Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas
Wishing you the best of everything this Day has to offer - Rejoice that He is born, and hold all your family close.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cranberry Hootycreeks

I tried these for the first time about 5 years ago, and now my kids refuse to come for Christmas unless I have several batches ready. Insanely good!!!
(and the litle kids giggle when they say the name)

Cranberry Hootycreeks
makes 32 cookies

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
DIRECTIONS:1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. 2. In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until fluffy. Add the ingredients, and mix together by hand until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. 3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets, or remove to cool on wire racks.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Un-Christmas Quilt

Have you ever made a quilt you dislike for someone you DO like? Well, here's my current one:

I've been calling it the Anti-Christmas quilt - look a bit closer:

Not your typical Christamas fabric, eh?
My DS#2, (who lives a lifestyle I can't understand) asked me last week - "I don't supposed you're giving me a quilt for Christmas? You haven't made me a quilt since I was 2"
Guess I better give the gift card to someone else and get my fanny in gear!!
So I pulled out this dreadful tattoo fabric I found last year and whipped up the magic 9-patch. Call it a combination of no time, and knowing what kind of trials lay ahead for this quilt, it had to be quick and easy. But not look like it. I only had 2 yards of the tattoo stuff, and ran short on the borders, can you tell?? LOL That's how funny creative ideas are born. I pieced out the borders and made the body kind of cross into the border and viola! All I have left is 1 strip 2 x 42 and four trims of 1x6. GONE!!!! Whoo-oo! Now, I have to whip this puppy back into the machine and quilt the daylights out of it and wrap it.
Later on I'll find my recipe for the Best Cookie in the free world, and post that for you - "Cranberry Hootycreeks"
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Friday, December 14, 2007

4 Season Doll Quilt Swap

I've been thinking about my 4 Season swap quilt for awhile, trying to trust that an idea would come up and hit me upside the head. And so it did yesterday - right in the middle of a strategy meeting with our medical director! So last night, quick like a bunny, I roughed out my plan.

I want to put appliques of winter things in the setting squares, like the skates or snowmen or big snowflakes, something like that. These fabrics sure say 'WINTER' to me - can you see the sleet in the lighter fabric? Pretty - very icy.
Now I have another idea floating around -- I might just knock that one out today because I am home sick. That's right, Christmas, work trauma, deadlines, etc etc so probably being sick will make it all better??? Aaarrgghhh!!!!
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Peter Fonda selling his chopper?

You must see this!!!! SOOO funny!

Aging boomers Unite!

Tea Parties and Surprises!

Our mini group has an annual Christmas Tea Party, featuring delicate little sandwiches and finger-nibblers and of course tea! Hats are required, as are lifted pinkies, and there's always a great Show and Tell. Last night was The Night and as usual was a delightful evening.

Chari and Evette at table, the most willing to have their pictures taken. Actually I did take more pictures but I'm still on the lower end of my new toys learning curve, and I'm very unhappy so far with my results.
Judy is making this beauty for the daughter of a friend; pictures on every block of stages of her life thru high school graduation. Very striking! The she showed us her latest in her adventures in machine quilting, awesome! You should be able to click and see these amazing feathered hearts she did FREEHAND - no marking beyond just the heart outline.
Finally, I'm quite sure these are the first daffodils in the Western Hemisphere - can you believe this??? They're 2 inches tall now - amazing. Poor confused little things!
Finally, on the work front, in the midst of our moving nightmare, 2 of the patient care techs have quit. While I won't be sad to see this particular pair go, it makes it incredibly difficult for the rest of us, and will upset the patients even more. Pretty lousy behavior. I took our social worker and dietitian over to our new clinic yesterday, and it takes all of 35 minutes to drive; they were happily surprised, being prepared to drive an hour, so their outlook on the move has brightened considerably which sure helps mine! It's nice to have folks on board when there's something yucky but unavoidable to do. Just make the best and GET ON WITH IT!!!
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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Let the Christmas Crazies Begin!

