Wednesday, October 31, 2012

halloween mystery . . .

Click on the image to go to Reflections in the Pond! :)

Looking for a spooky *and* quilty Halloween story?!?  Check out this one  at Quiltbug.com.  And when it prompts you for your first name, it's okay -- go ahead and enter it (I would not steer anyone wrong) ... it will make the story all the more fun!!

And can you believe it?  Today is the last day of the Wicked blog hop!  I'll miss it so -- there are an incredible amount of talented quilters out there in blogland! Today's talented group includes:



Happy Halloween! 

:)

Monday, October 29, 2012

wickedly wonderful boo . . .

Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put 'em together and what have you got
Wickedly-Wonderful-BOO!
The Wicked Blog Hopthat is!

When I first read about the Wicked hop, my mind starting churning with possibilities . . . I finally determined that what I really wanted to do was a set of blocks that would go together in a sort of 'through the wicked window' scene.  When I stumbled across this free Simple Attic Windows pattern at Connecting Threads, it all clicked into place!  I turned to my favorite publishing software (Microsoft Publisher) and came up with this mock-up . . .
From there it was easy!  And I'm very, very pleased to share (what I consider) my wickedly fun blocks:
For my spider web, I free-handed the web, and then stitched it with six plies of
silver DMC floss.  I let my stitches get longer as I got to the base of the web,
to give it that true webby look!
I had fun with the bats ... I just knew they needed to be *purple*!
And the batik I used for the moon was marvelous, too!
This block was fun to cut out, too.  And I used fabric crayons to mark my
 details, like the jack-o-lantern face and the candle outlines.  
And you can't have a spooky window without a cat, right?  I left my cat
raw edged, and even pulled some of the horizontal threads off his back, to
make him really look like his fur was standing straight up!
But the very funnest [yes, I know that's not *really* a word] part was putting them all together. Tah-dah!!!
Through the Wicked Window

Oh, and you know, today isn't just *my* day.  I share it with several other wickedly wonderful company!  Be sure to hop on over to visit each one of their blogs and spy out their wicked creations!!

And a wickedly heartfelt shout out to Wendy and Madam Samm -- y'all have made this hop such wicked fun and you're top notch cheerleaders, too!!

Hmmmm...you know what else??  Today isn't just a day of wickedness . . . it's also a day of *wonderful* for our family!!  I hope to be able to share happy pictures of Baby June in tomorrow's blog!  I spent yesterday morning with Sawyer and have some very fun stories to share ... and I'll spend today with Jocelyn, Ellie *and* Sawyer.  The four of us are having a big sleepover party at Joc's, so I'm sure I'll have lots and lots to report the next time you hear from me!!  
Y'all have a wickedly wonderful day ... I'm sure *I* will!!

:)

design expectations . . .

The design part being what's got potential to grab my attention this week . . . the expectations part totally revolving around Baby June!  Fair enough, right?!  

So really, my design wall is up in the air (haha -- and in this case, *not* literally). There's limited potential here:
With my Grandmother's Choice blocks (of which I'm now five behind).

There's possibly potential here:
It would be nice to get these stitched together and make it a usable topper before Wednesday, right?

And other than finishing up June's baby quilt, that's pretty much it on my DW.  Be sure to check out Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times and see whose got what on the wall!

I *do* have some other things to share.  I found another very sweet squishy waiting for me in the box (at the post office) the other day--
Isn't it lovely?!?  From Janet at Rogue Quilter.  It's so *me* -- autumn colors and gilded in gold!!  I was just tickled pink ... I think fabric is the next best thing to cats for petting.  :)

And . . . I wanted to share this find:
Buttons, buttons, buttons -- a plethora (I love that word in its non-blood sense) of buttons!!!  I talked about Sir's a couple of weeks ago.  They have buttons by the pound.  And what fun buttons they are, too!  
There were at least four of these pretty hearts and four of the silver snowflakes, as well.
And how fun is this little impromptu face?  Oh the magic I can make with buttons!  

