Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hummingbird Convention

As everyone knows, the hummingbird feeders need to be filled occasionally. After cleaning and filling the feeder, you take it outside and hang it up...

Then you get a chair, your camera, and get ready for a Hummingbird Convention! Here are the first arrivals

Then a couple more guests arrive...

Then a few more.... But wait, we aren't done yet....

I count 11 hummingbirds in this picture. (look at the bottom of the feeder, just to the right of center, and you can see the tip of a tail. That makes 11!

Now just a moment of peace. Two are even sharing!

I hope you enjoyed my hummingbird convention! I can hear them discussing who's turn it is all day long.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What I've managed to do!

Well, I finally have taken a moment to take some pictures, and download them off the camera so I could share them with you. First I'll show you three blocks that I've made. I joined a neighborhood group, and we are all doing Sawtooth Star blocks. Yes, I know. I already had too many projects and should concentrate on what I've already started. But getting to know ladies who quilt AND live near me is wonderful. (No, I'm not ready to confess how many on-going projects I have, but I have started listing them all out on a list. It is a little scary!!

So the first block: This is the first one I made. Now green is not my color, and I even had to borrow some material from one of the other ladies to have enough greens. You see one of these fabrics in the star points and center of this block. Didn't the colors come out great on this one??

Now, this is the second block I made. (yes, turn your head to the right, I didn't notice that the block was sideways!!) The fabric in the center (besides being on its side) is the fabric I started with when I picked my colors/fabrics for this quilt. Most of the fabrics have come from my stash - I'm proud of that - But I did need to purchase about 6 fat quarters for the backgrounds. I want this to look scrappy, even the backgrounds!

Hmm, this third block is a little blurry. Sometimes I like the look of this block, and sometimes I don't. Not sure why. Again, the green in this block is another scrap given to me by my neighbor. It has little dots all over it, in various colors. The photo is just not quite in focus. Oh, and I love this background fabric. Is is a washed floral print. Very pretty fabric.

Last week when we went to Phoenix, I took my tatting with me. I have to admit that this photo is out of focus too. (Yes, I guess you can tell that by looking!) Anyway, this is the same pattern that I've done before, but I added beads to it, and joined the 12 repeats into a circle. I think it would make a nice Christmas tree ornament, or I think I will keep it to put on a crazy patch pillow the next time I make a few of them. The grid the tatting is laying on is 1 inch squares, so you get an idea of the size of the tatted circle.

Well, next post I'll try to have some pictures of the one block wonder blocks I made in a class a couple weeks ago. I really am liking how they were turning out. And yes, I've added this project to my list of "things to do".
Oh, on the quilt for my nephew: The label is on, and I'm about 1/2 way around sewing on the binding (by hand) One or two more sewing sessions on it and I can mark it done on my list. I'm so excited to have it done.
Till next time!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A little bit of progress...

So now the boulders are done, the quilting is done, the binding is made and sewn to the front of the quilt. Oh, I also got the little bridge I made attached over the stream, so the road does not go through the stream, but over the bridge. I'm thinking of getting a permanent ink pen, and shading the boulders/roads. My quilting thread is such a close match to the dirt fabric, it is really hard to see the roads and boulders!! So what's left?? Sewing the second side of the binding, and attaching the label. I made the label months ago, and saw it recently, so I should be able to find it fairly fast, even with moving to camp and then back again. I'd stay up and do a little more, but....

Tomorrow we head down to Phoenix. I will be taking all the reports, books, files, deposit receipts, etc, etc that I have from camp. Then I told Bonnie that I would work with her on getting the credit card info sorted out. This year due to one thing and then another, we spent the first 4 weeks of camp with NO credit card processing. Oh, we took the cards, and wrote them on slips. But by the time the stuff got taken to Phoenix, and processed, Bonnie is having a dickens of a time sorting out what each ticket paid for, so she doesn't know what account to credit the money to. So I'll be working with her tomorrow while Steve is at his meeting. I guess I'll have to take our dog "Jenny" in with me, as it is still WAY to HOT to leave her in the car.

So - off to bed with me, and probably no progress tomorrow. It will be late before we get home, I'm sure. Hmmm, I think I'll take my tatting with me, and work on it in the car. That might be fun!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just a little bit of quilting

OK, I finally got into my sewing room, and worked for about an hour on a quilt I'm trying to finish up from last Christmas. Grief!! But I'm pleased with what I did. It's for a nephew, and has construction trucks on it. Some of you have probably seen the fabric. Anyway on the ends, I added more "dirt" and I added a lake on one end. I just finished quilting the "waves" into the lake. Hopefully tomorrow I can get "boulders" between the "roads".
G'night all!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A little bit more about camp

As I'm still working on the camp paperwork and the house (I've not even started on weeding the yard!!), I've not gotten anything done in the way of sewing or tatting to show you. So I thought I'd share a few things about camp.

This picture shows a part of our new lake. It is man made, so it is not very large, but those trees you see are on the island. It is big enough that we were able to offer rowing and canoeing merit badges. Oh, and the name of that boat - "Jim O'Boyle" is named after the scoutmaster my kids had that helped both of them earn their Eagle Badge.

Next Picture:

In the shadows of this picture are 2 very large elk. You will probably want to make the picture bigger to get a better look. There were about 6-8 elk just relaxing under the trees. They were only 25-50 yards away, but that was close enough for me. Boy were they beautiful! And just to prove we really were at the Grand Canyon, here is a picture.

And one more picture for your viewing pleasure. We had an International Scout this year at camp. His name is Laiyin and he is from Jakarta, Indonesia. Here he is, presenting an award from his country to our Camp Director. He also had one for Council that he presented to Suzanne. What an honor to be given such an award.

Laiyin was a wonderful representative from his country. We learned many interesting things, but what I found most unusual is that Laiyin LOVES McDonalds french fries. In fact he says that there is a McDonalds on every corner in Jakarta, and at the movie theater, you don't order popcorn, you get an order of McD's french fries!! (that is the part I found unusual) It is great learning about different cultures!

