Friday, February 27, 2009

Blue Funk Hits Hard(er)

Blue Funk - What exactly is a blue funk? Well what we have always termed a blue funk around our house is NOT what the dictionary considers it! The definition I found was this:

blue funk
Slang a state of great terror

However the Thesaurus on the same page says:

1. blue funk
- a state of nervous depression; "he was in a funk"
depression - a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity
Now that is more how we define a blue funk in this house! And ever since, well, I'm not even sure exactly when it started again, but since sometime, I've begun to slide into a blue funk. And for some reason, I just can't seem to get out of it.
It has caused me to stop having too much to say here in blogland--hence the lack of posts.
It has caused me to stop everything on my quilts
--waiting until the last possible minute to get my fat quarters ready and mailed to
my swap partners. I'm hoping it didn't cause me to choose aweful fabrics just because
of my mood--if it did, I'm so sorry to those of you that are receiving them.
--not moving on to the next step of the YCMT quilt. So I'm now at least 1-2 (if not more)
steps behind where I should be.
--stopped working on my blocks for the Rainbow Sampler Quilt Swap--only 3 of 18 blocks
--can't get the inspiration to put fabrics together for the kalaidescope ruler quilt I want to
--stopped all forward motion on the calendar quilt--and having to "hunt" for fabric to put
into it for each day and find meaning for it.
It has caused me to doubt my own work more so than any time I can remember lately. And I know that my abilities haven't changed--just my perspective of them. I know that the two wonderful ladies that I've corresponded with meant to give me help and encouragement--but the perception of black and white print often does not relate the intention; but more of how the reader perceives it. I know that ALL quilters start out as beginners initially. I know that many quilters don't sew anything (and never have) but quilts. I know that since I have NEVER actually pieced, layered, quilted, bound, etc. a quilt that I am not a TRUE quilter. However the term "you're just a wannabe quilter" just hit a nerve (and yes I know that was not its intent, so don't feel badly about saying it). I have rarely been considered a wannabe--as it is a short time between a "wannabe" and an "is" for me. I was told that I shouldn't participate in any swaps (especially with those that are experienced quilters as I'll be at the mercy of the sharks instead of getting encouragement from them). Well now that I'm involved in one, working on 2 different blocks that I've obviously never attempted before in my life--What do I do? If I don't continue now and make the blocks there will be two groups in the swap that won't have a color finished for the quilt. If I'm doing them incorrectly I will have screwed up everyone's in those two groups quilts. I've been told over and over (by people that know me face-to-face and have either seen my work or have worn my work) that I can sew circles around most anyone put "up against me" and have things that are more professional looking than others as well. But yet I feel now like I have done exactly what I was told not to do. I've set myself up for failure
--by not having a quilting class under my list of "I've done that".
--by never having made a quilt before entering a swap.
--by allowing my newness to be seen by others here, on flickr, and then in person by
those receiving the squares.
--by allowing my naiveness of "if I can sew, I can quilt" come out so loud and clear.
--by even caring what others think of my work and letting it bother me so.
It has stopped my creativeness
--in the baby bib/burp sets I was making for 2 nieces and now 2 grandchildren.
--in the baby clothes I had planned to make.
--in the baby blankets and/or quilts I had planned to make.
--in my ability to digitize machine embroidery designs.
--to even want to see if anything has done anything at my etsy shop.
--to even want to get near a sewing machine.
--in finding art/craft projects for my classroom for my unit on space that are new or
interesting yet not so complicated that they are worth doing.
--to finish organizing and decorating my sewing room.
It has stopped my ability to think past "what can I blog about today" as I seem to be coming up blank.
It has stopped my ability to find new and interesting things to talk about--and don't want to get into a "pity party" (but seem to be) when I do sit down to blog.
It has stopped me from being able to even find a starting point to anything. I know that should be easy--"You start at the very beginning, it's the very best place to start. When you read you begin with ABC, when you sing you begin with Do, Re, Me" But I can't seem to find the "beginning" to anything.
I was given a Kreative Blogger award--and I just can't find a reason it should be posted on my blog. Don't get me wrong--I'm very thankful that it was given to me. I'm thrilled to think that another would think that I'm creative enough to deserve it. But for right now, I just cannot find the creativity in me feel that I should deserve it.
NO, I'm not fishing for compliments!
NO, I'm not looking for an ego boost!
YES, I'm trying to explain what is troubling me--a lack of ideas, a lack of motivation (and I should have TONS of it), a major lack of creativity; and I really need to find it back QUICKLY!!!
MAYBE I'll feel better about things tomorrow and I'll be able to get at least one or two things accomplished on at least part of my GOT TO DO this weeekend list! Seems my couple of weeks of a flurry of activity and accomplishment have peteered out into NOTHINGNESS! I need to get back to those weeks where I got so much accomplished in a day, let alone a weekend. I just don't know what it will take to get me back to that. Any suggestions? Any ideas of how to break through the wall of creativity block?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Private Encore Performance - Quilt Savings

