Wednesday, June 30, 2010

OMG Moments and Other Stuff

It's been another OMG week!  Seriously!!!   I've actually had a stitching finish which is surprising because I've been in a real slump with that lately.  So there was a Happy Dance involved this week.  And I've been overwhelmed by the generosity of my dear blogging friends which meant more Happy Dances.  I'll start with the finish since you've pretty much seen it before:

Sarah Seifer
The Goode Huswife

Another fun stitch and it should have been done much sooner, but I was kind of going through that darned stitching slump.  Next project up will be another Adam and Eve, of course.  And I've got a few to pick from.  I get to those in a minute.

During the course of the week, the mailman has been working overtime when he comes to my house.  He scowls every time he can't leave something just in the box at the road instead of having to come to the door.  He actually told me one time that I did too much online shopping!   LOL  Poor man!  Well, not really - he needs to get out of that truck and get some exercise, don't you think?  I caught him with a donut box in his truck one day.  Anyway, this is what appeared at my door this week.

From sweet Loraine, she sent me the most wonderful ironing board cover and pincushion for my birthday made by her own two hands:

Isn't it wonderful.? Sampler fabric!!!!  Be still my heart!  And then along with that she sent a matching pincushion:

I just love them.  Loraine let me in on a little secret that the base of the pincushion is made up of CD's.  Now whoever would have thunk!  But I think that it's just wonderful and too pretty to use, but I will.  Thank you so much Loraine.  And Loraine - I am getting up the nerve to try those Dear Jane blocks (I think.....LOL).

Then a very sweet friend who reads my blog, but doesn't have one of their own sent me this A&E chart:

I just love it and it's one that I don't have, but had on my list.  I'm so happy that it's definitely going to have to go on the scroll rods soon.  Thank you so much Kevin!!

Then in today's mail I received a birthday package from Cari:

Cari and I have had multiple discussion about A&E's - the ones we don't have and the ones we want!  Well, she must have known my list pretty well because I didn't have either one of these and they were on my wish list!  Thank you so much Cari and I think that we should do a SAL on one of these.  What do you think?

Then to top it all off, I won a giveaway from Amy and received this chart:

Thank you so much Amy for picking my name.  This will be a fun one to stitch I think.  I'm been getting into smaller lately - probably because of the warmer weather so this will definitely work

On the crafty front, not much has gone on really with that.  I've been weeding in the craft room - a long process - when I've had time.  But I've managed to put a little work into my red, black and white quilt:

This quilt starts from the center and works its way out which is a real foreign thing for me.  I had a dose of paper piecing for the sawtooth section and that was a real experience.  I kept slicing and dicing all the wrong things.  It took a little bit of time to get my piecing chops back - it's been a few years since I've done any paper piecing at all, and about four hours to just get two sides of the sawtooth border done.  I was about pulling out my hair, but I wasn't leaving the room until I got it finished up!  I'm sure that there were a few expletives spoken during this time (well, in fact there definitely were!!!). Then I cut out the next section:

I love, love, love these fabrics.  I can't wait get to the next section.  But I've got to be fully awake for this because it involves some things I've never done before.

Then I cut out next blocks for the Farmer's Wife Quilt:

Oops, missing one set - there are seven this month.  But do you see that pink and brown - ymmmm!  I love me some pink and brown!  These little blocks take up a lot of time to cut out though - a lot of template cutting involved - not one of my favorite methods, but so worth it when you think of the end result!

Then the next installment of Women's Voices.  I like piecing these blocks because the pieces are large (even though they don't look like it), and they go fast.

Then I was going to cut this out:

Fig Tree Cottons' Jelly Parfait quilt with Fresh Cottons Fabrics!  These aren't normally my colors, but I figured it was time to break out of the box.  But I didn't get there - I crashed and burned.  The sleep issue got to the point where I didn't trust myself with a rotary cutter and scissors any longer, so I didn't get to them.

