Monday, October 31, 2011

ghouls, creepy-crawlies, and yoda . . .

Gosh, I couldn't let this day pass without a nod to the festivities! When Todd and I were headed home, we stopped to pick up our mail at the post office, which is in "downtown" New Market. New Market was originally the county seat of Madison and has been around for a long time -- it may have been one of the first towns in Madison County, so "downtown" (which I say tongue-in-cheek -- downtown consists of the post office, a restaurant, a handful of churches, a dozen historic homes, the VFD, the senior center, and the BBQ place--which is really on the edge of downtown) is full of homes that were established in the 1800's.

This home is located right behind the post office and is one of those that have been around for a long time. Evidently the original owners were back to see how things were going . . .

There was a lot going on in this yard -- I'm glad we were there to see it during daylight hours!!

Cousin Al, just hangin' around the yard.

I had to laugh at this ol' gal up in her rocker on the porch . . .

I don't know if you can see it or not, but her scarf announces her as a 'Bama fan! Roll Tide! She needed a hat like I had!! I need stockings like hers. ;)

But wait . . . what in the world this over to the left of the yard??

Oh. My. Talk about endless love . . .

Not even death can part these two. *shudder*

From ghouls, we go to creepy-crawlies . . .

Seriously. Aren't these red salamanders gorgeous? Yeah they are -- in a cup, held far away!! These came from Crawdad Creek just over yonder. Boy they are bright red!!

Todd and I drove up on this fellow this afternoon, inside the camp.

He was so content sunning himself, he was hard-pressed to move off the asphalt for us to pass! He did raise his head and watch us go by, but the hot pavement felt too good for him to do much else.

And how about them pumpkins?!?

This was my Happy Halloween text this morning from my Sawyer-boo!

And here's my little guy all decked out and ready to go!

I *love* how he's clasping his hands. Too funny! I'm not sure about the face -- whether he was saying "Cheese!" or "Get me out of this thing!"

Ummm, Sawyer, I think it's Santa and not Yoda that "lays his finger aside of his nose."

Oh wait -- that's *inside* your nose. Never mind! May the force be with you!

Happy Trick or Treating!


swap on the design wall . . .

I've got a genuine, full-blown design wall up in my sewing room! It's pretty amazing. Saturday I headed out to my Stitcher's Group with my 40 blocks in tow. I got there and found I was the second second-to-last person to show up!

All the blocks were already distributed and labeled.

Four people had already grabbed their stack of blocks and I had to pass mine out as they headed out the door! Whew!

Once I got my blocks distributed, I had a chance to visit and oooh and aaaah over various projects that were being worked on.

I didn't both bringing my machine -- it's just too much to fool with, considering the walker and everything. Plus, since I'm dependent on my darling hubby for a ride, I didn't want to keep him for too long. I *did* turn in my deposit for our Stitcher's Retreat in February!! YAY!!! :)

This is Kari, our fearless and marvelous leader! She works so hard to plan things out for us!

And she's a *marvelous* quilter, too. I shared a couple of her quilts when I shared ribbon-winners from our guild's quilt show!

I came home so excited -- everyone had such lovely fabrics and stitched up such great blocks! I pulled out and hung my flannel "board" and just randomly put them up. I'm in love all over again with Civil War fabrics. I'm amazed by the diversity in the fabricss.

Look how great this looks!!! There were only three sets of blocks where the primary fabric were the same. I took two of the sets and put them in the center. Other than that, though, I didn't "place" blocks in any specific order. I'll have to go back and decide what goes where. I'll also have to make eight more blocks (I've got some fabric stasheded for this).

Oh I love this quilt!! I'm so excited by it. I've got two blocks that were trimmed to the finished size (8"), instead of the 8.5", so I'll have to figure out something to make them work. Any ideas? I hate to leave them out, they're beautiful fabrics!

Speaking of beautiful fabrics, head on over to Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times for her Design Wall Monday link up. Loads of fun projects going up over there!

Today -- this morning -- I'm headed in to have my foot checked! I imagine he'll take off the cast and probably remove my staples and stitches. Eeek. And he said something about simulated weight-bearing x-rays last time. I'm not sure how they'll do that. I think I'll probably take some pain pills before I go. Seriously.

Annnnnnnnnd . . . lest you think I've forgotten the day, here's my tribute to All Hallows' Eve and PUMPKINS!

Happy Halloween!!!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

lovely day and a surprise visit . . .

After I'd finished swapping my blocks at our stitch-in meeting today (more on that Monday, complete with photos), Todd and I grabbed some lunch and headed back to our favorite place . . .

The colors are just coming into their peak and it was a super-gorgeous day!
So gorgeous that I couldn't help but take this shot of the drive into the camp twice. And then talk Todd into taking us out on Easy! Well, to be honest, I didn't have to talk him into it -- we mutually agreed it was the thing to do!
The air was cool and crisp and since we had a huge camping group up at the camp, there was the definite smell of campfire in the air. I wish I could share with you all how marvelous it was!

