Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I had my Christmas early with my kids and Grands this past weekend, and of course it was fab-o! Meet the next Tom Cruise getting all Risky Business on us:
Oh man -- those two little boys are more fun than puppies. I got them matching HUGE Tonka trucks, and without a word they both immediately crawled in and sat down.
And of course, you have to have the obligatory kid-in-a-sack - it's just not Christmas without one!
My present to my boss and her husband is this quilt - a UFO from last year that never really had a future. Now tho - it's perfectly suits both their style and their colors, and I'm going to be thrilled to give it to them. Those two have been real friends and huge blessings to me - they've been supportive and encouraging thru out my bad dream of the past few months.
In better news -- MUCH better news --- I had a date this past Sunday! Oh gosh - to suddenly be 16 again - how funny! No doubt you, like me, have forgotten what a "first date" is like -- all nerves and worrying about what to wear! LOL! It's been a long long time, but nothing changed! So good for my battered psyche, I tell you. We had a wonderful, easy time - walked in the rain for probably an hour. I'm starting to believe that there's an end to this darkness, and 2009 will be terrific for me.
I hope your Holiday is everything you want it to be - Thanks for visiting!
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Progress at Last!

I finally got disgusted and bored enough that I tackled the sewing room instead of shutting the door. Remember this?

Ohhh man -- painful. There was a LOT more in that picture that you can't see - because I couldn't get to the other side of the room for a back shot! So Sunday I spent 6 solid hours - with only a couple short breaks - putting up shelves and lighting and unpacking.....and it's finally done to a state of usefulness.
The last bit to do will be to put up the design wall, but I was just too bushed to tackle it after everything else.
The window over the cutting table looks out onto the far back side of a schoolyard playground - very park like. Unpacking was a real treasure hunt! The idea behind my sudden move was speed, not finesse, so the boxes were interesting! My 3 quilty friends packed with love, and I wonder if they didn't have some giggles too, anticipating my un-packing? At any rate, it was actually fun - and there's still some stuff I can't find - but I know there's a couple more boxes buried in the garage. **sigh**
Setting up my original room happened over time, in bits and pieces so I never realized how much STUFF I have, or how much work to put together. I can't wait to get busy....
In other news - I continue my recovery, trying to stay occupied. I sure wish it wasn't Christmas, it would be a lot easier. I'm missing him and missing my home and missing all the wonderful Christmas traditions and missing all my extended family (in-laws) but I'll be seeing them soon. I skipped out on my guilds' Christmas party because it makes me too sad - I can deal pretty well if I stay out of stores and away from reminders and carols. I've tiptoed into church a few times to light candles and remember that even though He's not giving me what I want, He has MORE THAN given me what I need. I have a lot to be thankful for.  My best bud Cuervo continues to improve but still has a couple more weeks in his cage - it will be SO NICE to have him to snuggle again!
I hope everyone has a warm happy holiday, and thanks for visiting!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanks - I needed that!

What a wonderful Thanksgiving I had! Wednesday after work I packed up my broken kitty and headed down south to stay with my daughter for a few days. It was the BEST medicine I could have asked for! Three days of grandkids:
Helping my granddaughter make her very first pumpkin pies - and she was so excited! At 5, she can break eggs into a bowl and not leave a single piece of shell. We had a wonderful, special time in the kitchen.
Thanksgiving day, we all piled into my sons' house, where we enjoyed a day of bedlam. Four kids, 2 of them toddlers; a yellow lab, a tiny new puppy TOO DARN cute!! Video games on one TV and football on another - too many cooks in the kitchen and all of them giggling.
Can you stand it - her name is Bailey and she has the same birthday as my granddaughter and I. We even had a hamster-in-a-ball - ROFL! This guy was hysterical - he ran that ball all over the house and I think I hurt myself laughing. Too bad poor Cuervo is confined to a crate - he would have LOVED chasing this guy!
Sunday morning I woke up alone in my new place and suddenly it all came back. I haven't really had a chance to unpack or find everything yet so I worked on that awhile, then decided I'm going to do some painting! There was a wall in the dining area covered with panelling from the 70's and it was dark, dank and depressing so I painted it a mild, mellow antique china color -- maybe it could be called margarine colored! The kitchen cabinets are also a dismal, 70's dark green masonite and they're going to get the same treatment. The painted wall sure perked things up! I even put up a few Christmas decorations.
I tackled a big thing to today too -- I hooked up my dryers' gas line all by myself! Whoo-hoo! Man - what a sense of achievement, I'm so proud of me. And the house hasn't even blown up -- LOL! Now I'm in business -- if I could just find my pots and pans..........
Baby bok choys for dinner, and maybe some pesto. Mark that down in the PLUS column - I don't have to cook if I don't feel like it. And pretty soon - I', taking on that sewing room - I really really want to sew something! I'm getting jealous reading about everyones' wonderful projects. In fact - maybe I'll go do that now!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Starting from Ashes

Thank you all for the good wishes; I could never have imagined how much it matters. Thinking about all of you makes that "Lone Ranger" feeling back off for awhile. And I have such good news about Cuervo!! He finally got to come home yesterday, after an entire week in the hospital.

