Tuesday, August 31, 2010

eq & the generosity of friends . . .

Yesterday I played around with that Christmas table topper, mentioned my color/fabric dilemma, asked for input, and got it! One dear blogger friend, Pat, from A Little of This and a Little of Pat, didn't just make suggestions, she opened up her EQ7 and did a little playing around for me!

First, she replaced the cream with a green and sent me this one:

Then, at my request, she tweaked it just a tad and sent this one back. I love this!!! The holly fabric has just a hint of gold glimmer going through it; I think it would be pretty if the green did, too. Look, it even has the binding on it!

Then she just played around with the block and sent me three alternatives:

Of the alternatives, this last one is my favorite! I didn't realize how easy/fun/handy EQ was. I've never seen it used. I'm rather fascinated by the catalog of fabrics it has in its library. I think this convinces me that I'd like to have it! I may have to adjust my birthday list! :)

Pat thank you *so* much for doing this for me! I do hope today finds you feeling better!

And my son sent me a smile. I watched Sawyer on Saturday evening when they set him down with the book -- he turns the pages and everything! What a precocious rascal he is! And a reader, to boot -- gotta love it!

Moo, moo!


Monday, August 30, 2010

this , that, and the other . . .

Today was my optimum Monday. I'm off, Todd's on shift, and there's really very little that I *had* to do! Talk about a day that just feels goooooooood!

I got a load of laundry in early, but the danged dryer portion of our combo unit is not working, so there's not point in putting in a second load. I'd really wanted to have all the laundry completely caught up, but c'est la vie. I don't think I'll let it stress me. ;)

It's been a rather soft, gray day. The temps aren't too hot, though they're certainly not cool! Rain has danced all around us, but other than a very few sprinkles, I've not seen any precipitation of substance. As I type, I'm watching a doe walk up the road, like a sentinel watching the borders! The birds are busy, busy, busy this afternoon, flitting, eating and drinking.

I did head out mid-morning to get my Lissa blocks in the mail and do my weekly bookkeeping for the builder I help out. From there I headed over to have lunch with Kim & Sawyer! I didn't take any pictures because I can either hold him or take pictures of him . . . guess which I chose? LOL!!

I made some finishing progress on Sawyer's quilt, too! It's all quilted and squared up, ready for the binding!!!! Whooohoo!!

By the way, you do see the view I have while sewing, right? Sometimes it's hard not to be distracted!

My hope was to get all the binding cut, put together, on the quilt and have it ready to finish. But my foot started aching, so I decided it was time to take a foot-icing break. I did manage to get the binding cut and ready to go, though. (Although I admit it's been so long, it took me a while to figure out what I'd done with the fabric I'd set aside for the binding! Shhhhh!)

Anyway, it's all ready to go, when I'm ready to go!

I probably shouldn't tell on myself, but my quilting supplies niche has seen better days! Of course, given that I haven't really been into it for three months, and Todd moved us during that time, makes it look not *nearly* as bad as it could! This was one of the areas I had wanted to re-organize for my July/August Charming Girls goals, but being up and about still takes effort, and I'm not quite ready to tackle this yet.

On the other hand, being organized will mean I don't spend so much time hunting what I'm looking for, and will have more time for the actual doing!

I think I mentioned Saturday that I wanted to do something with Christmas fabric with the Heavenly Stars block from Quilter's Cache. Though the block is done with 2.5" strips, I'd like to make it a little bigger and use 3" squares. I'd like a single block as a table topper. I was playing around with photos of my fabric and came up with this . . . help me out here -- I *really* am set on the center star being the holly fabric, and I like the way the red borders it, but I'm not completely sold on the gold/cream print in the surrounding stars. Any thoughts?

Finished it would be 20" square. I'd probably bind it with whatever I use for the outer circle of stars.

I also finished working on a power point project for Todd. He's leading a session tomorrow evening for the Madison Baptist Association's leadership conference. I'm his wing man -- I'll do his audio/visual! He typed up his notes, and then I did the student handout and the presentation from that. He's put a lot of work into this, and it's going to be good! I'm *so* proud of my dear husband!!

So, for now, I'm off to have a cup of tea and switch out ice bags on the ol' foot. Tomorrow is my re-evaluation and I sure don't want to get bad marks! From here on out, I'll just be wildlife watching!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

normal is *good* . . .

