Tuesday, December 31, 2013

happy new year!

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne!

out with the ... hmmmm . . .

You know, as I move my marker from "50", I'm not so sure I like that saying any more!  Out with the old??!  But why?  It's still perfectly good!  New is *not* necessarily better ... is it?!  NO!  Ha!

Todd and I did venture out for a bit yesterday.  It wasn't encouraging that right off the bat, the car decided not to cooperate!
A jump start and she was fine.  We even stopped and had the battery checked to make sure it didn't need replacing, but it was fine, too.  I think she may have been a tad jealous that we used the golf cart for our 'first' outing.  Persnickety thing!

We needed real food, so the grocery store was on our circuit.  Actually, I went there while Todd took off to see about the car.  Call me crazy but I'd been craving red meat.  With gravy.  And homemade yeast rolls (what is this affair with bread making lately?) . . .
Dinner was good . . . and so will be today's lunch!

I finished whipping up all my little pieces for the GC block and started whipping them together.
I remember now why I skipped this block.  I've probably made it a lot more difficult than it needed to be, but it sure looks pretty!
Especially when it's attached to the background fabric!

When I got tired of whipping pieces together, I pulled out my snowflake block fabrics.  I decided that since I really did want the look of a snowflake, I'd try it in blues and whites and grey.  Here's what I came up with:
I had to do a little refresher course on paper-piecing, it had been so long.  But once I saw the first step, it all came back ... like riding a bicycle ...
Yes -- I'm very pleased with the overall on this one!!  (I photocopied my one finished one six times so I could see what the finished piece would look like.  It's how I roll.)  Now only five more triangles to do. Hmmm . . . where is that GC block?

If my recollecting is correct, in addition to the snowflake, I started (and even finished) a couple of other NewFO projects in the merry ol' month of December.

Pretty darn productive and definitely worth a link up to the December NewFO linky party over at Cat Patches!!

Finally, the view out of the RV window this morning . . .
I love living in a place where this is what greets me in the morning!  Enjoy this last day of 2013 and let me wish you a very happy, peaceful and blessing-filled 2014!


Monday, December 30, 2013

out of the grey . . .

Yesterday, the fog (both internal *and* external) started to lift and Todd and I ventured as far as the golf cart for a ride about the camp.  *Anything* to get out from the tiny walls of the RV for just a bit and allow some "clean" air in to clear the cobwebs!
Serenity Pond, looking off the deck.
From the deck of Serenity Pond, looking down onto Silty Bottom Pond.
It was a lovely afternoon.  The clouds finally started to break apart and a bit of sunshine can do miracles!

I'd also run out of bread the day before . . . but neither of us had the energy to leave the camp.  Luckily I had the makings for bread.
Give a gal a loaf of bread and her family eats.  Teach a gal how to make bread and her family will never go hungry.  Isn't that how that platitude goes??! Something like that.

Okay, so the final design wall of the year is still sporting Grandmother's Choice blocks.  I went through and did all the easy ones, so now it's back to the tougher blocks.  Or rather, the more 'involved' blocks, I should say.  I'm determined to do all of them.  No excuses!
Sarah challenged me to have made some progress on this one before evening's end (yesterday).  I'd say I accepted the challenge!  ;)
I popped in a DVD while whipping . . . 
If you've not seen any of this series, it's quite good!  There's some fascinating information and history.

I also ran across this foundation paper piecing block (actually, it's a set of blocks--called "Spike Your English") at Quilting on the Square.
It reminded me a bit of a snowflake (and as an added benefit, it finishes in the shape of a hexagon!!!!), and I had the urge to give it a try.
Originally, I was thinking about using batiks for it . . . 
But now I'm not so sure.  One of the things I love about this design is the simplicity and consistency.  I'm a little afraid that using batiks would make each triangle different, and so you wouldn't get the same sense of 'sameness'.  Any thoughts?  Linking up to Patchwork Times.  

Today I *have* to go to the grocery store.  Wish me luck.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

the final math of stash . . .

Stash (n): a secret store of valuables or money [or fabric].

