Monday, April 29, 2013

paducah memories . . .

Oh. My. Goodness.

Yes, that means I had a most excellent time in Paducah! I was able to check off a couple of items from my quilting bucket list, too:

√ 1.  Go to Paducah and the AQS show! 

√ 2.  Visit the National Quilt Museum!

√ 3.  Meet and have picture taken with QUILT MAN!!!!!!
This made my everlovingquiltingday.  No lie!  Do you see my face?  I'm giggling like a school girl.  :)

For those of you not aware, Quilt Man, and his trusty sidekick, Bobbin Boy, are very familiar masked faces in Paducah.  This article explains it terrifically:
And of course, his real [first] name is Fowler ... which endeared him to me immediately! Not only is it my maiden name, but it's also the first name of my youngest nephew!  Plus, Quilt Man...errr, Fowler...went to Ole Miss ... he graduated sometime between me being there and my youngest sister being there. We've got history together!  Seriously, Fowler Black is a genuinely charming and nice guy and really shows his passion for his hometown when he morphs into Quilt Man for the Paducah show.  And you can check out Quilt Man for your very own self on Facebook and Twitter!

In case you're wondering, I did manage to see a bit of the show, too, while I was there.  LOL!  The quilts were simply amazing.  I took lots of pics, but the rules say no posting on the internet, so I won't.  But talk about inspiration ... WOW!  A lot (a lot a lot) of art quilts -- thread painting seemed to be a biggie this year.  I was drawn (as per usual) to the Baltimore Album style quilts.  And the miniatures! Whoa!  

Have I mentioned vendors yet?  Aye-yi-yi were there VENDORS!  I dropped a little money here and there (which quickly adds up to a lot, everywhere) through the day.  Wanna see my haul?!?!  (Of course you do!) My first purchases were from the Paper Pieces booth:
Gracious.  Who gave me this voracious appetite for all things English paper-pieced, Sarah??!

I fell in love with the over-dyed work of Wendy Richardson (qustudio.com) and purchased a couple of things from her.  All this time I was erroneously thinking that over-dyed meant over-applying the dye.  After visiting Wendy's booth and chatting with her, I came to realize it meant dying over an existing print.  I fell in love with colors in this piece (which came home with me):
front
back
Intrigued by the dyed over part, I looked up the original fabric.  Here's what it looked like before dying:
"Grapes" Autumn Medley by Martha Negley for Rowan Fibers.  The difference is incredible, right?!?  I also came home with this sweet little doily:
Is this not totally me? Yup.

And some other bits and pieces I picked up along the way . . . 
Quilted teapot notecards ... perfectly me... and mini yo-yo ornament kits!
five rotary blades for $20 and a cute little scissor fob
obligatory quilt show pin!
obligatory tee-shirt -- in lavender, I'm oh-so-happy to report!

I came across this vendor who had a spread of metallic fat quarters.  Luckily it was towards the end of the day, so I was already well into my spending (otherwise I'd have dropped my entire savings right there).  
Cindy of Custom Creations (no online presence that I could find--boo!) . . . 
I found a rather nice sampling!  Aren't they pretty???  And prettily packaged, too!  *quiltygirlsigh*

The bus also took us for a brief foray into the world of Hancock's of Paducah.  
Like I could go to Paducah and not buy something in Hancock's of Paducah!
Kona Solids at $3.98/yard  :)
for my little hexie templates?!
I've loved this Robert Kaufman print for forever!  :)
Not a WHOLE whole lot, but enough to make me feel I'd done my part.  
Of course, any number of the women in that cavernous store were purchasing enough to do the parts of our whole bus load of women, but who am I to judge, right??!!

Overall, I added very little (I mean, after you consider where I'd spent the day) to my stash . . . 

Used/donated this month: 0.0 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 12.75 yards
Purchased/added this month: 5.25 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 47.75 yards
Net used/donated for 2013: -35 yards

I've done worse ... I almost feel a little silly that it wasn't more!!  

