Sunday, September 25, 2016

fishing and . . . baking?

It's been a good but hectic week . . . we're gearing up for our 179th Annual Meeting at work (it's two weeks out), and one of my primary responsibilities, as clerk for the Association, is to gather, format, and produce the roughly 70 page "Book of Reports" that is given to every attendee (about 250). I've spent the last week printing what I could, emailing/calling those that needed to get me reports that hadn't done so already, and working on the 2017 (??!) calendar for inclusion. Whew!

My evenings were just as busy this past week, so when Friday came, Todd and I were both ready for a slow morning and then to hit the lake! It's hard to see from the photo, but there is definitely a subtle change in the coloring since last week.
We went to the dam, like we did last Friday. I even got my fishing license renewed, because Todd had done so well. We were not disappointed!  Here's the big ol' 'cat' Todd caught . . . 
His 'whiskers" (the fish's, not Todd's) were so big, I thought about linking up to Feline Friday! We'd planned to be in before dark, but the fishing was soooo good!
That's dinner for *several* nights, and about a dozen of those were my contribution! So we stayed out a little longer than we intended. But the plus side to that is the sunset behind the dam . . .
God's handiwork is so incredible to me!

Saturday  the camp hosted a big family reunion, so we stayed close.  I'd seen a cake (Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnut Bundt Cake) in the fall issue of "Bake from Scratch" magazine that looked yummy, so I decided to give it a go.
Y'all, there are six cups of apple cider in this cake.  But it's boiled for over an hour and reduced to 1-1/2 cups of apple cider syrup. You definitely taste the "apple" in every bite! 
The only problem with cake baking, when you're cooking for two, is that there's a LOT of cake for just two people. Splitting the cake with my mom last week was ideal, but cutting a cake in half leaves you with ... I dunno ... a less pretty finished product, I guess. So I was scouting around on Amazon and look what I found . . . 
Perfect, right??!  Each pan holds 2.5 cups of batter, or generally speaking, one-fourth of a normal sized bundt cake pan. One for my folks, one for Joc's family, one for us and one to gift or freeze! It's now on my birthday wish list. Ha!

My stash report remains unchanged from last week . . .
A sorrowful state of affairs, I admit.

My little wool Santa ornament is also mostly unchanged, though I have managed to get most of him cut out . . .
He's going to end up being a lot of work, but I think he'll be very darling, too. He may have to be for someone VERY special!! LOL! *If* I have time to slow stitch today, this is what I'll focus on. It's supposed to be another very warm day, with highs again in the 90's -- probably the last for a while -- so we'll take advantage and after church, take Ellie and Everley out for a last swim (and their mom and dad too, I suppose!) and grill some dogs and enjoy one last summer fling!

So I'm off . . . linking up today with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  Enjoy the day!


Sunday, September 18, 2016

taking the plunge . . .

This past year has been a year of taking breaks.  Breaks from my blog, breaks from a lot of Nook time . . . and breaks from the guild.  I took the entire last year off from guild (our guild year runs from September through August), and all of the 'serving' that goes with it!  I tried to take a break from just the serving, but quickly saw that it needed to be an "all or nothing" thing.  

That being said, the first meeting of the 2016-2017 guild year was last Thursday, and there was a national guest speaker.  
Lisa Bongean came to visit us!!  For sure and for certain, I was at the doors promptly at 6:30 with my membership renewal check in hand. It was great to see lots of happy, familiar faces, and some new ones, too. The program was wonderful and I gleaned a few new tips about working with wool that will come in handy. And of course, her trunk show was completely yummy! I took a lot of pics, but I'll just share this one . . .
Because it bears relevance to my *purchases* of the evening:
The book she gifted to each member in attendance -- wasn't that generous??! 
I couldn't help but pick up the Christmas in a Jar ornaments kit -- that's three ornaments right there!! And the pattern is the pumpkin table runner.
No surprise there, right?!  Gracious, she has tons of fun stuff. The little wool Santa pattern was not hers, but actually a freebie I snagged off our "free to a good home" table:
I thought he'd make a fine ornament to add to the growing collection!  Anyway, it was a fun evening and I was glad to be back among quilty friends.

