Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Crafts and Lessons

DH is gone to San Francisco for the week, leaving me quite at loose ends, and not sleeping too well because my cat wakes me up every hour to ask where dad is. Grrrr....he better get over that! So when I'm at loose ends I tend to get crafty, and I did. I have wanted new curtain rods in the family room and kitchen ever since we moved in, but because they are very large windows the long rods are either not available (in our little town), they're ugly, or they cost way more than I think curtain rods ought to cost. What is a curtain rod? Well, a long shaft-type affair with some kind of decorative finial at the ends. OK - one 10 foot length of electrical conduit is $1.97 - for the whole thing! At the craft store I bought wooden eggs, wooden candle cups, a piece of dowel and some hammered gold paint.
First, cut the dowel into 6 pieces, about 2 inches each. Screw thru the bottom of the candle cup into the end of a piece of dowel. Glue the egg onto the top rim of the candle cup, and let it all dry. Sand lightly, a couple coats of primer and a couple of paint, and voila!

It's a curtain rod! LOL! (those are not the brackets I'll be using - I have painted new ones to match the new rods)
NOW - I guess I better do something about curtains for the new rods?

I am so new to html and the intricacies of editing and have made a huge discovery. In trying to learn if I can change the background of my blog, I copied and pasted lots of background jpgs from websites offering those kinds of goodies, but none of them worked. I tried it from various webpages that I visited, with the same no luck. One evening while blog-rolling, I came across one of my favorites, Forest Jane Designs, and she has a beautiful quilty background there. I tried the copy and paste technique and it worked! Changed the background on my blog, and I was so excited it never occurred to me it might be copyrighted. Come to find out it is her own design and is indeed copyrighted. I sent her a note right away, and she was so gracious in accepting my apologies and giving me written permission, along with a very nice suggestion as to how this might be better handled in the future. I am very grateful for that, and embarrassed enough that I can't use the background now even tho she said I may. This lesson has pushed me to figure out what I was doing wrong, and learn how to copy and paste from my own files rather than someone elses' web page. It's probably only news to me, but Forest Jane, you have done a good thing for other page owners and designers, and novices like me. Thank you.

(Now I see that my new background only shows up in the preview on the edit html page, not on the live blog............oh well!)

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Monday, January 29, 2007

It's A ---


LOL -- this is the newest member-to-be of our family, at B-minus 12 weeks. I am amazed how much like a baby it looks! In fact, I think it looks like my son, don't you? Hee hee -- This is the first pre-birth picture I've ever seen of someone I will eventually know and love. I am just blown away. His/Her Mommy and Daddy have waited a long, long time for this little Peanut!
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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Blogger Rant

Stupid, stupid Blogger!! I've said all along I wouldn't change till they forced me, but I did it anyway and now it's all garped up. Suddenly all the comments are anonymous - does anyone have any ideas about why that happened and how to fix it? I guess it should be Stupid, stupid ME. I shouldn't have switched.

Upgraded; maybe

That was close! I finally caved in and did the upgrade because I liked the idea of fooling around with the colors and fonts more easily than html. Yes, it's easier, but my shiny new Q4P icon disappeared and I couldn't get it back! My little weather lady and counter were both gone, too. Clearly I have more to learn, LOL! I plan to keep fooling with it tho, it's fun! I'd like to have some of those really pretty backgrounds and pictures so I'll figure this out yet! Wish me luck........

Thursday, January 25, 2007


And the cutes just keep on comin'. LOL --

My DIL from next door, (the one with 5 kids!) came over the other day and asked if I would make a baby quilt for her to give as a gift at a baby shower. Of course! I sat her down with a bunch of books, and she picked this one from Mary Hickeys "Sweet and Simple Baby Quilts". And it was. I have to put the borders on yet, but already I kind of like it. It's SO not me! LOL - in fact, the setting squares were supposed to be another medium blue with little yellow flowers, but I just couldn't do it. It doesn't pop as wildly as the picture shows, but it's a little more lively than originally intended.
I have a lot of baby quilts in this year. One of my sons called to tell me their baby will be a boy, (yippee!) and the other son called to tell me they had seen their little peanut bouncing around like crazy in an ultrasound, and he's going to e-mail me a picture. Imagine!!
I have another set of plane reservations to go see my mom, and nothing (prayers) is going to stop me this time. I'm flying into Carlsbad, CA which is where Eleanor Burns is headquartered. Gee, I might just have to go find her store, ya think?
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Monday, January 22, 2007