If you missed our “50% Sale“ last weekend, no worries!
For 2 Days ONLY we will have a Private Encore Performance … just for you Quilt Savings Members!
You will find 800+ Products on sale at 50% Off!
Did you know that just because you are receiving this email, you have the chanceto receive further discounts, Free Patterns, special sales, and VIP treatment? To receive these complimentary specials, simply join the Exclusive Homespun Hearth Birthday Club!
Of Course… Look below for more of these goodies:
JUST IN – Fabulous New Kits, Fabrics, Patterns & MoreSALE –
Always making room around here!
PLUS – 50% Friday –
check below for more info!
FINALLY – Birthdays, Bargains, Bolts And more – don’t miss out!***********************************************
50% FRIDAY -
That’s right – every Friday we feature something you will love at 50% off!
Want to get a news flash each and every week to see what’s featured? Then be sure to sign up here for our weekly Newsletter! ***********************************************
JUST IN -- To see all of our New Items, just click the link!
Is Your BIRTHDAY Registered?
Sign up now, and on your birthdayyou will receive a special discount AND an exclusive gift, too!
Homespun Hearth’s ExclusiveMystery Quilt & Coffee Lovers Weekend Quilt Tour™
If you love Coffee, Quilts and Mysteries, then be sure to join us today!
Click below for more cup-o-joe Info! It’s Never too late to join us!
Friends for Christmas
Only a Few Kits Remain – get yours today!
Batik Boutique is the place for those warm and glorious fabrics!
Be sure to visit Teresa’s Treasures™
These are exclusive kits, quick and easy, too!
Are you a purse-aholoic? Then don’t miss Polly’s Purse Parade™!
Torn between baking and quilting? Then join others in the Baker’s Dozen Club!
Bargain Basket – Buy One Get One Free*
– over 500 itemsin our Bargain Basket –
New items added daily -look often to see what you can get for Free!
Christmas Morning Quilters™ –
if you love everything aboutChristmas, then join us here!
Quilt Kits, Fabrics, Gifts and more!
Bargains by the Bolt™ –
a Homespun Hearth Exclusive!
Yes – Wholesale Pricing* on 1000’s of yards of your favorite fabrics!
The Entire Homespun Hearth Customer Care Team
Wishes you a Fun-Filled Week!
Homespun Hearth15954 Jackson Creek PkwySuite B #564Monument CO 80132
Forward this promotional email to a friend.
This promotional QuiltSavings message is sponsored by The Fabric Shop Network, Inc., a trade organization for independent quilt and fabric retailers.
PO Box 820128, Vancouver, WA 98682 Sponsors of the FabShop Hop

Links are US! or Playing Catch-Up Again!

The hurrier I go the behinder I get. Isn't that the old saying? Well in my case that is often the case. However, you haven't seen any posts from me lately not due to me being so busy, but I haven't been able to get my posts to save as drafts or to publish. So I thought I would try this early in the morning and see if I can beat the "heavy traffic" on the intenet to see if that makes a difference. Also for any of you that I follow or read on a regular basis--don't think that I'm no longer following or reading or just lurking now. I've also been having troubles leaving comments--some of the posts don't have a place to leave a comment, sometimes my comment disappears (and these aren't the ones that moderate before posting), and sometimes it just doesn't allow me to comment at all because it will "time out". But I am here and if nothing else, I'm leaving you comments telepathically! LOL

To begin with, here is the February update for the calendar quilt. Lousy pic I know. It was current through Sunday and then I already had my fabric for Mardi Gras day picked. I can't believe that another month is almost finished! BTW the blue and white behind it is for the Rainbow Sampler Quilt Swap--so no I haven't forgotten about that, just haven't gotten back to them. I promise Jen, I'll have my blocks done by deadline.

2nd: This is what mail call brought me the other day! The fat quarters are from the Sew Mama, Sew! Fat Quarter Swap. The Kaleidoscope Wedge Ruler??? Well, I got "tired" (NO Barb, I never get tired of seeing your stuff!!! I love your stuff!) Ok, I confess, I was jealous--ok are you happy, I said it, of Barb's BEAUTIFUL designs with her "fancy" ruler. So I asked her what it was called. I googled it and found one on ebay and snatched it up! So when school paperwork calms down some--or when I'm so stressed from the schoolwork that I NEED some sanity, I will be attempting some of those really NEAT designs that she's been doing as well. I would say that I was disappointed that only 2 of my 8 fat quarters have come in, but considering mine were supposed to go in the mail yesterday, um, I'm not doing any better. So if you are part of the two groups of swap mates I'm in, I'm trying to get my brain to get me to the post office! LOL

Oh and if you're looking for what to do with all those fat quarters that are going through the mail... Then Sew Mama, Sew! has some fabulous ideas as to what to do with them. Everyday (I think) all month she has been giving ideas, tuts, etc on what to do with fat quarters. So hop on over and browse--since I know that your creativity is just drying up completely--afterall, there's been NOTHING new posted as of late from anyone! NOT!!!!

Speaking of NEW stuff, have you seen the NEW ebook that Courtney at Sister to Sister has just finished? Just love it! Just waiting for it to be "released" so I can get a copy to start making loveys for my new grandbabies that are on their way.

Oh, and can anyone tell me how to convince on-the-go kids to use nappys instead of disposable diapers? I have found the most adorable nappy complete with awesome tutorial over at Kei's Creations. Kei gives you the total step-by-step lowdown on how to make these! They are just so CUTE and environmentally friendly too! I just don't know how to convince the kids that they need to use them--at least at home anyway!

And you all have to check out Melissa's new ebook! Of course I don't know if it has been released or not yet either, but she's got it up and on her site ready for you to look at anyway!

OK ladies, I know that many of you keep up with Mama Krit. She needs OUR help now! The Simply Savvy lady is need of help for ideas for her child's WESTERN birthday party. I have sent her all that I have to help her. Hop on over to her blog and give her what ideas YOU have to help her out. Themed birthday parties are so cool to kids.

3rd: For those of you still stuck in snow and ice and cold weather, let me share my camelia bushes with you. These have been blooming for over a week. And you might not be able to tell, but there are LOTS more blooms ready to open up on the two larger bushes. I really should have trimmed the two larger bushes last fall (and I usually do); but with me being in a walking boot, Dave wouldn't let me get into uneven ground or areas that might be muddy--especially while yielding an electric trimmer! Gee, what did he think I'd do? Fall and cut my own arm off or something? (Yes!)

I was really hoping to be able to tell everyone that --hey, I got all the blocks for the swap done! I got the blocks for the bushfire project done! I've started a new quilt with the new fancy, schmancy ruler! After all, I had a 4 day weekend. Unfortunately, I spent all 4 of those days in bed with 101+ temp, taking as much dayquil, thera flu, nyquil combinations as I possibly could get away with so I wouldn't feel like the walking dead--and still did. I've coughed and hacked so much my lungs and muscles around my ribs are VERY sore. So needless to say, all my thoughts of "grandeur" and my big plans for the weekend went to hell in a handbasket! Hopefully this coming weekend will be much more productive!