We got into Easy (which had all its batteries replaced, so it was high-powered and ready to roll) and took to the Nature Trail. This is the first time I've ridden the trails in ages. I love the woods in the fall!
This is a fairly easy trail -- some ups and downs, but nothing too strenuous. It starts at the road below the pavilion and runs all the way behind the pavilion and the campground, and then opens up at the far end of the meadow.
As we came down the meadow, we saw there were still quite a few vehicles and tents up. Most of the guys had headed to the entrance of the big meadow, for a 'pumpkin chunkin' contest!
Two different teams had created their own catapults and were ready to start chunking pumpkins down the meadow. We were originally going to park here, behind the two teams, to get shots of pumpkins hurtling through the air (boys will be boys and so will men!), but one of the guys came over to us and said that he'd looked the contraptions over and we probably weren't safe where we were. LOL! We moved.

The first team got ready to chunk their pumpkin and I pointed my camera lens for the clear, blue sky, ready to catch the shot . . .
Where'd it go?!?

Oh. Oops. That was a bit of a dud, huh?
At least it made forward progress! Several of the pumpkins from one of the teams *did* go backwards! Good thing we moved!

From there we made a detour back to the RV to take care of something real quick.
What in the world?!?

Ah . . . it never fails these days. I must have bad-Easy vibes. Something always happens when I'm out and about in the golf cart!
In case you're still not sure, that's Todd, under the golf cart, fixing the accelerator. It got stuck in "full speed ahead" mode! YIKESSSSSSS! We sure were a site hauling down the road from the meadow back to the RV! I'm soglad he could fix it. My man can fix everything!

At first I passed the time looking at the few clouds that were floating by.
Have I shared how enamored I am with our fall colors?!? Well, I am. After I got tired of looking up, I looked down and realized what a plethora of acorn bounty was at my feet! Yes, I was quite the sight, hopping around on my crutches, picking up acorns. Hey. There are things you can do with acorns. Crafty things. Things I might even get to. Those acorns I picked definitely won't just sit in the bag out in the golf cart until Todd gets tired of them and throws them out.

Todd was able to get the accelerator unstuck and we headed back out again. This time we headed down the Hidden Pathway, which leads us to one of my favorite spots in the whole camp!
Secret Creek! It's been a long, long time since I've been down here, too.
It's such a lovely spot. The water was clear and sparkling and making such lovely sounds, rolling down the creek bed.
As we headed back out, this stump caught my eye. There were actually three of them grouped together. Isn't it funny how the lichen grows up the side, stacked like that? Creation is amazing, which doesn't really surprise me, considering how much more amazing its Creator is!

After we came out of Beech Bottom Trail, we headed up the High Ridge Trail.
I'm just so enthralled with this day and the smell of brown leaves and woodsmoke and cool air, I'm nearly giddy! We got to the first ridge and looked down ... there's the beautiful Serenity Pond! You can just see it down through the trees.
And yes, Easy travels all these trails without too much problem. That little golf cart's name is rather tongue in cheek. Since we purchased him for the camp, his service has been anything but easy! Todd talks about putting a lift kit on him, so the tree stumps are easier to manage. LOL!
This was the view from the base of the pond. Another stellar shot and we turned around and headed back down the trail.
From the trail we hit the road again, heading back to the RV.
This time we went up the back way. We'd come in that way earlier, and I'd noted how lovely the fall foliage was looking on the right side.

And as we came back in, I noticed for the first time how beautiful the berries were on our holly trees!! This line of holly trees is what shields our site from the pavilion. The berries are big and red and thick on this particular tree -- won't be long before the birds find them, though!

We had to hurry back home. Earlier I'd gotten a surprise call from Kim and we were expecting company . . .
My favorite Sawyer!!! In his hat, as per normal!

He's got such a big personality. Even when he's on his knees, checking out the birds and squirrels out the window.
It struck me as I looked through all the photos I took of him today (oh yeah -- dozens and dozens), how much he really does remind me of Overall Sam, with his hat pulled down over his eyes. It's so cute! That reminds me of a quilt I need to finish. Hmmmm. Moving along now . . .
The last couple of times Sawyer has visited me, Todd's not been here. And since I'm not in shape to drive the golf cart, Sawyer's not been able to do his favorite thing when he visits Paw-paw and Neesey (his favorite thing *after* giving me Eskimo kisses) -- go for a ride on Easy! So today he got bundled up and he and Todd took a nice long cruise around the camp. Todd says Sawyer talked the whole time!