Yesterday was a GREAT day. It was normal. *I* felt normal! I made omelets and toast for breakfast, I did dishes, I cleaned the toilet, sink, and shower, I did laundry, I organized our closet and my drawers, I played in my sewing room . . .

I felt like I had my life back again!

Here's a current snapshot of the ol' foot:

Can you see it??? There's an ankle over there on the right side! Whoohoo!!! And look at how much the scar is fading across the top of my foot!!!

It's still puffy and there's still swelling across the back of the heel, and I *still* can't get it into a normal shoe, but oh my goodness, it looks *so* much better! In fact, when I compare a picture like this to the picture of this poor foot on May 21, 2010, I consider this to be a major miracle! :)

Physical therapy is coming along well. I have a reevaluation appointment on Tuesday. I don't imagine they'll cut me loose just yet -- I still have a very pronounced limp -- there's still plenty of strengthening that needs to be done. I can't balance on my right foot alone for longer than, oh, about 10 seconds, before it begins to scream at me!

You know what else felt good about yesterday? I was able to walk and hold my precious grandbaby!! I can hardly believe he's just two weeks shy of being SIX MONTHS OLD! Gracious. He's so much fun -- and *everything* goes into his mouth! And if there's not something to grab and put into his mouth, his hands will do!

In fact, it was tough getting a picture of him *without* his mouth being filled with one thing or another . . .

Okay, Grandma, here's ONE.

Oh my, how he melts my heart!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

sewing party . . .

* * * Calling it a night! * * *

Well lucky me -- I got a text from my son late this afternoon, inviting DH and I over for pizza and time with the grandbaby. Ummm, ladies, time with the grandbaby??? Sewing was *all* over! I'll have some free time tomorrow and Monday to finish up and post pictures! And probably some Sawyer pictures, too!!

I so enjoyed your company today -- have a great night, filled with visions of sugar plums!!


* * *
Update * * *

Three o'clock and all's well!

I've got lots of things cut; some things pinned; some things I'm still thinking about. I *can* tell you that I'm doing a little something with this pretty little block, from Quilter's Cache. I hope perhaps I'll be able to take pictures of it later.

I'm *also* doing lots of playing with this darling little tutorial, found on Prairie Moon Quilts!

I cut, stitched and pressed my blocks for Lissa, too. I'll send those off on Tuesday!

I've also had my last cup of coffee (I moved on to pomegranate iced tea, which is red, so still in the spirit), eaten a fare share of my kettle chips, and only had a bite of my Hershey bar! I've been too intent on projects, if there's still chocolate left at 3 o'clock in the afternoon! :)

* * * Original Post * * *

I do love having choices and today I've got plenty!! I mentioned
last night that I wouldn't be able to necessarily discuss details, nor show finished products, but I can show my options . . .

Today's Christmas sewing may involve a little of these . . .

Or possibly a little of these . . .

And maybe even a little of this . . .

And most likely a little of these . . .

But most definitely it will include this:

Now, go check out Charming Chatter and see what everyone else is up to today!!



Friday, August 27, 2010

christmas in august . . .

It's time for a . . .

Check out the Charming Chatter blog and join in the fun!

To get in the mood, I stopped by the store on my way home tonight and picked up a few things to add a little life to my party! I got my salty chips, my chocolate, and plenty of coffee mate! It may not look like much, but the ability to share this fare over the cyber-waves is endless! :)

I even bought my *favorite* flavored coffee mate -- Peppermint Mocha is not just for holidays any more! That, and my pretty Lenox Christmas tree mug, are *sure* to put me in the holiday sewing spirit!

I'm not sure how much I'll be able to share about what I'm actually sewing . . . it is Christmas, you know! (I dearly love Christmas secrets -- especially when they're mine!)


fall processes . . .

Fall has been on my mind. I have this very clear picture of a fall wall hanging in my mind, and in order to be *true* to the process pledge I took, I thought I'd jot a little of it down today! There's probably a kit out there somewhere that does something similar to this, but this is what's in my head, and I think I'd like to go with it.

My thinking is a rectangular wall hanging -- not overly big -- probably around 22" X 17" s (Which happens to be the *exact* size of my desk calendar; wasn't that convenient?). Maybe a little bigger, but I want it to be something I can hang in my RV, so it really couldn't be too much bigger!

I sketched it out on paper. My idea is a bushel basket at the top left corner, with leaves falling out of it, starting small, and getting progressively bigger to the bottom of the quilt. I am not the best of sketchers, but I get my point.