I know that this is MUCH shorter than my usual posts--and I'm sure most who read or scan through it will be happy about that! But sickness has a tendency to shorten things tremendously!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Mardi Gras Style!

I started this post a week ago--and then went MIA! You can blame exhaustion, work, lack of umph, lack of creativity, just lazy, or come up with your own excuse. At any rate, for you that actually have a hankering to read my posts---I'm BACK!!! Warning this is going to be picture heavy today as I'm going to be showing pictures from our ball last Saturday.

For most people in the world that celebrate Valentine's Day it is spent as a quiet romantic evening with their significant other, spent wishing you were with your significant other, or having either a pity party that they don't have someone or that they hate all members of the opposite sex because of their former significant other. Well, for those that are involved with the Krewe of Harlequins, Valentine's Day was done Mardi Gras Style! This year, our Mardi Gras Ball for the Krewe of Harlequins was on Saturday, February 14. For Dave and I, we combined the two with our table decorations.

This is the first year that Dave and I have not been in one of the skits or dances as part of the tableau, so we didn't have to stick with the theme of our group this year. As this WAS our Valentine's Day date, we wanted to make it a little more on the red/pink/white as opposed to other colors this year.

As is tradition, the day of our ball we begin with breakfast with two of my oldest friends. Terry-no-blog, you've already met, and Penny-no-blog, Dave and I go to breakfast--meeting before 7 in the morning so that we can be at the Coast Coliseum by 8 for practice and time to decorate. I think this is probably one of the best pictures ever taken of the 3 of us (especially at 7 in the morning!).
Dave thought that we could show y'all the more fanciful and regal side of Mardi Gras as opposed to the lecherous, rauchous, drunk, rebel rousing side of Mardi Gras. I'm sure many think of Mardi Gras as nothing but a big party in New Orleans. In actuality it is more. This is one aspect where--yes there is drinking and dancing and having a great time, but it is also a time of paying homage to the royalty of the court--the maids and dukes and their King and Queen of that year's ball. Our krewe still does much of our ball based on the traditional old style of New Orleans--with elaborate costumes, fanfare, and yes royalty. Allow me to introduce you to the regal side of Mardi Gras.
And yes the picture is not totally in focus, when you have someone as they dance around the floor for the final royal promenade things don't stay in focus long enough to allow for the flash and shutter to keep up with them (at least not with the camera we had at the ball).

Princess Pocahontas and Canadian Mounty as our Ball Captains--

Our maid representing the musical Evita and Duke representing the King of Siam

This is a husband and wife that were both in the court--but they were not "coupled" in the court. He was our duke representing Brigadoon from Scotland and she was representing Russia's Anastassia.

Our maid representing France's Can-Can and duke England's Erin

Our maid representing Japan's Madame Butterfly

For some reason I don't have pictures of the two remaining dukes. Of course, Dave and I WERE a little backstage. We were the ones putting on the capes and collars on everyone. Yes, all of those feathers sit as a collar on the shoulders. Most of them weigh between 15-25 pounds. In addition, the men have capes that are attached at the shoulders that then straps that wrap across the front to the back, wrap at the back and then tie in the front under all that costuming. And because we were busy holding up collars, head pieces and capes/trains, we weren't able to also take pictures of the process--although we really should do that one day. No one would ever believe all that it takes to get into one of these costumes--nor what it takes to make them! And yes I've done BOTH as well as worn one in another ball in a previous year many moons ago!

Now for his and her royal majesties, may I present the King and Queen of Harlequins representing the musical South Pacific--first back stage and then together with their 6 pages and the past year's reigning royalty).

So there you have it, the royalty for the 2009 year of Harlequins. May their reign be honest and true to the krewe for the year. Now Laissex les bon temps rouler! Let the Good Times Roll! And that they did. WE left at 1:30 and we were by no means the last to leave. Here is what the three buddies and then Dave and I looked like a little after midnight!

So as you can see, we all had a GREAT time and were still going strong at that point! Of course, the four of us here with our Harlequin (who looks pretty good to be 33 years old) are not big drinkers and with cokes (per 8 oz cup) and water (per 20 oz bottle) being priced at $3.75 a drink and beer $5.75 and mixed drinks at $7.75 each you can see that we stuck to the water fountains more than anything. Actually an empty purchased water bottle, water from the fountain and a box of to-go packets of Crystal lite goes quite a long way! LOL None of the 4 of us had to worry about hang overs. Now the table behind me on the other hand, well, let's just say that they went home with a lot less money in their pockets and a huge hangover the next morning I'm sure! LOL

So to those couples that I invited and they did not attend, you missed an excellent show and a really good time.

To find out more about what Mardi Gras is and isn't and what it's all about, you can go here--the website to discover all you need to know
After all that we did back stage Saturday night, I decided I needed a new "title". And since one of my blogging friends had turned herself into a hero, I decided I could too! Therefore, I went to make myself into a hero--and you can too by clicking here. But this is what I look like as a super hero--ready to tie any cape to the body, hold the and strap the largest collars on (with help from my trusty side kick of course--but he's not made his super hero yet!), it's the Royal Royalty. Now what is funny to me is that this site named me without me doing anything but picking out the wardrobe and all--not knowing anything of my last weekend! LOL

But we were tired. And then after resting and relaxing all day Sunday I came home Monday from work and got quite a surprise with THIS:

These shelves were all empty when I got home--and have been until yesterday when I finally had a chance to actually start sorting through things. Dave, I absolutely love you for the little things like this that you do for me when I'm not expecting them. Thank you!

And everything on the top shelf is scrap. And that is just what I dug off the top of my cutting table and one bin. Wait till I get into the rest of the bins, the chest of drawers and boxes of fabric so I can start organizing it. Now Melissa, see why I said I need your help? LOL
It is time to rest your weary eyes from reading through this post and for me to go scrub floors--YUCK for me! I'll check back in with y'all later. Time to get off my butt since I've commented on many of the 183 comments I've read through this morning! I've been here awhile I guess you could say! (Oh and I don't dare spend the time to go look at the 83 more posts that are NOW there!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my bloggy friends!

Yesterday was a Friday--so that means it was Finish It Friday! Today is Valentine's Day, so that means yesterday was also Friday the 13th~ So I guess the question becomes, does that mean that it is supposed to be a good day, bad day, or just another ol' day like any else. Are you a person who suffers from Paraskevidekatriaphobia? Don't ask me to pronounce it! And I don't think I fall under that phobia anyway! It is people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th! Now I know that superstition says that bad things fall on the that day, but good grief! I can't believe that people would be so afraid of Friday the 13th that they would not go to work, not drive, won't operate machinery, etc. But I'm seeing where there really ARE people in the world that way. According to David Emery there may be as many as 21 million people in the US that are afflicted with paraskevidekatriaphobia! And many of these 21 million people won't go to work, drive, eat in restaurants and most wouldn't think of setting a wedding on the date.

For me, it wasn't the best of days, but it definitely was a pretty decent one. We had our classroom party, A Celebration of Love for Your Child. We invited parents and grandparents to join us in the class and we all had a party! We showed off all of the projects we had finished before the party--of which I'll show you here as well! We had a good time making all the things that I will be showing. Some of the ideas I got from Make 'n Takes and some from One Pretty Thing. Do I remember where I got what? Of course not! And some of the things just came up out of my own (and my assitant's) little pea brains! And all of this was to wrap up our unit on Valentine's so I guess you could say that I was able to have a successful Finish it Friday as well! LOL

Our little ground hog friend here is just pompoms, beads and a plastic cup. And unfortunately, he saw his shadow on Ground Hog's Day. That means 6 more weeks of winter. UGH! But he was so cute, we just had to make him!

Chinese New Year ended on February 9 with the Festival of Lanterns or Parade of Lanterns. Did you know that it was a 15 day celebration beginning on the first new moon of the year and ending on the first full moon? I didn't either. Did you know that RED is the color of the Chinese New Year Celebrations? Did you know that not only do they have the parades, fireworks and dragon dances that we all have seen at one time or another that traditionally it is a 15 day celebration of family, reuniting families, celebrating their ancestry, being with family members, etc.
It's interesting to me that the Jewish religion has a similar practice with 8 days of Hanukah. The African Americans have the same practices withe their Kwanzaa 8 day long celebrations. But the "general" American public--and yes that does include all of those (us) that don't celebrate the other three holidays listed, don't have but one day at Thanksgiving to celebrate our families and our ancestry, one day of loving and kindred spirit and love for our families at Christmas--and oh yeah, let's not forget the Mother's Day, Father's Day and Grandparent's Days where we only acknowledge one person on each of those days.

What's wrong with the rest of us? What's wrong with the rest of the civilized, commercialized, economically strained world? Why can't we see that there is a need for remembering our families, remembering where we came from--and I don't mean what country or nationality, I mean what was the family we came from. Do we remember of the stories grandma or grandpa told? Were they even around to tell them? Would you recognize your great grandparents in pictures if you saw them? Do you know what they did for a liiving? How did they make it through World War I or World War II or the Great Depression? What did they or could they have told us to help us NOT be in the economic strong holds we're in now? Did we listen or just hear those tales? OK so I've gotten off another totally different tangent--but an important one I think. Maybe you can share a something of your thoughts on this or at least tell me if I'm nuts or not to even wonder about it. (OK don't tell me I'm nuts, everyone already knows I'm nuts!)

ANYWAY, these hanging Bee Mine mobiles was one of the most fun things we did. The original idea was to print the hearts with the letters on them and the two bees and string them together. Well, that was all fine and good; but I didn't want to have to use up all that ink by doing that 6 times! So we printed the bees; but none of the letters onto the paper. We then cut out the hearts--and made enough hearts to have 2 bees, a spacer heart and then to spell out BEE MINE. We used stamps and paint to do the lettering. Then we decided the construction paper wasn't sturdy enough and we had all of this old floral wall paper sitting there waiting to be used. So we once again sat and cut out hearts (60 of them to be exact--except we miscounted and there were actually about 70 cut in all). We glued the wall paper to the construction paper and then strung them together. We added a bead and bell at the end to keep them from blowing too much and then hung them from the ceiling. They look so pretty as the different letters twirl this way and that from the air of the air conditioning unit or when the doors are open. As you can see, I don't have any LESS of a colorful classroom than I do house! One day I'll take pictures of the room and take you on a tour around there! I'll be willing to bet you've never been in a classroom quite like mine!

This was one of the most time consuming projects we--ok, DH and I did all the work on these. It was just too cool of an idea NOT to do. I can thank my assistant, Micki, for coming up with this idea. This is the international sign language sign for "I love you." We took old knit gloves, stuffed them with poly-fill stuffing, tacked down the middle two fingers and tacked around the thumb so that it was out straighter. We wrote "I love you" in fabric paint on the felt hearts and then sewed them to the glove's palm. It is therefore something that if my orally fixated students need something to chew on, they can chew on this. It can be washed and dried. And whenever they have it, they will know that someone loves them! I can't believe that as much as I HATE hand stitching, that I sat and sewed six of these at the cuffs and all that I just wrote! That in itself should tell me how much I love these kids.
And finally, I want to show you a picture of one of my students with her uncle--who is currently her legal guardian and I forget and call him her dad most of the time. I'd show you more, but this is the only parent I have permission to post a picture of. This is Lyndsey and John--at the party on Friday. I don't suppose that they were having just a little bit of fun at the party. Nah, neither of them were, I can just tell by those sad faces! NOT!!! LOL

So try to have as good a time this weekend as Lyndsey and John did at the party. And remember, you can choose your friends, but God chooses your family. So remember them when you're talking to Him and thank him for giving you a family--even if you don't think its the best one. At least you have a family and a family here in the blogosphere that thinks of you and loves you.

