Monday, December 31, 2012

Breezing Down Easy Street

I started working on Step 7 of Easy Street (link on side bar) this afternoon.  I still have no idea how this will be arranged - truly a mystery, but then, I haven't sat down and really tried to play around with the possibilities either.  

Today's release gave us these four 'corners' - are they really corners? hmmm, we shall see.  In addition to the four 'corners', we're to make 12 of the larger triangle sets - I've done two, and I'm a bit tuckered out - so only two are being shown in my photo.

I'm excited with how my colors are working together; I thought more of the reds & blues would show, but wow, so far, those yellows/golds are really popping.  

Easy Street Step 7 on design wall.



Oh Monday!

Really? Monday? Already? And tomorrow's New Year's Day 2013. My oh my but the time, it be a flyin'!

It's Design Wall Monday.  Hmmm.  Nothing "there" but I have been busy working on stuff.  One thing is Easy Street (no Monday link up today, but Step 7 IS released!).  I have two other projects I've been somewhat working with, but will post on those at another time.

Easy Street Components through Step 6

Bella Luce

Results of last week's lumbar x-ray came back and I'm being referred to an orthopedist.  Osteoporosis and some manner of degeneration.  I'm scheduled for an MRI this coming Friday.  I hate to think what this could mean.  Don't we always tend to see things in the darkest way? God is the healer, He will see me through all of this too. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year End 2012 Stash Report

This is it, the final report for 2012. I can't believe how quickly the year has passed, and I'm sure 2013 will pass even faster as it seems that's how it is with each passing year. 

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 2.875 yards
Added Year to Date: 61.975 yards
Net Used for 2012: -61.975 yards




No, I didn't have any fabric 'out' of my stash, as far as counting it that way, but I did use quite a bit as I made more progress on many quilts this year.  I just didn't finish a single project, and that is why nothing appears in my 'out' record.  This is the most accurate, efficient, and consistent way for me to track my usage, rather than trying to deduct when I pull a fabric only to return any unused/leftover fabric to the stash.

The purchase I mentioned last week did in fact arrive this week, so it gets to be counted in 2012.  It was 2 7/8 yards (2.875) of this pretty Hoffman fabric.  I already had one FQ of it set aside for my Belle Luce project, but decided it would be good for the larger border in the project as well.  I've had this kitted, except for borders, for several years and back in 2009 has searched online and found the fabric at The Stitching Post in Sisters, Oregon.  Against all hope, I checked back and sure enough, they still listed 2 7/8 yard in stock, so I ordered it all!  It arrived very quickly, and they included these two Christmassy labels too.  They're adorable, and I have Christmas projects I can use them on, one of which the project will be done in a class I'll be taking at a quilt show in March.


Patchwork Times' Judy has many others giving their finals for the year too; head on over and check them out.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cat Tails # 6

I should have had my camera ready for this one, but alas, it was Friday the 21st and I was still hacking and wheezing and just didn't have myself and my thought processes all together.

I had stood up from my computer and glanced over at my trash can which sits right next to the wall. There, hanging out in all of it's boldness was a little Jiminy.  Yeah, as in Jiminy CRICKET.  Well, that wasn't my hearth, where they're supposed to bring good luck, but was in my so-very-unkempt She-Den - you know, where I have fabric, and tons of paper genealogy, and ancient photos and all things crickets like, and the last thing that was going to pull on my heart-strings was a Jiminy.  Remember the spider-cat story here? Uh huh.   Well, Jiminy got scooped up into a plastic container I had at hand and was carried downstairs.  OK, I did consider briefly that I could just toss him out the back door, after all, he was just a little guy, but where there's one, there's likely more, so he received no grace. 

So Jiminy got a ride to the dining room where there were nice open spaces known as Tile Floor should he decide to have a good hop, and as his fate was cast, two eagerly awaiting kitties were right there wondering what Mama had in store for them.  Jiminy was dumped out on the floor and kitties gave their tentative little paw-bats trying to figure out what this new toy was.  They actually took turns.  After only about five minutes, during which time Jiminy never really gave any good hops to get the excitement going, rather just crawled along like a tired cockroach, Raven decided it was time to see if Jiminy was a worthy snack.  Jiminy must have been quite comparable to the spider as Jiminy didn't last long.  Raven strolled off pleased as punch and Flame said "where's my treat?" and licked up the last remaining Jiminy-leg.

Isn't this a heart-warming story? 

Fina-Lee Friday


  • Stopped behind a car at a signal the other day.  The driver, a male probably middle-aged, while holding a cigarette would put his arm out his open window so the smoke wouldn't billow inside the car.  His license plate frame read "Proud to be a respiratory therapist." 
  • Just as I was starting to feel better from this crud in my chest, my lower back started giving me fits.  It's only slightly better today after going to the doc, getting x-rayed, getting an order for an MRI (when I can lay on my back for more than 30 minutes without coughing), an order of painkillers which don't work, and a 3-day supply of Prednisone.  I meander around the house doing the "Old Lady Shuffle".  I'm sure y'all can picture that one ... slow and careful!
  • Marty bought me a new computer for Christmas. Desktop model with a nice large monitor :) It's still downstairs - no place to set it yet in my She Den (when I can't move, I can't clean or rearrange).  The biggest problem:  Windows 8.  I'd like to call the creator of this operating system a few names that do NOT include genius.  You'd think they'd give you a manual or make a tutorial easy to find. Hah!
  • Found a pair of Nick's clean & folded socks on the dining room floor and wondered how they got there, then remembered, oh yeah, Klepto Kat (aka Flame who likes to grab & run).
  • Raven gets to go to the vet tomorrow morning.  She seems to have a rather gnarly/nasty looking tooth and upper gum in the back right of her mouth - I can imagine that will be a pretty high vet bill.
  • My daughter sent us a Christmas gift box filled with all kinds of home-made tasty treats: Chex mix, fudge, habanero fudge - ooh and does it ever have a kick, butter brickle, a clay handprint of my grandson - it's so tiny :), coffee roasted from the town she lives in, and a couple other items for each of us.  Fun. 
  • Step 6 of Easy Street came out today, so I need to attempt it, though not sure I can stand and lean over the table to cut the pieces.  May have to sit to do it.
Have a Fantastic Friday everyone!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Back on Easy Street