Well, I hope even tho this was not about quilting, etc, you found it interesting.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Home from Camp

Camp was both very long and very short this year. Add to the regular camp "stuff", my youngest son had graduated from University of Arizona as a Secondary Education - Physics teacher, and was looking for a job. Add to that the hassle he had trying to get his recommendation papers from U of A to get his State Certification (lets just say that the third time it was mailed out, it FINALLY arrived at our home. It only took a month to get the papers he needed!!!) In this time when so many teachers loosing their jobs, I'm so thankful that his certification in Physics has allowed him to qualify for a teaching position. The high school needed his certification papers before they could recommend him for the job to the district school board, and he hopes to receive his contract next week. That will be REALLY good because first day of school for new teachers is Wednesday. It was more nerve racking for me, that it was for him, I think!) Anyway, all that made camp both very long and very short.

My youngest left today to move into his new apt (Oh yea, we had to get that started while we were at camp too!!) and we take his stuff on Saturday)

Today, I took a day long class in one-block wonder. I started with fish fabric, and each of the blocks looks very different. I'll take pictures hopefully this weekend, and get them posted.

Tomorrow, I hope to pick up the rest of the house, continue to visit with my oldest who is visiting this week, and have my cub scout meeting in the afternoon. But more about my schedule next posting. Right now, it's time for bed.

It's nice to be back.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monthly Blogging...

Hi all, and yes, once again, I have to say I'm still here. Monthly Blogging is not very effective, is it??

My raised garden bed is still not complete, but there is only a few feet left to do. I have purchased plants, and filled my flower bed in front of the house. I also have bulbs that should have gone into the ground a month ago, but I stuck them in also, they will either grow or not grow!!

I've made some progress on the third quilt, and have just a little bit more to do. And my youngest has had his graduation, and our dinner after was pretty nice. (At least I think it was pretty nice!!) This coming weekend, we will go back to Tucson, and move him out, and back up here with us. At the end of the summer he plans to move to Texas.

And one more week and a half and we will be moving to camp for the next two months. I got out the last mass mailing to the entire staff today. Now I just have some new uniform pants to hem, and I need to purchase some for me to wear.

Well, I'm going to post this, and head to bed. Have a great day tomorrow, everyone!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm still here...

I've just been really busy! We had our training for camp a week ago, and I've been following up on all the paperwork. Each staff member has an application, a contract, tax forms (A4, W4, I9), shirt order form, code of conduct agreement, and a parental release if under 18. So all the staff whose employment forms are complete are now copied and faxed to council, and I've entered all the T-shirt orders I have on a master form, and I'll be sending that in tomorrow, I think!

Add to that my youngest is graduating from college in a few weeks, and the announcements arrived last Tuesday. Of course, the way things go, the last line of the announcement was wrong (Physics Secondary Education majors do NOT go to the Nursing Convocation!!) When I called the company, they could see he did NOT request the Nursing line, so they sent another set of announcements. (of course, this batch was not correct, and the line "College of Science Convocation" was missing, but what the heck! I had to get the announcements out!) So those went into the mail today! YEA!!!

I got my camera to check if I had any new pictures to show you, but the battery is dead. So no new pictures today. I did get the second quilt bound and labeled, so it is now done. I just have to get after the third quilt. I have a couple of quilting friends coming this weekend for a private quilt-a-thon - so maybe I'll get that one done then. It will be great fun to quilt with friends for the weekend.

I've also started building a raised flower bed. I'm taking some of the stone we bought to make a flagstone walk to the front of the house, and setting it vertically about 1/4 to 1/3 in the ground, and slanting in toward the flower bed. I need to get it done so I can sprinkle seed before it gets too warm, and I don't get any flowers. This bed will be more of wildflowers, and plants that I buy that will not need a lot of water (at least after they are established!) I think it will be pretty, and can't wait to have it done. It is hard work moving all that stone, and getting it set in place though!

Well I started this post on the 27th, but now it is the 28th. Tomorrow evening we have our Pack Meeting, and I need to run to Flagstaff to pick up some items for that. Should be a fun time tho, and I have all the advancement and recognition stuff done for the meeting, so that is good.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Updates on Quilting Progress

With everything I've been doing, I've made a little bit of progress on my quilting, and I want to show you. But first, I want to share some more pictures of snow!! Yes it is snowing at my house. It's been snowing for the last hour and a half, and it must have snowed last night.

I liked this picture because if you look close you can see birds in my neighbor's tree. And you can see some of the flakes in front of the wall of the house. We had planned to go to Phoenix for Easter, our boys who live in Tucson were going to come up to visit us. But because the weather predicted 3-6 inches of snow, and we needed to be home tonight, we have canceled Easter until next week. Isn't the weather funny?? Yesterday there was no snow on the ground, and the temps have been in the upper 50's and 60's. Now we have snow. Can't really complain, the forest needs the water. But it would have been nice if this storm had been 2 or 3 days later!!! Oh, I need to explain... This really is not a lot of snow, but the reason we cancelled our travels is the freeway - I-40 to be exact... Last year in March there was a horrible accident that involved over 100 cars, and had 2 fatalities. Just a few weeks ago during the last storm there was a 3 car accident between here and Flagstaff. When you live up here, you learn to avoid the highway when it is snowing. Too much traffic, too fast, too many semi's, too much risk.

But to update you on my quilting progress...

This quilt it done-done.

And this quilt needs the binding flipped to the front and sewn down, and it's label put on:

This quilt looks a little washed out to me in the photo, but the colors are really soft. It is a 30's print, with a scrappy back. I've made the labels for these 2 and a third quilt on my embroidery machine, and made the patch oval in shape. So I need to finish this quilt, and I have a third "quilt" which is a flimsy right now, so it needs to be layered, etc, etc.

Next post I'll show my last block-of-the-month block that I finished, and what ever I manage to do today.

Hugs to all, and have a Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

OK, I just have to share my Crocus pictures with you.

