Monday, December 31, 2012

nine hundred ninety-nine posts on the blog . . .

Wow.  I can hardly believe I've written 999 posts.  It's really weird to see it in writing, too.  And it's my last post of the year . . . post number one thousand will hit the stands at 0:00 on January 1, 2013.  And with it will come a GRAND giveaway and thoughts for the new year as well as a startling revelation. But enough about that . . . today's post is about the past.

In December of last year, Joy, of Joy & Comfort, emailed me to say she'd won a giveaway over at Cat Patches ... a charm pack of Little Apples.  Joy had found the contest from a link on my blog and decided to share her winnings with me.  True to her word, a couple weeks later I received a squishy package of Little Apples! Subsequently we decided to make something and share . . . we decided on a swoon block, which was very popular and showing up on lots of blogs at the time.  We set a date -- early in March -- to come back and share our projects, and set about to craft our projects.

I took mine to quilt retreat and put together my top.  
I posted about it HERE.  And I'm linking it up as a design wall from design walls' past at Patchwork Times.  LOL!  :)

But knee injuries and grandbabies and gardens and LIFE happened.  And so we didn't post our dual posts in March.  Or April.  Or May, June, July, August, September, October, or November.

And then we were ready!  Another December ... a year has passed ... and we're both ready to share!  Here's my sweet little project . . .
A plump and cushy little swoon pillow.  I'm not sure where it will end up yet . . . I like the idea of paying it forward!  And when I do, I'll pull the pillow form out and do a special, personalized embroidery in the center.

And so you should *definitely* check out my benefactor's project . . . Joy worked the same block, but with a different outcome and it's beautiful and go see it!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

it's a stash [report #52] wrap . . .

I can hardly believe that this is report number fifty-two . . . the final stash report of 2012.  And even with all the mega sales going on, I'm not ending the year with a bang . . . but rather with a little *ding*ding*ding*.  I was lucky enough to score a sweet little bundle of fat quarters, from Barbara over at Cat Patches, and her November NewFO linky party!  
Isn't it scrumptious-gorgeous?!  And it's *purple*!!!  I've had to be careful not to drool all over it.  I already know how I'm going to put some of it to use, too! (Think *words* and blog hop.)  Anyway, that sweet little pile of fabric was all that came in, and none went out, so here are my final numbers for the year:

Used/donated this week: 0.0 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 50.5 yards
Purchased/added this week: 1.5 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 194.75 yards
Net used/donated for 2012: -144.25 yards

It's been an interesting exercise to keep up with intake/outflow.  I will definitely keep up again for 2013, though I still haven't decided whether I've got any particular goals for fabric for 2013.  I've still got a day or two to mull it over.  In the meantime, you be sure to head over to Patchwork Times and check out the rest of the stash reports for this week.  I understand Judy to say her last report was to be for laughs only!

And for this afternoon, slow stitching will definitely be my occupation!  I've been working away on my redwork course . . .
That's my bird -- isn't he rather dapper?  I've got a daisy scroll, a pansy face, and leaves on my tree to stitch up this afternoon, as well as an apple.  Then I'll try and finish up my butterfly and maybe even move on to a new bonsai tree and a sea shell.  (And that's all just in Lesson 4!)  I'll be linking up with Kathy's Quilts and Slow Stitchin' Sunday!

Enjoy the day!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

spoiled and loving it . . .

I was thoroughly spoiled this Christmas.  Thoroughly! A little bit of this and a little bit of that and a lot of another!  Want specifics?  Hahaha ... I'm happy to share!

I got some fun *quilty* things . . .
Todd got me a full pack of Clover's Wonder Clips for binding!  I'd won twenty-five (a half pack) from a guild meeting several months ago and *loved* them--but twenty-five wasn't near enough!  And Joc, Jason and Ellie got me the Easy Angle ruler I'd wanted for quite some time!

Sawyer, June, Kim and James also got me a quilty thing . . .
It was on back order from Nancy's Notions, but it should be here relatively soon! I'm so excited -- this has been on my wish list for AGES! I can't wait to display my first little piece on it (hopefully I'll have it by Friday, January 11!)