Well, 2 of the Seasons' parties are behind me now, **big sigh**. The one I have always looked forward to and always had the most fun at was last night, my DH's old squad party. If you ever get an invite to a cops party, GO. If you don't get an invite, find a cop and BEG. I'm tellin' ya, they party the hardest and have the most fun. The gift exchange begins with gag/white elephant or "good stuff", nothing expensive. Each gift can be stolen by someone else 2 times, then it's dead, and that leads to the most raucous time you can imagine. Some of the gifts are a little, ummmm, questionable, and that makes for even more hilarity. My face always hurts for a week from laughing, and we're both hoarse. (And just a little bit hungover, but it's deserved) My lip is a bit draggy today tho, because my handmade gift of placemats and coasters was tossed aside by the newest guy, a kid that looks way too young to be a cop. I hope he re-gifts it to someone who will like it. Oh, pictures? Ummmmm...sorry, didn't take any. Of the placemat/coaster set, nor of the party - cameras are not allowed at the parties. Can you say EVIDENCE? LOL -- there'll be none of that. I have been playing with my new toy tho. This is my first "overlay" image - layering one image on top of another:

Fun, but as my DS pointed out, this one is just a little creepy. He suggests that the younger kids might be a bit freaked out by Santa staring out from the depths of the tree, especially this Santa which is a bit odd anyway. LOL -- hey, it's a new trick! OK, I've also taken 99 pictures of Cuervo, who put up with 2 of them then curled up and went into active "IGNORE" mode. He's not asleep -- by a long shot.
He's telling me - "Not one more, Sista - you got enough. Yaaawwwnnn -- I can't hear you, can't see you and I can't open my eyes, See? I'm sleeping - GO AWAY!" Can you tell he's squeezing his eyes shut like a little kid faking sleep? LMAO!!!

Moving Day at work is now just 3 weeks away, and the stress is building. I'm in for some 7-day weeks, and lots of 15 hour days. Our patients are scared, angry and upset and no one can blame them; all we can do is be supportive and positive. I arranged to have a barbershop quartet come in to sing for the patients, and yesterday got a call from the manager of the group telling me there would be no charge! NONE. Can you say, "Spirit of Christmas?" **VVBS**
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Early Christmas!

Hunny and I went out to dinner tonight and he presented me with my Christmas present! I protested, he insisted, so I opened it up.

See, once upon a time in a land far far away, I was a "real" photographer, meaning I made money with it. I had my own darkroom and slew of cameras and lenses and lights that I packed around in a huge impressive aluminum case and even had an assistant. My favorite camera was a 2-ton Nikon professional model with NOTHING automatic. In the intervening years, the photography fell by the wayside, the wonderful old Nikon suffered an grievous accident and I never had it repaired. For the last few years I've had a little "PhD" digital camera that takes adequate snapshots but allows for zero control or interesting effects or any of the other neat tricks photobugs love. (For those who don't know, PhD stands for "Push here, Dummy", or a very simple to use camera) So as these things inevitably will, the lust for creative control came creeping back and I've been drooling over friends cameras, researching online and picking the brains of people who know things. Hunny is a lifelong cop, investigative by nature and training, and nothing gets past him so he's been asking me some leading questions. Hey, I raised 3 kids and not much gets past me either! I suspected he was going somewhere with his line of questioning!! Sure enough, he did it. And he did it right. Have I mentioned I'm crazy about that guy? We make each other nutz and we're polar opposites, but he's my guy and knows all the soft spots and he loves to tickle me. Oh yea - he says he thought about getting me an HQ16 Handiquilter, but won't do it because he believes the only way to go is the high road, and that means a Gammill with a Statler Stitcher. Honest -- he said that. But realistically that's not a perfect plan for me now. Maybe later, hee hee. Meantime, I have a manual to read and some serious FUN to be had!! I only have 20 days to master this before our 5 kids, 3 kids-in-law, 2 significant others and 10 grands come all at once to party at Gram and Gramps house and get their portraits done by Grams!!! Yeaaa!!!
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Monday, November 26, 2007

Fairie names

Your fairy is called Feather Saturnfilter (Ummm-hmmmm.....)

She is a trouble maker. (whatever!!! who makes this stuff up???)

She lives in high places where the clouds meet the earth. (naturally!)

She is only seen on midsummer's eve. (or so some folks WISH!)