And finally . . . I have to share with you my fifteen minutes of Paducah fame:
Yes, I not only got to meet Quilt Man and have my picture taken with him, but he branded me (reporter's words, not mine) and I made The Paducah Sun, Sunday edition!  I was totally giddy. And yup, I'm still gushing, fer sure.  Happy memories were *definitely* made in Paducah!!!

:)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

the undiscovered country . . .

Did the title of my post cause you to scratch your head or raise your eyebrow? Let me just say that my darling hubby is a bit of a Trekkie.  'Nuff said.

I have to admit ... it's not been terribly hard to stay away from blog writing.  Is that a shameful secret I should have kept to myself?!  But when something that doesn't pay the bills starts to feel like a burden or a "have to" or starts to impede upon other areas of life, it's definitely time to step back.  And we've been so busy! Todd now has just THREE more shifts.  He's only working the full twenty-four hours on TWO of them and taking off the full twenty-four hours of the last one! That means he has two more days to work and then we're DONE! It's a very happy, exciting time!  We're charting off into our own undiscovered country!  :)

Well.  It's been happy and exciting EXCEPT for the time I've been down with strep throat and a sinus infection. That hasn't been happy time.  LOL!  Luckily, though, it's only been since Thursday.  I felt so bad I missed a guild meeting. That should tell you something! I'm feeling better -- about sixty percent -- today. And since I hope to take Sawyer to dinner at the fire station tomorrow -- it'll be his last time to see Paw-paw in action as a fireman -- I hope to be at least up to eighty-five percent tomorrow!

We've been busy, especially in the Camp.  Spring and fall are our biggest camp usage seasons and we've had visitors most every weekend.  I love it!  And of course, I've also had fun doing some quilty, sewy, crafty things, too.  I continue to work on Joc's Wedding Quilt.  And I finished up the little Cardinals in Clover piece I'd EQ'd:
And of course I've been reading (though not doing a lot of commenting) my favorite blogs!

Speaking of which, I'd won a little giveaway over at A Little of This and a Little of Pat.  
It was this darling "Gobble Till You Wobble" pattern.  That is so totally me! Darling that she is, she also tucked in a little children's fabric she'd found that she thought I could put to good use . . .
Wasn't that sweet?  The space rockets are totally Buzz "Sawyer" Lightyear!  And I loved the cars and fire trucks and planes, too.  But the paper dollies made me *swoon*!  Totally darling!  And believe it or not, it's the ONLY fabric I've acquired over the past twenty-one days.  Of course, since I'm headed to Paducah, KY and the AQS show next weekend, that's all subject to change!  But, because I do want to keep up with this (for my own sake) I'm going to go ahead and report:


Used/donated this month: 0.75 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 12.75 yards
Purchased/added this month: 3.75 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 42.50 yards
Net used/donated for 2013: -29.75 yards

I also participated in a fun thread swap with my StitchMAP group. (Good thing I'm not doing a thread/floss stash report!) We were to exchange two skeins of specialty threads/floss in colors that represented Spring to us.  I opted to swap with three folks, so I send off six skeins and got six in return.

The two I sent off were the green and sparkly purple on the left (yes, I bought two for me, also!).  Then in my swap package were the sparkly skeins of DMC metallics, the two skeins of Italian silk floss in a very earthy pink and a pretty blue, and finally some gorgeous silk floss in a very earthy green and a cream.  It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I participated!  

I also managed to score a couple of samples of tea from Royal Tea of Kenya. There was a terrific write-up about this company in the January/February issue of Tea Time Magazine, so I was thrilled when I was offered the opportunity to try it.  
The company is based out of Nashville and run by Joy (who I had a lovely chat with on Friday).  Joy's grandfather is the oldest living (at 109+) tea producer in the world.  Pretty cool, huh?  
I haven't tried it yet, but do believe that brewing a pot is on the agenda for this afternoon, along with enjoying some appropriate reading material!