I like the idea of just a tree trunk in the background, with the quilting making the bark look. I got my basket in there, but I wasn't happy with my leaf drawings, so I pulled up Publisher and played around in it a little. I like the effect of the larger leaves spilling out over the inside border!

So far, so good. I added acorns at the corners -- I love acorns! I just used a couple of different clip art leaves and resized/rotated them to get the feeling I'm after. I found a clip art tree that I chopped up in paint, so I didn't have the rest of the leaves and limbs showing on it. Then after I printed it, I realized I want the trunk a bit thicker, so I penciled that in, along with my quilted bark, and my basket. I'm not sure I like the holes in the tree -- that was just the picture I pulled up -- but it does give the roots definition. I dunno. In my mind, it makes the tree look a little spooky, and that's definitely not the feeling I want. I want substantial.

I felt like my basket drawing needed to be heavier, darker, so I put the pencil back to that. I'll probably use more leaves than what I've pictured -- it needs to be a little fuller -- and I'll probably use a mossy-green batik for the background. I didn't think I'd like green as the backdrop, but it sets off the fall colors very nicely! I'll keep a darker green for the outer border, and bind it in a dark brown.

I was originally thinking of quilting the leaf definition on the leaves, but now I'm thinking I'll machine applique, and quilt a twirling, falling leaf pattern instead! (Whew!)

I found a great template for a maple leaf -- I'd like to have at least two different styles of leaf (like a maple and an oak), and may two or three of an odd shape thrown in for interest. I think I'd like to use bold, fall-colored batiks. Batiks are perfect for autumn leaves, because you get that rather mottled look -- it also adds eye interest!

I have to admit, the thought of cutting out all those leaves is rather daunting! This is definitely where a GO! cutter or even pre-cuts would be nice. Really, the GO! cutter would be most GREAT! Perhaps one of those will find its way into my possession someday soon!

So there it is. The process has begun. FIRST, though, there are some Lissa blocks and a Sawyer quilt that I MUST see to!



Thursday, August 26, 2010

greens & purples . . .

My first trip into a quilt store in MONTHS! (Mainly because I could both actually drive and walk comfortably with a single crutch -- and I was in the area.) I didn't purchase a lot; mainly I went in because I wanted to GO IN A QUILT SHOP! LOL!

It was a fat quarter day . . .

The greens and purples (and it's purple, I swear, not blue) are for Patches for Lissa. I need to get those off early next week!

It kills me what my camera sees -- or what the flash does to color. They're such soft, peaceful colors, but the photography (or perhaps, the photographer) can't do it justice! I'll be happy to have these sewn up and on their way to a bigger project, to provide comfort and quilty hugs to a young woman who's been through so much.

While I was at said quilting shop, I happened upon this darling little pair of embroidery scissors. And though I'd just recently commented somewhere about the number of pairs of little scissors I already have, these called to me. They just did. I immediately answered. :)

In just two weeks, I'll be headed to Maryland, to meet up with this precious group of girls from way back . . . my beautiful sisters!! I'm the oldest on the far left. I love this picture, though it's always made me giggle -- we're looking in three different directions!

My folks are celebrating their FIFTIETH anniversary on September 10th, and we're going up to party with them!! Whoohoo! Something I'm much looking forward to.

August is quickly coming to a close. I have two more Charming Girls goals to accomplish -- but I think I'm not quite (physically) ready to take on one of them. But I'm determined to finish up the quilt!

Buenas noches!!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the little joys . . .

He has the cutest expressions.

What a darling!

Too cute!

Oh happy day!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

a couple of giveaways to share . . .

There are lots of really *great* giveaways going on in blogland right now!

If you're in the market for a GO! cutter,
check out A La Mode Fabric's generous giveaway!

If you love beautiful fabrics,
head on over to Quiltstory and check out that sweet giveaway!

If those aren't enough, head on over to
jaybird quilts
and check out this week's listing of blogger giveaways!!

Or, you can be like ME, and do 'em all!!!



Monday, August 23, 2010

i ♥ mondays!

It's lovely not having to go to work on Mondays; I enjoy getting up so much more! This was the breakfast crew this morning. I looked up and there were two fawns. Then I looked up again and a third fawn had joined them. One minute later, a doe comes ambling in. Next time I glance out there, it's a full house!