She wears pale blue like the sky. She has delicate pale pink wings like a cicada. (I'm a BUG???)
Oh yea, and the picture looks just like me!!!! ROFLMBO!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Always Different

I hope everyone had as wonderful, fun Thanksgiving as we did! My DD and DGD came Weds. night so I got to wake up with a little one - all warm and rumply and cuddly. Then tripping all over her words to tell me everything that's happened in her world since we last saw each other, how fun! Later on while watching cartoons, Cuervo hopped up to one of his lookouts on the back of the couch, so Madeline climbed up to see what there was to see --

Too cute! I so glad I had my camera; usually these shots get away. Later more kids and grands came and went, and the groaning table was loaded and unloaded, and then came the highlight of the day! My DS went for a walk and came back in, casually asking me why there's a horse tied to the back of our truck. HUH? "Yea, a horse, you know; hayburners? Tied up to your truck" So we all trooped out.

Lo and behold, a miniture horse was in fact tied to the back of our truck. What the...?????? Seems Dan while on his walk, found this little guy wandering loose and brought him back since we have facilities and horse chow. How cute????? This is Jayden sitting on the horse, my DD Cory holding him, and DGD Megan. DS had an unfortunate photo accident and lost his head........
Speaking of photos, DD found this government issue portrait of herself taken just before she left for Bosnia what, 14 years ago? Am I proud of this or what?

She needs a tattoo that says "Do NOT mess with me"

Here's the funny thing about Cory and the Air Force. When she was born Vietnam was still underway, and I was at that time, very anti-military. (I plead the ignorance of the very young) Since 'Cory' is an androgenous first name, I gave her the middle name of Elizabeth specifically so the draft board would know she was a girl and not draft her.
What-ever!!! I keep telling my kids this story as an object lesson in "DO NOT try to plan your kids opinions!!!"
Now off to the shed and dig out the Christmas decs!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

The pies are in the oven, the stuffing's all been mixed. The extra tables are out and the flowers picked. There's a 23 lb. bird on the back porch just chillin', and a mess in the closet where I looked for linen. Dan won't eat taters and Cory hates pumkin, but everyone loves cabernet, now isn't that somthin'? Why do we do it, why all the fuss? To give thanks and praise for the Blessings He's given us.

Heaven knows I'm no poet (obviously) but this little ditty expresses my feelings perfectly tonight. My family starts arriving any minute and for the next 24 hours I will be as happy as any woman can be, and I hope you are too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


My beloved old dog Nippy died today. She has been my buddy/shadow for 14 years, since she was about 3 years old. Some dogs are one person dogs and Miss Nip was one of those - devoted to me. There were some times that it felt like she was my only friend, too; times she stood by me thru sadness, despair, heartache, fear.....all that.
Our human friends marveled at her insistence at being at my ankle at all times - being a Heeler that was her place of course, but Nippy took it to a whole 'nother level! If I so much as stood to adjust my clothes she'd be up and right behind my foot, ready for whatever. The funny thing is, as my daughter pointed out, all my life I didn't like dogs; I'm a cat person. But something in her spoke to me, and we were best buds from day 1.
This picture will always make me smile. I don't have too many pictures of her because she always hustled to get behind me! I practically had to yell at her to SIT and she was whimpering and shaking the whole time.
Nippys big passion in life was chasing horses - she would take out into the pasture at mach 4 and run to nip the heels of the horses, then spin in place in a circle so fast and so tight you couldn't tell she was a dog, it was hilarious, then she'd trot back to me smiling and so proud of herself! We had to lock her in the house every time we had the horses out because it did get to be dangerous but she never stopped. Kicked in the head, one time she was knocked out cold and another time went into seizures on the spot. It was pouring rain and dark and she was in deep mud and I lost a boot in the mud trying to get to her and get her out. When we lived waaay out in the country she was a free roaming girl, but wouldn't leave our property. When she heard my car coming she'd meet me at the gate and race me to the house, and that dog could run FAST!! Her big thick tail never stopped even when she was running; we used to say if you tried to hold onto that tail her whole body would wag!
This last year was a rapid decline. She could barely walk, couldn't hear, became incontinent and would fall over. When we noticed that she never wagged her tail, not even a little bit, we knew it was Time. I had two friends from my mini quilt group over today, bless Lynn and Leslie for helping me thru this day. Bless my DH who took Nippy to the vet for me because I was too weak to do it.
I sure miss that dog.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


After a dreadful day at work I come dragging my sorry behind home, feeling sorry for myself, and find a wonderful prezzie in my mailbox!! Mar, over at Pincushion Diaries, was my chocolate swap buddy and today there was a wonderful package waiting for me. That will always put you in a good mood, and when I opened it, look what I found!!