He has to be confined to the crate for a month - poor baby. I can take him out for short periods but only if he's going to be immobile on my lap. You can see how much of his beautiful coat was shaved. What you can't see is the huge ugly suture line under his arm. He seems comfortable though, he even puts some weight on that leg. And he is sure happy to be back with me. I wonder if he's a bit confused about where he is NOW?? He came home to a different home than he left, but his little nose has been busy checking things out. He is right smack in the middle of the dining room table, in the center of all the action. Later today I'll be packing him up again, and we're going to travel down to my daughters' for Thanksgiving with all my kids and grands. ***VBG***
When I get back, I have to face the daunting task waiting in the sewing room:
Oh dear. I keep peeking in there, then kind of feel faint and gently close the door. I have to figure out where to start! I still can't find the remote for the bedroom TV, but finally turned up my hair dryer. Getting settled is going to be an adventure for awhile...........
Have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving - I know I will.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I've gotten a number of really lovely e-mails making sure I'm OK. Well, yes and no. I am physically fine but heartbroken and a bit of an emotional mess. As events played out, I discovered the real reason for my husbands sudden request for divorce is the girlfriend he's been with for many many months. Put a whole new dimension on HURT. This past Sunday, 14 friends and family descended on my house shortly after he left for the day, and within 4 hours we had completely emptied 4 rooms and moved me into my own place. Those wonderful people who love me are my heros! I can't thank them enough. So now I begin the business of learning to be alone and healing. That same soon-to-be-ex is also responsible for my nearly losing my dear old friend Cuervo. He kicked my beloved cat so hard that he dislocated his shoulder, shattered both bones in his upper arm/leg and tore up the tendons. When the vet told me the extent of the damage and the cost of surgery to repair it, I had a complete meltdown - I don't have the money, having had to retain a lawyer and rent a house, I'm tapped out. The thought of losing not only my husband, but my home and then my nearly 18 year old cat was just more than I could take. I asked the vet for some time to think about it. Several hours later, the vet called me back and told me he would do the surgery, recovery, and care for free. No charge. You know those huge gasping happy sobs you just can't hold back? "I haz dem." I will not forget his kindness, and once back on my feet I'm already thinking up ways to thank him, and hopefully raise funds so that he can be able to help someone else in the future.
Meantime, LIFE goes on, and this Thanksgiving I am giving greater thanks than ever for my family.

16 month old Jayden, my flirty grandson. Is he all boy, or what? This doll can actually recognize and read several words! His Daddy has been working with him with flashcards and shocked the daylights out of me! Before the move, I was working on a quilt for my oldest granddaughter, the horse-crazy Devin. It started with Fons and Porters boot pattern:
From there I did up some silhouettes and featured them in the center:
And that's as far as it got before the design wall came down and I have no idea where that project may be now. My sewing room was packed with love by 3 quilty friends and they worked so hard! The goal of moving day was speed, not finesse, so I have a HUGE mess of boxes, bags, suitcases, trash cans, etc holding my entire stash and supplies. It will take me a long time to sort thru and get a room put back together but that's OK. I can do it, and even if her quilt is late getting to her she will love it.
Thanks to everyone for your good thoughts. I'll be slowly finding a new "normal" and you can bet that YOU will be a big part of it!
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Punkin' Tutorial

We made these cute, easy punkins' at retreat this past weekend and I wanted to share with you. Our wonderful Retreat Mum, Kerrie, brought the instructions for these, but I don't know where she got it. You'll need fabric, at least 7 x 14, and twigs, twine and leaves. I used real leaves here, but silk would probably last longer. You can use raffia, twine or decorative cording - they all look great! You also need a glue gun or some kind of tough glue.