But one of the BEST things that happened to me yesterday--and I didn't find out about it until this morning is that I finally became a WINNER in one of the drawings, give aways, pull a name out of the hat, what ever you want to call it! I am the PROUD new owner of Barb's UGLY QUILT GIVEAWAY!!!!
Now you tell me, is this an ugly quilt?
or is it the PRETTIEST ugly quilt you've ever seen?
I think it is beautiful personally--and since I won it, I guess my opinion counts the most in this case!
It is made with Samoan batiks and I think it is fabulous!
Thank you so much, for making your beautiful (ugly) quilt! I absolutely love it. And thank you for making me be a SOMETIMES winner instead of a "NEVER" winner!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What is.....

First a little something for all of those that feel they have problems having time to do their quilting, their cleaning and other things due to the time we all spend on the computer blogging!

Cleaning Poem
I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess.
He asked if I'd been 'computering',
And I had to answer 'yes.'
He told me to get off my fanny
And tidy up the house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The smudges off my mouse.
I wiped and shined the topside.
That really did the trick...
I was just admiring my work.
I didn't mean to 'click.
But click, I did, and oops I found
A real absorbing site.
That I got SO way into it.
I was into it all night.
Nothing's changed except my mouse
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess...
While I sit here on my hiney!
Author: Anonymous

Second, Kristina over at My Simply Savvy Life asked a few questions to get folks talking and responding to her blog today (or was it yesterday?—I’m so far behind I don’t even know what today is!) She writes:
“What other tutorials would you like to see? How have you been feeling this week... and just for kicks, tell me the craziest thing that has happened to you this month.” To which I answered: You would think that having someone ask “what was the craziest thing to happen to you this month?” would be an easy question to answer. But since “crazy” seems to be the normal for my life –finding something that would be crazy is difficult for me. The things that come to mind are:
1. Being ticketed for an expired tag when I didn’t realize it was expired and for how long it WAS expired!
2. My daughter announcing she was pregnant.
3. Watching my daughter’s first ultrasound when she’s only 4 weeks pregnant! I didn’t even know they COULD do an ultrasound that early and see anything. But you really can!!! The amazing things they’ve done with technology since I gave birth to my 3 children!
As far as tutorials??? You want to show me how to machine quilt—squiggles—the proper way in a tut? How about a tut on how to choose fabrics that are pretty but aren’t expensive? Nah just kidding, I know that can’t be done. Then I got a roll with it. And just so you know how I feel, here it is. But I really would like others’ opinions as well.

But honestly, why do all the fabrics that I see folks purchasing and all the ones listed in quilting sections are $8.99 and up a yard? Why are Fat Quarters $5 and up? That’s ridiculous when I can go to Wal-mart and purchase very pretty, fashionable fabrics for $2.50 a yard and then I feel guilty because it isn’t a Michael Miller or Moda or something that others seem to have and the only thing they sew with. I feel like the pieces I show that I quilt with are inferior fabrics and am thinking of pulling out of the 2 fat quarter swaps I’ve signed up for just for the reason that I don’t think that my fabric will “rank” along side others and they’ll feel cheated. If those in the swaps are expecting the high priced and I’m assuming superior quality fabrics—not that I would swear they are as I have never used them—then what about those of us that cannot afford those fabrics, don’t have access to those fabrics except for online, and don’t use it because of the first two? Do we need to be breaking our budgets to purchase special fabrics to send?

And what do people consider “grandma” fabrics when they say, “And please don’t send grandma fabric? What people are purchasing and showing as 30’s fabric and civil war fabric??? To me that IS grandma fabric. So, maybe I’m a little new to this quilting stuff. Ok I’m a lot new to it.

But I really need some clarification here! I need HELP understanding the difference and classifications of the types of fabrics and the ways quilt bundles, layers, “cakes?” “jelly rolls?” (Aren’t those something you eat?), etc. For all I know, the fabrics I’ve chosen for the rainbow sampler quilt swap is not “superior enough” fabric and I need to rethink what the blocks are sewn with.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Attn Quilters: Everything Must Go Sale

Hey y'all,
I just got this message and thought I'd pass it on to y'all as well!

EVERYTHING must go to make room for new inventory here at the Carriage HouseQuilt Shop.
February 11th through February 18th use
Promotional Code: SALE40 uponcheckout to get 40% OFF your ENTIRE order!

You will find yardage, fat quarters, charm packs, patterns, books, kits andmore.
All fabrics are 100% high quality cotton.
Shop early for best selections as quantities are limited.
Offer valid for in stock items only (Advance Order items do not apply).
This sale will end Wednesday February 18th at midnight eastern standardtime.
To be notified about our 50%-70% OFF Sale be sure to subscribe to ourmailing list:
I hope you enjoy your visit at the Carriage House Quilt Shop.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me Best wishes and happy shopping,
Sangeeta Mellen
Carriage House Quilt Shop
90 Waterman Street
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02861
Forward this promotional email to a friend.
This promotional QuiltSavings message is sponsored by The Fabric Shop Network, Inc., a trade organization for independent quilt and fabric retailers.
PO Box 820128, Vancouver, WA 98682 Sponsors of the FabShop Hop

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Day with Best Friend--the Bestest!

