Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up

The mini-quilts I've made for this free-standing hanger are so satisfying to make. There's a little bit of piecing, a little bit of applique, a little bit of machine quilting & then a little bit of hand-stitching the binding down on the back.

It had a little bit of fluffy-yarn-tacking to do, too.

I'd started it during the Sew-In on Saturday, but I'm afraid I did much more eating, blabbing & laughing than sewing. So I finished it up with part of my yesterday (Sunday) while watching The Hangover II. 

Today I'm back to longarming!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Finishes, Friends & Fly-Fishing

This is the 2nd grid-work quilt for the same woman this week. It went well, but it was a little hard on my back! I know I'm close to needing bi-focals, and I'm not sure if they'd help with something like this, but I was bent over a bunch checking out the SID & other lines!!

The best way to describe this quilt would be "tapestry". The fabric was heavy & felt a bit like furniture fabric. I was sooo worried it'd break needles & whatnot, but instead it quilted up beautifully & gave me no troubles whatsoever.

I attended a "sew-in" @ Stitch & Craft and had a fabulous time getting away from the household duties for a bit. This is just a tiny sampling of the delicious foods that showed up as part of our pot luck:

I always enjoy seeing the different projects all the ladies (and one teenager!) are working on, different ideas about mixing/matching colors, and brain-storming projects & techniques together.

As always, it went fast & I got less done than expected ~ lots of talking, laughing & eating were done though...

My hubby made these, not I... He's become interested in fly-fishing in the last couple years & has begun making his own flies~ I just thought they were cute & wanted to include them :)

Tonight I'm enjoying a night in with my kiddos & a friend watching Blades of Glory. I can't help but love this movie & laugh hilariously~ we have the entire Grublets On Ice dialogue memorized!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Poltergeist?!?!?! It's a Mystery...

Smokey the spastic lab came flying down the stairs, trembling with fear ~ still growling, little muffled barks, and fearful glances at the back staircase. 

I went to investigate & found this in Morgan's room! I could just stand there for a whole minute, mouth agape, wondering HOW? Could Smokey have somehow knocked this over? This sucker is old & HEAVY. So as I stand there, my mind just doesn't accept that explanation. 

Maegan's room is connected, and I grilled her about what she heard. 

"I heard some load thumps"... okay... That's still not much of an explanation.

The rest of the gang took turns coming up to investigate why I was so incredulous. The door to the upstairs bedrooms was hanging open indicating Smokey had probably been in there (since he came flying down).

But I still cannot imagine how he'd turn this heavy piece of furniture over?

What do you think??? 

Monday, January 23, 2012

A book review on Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup. 

This is the blurb from the back cover, "Here If You Need Me is the story of Kate Braistrup's remarkable journey from grief to faith to happiness -- as she holds her family together in the wake of her husband's death, as she pursues his dream of becoming a minister, and as she ultimately finds her calling as a chaplain to search-and-rescue workers. Her story is dramatic, funny, and deeply moving -- an uplifting account of finding God through helping others and of the small miracles that happen every day when a heart is grateful and lover is restored."
Here If You Need Me: A True Story

I appreciated Kate's easy & simple style of writing, her no-nonsense approach. She shares with us some of her life's defining time periods... her husband is killed, she has four children, she enters seminary, and she leans on God to get her through. 

Her sense of wanting to share love even while mourning her husband's death is an amazing example her children have been privy to experience first-hand.

Furthermore, having a glimpse into the workings of a search & rescue was interesting.

The only draw-back for me is that I was wanting "more". And I don't mean this in a "I don't want to stop reading" good way. I felt Kate stopped sharing too soon over & over ... left out a few too many emotions or details. Her no-nonsense approach felt at times like an omission on purpose. 

While I realize protecting privacy was of great concern for Kate, I thought some stories could've been finished "more". She shares several accounts of search & rescue, but fails to let us know what  "the endings" were. They were found or weren't found didn't always feel like enough. I don't want to say much more without giving stories away.