Cut your fabric 7 x 14. Any dimension that is rectangular will work, and different proportions will make different shaped punkins. This measurement makes a punkin' about the size of a grapefruit. Fold it over right sides together and sew up the short side:
Press the seam out - any old which way. Then you need to do a bit of handwork. With a doubled thread, fold over one edge just once about 1/4 inch and make a long running stitch all the way around.
Gather it up as tight as it will go, but DO NOT cut off the thread. You'll have a puckery little belly button:
Turn it inside out and stitch the puckers closed, as sloppy as you want! NOW you can knot it and clip it off.
Do the same gathering stitch to the other side, again DO NOT cut your thread. Stuff your punkin' as firm or soft as you like. BTW - if you've stuffed things before and not liked the "lumpy" look, tear off that stuffing in wispy little bits instead of grabbing a handful. When it's as firm as you like, pull up that thread into another pucker, knot it off and clip the thread.
I think it takes something less than a yard of cording, and here's where you wrap it around the punkin' in equal divisions. Put the first strand directly on the seam (for camouflage) and wrap it around, tying it in the center. Do the same for 2 or 3 more divisions, whatever look you like. When you've done all the wrapping and tying, you have this:
Finally the fun part!! Pick a good stem and glue it down into the opening. If you want, you can twist pipe cleaners or florists wire around something skinny like a paintbrush and glue those in next to the stem.
Overlap the leaves, gluing each one as you go. Suddenly, VIOLA!
You have a punkin! Check my previous post for a group shot - all the different fabrics looked great! And a big basket of these will decorate clear thru Thanksgiving - and make great gifts. Have fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Retreat Time!!

Retreat is always the high point of my year - 4 days of self-indulgent quilty behavior and chocolate! What else could you want? I always have a blast, make new friends and spend too much at my favorite quilt store. Plus I get to enjoy cool, foggy coastal weather and get away from the heat of our little inland valley -- bliss!!
So for a quick report before I scurry back to the real world office that awaits me, here's what we all did as a Take'nMake project:

Thes pumpkins were so adorable!! I'll try to get it together and do a tute on them - too easy, too fun and waaaay too cute!! I didn't work on any one big project this time, I worked on a bunch of little ones. Remember the FSQS? I made a cute flowery applique quilt for my partner in Oz, and have wanted to make another one for myself ever since. So - here was my chance! I had a ball playing with the placement:
I even scrounged bright scraps from other retreaters so I have scraps of memories in there too! I have more to show, but I have to hustle off to the Outside world now -- and my bags aren't even unpacked yet! ***sigh***
Thanks for stopping by!
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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sewing Again

You have to love quilt shows - there's definitely something magic that just gets the mojo turnin'. Sure enough, I finally, finally got something moving in the sewing room! This will be a re-make of a Fons and Porter design that I made several years ago and promptly lost to my daughter. (Oh thanks Mom! I love it!) Huh? Wait....oh dear. I've promised myself over and over that I'd make another one for me but of course then couldn't find the pattern again. This afternoon I made a concerted effort, went thru 4 towers of magazines and finally found it. Why don't we ever look in the last place first? How come it's ALWAYS in the last place? LOL -- so without further to-do, let me introduce the new-born witch sisters Hetta and Gracie, and two of their playmates; nameless spirits at this point:
Geeeesh.......never thought 2 blocks would make me feel so accomplished.
I promised you more of Judy Mathieson, and here ya go. I love this quilt, the lowly 9-patch with applique. I know there's one in me somewhere, I drool over every one I see. This one is beautiful. I snapped the first picture from 20 or 25 feet away, (so the flash wouldn't wipe it out), then checked it out in the camera. I enlarged it and when I did I noticed something odd.

Peculiar. Weird, even. So I ran up to look closer..... (you can click on it)

It's all dogs!!!

None of those flowers are flowers, they're all fussy cut dogs, every last one! It's brilliant! While I stared in amazement I could hear Judy giggling - she says "I love watching people find that!" Oh man, I bet! I had to hang around and watch a few folks find it too -- what fun! Just proves again what I've always thought. The woman is a genius.
It's off to bed for me - cross your fingers that this go-sew swing hangs on for awhile. Maybe long enough to clean up my mess?? LOL!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Eating Crow

Well -- by now you're familiar with the whole sorry tale of the Civil War battle that raged in Northern CA a few weeks back and resulted in a quilt known as The Rebel. This past weekend was the annual Falling Leaves Quilt Show in Lakeport, CA. and The Rebel comes home a decorated war veteran. Third place!!!
I was shocked - you should have seen the rest of the entries in that category! They were awesome! So, Humble Crow Pie it is, and I guess I have to be nicer to my rebel vet now. ROFLOL!!
The featured quilter this weekend was Judy Mathieson, a wonderful sweet and mad talented lady from not too far away. Her quilts are jaw dropping!
Oh my gosh -- scary beautiful.
It really does glow....