Now, last year, I had several plants begin to grow, and saw about three buds, and then they all died. Never saw a flower open, and the plants didn't last for even two weeks. So I thought they were dead. (They're dead, Jim. (only if you are a Star Trek fan!)) Anyway, imagine my surprise when the plants sprouted this spring. And I got a flower, and then another, and.... well you get it. All the bulbs were supposed to have purple flowers, but somehow three of the plants had white flowers. And a few of the plants had two flowers each! And when I planted the bulbs, I put them in a nice square grid. And this year, they came up in between the original plantings. I'm jazzed enough that I will plant more bulbs this fall. And if they don't do a lot the first spring, I'll wait and see what happens the next spring. (Boy am I glad I never got around to replacing these bulbs with something else last summer!!)

So here is picture number 1. Showing three of the flower up close. I'm not sure now if the forth flower is a bud, or past it's prime. Does anyone know if I should have picked the flowers off after they were past their prime????

And here is a picture of the bed of Crocus plants- most of the bed anyway. You can see they are kind of sparse, and I really should have done something more with the ground before I put the bulbs in. (Yes, this is our rocky ground that I'm trying to work with. At least what you see is after I removed the biggest rocks!!!)

Well, I took these pictures a few weeks ago, and now all the flowers are over. The leaves are still living tho, so maybe that means the bulbs will be full of flowers next spring??? Won't that be nice!

Oh, here is another flower picture to share with you...

Yes, this is an Amaryllis. What makes this special to me is that it is a bulb that I had last year, and I managed to get it to flower again this year. Actually I had two bulbs I bought this last Christmas, and two from the Christmas before. I didn't dry out the year old bulbs soon enough, so they weren't ready to start for Christmas. The second year old bulb I kept in the garage a few weeks longer than this one, and it is getting ready to bloom any day now. And this last bulb sent up TWO flower stems. I can't wait to see how many flowers are on each of the stems. (Yes this bulb only had two flowers this year, but I'm just pleased that I could get it to flower a second year!!!! This year when the frost danger if over, I'm going to try planting two plants outside for the summer. Then I'll see if they do better next year than the ones I keep in the house.
So now we are caught up on my flowers - (almost, I do have new pansy plants in my front garden!) Next post I'll show the quilts I've been working on.
Hugs to all

Monday, April 6, 2009

Update on the voting for Fawn

Thank you all who took time to vote for my cousin's daughter Fawn in the Buffalo Brides Contest. Fawn gathered 11,000 votes! That was an amazing amount. The winning bride had 55,000 votes, so Fawn did not win the contest. She did however win tickets to a dinner and a movie. And I understand that the contest will run again next year, before her big day, so she might have another chance.
Thanks again, everyone who took time to vote. - Hugs to you all!!

Catching up, or at least starting to!!

I'm so far behind in my postings. I just went and read the blogs that I try to follow, but only had time to leave a few comments. Please know that I DID go and read your blogs. It is nice to catch up on what everyone else is doing.

Now to catch up on some thank you's!
First here are some post cards from my Posty Pals group! The Posty Pals card is from Rhonda. She does such great work with her embroidery machine! The next is from Valerie in Australia. She felt that she did not have time to continue with Posty Pals, but sent me this "real" post card as a final card. Aren't the scenes from South Australia just beautiful?! The third post card is from Carol in Sweden. The stripes on the cards are various ribbons (don't you just love the birthday cake ribbon!!). What a great effect - I wish I had thought of this!

This next picture shows the wonderful "cat" card I received from Holly. She appliqued those cats on to the card. And Holly is my partner for a fat quarter swap. This beautiful fabric is navy blue with the white print. It is calling out to me, but I can't figure out what to use it for yet. But I really like it... Maybe a topper for my kitchen table? Hmmm, I haven't looked at my assignment letter lately, and I bet with all the "goings on" in my life, I might have missed the deadline to send my fat quarter to Holly. Yikes! Holly - it will be in the mail to you shortly!

So that is a start at catching up. I'll try to get my flower and quilt pictures up soon.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Busy with everything except quilting!!!

After running interview sessions for 2 Saturdays in a row, I now have all the applicant data in a spreadsheet, and we are ALMOST ready to create the "you are hired" letters. And this week we had pinewood derby for the Cub Pack, and tomorrow is a tour of the local Police Station. I've NOT done a good job of selling See's Candy for my ESA group (bummer!)

I guess with all my busy-ness, I just have not had the energy to post on my blog. So please forgive me, and hang in there. I hope things settle down soon.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Quick Post.

Just to let you all know I'm feeling a little better. Thanks for all your good wishes. We just got back from Phoenix. Yes, in the last three weeks that first DH was sick, and then myself... We've been to Phoenix 5 times. I hope we did not infect too many people. (But I noticed a lot of other people coughing too!)

In this last trip down and back, I tatted a little heart. I'll show you later when I have energy to take a picture. It is my first tatting from a pattern off the net.

And a quick note to some friends: A - I picked up your quilts, and promise to get them to you soon. They look good, I think! N - I started trying to figure out what weekends we have free. I think there are about 3 or 4 to choose from, so hope one of these will work. I'll get that info to you soon.

Oh, and one of my trips to Phoenix was so the eye Dr could check my retina again. The laser procedure worked perfectly, and I can go 6 months before he sees me again!! Yippee! I still have a little clearish blob in my vision, but it is still improving with time.

Hugs all!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cough, Cough, Cough, Sneeze

Sorry for not posting is such a long time. My DH was kind enough to share the cold/flu with me, and I have just not felt like posting any type of "creative" message. (And darn, I had real hopes that my flu shot was going to keep me from catching it!!). Oh, well. I hope I can slow down long enough to get over this bug.