I spent a good part of Christmas Day getting caught up on Easy Street.  I'm really enjoying this mystery quilt, and still have no clue as to how it will play out as a finished quilt.  I've seen some guesses by others, but I'm not bold enough to venture any guesses, so I'll wait, patiently, or not.

I don't know why this first picture loaded sideways - somewhere between my computer and Blogger, it just did it on its own!  No matter, it still shows the blocks of Step 5 with the first 'wing' added.








Here, I'm adding the second wing.  I started out using a tool I have to mark the diagonal line, which really just gives a crease in the piece of fabric, but tired of that.  I then tried using a pencil, and it just doesn't show up well enough with the lighting I have.  I've even tried that tool, I believe called the Angler and didn't like having that on my machine.  and many years ago I'd read - somewhere - of marking my machine in order to get the sewn line right from point A to point B.  So I've had that 1/4" orange tape affixed to my machine for quite awhile, and use it by putting the point of my square, where I want to start my stitch, directly where the needle will fall.  I then line up the bottom point along the edge that corresponds to the needle line and as I sew, my eye doesn't follow the needle, but rather the bottom point which is kept aligned with that orange tape.  Perfect line, giving perfect placement.

I know Bonnie said she doesn't keep those little triangles but I've always wanted to do a miniature quilt so I thought to myself "Self, why not just go ahead and stitch a half inch from your project stitching, and then cut between the two stitch lines."  That's what the blue tape is.  Between the right edge of blue tape, and left edge of orange tape is 1/2", so I aligned the fabric under the needle using the first line of stitching along with the right edge of the blue tape.  Then trimmed off that little triangle, which when opened would give a nice, albeit very small, square.  I stuffed them all into a plastic bag and set them aside for a 'some day' project.



And here are some of my finished Step 5 blocks.  Nearly all came out needing little or no extra trimming using this method, and I didn't spend time doing a marking chore that to me, is a chore.

Linking up to Easy Street at Quiltville.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Stash Report Week 51

Having not been out of the house, let alone out of my nightgown very often  for the better part of the last week, I've had no changes to my stash report.  I'm sure many others though have had their fingers, and numbers, flying whilst getting their Christmas gifts and other projects finished, so head right on over to Patchwork Times and see how their stats are. 

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 5.3 yards
Added Year to Date: 59.1 yards
Net Used for 2012: -59.1 yards

Next week might have an addition since I ordered a piece of fabric, but if not, it'll be a starting stat for 2013.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2013 NewFO Challenge

Barbara at Cat Patches is host(ess)ing a little bit of intimidation fun for the new year. (see the 2013 NewFO button on the left panel of my blog) .  I'm behind in posting and presently too exhausted from coughing to create an exhaustive list like hers, but I will post this one item, and I'll call it my January 2013 NewFO :)

My starting point is Belle Luce.  I've chosen a different colorway than what is shown in the pattern.  While pink is nice, I don't use it much, so I'm going with these glittery blacks and golds.  In addition to the fabrics shown here, I'll need a background and two borders plus the backing and binding - hmmm, maybe I'll start 2013 by increasing my stash rather than using it up.  The stash will be shopped first, but I foresee a shopping trip :)


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gettin' Better on Easy Street

I should have posted and linked this up to Quiltville's Easy Street Mystery on Saturday as that's when I finished them all, but I've been under the weather.  This is just a sampling. 

Stacked Flying Geese, 3.5" square

















While I was making them, well I just wasn't feeling well. On Friday I had felt the chest congestion & tightness begin to settle in.  And it progressively got worse.  I didn't get to the 3.5" squares though, maybe this evening.  In fact, I've spent the last few days spending a lot of time shivering, coughing, sleeping and just plain feeling cruddy.  If it was a flu, it was mild compared to the flu I had back around 1980, I still remember how much I wanted to die at that time, I felt so badly.  I haven't felt like that with this one, but boy, I sure haven't had energy for anything. Last night I went to bed early after smearing Mentholatum all over my chest, hacked all night and felt so bad yet this morning that I almost went to the doctor.  But after a shower, breakfast, lots of rehydrating water and a nap I started feeling a little better.  I hope this is an upward swing from now on...I am tired of being sick and tired.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cat Tails #5

When I was auditioning/choosing my fabrics for Easy Street, I pulled all the tubs of less than a yard fabric and set them on the bed.  Raven decided she needed to be guardian of this tub, however I think she's sleeping on the job ;p

Aw Mom, I'm praying, not sleeping.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

If Only....

"If only"....two words, that if it were at all possible, many folks today would be connecting to "...we could turn back time". I'd like to think there's not a soul in the world who would say otherwise.  But even if time could be rearranged, would it be able to be changed? Would any one have known, or been able to stop the actions of one with evil intent?  If only.

The events of yesterday, as with any world-shattering, unbelievable event, has so many deep ramifications to so many people, in ways we individually may never realize.  I came across one here, at this newspaper.  Wonderful memories of the reporter's elementary school years now forever tarnished, along with the beauty of a small town.  It will take a long time for my heart to stop aching for the folks there.  A young woman in my quilt guild was also from there.  I don't know if she new or was related to any of the immediate families at the heart of loss.

We have a pastor friend who lives in that town.  For us, and them, thankfully their children are homeschooled.  Even so, it doesn't lessen the pain they feel for their community, but it does give them a greater opportunity to minister to that community. I pray the Lord will use them mightily.  



  

  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fina-Lee Friday

  • Step 4 of Easy Street has been released...YAY!  I look forward to Friday's for the release of each step.  I won't get to work on it until later this afternoon, evening or tomorrow.
  • This is the reason why: Nick informed he 'volunteered' me to bring balloons for his class Christmas party so I need to get to the local party store and get them going so I can pick up before 1:00 to get to the school before 2:00.  Along with a 'white elephant' gift that he forgot about until 10:15 last night so we grabbed a back of cocoa dusted truffles out of the pantry - yeah, I know, not so much 'white elephant' but hey, these are 13-14 year old kids...they may not know what a truffle is.
  • I could have SO many traffic rants from this week - I'll just say that driving is not a joy when we get even the slightest amount of rain.
  • It was 36 degrees this morning; I had to scrape the frost off my car windows before driving Nick to school.
  • I feel like I'm beginning to get chest congestion, not happy about that.
  • At this time of year, I find I have to fight off a lot of melancholy feelings.  
  • Pray for what's unfolding in Newtown, CT...just heard 'several students have been killed' maybe a dozen, this is heartbreaking.

Cat Tails #4

These two fur-balls have some great times together, chasing each other all over the house, seeking attention, basically doing what young kitties do.  What I had hoped they'd really become are lap cats.  You know, those sweet little things that look up at you with all the kitty-love they have and jump in your lap then curl up and purr and doze off.  Well, I'm here to tell you that most of the time, ok nearly all the time, they.do.not.like.to.be.held.at.all.  Nope, you pick them up and they want down immediately, especially that Raven girl, she cranes her neck away from you and is quite strong - she does not want to be held.  OK, so she makes up for it with her other antics, think 'fetch'.  Over the last few days, little miss Flame has decided she wants to jump up in my lap of her own accord and stretch up under my chin laying on my chest, closing her eyes, purring like crazy and kneading with rather sharp, pointy claws.  She loves having her neck scratched and massaged. 

I don't think they were really loving on each other in this picture though - amazing what a frozen-in-time shot can portray.  I think they were scrapping a bit with an occasional lick in there, which is what I caught in the shot.  Hmmm, maybe Raven thought she was an Orange Creamsicle.  I liked the little white paw wrapped around Raven's neck.  Kitty hugs :)

Raven & Flame

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Christmas Memory

I've spent more time again over the last few days trying to box up this over-stuffed kitchen.  This morning, I was clearing an upper cupboard where I've housed thermos bottles and such - rarely used, but when needed are very nice to have.  In the far back corner of the very top shelf, I found something I'd long forgotten about and it brought back so many memories.  Memories that are good and yet add to the melancholy I always experience at this time of year. This is what I found:

Christmas Cup
 When I first came to this dry land, I met Jane.  Jane was the step-mother of my then fiance'.  His dad had died by just a couple years before, and she was a widow and still single.  The fiance' and I remained together for about three years after I moved here, never getting married, and going our separate ways - shortly before Christmas 1975.  Jane and I had become, and remained, quite close over the years.  We spent a lot of time together and holidays were very special. Especially for me since I had no family here of my own. The ex-fiance and I remained friends too...eventually. 

One of our Christmas traditions was to decorate the tree, which included all those OLD, now VERY OLD and dangerous, type of string bulbs - the real ones that could get hot and burn your tree down and your house along with it!  We had such fun decorating the always heavily flocked, and very tall tree listening to Christmas music in the background and sipping wine or a hot toddy.  (That was my BC days.)  One year she bought this coffee mug for me, and I guess somewhere along the line the handle broke, but all the pieces are there; I suppose I planned to fix it.  The mug so depicted what we went through with those lights.

I miss those times, they were fun but more than just missing the time, I miss the relationship with her and the family.  Over the years, we've followed our own separate paths and don't speak with each other often and see each other far less.  I think the last time we saw each other has been about 12 years ago.  She's moved out of the immediate area, so getting together would require a drive of several hours.

She has a birthday coming up next week; I'll have to find her number and give her a call.  


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Double Whammy!

And now it's 12:12 PM, lol,  thanks Denise for triggering me to post again!

Say What?

LOL, because I used the scheduler:

it's    12 - 12 - 12   12:12 a.m.

and I'm blissfully sleeping, I hope ;p

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fall

While most of the country relished in Fall/Autumn way back in September, those of us in warmer, drier climates, don't get to see much in the way of fall color, and when we do it doesn't last long.  I didn't take any pix like last year in our area, but I did snap a shot of the remaining leaves on our back lawn yard of mostly concrete.  This isn't the best leaf-drop we've ever had, and it had already been on the ground for a few days before I thought of finding my camera, hence it's dry, brown appearance.  There are still quite a few leaves on the tree, it doesn't usually give a real leaf dump until this time every year.  We're expecting some rain again over the next couple days, so maybe more leaves will fall and it'll look better when it's wet.

Standing on patio

   
Taken through dining room window.
Tomorrow I'll try to remember to get a photo of the blossoms on our Jade Plant out front; I just noticed yesterday that it's beginning to bloom.  As a child up north in the wet land where it rains and it freezes, the only way to grow a Jade was indoors.  My grandmother was very proud of her 'large', potted Jade - it was maybe a foot or so tall in a medium-sized pot.  When I moved to this hot dry land, I was very surprised to see how big they could get, and that they grew outside directly in the ground, and that they flowered in December!  Oh, and in the second picture against the wall on the right, that low growing plant is an airplane/spider plant.  Who knew they grew so well here, in the ground, and also bloom! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dualing Monday: Mystery Monday and Design Wall Monday

Haha! Both places I'm 'reporting to' have their link-ups on Monday, so I'm killing two birds, or in this case maybe Flying Geese, with one stone, ok well, maybe with a few 4 patches.

On my design wall today are some of the blocks from the first three steps of Easy Street (head on over to Quiltville to see a whole lotta other works in process. And when you're done there, you can stop by Patchwork Times to see what's been added there. 










Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stash Report, Week 49

I am using some fabric from this stash, but alas, as is my way of accounting, it won't be counted until the last stitch in the binding is done! And that could take many years ;/  While the Easy Street project I'm working on was shopped mostly from my stash, I was a bit low on one of the fabric colors, so I've added to my stash, and additions are, well, added on the front end, so my numbers continue to go up rather than down. Hmmm, I could manipulate the numbers by going ahead and deleting what I pulled and then re-adding what I don't use....maybe I'll do it that way in 2013, or not.  I'll have to think on it.

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 5.3 yards
Added Year to Date: 59.1 yards
Net Used for 2012: -59.1 yards

When I was looking for my black & white fabrics, I went to Joann's - we no longer have an LQS though there is a craft store that carries a nice selection of quilt fabric, but it doesn't open until later and is all the way across town.  Anyway, our Joann's is awful, I really, really do not like it. It's small, dingy & in need of upgrades.  Years ago when under different management, they had a huge inventory but it was so packed & in disarray that you couldn't find anything and I wondered how it ever passed fire code inspections - yeah, it was that bad.  It's changed management, maybe more than once but I don't know for sure.  Now it carries a few higher end fabrics, but far less in the way of selection.  I had a coupon for 50% off regular price but all the fabric was on sale so couldn't use it and wasn't interested in any other items except maybe a magazine but they were on sale too :( and then at checkout, I noticed the coupon was expired anyway - oh well.  I did find a few selections and had them cut and she was generous with her cuts.  I've had times where 18" was precisely 18" and not one thread more, and you know you always lose a little to shrinkage!  And the cutter/cashier was very nice and smiled, not the usual persona for this Joann's!   

I decided since I'd be picking Nick up from school, which is on the other side of town, and I had to pass by the craft store, I'd go ahead and leave early and stop in.  I found a few selections there as well and at checkout, the clerk was one of the gals from our guild and I realized as guild members, we get a discount, so that was a blessing and saved me $4. And that's how I managed to increase my stash this week.

Head over to Patchwork Times and see how others are doing as this year is rapidly drawing to a close.  Judy also has a separate message on her stash reports over the years.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Indian Giver

That's what I called Marty today.  That's probably not a politically correct term.  How did that term come to be anyway?  Wikipedia has this to say as to the etymology: "The phrase originated, according to researcher David Wilton, in a cultural misunderstanding that arose when Europeans first encountered Indigenous Americans on arriving in North America in the 15th century. Europeans thought they were receiving gifts from Indigenous Americans, while the Indigenous Americans believed they were engaged in bartering: this resulted in the Europeans finding Indigenous American behaviour ungenerous and insulting." Regardless, I know no other term/phrase that conveys the meaning that he gave, and now he has taken back.  And in the common vernacular, irregardless of political correctness, he's an Indian Giver!

Here's the story.  Some weeks, or longer, ago, Marty came to my She Den and handed me a couple of envelopes and said something about them being a gift for me, somewhat a peace offering for the monies he'd recently spent on camera & computer upgrades/parts for he and Nick - though I didn't need a 'peace' offering as I wasn't upset.  They were gift cards he'd somehow won at work ($500 American Express!).  They've sat here and I haven't really thought much about what I could spend them on but certainly considered them mine.  

This morning after his Saturday morning hike with his friend, Storyman, he comes up and wants to know where the A.E. gift cards are.  I asked him why?  He said he wanted to use one.  I asked him why?  He said he thought he might go buy a watch.  I asked him why he didn't use his normal credit card?  He said they don't accept it at Costco, and Storyman was waiting in the car.  I see.  I called him an Indian Giver and he took one of the cards and left.  He hasn't made it home yet so I don't know if he bought the watch or not.  

Storyman is good at getting him to buy things he might not normally buy.  Case in point: before we were married, so this is now a long time ago, Storyman worked at a well-known department store and he and Marty were roommates.  Storyman worked in the men's clothing department so could get good deals on men's clothing, and to his credit, he does have a sense of style and dresses nicely.  One winter, Marty & I may have been dating at this time, Storyman talks Marty into buying this really nice leather jacket.  To be sure, he got a great price on it.  BUT, leather jackets are not Marty's style, nor do we live where leather jackets are worn often. so said leather jacket hangs in the entry closet for over 17 years and has been worn maybe three or four times.  There you have it. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cat Tails #3

Raven


So yesterday while I was busy spending so much of my time catching up on Easy Street, I was at the ironing board pressing one of the elements.  Out of the corner of my eye I catch sight of something moving across the floor to my left.  I look directly and there's a big ol' spider slowly moving along - well, when spiders invade MY territory, it's an instant death sentence, except on those very rare occasions I feel gracious and yesterday my feet hurt, my back hurt, my wrists hurt and I was over a hot iron, and I was not in a gracious mood! One quick tap of my foot and that spider breathed no more.  Do spiders breathe?  Surely they must, but hey, maybe not, creepy little bugger.  I didn't take the time to get a tissue and pick it up and put in the trash thinking I'd wait until I finished with my task at hand.  Moments later, along comes Raven and now she has a new nickname.  Spider Cat.  SHE ATE THAT SPIDER!  No kidding, she ate every.bit.of.it, body, legs, antennae - do they have antennae? - nothing was left.  So now we sing: Spider Cat, Spider Cat, Only Eats What A Spider Cat Can.  I've seen cats eat flies and moths, but I can't say I've ever seen one eat spiders - dead or alive!  She's welcome to all that she can find!


Cruising On Easy Street

Whew! Tonight, I'm cruising!  Which means I'm caught up with the necessary elements for this week, other than cutting 64 2" x 3-1/2" rectangles from my black & white prints, which will be used in a future step...maybe tomorrow's new step?  I'll get those rectangles cut tonight.


Basket of Flying Geese and 4-Patch Units

They've all been trimmed and look nice and purty now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hustling Down Easy Street

This morning I finished sewing the two-sies for Step 1 on Easy Street and started working on turning them into 4-Patch units.  I love making progress.  I was slow in getting started so that's why I'm now HUSTLING to catch up with everyone else before the next step gets released on Friday.  I know, I could just do a portion so that I have some of each step done, but I want to keep that progress-in-motion going, so am completing each step as I go.  Here's a couple of pics to see where my hours were spent yesterday and are on-going today. :)  

This pile is 384 two-sie sets, actually there's a few more than that, like 4 or 5 extras.

Coming off my machine are the 4-Patch units; I opened up 3 of them so you could see how they look.
I've a whole lot more to do so I best get....hustlin'.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Mystery Monday - Part 2

I'm a late starter on Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery quilt.  In fact, I added the button to the sidebar, saved and printed the intro and first two sets of instructions before I managed to look in my stash for fabric.  I knew I probably didn't have enough scraps or yardage to fit her colorway choices, but pulled them anyway - nope, definitely not enough, relying mostly on my scraps selection as I don't want to cut into actual yardage. With that realization, I decided I'd better come up with a different colorway.  I printed out a color wheel, and I agonized over what I could do with what I had. I pulled five or six different sets of color and decided my best options were a set of blues, a set of reds and a set of yellows.  None are in primary colors as I don't work in them for the most part; all are subdued varieties of these colors, and in looking at my photo, I think a few of the lighter ones will be swapped out for more medium/dark tones.  I also need to get just a little more of the black on white and may swap out a couple of the ones I have.

I hope to get some cutting and sewing in yet today.  

  
Head on over to Quiltville for a look at the progress of other Easy Street participants


Design Wall Monday

On my 'design wall of sorts' today is the last UFO pick of 2012.  It need only be quilted and have the binding added.  Progress in these first three days of December?  It has made it out of the closet!



There are a whole lot more postings at Judy's Patchwork Times, so head on over and check out what others are working on too.

Thank you for visiting today :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stash Report ~ Week 48

My last Stash Report was back in October and nothing has changed.  I have just pulled a bunch of fabric from my stash for a mystery quilt hosted by Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville, but to keep the ol' brain straight, I only count fabric as used once the quilt it is for has been completely finished and since that hasn't happened yet this year, there has been nothing out all year.  But the year isn't over, so there's always hope, right?

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 53.8 yards
Net Used for 2012: -53.8 yards

Edit: Forgot to link up to Patchwork Times, I'm sure all who've posted there have made progress, + or - , on their stash-busting(increasing) this year... four more Sundays to post for 2012.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cat Tails # 2

Yesterday was Flame's day to get into mischief.  I have some boxes I'm sorting through of things that had been in the old bathrooms and 'decluttering' them before putting things back in the new bathroom.  This is a sequined hair comb and I'd set it on the box and this little stinker came up and grabbed it and ran off down the hallway with it, not stopping until she got to Nick's bedroom - don't look at his mess, he's a boy, he's 14, he'2 been sick ;p

Along the way we passed the toy bins that were in his bedroom before he rearranged, and just before I broke my foot, and there's as far as we got with them.  We need to decide if there's anything he wants to keep indefinitely and then determine what to do with the rest.

Anyway, I wasn't quick enough with the camera when Flame first grabbed this, so this is actually a re-enactment, yes, she was more than willing to repeat her little grab and run.  Gotta watch these cat burglers fur-babies.
 

Friday, November 30, 2012

UFO for December

This is our last UFO Project for 2012.  Judy at Patchwork Times has chosen #4, which also should be the last one, obviously, on our lists....unless you're like me and have another list waiting in the corner to be worked on completed as well!


My #4 is from a pattern called Hidden Spools by Rhonda Dohna and published in The Quilter magazine November 2004.  It's made of scrappy Churn Dash blocks set on point and with setting triangles that give the appearance of two spools in the layout.  I need only quilt and bind this one.  I would love to have ONE finish this year, but happily, have made progress on several, which is more than I accomplished in 2011.

Pinned to design wall and checking borders.
Top finished and layers pinned ready to be quilted
















Judy will be changing from her annual UFO Project to a "Get It Done" feature, where we'll list four things we want to accomplish each month.  I'm going to have to start thinking of those things.  Most of my projects are UFO's at the need-to-be-quilted stage, so....my lists of four are going to be quilting, quilting, quilting, and quilting...or I have to start some new projects!  Now wouldn't that just be awful? ;P  I think I'll go pull some fabric for Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street (see my post of yesterday).    


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Easy Street

Last year I followed along, though didn't participate in making, Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery quilt.  At the reveal, I thought it was an absolutely beautiful quilt.  Sorry, if you're not familiar with it - but who in the quilting world isn't? - if not, you'll have to do your own searching for it.  It's no longer available on her blog as it's gone into print in a book.  Many quilters had/have photos on their blogs, so a Google search should help.  

This year, I'd like to actually do her mystery quilt known as Easy Street, but I know myself too well, and with all I need to be getting done yet am not, I'll probably only get so far as saving each installment to my computer.  I've added the linky on my sidebar anyway.  Maybe I will just do it

Cat Tails

And I can imagine you were imagining the plant that grows next to a pond or in a ditch in some of those parts of the country that actually get rain, something we see little of, but have about a 20% chance of getting, sometime later tonight...maybe.  That also equates to an 80% chance of not getting any rain.  I digress.

This really isn't about cat tails but is more of a cat tale...best viewed in video form (see below).  Raven seems to be a chewer.  Yes, I've been known to call her my puppy-cat, I'm a cat person - not so much a dog person.  Both my aunt, and my daughter, and my first husband's ex-roommate, have or had black labs.  Labs are chewers.  Well, Raven must think she's a black lab.  She chews on everything: paper, cardboard, plastic, bottles.  Yes, she has found my water bottles and tipping them over, bitten into the ends so that they leak.  She has knocked the cat treat container to the floor and pried the lid off to get the treats.  She's quite the character and I guess that's what you get when you have a cat with a higher IQ.  Don't forget, she's the one that plays fetch too!  Maybe she really does think she's a dog!

Now if this video will load.....I apologize for the low light conditions.


What she was doing here was playing with an empty Pringles container...attempting to pry the lid off!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Do You Do When You Have No Oven?

You get invited to friends for Thanks-Giving dinner.  We are blessed by Nick's best friend Tino's family inviting us over.  We will be three of the expected 17 participants.  I saw her menu - if anyone goes home hungry....it won't be for lack of food...or dessert ;p    Our contribution will be a green salad and canned jellied cranberry sauce.  That was what was requested of us, and we will happily provide it.  And you know what's just as great about this?  No cleanup afterwards!  At least not at home, though I'm sure I (notice I did not say 'we') will help our host and hostess in that aspect.  

And to everyone out there, please do have a wonderful day of Thanks-Giving and Praise to the One who provides richly, abundantly, and in more ways than we could ask or deserve.


And be safe in any traveling you may do!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fina-Lee Friday

I'm happy it's Friday...especially this week. 

  • Next week, I won't have to drive Nick to and from school, a daily total of 44 miles!  That also means I get to sleep in a wee bit if I so choose :)  Oh but I am SO thankful.  Then he'll have three weeks of school and it'll be Christmas break for two weeks.
  • We have clouds today! and some expected rain! it was wet when I went out this morning.  This makes me very happy.  And for the next 10 days, the projection is for highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s - perfection.
  • Two more boxes are packed up from the kitchen: some collector tins (repros from the rage in the late 70s/early 80s) and some cookbooks.  In one of the tins - they all had to have the dust washed from them - I found these (see pic below); I'd forgotten I'd put them there.  Do you know what they are?  LOVE BEADS, originals! ca 1970-71. I once wanted to be a hippie...I'm so-o-o glad I outgrew that phase! One set was from a classmate, the other two made by my then boyfriend.  He and I had chokers that he made with small wooden circles with our initials (he wore mine and I wore his) that he'd made and the fishing line was melted together so the only way to remove them was to cut them.  I don't have those any more. 

  • I paid the price today for my junk food binge yesterday...ok, I confess, I've been on a sweets kick since stocking up on Hallowe'en candy, and now all the Christmas candy is in the stores.  Mint chocolate M & Ms, Butterfingers, and don't forget the Cheetos and the Pringles, oh my.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Too Much Work

Before I can pack up my kitchen for that remodel I keep talking about, I need to have a place to put what is packed up.  We have a 3-car garage or so the house description says.  There's a dividing wall between the 2-car side and a 1-car side and these pix are from the 1-car side because we use it as a collect-all-until-we-get-around-to-disposing-of-it-all room, as well as it houses my laundry 'room' and the chest freezer and some storage shelves.  Sometimes, I really wonder if I DO have hoarder tendencies, because I have things in boxes that I look at and find some excuse for not getting rid of.  In all fairness, there are a lot of empty boxes in here stacked willy nilly as I was gathering them up in order to put kitchen items into for storage during the remodel.


The folding chair belongs in the house.  It was here because I needed to sit down while I was sorting; the back and the foot still are painful when used for extended periods of time when standing on concrete and bending a lot.  That orange chair...it's solid, it's heavy, it's ugly.  Have I said I'm not a huge orange fan? How many cat litter buckets do I need?  Maybe they can store something? They're useful...for something.  hmmm, hoarder?  What about that box of college textbooks?  Anyone studying deaf culture or need to learn ASL?  Seems I promised to take them to our deaf ministry ahem, years ago (we get hearing students who sit in during second service in the deaf area with the interpreter, they may be interested in them).


That fan back there.  It hasn't worked in years.  Marty bought a part to hopefully fix it.  It fried it even worse.  Surely it can be recycled for the metals, or someone more capable could fix it. Oh, and anyone need an old Bell & Howell straight tray slide projector?, or a photo enlarger?  Most of the boxes are empty.


All the items on the pallet, except for the empty boxes, are packed with donation to charity items, or destined for an as yet never had, garage sale.  That skateboard doesn't go though, it's Nick's and for some reason it's always there and gets in my way.  Maybe he should have it in his bedroom?


Ok, this side has some legitimate storage shelves, and lots of empty boxes, and some other odds & ends.  The milk can?  I got that from the neighbor, had/have plans for it, but it's sat here for who knows how many years.  He was a smoker, and played the lottery and it has smelly lottery tickets still sitting in it! Yuck! And that's our flag too, it's too big for the holder outside, so we just rolled it up on it's pole and it sits there. I have another milk (in the first picture in a black plastic bag) that I brought home from up north a couple summers ago.  It had been my Grandma's when she sold milk to the local dairy from her farm back in the 1950's.


Ahhh, here's the starting point.  The cabinet on the left with the towel is teak, it's supposed to go into my craft room that has been another project for more years than I can count.  My laundry stuff is on the other side of that cabinet along with the door to go into the house.  The two boxes that have stuff in them?  Well, one is filled with just a few of my daughter's little girl clothes and baby blankets.  I know, I could take a pic of them and pass them on and out of my house, but there's something about their tactile presence, being able to actually touch and feel them, brings back those memories of when she was little, and since she lived with her dad and step-mom in another state after she turned 5 or 6, I think I'll hang onto them a little longer.  The other has pieces of used sweatshirt material and denim...yeah, I still think I'm going to use them in a quilt some day. 

Some day, I will get this all cleared and dealt with.  Some day needs happen sooner than later.  Some day we will get started on that kitchen.

Haaaappppy Birthday






Today is the day that is listed on her 'adoption' papers as her approximate birthday.  So here's a great big happy first birthday to our Flame.  She's staying warm in that box next to my desk.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Themeless Thursday

Or maybe that should read "Thoughtless Thursday" as I have little thoughts for today.  I have no specific plans, and little motivation to do the things that need to get done, other than to get Nick to and from school.  

I was thinking I would like to start a new project.  But I have so-o-o many unfinished ones that I feel guilty thinking  that way.  And I was thinking I'd just open my notebook of projects, close my eyes and choose one randomly...how scary is that!?  

Then I look around and see so many unfinished chores and household projects and think I should get started on one of them.  But then I think "oh, which one?" and lose all thought.  

So, I've accomplished little, but it is still relatively early in the day.

I think I will open the blinds and let some daylight in.  I won't say sunshine because we have glorious and wonderful clouds and a little wetness today - and we expect to have that for a few days ... YAY!!!!

And along with this "stormy" weather, Marty tells me right before he heads to bed last night, that he's taking two days off work and he and friend are heading to a State/National(?) Park several hours away 'for a couple days' and that's the extent of what I know.  What I think about that....well, you don't want to read what I think about that...but I will say I have encouraged him to go, but oh my, a little better communication or conferring would be nice, don't you think?  And I'm thinking I may just go ahead and sign up to take an all day quilt class at a quilt show in March because I have a friend who is planning on taking it and asked if I'd like to join her....and I think I may keep that info to myself until I walk out the door that morning!

Yeah, that's what I think.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Oh Phooey!!

That can describe a lot today, but is intended only to describe my recognition that I haven't posted here again in a week.  No excuses. But there is nothing happening of note either, including no quilting, no remodeling, no broken bones (thank God), no nothing or should that be no anything, lol? 

Nick had his second highest bowling score yesterday though in bowling a 245!  Way to go!  However, they only won the first game and going into the day were only one game in the lead, so have now dropped to at best 2nd place, as they lost both of the next two games and total pins.  His 3rd game of the day was a meager 145 :(  (his middle game was 180-something). The 'junior doubles' league only has five teams of two and Nick has the 2nd highest average at 176 prior to yesterday's scores.  The highest average is held by one of the boys (17) on the team they played against.

This afternoon I will spend some time with my quilting student.  She hasn't been able to meet during the last two weeks because of sick children, so today, we will figure out where to start with what she has :)


Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.  Ps. 12:1


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lost In Translation

.... or something like that.

Today on my social network page, a friend, someone I haven't seen in over 40 years and who wasn't really a friend but married a friend of my then boyfriend (and that's a long story), anyway, this poor dear woman was explaining about all the physical woes she's experienced in the last month which truly are awful and I'm sure are seriously demoralizing to the psyche, and in general she was just plainly having a pity party and venting.

I posted a comment that I thought I needed to add her to my prayer list. (And I have.)

Someone else then commented, and this is a quote exactly as typed:  "my goodness, i can't imagine prayers and yes you are titled to a pitty party, but bounce back quick..."

Now, when I read that, my thoughts immediately took it to mean that she couldn't imagine prayers would help, and I had all these "well, what an awful thing to say" thoughts run through my head.  Why would anyone post something so, to me, offensive as to say she couldn't imagine prayers? I know the lady is not a believer, but even most unbelievers appreciate that someone would pray for them.  I was tempted to further comment, but restrained and decided, well maybe she closely knew the friend and that was them and their thoughts.  And I walked away from it.

Later, I came back and saw others had added their sentiments, and the friend had "liked" my comment. In re-reading the one comment, it dawned on me that the problem  was not in what was said, but in punctuation!  If you put a comma between imagine and prayers, it changes the whole meaning.  'i can't imagine' becomes a reaction of disbelief of all the poor woman went through, and prayers becomes the commenter also adding prayers.  