Oh my. What eye candy. She had another one hanging that you would never have guess was hers - I'll show you that one later. Two days hanging around all this eye candy was enough to even get me off my lost-mojo fanny, and I started cleaning up my sewing room. See, I haven't sewn a thing since finishing The Rebel but I have dumped stuff in there. Erk. Now I have a little more than a week to get it together and get ready for retreat, so I better get on it.
No change on the home front. It's getting sad, lonely and scary being here with him down the hall. Thank you SO MUCH for keeping us in your prayers and good thoughts. I'm hanging tough and keeping faith and trying to remember that Life has to keep on moving...... if I could just channel that into the sewing room!
Thanks for stopping by!
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Monday, September 29, 2008

One Day at a Time

There's that word again -- TIME TIME TIME......... I have this sneaking suspicion that TIME is not my friend: but on we go.  No change on the home front.   I've picked myself up off the floor and planted my feet so we have what's called in these parts - a "Mexican-Standoff".  No un P/C intention there, it just an old description of two unmovable forces.   SO -- he says "I want" and I say NO.  

Meantime, I had a long-planned yard sale this past weekend, to unload piles of stuff that has been clogging up closets/storage sheds/cupboards.    Amazingly, I did really well!  What little was left fit into the trunk of my car and will go to Goodwill today, and I am $450 richer!  Whoo-hoo!   My daughter came up Saturday to hang out and help out with the sale and we had a wonderful visit.   I only had to restrain her from beating up Hubby 3 times, I thought it would be more.........**jeeeesh**
In other good news, the annual Quilt Retreat on the coast is coming up and boy am I looking forward to THAT!   My friend that usually goes with me cancelled out because she's pretty upset with me still for leaving the dialysis clinic.  (See, we were a team there)  so I'll miss having her there, but another friend of mine stepped in and bought her place so I wouldn't be there alone - how nice!!!  She told me I need a friend with me at all times, and so she's going and I love her to bits.   
I leave you with these funnies - thoughts to live by:
1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative
on the same night.
2. Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often.
3. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than standing
in a garage makes you a car.
4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
5. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never
tried before.
6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
8. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice
person. (This is very important. Pay attention!
It never fails.)
9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government
10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the
11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
12. A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so
13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.
14. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.
15. No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.
16. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the
waist change places.
18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.
19. Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks
before you need it.
20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's all Bad

I feel like an emotional roller coaster - normally my personality is upbeat and happy, but the past few years Life has thrown some doozies at me and I fight to keep my head up.  Now I have another really BIG one.  My husband, overwhelmed by his grief and depression, has formed the opinion in his mind that I am responsible for Tims death and he wants a divorce - immediately.   To say I'm shocked is the understatement of the century - all the air has been knocked out of me.   This blog will probably be going dark for quite some time while I figure out what to do and how to do it and how to survive this.  Keep up your wonderful blogs - I love reading them and I can't get my day going without seeing what everyones' up to.  

Monday, September 08, 2008

Guilds are a GOOD THING, Martha!

How do you like my NEW LOOK? There's some things I want to add and the banner's not right, but I'm workin' on it!

Saturday was our monthly guild meeting, our last one in the tiny hall that we've outgrown. Our speaker was Don Linn also known as Mr. Quilt. He brought his Quilt 'O' Matic to demo and it was hilarious! What a show! And what quilting - this guy is fantastic. We even got to pass his quilts around and take a close CLOSE look, and there's no fault to be found. It was a terrific lighthearted day! Maybe the best part was when he picked on my dear friend Rosie to come up and "make a quilt" using the energy ball. Her first one wasn't so great, so he held her hand to "add his energy" to hers -- ROFLOL!! She was a great sport and played along and we all howled with laughter -- it was campy and ridiculous and just what the doctor ordered!

I took this with my i-Phone and for a cell phone picture it's not bad. I haven't even edited it yet! I think this definately has to be in the newsletter, don't you?
Thanks for visiting my newly re-vamped blog -- one of these days I'll figure out how to get all my fun thingys back.....