Take care, and stay well!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Perfect when Travelling by Car

I have found the perfect activity to keep myself occupied while travelling by car. I've tried quilting handwork, and the bumpiness of the ride makes it difficult for me to do the type of work I want to do. On our last trip to Phoenix, I took my tatting with me. Now I'm a very beginning beginner, but I found needle tatting in January at our yearly craft show in Phoenix. I've made a little sample bookmark, which I showed you before. Now I want to show you what I made while traveling:

The tatting is laying on top of my cutting mat, which is marked in a one inch grid pattern. I don't know what I'm going to use this for, but Iwas thinking it would be really pretty around the neck of a t-shirt. I'm using size 8 thread. Oh, and I found the pattern on the internet. It is called "Lacy Lace-Free Pattern", and was from Beverly Elrod BellaOnline's Tatting Editor. (This is the info on the page I printed.) On the right side of the picture you can see threads leading away from the work. This is where I joined threads, and this will be the first time I will need to hide the threads in my work. My beginner book gives some directions, so I will have to re-read that, and figure out how to do this.

The suggestions in the pattern mentioned stringing beads on the thread ahead of time, and placing them in the picots (little loops) of the lace. I can really see them on the bottom side of the lace, either in the large loops only, or in all three loops. This is something I'd like to try soon.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Please HELP!!

My cousin and her daughter would really appreciate all the help they can get. Between March 1st and March 16, they are hoping to get the most votes to win the contest.

Oh, what contest? Well, her daughter is engaged, and lives in upstate New York. The Buffalo News is running a contest for the "Ultimate Wedding", and the couple that gets the most votes wins a $30,000 wedding! (Sounds like a dream come true, doesn't it!!) So here is the web address directly to her voting page: Vote for Fawn. Remember, you can vote up to 10 times each day, and vote every day until March 16th.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Block of the Month Finished "Just In Time"

I need to get to bed, but have to show you that I do some sewing, some of the time. So here is the block of the month that is due this month:

And the one that was due last month: (I was out of town for our meeting, so I didn't get it done)

So now a puzzle, and a question.

First the puzzle: Both of these pictures are landscape in my file, but I've loaded the second picture twice, and both times it has turned 90 degrees on me. Does anyone know why????? Sometimes Blogger just does not like me!

Second, my question: Notice that the two blocks both have a yellow fabric that has a definite direction to it. The print looks like little arches. Now, if the second picture had not turned (grrr!) the arches would both be "up". So my question: When you have a print like this, do you want them all to be the same direction in your blocks/quilt???


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What a great night!

Last night was our Cub Scout Pack meeting. Now some of you know, we are rebuilding the pack in our town. It has folded twice in the last two years, But we are determined to make it go. Our recruitment has been slow, we currently have 5 boys, barely enough for a pack. But I'm getting side tracked.

Last night was our Blue and Gold Banquet. Every February, Cub Scout Packs celebrate the "birthday" of scouting in the USA. This is birthday 99!! All the boys in the pack showed up for this event, with their families. We had just a few awards, as we have only been active since October. We had pizza, salads and cake for dinner. The best part was the boys made the cakes! We had a cake contest, and each boy won a prize - Best Theme, Most Colorful, Most Unique, and Most Decorative. The most Unique cake was created to look like a pinewood derby car, and had headlights, license plates, and the wheels were cupcakes! So clever! Most colorful was decorated with m&m's, red hots, and sprinkles, and the m&m's spelled out WEBELOS (which is the 4th and 5th grade boys!) The most decorative had a spiderman figure and some bad guy figure (sorry, didn't recognize him) on top of the cake, with a few plastic trees. The theme cake was traditionally decorated, with blue frosting, and had our pack number proudly in the center of the cake.

And the best part? You could tell the boys participated fully in making the cakes. Very "boy done". They were great! And they all tasted delicious (yes, I had a sample of all 4 cakes). Oh, I said 5 boys didn't I. The 5th scout had an issue in that his cake got burnt, so he didn't bring it. But I sure hope he enjoyed our banquet, as much as the other boys did. I think the boys and their families had a great time. I know I did!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Melting snow

A quick look at the snow melting here at home. This first picture is the one-lane tunnel under the train tracks, and the hills behind. These hills are what is providing at least some of the water in the next pictures. (notice the vertical road barriers with the lights on the top of them. One is standing, and a couple are laying down)
A close up view of the tunnel. Notice that the water is edge to edge in the tunnel, and it is flowing fairly quickly. See the bright spot on the left side of the tunnel, just above the water?
Well, it is ICE. You would think at 57 degrees today, that the ice would have been gone. Here is a closer picture.

And from the left side of the tunnel, here is the water flowing out. Most of the year we have no or very little water. The foot from the wall the the first white spot moving right is the "normal" path of the water. There is so much water that is it also flowing off the road on the right side, then joining back with the main body of the stream farther down the road in a culvert that goes under the road.

From the left wall of the tunnel, moving right about a foot is the first white spot in the moving water. This is generally the right edge of the "normal" path of the water. There is so much water that is it also flowing off the road on the right side, then joining back with the main body of the stream farther down the road in a culvert that goes under the road.
How many more days do you think it will be before a pothole will force the road to be closed? Now you know what the road barrier signs are sitting there for!! LOL

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Post cards Received and Sending

First I just have to show you this February post card from my "Posty Pal" Holly! I just love her free motion hearts over the surface of the card! Thanks Holly! You brightened my day!

And as usual, I'm finally getting my post cards out. They will go into the mail on Monday, as we don't have Saturday service at our little Post Office. While they all look sort of the same, I tried 3 different methods to make them. Then I just decided to mix and match and put all the various pieces together into the hearts. This was not the look I was trying to get when I started, but I'm happy with my "cave man" look hearts. Lets see if I can get March Post Cards out any sooner than the last week of the month!!!

So, with DH out on his hunting trip, I have one more day and a half with time to do what I want. I've been doing a lot of "what I should" instead of "what I want". Isn't that always the way with wives and mothers? But can't complain. My choices. Now I need to make another choice. What to sew next. I really need to finish my three grand nieces' and nephew's quilts. They have probably forgotten that I'm even making them. The three are in various stages. And I want to mail the three at the same time. I also need to sew my BOM before the 28th. So, I have a lot to do.

Hmmm, it is 50 degrees outside, and the snow is gone from my flower garden (until the next storm). Maybe I'll go put the tulip bulbs in the ground now. (These are 3 bulbs in a little pot I bought a month ago, to enjoy the flowers in the house.) Wonder if the change in temperature will kill them, or will they flower again this spring? I think I'll find out!