I suppose my minor disappointment in this book is that Kate never delves too deeply into any one topic~ not her grief, not her family workings, not her search & rescue experiences, and not her trip through seminary. It was much more a surface-only book,  glancing off topics rather quickly & sometimes haphazardly. 

This isn't to say I didn't find the book interesting. I did. And this isn't to say I didn't look forward to reading it, because I did. I just kept wishing Kate would take any one of her main topics & hit them fully & deeply.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Where does the time go?? Geesh!

I can't believe it's been almost 3 weeks since I've posted last! I've got to get better about this!! My biggest hurdle is getting my pictures from the camera onto the computer to use for posts, because for me, pictures are just fun.

One of the latest quilts done for the shop Stitch and Craft

I enjoyed trying out a new pattern~ really it was two I've used before & just combined them.

Remember, I don't piece them~ I quilt them!

 The first week of January had me undecorating... if you look closely, you'll notice one of the kittens "supervising".

After everything was packed away for next year, I lugged over 10 Rubbermaid bins & the Christmas tree box up to the 3rd floor. It wasn't fun, but I figured it counted for exercise!

I've worked on & had success with getting Dino the Whippet & the kittens acclimated to one another. Daisy loves Dino, swirls around him, tries to nuzzle him & is seen here snuggling. Maisy still skirts around him fast & low to the ground & has NEVER approached Dino. 

Another recent quilt. It turned out nice, but quilting grid-work is a tad boring.

This weekend: 
Woke up to new snowfall Saturday morning. It was just enough to look pretty & not be too big a pain.

Worked on...

... and finished an easy puzzle.

Loaded the next client quilt.

Dino stayed parked on this chair nearest the fire while I ran hither & yon, working in Adult ADD fashion whilst doing a little of this & a little of that.

I actually LAID ON THE COUCH for over an hour reading!!! I never do that!! And I think I should do that more often, because I love to read but usually wait until right before bed to "allow" myself that sit-down time. 

And can you see the title of the top magazine? "Stitchery"... I picked up one of these magazines a couple years ago, then couldn't remember where I'd gotten it & have been on the search ever since. EURKEA!! I found it at Barnes & Nobles this past week!!! I let out a muffled shriek when I spied it on their shelves & when Maegan saw what I was so giddy about she said, "Mom, you're such a dork." lol I know it...

Stitchery is my newest passion. It's like drawing with DMC floss or thread in an outline kind of way. There's no counting like cross-stitch & it's not as involved as embroidery, so for me it's that much more relaxing.

Here's a couple examples:
(This one may have an undertone of blue showing through the stitched areas because it's a pre-stamped pattern that has to be washed out once completed.)

Tangent over...
Sorted the errant sock bin. I don't usually let it get this out of control, but well, this flood from back in September has thrown a lot of crimps in my "usual".  

Now I readily admit it's been some months since I've sorted through the socks to match up those that went into the bin at different times & to weed out/throw away those that have no matches anymore. However, there's no nice & neat explanation for WHY one of Montie's socks was in the midst? 

I washed all his clothes that were in his hamper or dirty after he passed away, and they're not being used obviously. There's no reason I would've left this one white sock of his in this bin, just knowing how it would upset me to keep coming across it??

I've had a lot of reminders lately. Not that I need to be reminded to think of Montie, obviously. He's always in my mind & never far from the current train of thought. 

My big baby, Smokey, kept me company at times too...

Yesterday was a wonderful mix of productive & resting... 8 loads of laundry done, dishes, potato soup from scratch for dinner, dusted/vacuumed the upstairs, scooped cat poop, sorted the socks and cracked the whip on the 15 year old's chores; plus I had time on the couch reading as well as doing that puzzle! WOOHOO I love days that come together like that :)

Today, Sunday, I mostly relaxed. Got up kinda early but then took my time getting in the shower. In mid afternoon I headed to a neighbor's house with a good friend to a Pampered Chef party! I haven't been to a home party in YEARS!

See ya later Cyber Land!! ... back to watching football & stitching, while simultaneously trying desperately to STAY WARM. This old house  -that still has no insulation under the floorboards acting as a barrier again the cold emanating up from the dirt basement- is quite cold in the wintertime!