid Society who would meet at the quilting frame beneath the Black Walnut Trees at my Grandparent's farm. I played with my dollies under the frame and started sewing bits of cloth together then. I later graduated to embroidery and making my own clothes, knitting, and crochet, and finally in my 40's quilting.

2. Why did you start creating?
My mom was always creating something....she was the early prototype of Martha Stewart, and did it wonderfully. She sewed, upholstered, refinished furniture, decorated her home and a zillion cupcakes. I think because she was always working on some project, it was something that I learned by example.

3. Why do you create?
I derive a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pleasure when I'm in the zone and working on something lovely. Cloth is tactile and there are such wonderful colors in cloth now...I need it.

4. What do you create?
Quilts mostly, but I also do a lot of sewing for home decor. Pillows, shams, duvets, throws, curtains, winter covers for the A/C units....lol....practical stuff. I also like to paint and embellish furniture.....see the Gecko side table I did?

5. How has this changed since you began crafting?
Quilting has provided me with a lot of life lessons. A little piece of fabric that is in and of itself rather homely or maybe even ugly can sometimes be just the thing next to a beautiful patch in the overall design. A little ugly patch in life, when viewed in the rear view mirror can be seen as beautiful in that it launched me in a new direction. Quilting has gotten me through some rough patches in life, and helped me to see the beauty in the ordinary.

Feel free to ask yourself these questions. I take a look at 62 blogs a day....thank God not everyone posts every day or I'd never get to my studio, but I love reading them and I feel a kinship to the community of artists who share themselves in this way. Thanks, Sally, for asking me to join in this discussion.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Little Progress....


The math is done....see it there? And that fuzzy picture (sorry, I don't know how I managed to do that) is a picture from a magazine that I'm going to borrow liberally from in the design of my quilt,
"Recuerdos" with the images from my time in Mexico. I'm rampin up to get started. Can you tell?

Tomorrow is Wednesday.....meeting with the quilty girlz at the Quilt shop and I have nothing prepared to take along. I love meeting those girlz, but hate all the packin and totin I have to do to be able to spend the day with them. Sewing machine, fabrics, tools, and all. I don't know what I'm going to take to work on. I need to get those skirts finished, so I might take them.
See you later....

Monday, November 5, 2007

3 Raves and 1 Rant.....hang on!


Rave #1

This is the center block for a quilt I've had rolling around in my head for a year or two. All the fabrics will be Mexican theme and the colors will be bright and lively. I've been collecting them for a while and am excited to get started on it. I still have some math issues to work out so that the design will be balanced, but I'm nearly there.



Rave #2

This past weekend I went to a craft show put on in a private home by local artisans. There were many wonderful things and while I wanted to take them all home, I showed remarkable restraint. LOL I came home with a pair of hammered silver earrings, some stained glass ornaments for my tree, a fabric box and 2 lovely little handbags. One woman there brought maybe 50 handbags and totes that she had made from decorator fabric samples. I get samples from a decorator in a nearby city 3-4 times a year. I had thought of making something from them, but I am so fixated on quilting. I put an ad on Freecycle and local crafters come get them.




This is the larger of the two bags and it is embellished along the top edge with some wonderful handmade beads. It is fully lined in a contrasting color with a couple of pockets...the closure is hook and loop tape.



Rave #3

This is the smaller bag. It is embellished with some gold glass beads along the two sides and has a button and loop closure. Sweeeeeeet! Both will find new homes at Christmas.


The women at that event asked me to bring my quilts in so they could look at them with thought of including them in next year's event.

They seemed to like them.....we'll see if I get the nod.



Rant.....
I was watching tv tonight and saw at least 3 Christmas commercials! Come on!! Most households still are eating Halloween candy and it's not even Thanksgiving.......come on!!!
Arggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh