Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Hump Day.

Today I babysat.  Possibly for the last "regular" time.  That's ok, I've had a difficult time lately.  For some reason I have had a really difficult time sleeping the night before I go babysit.  Then, I'm exhausted for 2 days after.  It stinks.  But I love spending time with the baby and she'll always be MY baby!  :-)

I have some show and tell.  Yesterday I went out by myself to shop.  It was a pretty good shopping trip.  I went to Joanns, but the only thing I ended up getting was some oil pastels.  I've been looking for some as I want to play around with them - on fabric and on paper.  I'm no artist, but there are a LOT of colors in here, they weren't really expensive, and I had a coupon.  I spent about $3.+change on these. 
I then went to get Chinese food for lunch as I'd been craving it.  Yum.  Next door to the Chinese food place, there is a Ritz Camera shop.  It has big signs up saying they were having a huge sale due to closing.  I figured what the hay, I'd go in and check it out.  I'm glad I did.  I found these.  Regular price, $3.99.  I paid 80 cents.  Yes, 80 cents each.  Can't beat that with a stick.
Photo post cards.  You print out your photo, peel off the sticky paper on the front, and stick your photo to it.  I got 5 packages.  I should have gotten them all.  Oh well. There are 15 in each one.  I can make a lot of postcards out of my photos with these. :-)

I then went to Wegmans, a grocery store of wonderful stuff.  We grew up in Rochester, NY with Wegmans, although I have to say, they weren't anything near what they are now.  I'm SO happy they came to Virginia!  I bought a meatball sub for hubby for dinner (I had the Chinese for lunch and knew I'd be stuffed and didn't eat much for dinner).  I also bought some cheese and a fresh loaf of bread to make Panini's for dinner tonight (I use mozzarella cheese - fresh - and tomatoes, and grill them on my George Foreman grill).  Yum.  The bread is whole wheat but tastes really good!  How do I know?  Um, well, um, I took a little piece, well, ok, two little pieces, last night, with peanut butter, and that was dinner!  Hehe.
I also bought 2 muffins and 2 doughnuts for us for snacks.  Yeah yeah, my diet is down the tube.  I'll start being good again. 

When I was done at Wegmans, I went to the quilt shop, trying to find fabric to match a quilt top I'd made the day before.  Here is part of the quilt top (the rest is a surprise for when it's completed).
I know it almost looks orange, but the color above the reddish/brown isn't quite that orange.  The green is a bit darker too.  And that light color is more golden.  Lighting...ya know.  The fabrics are from 3 bundles of 5" strips I bought a year or two ago, Moda, and designer is Sandy Gervaise.  I seem to be attracted to her color schemes as this isn't the first time I've used her stuff.  I looked and looked in the quilt shop (it's not that big) and came across THIS!
It is absolutely, spot on perfect!  I couldn't believe it.  The front of the quilt will be fairly simple, with a little design element to it.  Wink wink.  ;-)  This fabric makes the back interesting, and the colors are perfect.  Guess what fabric and designer?  Yep, Moda, Sandy Gervaise.  How awesomely perfect is that?  Considering I have 3 quilt shops I can check out, and I the quilt shop I chose is the only one in that direction (living in the country, things are really spread out), I knew I HAD to find what I wanted there!  BINGO!  I'm really happy I found this.
I also found something else in their sale isle they call "the dog house." 
Guess what THIS fabric goes with?  If you read my post here,  it goes with that fabric line.  I have been keeping my eyes open for a fabric with flowers that are separated by space, so I can fussy cut them out, and use them in different ways.  I bought 2 yards, even though I wanted to buy more!  It was on sale 30% off, but if they mark it down anymore, I may go back and buy more.  I'll have to remember to keep an eye out for that.  I love love love these bright happy flowers and am going to try my hand at thread painting some of them!  They are such bright, happy colors.

Well, it's now time for dinner, so I'm off to make the sandwiches.  Hope you have a GREAT and wonderful rest of your day and week.  With the weather predicted for tomorrow, I will be upstairs working on that quilt and hopefully will have a finished project by Friday!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blocks of color and baby quilt

I have two finished quilts.  Yay!  I've also started working on another but haven't got a photo of that.  I do wish my computer were on the same floor as my art room.
So here are the finished quilts.  The first is a baby quilt I made for my niece.  I'm not giving it to her till after she has the baby.  I want to make the trip to see the baby myself.
Baby Quilt Front
This is Benartex fabric.  I don't have the name of it (it's upstairs in the art room). I didn't use all the squares as it's a little girl and some of the squares were just a little too boyish.  I asked my daughter what was the quilt (I made her) that worked the best - was most useful.  She said the smaller one, not the crib size ones.  I made this one quite square. It'll be a good size for wrapping the baby when she's small, and then for the baby to lay on, then to take in the car and they can use it in a stroller or shopping cart or car seat - wherever.

Baby Quilt back
The back of the quilt is yellow fabric with polka dots all over it - in colors that match the front of the quilt.  It's the fabric I got last weekend at the quilt shop sale.  I have lots left over, so I can use it in other projects.

I also did a larger quilt.  This is another "lap" quilt - I call it that although I don't know what the official size is for a lap quilt.  I do everything by the seat of my pants, ya know.  So I just wing it and hope for the best.  I really love this next quilt a lot - love the colors and the shades of the colors.
Blocks of color quilt

My hubby was holding it up and you can see it goes from just over his head, to his knees.  Well, ok, you can't really SEE it - I cut the knees out.  He's not standing directly facing me, he's at a bit of an angle. I really MUST find another way to take photos of my quilts - someplace to hang them would be nice.  I don't have a clothesline.  But the colors are pretty much spot on in this photo. It's a great size.  I will put it up for sale, but if it doesn't sell quickly, I will probably keep it!

This is also Benartex fabric.  I should have gotten more.  I just really love it!

This is the back.  I did stitch in the ditch and it actually went pretty well.  Mostly because I was VERY careful about putting my squares together and trying my best to have them line up. 

As you can see, the quilt isn't really heavy.  You can see light through it.  I love it so much!  Oh, sorry, I'm repeating myself now.  LOL

The bad news is, my left arm is killing me.  It hurts from my fingertips to my shoulder.  It happens because of the drop spindle spinning.  The worst pain is in my elbow.  Running from my wrist to my elbow.  I've tried two different rub on arthritis stuff, and I've tried taking 4 aspirin.  I can't really take Tylenol or Advil because it counteracts the other meds I take.  Because of this, I haven't been able to do any spinning. I'm really anxious to ply my two yarns together, but I need to be able to use my arm.  I kept thinking if I just kept doing the spinning, I'd be able to get my arm used to it, but it even kept waking me up last night!  Grrr.

As I said above, I started another quilt. I have 3 bundles of 5" strips, width of fabric, and they've been sitting around for at least a year (maybe a bit longer).  I finally decided to start doing something with them.  I started sewing them together, and I'm loving it.  The only thing is, one of the strips has some writing on it, luckily near the edge, but it's in black marker, on the back, and is visible from the front. I can't do anything with that one but what I am doing is putting the other sets of colors together.  There is a strange reddish brown, a sort of orange-ish red, a dark green, and a gold.  I am going to put most of the strips together, then decide what else I'm going to do.  There was a quilt I saw on Pinterest that gave me a great idea for how to do a strip quilt.  I'm going to do something along those lines I think.  Here is the link to the tutorial on how she did it.  I am not putting a photo up but there ya go.  Mine will be different but similar as I'm always coming up with my own version of everything!  LoL

So that's about it for me for today.  I hope your life is super duper!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Drop Spindle Spinning

So I'm still on my drop spindle spinning journey of learning.  I've had fun.  I've gotten frustrated.  Thank God for You Tube - although I have to get up at 6 a.m. to watch I've done that the last couple of days.  It has helped a lot.  I also contacted someone that processes fibers - she dyes them, spins them, sells them as yarn, she teaches spinning, she has spinning wheels she sells.  I am going to see her this afternoon.  I had contacted her on Saturday.  She didn't get back to me (I left a message).  Then I emailed her.  She said they'd been out of town and just gotten back.  She says I can go over later this afternoon.  I'm going to leave here at 2:00 which will put me at her place about 3:00.  Nothing is quick or easy to get to from where I live.  I'm getting more used to that.  This trip will be worth it.  It's all country roads anyway.  At least it's not up the Interstate!
So here is a visual of my journey.
This is fiber.  It's been sheered from a sheep, it was processed (cleaned and combed) and it was hand dyed.  It comes in a long braid (which I did not take a photo of).  I buy it in the braid already processed.  I don't have the $ to buy fleeces or all the equipment it would take to do all the processing, and I'm not sure I have enough life left to learn all there is about all the fibers, and all the processing, and all the ways to dye fiber!  Maybe some day I will think about it, but not now.  I'm enjoying the spinning.
The fiber on the left is what I've already separated from the braid.  It has to be pre-drafted which means gently pulling the fibers apart from each other.  I'm getting better at that.  The fiber on the right, under the spindle is the fiber I've already pre-drafted and am going to spin.