The arrival of Spring also brings with it the arrival of birds and critters we don't see during the winter.  For example, the grosbeaks have put in an appearance this week (aren't these striking birds???) . . . 
As have the indigo buntings (which I adore) . . .
And the goldfinches, which do winter here, have returned to their summer yellow (instead of the drab olive they wear in the winter) . . . 
We've also seen our first salamander (Todd captured this picture):
And our first skink of the season (he did NOT want his picture taken!):

And of course, since it's flip-flop (or Yellowbox, as I prefer) weather again, the toes have to be painted!
My SS girls were particularly impressed with my 'rainbow toes' this morning.  I aim to please.  Haha!

And look at this:
My little kitchen herb garden is sprouting up!!  I'm still having to bring it inside (we had frost warnings for the past two nights) but I think after this weekend, we'll be good to go!  I can't wait until I've got my fresh sweet basil and chives and parsley!

Okay, enough of this; I could probably write on and on and blah blah blah.  I'm headed to get that tea brewing!  But before I go ... is anyone taking a trip to Paducah this coming week -- particularly on Saturday??  I'm headed there with my guild and will be there from 10 until 6. I cannot wait!!  If anyone else is going to be there, let me know!!!! 

Auf Wiedersehn!

:)

Monday, April 01, 2013

timing is everything . . .

Right?  I hesitated about posting this post this morning because it *is* April Fool's Day.  But it is what it is, and I'm forging ahead!

Today I'll be sending an e-mailout from our ministry (which, if you've got any interest in being on that mailing list, just let me know) sharing that Todd has officially put in his paperwork with the City of Huntsville and will be retired as of May 1, 2013!  We're so excited!  
Todd's Rookie Class - 1988
With the crew at Station #6 - 2011
Interestingly enough, four of the guys pictured here are also in the 1988 picture--considering the City's fire department has 18 stations, 3 shifts and over 300 men and women manning those stations, that's quite a feat!
My sweet husband, who has faithfully served the residents and business owners of Huntsville for twenty-five years, is ecstatic -- he's so anxious to move into full time ministry!  Not that it doesn't come with a little anxiety . . . but we're stepping out in faith, truly believing this is the direction God's placed before us.

All that to say, I'm putting the blog on hiatus. For a bit.  Probably not forever ... maybe not longer than a week or two.  But I'm shifting priorities and the blog falls low on the list for now. While it saddens me ... because I dearly love the true friends I've made in the blogosphere, I also know it's the right move, because it's a relief.  Of course, I'll still be around -- I'll read and keep up with y'all and your antics -- just mostly as a dreaded *lurker*.  LOL!  And when I do get back to blogging, it will be more sporadically and a blog less about quilting (hahaha -- I don't know that this particular blog can get less about quilting!) and more about life and mostly aimed at those who care about my life (and kids and grandkids especially).  

Speaking of which, we had a marvelous weekend coloring Easter eggs, hunting them, and celebrating Resurrection Day with family.  I made the mistake of not taking my camera (and not having my phone handy) for pics yesterday, so I'll have to wait on the son and son-in-law to see those pictures.  But I can share these:
Ellie with Mommy and Neesey at Dublin Park.
Sawyer took his egg dyeing responsibilities very seriously.
He had fun finding eggs, too!
But really, why look for eggs when there are perfectly good sticks just lying around??!
Enjoying the spoils of the hunt!
Sawyer won second place for most eggs found in the pre-school division!
Ellie enjoyed her first Easter egg hunt!
She's very serious about her finds.
She was a little less serious about her first Jello Easter egg!
Kudos to Todd and Kim for snapping shots of June yesterday!  Isn't she darling in her little Easter dress?  She desperately wanted to be a part of all the action!  (She's a feisty little thing!)
Had to toss this in -- a New York style cheesecake -- baked in a water bath and everything.  The recipe was a winner -- you can find it at Food For A Hungry Soul.
And if you're were seriously looking for a clever April Fool's Day joke, may I make a suggestion?  Try THIS one--compliments of The Quilt Show--on for size!

:)