HAH, The ground is as hard as a rock, I couldn't get my trowel even 1/4 inch into the ground. Hmm, live and learn! And I noticed the crocus bulbs that didn't do much last year but die, Several are sending up little sprouts. How can they do that in such hard ground??? LOL

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Little bit of a lot of things...

First, winner of my give-away, your packages are now in the mail!

Second. We had a good trip to Phoenix, had our scout meeting, and had the doctor check my eye. Yes, the blood has been absorbed a lot, but now he could see that the retina has a small horseshoe shaped tear. So he lasered it, and I need another check up in a few weeks.

Now let me confess, I had been really scared of having the laser thing done to my eye, but I think God does watch out for me! I had a conversation with a nice lady in the waiting room. Not sure I ever knew her name, and I certainly don't remember it now. But she had had the laser thing several times. When I expressed concern, she sort of sppppfffffd, and waived her hand, and said it was nothing. It was after that I found out I would need the laser thing done. Her statements and attitude calmed me.

And what do you imagine the laser machine looks like? In my mind, it was a smaller version of an MRI - and not really small, and you would put your head in it, etc, etc... OK, I do blow things WAY out of proportion. Now I have your curiosity peaked? Sorry for this let down. The machine is the size of an Orange. Yes, an orange, and not a very big one either. And it is attached to a headband the doctor puts around his head. Yes, he wears it on his head. I really need to teach my imagination not to get so carried away!

So what else is going on? My DH is on a hunting trip, so I have several days to just be me, with no one else's schedule to worry about. I hoped to sew more today, but I got several tasks done, packages in the mail, the virus guard on my computer replaced with one that is working (Yep, that is a very good thing!), and just some general house cleaning done. I was supposed to work for a few hours, and then sew. I plan to do more sewing tomorrow, and maybe a little yet tonight. You all have a good day tomorrow!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm off...

I will shortly be heading to Phoenix, to see my eye doctor for a follow up, and a monthly director's meeting for summer camp. I'm going to take my tatting stuff with me, as it is small and easy to transport. :-)

I'll see you all in a couple days.

Monday, February 16, 2009

And the Winner is:

I noticed in another blogger's give-away that they used this random number generator to select the winner of their give-away. Seemed like a neat way of selecting the winner to me, so I adopted the idea. So, with out a lot of fanfare, the winners are #12 in first place, and number 7 in second place. Congratulations Winners!! And thanks to all who entered the contest.

What? you want to know who 12 and 7 are??? Well the 7th and 12th person to comment on the give-away blog of course! Oh, you don't want to go look it up yourself??? hmmm, ok, I guess I can tell you here.

First place, number 12 is: West Michigan Quilter! She selected the fat quarters!

Second place, number 7 is: Brenda! And as it works out, Brenda selected the magazine!

Again, Congratulations. I'll be sending you each email shortly.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Give Aways!!

Run over to Mother Superior's Blog to enter her give away. It closes Saturday Feb 14 at midnight Mountain Time. She is giving away a $50 dollar gift certificate good on orders from their web site. I don't know about you, but I ALWAYS want more thread!! And I've only looked around her blog for a few minutes, but it is great!

And while you are at it, don't forget my give-away. Scroll down to my Feb 7th post and enter! Dead line is noon February 15th, Mountain time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


OK, Tatting Chic was brave enough to put in writing what I'm sure crossed every one's mind. Just where does she get these porcupine quills?? No, I don't harvest them directly (but I did think about it one day - that's another story!) I get them from a Native American supply shop in Phoenix. I've looked in Flagstaff, but nada. The only place I've ever found is the one shop in Phoenix. It's a great shop to learn more about Native American culture, or if you are involved with Boy Scouts Order of the Arrow, they have all sorts of things for regalia. Hence the porcupine quills.

So, If you know of another outlet to purchase quills, let me know, please. What? You really want to know about when I did think about harvesting my own quills? Well, it is kind of yucky. What, you don't care?? OK you asked for it. If you have a weak stomach, you might want to stop now.

I live in a very small community (one grocery store, one dollar store, NO drug store... you get the picture), and it is a 30 mile trip to Flagstaff where there is shopping. There are some communities between us and Flagstaff, but they are even smaller than we are. So you get the picture - the highway is through very rural area, with long stretches of not much of anything, except trees, and an occasional animal. While driving there and back, we occasionally see "road kill". (Told you it was yucky!!) Anyway, on one of my trips, on the side of the road was a dead porcupine. I could see all those quills sticking up! It flashed through my mind "Look at all those quills!!"

But very quickly common sense took over. "You are on an Interstate for pete sakes!" "How do you think you can get the quills loose?" "Do you think you can handle getting them loose, if you even had a pair of pliers, which you don't!" "Dummy, you'll get hit by a passing vehicle!!!" So I heaved a big sigh for a lost opportunity, and kept on driving. (Hmmm, I still wonder how hard are they to pull out? And just how many quills are there on a porcupine?? LOL) I may never know.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More about the porcupine quill stilettos

Several people wanted to learn more about the porcupine quills that I use for a stiletto while sewing. They come in various sizes. The small ones below are about 4-5 inches long. The end on the right is harder, and comes to a more blunt tip. If I want to put pressure on what I'm doing, I might use this end. The end on the left is flexible, and sharp. It is the "business end of the quill" for the porcupine. The little barbs are so small, I can't see them, but if you run your fingers from the left end toward the center, you can feel the roughness of the quill. I use this end most often. When I sew on fabric where the top fabric is trying to stretch, I hold the quill down flat on the fabric, just in front of my sewing machine needle. It keeps the two layers together, and keeps them from shifting. I've done this so much, I've made a flat side on the quill!! These do wear out after a while, but I get a lot of use from each quill. You can see in the picture below that they are not all straight, and the shapes vary from quill to quill.