For two weeks, I've barely gotten three hours of sleep each night.  Walking zombie to say the least.  The night before last, I finally got a full night's sleep.  Oh, it felt so good.  So much so that yesterday morning my poor daughter woke me up totally dressed to go to her Summer Music Theater rehearsals.  It was 8:50 and she had to be there at 9:00.  I flew up so fast, I almost fell over, ran down the stairs and out to the car - in my pj's no less - and got her there just in time with my hair flying all over the place!  The sleep felt so good.

After I got myself  back home and poured myself a cup of coffee, I looked out the kitchen window and saw this sweet creature:

He/She was all alone.  No parents around which is very unusual.  Occasionally we will have a family come through, but never a little one all by itself.  The poor little thing took off when it saw me in the window and I hope that it finds it's family.  We have a very high car/deer accident rate around here so I hope that didn't happen to it's parents.

That's what I've been up to this week.  My appliances did come, but I'm not taking pictures - I think that I've put enough pictures in this post.  Let me just say that they are visions of loveliness and cook like a dream.  DD is making cookies as I write this.  It's a wonderful thing to have working appliances again.  So anyway, not a lot accomplished, but I guess enough!  I have to thank Loraine, Cari, Kevin and Amy for the wonderful surprises in the mail.  I still am in awe of all the wonderful people that I have met through blogging and their thoughtfulness.  It really touches my heart.

I see that I got my 299th follower today, so I'm going to be having a giveaway much sooner than I thought - those new followers kind of crept up on me - but I'm so happy that you're here.   Now I better get my rear in gear and work out the giveaway details.  Anyway, whether you just look at the pictures or comment, I'm so glad that you stopped by.  Blogging friends are truly the best.

Hope that everyone has a wonderful 4th of July!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Craft Room/Studio Craziness & Framing Too (Lots of Pics)

I hope that everyone has had a great week.  We've had a strange one around here - storms and an earthquake.  Crazy stuff.  I personally have had one heck of week, I'll tell you.  Have you ever gone through periods of time when you can't sleep to save your soul?  Well, I've had that kind of week, which has led to all kinds of craziness in the craft room.  Most nights I went to bed at 3:00 am and woke up at 6:00 am.  Last night - in bed by 12:00, up at 4:00.  Well, what do you do?  Invade the craft room!!!  One night I actually woke up DH.  I forgot to close the basement door and the sewing machine was whizzing and the music flowing!  BIG OOPS!  He thought I'd lost it!  Anyway, one of the things I'm working on is a total room redo.  No pictures as of yet, it's in the works.  When you work in a room for a while you find what works and doesn't work.  What you need and don't need.  The room is a disaster right now - projects thrown everywhere - things pulled apart - but some kind of fun finds at the same time.  Anyway, before I get into the fun, I have another piece of framing:

Margaret Pence
The Goode Huswife
Stained with Walnut Dye
Simple frame for a simple sampler:

Another one down for the Adam and Eve wall.  Yahoo!!!

I had another gift appear in the mail this past week from a dear non-blogging friend.  Well, I met her through my blog, but she doesn't have one.  I'm trying to convince her that she needs one!  I thought it was so sweet of her to think of me and send it along:

An ORT container made out of sampler fabric.  Is it not adorable?  I love it so much, Pam.  Thank you, thank you!!  Between the ORTs from quilting and ORTs from stitching, I definitely will put this to very good use!

I've done some stitching this week, but no pictures.  I'm so close to finishing Sarah Seifer you could put a quarter over what I have left to do, so I'll save that for the next post.  I tried to get it finished last night, but my eyes could barely see straight!!

Well, down in the 'ole studio I've managed to get a few things done, and found a few things too.  It's amazing what you find that you forgot about.  I'm finding so much that I think that in the next week or so, I'm going to set up a Sale/Trade Blog and get rid of some of this stuff.  Well, maybe more Sale than Trade because I don't need more things - although I could be tempted I suppose!  Then again,  maybe I'll just give some of these things away to my fellow bloggers.   Anyway, I'm sure that someone would love some charts, extra fabric, etc.  So stay tuned - I hope to have that up in a week or so.  