Above is the fiber that I spun.  The far left is what I spun  first.  It was a very small braid.  On the right is fiber I spun over the weekend.  After looking at Ravelry and seeing some photos there, I thought, maybe I'm spinning too tightly.  I couldn't find anything in my book about how tightly to let the fibers spin into yarn - the twist.  I then tried to spin a lot lighter - and the yarn - if you can call it that - on the right is what came of that.  There isn't much spin in it at all.  I'll be re-spinning that!
The yarn in the middle, on the dowel, is what I spun yesterday.  It's pretty darn good!  Even if I do say so myself.  I spun some more this morning, it's still on the spindle (I spun it after taking the photos).  Note to self:  Do NOT use the red placemats for background on photos anymore!!!!

When I go to see the lady this afternoon, I'm going to ask her #1, how to add things to the yarn. I have shiny stuff I want to add.  So I need to know how - do I need to do it before I spin on a drum carder, because I can't afford one of those.  #2 question is how do I ply the yarn?  Plying the yarn is when you have spun the yarn once, then you want to strengthen the yarn, so you spin it with more yarn, or, you can ply it with other things - either a yarn of a different fiber, or thread.  I've seen both.  The yarn has to back spin on itself to do that.  I'm not sure I'm capable of doing it!  LOL.  I am just getting the spinning and drafting down pat.

I'm hoping that I can ply these two yarns together, getting a thicker yarn in the end.  These are pretty skinny!

Funny thing, my arm started really hurting and cramping up this morning while spinning the second batch of fiber into yarn.  I have to hold my left arm up a lot during the spinning or I have to stand up and spin and still hold my arm up.  Guess it's something my muscles have to work at.

I'm hoping the lady has some spinning wheels sitting around, and maybe I can try a couple.  I think I know which one I want, WHEN I can get one.  A LOT of people have said to be sure to try many wheels because not all wheels are created equal.  I know the one I tried at the little fiber festival at Graves Mountain was wonderful and I really liked the way it went.  I've tried a couple of others at fiber festivals but found I wasn't comfortable with them.  I don't know, however, what brands they were.  I do know the one I did like was a Lendrum.

So this is what I've been busy with the last few days. I've also been reading a lot.  Mostly at night.  I stay awake too late, then I have been getting up quite early.  I'm thinking I might need a quick nap before I go see this lady today!  Don't want to be too sleepy to learn, or fall asleep driving back home.  That would NOT be good...........

Off I go.
Take care.  Do something you love.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Busy Week Last Week

I had a very busy week last week.  The first two days I can't even remember what I did.  I know I practiced spindle spinning, and felt like a failure.  More on that later.
On Wednesday I went to babysit as usual.  Came back with daughter and baby in tow.  They spent Wednesday afternoon and night, Thursday, and left Friday afternoon.  It was a blast having the little one here.  She can really keep herself busy, and it was fun to see her in a different environment.  She wasn't too happy with the dogs.  Gabbi was not very interested in her, but wanted Jenn to hold her.  She fell right asleep in Jenn's arms.  Humph!  Shows where I stand!  I think she just puts up with me because it's all she has.  Story of my life!

Evan on the other hand didn't want to leave Jia alone.  He was constantly trying to lick her.  He wanted to be near her, which in the end, was fine. The issue was, he insisted on LICKING her constantly if he was near her.  It's a thing he has.  I had to get really firm with him and make him stop.  I felt bad for constantly disciplining him for it.  He has to learn though. 

Both dogs slept like logs as soon as the girls left on Friday.
This is what Jia ended up loving here:

She ended up walking Evan around the house several times.  She did really well with him too!  She would talk to him and tell him "this way" and "c'mon Evan" - of course, it didn't sound like that to Evan so he was on his own recon mission. At least he didn't take after any squirrels or birds.
I tried to hand Gabbi's leash to Jia, but she refused to take it!
She had fun.  She was exhausted.  The dogs were exhausted.  I was exhausted! 

I got to practice a little spindle spinning. I was thinking, after looking at some photos on Ravelry of yarn people had spun for the Tour de Fleece (it corresponds with the Tour de France), that maybe I was putting waaaayyyy too much twist in my yarn.  The yarn would curl back and twist on itself if I let it (the part I'd spun).  This morning I was awake early enough to get up and watch a few videos on the subject.  I have to watch before 7 a.m. thanks to the bandwidth restrictions of Hughesnet.  I used to be able to watch whatever videos I wanted to, whenever I wanted to during the day.  Then we had some new equipment installed, hubby signed a new contract, and WHAM!  Restricted!  It stinks!  I do nothing but complain about it. 
Anyway, sorry for the rant.  I got up this morning and watched a few different people spinning on a spindle, and low and behold, you ARE supposed to have that "overs spin" in the yarn !!!!  It was funny because only one person mentioned it out of 5 videos I watched.  If you're going to do a video on how to begin something, you really need to pay attention to ALL of the aspects of the project. 

I have a little fiber left from what I bought last week.  I guess I'll have to go buy some more.  Although, what's left in the yarn shop I've been going to, isn't my favorite - as far as colors or how it's working for me.  Yes, it's probably me not working the fiber correctly.  That's ok.   I also know there are some fibers that are better than others!  I'll get better, but I have to have the fiber to practice on.  I am going to look around online this morning and see if it is any less expensive online.  Probably not, as I'm paying about $20 for 4 ounces - I know that doesn't sound like a lot of fiber, but it is quite a bit.  The money adds up, especially when I don't know if what I'm spinning will be able to be used in much except some art weaving.  That's ok, I can use it for that!

I did call the lady that owns a shop and creates yarn, not too far out of Culpeper (of course, in the opposite direction I live in).  I called her Saturday afternoon.  No call back yet.  I did leave both home and cell numbers.  It would be nice if she'd get back to me and let me go over for a lesson.

I need a LOT more practice with the drafting.  I need to pre-draft and then stand up to spin - I'm so short, sitting on the loveseat isn't the best thing to do.  I  have to only do short bits then, and wind on more often, which disrupts the flow of the fiber onto the spindle. 

I also need to get that last quilt bound so I can wash it, and the baby quilt for my niece, washed and dried and then labeled.  Oh, I also bought some ribbon to use for labels - I saw somewhere on Pinterest how to print out iron on labels - you print them out in reverse onto Iron on sheets, iron onto the ribbon, and then sew the ribbon onto the item you're labeling.  I never thought of that.  I hope it really works so I don't waste things like the ribbon and the Iron on sheet.  There is only one way to find out.  The same way I find out how anything works on Pinterest - TRY it. Here is the link to the person with the blog that shows how to do it.  I gotta give credit where it's due!

On a side note, I've started working on my weight.  I only started yesterday, so no big changes, but I did well.  I just gotta keep myself busy, not eat junk, and use my new exercise bike.  I did 10 minutes this morning.  I will do it twice a day, till I can work up my stamina and not be out of breath.  Then I will start increasing the resistance.
Meanwhile, I'm watching what I eat.
I already feel better from not eating a bunch of sugar or eating badly.  I know I CAN do this!

Off to sew, spin, print labels, and whatever else I can squeeze in today.
Oh, started a new book - the last one in the Big Stone Gap series by Adrianna Trigiani.  Here  is her website.  I'm enjoying the book, Home to Big Stone Gap, and the series.  
See ya later!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Stuff!

Yesterday, despite the excessive heat warnings put out because temps were over 100* here in Virginia, we went shopping.  Cottonwood quilt shop had a big, one day sale.  I really wanted to go.  Off we went!  First, we went by the post office, which meant we went through Orange to get to Charlottesville.  We were going by the airport and there were crazy people parachutists (?)  jumping out of planes.   I asked hubby to stop for me to get photos - remembered the camera!
Coming in for a landing

Getting closer!

Two people!

This is not something I ever wanted to do, nor will I ever do it.  Crazy people!

We got to the shop, just a little after 10:00 (opening time) and they were already crowded.  Even the people working there said they have never seen that many people in the shop at once, even during sales!  They said they would have $2/yard fabric, but I never saw it.  I should have asked but I figured there wasn't any left or if so, it might be stuff I didn't want.
I spent my fair share though.  Here's my loot.

Below is some butterfly fabric I fell in love with.  It's bright and vibrant and I love it.  I got 2 yards, and I bought 2 Charm Packs (5" squares) to go with it.  I'm not totally crazy about the fabric in the charm the flowers on top, but the rest is....interesting.  When I take it all out and lay it out we'll see how it turns out.  I might just get some different fabric for it and make a different quilt than I plan on....
 This yellow with polka dot fabric is so cute.  It is for the backing for a baby quilt I must get going on - today!  I realized my niece, whom I haven't seen since last summer, is having a baby and it's due this month. Oops, that time got away from me!  The quilt top will be made from Benartex fabric, Baby Talk, 5" squares.
 I am MOST excited about this book.  I saw it just before getting into the checkout line.  I've been wanting a book of patterns that are big, and easy.  This fits the bill and has SO many possibilities.  It has all the monthly calendars in it, all the BIG numbers, a few special occasion ideas, and even shows how to make a banner (as in a Happy Birthday banner, or anything you want it to say).  The patterns look so easy and fast and applique is what I like to do, so this will give me a chance to practice.
On Friday, I'd gone to town and bought a bit of fiber and a book on spinning.  I was going to come home and make a spindle out of a CD and a dowel.  Thought I had all the necessary things here, but I didn't and I decided that spending the $30.00 on a spindle might be worth it.  On the way back to town yesterday, I mentioned it to hubby.  He took me over to the yarn shop and we bought the spindle.  YAY.  So here is the fiber and spindle and book, but I didn't get a photo of the fiber before I spun it.  I didn't spin very well - this isn't thin yarn.  I don't like thin yarn, so that's ok with me.  I have to still ply it with some thread, and then I will wash it to set it, and then I'll make something - either use it in my weaving, or I'll knit or crochet something up with it.  Since it's wool, I probably won't make something to wear out of it!

This was the first photo I took after going outside and I think my lens fogged up- it's like 74 in here and 97 outside.....

I now have a ton of projects to keep me busy, both upstairs and down here, so no excuses!
Yesterday was an excellent day for me. :-)

Today is hot again, and we are supposed to get storms blowing a cold front thru here later, with possible severe storms.  Sure hope they aren't severe.  Lower temps this week (thank God) but with a chance of rain almost every day.  But lower temps will be NICE!

That's about it from me.  Hope you all are enjoying life.  Every day is a gift!

Friday, July 6, 2012


I decided to try one of the Pinterest recipes.  I didn't follow it exactly.  Here is the link to the recipe.  She says she revised the recipe and links it in the post so here  is that link.

I didn't make mine from scratch.  I used Duncan Hines yellow cake mix.  Call me lazy. 


I have a very large jar of Nutella that hadn't been opened, so I cracked that open.
I followed the direction for the cake mix, pulled out my muffin tins (one holds 12, the other 2 are 6 each). 
I put the batter in the cupcake papers in the tins.  I filled mine about 1/2 full.  Maybe a tad more.  I filled all 24 cupcake holes, so whatever you do, that's what you should get.  Do NOT fill them too full.  Ya gotta leave room for the yummy stuff.
I used a large spoon from my silverware drawer.  It's not the small teaspoons.  It's not a serving spoon.  It's just the largest spoon that comes in a set of silverware (not real silver of course - you know, your every day stuff).  Use whatever works but this size was perfect for me.

Large spoon on right
I put a big glob of Nutella into a microwave save dish.  The dish wasn't big and I actually had to do it twice.  I put in on in the microwave for 20 seconds.  This was perfect for mine.  You want it to not be that big thick glob that comes out of the Nutella jar.  It has to be somewhat softer - soft enough to drip into the cupcake tins, but not so soft it's melted.
I put a big spoonful into each cupcake.  When I was done, the cupcakes basically came just below the top of the papers.  I then took a table/butter knife and sort of swirled the Nutella around - I sort of picked up the yellow cake batter and sort of moved it over the top of the Nutella and swirled a little bit around the cupcake paper, being VERY careful not to rip it.  Or make too big a mess.   That was the hardest part for me!  Not making a huge mess.
Then I popped them in the oven.  The box said for 18-22 mins.  I put them in for 18 mins and thought they needed another 2.  They were perfect.  If you touch the top of the cupcake, and it boings back, they are done.  Kinda like touching a sponge (saw that on Food Network last night!).
I let them cool.  I haven't frosted them. 
They are REALLY good.  My favorite part is the chocolate of course.  Next time I will be adding more Nutella.  But they are yummy!
So go try them.  It's easy with a box mix, and without frosting they'd be good for traveling if you have to take a desert or snack somewhere.

I just finished a book called Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani.  Nice Italian girl.  (I'm married to full Italian).  She actually grew up in the hills just south of here, in the mountains I love to look at.  Good stories.  So I picked up the next in the series, Big Cherry Holler.  It picks up 8 years after the last story left off.  Wish it picked up sooner!  What happened in those 8 years?????  LoL

I was bad.  When I went to town, I bought some fiber and a book on spinning.  I have been wanting to try it for the longest.  I couldn't bring myself to spend the $35.00 on a spindle.  I should have.  Making one is going to be a bit fussy, so maybe I'll go back and buy one.  Who knows...........
Anyway, I'm going to give it a shot with a drop spindle since I can't really afford a spinning wheel right now.  I have to see how my thumbs do.
I also bought a package of various colors of Angelina Fibers. SOOOO pretty!  I can't wait to play with those.  Bought those at the local art shop.  LUV that place.

Ok, gotta go and take the doggies out.  Little white Gabbi Girl didn't go last time I took them (5 minutes ago).  She sat in the sun, in the heat, waiting for her brother to go.  It's 98 degrees out there and the air quality sucks.  Tomorrow will be hotter.  Then Sunday, storms and a "cold" front bringing temps in the 80s next week.  Pray to God, it stays there in the 80s.  Of course the humidity will kill me, but hey, can't have everything I guess.

Take care.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I have no excuse.  I should be posting more. I'm spending a LOT of time in the house. It's just TOO hot outside!  Take a look.

This is on the porch.  In the shade.  I can't imagine what it is in the sun.............

The dogs wanted to go outside, so I took the camera.  I kept telling them they didn't really want to go out...but yeah, they did.  I guess they wanted a cookie.  To get one, they have to go out and one of them has to perform.............
Gabbi ~ she's too smart for her own good.  When she wants to go potty, she wants to go OUTSIDE the fence to go. She sits by the gate, and stares out.....
She wouldn't look up at me with the camera.  She's little, it's hard to look up. 

Evan Almighty
Evan is a star.  He does whatever I ask him too.  Except brushing his teeth.  He hates it. 

While I was waiting for Gabbi to piddle do her thing, I took some other photos.

Pine cones
Pine cones.  Small pine cones. I like this tree a lot.

New pine cones
This is what the pine cones look like when they are new.  Blooming pine cones?

Bird bath
This is my bird bath/feeder.  There is no seed in it right now.  It hangs in the front yard and I don't want the squirrels to get in it.  The bottom is a Pyrex pie pan, the center is a glass, and the top is just a glass plate.  I have water in the bottom (kinda hard to tell in this photo).  It's been SO hot, I wanted to provide the birds some water.  I got the glass pieces from Goodwill when we went to town the other day.  I spent $4.00.  Coulda gone to the Dollar Tree and probably spent a dollar less, but hey, it's Goodwill, right? 

I worked on my quilt this morning.  I got it all sandwiched and quilted.  I did a double stitch in the ditch.  I suck at stitch in the ditch.  Really. I  can NOT sew a straight line for my life.  Seriously - even when I have a straight line to follow, I can't sew a straight line.  Even when I go SLOW.  I even took my glasses off to see better (I wear tri-focals and even then it's easier to take my glasses off for fine, close up work).  It's just me.  I hate it.  So this quilt will probably never sell.  Honestly, I like the quilt a lot.  It might just be an automatic keeper.  LOL

When I went upstairs this morning to work on the quilt, I had not eaten yet.  I was getting hungry, and had enough of sewing (and being frustrated over not being able to sew a straight line) so I finished up the quilting, and I shut everything down, and came downstairs.  It was 11:00!!!!!  The morning had gotten away from me but I got a lot done, so that was ok.  I ate a good lunch! 

I will go upstairs tomorrow morning and do the binding. I have to cut the fabric and square up the quilt, then machine stitch the binding on one side, and hand sew the binding on the other.  I actually look forward to the hand sewing.  I challenge myself to do it and not have it show.  :-)  The only thing is how HOT I will get with the quilt over my lap while working on it!   Then I'll wash it and dry it and it will fluff up and hopefully my crappy stitching won't show so much.  Sigh...........

I ended up taking a nap this afternoon.  I read (and finished) my book and stayed up till 11:30 last night, then woke this morning at 5:30.  Because I wanted to get started on my quilting, I was anxious to get going.  By the time I ate lunch, I was falling asleep!  The cat was already on the bed napping, so I hiked the two dogs up there and we all took a nap!  When I got up I showered and thought maybe I'd go to the library and get a new book and return the one I just finished, but alas, it was already too hot.  I will get up tomorrow, work a little on the quilt binding, then head out when the library is open to get a new book.  It's going to be just as hot tomorrow (and Saturday).

Guess I'd better get off now.  Blogger is trying to save my work and it keeps coming up with an error.  I think storms might move into the area and I need to finish this and get dinner started anyway!

Take care.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I find I am learning something new every day.  It's good for the brain, they say, as you age.  Well, I'm keeping my brain plenty happy I guess.
I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to set up "pages" on my blog. Figured it all out, but then realized, after spending all that time, that the page setup isn't exactly what I'd hoped.  You can have a page for this or that, but it's not like having a separate subject page that you can put a new blog post's more of a permanent place to use to store information.  Not what I was looking for.  So I guess I'll keep my blog the way it is for now.  It's not like I make money from my blog. I'm not that consistent, tho I wish I was.  I also get personal on this blog.  I'm not one of the people I admire that have something interesting to blog about EVERY day.  I am not that person that is actually that good at something that I have made a business out of it (not for a lack of trying on my part!).  I'm also not one of those people that finds and repurposes stuff so well.  I really admire those guys too! 
I ends up, I took the pages tabs off, because it just wasn't working the way I wanted.  I guess if I want to do separate things, I'll go ahead and do a separate blog for everything.  As I said above, for now, I'll just keep the blog the way it is.

This morning hubby and I went to town.  When we came out of Tractor Supply, I wanted to go across to Goodwill.  He came along.  I found some glass pieces to make a bird feeder/waterer out of and I am going to glue them together this afternoon, hopefully hanging them tomorrow.  In this awful heat, the birdies need water too!  Of course, we have 2 horse buckets out there and I'm sure the birds take advantage of that.

We did some other running around also.  It wasn't my intention to go out today.  I was going to go straight upstairs and work on my quilt - sandwiching it and starting the quilting.  I'm really tired today and I know how that stuff turns out if I am tired.  I will be going in and putting the dogs on the bed, and we'll all take a nice nap together.

Take care, and enjoy your day.  I will - nap and all.

Fiber Arts

This is my latest endeavor.  Thread painting.  I have only seen it on t.v.  I decided to just go for it.  It's not great, but it's my first one and I'm very happy with it!

Thread painted wall hanging
This was taken on my porch, under an overhang, and it looks really bright!  I don't think it's that bright, but it is very pretty blue fabric.  The orange part of the flower was thread painted with a non-woven interfacing on the back, on black fabric. I cut that out, put it on green fabric.  I thread painted the stem and leaves. Then I cut out the green fabric, and put the entire thing on the blue background with a satin stitch.  I free motion quilted around the flower, and used a decorative stitch from my sewing machine with variegated thread.  I LOVE the variegated thread stitches!!!!  I really want a machine with more decorative stitches because I think I'd use them a lot.

More photos showing what I described above.

LOVE the decorative stitching with variegated thread!
Can you pick out the birds???
I fmq'd some birds in a really pretty thread - it's kind of a clear/shiny thread that picks up colors from the light.  Opalescent?  I think that's the right word.  You can't really see them very well in photos.  Sadly.
This was stretching my imagination.  I need that. I'm not very creative on my own.  I can "copycat" other crafters, but to come up with an actual design and figure it out on my own, not so much.  I got the idea for this flower from the poppy photos I took.  It's quite abstract of course.  Hey, it's my first try - so give myself a break, right? Right!

I had fun with it. It just happened and I don't let that happen very often.

My next project is to sandwich the quilt top I made.  Probably won't happen this afternoon as I have a birthday party to go to. Not looking forward to going out in this heat, but hey, I get to socialize for a little bit.  We'll see if that goes well.....or not.  Sometimes it's me, sometimes, it's me.  Ha.  Gotcha.

Take care.  Enjoy today.  Live. Be happy!  Create.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Always something

Yep, it's always something, isn't it?  Lately, it's been the heat.  The storms.  The power outages.  Here in VA and Maryland it's been quite the story.

I wanted to set my blog up so I can start to have separate posts.  I finally (after about an hour and a half) figured out how to add the separate pages so I can now split my blog into photography, crafts, life, animals, and food.  This way, if you're not interested in something, you can just pop up the page you are interested in.  You can thank me later.  ha ha
Of course, I have to remember now, not to mix my posts.....separate posts for separate subjects!  Boy, that will  be the big test for me! 

The only thing I can't figure out (yet) is how to move the blog posts I've already made, into those tabs......if you know the secret, could you let me in on it?  I have looked everywhere I can think of.  Since I accidentally stumbled upon the "pages" and figured that one out, I was hoping I'd figure out the "move" but alas, it hasn't happened - yet.

I got quite a few things done in the past couple of days.  I did a wall hanging using thread painting, free motion quilting on my sewing machine, and a stitch pattern from my machine, with variegated thread (which I love love love!).   Of course, you'll have to go to my fiber arts tab to see that post....

So we'll see how this works out.  Maybe no one will bother checking my tabs.  When I read other peoples' blogs, I love to check their tabs because who knows what wonderful things you'll find????!!!!

On another subject (Life), have you had those times in your life where you've wondered what makes you so different, or maybe why you don't fit in, or maybe why you feel like no one understands you or "gets" you?  I live my entire life like that.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm just the odd duck.  Or maybe it was my upbringing?  Maybe I wasn't taught certain things....I have NO idea what it is.  I do have those thoughts a lot though.  I wonder why I feel like I've lived my entire life trying to please those around me, feeling like I've done my best to do things the way others would like them done, and yet, not feeling appreciated.  I feel like I really put myself out there, and yet, I feel like no one notices.  Or maybe they aren't grateful.  Or maybe they don't really CARE that I'm putting myself out there.  I'm not really sure.  It just gets to me now and then, no matter how hard I try not to let it. Then of course, I get mad at myself for caring, for letting it get to me that I don't feel appreciated.  I get mad at myself for wondering what I did wrong in my past.  I get angry that I feel like even though I tried my hardest my entire life, there is always something that isn't quite right. Things happen, I know.  It just bugs the crap outta me that I let myself feel vulnerable, used, unappreciated, worthless, or just plain old.

I will get past this, as I do every time.  It doesn't last long.  I have learned to move on and no matter what someone else says or does, how it makes me feel is MY responsibility.  If I take things personally, then that's my own fault.  Only I can brush things off or let them get to me.  It's been a long long road to travel, to get where I am with my own self.  Being me, being true to myself and my beliefs, and being the person I need to be, not what someone else wants me to be or trying to be someone that I think everyone else will like.  Just me.  I just hope at some point in my life, before I die, that I can actually be proud of what I've done in my life, the way I did things, and accept myself without regret or beating myself up.  That's all I really want.....

Ok, enough of that.  Off to process the photos for my first post on the fiber arts tab (since I can't figure out how to move previous posts there!).  Gives me something to work on.  Ha ha

Take care.  Enjoy life.  Today is the only today you'll have before it becomes a yesterday, that can't be improved or changed!