Monday, July 28, 2008


Small things amuse small minds, so even though it is just one more little step, I am proud of myself for not being behind on the StashMystery. I even have another week before the next clue. Since it is getting closer, the gypsy in my blood is feeling like maybe it needs another color or two. My thoughts are go with plan A and just do green and purple, plan B is add a narrow yellow border before the regular border, and plan C would be to do something like a piano key border with yellow and blue added. Now back to reality and the real lag-behinder me, maybe I can get back working on my Carolina Crossroads.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Donna's Beautiful Quilt Arrived

Yesterday was a wonderful mail day. I got this squishy envelope, which I instantly knew what was inside, but controlled myself a bit, so I could share. My instinct was ooh, ooh, ooh, and rip, rip, rip, but I slowed down, and grabbed my camera instead. Even the paper was special, as Donna from Donna's - In The Attic had scanned the label fabric and used it for a cover letter. That and her pretty card just added to the anticipation.

As you can see, the quilt is even more exquisite than the letter and if you were in person, you could see that it is even more beautiful than the pictures. The label is beautiful (how does she write so tiny and so neat) the fabrics are beautiful, and the quilting is perfect. My husband was nice enough to hold it up for me, so I could get the entire quilt, front and back.

I thought it looked pretty on the back of the family room couch, but when I went in my sewing room I realized that I couldn't see it, so I went and got it and put it at the end of the bed. It looks pretty there too. I'm not sure yet where its actual home will be, but it is so pretty that it will look nice anywhere. I think that I am very very fortunate indeed, and it will always be treasured.

Thread Stand With Thread

A few people said they'd like to see the thread stand with thread, including my brother, and since he donated a small part of his pinky finger to the cause, I felt it only right to honor his request. I tried to use a variety of sizes of thread, from embroidery to large, right on up to serger cones. It took all sizes well. The pegs are 3 inches apart. I also numbered the pegs, but the thread is covering it up. Just used a sharpie pen.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hens and Chicks, Baby Quilt, Sewing Manuals, AC

Today has been long and tiring, but a lot has gotten done. I started the day early, and looked out my back window to see what looked like 2 large foxes in the field behind my house. I am almost 100% sure that they were coyotes, and that they live under the tree in the field about 50 yards from my back yard. After seeing them, I realized that I don't see stray cats anymore, and I have been missing my quail, and I wonder if the coyotes ate them, if so I'm not too fond of coyotes.

The two pots of hens and chicks are new to me. I had mentioned how much I like them, and Julie of Julie's Blog was kind enough to send me the plants in the pot with the mushroom, some real beauties, and the plants in the pot with the gnome I ordered from Mountaincrest Gardens. I had to wait a little while, but I ordered 2, and they sent 4, so I was very happy. Aren't they great, and it was so nice of Julie.
This (below, and in the closet) is a picture of what took all day today. We had 2 workers here working from about 9 am until about 6 pm installing our new AC, and they will be back tomorrow morning about 9 am to finish. They still have to do some odds and ends, and some attic work. Since we live in Central Florida, the earlier they get started the better, as the attic can be brutal. I hate that we had to spend the money, but it will be so nice not to be worrying practically on a daily basis about our old one breaking down.
The notebook is a project that I thought of, and hope I don't regret. I have several machines now, a serger, an embroidery machine, a Janome Jem, my old trusty Bernina 1130, and I seem to never be able to find the manuals when I need them. I made copies of the ones I could, so if I ever sell them I will have the manuals individually still, but I took the copies to Kinko's and had them put them all in a spiral binding with dividers. Now I have a big manual all in one place, I hope that it will simplify my life. If you ever do anything similar, copy what you need first, as they don't copy anything copywrited.
While the workers were working, I was working, too. I started and finished this baby quilt today, I'm still amazed by myself. It is a simple little quilt, but for me it was an accomplishment. I embroidered the back, and got the binding ready, too. It is another Crazy Big Block from the Stashbuster workshop pattern. DH is holding it up, and the border is a lighter purple than it looks like in the picture. It's 9:20 pm, and I still have more to do, I hope to mail the baby quilt and OC off tomorrow to the longarmer and need to pack it up and do my click and ship. That is what inspired me to work work work on my baby quilt today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Brother Made Me a Laptop Desk!

I finally received my new desk that was made from all either recycled or discarded lumber. My brother is very proud of the fact that my new desk is 'green', and so am I. I hope I'm getting this all right. The legs were made from an old door. He isn't positive of the type of wood, but it is very very heavy, and some of his woodworking friends think it may be Brazilian cherry. The top is 1 inch thick mahogany (was a 1 1/2 inch board) and he rescued it from the bottom of a woodpile that belonged to an old woodworker. The drawer front is birdseye maple, and it is from an old lamp table he thinks is probably from about the 5o's. The first picture is part of what he wrote on the back of the drawer. The hardware he rescued from a dumpster that he frequents, it belongs to a lumber yard, and he has gotten many treasures from it. The other day he had gotten 7 or 8 of these drawer pulls still in the packages, and solid brass. It looks nice in the pictures, but they don't do it justice, it is beautiful.

