Saturday, January 31, 2009
How this one works is quite simple. The first three people to sign up on this post will receive a surprise PIF sometime within the next 365 days. Then each of my three players will invite their own three players and so on. Doesn't that sound like fun?
Ok, so the first three to sign up (international welcome) will receive some Shelly's Stitchery goodness sometime this year. In return, you will make a post on your blog and offer the same thing to three of your blog readers.
So, come on....who wants to be part of this great event?
Friday, January 30, 2009
OK I'm running late and I really need to get my self ready to walk out the door. But I have to add this little guy in here! He is so CUTE! And maybe it will inspire me to finish some of those UFOs. Check back tonight and see if he actually inspired me or not.
Now for an update--if you can call it that!
Thanks to Melissa at Three Prince Designs found this wonderful site, http://www.oneprettything.com/ that has so many great crafty things on it. That site led me to http://www.craftideas.info/ to make these wonderful “Year of the Ox” free hanging mobiles with my students. I should have made one for myself as well; but I think the students enjoyed making theirs! We actually finished them up yesterday and will be hanging them up in the hallway for all to enjoy today--ok this didn't happen either, we couldn't get the ladder today.
If you want to see more Year of the Ox ideas you can go to either http://www.craftideas.info/ or to http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/ that also has several Chinese New Year crafting ideas.
What we DID get finished was the ox made out of handprints. Now for those with small children, this is really a fun thing to do--although I don't know how to explain that the poor ox has 8 legs! But for some reason, it actually looks like an ox (even with 8 legs)! This is something else I found at http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/.
Another thing I got FINISHED was that I paid for 26 boxes of those OMG wonderful Girl Scout Cookies! I absolutely love GS cookies. Of course, they are no longer the $.50 or $1 a box that they were when I was selling them way back in the dark ages! They are now $3.50 a box and there are only 12 cookies in some of those boxes! But they're so good. We get enough between what I order and what hubby orders to last almost a year (we freeze them).
I'm off to see what things around the house I can FINISH today--before we go to dinner and then afterwards as well! I'll write more on those things later. (If there are any of "those" to write about! LOL)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Maybe its because we have been talking about Chinese New Year all week. Does that mean I'm back at Jan 1 and I didn't know it? No, Chinese New Year didn't start until Jan. 26--which was also Australia Day. So for all of you Down Under, Happy Belated Australia Day. From pictures I've seen it was sunny, warm and beautiful weather for you--while we here in the states have been suffering with cold, colder, and coldest temps! South Mississippians are certainly no strangers to cold, but not THIS cold for THIS long! Now back to Chinese New Year.
I knew that the Chinese New Year did not (or rarely) falls on the same day as most of us celebrate the New Year; but I never knew why. Who says you can't teach a teacher? I have found out that they celebrate the new year based on a lunar calendar. In addition, the celebration can last up to 15 days with the completion of the celebrations comprising of a lantern parade. And here I thought that they only had the lanterns and dragons and fireworks on one day. Of course for those in the states that have had to Americanize things, many times their celebrations are on the 1st of their new year and the 15th with smaller family and community celebrations in between. I also didn't know that the color red is THE color for the Chinese New Year--with other colors splashed in.
So we have entered the year of the ox--hmmmm if memory serves me right, I was born in the year of the ox as well. Does that mean its going to be a good year for me? Compared to the last couple of years, I certainly hope so. It is about time things started going in the good direction for us. Don't take me wrong, we haven't had BAD years; they've just been mediocre years. We certainly haven't had years as bad as some that we've known or read about. And I certainly cannot see us getting to the point of the poor family in the news that killed their five children and themselves. But it would be nice to have a GOOD year! So far, I think we're on the right road; we have found out we'll be first time grandparents in May; Dave's oldest is getting married in April; and I've found this wonderful circle of friends in blogland that are quilters, moms, women, organizers, designers, hand and machine embroiderers, crafters, thread artists, and all around great folks to check in with and talk to--and some even check in on my blog and talk with me! In addition, many of these bloggers are good, strong faithed women that have a good relationship with their/our God. Now what more could you ask for than that!?! So as I said, so far, we're on the right road to a great year!
That being said, here's to a great year, great quilts, great friendships, and great faith for this new year--whether it is the calendar used by most in the Americas, Africa, Europe, Australia, etc. or if it is the lunar calendar used by the Chinese. And as a special new year's treat for myself, I gave my blog a bit of a facelift. Since you all have found out my not-so-secret love of Disney and all things Disney, I found this blog template and header called Mickey's Twin Sister on HippoScraps.com. Ashley has many free as well as those you pay for backgrounds, templates, etc. etc. etc. Go check her out and see what you and she can come up with if you're looking for a bit of a facelift for your blog!
The clock says it is time for my coach to return to a pumpkin--so I shall call it a night and hopefully tomorrow I'll get to show you some actual work I've gotten done instead of just running my mouth!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Step 2: lay fabric right sides together perpendicular to each other
Step 3: Draw line from corner to corner
Step 4: You can see line drawn. Sew ON this line
Step 5: After sewing, trim to 1/4"
Step 6: Cut strips again so that they are the right length and equal widths
Step 7: OK these aren't all trimmed, but after all are trimmed, start laying out so that the square will look something like this when sewn together (HOPEFULLY) :) And here I thought I was choosing an easy square to do for this swap! LOL
NanaBarb I want you to know that I have heard your plea for group members and have answered the call (if no one else signs up) for group 4 members. Try to convince Barb once again to do it--since she said that she really really wanted to!Anyone else that hasn't signed up for this quilt swap, there are 4 spots open (I think) in group 4. The deadline to sign up is January 26 (that's Monday). This isn't a hard one, just do the same block 9 times, send them off, get 1 of your own and 8 others back for a rainbow sampler quilt. What more could you ask for?
In case you can't read the print on the picture--so much for my bright idea to put it in paint and then just type it in! It says: Here is the updated picture through January 25, 2009. Is it just me or is it not gelling together? Maybe I should have done as everyone else did and just do strips. Guess we'll just keep going and see what happens with February and figure out how I'm going to separate the two months. Anxious to see how everyone else's quilts are looking. January is almost over y'all!
It is Saturday and that means I have a day of cutting, sewing, ironing, and oh yeah that dreaded word---HOUSEWORK. But that will come in between and after the other stuff! So on the agenda for today/this weekend?
1. Getting the YCMT squares finished sewn, ironed and squared off again. DONE!
2. Getting the strips for my Sampler Quilt Swap blocks cut--and hopefully start sewing them. DONE!
3. Post to the Calendar quilt with the updated pics of my quilt. DONE!
4. Hem 2 pair of pants for a co--worker.
5. Finish a pair of pj's for a good friend (that were supposed to be for Christmas).
6. Get my hubby's apron embroidered finally (that was supposed to have been Christmas also).
7. Finish my DIL's purse and a purse for one of my best friends, oh and there is one for my assistant and one for my daughter's best friend all sitting in various stages of completion too. UGH! Sometimes I hate being ADD!
8. And of course, more flowers for Mardi Gras--and eventually explain what all these flowers are for. Another 100 DONE!
9. Go through the blogs I'm following for their newest blogs (oh wait, I've already been through the 80 that Google Reader said were new and commented on many of those!). DONE!
10. Spend a little time reading--ok I only got 2 chapters read last week of my book. This may take a long to finish this book at this rate. But I've got all these neat things going, I don't want to take time out to read. Another chapter read! LOL
11. Start a Valentine table runner or door hanging (maybe both?--nah, there's not that much time this weekend).
OK, now that you know the plan, I'm off to get started. Hoping to see what you've been working on in your blogs this week. Oh, and if you want to shower a beautiful little girl with stickers who has just returned from surgery, go see Kaitlyn at her mom's blog!
One more thing, my comment box has been kind of lonely! If you're stopping by and browsing around here today, drop me a line and let me know you're here. (OK so I'm feeling like I'm blogging one sided today--I comment on others but they don't comment on mine with the exception of a few like Nana Barb, Carlotta, Jan, Tania, Holly, Amanda, Simone, Missy, Melissa, and forgive me but my mind has gone blank on names--there ARE a few others). I always appreciate comments--even like the one from the guy I'd never heard of or seen before when I did my blog on the inaguration! ;) Just rember to make them family friendly--you never know who is reading over your (or my) shoulder.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Why do I quilt? Because I felt it was something I could do as well as I sew--especially since both my grandmother and my Mom were both quilters. I figured I could do it! I used to sew together the seams for the blocks they would later finish piecing together, so I should be able to sew together pieces for my own blocks.
Why do I make something so beautiful look so ugly? Quilts are beautiful. Quilts are practical. Quilts are warm. Quilts make you feel like you have love wrapped around you. So why do mine look like crap and they're only in the beginning stages? I KNOW how to sew 1/4" seams. I KNOW how to use a rotary cutter and ruler. I KNOW that these %^&*((*&^%$ points should be lining up but they just simply AREN'T!
Why do I feel like I never should have started these quilts (the YCMT quilt, Calendar quilt, Mixed T quilt--and thank heavens I didn't start on the Summer Mystery quilt, even though I had wanted to)? Oh that's an easy one! My quilts look horrible and the others I've seen are looking great--of the same quilts! If any of you in the swap are reading still, yes, I will be making my mixed T squares and sending them on and I'm sure you will each want to toss them when they are received! I just have very little confidence that mine will be as pretty as the squares you all sew and send.
Why do I blog? Well it started out because I had an online course that it was a requirement to do a blog for. I fell in love with it and I kept it--as I've always been one that loved to sit and write and write and write--just as I talk and talk and talk in person!
Do I expect others to want to read or "follow" my blog? Expect it--no! Surprised by it--yes! Feel flattered that people actually like to read what I write or at least want to see how stupid I can be in a day? Yes!
Will I be one of these that offers awards or prizes or give-aways to someone just to get folks to read my blog? No! If you don't read the blog because you want to, then don't expect me to reward you for sticking around to read it. Besides, you probably wouldn't want anything that I would have or make to give away anyway!
Do I read other blogs because of their prizes and give-aways? Hecky no! I read others blogs 1) to see how their day has been, 2) to check in on the day of someone I know has been ill, 3) to offer encouragement to someone that hasn't been feeling great about themself, 4) to check on the progress of others' quilts and crafts, 5) to see the crazy antics of some of the folks (or their children) because it reminds me so much of my own family, 6) to offer to be a cheering squad for those trying to lose weight (while I'm steadily putting on the pounds no matter what), 7) to see if anyone else is doing or feeling the same thing or way that I am that day, 8) to keep up with people, 9) to meet new people--even if it is just a virtual meeting, 10) to do something other than watch TV!
Why do I feel alone--when I know I have friends? I guess I'm beginning to feel like a hermit. I am losing touch with all those that had always been my really good friends. But I don't have anyone to hang out with--my best friends live hundreds to thousands of miles away from me. Those that have previously been my best friends have found others that they have more in common with or want to be with more than me. Others have other things in their lives that don't have anything to do with whats going on in my life and we have drifted apart or have no reason to "hang out" together. I have the blogging community--but even there I often feel like an outsider. Seems like I'm an outsider everywhere I go anymore.
Why do I continue when no one wants to read this drabble? I guess that's an easy one to answer as well. I don't expect people to want to read it. I just write to get it out of my system to hopefully feel better in the end.
So enough of the purging of the soul. I need to go find some stickers to put in the mail for one of the most beautiful little girls I've found through blogging. She is a 2 year old heartbreaker that has just come home from the hospital from having surgery for hip dysplasia. Her Mom and Dad have been there through it all and I know they are totally exhausted. I just wish I could be there to offer a little relief for them. The little girl, Kaitlyn, loves stickers and her mom was wanting her to be showered in stickers. So I'm off to find some stickers to put in an envelope for her. If you'd like to shower this sweetheart with stickers, go see Jen's blog and her Big Request!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
2. We are to pass the award on 5 bloggers we feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap.
OK now that you know what they are, I guess I better get to the rules section--and get my "obligatory" lists done before sending these awards on their way (and yes, I'll let you know to whom they're going)!
10 Honest Things About Me:
1. I am scared that my body will not be able to keep up with my desire to teach long enough to get to retirement. The fibromyalgia, disc problems, high blood pressure are all taking a toll on my body faster than I want them to.
2. I love my husband more dearly than life, but I'd love to strangle him when he sticks his tongue out for every picture I take of him!
3. I am a closet eater--doesn't have to be sweets necessarily, I just like to eat when no one else is around so no one will see how much I really eat.
4. It drives me crazy that people have gone on so much about President Obama being the first African American President--sure, I know he's black. That isn't what bothers me. What bothers me is that so many see him as ONLY being black. Why can't people see the man for a man that has won the election on qualifcations instead of skin color? I don't care if someone is black, blue, red, orange, white or polka dotted--if they're qualified--then that's what matters!
5. I could eat a bag of oreo cookies from beginning to end without even thinking twice--just because I love to eat them. Of course, I'd pay for it later!!!!
6. I'm not only a closet eater, but also a chocoholic--although, I have been able to curb/control both of those problems over the last 2 or 3 years.
7. I truly love my step children as much as I do my own children--therefore when I say I have 5 children, it doesn't matter to me which of them I gave birth to and which I didn't!
8. I love the Lord my God, my family, my career--in that order!
9. I cry at most all movies (at some point or another), game shows when they win big, and some tv commercials--there's a reason my children used to tease me about being Niagra Falls when we'd watch movies together.
10. I am seriously addicted to blogging--can't seem to read enough of the ones I follow each day, comment on the ones I read, or write enough on my own--to the point that I tend to neglect test stitching for Kim of Embroodles, my quilts, my own sewing projects, etc. But I just can't seem to get enough of them! Thanks for being there for me to share with and to be shared by me.
2. embroidery stitching
4. sewing--clothing, baby items, craft items, quilts, etc.
As for my recipients for both awards?
Jen of Pure Joy
Barb of Nana Barb's Musings
Karyn of Karmic Kommotion
Rachel of p.s. i quilt
Amanda of hohnstreiterrific
So what are my 3 you ask?
#1 Well, I couldn't craft/sew without my sewing/embroidery machine & computer. After all, how could I possibly keep up with all the new crafty ideas and embroidery & quilt designs if I didn't have a computer to blog and surf with? And how could I make those ideas and designs come true without a machine to sew them with?
#2 I couldn't cut those ideas out without scissors and a rotary cutter (with the board of course) and couldn't help complete them (well some of them, especially at Mardi Gras time) without a glue gun. It can burn like crazy but at the same time, it sure can save time!
#3 FABRIC FABRIC and more FABRIC! Spoken like a true fabricholic right? There are times when I'm glad I got rid of a good bit of my old stash --after all, a good bit of it was double knits (can you say ewwwwwwwwwww). At the same time, there are times I wish I still had all of it (well except for the double knits). But there is some of it that I wish I had--you know some of those funky prints we wore in the 70's? I might still have some of it in the attic, but I think I got rid of most of it. But the best part of getting rid of the old stash I had???? I get to buy new stuff and not feel quite as guilty! ;) And since my computer has a mind of its own (AGAIN) it won't let me insert the picture--or even pull up My Computer at this point. So I will publish this as is. Attempt to reboot and put the picture in later. OK it worked, now I'm taking Nyquil and going to bed! Maybe I'll finally feel better by tomorrow. I haven't in several days!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
1st- YCMT Quilt
Only got half of the squares cut and trimmed, but its coming along.
I'll be caught up (hopefully) by the end of the day.
2nd - 365 day calendar progress
Yesterday I got January 2009 and Happy New Year embroidered onto the quilt. At least we'll know when the first day was and what year it represents. I also have the squares sewn through Tuesday. Here are the pictures on its progress!
3rd - Cleaning off Sewing Table
OK you saw the table, the rest of the room wasn't much better. I now can freely walk around the room (although I won't photograph my closet as its scary just opening the door!). So I think it is time to give you a tour of my small little sewing room--where everything can easily be gotten to from my rolling office chair--computer to any of the four machines to the cutting table to trim or place, etc.
This is the wall to the left as you walk in from the door. It has a peg board for my scissors, rulers, etc.; the pricncesses on the wall is a cork board I covered in fabric and put up yesterday; of course I have Mardi Gras masks on the wall and the turtle was drawn by my son, Zach; Don't mind the mess around the computer--its ALWAYS that way--having the corner desk is super for this corner of the room and then to have the machines off the side from it.
Obviously, this is the outside wall with nice bright airy windows. I like the light, but don't like the neighbor's son looking in. So we have the bamboo shades. There I have my two embroidery machines, another of the cork boards I covered yesterday and the other half of my computer table & filing cabinet.
This is the 3rd wall. You can see the wall where eventually I will have storage drawers or shelves that will hold all the stash. Currently part of the stash is there in bins (don't mind the stuff at the end of the table--that's where all the scraps were thrown at Christmas when I was cutting things out for everyone) and in the dresser, in bins, and on shelves in the closet. You can also see my other two cork boards I covered yesterday and put on the door. As a teacher I'm so used to having cork/bulletin boards around me that I miss them at home. I just don't like to see them plain--that's why we teachers put paper on the board first I guess! And of course, my beloved Eeyore is on the wall.
And this would be wall 4-back at to the door. As you can see it isn't a large space like I've seen some sewingrooms. But it is larger than having just the end of the diningroom table as I used to have. And it is larger than sharing a corner of the livingroom as I've done for a while. So I'm quite happy with it. Of course, there are always ways to improve it--like the fact that I NEED storage and shelving. But that is coming. The wall coloring wouldn't have been my first choice, but I do like it. And I painted it originally for 2nd daughter's bedroom. So you've now had a tour of my sewing room. The closet door I won't even attempt to open and photograph. After all, we all have some skeletons to hide, don't we? LOL
Someone asked me yesterday what kind of flowers I was making. These are your basic tissue paper flowers. There are 5 pieces of paper in each flower (well unless I can't count or the paper sticks together) that are folded accordian style with a flower wire folded over it and wrapped tightly. Then the papers are fluffed out to make a flower.
You ask Why I make so many of these? That's a little harder to explain!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
- Organize or at least clean off the cutting table. I've got to have some room to work and there sure isn't any HERE! DONE!
- Get the Make-It-Up-As-You-Go quilt up to date--to step 5 that is. I got 1/2 of the squares "squared up" and trimmed and placed in groupings so I'll know where they go when I start sewing.
This is the second set of blocks, you can see the first set is all ironed and sitting there patiently waiting for the next step!
This is set three (the final set of half square blocks to iron). You know, I read in someone's blog (I've been through so many I don't know who is who or if I'm up or down at this point) that you press not iron the squares so it won't distort the fabric. Well, you know, I'd never really thought about it, but she was right. When you iron you place the iron and move it across pulling the fabric and wrinkles out. When you press, you set it down and steam, pick it up to move. So I PRESSED all the squares, not ironed them (even though I do use the term iron).
Finally I have them all ironed. Now all I have to do is trim them. OK so now you know why this task of getting it up to date is on here. From what I understand, from other blogs, this is the worst part, and seems to take forever! But I'll get there.
OK if I'm right, these are the 3 combinations I can do as my pinwheels. Yes there's an oops in the first one, but seeing as how I have to trim them first anyway, what's a little oops between friends?
- Get the calendar quilt up to date and start figuring out what embroidery designs I want on it for the month of January! DONE!
- Start on the Mixed T square for the Rainbow Sampler Quilt Swap Thanks to those that are in our group that helped me choose between 3 different light blue fabrics to use, I can at least say that I NOW have chosen the fabric I'll be using!
- If I'm really ambitious and think I can do it, start the Summer Mystery Quilt--although I can do the first couple of steps she has, that next one has me thrown for a loop. I'll have to really think about this one!
- Stay up to date with all the blogs I'm following (ok I've done some of that this morning!) DONE!
- Be sure to send extra hugs and love and prayers to Jennifer & Kaitlyn (Neal, too) as they prepare for Kaitlyn's surgery on Monday. DONE!
- Oh yeah, and the obvious stuff--you know, vacuum, laundry, cook, dishes--the everyday dull, duldrom stuff of the world!
- Make more flowers for the Mardi Gras parades. Susan told me there are only 30,000 more we have to make before Mardi Gras! Yikes, I better get busy. By now, I've usually done several thousand and I've barely done any this year. I'll see if I can find pics somewhere (or take them) to see if I can explain that better later. The last 240 gold and 120 green flowers (well that I currently have) were folded and wired tonight. Tomorrow I start fluffing them out so they resemble flowers.
- Read some more of David Baldacci's Saving Faith
All in all, it looks like I'm going to be BUSY this weekend! As if that's any different than usual. I'll be checking in later in the day either with updates or just to check to see what the rest of my blogging friends are up to today! Hey, my DONE!s are increasing! Of course look at the number of DONE! items that seem to never end! But I'm still working at it! LOL What's the old addage, "A woman's work is never done"? And in the case of crafting women that is especially true. I'll write a new post later in the day to let you see my progress (other than writing DONE!). Looking at this I'd say I had a pretty productive day! I'll try to post the pictures of my accomplishments tomorrow.
Red = later in the day I edited this post.
Blue = edited one more time before going to bed.