My oldest (ok, not in age but in the number of years I've known her) and dearest BFF in the whole world has come down from her home in the northern half of the state to visit her old stomping grounds, some old friends and to attend our Mardi Gras Ball on Saturday night. Since I took the day off to be with DD (G) for her first appointment with the OB doc, I spent the majority of the day with my BFF! G and I went to pick Terry (no blog) up from her MIL's and went to Applebee's for lunch after G's appointment. They were so crowded we weren't able to tease and harrass the poor waiter like usual. Of course, we also didn't have our normal waiter either! On the way out we saw some other really good friends that we haven't seen in 5 or more years. We talked and laughed like a day had not even passed since we'd last seen them!

After we dropped G off so she could go to work, Terry-no-blog and I went to the wonderful world of Wall--otherwise known as Wal-Mart. You wouldn't think we could get into much trouble in there, but as her late husband used to say, "Oh no, I"m not going with them anywhere--those 2 are trouble when they get together!" I found a really adorable frog (and dang if I didn't remember that I had a camera with me in the form of a camera phone! I could kick myself for not remembering it until later!) Anyway, I found this really cute stuffed animal frog (she collects frogs) holding three candy hearts. I showed it to her and she said, "yeah I saw it." With our ball on Valentine's night this year and her not having her husband to be with her this year, I know it is going to be a rough one for her. So I took the frog and said--in my best froggy voice--"C'mon Terry, buy me! You know you want me." She just started giggling and turned around. "Terr-rrry, I'm only $10. I could be your date Saturday night." Again she kept giggling (which is one of her bestest ever traits--I love to hear her giggle and laugh). So I walked up behind her, tapped her on the vshoulder with the frog's leg and said, "Hey, YOU, I love you. Can't I go home with you?" To which she said, "Ok, come on. You can go to the ball with me too. That way I'll have something there so I won't be by myself." I said, "What you gonna name him?" YES we are this silly that we do things like this together! She said, "I'll name him Richard and then Richard WILL be with me at the ball." Well, as we walked around, she got him a rose to carry. I kept teasing her that she needed a special pillow for him to sit on too! She didn't get that though.

We went back in the fabric section and I just couldn't resist any longer (OH how DH will kill me!!!!) I got 1/2 yard of some of the fabrics I'm wanting to make DIL a quilt for my first grandbaby with. Now aren't these colors pretty together? I can hardly wait to get started on it--although DH keeps telling me--you can wait until the summer. But Kahli will be born in late April or early May. Now HOW can I wait until the summer to make it? I mean, seriously! I just LOVE these fabrics together! It will be so pretty and cheerful and BRIGHT!

Well while back in the fabric section, I got to talking to the lady about the quilts that several of us are doing online here together--you can make this, Make it as YOU go Along quilt; rainbow sampler quilt swap; summer mystery quilt, and our calendar quilt. She wanted to know if I knew the URL to find them. I said I did, so I gave her the address to the blogs so she can look at them and do them if she'd like to or not. But I also looked through the remnants--I can never resist looking there. And look what I found. I think the fabrics above are just too pretty together. Can't you just see a quilt made out of that? And I've always loved this princess fabric. Maybe I'll be having two granddaughters--I can do tropical for one and princesses for the other! Nah the other will end up being ducks or butterflies I have a feeling! That is still to be seen! Man oh man am I gonna be in big trouble when DH reads to catch up on my blog tonight! I'm gonna have to pay up big time to him for this one. Maybe I should go start making dinner so he won't be the one to have to cook tonight either! LOL (Which I did, cubed potatoes with sausage, rotel tomatoes, grated cheese, sliced stick of butter, & some evaporated milk--mix altogether, pour into baking dish, bake until potatoes are done! Mmmmm-Mmmmm Good!)
We still had time to kill before going to pick up Terry-no-blog's MIL from work so we went to the mall. Somehow we ended up in Dillards and for some reason any time the two of us are together in that store, we just go nutty!
We were walking through the men's department and she says,"Hey look, I found my date for the ball." I told her to go stand next to "him" and I'd get a picture. This is when I finally remembered my phone has a camera on it! DUH! So she cozies up to this manequin and this is the picture I got! And of all things, I cut off the head of the "man of her dreams"! LOL She then turns around to another manequin and starts talking to it. "I'm sorry, you're just to.... I can't go to the ball with you, I'll just have to go by myself. You see how it is and you understand, right?" and then she turns and walks away. Good thing she wasn't expecting an answer from him. I don't think he looked very understanding! LOL

We then went upstairs and started looking for the restroom. Of course to get there we had to go by the formals. We start looking at them (like we had any intention of buying??!! NOT!) I finally said, "Terry, you want to have some fun? Let's try a couple of these on. Well, she chickened out and wouldn't try any on. But she was so gracious (yeah right) and complimentary (oh yeah--that's what it was) to keep pulling things out that were SEVERAL sizes too small for me and then wanted me to try them on. One of the tops she pulled off the rack I did try on. Here's the pic I took in the dressing room--I can't believe I'm actually going to show this pic! Oh brother, I MUST have lost my mind! Obviously this is not a very good pic and I'd probably NEVER wear anything like this. But it was a cute top on the rack. There was a dress that she wanted me to try on--and of course I did try it on--that if it would have zipped up all the way, I would have considered taking a pic in it as well. Guess I should've done it same as I did this one, but I didn't. It really was pretty. But I've just gained WAY too much weight and too much flab across my back and stomach to have been able to zip it. Of course, I wasn't going to pay the $225 that they wanted for it either. But it WAS cute. We laughed and giggled our way through the store--that's for sure. We left there and made our way back to the car as she had to take her MIL to a friend's grandchild's birthday party. But we've already made plans to get together again tomorrow night. I wonder what tale I'll have to spin to y'all after that!?! Heaven only knows what will happen when the two of us are together! But I was really glad that I was able to get her to smile and make her feel better about going to the ball Saturday night.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Metaphor Monday—One Vine

I thought I’d try something different today—as Blue Monday is drawing a blank in my brain today. If I come up with something for that, I’ll come back later and write about Blue Monday as well.