I got some of the DVDs that were on my wish list, too.  Todd hates getting me DVDs, but I so love my DVD collection and the ability to watch the movies I like when I want to watch them!  He did a great job of mixing it up . . . 
The Lion King is going back into the Disney vault soon and I wanted to add it before it was unavailable.  And one of my Disney favorites, 101 Dalmatians!  I had all of the Disney classics on VHS, but when we moved to the RV, we didn't take the videos ... too bulky.  He also got me two classics, My Fair Lady and Bringing Up Baby (I adore Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn together in this!), along with two from Chonda Pierce; one of my all-time favorite Christian comedians!

Also off my list was this title, one thousand gifts.  
I'm already one-third of the way through it ... soaking it in--it's a wonderful read ... from my James and Kim.

Todd got me another title off my list . . . 
I'm so glad to get something tea-related, too!  I've wanted this one for quite some time; it's filled with lovely illustrations, sweet stories, and must-try tips and recipes!

And believe it or not, I really do consider this next piece of technology a *quilty* gift . . .
A scanner!!!  Joc and Jason gifted me with this (and as Jocelyn noted to Todd, it was HIGH priority on my amazon wish list).  I love that I can now scan my favorite patterns and articles from quilting magazines and not have to keep the whole bulky magazine!  YAY!!  

My mom and dad, along with the darling birdhouse/feeders, sent Todd and I this darling little ornament for our tree . . .
Totally appropriate!  I can't believe we didn't already have one -- this was our fourth Christmas in the RV at good ol' Camp MACOBA!  Isn't it sweet?  I love these Old World ornaments!

And finally, the pièce de résistance from my darling husband . . . 
Whoot, whoot!  Sunday, January 6th ... one week ... I'm *so* excited!!!  Boy, boy, crazy boy -- get cool, boy!

And of course there were stocking stuffers and little things tucked in here and there.  Told you -- I was/am totally SPOILED ROTTEN!  :)

Okay, so if you made it all the way down here to the bottom of this post, how about something for you?  It's not from me ... I'm just re-directing.  Instead, it's from Beth Moore and her blog at Living Proof Ministries.  In her Christmas Eve post, she shares a link to three free audio downloads . . . A Country Christmas, Mary's Reflections, and The Shepherds' Story.  All three are marvelous, sweet pieces, read by Beth herself, speaking to the heart of Christmas.  And while they all made me laugh and cry (I am a hormonal jumble ... 24/7), The Shepherds' Story was absolutely fabulous!  I'm not sure how long they're available for free, but they are today.  Read toward the bottom of her post to find the link ... and the promotion code you'll need ... and ENJOY!


Friday, December 28, 2012

over the river and through the woods . . .

It's been grey and cold here . . . it's flurrying/sleeting as I type, as a matter of fact.  Nothing like they're getting in the northeast, of course, but it's nice to see a little of the white stuff  Temperatures are supposed to be warming, so I imagine it will turn to rain (and puddles) before noon.

Joc and Ellie came for a visit yesterday!  Ellie's only been here a time or two and you could see on her face as they walked up to the RV that she was a little confused about where she was and why she was there!  The relief on her face when she saw me was evident ... even though she was still a little confused that I wasn't where I was supposed to be ... at her house!
Her great grandparents got her a darling little stuffed owl for Christmas, which she loves!  She holds it and talks to it and gives it kisses ... and then she holds it out for me to give kisses!!  

And of course, the phone always makes for a happy distraction . . .
Can you hear me now?!  I love her little cupcake shirt! I also see a bit of the future "teen Ellie" in this pose!

Those same great grandparents (my folks) gave Todd and I two *marvelous* birdhouse/feeders for Christmas.  This is the first one . . .
Isn't it darling?  Todd put it out and I was able to capture Mr. Nuthatch on it . . .
Is there anyone in there?  I adore how they hang upside-down!

Last night Todd and I finally used the ticket portion of the free movie tickets we won (see this post) and got to see The Hobbit!  It was really good ... we both agreed we could turn around and watch it again.  I do believe I'd have sat for nine hours in the theater in order to see the entire thing in one sitting!  And while there was quite a bit in the story line of the movie that *wasn't* in the original book, for the most part I think it enhanced the story and it didn't disappoint.  I'm already looking forward to the next part!   