When they got back, Sawyer got busy. He's fascinated by the cap on my case and really wants me to take it off. Sawyer's daddy hates it. I think it kinda grosses James out. Sawyer just wants to see what's in there!
We distracted him by giving him a shopping bag. He then proceeded to collect every pumpkin and gourd he could find, along with 'his' remote and a couple of leaves he'd brought in from outside.
He'd drop everything in the bag, put it on his shoulder, tell everyone goodbye and give a wave.
Of course he'd make like he was headed for the door, but then run to his mama. Just in case she was worried he was really going to leave without her.
He's such a darling little boy. And truly that's what he's fast becoming. A little boy. It nearly brings tears to my eyes to think how quickly time's passed since he was a baby!

All in all it was a grand day. Todd and I capped it off with a little bedtime chocolate. For him, chocolate ice cream with whipped cream and for me, a hot chocolate and whipped cream. Care to guess who'd been wearing long johns all day?!

Today Todd has headed off to work and Joc is coming to spend some time with me. We may even head over to Tate Farms to join Kim, James, and Sawyer for their church's fall family fun day. Haha -- you know what that means?!

MORE pumpkins!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

bloggers' quilt festival 2011 . . .

Have you been over to Amy's Creative Side yet? If not, it's definitely worth the visit! She's once again hosting the Bloggers' Quilt Festival and literally hundreds of quilters have linked up to show off their favorite quilts! And believe me, it's quite a show.
Mine? Well, my favorite quilt would have to be the quilt I created for my favorite Sawyer!

His mommy picked out the fabrics she wanted his crib bedding done in, and I got the fabrics to create a special quilt for a special boy!

The design is my own. I tied off in the center of the polka-dot squares. In each of the striped squares I quilted a big "S" for Sawyer. In the small center block of the quilt is his monogram.

He loves playing on it and cuddling in it! I backed it with a solid brown flannel, so it would keep him warm and snugly.

I love this happy orange quilt, but nothing compares to the little darling of a boy I made it for! I just realized though, that I need a more up-to-date picture of my precious and his quilt. Goodness!!


what's that refrain?

Oh yeah.

Same song, second verse,
A little bit louder and a little bit worse!

LOL! Well, maybe not a little bit worse, but I did feel like I was perhaps living out a scene from Goundhog's Day. Even the view out the window was the same . . .

Gray, cool and dreary. Oh wait -- there's rain! Loverly! That does make it an extra good day for stitchery, right? I was going to share window pictures throughout the day again, but since they all looked the same (again), I figured I'd save the bandwidth. If you really want to, you can just scroll back up to this window view every couple of paragraphs. Hah.

I was a little bit ahead of where I was at this time on Thursday. I'd gone ahead and sewn all my strips together so they were ready to be pressed and cut. I got that done in no time. I admit, I started the day feeling a little cocky about getting this second set done.

I didn't plan it, but I'm glad it worked out that I was playing with these two particular fabrics on the second day. I love that cheddar print. It's gorgeous and fascinating and captivating. I could have looked at it all day long. Ummmm . . . . . . yeah. The shirting I picked to go with it is really beautiful too. It was during my shop for these fabrics that I realized how rich and beautiful CW prints are.

Look at my "little Indians" all stacked up in neat little rows! When I'm working on something this size, I like to work in increments. Each one of these stacks represented one block. Since I was making twenty blocks, I worked with them in groups of five.

Before I got to stitching, I decided I'd better do a little PMS (preventative maintenance service) (what were you thinking?!?!?) on my machine. I'd taken a lot of stitches the day before and so a quick twist with the screwdriver and removing the plate and . . .

Whew! Yeah, glad I did that -- it was full of fuzz and lint. While I was at it, I replaced my needle, too. Now I'm jazzed and ready to sew!

I did a lot of chain piecing. A. Lot. Of. Chain. Piecing.

Round one. I got them snipped and pressed and grouped up ready for round two. I started running round two through the machine and hit a thread snag. Literally.

What in the world? This happened once yesterday, too. Thread was still feeding through the needle, but it was piling up on the other end of the needle too. Gah. As I started to pull the thread off the spool to re-thread the machine, I found this:

It rolled of my spool this way!!! What?!?!? I was very put out. It's the same thread I always use for piecing -- dual duty, cotton thread, cement gray ... I must have gotten a bad spool. Sheesh. Just out of curiosity, what do you consider the best thread for piecing?

Round three. The task ahead still looks ginormous and impossible. Ugh. What was I thinking?!?

Round four, chugging along. I sewed with my right (cast) foot up and my left foot pushing the pedal. I'm a sight, that's for sure.

Round five ... I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel!

It kinda cracks me up -- it looks like the same photo, over and over and over. But I promise it's not!

And finally, all the stitch work is DONE! All that's left is to unpin, press and trim. Whoohooo!!!!

It really is a nice looking block. It'll be fun to deliver my two stacks today and come home with 38 different blocks, along with two of my own!

Wanna take bets as to what's on my design wall come Monday?!?