I don't know why I'm in such a baking mood lately.  Yesterday our cookie du jour was peanut butter. 
As with the ginger snaps, I only made half the recipe and then only baked half the dough. And as with the ginger snaps, they didn't last long.  Something about a homemade cookie just tastes better.  :)

Sunday School went exceptionally well yesterday morning -- I had six girls!  It's going to be a fun class, now that it's a permanent thing.  Our afternoon fellowship also went swimmingly.  It was actually an appreciation celebration for our pastor and his wife.  They were both very pleasantly surprised and it was a blast!!

Finally, my teaser for the day . . . 
Oh what a *Wicked* mess I'm weaving!!!  Be sure to come back tomorrow and check out what I've created!

In the meantime, have fun by checking out today's Wicked offerings!


Happy hopping and happy Monday!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

yet another enhanced stash report #43 . . .


Someday I will have numbers to report in the "used/donated" column.  But it is not this day (anyone get the reference?!?) 

Used/donated this week: 0 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 36.75 yards
Purchased/added this week: 1.5 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 162.75 yards
Net used/donated for 2012: -126.0 yards

I'm nickel and diming my stash.  Or would that be fat quartering?  Ah well, be sure to head over to  Patchwork Times and check out how others are doing!

Today will be busy.  We're having a fellowship after church today and then I've still not quite finished our guild's newsletter.  Plus I need to finish up my stuff for my Wicked blocks.  Wanna peak??!
Mmmwaaahahahaa!!  I'm really excited about it ... so be sure to come back Tuesday to check it out!

This was the sight in the campground last evening:
What a great group of boys!  It's such fun to hear their chatter and laughter in the camp!

Be blessed today!

:)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

worked towards the weekend . . .

Just a little peek into what I've been doing this past week . . . 

I made little 'favors' for my new Sunday School gals . . . 
Nothing big, just a fun little something for them to enjoy.  And definitely NOT a means to ingratiate myself with them.  ;)

I found this cute little silk flower arrangement while in Maryland. 
I layered pinto beans, popcorn and split peas in the jar to add a little eye interest.  
Sitting on the candy corn topper, it says "Happy Fall!"

Here are the fabrics I'm playing with for my Wicked blog hop block(s?): 
Are you curious to know what I'm making?!?  My day on the hop is Tuesday the 30th -- come back and check it out then!  Tuesday the 30th also happens to be the day they'll induce Kim, if June doesn't make an appearance on her own before then!

And finally, I played around with my sweet gum 'fruits' and here's what I've got . . .
I'm not so sure I'm finished.  I don't like the way it hangs with the wire, so I may try and attach a broad ribbon to hang it with.  I *do* like the way it sparkles!  I will say it was a booger to make!

And today's Foto Finish theme is "spooky or creepy".  This little guy jumped out of the grass the other day when Todd and I were picnicking at the pond.
Really he's a good spider ... but since the whole brown recluse bite incident, I feel all spiders are kinda creepy, so he's my offering!  Be sure to check out the rest of the *creepy* offerings over at Cat Patches!

And have a GREAT weekend!!!

:)

Friday, October 26, 2012

whistling dixie . . .

O, I wish I was in the land of cotton
Old times there are not forgotten
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

It's *definitely* cotton picking time in Madison County, Alabama.  Cotton makes up a very large percentage of the crops in our county, along with corn (which fared terribly this year), soy beans (which will also soon be ready for picking, but aren't as crucial as the cotton), and winter wheat.
Isn't it pretty?  Acres and acres of cotton . . . or an Alabama snowfall, as I like to refer to it!  
And pretty deep, huh?!

The farmers have been hopping this week, trying to get it all harvested before the next rain system moves in.  Now that the cotton fields have been defoliated, rain will lower the quality (and consequently the value) of the cotton -- it makes it dirty and can lessen the quantity, as well.

Here's a field that the cotton pickers have already been over . . .
After the first run has been made in all of a farmer's fields, he'll typically run the cotton picker over his field a second time, to pick up what's been left. (and if he's renting the cotton picker, he may have to wait until every one else who rents the cotton picker has gotten a first pick in).