What a cool, cool purse! I love those colors, they fit perfectly in my family room - gorgeous! Oh, guess what else? Look what was in the purse!Oh yea, Babe - it's CHOCOLATE!!!! (((happy dance))) Talk about therapy --- I've been soooo good about passing on candy and sticking to a healthy eating plan, and today with my lip dragging in the dirt I came home to this and, well, let's just say there's no reason to feel deprived, now is there? Thank you, Mar!!!

Some strange, vicious virus has overtaken me, causing a side effect suspiciously like spring houscleaning. First the stash, then yesterday I rearranged the family room. One of the things I did was to finally hang an antique rifle that Hunny purchased from a historic saloon in Reno last year. It was pretty thrashed, and he restored it beautifully. The plan was always to hang it in the family room which is somewhat Western/cowboy themed but we never did. Till yesterday. I found a neat place for it and got it all mounted on the wall. Late last night, all was still and quiet and I was kind of drowsing in front of the TV when suddenly there was a mighty CRASH and that heavy rifle pulled out of the wall and landed on a credenza, knocking a display of antique horse tack down with it. Scared the snot out of me, I tell you!! Today the virus struck again after I got home and had that lovely attitude adjustment. After a virtuous dinner of vegetables and chicken (and chocolate) I stripped the china cabinet, washed everything and put it back together. I know - it's a strange thing, this disease! Now, I'm not going to tell you how long it's been since I cleaned this thing, but take a look at a whiskey bottle from way in the back:

And now look a bit closer at the tax stamp on the cap, still sealed:

LOL! OK, so it hasn't been that long. I was only 12 in 1967 so this wasn't likely to have been my bottle. It pretty well illustrates however, that cleaning out the china cabinet doesn't happen too often.

Now, after all that lovely chocolate and whiskey, I'm a bit ((yaaawwwnnn)) sleepy. I wonder what the next side effect will be?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

99 & 44/100% done

Behold, before and after.

There's even a lot more fabric in there than before since I flushed out piles from all over the place. A lot of the stacks are two deep because I folded into squares instead of rectangles; and those rotten lost corners are good for putting stuff I don't use often - holiday prints, flannels, donation and baby quilts fabrics, along with a couple pieces of upholstery and a trashbag full of scraps. What I have left to do is fold a zillion FQs and a zillion more that have a small piece cut out of them but are still FQ size. In time, Grasshopper, in time. Saturday I had to go get a kidlet fix, haven't seen them for 6 weeks or so!
5 month old Jayden and 7 yr. old Meghan. Megs had a NEW game to show me, called "Marbles" Seems the object is to put all the marbles in a circle and use one to try to knock more out of the circle than your opponent. LOL - well, it was new to her! When's the last time you played marbles? Well, I played about 5 games and it was a blast. Then we snuck off for a bit of 1 on 1 time and ate ice cream, special treat. Once I dropped Megs off I went over to my other son's place to visit with Nicholas, 3 months -
Is that a face or what?? He put on all his best charm and cuteness for me and talked and crooned and giggled for about an hour. Nothing better, nothing!
I fooled around with the long arm frame, spent about 5 hours figuring out how to load the layers and finally put my machine on the trolley. Guess what?? It doesn't work! The trolley has a handle with a power button that is plugged into your machine where the foot control would go and that little electronic bit doesn't work. Rats! That probably wasn't going to be the frame for me anyway because it was so low that working on it is a back killer. Oh well...... I'm still torn about plunging in for something like a HQ16 setup, one minute "go for it" the next, "naaahh I don't need that." I guess I'll think about it while I fold and fold some more!

Friday, November 09, 2007

And the beat goes on.......

Whew! The stash cleanup continues, a way bigger job than I'd anticipated. This has been going on all week, in 1 hour chunks a.m. and 3 - 4 hour chunks at night. No decision yet on whether it's better or worse, maybe when I can walk across the floor I'll know better!

Lot's of surprises, like a little pile of vintage 30's feedsack fabrics I'd long given up as lost in a move, and 4 pairs of brand new, labels on, mens dress slacks! LOL - I think I was supposed to hem them a long time ago, but Hunny took to wearing jeans and dress shirts to work so it wasn't hard to forget about the pants. I've also turned up an embarrassing number of orphan blocks and UFOs, and -- count 'em -- 14 tops that need quilting! That was a shocker - I knew I had about 6, so now I had a total of 20 and a few of those also need borders. Geeeesh! So much for feeling smug! Also found were the very first blocks I made, when I was just learning, what a hoot! Horrible fabric and gigantic blocks. A few are even quilted like potholders, no bindings on. I razzed Michele about her huge scrap bags so I can't show what kinds of scraps I've turned up - but all the piles on the sewing machine table are FQ's, and you can see one trashbag full of scraps on the floor.

All this would really be a lot more fun if I didn't have devastating news at work. We have to close up our clinic and move the whole thing lock, stock, staff and patients to another clinic 45 miles away, and we have less than 2 weeks to do it. Moving a dialysis clinic isn't like moving anything else, for starters it has to be a state certified facility with an immense water purification system via RO (reverse osmosis). Our patients must come in 3 days a week, and some already drive an hour to get here, now we're going to make them go another 45 minutes so it's going to be a huge hardship on them and their families and transportation providers. The first staff to come in the morning arrive by 3:15 am to start set-up and the first patients arrive by 5:15 am. Then all the logistics of a move like this, which falls on me. Hopefully I'll have tons of corporate back-up but it's going to be a tough month. If you don't hear from me I'l be under my desk whimpering.......

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Progress Report

I'm doin' it! I'm really doing it!! And it's fun - and a PITA!! LOl - Boy is my back sore. So far just the cooler colors, blues/greens/purples and some character prints and a few backing pieces. Amazing what a bit of neat folding will do - it takes up SO much less space, and looks all yummy and tantalizing. I'm enjoying discovering long forgotten pieces, and digging some up that need to be quickly re-buried. Most seem to be 2 yard cuts - yea for me - and anything over 4 goes into the "backing" pile. Those piles are so cool!
I brought in a folding table cos I know I'm going to need more room - here's neat piles so far:
(yes, that table is jacked up to about 40 inches - I'm tall)

And the closet has a hole like a six year olds smile.
The problem with the closets in this house are that the STUPID builder (I have issues) built 9 foot wide closets but 6 ft wide doors. Ah ha - I can see that you understand. So the stuff way back behind the walls is nearly inaccessible and there's a TON of stuff back in there! What a waste of space - ((steam coming out my ears))
We all talk to our fabrics, right? No really, you can admit it here, I won't tell. Doncha hate it when the fabric talks back? Real sassy like?
me - "Hmmmm.....are you a blue or a teal?"
fabric - "That's for me to know and you to find out"

"Ooo, you're pretty - so what could I do with you?"
" Do whatever you want - I'm sure it doesn't matter to me"

"Gee, you don't quite fit into a category, what am I going to call you?"
"What are you, the FBI?"

"Lets see, not quite a yard and more than a fat quarter; scrap box or pile?"
"NO no no no! Please not the scrap box! I'll be good, I promise!!"

Heh heh - the power .... isn't it great?
Finally, for your drooling enjoyment, I can now show you my fun project from last week - I was part of Red Geranium Cottages chocolate swap, and my swap partner has received her box of fantastically nummy yummies. The rules were that the box had to be decorated and I'm not too good at that. I got the idea to wrap it in a FQ, then add folded fabric flowers. HOW FUN IS THIS??? I had a ball making these, and they're so easy! I predict more flowers in the future, but what to do with them? Too fun.
Phooey - fun's over now I have to get to work. **sigh**
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Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Toy!

There's a big, honkin' quilting frame in my family room!
My friend Judy was cleaning house today, and decided she didn't need this old thing laying around any more. So she called me and asked, Are you interested? OH HECK YEA! So she piled it into her truck and came over and we (Laverne and Shirley!) put it together. Much giggling, a bit of cussin, and some grunting and we got it all done. Judy had to run back to her chores, as did I, so nothing else has happened yet. I need to get my machine set in and figure out how to load a quilt, then quit my job so I can play. LOL! Whoo-hoo! In the meantime, progress is happening on the Paintbox - only 3 more block to make and I need to cut some more pieces for those. I took advantage of that old saying about creative license, and changed the plan a bit:
I still like the green background a lot, but wasn't going to have enough for the whole thing, (sound familiar?) so the center blocks have a white background. I'm at the point of figuring out the borders - YAAA!!! Might this be the near-mythical "finished project"? Could it be? I'm thinking about the quilting design, that's a good sign. And looking at pieces of fabric for a backing, and THAT'S a good sign. Boy - I'm thinkin' this could really be on the bed before too long! And suddenly there's 20 different shades of blue fabric sitting on my cutting table. HUH? Where'd that come from? Honestly Officer, I wasn't even here and I don't know how all that stuff jumped out of the closet and onto the table!
Well, it could be that it jumped out in an attempt to escape. This is scary. To keep me honest I'm showing the worst, messiest part of my stash so I'll maybe feel guilty enough to clean it out. Those shelves go 18 inches left and right beyond the opening, and the whole thing is stuffed and I can't find anything. (see? I couldn't possibly have pulled out all that blue fabric!) So it's time - I have to clean. ***sigh***
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Friday, November 02, 2007

What's on YOUR bed?

Nicole, over at Sister's Choice, asks the question - "What's on your bed?" Interesting question. Once I tossed off the cat, dragged out the old man and shoved the magazines to the floor I could see the quilt!

This is my Red Radio Flyer I just love. Someday the room will be decorated to match; maybe. Usually it's not on top 'cos my DARLIN Hunny plops down in the middle of the day with dirty boots on and he claims he's too old to learn new tricks like taking his boots off.
So throwing down the gauntlet now that it's the season for quilts on the bed, - What's on your bed?
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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Jingle WHAT???

"MERRY CHR....." -- what's that? Oh, it's too early? I know, but as the Queen of all Procrastination, I need all the encourgement I can get. If I knew how to make lists in my sidebar I would, but since I don't, and since I hang around here a bit, this should keep me focused.
Besides, it's only 53 days left!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How boring......

First off, Uncle John and his home and avacados are OK - the fire looks to be contained around them, although it is only a few miles away. Too too scary.

Second, not much sewing this weekend: a friend came over and helped me plant about 500 flower bulbs for spring color. Two of us spent 3 hours, going at a rapid clip! Then, of course, we needed an hour of lounging in the shade with a nice bottle 'o vino......... OK maybe it was 2 hours.
FINE - not a minute over 4 hours and 2 bottles, and that's my story and I'm stickin to it!

This very bad pic is my granddaughter Meghan, who was Baby Queen at this years Portugese Festa. Her Grandpa is President of the local chapter, and it's usually the daughters and grands of the council who get to be queens and princesses. Meg got to walk in a parade with her 2 attending princesses holding her royal train. She's always wanted to be a Princess and now she is! Guess what her Halloween costume is tonight? Minus the big train, of course.

The reason you get a picture of my DGD is 'cos I can't show you my quilt related picture. It's a surprise for a swap partner and has to stay that way. BUT IT'S REALLY COOL!!! I also don't want to bore you with a picture of the 18 Mary's Triangles I made for the Paintbox quilt, them trimmmed WAAAY too small. If we had audio blogging I might could let you listen in at what I said when I discovered that, but then your sewing room would have blue air too -- just like mine! Think I'll go make some quickie pillowcase baby quilts to donate and see if I can do that without messing it up.....

Happy November!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California Fires

If you've seen any newscast in the past 2 days you know Southern California is on fire. You can't imagine the scope and enormity of these (currently) 17 seperate fires is you've never been there. It's a huge huge area. Much of what is burning is rugged chapparal covered hills, and the infamous Santa Ana winds roar straight thru them at hurricane force. The "Santanas" as we called them are really hot dry winds, strange to feel. Coupled with the dryness of that area - averaging 6 - 10 inches of rain a year - there's really nothing to stop fire until it reaches the Pacific Ocean, so nearly half a million people are being evacuated - imagine, half a million!
My brother and his family were evacuated yesterday, as were my uncle and aunt in northern San Diego county. My brother has been allowed back in, but the smoke is so thick inside their house that the windows are sooty and the smoke alarms had to be disconnected. He is packing and taking his family somewhere else, he's not even sure where that might be. My uncle and aunt live in a somewhat remote canyon in an avacado orchard. Avacado trees are very oily and go up like torches. They live near the San Diego Wild Animal Park, (not the main Zoo) and this morning are making their horse trailer available to evacuate animals that are in immediate danger. They can't get back up to their home, so they don't know what's happening there. Neither of these are unusual stories, there are thousands of families going thru the same hell right now. Please send up extra special prayers for the safety of everyone in Southern California. Prayer might be their only hope.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

An ironing Question

(this post edited to remove the reference to burning)
At retreat there are typically 2 or three irons going all day for 25 or so quilters. There's varying degrees of
in these irons, but none are what you'd consider "top end" because their life expectancy isn't great. When I first picked up one of the irons at retreat this time, I was shocked at how much hotter and what a better job it did than mine. I mentioned to someone that this little light "cheapie" iron worked far better than my big heavy expensive iron, and was met with a chorus of complaints about the BMW of irons. I hadn't realized that A.) mine isn't performing like I would expect, and B.) that so many others had had the same experience with them, and then C.) how dumb I feel that I believed the hype.

Here's my question - what has your history with irons been? These are really important tools for us, right up there with the Sewing Machine, and we need to know the facts before we spend great gooey gobs of fabric bucks on non-fabric items. (next question is how does this stupid underline pop up and why, and how to make it go away?)
So - what do you iron with and why?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What a Swell Time!

Ahhhh.....there's not too many things closer to a quilters heart than a few straight days of sewing with friends and not having to cook/clean/step&fetch. Call it immersion quilting - sewing saturation - quality time with a warm machine. LOL - whatever, it's my far and away my favorite escape. I took a large box of pre-cut pieces and made 11 more 16 inch blocks for what I'm now calling Paintbox. That green sure did something to it, just not quite sure what:
Sorta hurts the eyes, doesn't it? This is scrap wranglin' at it's finest; I don't pay attention to what goes with what. My darling friend Mavis who is utterly coordinated to the MAX kept trying to re-arrange pieces, saying "you have 2 greens here" or "Do you really want that many blues?" I love her to bits. By the last morning she was taking pictures and swearing she wanted to make one just like it.
I also took this opportunity to try my hand at teeny minis - paper pieced of course, and 3 inch finished.

The angel who arranges these trips and does all the work is Kerrie Hershey, owner of Kerries Quilting in Lakeport, CA. She gave me the best best best paper piecing tip I've ever learned. That thread cutting feature on my machine (that I thought was worthless) is the BOMB for paper piecing!! No 1000 miles of threads all over the place. She also pulled my name to win the neatest new cutter:
How cool is that? The picture doesn't show it as cool as it really is. Olfa is testing the water with these, and have only made 2 colors so far apparently, purple and orange. Ironically, the morning before the drawing I had relieved the LQS of 5 or 6 yards of assorted oranges. Spooky, huh? Like I have POWERS? (snicker snicker)
The scraps I trimmed off the Paintbox blocks made a little Broken Dishes quiltlet, NOT pp.

Those HSTs finished at an inch and a quarter. WAY small for me. I seem to be getting sucked into a leeetle bitty vortex - is there treatment for this???
For the 5th time I won the award for Most $$ dropped at the LQS. Sigh. Where's the competition???? Somebody put up a struggle! I'll show you the loot later, right now I have to go catch up on what's happening in blogland. Toodles!
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