I got some lovely, quilty gifts for Christmas, too . . . I'll be back to share them tomorrow!  

And finally, it wouldn't be a Friday if there weren't a little feline in it, right?  I'm out of cat pics at the moment, but in the spirit of Christmas, will share the link (I couldn't embed it) of How to Wrap a Cat video on YouTube.  
Then be sure to head over to Sarah Did It! and check out her Feline Friday linky party!  Happy Furr-iday!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

sorry i'm so late, but . . .

My car ran out of gas!  No.

My alarm clock didn't go off this morning!  Double no.

Traffic was really bad!  *yawn*

I got pulled over?  Sounds like a personal problem.

The dog ate my homework?!?  Good gravy, that's so fifth grade.

I know, I had to finish a QUILT!  Say what??!

Ummmm, I had to hack a fallen tree in half to clear the driveway??
*ding*ding*ding*  We have a winner!  (Poor Todd -- luckily it was only one tree!)  That was yesterday morning.  We had sustained winds of 20-30 mph overnight ... blustery indeed!  Temps quickly dropped and we had snow flurries throughout the day yesterday, fun!

Some folks will go to any lengths in order to get to 1,000 posts, won't they?  This is 995, by the way . . . !!!

We had a gorgeous visitor on Christmas Day . . . I think perhaps he was one of Santa's that sneaked away for a bit of a well-deserved break . . .
Simply grand.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

love and joy come to you . . .

and to you, glad Christmas, too!
May the Glory and JOY of the Season 
fill your hearts and homes, this Merry Christmas day!


Monday, December 24, 2012

the eve's design wall . . .

Today will be a busy, happy day.  Todd and I will stay tucked inside for most of the day ... I've still got some baking and wrapping to do.  Then we'll head out early this evening to share Christmas with our kids and grandkids.  I can't wait to be surrounded by grandbabies tonight! All gifts arrived or are finished, and in the lull, there's really not much on the design wall, per se.  

I did have a moment to play around in EQ for a little bit.  After we usher in the New Year, the next big event in our household is on Monday, January 7th ... the 2013 BCS Championship game featuring number one Notre Dame and number two University of Alabama, ROLL TIDE!!!  In the event they win, I'm considering an Alabama quilt for Todd . . .
I was playing around with placement of a double four patch block in a quilt setting, and then had the bright idea to give it Alabama colors.  But when I took away the 'block lines' from the drawing, I wondered if perhaps I couldn't put it together a little more easily then putting together double four patch blocks and having to mess with color placement for the assorted blocks.  I think I can make it a LOT simpler!
I did a couple of colorings . . . I'll let Todd pick his favorite.  The center will be an appliqued "A".
Head over to Patchwork Times to see what's being hung on design walls with care!

Some people are dreaming of sugarplums . . . we're dreaming of Waterford crystal BCS trophies.  It's how we roll Tide ROLL!  Merry Christmas Eve!!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

how can you tell when santa's in the room?

You can sense his presents!  Ho, ho, ho!!

The girls loved their gifts this morning . . . I was *so* glad!  I had enough to go around to all the girls and to give some extras out as well, which is always nice to be able to do!

The eve before Christmas Eve has long been one of my favorite days to go shopping, so after church I went out to do a little grocery shopping.  I love to go out and to *choose* to be a little extra courteous, a little extra cheerful, a little extra gracious to those who are out and about doing their last minute things -- oftentimes feeling less than the season's cheer!
Speaking of spreading good cheer, I received a little of my own in the mail this week.  Paula, from Initially PMS, had told me about cordial cherry m&m's (which I'd *never* heard of before).  Guess what I pulled out of a box this week?
YUP!  And I wish I'd thought to get a photo of the wrapping paper ... known as "Camper's wrapping" ... but I had a spill that needed to be wiped up!!  The gift wrap that keeps on giving!  LOL!!

And I also had this sweet set of herbal soaps . . . 
And this *precious* quilty (and PURPLE!!!) ornament (which actually prompted me to decorate the rest of my tree so it wouldn't be so all alone -- LOL!) . . . 
In the mail this week from my darling friend, Janet!  How can I help but be in the business of spreading good Christmas cheer??!!


my stash [report #51] doth overfloweth . . .