I’m not really very good at metaphors, but one Sunday many, many years ago, I heard a sermon on One Vine. Essentially this sermon ever since then has become partially a joke and partially a way to remember Jesus. Let me see if I can explain. It seems that I am one of the adult ADDs of the world! Now I know there are many of us—you know you start your day cleaning the living room and find something that goes in the bedroom. So you take it to the bedroom and discover the bed wasn’t made. As you make the bed, you find the seam ripper you’ve been looking for and take it to your sewing area. While there you think “I should really work on….” As you get ready to do that, you find a glass that wasn’t taken back to the kitchen. So you take the glass into the kitchen and see a pile of dirty dish rags where the kids left them after cleaning up the Kool-Aid they spilled. You take those into the laundry room and discover ….. and so on and so on and so on. So by the end of the day you feel like you’re exhausted but when you try to figure out what you’ve done that day, you can’t come up with anything that actually got accomplished!

So this is how things happen. Saturday night DH and I were cleaning the kitchen—well, doing the dishes. Afterwards, I scrubbed down all the cabinets and stove top. I opened the oven and decided I needed to spray it down to clean the inside. I closed it up and forgot about it. Sunday morning, DH asks, “Did you ever finish cleaning out the oven?” “Oh Sh… I’ll start on that now. By the way, can you please get the oven door off for me so I can reach into the back easier?” Well he comes over and tries to do the lift and pull method of taking off the oven door. This is a built in oven so that doesn’t work. So he starts taking screws out of the door. The vent from under the oven came off first. He hands it to me and it’s an immediate, “Oh Yuck” reaction. So I scrubbed it down. The next thing to come off was the handle. It wasn’t too bad, so I set it aside. Then the outside thermal glass comes to me. “Ewww that’s gross! All that grease along the bottom where it’s been in the metal casing.” So of course, that got scrubbed and set aside. Then came the metal casing--OMG, you’d never believe how gross it was—all the dust and grease and who knows what from who knows how many years it’s been there that has worked its way inside of it. So that was the next thing to be scrubbed. There were even pieces of paint that came off the interior of the casing as I scrubbed it clean. By this time I’m wondering if I’m ever going to get to “clean the oven” not thinking about the fact that that was exactly what I was doing!

At this point I have this bare oven door with nothing but the inside piece of thermal glass and metal. And the door is STILL not off! But the metal “window sill” has yuck from where the inside of the oven has been cleaned before and it the dirty water and grease and grime has seeped through. And the area under the oven??? Oh man, I didn’t know you could have dust and lint and crud INSIDE there! So I cleaned all of that out!

Now you notice I still haven’t gotten to the inside of the oven where I had sprayed the Easy-Off Oven Cleaner the night before. DH says, “Okay, I think you’re ready to start cleaning the oven!” I just looked at him and said, “What do you think I’ve been doing for the past 45 minutes?” He just laughed and said, “It’s just that one vine again!”

So I pulled down the oven door (that STILL is not able to be taken off) and start cleaning the inside of the door. I make the first couple of swipes to wipe it off and walk over to rinse out the sponge and the door slams shut! Crap, now how am I supposed to open it and why did it slam shut? As it turns out, without all the weight of the glass the metal casing, the handle, etc. there isn’t enough weight to hold the door open. I finally find a way to get the door open again and continue to clean the door—holding it open with one hand. I started scrubbing out the bottom of the door, holding the door open with—now I know you all can picture this—with my stomach. Thank heavens DH DIDN’T take a picture of that! He finally says, you take a few minutes break and I’ll put the door back together so it will stay open.

He puts the door back together and then I spent another hour (maybe more) scrubbing out the inside of the oven. I really hate cleaning ovens. I know if I did it more often it wouldn’t be so much trouble. But when you have lasagna that spilled over into the bottom of the oven and then something else spill over on top of that and it has burnt into the oven like lava rock it isn’t fun!

All of this to say, that what I thought was just simply washing the dishes the night before continued into an all morning project. God’s love is like that. He starts out by taking your hand and just walking beside you. Gradually you find that He is not just a friend, but your best friend. Your best friend becomes your confidant and support. You rely on Him for everything and as a result He is there for you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son to us. His Son died on a cross to take on the burden and forgive all of our sins. His Son loves us enough to be there and bring us to our heavenly Father. And we in turn love Him enough to tell others about His amazing love and grace. Just like my oven, the end result is sparkling clean—inside and further inside and out! All the gook and crud has been cleaned out—just as Jesus’ love for us and His death and resurrection has cleaned out all the gunk and crud in us. Our belief in Him, our love for Him, our faith in Him, and our daily walk with Him is what keeps us going. There are times we are mad at results (often from choices we have made) and blame Him. There are times we just don’t understand why things happen and blame Him. But He is such a loving Father that he takes all that we throw at Him and puts His arms around us and loves us still.

Our one vine—from God’s love to giving His Son, to sacrificing His Son on a cross to save us all, to His resurrection, to our love of Him as the Holy Trinity; what a wonderful vine it is. And it is so awesome that sometimes we have the ability to start one project that leads to another to another to another all to take away the gook and crud, whether it is in the yard, in the kitchen, sewing, at work, or whatever. It all helps to remind us that He is also THE vine that stretches and hold us all together in His love; that no matter what we can Fully Rely On God.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Something Worn, & Never Worn Again? Do Something BIG!