It's finally occurred to me that December's stash report is also the last of the year. I can't believe how little fabric I've added to the stores in the last two months, but there you have it. I have gotten a little usage in, though, and that makes me happy, happy, happy!

Used/donated this month: 2.5 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 38.75 yards
Purchased/added this month: 0.25 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 86.75 yards
Net used/donated for 2013: -48.0 yards

Truly (and especially when compared to the end-of-year numbers of 2012) a remarkable feat, if you ask me. Well shoot ... see for yourself! Here are 2012's final cumulative numbers:

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

Believe it or not, I'm a numbers kind of gal.  They fascinate me and I enjoy extrapolating what they have to say.  For example, while at first glance it may appear that I created/used more in 2012, if you actually break out that 50.5 yards used against the 194.75 yards purchased, you'll find that I only created with about twenty-five percent of what I took in.  Whereas this year, I created with better than forty-four percent of my fabric booty!  That feels like metro-major accomplishment to me!
Some of the projects that counted towards this last report's usage were Christmas presents for the grandbabies. Both June and Ellie were getting baby dolls for Christmas, so I felt they needed quilts for their dear little dollies. And then I couldn't leave Sawyer 'without', so "Snow Buddies" (which I shared earlier) was for him.
In this instance, I don't care what the numbers have to say . . . those precious little babies say it all so much better!

Linking up with Patchwork Times.


Friday, December 27, 2013

post nasal holiday . . .

Where I was when we last chatted . . .
Happily crafting away on the Saturday before Christmas, tidying up last minute gifts and making final preparations.

Where I ended up spending the majority of last Saturday evening . . .
Thanks to a lovely case of acute bronchitis that is still kicking my tail.  On the positive side, proof that quilt inspiration can be found *any* where . . .
Even in the tiles of the hospital walkway!

It seems the flu or bronchitis or other nasty viruses have just about taken out our entire family this Christmas. Children, grandchildren and husbands. *sigh* Poor things!  I'm laying low and enjoying my gifts . . .
A good book or movie and a hot pot of tea.  Definitely!  And looking forward to a healthier 2014, for sure!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be 
the Savior of the world.  1 John 4:14
But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Luke 2:19
And so this Christmas day, as we celebrate the birth of the Savior sent to save a lost and dying world, may you, like Mary, ponder, treasure and cherish the thought of Jesus in your heart.  And may He bring you unspeakable joy!  Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

the storm before the frenzy . . .

I miss my blog!!  I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted.  (Which I guess isn't really all *that* long, considering the time of year it is!)  I have a feeling when I look back on 2013, I might be a little sad that I didn't at least take a little more time in chronicling the day-to-day events that make life rich and precious. My failing short-term memory really appreciates having the blog to refer back to. I'm working on some ideas that will make blogging less 'work' and will allow me (and family) to be able to look back and see what's going on without all the writing, editing, and picture editing stuff that has kept me blogging so sparsely this past year!

Anyway, that being said, this month has been busy, busy, busy!  I've had fun crafting with the grands and on my own.  Here's a little taste of some of the fun things we've been up to: 
A couple more button wreath ornaments ... these went on gift bags!
Took me forever, but I finally decorated!  Inside and . . . 
Outside!  Yay!
Ellie and I made salt dough ornaments!
I made Ellie a fun "E" for her Christmas tree.
I used the wreaths we made to decorate favor bags.
These went to my sweet Sunday School girls!  :)
I made poinsettia hair clips for June and Ellie and a Frosty button pin for Sawyer.
Sawyer and his mommy made this *awesome* gingerbread house.  He was SO proud!
More "regular sized" poinsettia brooches.  I figured out how to use the machine
for these (which makes them go a LOT faster)!  The original tutorial/pattern from
lil fish studios is HERE.
Our guild's Christmas social was a huge success -- we had a great turnout.
The tables were so pretty!  And instead of doing the typical "make and take" project,
we did "make and leave" projects -- Christmas cards for Van Tutt Veterans' Home!
And finally, something quilty: a little "Snow Buddies" project.  This was
 a quick put together with fabric I'd won a LONG time ago from A Legacy of Stitches.
So that should bring me up to date, I think!  I'm busily crafting away today . . . I've still got today and three solid days before Christmas, so who knows what kind of frenzied trouble I can get into!!