The thread stand he and my other brother made for me. I had only requested a scrap of lumber with some nails, but they nicened it up for me with my brothers woodworking tools. The metal dowels were rods that he cut and then smoothed with a grinder. The only mishap, was my younger brother nicked a piece of his little finger on one of the tools.
It was a nice weekend, as my youngest brother Martin, came with the table and stand (it was like Christmas in July, but presents only for me) and stayed for a couple of days and visited and did jobs for me that my husband has been unable to do, and we got to meet my oldest brother Vincent, for lunch yesterday and I got to thank him in person. I definitely hit the jackpot with my brothers, they are wonderful.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Orange Crush Back, Stashmystery, Turning Twenty

I finally got my backing done for the OC, and will send it off next week to the LA. I hardly ever do labels, this is just the second. The OC is kind of a playful quilt, even though it is labor intensive, so my label is also playful, as you can see, it may be a candidate for the Guinness Book of World Records, for the biggest label ever.

I also finished step 3 of the StashMystery, a new record for me, as the next clue isn't due until Tuesday. The blocks are getting smaller and smaller, I finished that last night.
Two of my grandson's came over today and worked some more (they did some a couple days ago) trimming our trees, and spraying weeds. They sure did in an hour or so what would have taken DH and I several, that's if he was even up to helping. Oh to be young again, I guess the next best thing is grandkids who are.
When they left DH and I went to JoAnn's, and I got my YoYo tool for Donna's in the Attic Challenge. I'm looking forward to doing some yoyo's. I did some kind of primitive ones in the past, but I didn't have a tool, and didn't really know what I was doing. Donna's are beautiful, she is so talented. I am very excited to have won some of her work.
I didn't get my Turning Twenty pattern in time for her quilt show, but I have it now and am going to do the little version for our pregnant dentist's new baby due this month. If I practice, I may even try to quilt it myself, the fabrics are below. Today I got 9 fat quarters, and so with the fabric that I already had, I have enough for the Turning Twenty. The two yellows in the left corner won't go in this one, as she is having a girl and they have trains and fire hydrants, and the alphabet fabric above it is for the backing. I hope it turns out half as pretty as Donna's are. My niece is pregnant and hoping for a boy, so I figure I could leave out the pinks, add the yellows and add a couple more baby boy fabrics, and I'll be in business.
I won't be doing any quilting or sewing for a few days, as my new desk and my brother are coming tomorrow. It was supposed to be both of my brothers, but due to domestic problems with a seperated wife, it will only be one. I'm disappointed, but I understand, as he has to protect his property. Sad huh.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I Can't Believe I Won!

Have you ever seen a more beautiful little quilt? I haven't, and now I will be enjoying it every day. I got up this morning and checked Donna's blog, DONNA'S In The Attic, hoping but not expecting to win. I followed along reading the captions, saw I was number 12 followed along some more and saw that 12 was on the winning paper, couldn't believe it, so went up and double checked, and then still thinking it was too good to be true read the rest until I got to my name. Wow, it is so beautiful. I so enjoyed following along as Donna made her quilts, and with this one when she used the animal print I thought, "Mother loved animal prints, that is so neat". I will love this quilt for many reasons.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Gnomes

Today was haircut day, and then as I had ordered two "hen and chicks" plants
(Echeveria) I needed to get a pot to plant them in. I had gotten a little gnome on a nail for my avacado tree pot, and liked it so decided to go to Target as that is where they came from. Fortunately, when I got there they had their gnomes for 75 percent off (yeah), and they were out of gnomes on a nail, but they did have mushrooms on a nail (also 75 percent off), so I got two, one for my ginger, and one for my hen and chicks.

I have two other gnomes with a gardening theme, so decided to get these two with the birdwatching theme. These remind me of my father-in-law, who passed away about 7 years ago. He was a real nature boy, and loved his garden and the birds. I was quite happy, as I got forty-eight dollars worth for twelve dollars. I would definitely say that my screened in porch has a gnome theme now.
I have a brown thumb, but am getting a little proud of myself, as I have kept my lucky bamboo alive and thriving for about a year and a half, my orchid for about 3 months, and grew my avacado tree from a seed and have kept it alive for about a year now. I hope that I have good luck with my new plants, too. Hey, it's a beginning.

Picture Posting Help

Just a head's up to others who like me have a hard time making blogger put their photos where they want them, instead of where blogger wants them, Tracy of Fiber Babble noticed my distress and offered to help:

"Coming up: A 3-part explanation of how to insert pictures into your Blogger posts without uploading them to Blogger. (This is for Candace, but anybody who wants to can use it!)"

So, if you are one of the others who I have heard lamenting the same problem, watch Tracy's blog, as help is on the way. Thank you very much Tracy for taking the time to help us with this.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Quilt Giveaway

Dana at Old Red Barn Co. is having a giveaway for an absolutely beautiful quilt.

Is this gorgeous or what? Winners will be announced July 23. Good Luck.