Anyway, this is what I've been up to:

Two more blocks down for my Women's Voices Civil War Quilt.  These were fun because they were both done with the same number of 1/2 square blocks but arranged differently:

Farmer's Wife Blocks completed and I'm all caught up - insert a huge Happy Dance here!!!  (of course, two days later July's installment showed up at my door - UGH!!!!).  Just a thought here - do you realize that July 4th is next weekend?  Where is the summer going???:

I haven't sewn the handle on the basket block (in the upper center), and the block on the left upper is a mistake, but I'm leaving it - the brown in the star was suppose to be the red fabric, but hey, it works for me!  LOL  Loraine reminded me about the Amish block thing a little while ago (the Amish philosophy that only God is perfect).  Seems that I'm going to have a few of those Amish blocks in this one!  Also one block came out so misshapen that I have to do it over.  I'll catch that up during next month's sewing.

Then I put together a little doll quilt (should have ironed this out).  I probably cut this out 10 years ago and never got around to piecing it, so one night when I ran out of things to sew, I put the pedal to the metal and cranked this out.  Insomnia is a good thing sometimes!!!  I think that I'm going to hand quilt this one since it's so small.

Then I came across another BOM that I had ordered years ago and only had one block pieced in it:

I had the top square pieced, but not the blocks underneath - so I pieced those together and then cut out the next round:

And this is what the quilt will eventually look like.  Lots of work - it's all template cut, but it's been sitting in a box for how many years now?  I guess it's about time to finish the baby off.

Then in all my rifling around downstairs one night I came across a pizza box labeled with something that was not what was in the box at all.  This is what I found:

Some stitcheries.  Didn't most of us like these little people at one time?  I actually still do.  I think that I must have been making this quilt for Catie when she was just a little peanut in me, thinking that one day I'd make the entire alphabet into a quilt and hang it behind her bed.  Well, I didn't get too far, did I?  So perhaps I should continue with it and make it for her daughter (she'd kill me if she knew I said that - she's at the age where the whole baby thing is soooooo gross to her - LOL)

And in that same box were these:

Now I have no idea what this piece belongs to.  I think this was my first attempt at wool applique and there is a whole quilt involved, but I'm really not sure where the rest of this quilt is.  More digging will be in my future, I think, and I may have to redo the block - I'm not crazy about my stitching on this one.

Then I finally found the rest of the fabrics and patterns that go with the "I believe" block.  I was looking all over for it.  This is another wool applique quilt, so now another thing to work on.  Me thinks that I've got my hands into too many things, don't you?

But you know what they say - you just have to take it.......

I found this little sign in the cutest quilt store and could not resist picking it up.  It says it all, doesn't it?

Well, that's been about my week.  Surprisingly I'm feeling pretty good with only four hours of sleep so I think that I'll head back to the craft room.  On second thought, I guess not.  My appliances are coming tomorrow - HUGE HAPPY DANCE!!  so I think that a good scrubbing of the kitchen is in order.  First request from the kids - cookies!  My old ovens burned the back of the sheet of cookies and undercooked the fronts and I'd always forget to turn the trays 1/2 way through.  Well, you can't remember everything, can you?

I've been a little behind on reading blogs this week, so I'll try to catch up.  Sometimes it's hard, especially when you're in the mood to be creative.  I've got another quilt waiting to be cut out - a Fig Tree Quilt, but I'm using some Moda Martinque fabrics for it.  I know I don't need to be cutting out any more, but what will I do if I run out of things to sew?  

I hope that everyone has a great weekend and the weather is nice and not stormy.  And thank you for all your wonderful and supportive comments.  They truly make me happy and I'm so amazed at all the wonderful people I've met through blogging.  I really feel blessed with all the friendships that I've made.  And just a heads up - I see that I'm close to making my 100th post and closing in on 300 followers - both of those facts absolutely astound me!!  So you know what that means - I think it's time for some giveaways.  Stay tuned!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Color Blue, a Finish and HEXED!!

Happy Friday everyone!!  I don't know about you, but I'm glad that's it Friday.  It's going to be a hot one around here too - kind of crazy weather we've been having in Michigan - but I'll take it - at least it's not snowing.