I also want to share this picture of our snow. A big storm came through northern Arizona. We had winds gusting to 30 mph so most of our snow blew away. But here is a picture of the hill behind our house from our back patio (taken over the tops of the houses behind us!) I just liked the snow on the far trees, with the green trees in front, and then the one tree with no leaves at the bottom of the picture. There is just little bits of snow in the closer pine trees because of all the wind!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Celebrating my 100th Post!!

OK, you just KNOW 100 posts needs a celebration! So I'm celebrating with a give-away! Actually, I'm going to give 2 prizes, so listen up.

First up is a magazine "Quilt". This is one of my favorite magazines. There are several cute quilts in this magazine every month. There is always pattern pages in the magazine, and this month there are templates for the tulip quilt on the cover (plus other things). There is an applique framed picture with embroidery, a lesson in a quick binding technique, and even a quilt they claim to be able to be made in 90 minutes!! (Hmm, not sure I could get it done in 90 minutes, I always seem to be slow in putting things together!) Oh, and don't forget the tote bag instructions. And the best part of this prize??? Not only do you get this magazine, but I'm giving a 1 year subscription!!

Prize number 2: A packet of 6 fat quarters. I just love these cardinals. And with 6 fat quarters you should have enough to make a wall hanging. Or just add these to your stash! It's up to you. (Hmm, looking at the 90 minute quilt in the magazine there is ALMOST enough fabric here to make that quilt. Might be hard to get the cardinals fussy cut tho!)

And I am going to add a porcupine quill stiletto to each prize also. It you haven't been reading my blog for a long time, you may not have heard about the porcupine stilettos. These are great! The tips hold on to your fabric but don't damage it. If you hit the stiletto with your sewing machine needle, no worries! (I've done that a couple of times. No needle damage, and the quill survives too.) If you want to see what these look like, make a note on your entry comment, and I'll show you a picture in my next post.

AND I reserve the right to add anything else I come up with to the prizes!

So, here are the particulars! Please leave me a comment on THIS posting. AND I need you to tell me if you would prefer the magazine or the fat quarters. The first person drawn will get their choice, the second drawn will get the other prize. If the first drawn does not indicate a preference, the second drawn will get their choice. Sound fair?? I hope so, cause that's the rules!! Oh, and entry deadline will be February 15th, at noon Mountain Standard Time. That's just a little longer than a week.

Hugs to all, and good luck!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Like I don't have enough "projects"!!

When I was at the craft show, I spotted this little book on Tatting. Actually it is 8 1/2 x 11 inches, but it only has 28 pages. I found this is a great book to teach yourself tatting. It came as a kit, with a packet of 4 different tatting needles. (Tatting needles are blunt like tapestry needles, but these needles are 5 inches long, and are the same thickness from the point to the eye.) I guess there are a couple different types of tatting, this is Needle Tatting. I made a couple practice rings and then during Superbowl I made the little orange piece laying on the book.

The little thing I made will be a bookmark, I need to string a ribbon down through the center where the needle is. Below my bookmark is the package of needles and threader that came with the book.
This is an up-close view of my tatting. My rings are not all the same size, and the loops are not even either, but I'm pretty pleased with this first piece. It measures about 1 inch wide, and 2 1/2 inches long. It did get faster to make as I made more rings. But can you imaging having to make this if you wanted a little bit of lace at the neck of your dress??
On another note, as I was logging in, I noticed that this is blog number 99! That means my next blog is number 100! Seems to me that is a milestone that needs to be celebrated! So to celebrate, I will have a give-away. I'm not sure what it will be yet, but I hope you will like it, and want to enter into the drawing. Hmm, Fabric... ohhh, CHOCOLATE! Quilty stuff?? Maybe I can find a neat book? Hmmmm!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I've been in Phoenix for the last 3 days. Thursday 2 friends from my last workplace and I went to the Phoenix Craft Fair at the AZ State Fair Grounds. We met early for breakfast, and then shopped all day. I spent too much money, but I had so much fun!! Then on Friday, I went BACK to the craft fair with my mother-in-law. Didn't quite spend the whole day this time, but again spent too much money!! yikes!!!!

Then today my co-den leader and I went to Pow Wow. No, not that kind of pow wow. This was a Cub Scout training event. we went from class to class, had lunch, and had fun. I made a Harry Potter wand in the magic class, and learned how to pass a cotton ball through a glass, and several other magic tricks!! We also talked about den doodles, and I need to find the beads I had years ago for the boy scout troop, because they would be good for a den doodle!!!

Classes were over about 4pm and then I finished packing, and drove home. I'm dead on my feet now, or I'd take pictures of the craft fair stuff, to show you some of the goodies I bought.

Hugs to all, and thank you for stopping by!!

Monday, January 26, 2009


OK, I've already admitted here that I'm not the greatest housekeeper. But!

After I mailed out last months postcards, I had to change the sewing room into a guest room. That meant nicely putting things away until I ran out of time, and then "just putting things away"! LOL Anyway, I apparently "put away" the little clear sleeves I use to mail out my postcards, and I'm nervous with the needle punch on the front of the cards of just sending them "as is"! Darn it! I'm sure they will show up eventually, and either in a place in plain site, or someplace really weird!

Oh, well. I'll figure out something!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Just a Little Tease

Before I show you my tease, I want to show you the cute card I received from Marie! I live in the middle of pine trees, and this card just reminds me of that. And Marie was bold enough to mail her card "as is"... no cover or envelope... and it arrived perfectly!! No smudges! (And with the cutest stamp I've ever seen - a starfruit!! Thanks so much Marie! I love it!
OK, just a little tease as to what this months postcards are going to look like... But as I looked at them, I was not quite happy with them. They needed more! More what??? hmmmm, MORE!!! So I did a little MORE. But that is the tease. I'm not showing the finished version until after my recipients have received them!! And actually there are 8 cards!

Oh, and I discovered that I could raise the needlepunch by gently rubbing over it with a damp washcloth. So if you get yours in the mail, and it is a little "flat", just try the damp washcloth trick. It works wonders.

So, now I've got the quilts go get back to. Sounds wonderful at this point! I'm loving getting a few things done!!

Hugs! And thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Door Valances are finished!