I suppose the lessons are 1) deciphering is sometimes necessary to really understand something typed - especially on social media, and 2) I should never rush to judgement about what someone might intend in what they wrote - especially when punctuation is lacking!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Blessings

 Our pastor relinquished his pulpit to a 'guest' pastor today.  Sometimes when we have guest pastors, I'm inclined to 'play hooky' and listen from home via the internet, but today we went.  Also, our fellowship group  had a morning of prayer with the pastor taking requests and then choosing one of the men in the group to pray aloud for those requests while the rest of us prayed silently.  The guest pastor for our main service is a man of our church and seminary but I don't recall having heard him teach before, at least not in a great many years.  He taught us on Psalm 139.  This passage has been a favorite of mine since shortly after becoming a Believer, and at one time I was memorizing it, so I'm glad we went and didn't play hooky.  I enjoyed the renewed look at the passage, and am placing it here.  May you be blessed by the Word of God.

Psalm 139:
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And inYour book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 O that You would slay the wicked, O God;
Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
20 For they speak against You wickedly,
And Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What Have I Been Doing?

It certainly doesn't seem like much since I haven't posted again in over a week...I'm sure that makes me a successful blogger, Hah!



Picture 1

Well, this is what I've been working on:  a 3-D 'model' of what my 'new' kitchen will likely look like, utilizing the existing space and being careful to not add to the so-very-low budget (mental budget, no actual dollar amount set!) by having to unnecessarily change existing plumbing and electrical too much.

Picture 1 is a bird's eye view ~ excuse the wonkiness, I'm only using tape, graph paper and scissors.  I've planned 30" counterspace to the left of the sink, 42" to the right of the sink, 36" for range, and 30" to the right of the range.  Some of that could be flexible, meaning less, not more room.  There is a window over the sink - I don't want to move it. Currently the dishwasher is at the left of the sink with a skinny 6" or narrower cabinet between it and the wall.  Where I show the range, the current layout stops there with that being a peninsula with a range top.  My oven was  inset into that wall on the left but that's where we reconfigured the bathroom which is on the other side of the wall, so I presently have no oven.  Directly opposite the sink I would like a large floor to ceiling cabinet which is shown where the yellow is and beside it would be a small counter with upper and lower cabinets and a shelf for the microwave.  I'd like a portable island with cabinet base no larger than 3'x 4' - I've seen some images of a couple I'd be pleased with.  The other 'square' at the lower-center is the refrigerator (currently the pantry which to the left in the pic is an unused cavity which formerly held the furnace - now on the roof with the A/C).  The cavity will become a shelved area to house all those occasionally used small appliances and things like maybe boxed cereal, potatoes, onions - dark & cool.  There's a doorway into the hall which runs parallel behind that wall of the cab/counter/microwave plan.  The frig was (ok, still is) where I want that counter/cabs/microwave, so you can imagine how much it juts into the floorspace of the kitchen and doesn't leave much room with a peninsula. - the orig. kitchen is ca. 1966.


Picture 2
Picture 2 shows from a lower view. Where the cabinets end, well, actually where I plan to extend those cabinets as shown, is currently a 7'11" picture window overlooking the backyard and our massive Modesto Ash tree - where I watch those squirrels, minus one :(.  In my plan, that window is gone, and in it's place is either a 5' or 6' sliding glass door so that we have an exit from the kitchen to the patio to bbq rather than having to carry everything out of the kitchen, down the hall, and through the computer room to get to that slider and the patio - I wonder who the brilliant architect of that was?!  Do you know how much stuff gets spilled on the floor between the two locations?  The new refrigerator location may not be ideal but there really isn't anyplace else without running new gas lines through concrete or overhead conduit and then I'd lose counter and cabinet space as well.  Having a portable island will tie the frig in a little more and will give me a place to set things from the frig when needed.

Picture 3

Picture 3 shows the dining area - before I continued the side wall.  That wall is solid floor to ceiling, side to side. The back shows the opening for the projected door, as well as my cut-outs representing the sizes and space that our table, chairs and hutch/china cabinet take up.  I would prefer and door that swings open, but there just isn't the room so a slider is more fitting.  Between the refrigerator and where the hutch is, there is the door to the garage and the hutch is against the solid wall of the garage.  My washer/dryer are on the other side of that wall in the garage and I'd hoped to have included that in this remodel, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.  I'll live with it.  Our dining room has been 'huge' compared to the actual kitchen space, so that will be changing - we rarely entertain, so no biggy.  When we bought the table, my thoughts were that we'd be having gatherings of folks over a lot so the table, with extensions would be 4' x 9' and is still plenty big without the extensions.  We were once far more involved in social activities than we are now.  Oh well, something else I've gotten used to over the years...or not. 

I'm glad I went through this exercise.  I needed a 3-D model to get my mind wrapped around what the possibility could be and to see if it would work for us.  I think it will and I think this is what I'll present to our contractor.  Each square of the graph paper equals 6".  It's not entirely accurate, but is close enough.  The sink counters would appear to be 30" deep, but in reality, I think they'd be closer to 24" for the cabinets, but the counter may come out close to 26". 

My thoughts for the wall at the left end of the kitchen would be to put up a wire grid where I could use S hooks to hang pans or utensils, with maybe a shelf or two above for my cookbooks.  Will have to wait and see.  We considered moving the wall where the shorter section is, but it's a load-bearing wall, and that complicates things and I'm sure would add more than what we want to spend on the re-do.

I welcome any comments or suggestions, but keep in mind, I've considered this for now over 16 years taking into account how we function as a family and how I cook presently (not much) and how I really would like to cook (and used to) again.
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