This field has been picked, picked again, and mowed down.  It's ready to be plowed under for the winter wheat or rye, they'll plant later on.

The cotton picker is a huge, HUGE piece of equipment.  Meeting one on our country roads is quite the experience.  This morning we met no less than four!

Here's a birds eye view . . .
Yes, I am sitting in a cotton picker, that's actually picking cotton. I have friends in high places!  Up ahead you can see two other cotton pickers working their rows. This is a pretty big operation.

Once the cotton picker is full (after a couple of passes, depending on how long/wide the field is), the cotton is dumped into a free-standing bin, hauled by a tractor.  
Here's a better view of it . . . 

The tractor then haul the bins to the modular trucks and dump it yet again.

Once it's been packed tight . . . 
They pulled the modular truck away and there's a module of cotton, ready to take to the gin.

Then, when it's hauled to the gin -- and we have three working gins in Madison County -- it sits and waits its turn for processing. 
You'll notice the markings on the side?  It's how they keep track of who's modules are who's!
These modules all belong to "TF" or Tate Farms.  The covers help protect the harvested cotton from any weather that comes along before it gets into the gin.

It's really a fascinating process and of particular interest to me because (1) one of my favorite places in the world -- Tate Farms -- depends on it so very much for their livelihood and (2) because I love my cotton fabric and as the cotton crop goes, so goeth the cotton fabric prices!!  Just thought I'd share a bit of my world -- a bit that's really *our* world!

I couldn't forget about Feline Friday . . . how about, in honor of my mom's continuing recovery, on last shot of Baby Jane Doe . . .
Being spoiled by her mama -- eating spaghetti off the tray!  Gracious!  
You know what she's saying, right?  It's written all over her face!  Be sure to check out the Feline Friday linkups over at Sarah Did It!

And to close us out, another of my favorites . . . 
Homemade ginger snap cookies.  I got the itch after dinner last night to do a little baking.  It's that time of year!!

Be sure to visit today's Wicked participants!!!


:)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

to say the least . . .

May I please just say that I had a delightful day?!
The above three images are from Ellie's nine-month photo session, taken by my son, James.
I wish I could have posted *all* of them!!  
Ellie was napping when I got to Jocelyn's (which is typical).  One of my favorite things is to call to her, after she's woken up and Jocelyn's tended to her, just before Joc brings her downstairs.  Since it had been over two weeks since I'd seen her last, I wasn't sure how she'd receive me (that's a long time in the mind of a nine month old!), but I needn't have worried.  She came down the steps with that same look of expectation and grin when she saw me . . . the one that charms my socks off!
Sporting the new socks Neesey brought her back from her trip to Maryland.
She's grown ... in two weeks she's gained a pound, added hair, and had a third tooth come in!  And she gets cuter every day.

I had another surprise waiting for me at Joc's, too.  My birthday present from her family!
It had gotten in before my birthday, just not before I left.  It was a biggie on my wish list.  I'm anxious to try it out!
I had to laugh when I realized that it came from a place in South Pittsburg, Tennessee -- we pass it every time we travel up 72 E to Chattanooga!

Leia was anxious to try out the box it came in:

I've told you I've created a fabric monster, haven't I?!
She just loved the print, so she had to order a yard of it.  "You can make a dress for Ellie, right?"

Of course!

Believe it or not, the birthday fun continues today.  Todd and I are headed out to lunch with the staff from the Madison Baptist Association.  They are celebrating the October birthdays at Connor's Steakhouse.  YES!  That will definitely be one awesome meal!

We're still waiting on June . . . Kim says she's stubborn!  She was moving around the other day and when I put my hand over to feel, she gave me a little 'pow-pow' with her foot.  I'm so excited!

And don't forget to check out today's offerings in the Wicked hop!

Thursday, October 25th
Enjoy this Favorite Things Thursday!!  I know I sure will!!

:)