Friday, March 25, 2011

Just the latest...

Thought I'd pop in & say hello! Has everyone got the TGIF feeling??

Me too! I got all my grading caught up, which means I can work on the report card Monday (imagine evil music & tittering in the background here.) 

And other than looking forward to having lunch with my BFF tomorrow, there's nothing on my calendar. I'm hoping this means I'll have some serious sewing time, but time will tell.

How often as Moms do we set out with one plan in mind, only to have our kids stomp them into the ground?? I really don't mean that to sound harsh. After all, I love it when my kids & their friends hang out here.

BUT they can shake things up a bit :) 
(Just this past week, in fact, we've unexpectedly made red velvet cupcakes, played 500 Rummy, watched Sixteen Candles, and taught a teen how to cross stitch-- How cool is that?!?!?!?)

Anyway, this is a client quilt I finished up & delivered this week. It's a memory quilt (for a daughter whose Dad passed away) made of t-shirt blocks & denim sashing.

I thought it turned out well. The client picked out this meandering heart pattern. My only trouble was some smooshing going on with the shirt fabric here & there. I had to pick a couple areas to avoid wrinkles in the quilting. Not sure why because they had interfacing? It's the first one I've quilted... I wonder if this is typical?

And I always like to show the backs. Sometimes it's easier to see the actual quilting this way.

Sew my agenda for the next couple days is: 

work on a client table runner (which is code for SEW)
have lunch with BFF
and enjoy a slow Sunday with my peeps (my Day of Rest) eh hem.... MORE SEWING

Happy Weekend!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quilt Show Ramblings & Some Eye Candy

I'll admit to not being particularly inspired to write much of anything this last week. Lots of emotional stuff just clouding my thoughts. 

But in an effort to push past, I thought I'd share something that does make me feel inspired...

my trip the the AQS Lancaster Quilt Show!!

This venue was anticipating upward of 20,000 attendees representing 48 states & 4 countries! This amazes me, since we live right in the middle of Cow Town USA, BUT we are known for our quilts!

I don't me "we" as if I'm known for my quilts, because I most certainly am not -just meaning in the more collective Lancaster County, PA way ;-P

I like to look at the spectacular quilts, BUT, they do often give me a bit of the "will I ever grow up to quilt like that????" feeling. The talent can be a bit overwhelming. 

Of course I try to reassure myself that I COULD if I REALLY put my mind to it. I just choose not to. I'll concede that some of the quilts, those with the perfect, tiny stitches that just about cause your eyeballs to implode from strain, would more than likely truly push me over the edge into the oblivion of insanity. 

(Or wait, am I already there?)

I didn't take any classes while there. I'd been hoping for a longarm quilt class, but there wasn't anything offered for me. (Looking forward to Hershey's show in July for that!)

And really, if I'm going to be honest here, I go for the shopping. Period. It's something akin to the giddy pre-teen girl feelings over boys -- only it's not. It's middle-to-older-aged women getting giddy over fat quarters, notions, threads, and patterns out the wazoo!!!

So here's my loot:
Big cones of thread for the longarm machine!

 I'm loving this Australian woman's designs -she combines simple embroidery stitches with piecing/quilting. (The two on the left are Lynette Anderson Designs.)

These patterns below are for my mini 12"X12" standing quilt frame.

 My good friend, Suzanne, and I bought the red "Holster". It's touted as a rotary cutter holster, but we thought it looked a little small for our rotaries & decided they'd be perfect for holstering our cell phones to our jeans!!

Then there are some fabric markers, a scary looking scalpel I use for mega stitching errors, and some Handy Nets for my big cones of thread.

 I was beyond ecstatic when I saw AQS had added THIMBLES to their collectibles this year!!!!! Yes, I collect thimbles! 

And I always get a pin at the bigger shows that offer them. Not last year, though, because they were overrun by our masses & ran out.

 And the real Eye Candy is the fabric...

I guess you realize I didn't happen up this kitty at the quilt show. No, but my Furry Purry Stan Stan the Hairy Man was waiting for me when I got home.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thankful to be dry

We watched the rising waters of the Susquehanna River back up into this massive storm drain which leads into our little town. 

The 1st picture was taken this past Friday morning after most of the rain had already stopped pelting. Usually there's barely a trickle in there, but we weren't concerned at this point because it was well below the halfway mark of being full.

However, since we're "down river", this 2nd picture shows how on Saturday, well after the rain had quit falling, we were still watching the river by us rise. 

And by Sunday afternoon, finally, thankfully, the river crested & we could breathe a small sigh of relief. 
(Don't ask me who thought hanging the figure was fun, but it was there... in the way, so it's in my photo >:-/ )

Homes are in danger of flooding here once the water hits the 49' mark. Personally, since we sit a bit higher, we're not in danger of flooding until it hits about 55', just to give a point of reference.