Time to reminisce a bit! It is the time just before the beginning of spring. You are a junior or senior in high school. Oh what a special time that is. The girls are giddy, the boys are silly. But one thing is beginning to take over EVERYONE'S mind. PROM! Who will ask me? Who will I take? and the BIGGG question of all----WHAT AM I GONNA WEAR? Remember those times? For some of us, that seems like a lifetime ago--wait 29 years IS a lifetime ago! But for others it isn't that long ago.
OK ladies it is time to start cleaning out those closets--spring is coming and the idea of spring cleaning is starting to fill the air. Am I right? How many of you have formals sitting in your closets that have been worn once (maybe twice) and will NEVER be worn again? How many of you have sisters, nieces, daughters, etc. that will never wear those formals again? Oh and let's not forget the men--do they have suits that just hang there waiting for another wedding or funeral to arrive--only to find out the suit doesn't fit anymore? I have a solution to this problem for you.
I went to Maddie Dean Photography this morning and Sara had received this most wonderful letter from one of my fellow teachers in the northern part of the state. I am ashamed that I did not know anything about this plea for help--and I live here in Mississippi. This is the email that Sara received (with contact information removed due to security reasons).
My name is Suzette Matthews and I recently graduated from Texas Tech University and moved to the Mississippi Delta in an effort to help poverty stricken schools with Teach for America. For those of you who are not familiar with TFA, it is a program for "recent college graduates of all majors and career interests and working professionals to commit two years to teach in urban and rural our highest-poverty communities" (
Upon moving to the Delta, I have experienced a number of unimaginable challenges in the classroom and outside of it. My students are exceptionally poor and very much behind academically and socially. Although my students suffer horrible injustices everyday, I feel as if they should have somewhat of a normal high school education, academically and in extra-curriculars. With this being said, my students would like to put on a prom this year and have been saving their money to have the best prom in high school history.
This is a great feat for them, since their families do not have money to buy them clothes to wear to school, much less for prom. The school district has been kind enough to give the Junior class money to host the prom, but by no means is it going to make ends meet. The girls cannot afford dresses and the boys cannot afford tuxes. I know that what a person wears to prom shouldn't really matter, but when you think back to your own high school days, you would have been mortified if you did not have a dress to wear to prom, only your school uniform.
I am forever grateful that I grew up in the community that I did and never had to worry about this. I know that after I wore my dresses once, I never wore them again; they just hung in my closet. So, with help from surrounding communities and you, I know that I can find enough dresses for my students to have the prom they've always dreamt of.
What I am asking is that you look through your daughter's old formal dresses and perhaps yours and donate them to the students at Ruleville Central High School. This would be a great donation for a tax write-off and would also help you get a jump start on your spring cleaning. If you can participate in anyway possible it would mean the world to my students. The deadline to donate will be 2/25 (Wednesday).
We plan to have a fun bazaar for the girls and help them choose a wonderful dress.I would also like to thank all of you who donated books and money for my classroom. We now have a great lending library that I run right out of my classroom. I know that these books are making a difference for my students.
With heartfelt gratitude,
Suzette Matthews
Now ladies, I remember when my daughter was a senior. Hurricane Katrina had just come through and wiped out the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We were uncertain if our children would graduate that year as we had to be out of school for so long. But the worries of our children weren't just about graduation. They were worried about what they would wear to PROM! 95% of the students along the coast had lost most everything they owned. We were doing good to get children (and adults) into clothes that were acceptable for wear for school. Many of the students who used to have after school jobs didn't--the places they worked were gone. How were the families along the coast going to be able to find and pay for (remember the adults lost their jobs and businesses too) a prom dress or tuxedo or suit? The wonderful nation we call ours--the good ol' US of A and its giving citizens came to the rescue. Truck loads of formals donated across the nation were brought into the schools for our girls to choose from. The girls had a blast going through the dresses, finding the "perfect" one for their special night. My daughter didn't lose all she had--but we also did not have the means to purchase her a dress that year. She was one of the lucky recipients of one of those formals. I can't begin to tell you how happy she was that night--wearing a dress that was donated by someone else--so that she could attend her senior prom.
So come on ladies, go through the closets of formals you have left over from your years of proms or debutante balls or even those of you that have had to attend military balls. If you have formals that no longer fit and you're kidding yourself that you can get back into them one day--or even have a need for them again--leave a comment here for Suzette. I will be sure that she gets the message and tells you how to get these things to these children that want to be like every other junior and senior in the nation--and go to prom.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Group 4 Block Progress

Ok so I've gotten a little more done today than I thought! LOL I've got a good number of the squares cut and some sewn for the 9 squares necessary for the Rainbow Quilt Sampler Swap group 4 (yeah I was one of the crazy ones that joined 2 groups!). Obviously I've had some help doing this. This is one of 5 cats that like to HELP me! LOL As you can see, Oreo is trying to help hold the pieces down while I get the last couple of pieces turned the right direction.
His little brother (ok so none of my cats are from the same litter, but they are my children afterall, so I call them brothers and sisters--along with the two dogs as well) on the other hand is not quite taking such an active roll in this quilt. Mater is just trying to hold the other things on the table out of the way so that I can work on this project. Of course, he would tell you, "Oreo has been sleeping right along beside me until you started laying things out. Now he's going to get the spotlight? You just wait until the next project!" And then there is the sleeping old lady who just wants me to leave her alone--although she also has to be in the same room with me while I'm working. Savannah just prefers to be asleep on the second chair in the room tucked up under the cutting table where she can sleep in the "dark".
All of this drama from my cats just to show you what the quilt square is going to look like. Now you have to realize that none of these squares have yet been pressed or sewn together (well duh, that's obvious!) But none the less, those of you that happen to drop by that are in group 4 of the quilt swap will get an idea of what that square will look like. I hope you like it--as I've got too many squares cut out now to change it! LOL I think its going to look pretty.
Option 1--as Originally planned
I thought about swapping the pinwheel to the maroon and floral print putting the white on the outside. But I kind of like it this way. But will that then be too much "creme" to everyone else's white and ____ squares?

Option 2: Ok so one of my bottom middle squares is turned wrong, but you ge the idea.

Option 3:

Option 4:

I need some opinions here--preferably from the folks in the swap. However, you know me, I take opinions from most everyone! And since I've given 4 options, I'm sure someone will come up with option 5 or 6 just to throw my brain totally out of whack! Oh wait, that really ISN'T that hard to do anymore!

So STOP lurking (at least for just today) and give me an opinion on this. I really need to know before I start sewing these squares together!