Saturday, September 06, 2008

As the World Turns

Sometimes Life just sucks - that's all there is to it. And oftentimes - quite often in fact, bad things happen to good people and everyone is left to deal with the mess the best they know how. About a month ago, the 19 yr old son of a friend of mine took his life because of a failed romance. I wish these kids could see just how the destruction they leave behind ruins the lives of everyone they love. In their pain they assume no one will care and of course not only are they so wrong, but they can't imagine how far the ripples of their selfish act will spread. His death ripped open unhealed wounds in our house of Tim's death 4 years ago; also at age 19, also by his own hand. DH had a complete meltdown, becoming in turns nasty and surly, or weepy/inconsolable or just silent. To make matters worse, Tim's birthday is approaching and of course it's always a hard time. I'm clinging to my newly-found good mental health and trying to figure out the best way to help my husband and deal with my own sadness and thoughts of Tim and there just hasn't been a lot of room in there for much else. Relentlessly, Life goes on............
Last Sunday, I pecked a bit in my sewing room and DH pecked a bit in his shop, and midway thru the day our pastor pulled up to the house, hopped out and handed Hunny a package saying "I was thinking of you two today" and drove off, all in a minutes time. Hunny brought it in to me - a HOT loaf of fresh bread, right out of the oven! The first thing I did was take a picture.........

OK OK -- so that was the second thing I did. Now as amazing as that is - here's the rest of the story. Pastor and his wife live about 15 miles from us! This bread was HOT - it melted the butter! That simple act felt like a huge blessing - like rain breaking a heatwave or a warm quilt on a cold night, or hugs from Grandma. It felt like someone was telling us - "I care" and of course, Someone was. It had quite a profound effect on me. And Life goes on.........
Remember the cute little carved wooden seam ripper I found on my vacation a couple of months ago? Well, I showed my friend Rosie, who ran home and told her Honey, who owns a lathe and started making some! Today at Guild she gave me one for my upcoming birthday!

Is that gorgeous, or WHAT?? It's made from madrone, an extremely dense hardwood native to California and very beautiful. The handle as you can see is large, fits perfectly in my big mitt - and I can't hardly put it down! It's soft and smooth and feels like a worry stone in my hand - I think I held it most of the way thru the guild meeting. Oh shoot -- I have another early birthday present to show you but forgot to take a picture. Gee -- you'll have to stay tuned! Life goes on..............
I took the Rebel to guild for Show'n'Tell and got a good response, and even tho we're more than a month past the quilt show deadline they were a few quilts short so the Rebel will stand again. Guess I better finish clipping all the threads. If it wins so much as an honorable mention I guess I'll have to forget all about the PAIN it caused me!!! ROFL -

There's probably someone in your life struggling to deal with the fact that Life does go on. If you're so inclined remember them in your prayers, or take them a loaf of bread. What looks healed on the surface after some time has passed could still be raw underneath and you might just light up their day.
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Still around - sorta

We're having major LIFE happening around our house lately so I've been really quiet.  Don't know yet if everything will be OK - it's a day-by-day process.   Not too much happening in the quilting either - except the binding is done on The Rebel and now I really like the quilt!   I'm still rolling through everyones' blogs and I'll be back when the dust settles.

Have a good one, whatever it is!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A GRAND mail day!

It was Bren!! Bren was my swap partner for 4SQS/summer, and looky what she made for me!!
To say I'm excited is a little understated -- I love this! And BREN made it! LOL - it's fantastic, and check out the hand stitching, it's so fine! AND to make it even sweeter - 2 magazines that I really like and never buy for myself -

THANK YOU Bren! It's so cool to have a Secret Sister and have it turn out to be someone you "know" - I'm so tickled! In the same mail day was my new exercise bike - quiet, comfortable and easy to ride:

(Looky, Mama! I got it!) My Mom has one of these and I rode hers a bit in Utah and gee, you can't ask for nicer. I need to exercise more - who doesn't? - and DH hates my treadmill with a passion, it's too noisy. I like to watch TV when I exercise, and do it early in the morning, so that pretty well killed THAT. So the bike is silent, nary a whisper from it, and as comfortable as my easy chair. Our local stores don't carry it so it came from a CyberStore, arriving yesterday with my beeeyootiful 4SQS. Happy me!

Today I'm cleaning like a crazy woman - I host Bunko this Wednesday night and it's always a huge production. This group always goes all out, and every party is a Martha Stewart production, complete with full dinner for 12, dessert/coffee/great prizes/etc. So the carpet in my family room, under the bike above, was kind of grungy and it got shampooed this morning. HUGE job - all the family room furniture is outside in the carport. I need to come up with a menu, shop, get all the gifts together and wrapped, make up fancy score cards, shop some more and on Wednesday thank goodness I get off work early. HOWEVER - I don't have tomorrow to do anything because tomorrow I have to make that dreaded 150 mile round trip for DGS' first birthday party and that will effectively wipe out an entire day of preparation. PLUS I haven't finished the tablecloths. Am I in trouble or what? Guess I better get a move on....Thanks for stopping by!

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