Friday, Todd and I hit the lake.  He fished the day away and I read, stitched, colored, studied, read some more and stitched some more.  LOL!  The color of autumn has just begun to kiss the trees on the shoreline . . .
And the moon coming up as we were coming in was simply glorious!

I got some work done on my Santa (from last week):
The jury is still out on this one.  I've lost the yellow star which I'd already stitched, but I wasn't really pleased with it, so I don't mind doing that one over. There is a lot of stitching on the beard, but it's tough to see in photos . . . 
In a week I may have given up! But for now I'll persevere; if nothing else, it will give me something ready to stitch on this afternoon.

I spent yesterday at my folk's house.  It's SO nice having them close by!! Mom and I baked the cake on the cover of the current Southern Living, while the Alabama vs. Ole Miss game was on.  Or rather, Mom baked while I paced and shouted and jumped up and down. Yes. I'm that fan. Not in a bad or ugly way, just a wholly involved way. 
But the cake turned out *beautifully*!  And she gifted me with half to take home! Wasn't that sweet?! Fall baking with my mom and a Crimson Tide win . . . Saturdays just don't get much better than that!

My stash report remains unchanged from last week . . .
A lot of  zeros up there. And can you believe we're 38 weeks into 2016? Do you know there are only FOURTEEN more Saturdays until Christmas?! And one of those is Christmas Eve!  Hahaha!! And on that note . . . linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  Y'all enjoy the day!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

fun-filled . . .

* * disclaimer:  I spilled tea on my keyboard and now my "a" key doesn't work; I have to use the Alt-97 sequence to get an "a" (or Alt-65 for an A).  So if I miss one, you'll please pardon my error.  I hd no ide how mny 's I used in the course of typing until this hppened!!  LOL!! * * 

Our Labor Day celebration was a good one.  Ellie spent the night on Sunday and we enjoyed a slow start to the day.  We enjoyed peanut butter bear toast for breakfast . . . she thought that was quite fun.
So fun, in fact she felt the need to have a second piece, and create her 'own' design.
She was quite proud of the final affect!

Both girls really enjoy time on the boat and in the water.  Ellie makes a terrific first mate . . . 
But I think Evey has higher aspirations!  
The evening was beautiful, and we took our time heading back to the docks after dinner and a swim, to enjoy creation.

I did get in some good stitching time on my hexie pumpkin mat . . .
I love the final look! It stitched up pretty quickly, so perhaps I'll consider doing another. I definitely strayed from the original design a bit, but I figure that's my prerogative! ;)

Finishing that up prompted me to do a little fall decorating on the outside, too . . .
It's always fun when Mr. Scarecrow makes an appearance!

Saturday (yesterday) was Evey's second birthday!  I knew she was getting a baby doll and Todd and I had ordered a cradle for said baby, but its shipping was delayed.  I felt strongly that baby needed some sort of bedding, at the least, so I whipped up a simple little baby doll quilt and pillow . . .
And I know I'm getting a little ahead of my chronology here, but I will go ahead and share that both baby and quilt were well received!!  

Joc did a great job (as usual) of setting up Evey's "Busy as a Bee!" birthday party. Between the decorations . . .
The food . . . 
And the beautiful cake . . .
It was a huge success!!
The birthday girl certainly thought so (and really, her opinion is the most important)!

Sawyer had his very first soccer game . . . gosh I wish I could have been there for it! But James sent lots of fun pictures.  Sawyer looks like a natural!
And I got to facetime with the whole crew later in the day, which is always a treat!

The pumpkin mat and the doll baby quilt afforded me the ability to change up some numbers on this week's stash report:
Whoohoo for me! It's not a lot, but it's progress!

My slow stitching today will involve wool and this coloring page from Dover:
I edited the picture just a tad by making it shorter and squatter.  I'm thinking multi layers of wool and maybe some beading or sparkling floss to embellish.  Hopefully I'll have something concrete to show next week.

Linking up with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  Y'all have a great week!


Sunday, September 04, 2016

fall-ing . . .

It's funny . . . after a long, hot, humid summer, Alabamians (and maybe Southerners in general), are ready to declare it's fall when September 1 hits the deck.  Even though there's no change in temperature (or humidity) for some time to come!  I've always been a hard core proponent for waiting until meteorological fall begins (September 22 ... precisely at 9:21 a.m.), but this year I've given into the peer pressure and declared it Autumn! (As if my declaring it makes it so . . . feel free to laugh; I am!)

But as last night kicked off the Alabama Crimson Tide season:
(In a big way, I'm happy to add -- ROLL TIDE!) And since all things pumpkin have been assaulting me from every direction . . . 

And since my sister (a Virginian, no less) texted me after my last post and said, "Denise, your blog did not mention pumpkins or Alabama football.  How can that be?  It's September isn't it?" (Although it's not really autumn that she's anxious for ... she's really trying to get us into the Christmas season.)

I decided I'd just embrace it. So after I finished up an ornament (only seven to go to be on target for the month):
I decided to give the last project pictured--a hexi-pumpkin-candle mat--a go! With my own twist, of course. (Of course!)
I need to quilt the hexies and join them together, then add the wool leaves. This project will be my slow stitching today . . . as Ellie colors (I personalized a couple of coloring pages for her . . . 
And we watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas (because she watches it year-round, and she knows I'll let her, and she's evidently her great-aunt's niece), and as we have tea and snacks . . .

And I know I mentioned this in Friday's post, but for posterity's sake, here's my unchanged melody of a stash report.
All those zeroes.  Better here that in the Alabama score!

Linking up for the first time in AGES with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts. Enjoy a loverly sloooooow September Sunday!


Friday, September 02, 2016

evidence of absence . . .

I would say that I was horrified or blown away by how much time had passed since I last blogged . . . but saying such seems rather dramatic, considering I've known precisely well that I *wasn't* blogging and that June, July, AND August had all passed by with my knowledge and without a word from me.  A word on here, at least.  

Unfortunately I have to admit that I've enjoyed the bit of bloggy break. Over the past three months I've spent time with family and grands, both here and in California, lots of time in VBS, Fridays with Todd out on the lake, getting our first cabin at the camp (!!!!!!!!), and time helping my folks get settled in their new home, right here in good ol' Alabama! Toss a 40+ hour work week into the bag and it's been a pretty busy, albeit very enjoyable, summer.
So very pleased to have my folks nearby!  It was a HUGE move for them. Mom and I have enjoyed going through boxes . . . especially the ones that net this kind of reward:
Aren't they beautiful??  Both of my grandmothers collected teacups. One box netted several pieces of china that belonged to my great-grandmother -- how special!

I've done some stitchy things, though quite honestly, not a whole lot.  I did finally finish the bloomers that I started for Everley in May. 
I finished up the sixteen sets of Civil War print swap blocks (including a set for myself) and got them dropped off.  I *still* have not picked up the blocks that come to me!  But I have a picture of them . . . 
Which is better than I can say for the ones I stitched myself!

I stitched up some huge pillows (26" pillow forms) for a dear friend of mine. Don't they look great in their new home?! The upholstery fabric was interesting to work with.
I finished up an Irish Chain wall hanging for my mom (housewarming). I'd done one for a swap a couple of years ago and knew it was perfect for my mom.
Note to self.  Be super careful when trying to get 'artsy' by hanging finished pieces from the top of the pontoon's cover.
Glad we keep a net handy.  (I did wash it before gifting it!)

I got started on a new wool project.  With a little help from a dear friend!
Isn't it cute?  It screams summer!  Now that it's fall.

I've not purchased the first bit of fabric since I was on here last. Not. One. Inch. I find that to be either most impressive or incredibly depressing.  I haven't decided which.

I'd like to say I'm current with my two-ornaments-per-month-challenge. But I can't. C'est l'été? Actually, I'm probably most disappointed in that -- I need to get on the ball! And when I do, this will be my next project . . . 
Isn't it darling? Simple but very pretty.

With summer days waning, I'll try to be a bit more consistent on the blog.  For my sake as much as anything else! Though I MUCH appreciate those that have checked in over the course of the summer!

I've got a three more days of a long, four-day weekend stretching out before me; wonder how I'll fill it?!  Happy Labor Day . . . bring on Autumn!