Say Hello to my Little friend --

Every so often, the Bureau of Land Management has an auction of wild horses and donkeys collected from the deserts where there are way too many. About 4 years ago, DH and I went to one nearby and adopted a little 8 month old, wild-born donkey. He was so wild, that after the wranglers got him into our big horse trailer, he repeatedly body slammed the door trying to get out. We left earlier than planned because when the trailer is moving, they have to concentrate on keeping their legs braced and if he was doing that he couldn't so any damage to himself. At home, we turned him out into a small pasture by himself, with his halter and 20 foot long thick cotton rope left in place. I left him alone for a few days, then took a chair and book into his pasture and sat down to read. I ignored him. Pretty soon his curiosity got the better of him, and he started making wide circles around me. I ignored him. Over the next 45 minutes, the circle got smaller and smaller, and I ignored him. He even came up behind me, sniffing; I ignored him. Finally, he walked past me no more then a foot away, and stopped 5 feet in front of me with his back turned to me. The long rope was trailing him, right next to my chair, so I picked it up and slowly stood up, talking softly. The rodeo was on! He jumped and bucked and heaved and hoed, and whenever he stopped, I reeled in a little rope. It was a long workout for both of us, but when he got close enough to touch, I started scratching his neck with litle short scratches the way equines do to each other, still talking in a sing-song voice. By the end of the afternoon, I had my arm around his neck. 2 days later, he no longer ran from me at all, and by the end of the week he came when I called. Now he is my lap-donkey, and if I let him in the house he'd curl up on the couch! His name is Paco, and he is just the cutest thing around. He is smarter than any horse, even his 20 year-old partner, Dolly.

Paco trying to look pathetic so I'll scratch more. This is Dolly, my DH's horse;

(aka "Funny Face" and "Miss Lips") Dolly is about 20 or so, and no one rides her anymore except occasionally our oldest DGD next door. DH can't ride anymore, and I sold my horse a couple of years ago since that is no longer a big part of our lives, like it used to be. We love to watch these two characters play and harass each other, it's cheap entertainment! Every once in awhile, "Miss Lips" undoes a gate somewhere and they escape. The Highway Patrol isn't too happy with me, but hey! When you live in the country, these things happen. ((shrug)) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Happy Surprise!

My sneaky son!! The story went that they had found a Christmas present for me that they forgot to bring up at Christmas. They got here and handed me a Christmas present, and this is what I found:

Talk about HAPPY! Those two have been trying for several years without luck, and I was worried for them. Their younger sibs already have kids, and they're creeping to the mid-thirties. (Gosh, I guess my 35 yr old son is already there!) My younger son and DIL are also expecting #2 this summer, in June. What a riot of emotions this year promises to be. Two new grandbabies, and my mothers' illness. For now, joy is all I can feel. I called my mom and she is so happy - he is her first grandchild, and they have a special bond.
My DDIL is surrounded by quilters: her mom, her aunt and me. Think that child will have enough quilts? LOL! I better get busy -- 2 babies means a lot of sewing to do!
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Friday, January 19, 2007


After a long, long, long week. I have 2 simple wants for this weekend: finish the hearts, and cut diamonds. (gee, maybe I need to consider clubs and spades...hummm.....) The hearts needs borders because the original ones I put on turned to bllleeaaaccchh overnight. Just borders and quilting - 2 hours, tops. Another hour or so to hand stitch the binding, and that's it!!
The diamonds are looking good, now I want it bigger so need to cut a bunch more fabric, awwww shucks. And of course, needed to get some more dark FQs....awwww, durn! hee hee.

My kids killed most of my Saturday - they are planning an invasion. LOL! I never turn that down! I think they are a little spooked by their Grammas news and need to see their mom. Maybe -- I know I'm going crazy not being able yet to see MY mommy! She has been travelling back and forth from Utah to San Diego, and the latest word is that they have found another cancer - breast, this time. The good thing is, we have a teeeny reason to hope, because it's possible this may turn out to be the primary source of all the rest, if so it's very treatable. She will stay in SD for chemo, and I will fly there in week-long visits. So we are being cautiously optimistic, and she is in great spirits. We had a long hilarious phone conversation about how to use her new blood sugar monitor - diabetes came along with this cancer. She's also happy being at my uncles house, since it is surrounded by 20 acres of avacados, and she is, by her account, making a pig of herself. 4 or 5 avacados a day - good for her!! She needs to gain about 30 lbs. Wish I could arrange a donation, I sure have it to share! LOL! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hearts and History

My friends will be laughing.......... I'm a little anti-cute, but in my current state of frantically sewing anything in sight, I made these:

Yeah, they're cute. They're destined to be one of those long slim wall hangings, with the heart blocks set on point, one over the next. On the sides will be small charm squares, surrounded with white sashings. I saw this in a magazine, but I couldn't for the life of me tell you which one, or when. I drafted it up in EQ the way I remembered it looking. The really fun part here was upending my scrap basket onto the floor and picking out all the scraps! Just hacking away a chunk out of the chosen ones -- the squares are 2". Reds and purples I have galore; blues and greens, ummm, not so much. Speaking of floor, you see that carpet under the blocks? Yes, that is a medium gray semi-shag carpet. Very good quality, and I like it alot -- except in the sewing room. You can well imagine what it is to drop a pin or needle into this! Since I am of the barefoot persuasion, I usually can only find them with my toes! My dream is to pull out the carpet and put wood laminate down. Dream on, girl!
My friend Amazon sent me a new book today - "The Salt Lake City 14th Ward Album Quilt, 1857"

About a beautifully appliqued and embroidered album quilt, which some guy actually CUT IN HALF!!! He gave one half to each daughter, and away it went over the years. Generations later, the current owner of one half, who happens to be a quilter, was horrified to discover it cut - right down the center of the blocks, too -- not even on a seam. She got busy and tracked down the other half, then researched the makers. Most of the blocks were signed, and many of the ladies had re-searchable histories; the Mormans are fantastic keepers of history. (if you ever get the chance, go see the Pioneer Museum in SLC - it's magical!) Quite a few ladies had pictures as well, so we get to see the block maker and read a little about her life. Astonishingly, the corner setting blocks ( it's on point) were the appliqued ones, simply cut in half! Again, right thru the design. It's just a neat book -- I'm fascinated with old quilts and history in general, so it's riveting to me. Well worth a look. In fact, I think the 14th Ward and I need to go curl up and read some more! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Perfect Diamonds!

Late, late last night I pieced the first sets of the little diamonds, the 2 inch guys. What a challenge. Small 60 degree diamonds, hard to work with because of all that stretchy business they do, and hard to get good points because they don't nestle like a plain 4-patch does. S0, when I got the first few done, I carefully pressed them open and was SO impressed!! I did them right! The points are perfectly sharp, not overlapping, the total is still 60 degrees square.....I was so proud. It's great to tackle something outside of your comfort zone and have it work so well. Evidence:

Just fantastic. I wandered out to the kitchen to get another glass of water, and came back to sit and look. That's when I noticed one giant, fatal flaw. They're supposed to look like THIS:

OOPS!!! Dang it, Drats, Phooey, Nutz, FIDDLESTICKS!! And, to make it worse, on the next pile, I did the same thing to about half of them!! Clearly I'm not the sort to stay up very late sewing -- but I sure needed that long laugh.
This morning, it's cold and frosty and my little donkey has a stripe of white frost running down his chocolate colored back like a skunk. I'm writing up a list of things I need/want to do today, to whit:
Clean the nasty kitchen
Do my nails
close my clinics' time clock
finish the laundry
take two, 2 mile walks
Pretty ambitious, so I'm going to get on it right now. My washing machine takes 1 hr 25 minutes to wash one load, (front loaders are slow) so I'll start that and head out for my first walk. The rest will sort itself out as it will.
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Saturday, January 06, 2007

----- Or NOT

I didn't get to go afterall . The ariport is almost 4 hours from here, and by the time we were halfway there I knew I was too sick to go. Our area of California is being hit pretty hard by a digestive bug called Norovirus, and it's my turn. Many of our patients and staff have had it and there's just no hiding. Whatever, it's nothing to take to my mother, so we turned around. Clearly God has a reason to not have me see my Mom right now, so I'm trying to be very patient. Got home, went to bed and got up about an hour ago with no "Umph" . I'll putter in the sewing room between naps, and go visit all the blogs -- see you soon!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Flyin South

Well -- Mom is still in San Diego for a few more days before she heads back to Utah, and I may or may not get to go spend a few weeks anytime soon. SO - today I decided I can't wait, I have to go get my eyes and hands on her. Tomorrow I'm getting on a plane and jetting to San Diego to spend 24 hours with her. Hopefully that'll hold me till I get the good visit.
Bon Voyage!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

On the design wall tonight

There's times you just have to sew, for sewings sake. I don't have anything ready and handy to mindlessly feed into the machine, so some quick stripping and voila! You have some "no-thinkum" sewing. I'll give this to the daughter of one of our patients who is expecting her first baby, and they haven't 2 spare dimes to rattle.

My step-father called me at work today, asked if I had some time and a private place to talk. I was in my office surrounded by 3 people with problems and I just walked out. He put my Mom on, and she told me about the appointment at Scripps Institute in San Diego. There is no reason to be hopeful. They 'might' have a treatment that 'might' buy her a few more months or even up to a year, but she is so debilitated already that it seems unlikely. She finally admited to being in pain and too nauseated to eat. She says she is "skeletal". They will be back and forth between Utah and San Diego for the next couple of weeks, so I am put off again, but they both promise to let me know as soon as they are settled back home. I am beyond grief again tonight. Writing always helps, and I wrote out 2 full pages of my memories of her, single spaced, one liners. Like - "Stabbing a horse in the butt with an ice pick in Montana"
and, "Doing the Twist, New Years Eve 1962". My hope is that I can get beyond the worst of this grief and shock so that when I go to visit her I can be as composed as she is. For now, I need to get this little quilt put together and quilt it at mach 4, with smoke and flames pouring out the back end of my Janome.
Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement and comments. I'm a little surprised at how helpful that is; then again, quilters are just wonderful friends, even unseen.
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Monday, January 01, 2007

New Years Resolutions and other Fables

I wonder why we assume that every New Year we can magically become and do all the things we've put off for the last umpty-ump years? I rarely make sweeping New Years resolutions because I beat myself up too badly when I don't make it happen. Instead, I set smaller, bite sized goals throughout the year. Then it's only a matter of little pinches instead of full out war on myself! LOL! One goal I am determined to make tho is the matter of the Stash.

Geeesh, what a mess. I don't even have a good idea of what's in there anymore, and the shelves extend another 18 inches inside both sides of the closet opening. Every so often I pull something out from where it doesn't belong, and think "what were you thinking stuffing this gorgeous red in with the whites?" SO; it has to happen.
On the plus side is the cleaning I did the other day - I am SO enjoying this! The far end of the (72" long) cutting table seems to be a clutter kingdom, where lots of little lost things go to hide. This is a before pic, but not one taken at it's worst - do ya think I want photographic evidence of that???

Moving that dresser in eliminated a ton of clutter and inspired a little overhaul of the table top. Much less cluttered now and hopefully I can keep it like that. As soon as the cows come home.

On roller skates.

May all your resolutions either come true, or vaporize and not nag you!