I love the color blue - it's my favorite - maybe because it's so calming - laying in a chair watching clouds go across a blue sky, the ocean.  It's a color that makes me happy.  So I'm smiling this week because I acquired something blue - such a gorgeous shade of blue that it makes me smile every time I look at it and makes me smile to think of Jolene who sent it to me:

Jolene wrote in her card "since you love blue & frogs & may need a 'new' dish to display your future scissor purchases".  Well, she was right - I love all those things and I just happen to have a frog lid and a pair of blue scissors (why is no one surprised?)!!!!

I just love this so much Jolene - the color is sooooooooo pretty!  I will treasure it forever!!!  Thank you so, so much!!

It's been another one of those weeks where things have gone not according to plan.  Do they ever?  But I did have a little finish this week - something that I've been dragging around with me to put stitches in here and there:

This was really a fun stitch.  I put the pins that I recently received from Faye's giveaway into it and I think that they're perfect!  Not a big finish, but a finish nonetheless.

I did manage to work on Sarah Seifer this week, but didn't make too much progress on it.  It's a smaller piece, but I haven't had a lot of opportunity to park my butt in the happy stitching chair:

I've managed to get a little bit of quilting done this week, but not enough to really show.  Sometimes I think that I get my hands in too many pots with these crafts so I work on everything a little bit, but by the end of the week, there's not much to show.  But part of that is because now I've been bitten by the hexie bug.

I've got hexies hanging from my trees:

I've got hexies laying on the floor!!!!!

But not a flower put together!!  Well, one, but I'm still trying to find the right needle for putting them together, so I've been experimenting.  But I know of someone else who has been hit by the bug!!!!  My friend Diane.  She is not a quilter.  Well, she's made a couple quilts, but then decided that machine quilting wasn't for her.  But then I told her about hexies and she loves to hand sew.  She was interested, she looked online - she became more interested - so much so that she made me take her to the quilt store.  She bought some fabric - quite a bit of fabric.  I gave her some out of my stash.  SHE BECAME OBSESSED!!!  And this is what she's done:

Okay, I can't get this picture to rotate since I took it with my picture phone.  We met at a Coney Island for breakfast (yes, a strange place to meet, but they do have good breakfasts) and hexies started growing on the table!

Look at these wonderful hexies Di made out of batiks.  Be still my heart.  Are these not the prettiest flowers?  I think that I've created a monster!  Oh, it's such a happy world to enable others!!   Now she's making me want to do batik hexies!  Now she's enabling me - I guess the saying "What goes around, comes around" is true!!

Well, that all I have to report this week.  I spent most of it running around to appliance stores.  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I've been cooking on appliances from hell.  Original stuff from when the house was built 20 years ago.  We've been here five years and nothing has ever worked right - burners from hell, double ovens that didn't heat right, refrigerator with drawers on their last legs.  Well, last weekend the ovens blew up (no, I didn't purposely do something to them, although it has been a thought).  The oven started making screeching noises and error messages began appearing on the control panel and the ovens shut off.  Since I don't have the manuals, who knew what was going on (and even if I had those manuals, they wouldn't have made an appearance - no way Jose').  Did you think that I was secretly smiling at this development???  You bet 'cha!!   I could not contain my excitement because I knew that the time had come!!  So, I spent my week buying all new appliances!  YAHOOO!   DH had to lay down after I was done - I told him NO to just replacing the stove and ovens, but I had to have a refrigerator and microwave too - they all had to match (the dishwasher I had already replaced last year).  The kitchen is my second workroom!!  We got home after placing the order and DH had to retire to the man chair and put an ice pack on his head.  HA!  Me, well, I was dancing all over the house.  It's the small things in life that make you happy right?  That's what I told DH.  His answer, "That da#$ed bill isn't going to be small!"  Oh well, he'll get over it right?

Hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend and that you have some quality time with your father and/or husband.  I'm going to just make sure that the ice packs are at the ready for DH's headache!  It's the least I can do!!  I have a funny feeling he's going to be laying in the prone position for most of the weekend with those ice packs on his head!  LOL

Sunday, June 13, 2010

More Things to Leave Me Speechless

Today was a really great and fun day.  Terri and Julie (no blog), took me out to lunch at Panera (yummmm) for a late birthday celebration.  They both outdid themselves and I'm so thrilled with the wonderful things they gave me - just about speechless again!!  