Yes, I really have them finished. Here is a picture of the two of them. The top one is hanging on the window as it should. The bottom on is pinned on the window covering. After the issues with the binding on the first one, I did cut the binding on the second one at 2 1/2 inches. It is a little wider on the back than I would prefer, but there were no missed places when I stitched it down.

Now on to my post cards that need to go out to the group on Monday. Then maybe the quilts that are in progress.
Hugs to all!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Help, What I did in Phoenix, and How fast they grow!

Before I get to my other two title topics, can anyone help me with this? I have the worst time getting bindings the right size. Either they are too skinny, and I fight with them, or they are too wide. Look at this:

I put the binding on the front, and turned it over to the back. I didn't want to hand sew it down, and I wanted the stitching on the front to be straight, so I sewed threw the binding on the front side after pinning the binding to the back. I really pinned it tight, but you can see, I missed catching it in several places. So the strips I used here were 2 inches wide. I'm going to cut new strips for the second valance that are 2 1/4 inches wide. I'm hoping that will do the trick. So what type of hints do you all have, that will make my binding easier, and not be too wide (which then flops all over the place on the back) or too narrow like this example??? Help Please!!

OK, last post I let you know that I was going to be in Phoenix and was looking forward to several hours to quilt, sew, what ever. So what did I do.... You aren't going to believe this. I spent the ENTIRE afternoon in two different eye doctor offices. All of a sudden on Monday I noticed a larger "floater" in my eye than normal. Now most people have floaters - when you close your eyes, and there is a bright light in front of you, you can see little pieces of "dust" floating around. They move with your eye movements. Those are floaters, and very common as I understand it. But this was a large thing, and I noticed it with my eye open. So to the Dr I went when we got to Phoenix. My regular Dr could not find any damage to my retina (a common cause of these bigger floaters!) but sent me to a retina specialist to be sure. The specialist determined that I had had a small bleed in my eye, and that is what I can "see". He could not see where it happened, and will check me in another 4 weeks again. In the mean time, I'm to watch for signs of my retina detaching, and call him immediately if that happens. I have great doctors, so I feel pretty good about that, but it is a little scary, and I won't mind a few prayers. I've said several myself already.

How fast they grow!

OK, I know both my boys are really men now, but you know how it hits home every so often??? Well I messaged my oldest this afternoon, and in conversation, asked him if he was at work or at home. The answer - NEITHER!. He was at the San Diego airport, waiting for his connection to San Jose. He was on a BUSINESS TRIP! Going to the main office to do some testing with people there. HUH! He flew on a plane on a business trip. Now I know this happens all the time. I made a few business trips myself in the past. And I certainly feel that both my boys are capable. But yikes! it just sort of hit me. And my youngest son? he is Student Teaching at a middle school. I saw him Tuesday night, he came to the camp meeting we had. He had come right from teaching, and still had on a button shirt. (I can probably count how many times he wore a button shirt in High School on my two hands) LOL Next year, God willing, he will be TEACHING High School. Wow, just WOW.

And I just heard from my Uncle back east. My aunt is having breathing problems, and is in ICU. Please include her in your prayers too.

Thank you so much for listening to me ramble on. Hugs everyone!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just a little more progress...

Well, as I suspected, I did not make as much progress as I wanted to on the valances. We had the Cub Scout Leader's meeting this evening at my house, so I needed to do a little picking up. Actually I think these little meetings are good for me. It forces me to not ignore my house. LOL!

Anyway, I did have a few hours free time before the meeting, but chose to watch the Cardinals/Eagles game. It was a great game, and the Eagles last play was something we had never seen before. (How many football players can the ball be passed to before the end of the down???)

Since the meeting ended, I have trimmed the valances, and prepared the binding. So, if I can find some time tomorrow, I will see what I can get finished. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I can make some progress.

Tomorrow I also need to decide what to take to Phoenix on Tuesday. We will be having our first planning meeting for the 2009 Summer Camp season. This year we have added a lake, and will also be adding a mountain bike program. It should be a good summer. Aaaah, but what does my needing to decide what to take to Phoenix have to do with it??? Well, my DH has a couple other meetings, so we will be going down before noon, and I will have about 5 hours to entertain myself before the camp meeting. So what to do?? I can take my machine, but won't have a good place to do any quilting. So piecing is needed. Or hand work. And smaller projects are better, there really is not much space in the trailer. Yikes, I think I have to take one of the small folding tables down too. I don't trust the dining table to hold my machine, besides it is a booth, and not comfortable for sewing. Maybe I just need to do hand project(s). Well, I guess I'll figure it out tomorrow.

Hugs, and good night all!

On to something new...

I guess I just get bored too easily. My postcard fabric is coming along nicely, but have I worked on them for the last 2 days??? NO!! So what have I been doing you ask? Well, I have two doors off the living room of my house, one on each side. They both have large single pain windows in them (like a french door, but no wood dividing up the glass into little windows). Over a year ago, I made cover for each window, and then a valance to decorate the top. The covers are plain white, and my idea was I could make different valances to decorate. Well, I have a blue and yellow for just general, and a set for Christmas. But last year I started a set for Valentines Day. I got the hearts made, but that was as far as it went. Yesterday I got them out, and then had to look for the remaining fabric to see what I could bind them in.

Now I have to admit, I have torn apart my sewing room, changing how I organize it, and it is not back together yet. So it took a while to find the fabric I was looking for. (Yea, yea... I'll finish cleaning it one of these days!) Anyway, I found the fabric, and decided what I wanted to use for binding, but there was not enough of that fabric left. So I looked online, but decided to call the local shop where I had bought the fabric originally. This morning I made the call, and yes, they had the fabric. So I made the half hour trip to town, got the fabric, did some other stuff, and got home about 1pm. Then I decided to quilt the valances! So here they are - quilted.

And a close-up of one heart and quilting....

I'm not really happy with my quilting... to many little zigs instead of smooth gentle curves. (No, I didn't pick out that part!! LOL) But good enough. Tomorrow I hope to trim them up, make the binding and get it on, label and get the rings on so that I can hang them up!! Wonder if I can get all that done?? check back tomorrow
And yes, I will get back to my postcards, and the quilts for my nieces kids!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

January Postcards...