We headed into town relatively early this morning. Todd had some mail outs that needed to be run through the meter and then gotten to the post office, and I needed to make a visit to the doc. My asthma has kicked into high gear, for some reason, and I really, REALLY needed to be seen. I know it was bad, because the doc said as much; he doesn't know what triggers it either (I mean, c'mon -- the last episode I had was ages ago! When I went to pull out an inhaler last week, it had expired in March . . . of 2009!!) He did tell me that we needed to act fast and pull no punches. Like he needed to tell me this, "You've had enough hospital time this summer!" I agree, doc, I agree! He did tell me that he was *very* pleased with how the brown recluse spider bite looked!

After the doc's office (and dropping off the prescriptions) we headed over to one of our favorite places to eat out . . . Cracker Barrel! I don't know why, but when I was looking at the menu, hot chocolate caught my eye, and that's what I wanted . . .

And it was very, *very* good!!

Todd did not want his picture taken this morning! He's such a darling husband! I love him!

After breakfast, we shopped around the store a bit. They have all the Alabama / Auburn game gear out on display, as well as lots of fall decor and Halloween stuff! Oh my goodness, and I couldn't believe it, but there was already a whole section of CHRISTMAS stuff on display! I couldn't linger there -- it's way to early for me to see that stuff!!

I did make two little purchases. One for us -- an 8" pre-seasoned cast skillet, for making cornbread for two. And one for the most specialist, little man in my life!! Isn't he just darling? It looks like he's getting ready for Halloween -- he's gonna be a Ninja turtle!

Cowabunga, dude!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

celebrate good times . . .

This morning we are headed off to Lighthouse for church, just as we do most Sundays, but today, we're going to celebrate Lighthouse's 15-year anniversary!! And not just fifteen years of existence, but fifteen years of service by our wonderful pastor and his wife, Brother Randy and Miranda. Randy & Miranda have been dear friends of ours for near fourteen years, and we are excited to be celebrating this milestone with them today!! Ah yes, hence the mass quantities of potato salad and banana pudding yesterday!!

We had rain, rain, and more rain last night, accompanied by thunder, lightning, high winds, and a little bit more rain. Once again I found myself wondering if this bad boy would float, if need be! All's quiet this morning, with not a cloud in the sky. The birds are already active out in the yard!

James has taken some new pictures of my darling Sawyer, and of course I thought I'd share them here. I can't believe he's already five months old! He's growing and changing so quickly. His mommy just chronicled his 5-month marker on her blog, The Real Life of the Possible's. Lots of pictures -- I love looking at pictures of him! It's my favorite thing after loving on him in person!!

Look at those beautiful, blue eyes! He's gonna be a lady's man, with that intense gaze!

I mean really, have you ever seen anything cuter?!? Precious, just precious! I've always laughed when I've heard people say, "I could just eat him/her up," but now I think I understand!

I know I do this a lot, but it is what it is . . .

*happy grandma sigh*


Saturday, August 21, 2010

the best laid schemes . . .

. . . o' mice an' men (and quilters), gang aft agley.

In other words, I didn't quilt last night.

Or today, even.

Ah well. On the bright side, Todd and I had a lovely Chinese dinner last night, had a wonderful visit with old friends, and did our grocery shopping for the week.

Today, I made two gallons of potato salad (from his fire captain's recipe, which is AWESOME!) and a gallon of 'nana puddin'. It's one thing to make quantities of these two delights in the RV kitchen; it's quite another to put them in the RV fridge. Especially after we've just gone grocery shopping!

Ummm, can you say no room at the inn?! Luckily, we're close to the pavilion kitchen, and I was able to store my goodies in the regular sized fridge until tomorrow!

I also watched five hummingbirds battle it out over the feeder, I finally saw a blue jay at our new site, and the does and their fawns have been very active (and quite bold) today.

The winner of the hummingbird battles!

He (she?) almost reached up and got a drink!

Plenty of corn on the ground.

These guys are less than fifteen feet away!

Mom's giving the call.

Evidently, this is better than corn. She gives the secret signal and they come RUNNING! What's funny is, when this doe was done, another of the does gave the same signal, and all three of the fawns went running to her, too! Kinda bizarre.

I've had five cups of coffee and two cups of tea. And I polished my fingernails. Not *put* polish on them, but used the buffer and actually polished them!

I've also got this waiting for me . . .

But fiddle-dee-dee . . . there's time for this later!