Saturday, December 07, 2013

a whole lot of ho-ho-holiday fun . . .

Thanksgiving was lovely and fun . . . 
. . . and the holiday somehow slipped into December without me realizing it! I'd say I was shocked or surprised--but really, it's the eleventh time it's happened this year, so I'm just accepting it. C'est la vie!

Ellie and I started the month off right by making our first Christmas craft of the season on Tuesday:
A hands and foot print Rudolph!  Isn't it darling?  We made four . . . one for me, and three for Jocelyn and whoever she wanted to share them with.

Wednesday, Kim and James brought Sawyer and June and a friend and her three children up to the camp for a candy cane scavenger hunt!  Isn't that awesome? They brought a picnic lunch and then after they ate, while the kids played on the playground, James and I hid the loot.
They all had a great time and went home with buckets full of fun Christmas cheer and treasure!

Thursday was my Stitchers Etc. stitch group Christmas party.  As always, we're to bring an ornament to exchange, wrapped in a Christmas fat quarter.  I found a darling sewing machine ornament at Cracker Barrel:
I spruced it up by making its own mini quilt out of the same material it was wrapped in.  It was really cute--so much so that I may go back to Cracker Barrel and get another two or three of those!  I also came home with a really darling ornament . . .
I adore holly, so this really made me squeal with delight!  It was wrapped in a darling fat quarter, but I'll share that later (wink, wink).

Friday morning, I picked Sawyer up and we met Jocelyn and her kindergarten class at the Von Braun Center, where they were showing Disney's Princesses and Heroes on Ice!!  It was *awesome*!!
I think the look on Sawyer's face speaks volumes!  He and I both had a blast -- he was transfixed by it all and I spend half my time watching the show and the other half watching his sweet face!

Friday evening, I worked on/finished up a little button craft I'd started . . .
I've seen these all over Pinterest and had determined I was going to make my own!  I finished it up and Todd and I declared it The Polar Express night.  Of course, you can't watch that movie without a nice mug of 'gourmet' hot chocolate!
I'm proud to say I still hear the bell ring.  Just sayin'.

The week has been *so* busy ... non-stop motion ... so I decided today would be 'stay in your pj's' day.  It was lovely!  Todd had a Sunday school get together with his class (at someone else's house) this afternoon, so it was just me and my sewing machine!!  Remember that FQ my ornament was wrapped in?  I put it to perfect use . . .
As the background for my Christmas tree!  The brightly colored packaged made the perfect backdrop, don't you think?  I started and finished it today.  I love, love, love this and I'm so glad to have a festive Christmas something to replace the pumpkin in my mini quilt stand.  Hahaha!! Working with all the buttons and beads for the wreath ornament got me wanting to play with more beads.  I used holographic thread to criss-cross the tree like garland (or lights) and then took a metallic silver and *paired* it with a dark, glossy red to quilt the cross hatches. I'd never run double thread through my machine before ... I liked the effect. So FUN!

Friday kicked off The REAL Studio Tour sponsored by Vicki Welsh of Field Trips in Fiber.  This week we were to share our favorite non-traditional tool.  One that wasn't a standard tool, but one borrowed from the garage or the kitchen or wherever.  To be honest, I had a really hard time with this one.  Because as non-traditional as my quilting and my quilting space are . . . my tools are pretty darn traditional!  The closest I could come up with is my window design wall . . .
The windows in the bunk room of the RV are slender and long . . . and one is the perfect place to hang an end of a vinyl tablecloth, so I can audition blocks.  Right now it's filled with assorted stitchery projects. Including the cornucopia....Ooops! That window is also doubles as a great place to hang my thread collection *and* my square hoop. I like having my threads just an arm's length away. Be sure to come back next Friday when we share our favorite storage methods!!

Time to tuck in . . . there's a whole new week of activities starting tomorrow morning . . . I *need* my beauty sleep!!