Well, yesterday during my free time, I wandered around my sewing room, Just seeing what there was to do. For some reason, hearts came to mind, and I came up with a good idea for my February post cards. But this is January... hmm. So I browsed through my fabric and stumbled on to a very bright print, with a white background. It's circles, but reminds me of fireworks a little bit. OK, that will work for January. But I didn't want to do just plain fabric. Ahhh, I have a needle punch kit, and I even found it. So for the last 2 nights, I've been adding to the fabric, doing needle punch. One or two more evenings, and I'll be ready to turn the fabric into postcards.

And the other night I was flipping through a quilting magazine just before going to bed. I found the cutest throw, that has ginger bread men and peppermint candies on it. I had an "ah ha" moment, and thought "wouldn't that be cute for a shower curtain in the guest bath for Christmas". So as I laid in bed, trying to go to sleep, my mind kept thinking about the shower curtain... But Christmas just finished, and I really need a decorative shower curtain over the clear liner. So I should do something else for now... I bought fabric a while ago for a decorative shower curtain... Wonder if there is enough fabric to cover the liner? etc, etc... Needless to say, my mind would not let me get to sleep, or maybe it was stay asleep. But the next morning I got up, and YES, I can turn that fabric in to a shower curtain, with fabric to spare. So now I have another project I really want to do. If I do it plain, I can do it relatively quickly. And the fabric is really bright!!

Stay tuned. I hope to have a sewing weekend, as I've really not been sewing much this week.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I feel like a big weight has been lifted off....

OK, I do it to myself. Yesterday was the last "thing" I had to be ready to entertain for. I had the ladies in my service sorority over for our monthly meeting. I only do this one month a year, so I needed to have my house cleaned up. (You have to understand we LIVE in our house, and I've decided I'm just NOT a good housekeeper!! Don't get me wrong, you won't catch anything here, but stuff seems to accumulate, and I'd rather do something else than pick stuff up!!) Any way, I now can do "what I want". Hubby says he has work for me this afternoon, and I've spent the morning looking at blogs, and reading email.

Now what am I going to go do?? I've got so many ideas, I keep flitting from one to the other, and can't settle on anything. Guess I'll go sit in my sewing room, and see what happens!

Have a great day, and hope you too can find time to do what you want!!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

I need to say Thank You!

Over the last 2 months I have received several post cards from my post card group. In cleaning for the family over New Years, I "put them away" someplace, so don't have them to take pictures of right at the moment. I'm sure they are in my closet where all my sewing stuff goes when it needs to be "out of site". But so is everything else. After I clean the house this weekend, that stuff will be coming out, and I'll organize the closet some more. (Seems to be an endless task!! LOL) Anyway, enough excuses! I just wanted to say thank you to all who have sent me cards.

I've gotten several cards, and I'm pretty sure I got this idea from one of my post card swappers (not sure who, but read this in one of my brief checks on blogs in the last 2 months!) I've decided I'm going to get a scrapbook or photo album, and put all the great cards I've been getting into the album. They have been on my design wall, but are beginning to take up too much room :-) Not enough room for the quilts, and no room for more design wall! So a scrap book open on one of the chests in the room will be great. And I can have the newest cards on the design wall, and keep all the others to look at as I wish. Now to wait for a Michaels coupon to get my book! (If I stole this idea from you, thank you very much!)

It is January, and I've been thinking what I might want to do for my cards this month. Not sure yet. A new yarn shop opened up right next to my favorite quilt shop in Flagstaff. Maybe I'll do something with one of their really neat yarns. Makes me wish I new how to knit or crochet!! Hmmm, I should take pictures of their shop the next time I'm in there. (both shops, the quilt shop has a new location too!

I think I'll do that!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm Baaaaaack!!!

I can't believe it's been almost 2 months since I have posted on my blog. I'm sure everyone has just about given up on seeing anything new here. If you've made it back, thank you. So why have I been gone so long?? Just over busy and over stressed. No, no major issues or dilemmas in my life, I just have over committed myself. All are things that I want to do, just not enough time in the day.

So, Christmas - I had grand plans to make a whole bunch of things for Christmas, and I got about 1/3 of them done. Of course, I couldn't talk about them here before Christmas, and that is mostly what was on my mind. One of the coolest things I made was a portfolio for my sister-in-law. Of course I forgot to take any pictures!! Maybe she'll take a picture and send it to me so I can post it. I appliqued an oak leaf on the front, and embroidered her initials. On the inside was a tablet on the right, and on the left, a zipper pocket, 4 card pockets, and a large pocket at the top. Oh, it also has full size pockets from the center, under each side. And a loop for a pen. I was pretty please with how it turned out.

I made a woven-looking scarf for my sister, and dyed and pleated a silk scarf for my mother. And then for my niece's kids I started three kid sized quilts. These I did not get done, tho I did my best. I'm trying to get them finished in the next few weeks, and then I will mail them off. Pictures will be coming. I have a supply of silk scarves to make more scarfs, and some other great pattern that I'd like to do. Maybe I need to start now for next year??? LOL

For Christmas I added pine garland on top of all my kitchen cabinets, and added red bows, and pine cones for decoration. Of course I picked up pine cones from under the trees around the house. Most were really a nice large size. The down side to using pine cones from the outside is that about a week after bringing them in the house, I had a small infestation of little flying bugs!!! We don't spray for bugs, because my husband is sensitive to the spray, so I go on "hunting" session with a paper towel or Kleenex, and mush all of these that I can find. I still have them, but I hope to "do away" with all of them soon. (I hate bugs in my house!!) And why all the extra decorating? On New Year's day, we had "Family Christmas". 11 Adults, 3 kids, and 4 dogs kept things lively. We had a great time, even if it was noisy! :-)

And add to this that I'm now a Cub Scout Den Leader, and planning weekly den meetings, well, it keeps me busy.

I hope every one had a wonderful and safe New Year's eve/day, and that 2009 will be a great year for everyone.