Terri gave me the greatest Vera Bradley bag.  She must have been embarrassed for me because of the pitiful excuse of a bag that I hauled back and forth to our Sampler Guild - Kindred Spirits.  But now I'm definitely styling:

I don't know which side I like better.  They're definitely my colors and what's so great is that the bag is reversible, so whatever mood I'm in, I'm all set.  Then in the bottom of the bag all wrapped up were three small presents:

Yahoo - I'm the recipient of her famous strawberries.  Have you seen these turning up all over blog land?  Well, I was coveting some because I'm too lazy to make my own!  LOL  These are just the cutest things.  She made them out of felted sweaters!  Cute, cute, cute!!  Then a wonderful pincushion made out of the same fabric (and there are some buttons hidden underneath - I haven't taken the pretty bow off yet), and a wonderful pair of Girly Scissors with one of Terri's famous beaded fobs.  Love, love them.  Actually love, love all of it!  Thank you so much Terri!!

From Julie I received this:

 A Tilda doll!  I can't believe that she made one for me!  I've wanted to make one for myself for the longest time, but you know how that goes - what you want to do and what you actually do are two different things.  But isn't she absolutely adorable?

Does she not have the sweetest face!  And I don't know if Julie reads my blog, but thank you, thank you so much!!  I know that these are not easy to make so I am just thrilled that she will be keeping me company in my craft room.

After lunch we had our Guild meeting and today's speaker was Kathy Barrick from Carriage House Samplings.  She came to look at our year-long class project - one of the Hawk Run Hollow pieces.

Here's a few of them:

I'm sorry that the pictures aren't better, but I was afraid that the flash would glare off those that were framed.  The two unfinished ones in the front are mine - such a slacker.

This one was so pretty - the stitcher added a wavey border all around the piece.  I think if you click on the picture it will enlarge.

One stitcher (and heaven help me I don't remember her name) took blocks of Shores and made into a Wedding album.  Here's the inside:

Here's the outside:

This was truly a stunning piece in person.

And a couple more:

It was so much fun to see these finished.  A lot of people added their own things into the pieces - renaming buildings around their lives or ancestors lives.  It was so nice to see all of them.  Kind of got me sparked to put needle to one of mine again.

Now you would think that I would have a picture of Kathy, right?  Well, I took a couple, but neither one of them came out worth beans.  Teaches me to use my son's camera instead of my own.  But Kathy brought some of her charts to sell, and in addition, just for our Guild, brought a new chart for us.  I love, love it!!!!

Do you not love it?  I do!!  And I think that as soon as I'm done with Sarah Seifer it's going on the scroll rods!

Well, that's it for me.  DH has steaks on the grill and corn on the cob boiling away.  I love those days when I don't have to cook dinner.

I've been up to no good in the sewing room and I'll post those pics in a few days.  Thanks for stopping by and leaving all your wonderful comments.  I truly love receiving them.  And Terri and Julie - thank you so much for your wonderful presents.  I just love them!!!!  Well, more than love them - I'll treasure them!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I am Just Speechless

It's very rare that I will post three times in a week, but something arrived in yesterday's mail that has me just speechless.  It was late when I got the mail last night - eye appointment for me, orthodontist appointment for my daughter, picked up my DH's new car, a track banquet - busy day, so I didn't pick up the mail until late.  A package arrived - a purple and white package from overseas.  I am speechless.  A beautiful needlework book from Isabella all the way from France.  And I am speechless.  I'll let the pictures do the talking.

The front:

The side:
The back:
The inside:
The package held some sweet goodies:

A rooster waxer and three luscious skeins of AVAS silks.

Mere words cannot describe how much I love this needlework box.  The finishing is exquisite.  I am in awe.  This box has brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart and even while posting these pictures tears well up in my eyes.

Thank you Isabella, my dear friend.  This will be treasured for the rest of my life!

Isabella has posted pictures on her blog also, so please take a look and let her know what wonderful work she does!!