A lot of people who visit us don't understand how the river can possibly flood over the railroad embankment towards our homes. But see that's not how it happens! The picture below shows the view from my front door. The river doesn't flow over the embankment but rather backs up through the above-shown storm drain and then up through the drainage grates by our homes.

During normal weather our rain water runs down our grates into the storm drain and then into the Susquehanna River. But when we have a combination of heavy rains & snow melting up north, it all flows downward towards us & backs everything up.

This last picture shows the view if I walk up onto the railroad embankment & look down to the river. Within those trees are where I usually walk my spastic lab puppy. He'd probably like it down there now --sloshing through the water & mud are his thing. But if he'd take off, it's currently too cold for me to want to go in after him. So yeah, I think we'll just walk the neighborhood until we dry out a bit!

But in the grand scheme of it all... thinking about how scary it can be to worry about my house flooding left me feeling a little....sigh.... what's the word I'm looking for???? .... small, insignificant, but a speck in the realm of world horrors...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

You know dinner is a bust when....

...people head to Burger King afterwards!! LOL

I tried making spaghetti & meatballs, and I've made this numerous times with great success in the past. In fact, it's been a favorite staple dinner in our house for years. 

I especially love to let the saucy meatballs percolate in the crock pot for the day.

HOWEVER, I've been on this organic food kick lately. My older DD became a vegetarian a few years ago, which deepened my investigations into fresher foods.

After reading the book Skinny Bitch recently, I furthered my efforts to buy foods in a healthier way.
Skinny bitch: a no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous! [Book]  

Lest I put off a certain unappreciated vibe, let's just be clear that I'm not really trying to be "skinny" or a "bitch"- just heard this book had good information!! 

I'm much more interested in just doing the best I can to feed my family as healthily as I can afford.

One downside to this fresher, greener eating is a slightly different food bill. And another downside would be starting to experiment with the brands out there & not having many people to ask, "Which brand do you think tastes great?"

So I bought this organic spaghetti, and I'm thinking it was made out of some kind of freeze-dried veggies, so that when it hit water for the directed time of 4.5 minutes, it immediately became mush. 

Our spaghetti was in 1-2" pieces & tasted very much like cardboard.

This picture has loaded funny, and it's showing the fettuccine when I, in fact, bought the spaghetti, but it's the correct brand & the boxes look almost identical.

**DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with any type or brand of pasta in any way, shape, or form!**

My DH & younger DD hit the BK this evening. I hit the Oreo bag...

Friday, March 04, 2011

A Couple Finishes!

I'm still doing a good job of trying to hack up my lungs. Having the flu has been horrible! It's been a good 10 years since I've been this sick. 

Normally I can't sit still for long, especially if it's during the day. I like to be busy & I'm very fidgety. BUT I've done a lot of sitting around this week... watching a lot of garbage tv with my younger daughter... going through some old magazines... and when not engaged in coughing up loogies, wielding needles & doing some stitching! (sorry, bad visual)

This Winter piece was stitched last week, but I finished it this week -put on the backing, binding & the hanger.

I finished hand-quilting the table runner this week too. Since I've been pulling this project out here & there for about a year, it was very satisfying to put those last stitches in & tack down the binding & call it done! 

 A little bit of the back...

And this is my newest start: Walking in a Winter Snapperland- Villa by Bent Creek.

Smokey-the-Spastic-Lab sprawled on our couch. He was literally lying there in all his glory watching tv! lol I still have a love/hate relationship with this big boy. He likes to be RIGHT THERE with us all the time, but being he's big & doppy & drooly & sometimes smelly & usually knocking things over with his uncoordinated bod, his commotion can be quite overwhelming & unwanted at times!!

Hope you all are gearing up for a relaxing, fantastic weekend :) 

Tomorrow is our 23rd anniversary, but we're too sick to be doing much. We'll postpone dinner & hanging out for another weekend when we're up for more than sitting around on the couch.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

This week gone by

A gift was received...

Smokey the spastic lab ate a mitten ornament...

 And I got the flu :(  

Below is most of my arsenal in fighting the battle of the bug: 

DayQuil & NyQuil for the few days my skin felt as though tarantulas were crawling all about it.
Vitamins to load up my immune system after-the-fact. 
Green Tea with antioxidants.
Water for hydration & flushing the system.
And last but not least Agave Nectar to sweeten the tea & sometimes straight down my throat during a coughing fit. (The Chloraseptic in the background wasn't mine -makes me gag!)

Fortunately, the tarantula-skin feeling has gone away, but I am left with coughing fits that as my daughter said, "Ought to leave us with rock-hard abs"!!!