I saw this cartoon and couldn't help but think of Todd when he took me to the quilt shop last week:
Can anyone else relate?  I thought so!

Just when I thought I was in the clear for the week, I went to my guild meeting on Thursday and found a couple of great deals (by way of silent auction and the freebie table) that just couldn't be passed up!  Oh well, I'm definitely not crying over the *enhancement* spilling out of my storage bins!

Used/donated this week: 1.0 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 50.5 yards
Purchased/added this week: 9.5 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 193.25 yards
Net used/donated for 2012: -142.75 yards

Look at that -- I got my used/donated number up over 50 yards!  Huh ... wonder if I can get my purchased/added numbers up over 200?!  Bahahaa!!  Be sure to head over to Patchwork Times and check out the rest of the stash reports for this week.  Only one more to go!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

some seasonal accomplishment . . .

Just under the wire!  I spent a little time this morning putting together a little something for my SS youth girls.  I'd seen the idea on Pinterest and decided that with a little twist it was the perfect fit for my girls:
Whew!  Glad that's done and ready to go for in the morning!  Next up was a stocking.  When Todd and I got married sixteen years ago, I made stockings for the two of us for our first Christmas together:
After Joc and Jason were married, Joc asked me to make their stockings too, which I did three years ago:
So it wasn't a surprise when she asked me to do Ellie's stocking, too!  She picked out the fabric, and asked me to make it a little bigger than the ones I've made for the adults.  So here it is . . .

Not bad for a day's work, eh?!  Linking this post up to Patricia's Christmas Stocking Hang Out linky party, over at Quilting Lines!!  There are some really fabulous stockings linked up -- and a *marvelous* giveaway going on, to boot!!


what do snowman eat for breakfast?

Ice Krispies, of course!
Bet y'all hoped thought I'd forgotten about the jokes, huh?!  No way!  And let me just say it's finally cold enough here that we could have a snowman -- if we had snow.  It dipped down into the 20's overnight!  I think there were Ice Krispies all over my car's windshield this morning!
Today will be a busy day of final Christmas preparations, baking and wrapping, but I wanted to share a bit more about Thursday night's guild meeting before I got *wrapped* up in my day!  

The Christmas meeting was the very first guild meeting I'd ever attended, four years ago.  I just went by myself, interested in checking it out.  Had I known it was a social meeting, I'd have *never* gone!  And I almost didn't stay -- in fact, I was headed back out the door to the parking lot when one of the guild's hostesses came and got me, took me under her wing, and introduced me around.  What a long time ago that was!

Anyway, Thursday night was a good crowd -- not as good as usual, being so close to the 25th, and with so many folks traveling -- but a good turnout nonetheless.  The dessert table certainly was full!
And lots of chit-chatting before things got started:
Wish I'd thought to take another room shot after it had filled up more!

Only five of the participants brought their gingerbread houses, but they were *so* darling!
Unfortunately, the woman who led the workshop was not there, so I didn't get to ask her about the pattern.  But don't you worry -- this is not over!  I will find out!

After we finished up a very brief business meeting, we got down to the fun!  The board started by singing A Quilter's Twelve Days of Christmas.  I was "two spools of thread" and knowing me, it was hopefully a metallic thread!  After that, the buffet line opened up and folks filled their plates with goodies.  Then we did Christmas show and tell!  There were tons of great works of art shown, but here are a few of my faves . . .
This wreath is my favorite of the night.  I want to make one of these!  The women who made it (there were actually two) said it took about three days.  I hope we can talk her into doing a workshop with it!

Through it all there was also another round of silent auctions going on.  I bid on several things and won a couple:
The two darker prints came with a Nine West bag -- that's six yards of fabric (3 yards each).  The Thimbleberries print is lovely with that 'fall foliage' feel and the other reminds me of Camp MACOBA.
The other two prints came with a quilted jacket pattern (which doesn't really interest me) but I adored the Monet's springtime splash and the blues with purples was another that just called me.  Two yards for two bucks!

I also picked up a yard of this fun print off the 'free to a good home' table . . .
I'll find a way to use it!
I especially was endeared to the little suggestions they provided for usage:
Stash report, smash report, right??!

It was a wonderful evening and I so enjoyed sharing fun and laughter with a darling group of quilting women!