Brillante Weblog Premio-2008

I have been nominated for the Brillante Weblog Premio-2008 award by Amanda of Amanda's Musings, Rhonda of Doxie's on My Quilt, and Deb of Somebody's Mum. It is so nice to have been accepted as a friend by such special people. Amanda was one of the first bloggers that I met, and we started blogging about the same time, I have learned a lot about a lot of things from her. Rhonda's blog is a delight and so is she, her quilts and her children and their adventures are always so interesting. Deb I have met a little more recently, but her blog is so interesting with her quilts, her little guy, and the pictures of winter when it is so hot and steamy here. Quilting bloggers are a wonderful thing.

The rules are as follows:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog/
2. Link to the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Put links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

My winners are:
I must preface this by saying that I don't really have favorite blogs, I have probably over 100 in my Google Reader, and I enjoy every one of them. I could take any and nominate them for any blogging award, I guess that these were just the lucky ones today. We all have our days when we have more or less to talk about and share, and sometimes there are e-mails going back and forth due to common interests, and sometimes it gets a little quieter. Unfortunately, the number is seven, and here they are:
Calidore Catherine- I enjoy reading about her family and their adventures, and of course seeing her quilts. She is one of my Australian friends, and I enjoy all their blogs so much, and learning about their country.
Four Wise Monkeys Rachel- What can I say, quilts, stitchery and cute kids.
Heart in His Hand Quilting Margo- Beautiful furnishings, beautiful quilts, Christmas has already started, and an adorable bluebird just to start.
I Live on a Farm Firefly- If you want to read a very heartwarming beautiful tribute go to her blog and read her post for today. Also, if you like kittens and flowers and beautiful things, starting with her own sweet face.
'Tis the Gift Tracy- She has beautiful quilts and a beautiful child, and puts in time doing such nice things like heading up the Mystery Quilters Blog ring, and organizing thank you's to Bonnie, etc.
Okperi's Place Perry- She has beautiful quilts, and a beautiful garden. Her blog is a pleasure to visit.
Applique Today Joanna- Cute kids, beautiful quilts, gardening and traveling. Lots of pretty scenery from out west, USA, although she was originally from New Zealand.
I haven't been able to include so many excellent blogs, written by special ladies who are quilters, but so involved in life, and who share a bit of that with us. I wish I could share my whole list. Wait a minute, I can, it's on the side of my blog, and they all deserve an award.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ginger Update

A few people had mentioned their intentions of trying to grow the ginger also, and so I wanted to let you know a little more that I found out. I had stuck my ginger cut side down, and wondered if that was correct, or if it should be cut side up. I was lucky enough to have La Gringa clarify it for me, and it turns out that neither was correct. Her answer:

"I'm sending a quick response here because of your ginger question. The ginger will grow roots from the uncut part that still has the peel. The cut ends should be to the sides. It's tough to describe. In other words if you have a large flat piece of ginger, the the flat, uncut, unpeeled side should go down. Think of it like your hand. The palm side would go down into the soil. Does that make sense?"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ginger Continued, Stashmystery

I didn't know that I was finished with the last post, but blogger wouldn't let me add more, so I guess that I was. Anyway, if you would like to know more about starting your own ginger growing, you can go here. This is what hers looks like, and she says that not only is it good for cooking, but for lots of medicinal uses, too.
I downloaded Mozilla Firefox today, and it has a mind of it's own with blogger.
This is the first 2 sets of blocks for the Burger Queen Have it Your Way Mystery. My way was as easy as possible, so you can see that it is just nine patches. At least, it's colorful. The first step was 5 blocks each of 2 different sizes, the next step is tomorrow. it would be good if I could actually keep up with this one.

Biccy Barrels, Ginger

I seem to be at the mercy of Blogger, as I wanted a different order, but what can you do except go along with the uncontrollable. I recently enjoyed a post by Helz of Blue Shadow Pony in which she shared that her 'biccy barrell' was empty of her DH's favorite treats. I told her that it made me feel like making some Snickerdoodles, and filling up one of mine. She wasn't familiar with them so I sent her the recipe. This got me thinking that maybe I would share my 'cookie jars' aka 'biccy barrels'. I love biscotti, and if I had room, every time I went to Sam's and they had another ceramic biscotti container, I would probably get one, since I don't I have settled for two, the Santa, and the one marked Biscotti. I love the colorfulness of them.
If anyone would like, I will also share my Snickerdoodle recipe. If you aren't familiar, they are delicious crunchy cookies that are very easy on the budget, and mostly things that everyone has in the kitchen already

1 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tarter

1 teaspoon soda

1/4 teaspoon salt



Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix shortening, sugar and eggs. Blend dry ingredients and stir in. Roll into balls the size of small walnuts. Roll in 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen.

I love stoneware, and so the stoneware one is one of my favorites. My niece, Beth Ann, is very talented and handpaints ceramics that are sooo cute. She did a goose for herself and her mother, and when I admired them she was kind enough to do one for me. I think my goose cookie jar is adorable. The last is a Waterford biscuit barrell, which I would never have bought, but I got it from work for sales points, and I love it a lot.

The rather homely little pot with the odd looking little nubs is my attempt to grow ginger. If you have never been to La Gringa's Blogicito it is a very interesting look into life in Honduras. I find it very interesting as that is where my DIL is from. She had a post about growing your own ginger, and she also linked to information about crystalizing it yourself.