Monday, December 31, 2007

Putting It In Print

Today I sat and made a list of my goals for January 2008. No New Year's resolutions, just a list. If I make all my goals, great. If not, there is nothing to feel guilty about. My motto is "doing something is better than doing nothing". Whatever I get done is a plus. I am still trying to stick to my self-imposed rule about not buying any new fabric unless I need it to finish a project. Okay, here is the list for January:

1. Finish Ashley's quilt
2. Start Hawaiian log cabin quilt
3. Finish padfolios for friends
4. Make a bracelet
5. Make a handmade card
6. Sew Matthew's lion pillow cover
7. Finish a Valentine Cupid for the front door

Also on the list, if I have time, make a purse.

As far as #2 goes, yes, I am allowing myself to start a new project. If I remember correctly, I do have all the fabric that I need to complete this least I sure do hope so.

Also on this list, but not at all related to sewing, is cleaning out sections of our basement. That place is a thorn in my side. Just because no one sees it doesn't mean it can be trashed. I plan on working on it a section at a time (yes, we have a very large basement).

I don't expect to get very far with the Hawaiian log cabin quilt. I have planned for it to carryover into February.

The holidays are over...back to excuses

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Did I Just Buy Fabric?

To answer the question, yes! I went to the quilt store to look for a book on baby quilts. While there, I wandered into the children's section of fabrics. They had this very cute background with bright colored kitties on it. Definitely not what I was looking for for a baby quilt...but, this would be great for a pair of pillowcases for my son Matthew. What to do, what to do. I did promise I wouldn't buy any fabric unless it was to complete a project already in progress. Hmm. Well, I bought two yards of the cute kitty fabric. I guess that means I better get those pillow cases done in the next couple of days because I already broke one rule, so it better NOT end up as stash! The bonus is when I came home, I noticed I had a paw-print fabric that matches beautifully for the edge of the pillowcase. Maybe it was meant to be after all?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Neighborhood Party

Tonight was our neighborhood party at our house. It is always great to see those neighbors that you don't always get to see until spring rolls around. I made homemade lasagna, garlic bread and salad. But, the big finish was the dessert. Cheesecake (with or without cherries), homebaked cookies, a fruit pizza and a brownie pizza. And, our neighbor Jack, brought a chocolate cake...dessert overload! I think everyone had a good time. Mike, Ashley and Brooke dropped by on their way home from volleyball and added to the fun. Cleanup is waiting until tomorrow. For now, I am off to bed.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Not Even Snow Can Stop Us

Today we had more snow. Just when most of it had melted away. We also had tickets for an Admirals hockey game at 7:00 tonight. You never saw two people move snow so fast in your life. We were on a mission. Get the snow cleaned up so that we could get to the game. Tonight was cowbell night at the game. It is probably the loudest night of the season. People ringing those bells like crazy and yelling at the top of their lungs...what a great time! Unfortunately, our team lost, but it sure was a fun night.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Got Munked!

Tonight my Goddaughter and I went to see The Chipmunk Movie. It was really cute. It is always great to go to a movie that makes you laugh out loud. The chipmunks have been around for a very long time, but this was an updated version and the chipmunks were "funkified". There were more current songs being sung by the chipmunks, so the younger generation in the audience had no problem identifying with them. All in all, a very fun movie.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Here and Gone

It's December 26 and Christmas was here and gone. It was a great Christmas Eve. Everyone had enough to eat, our family was all together and we were all healthy. What more could anyone ask for? Christmas Day was truly a day of rest around here. Everyone had afternoon naps...and yet, we were all able to sleep through the night last night. We were tired! Today I went to the bead store and bought some supplies. Jack had given me some money a while back to do with what I wanted. I saved it and decided that I wanted to buy some supplies to make bracelets. I am starting with the basics. I am planning on making a couple of ovarian cancer bracelets in teal and clear crystals on elastic. Another hobby. Let's hope I keep this one under control!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tomorrow's The Big Day

Tomorrow I have my entire family for Christmas Eve. I hope I have planned well enough. I made a lot of food today. I made a cucumber salad, a cheesecake, a drumstick torte and barbecue beef. And, today for dinner I made homemade lasagna. Tomorrow the rest of the food will be cooked for dinner. Hopefully, there will be enough leftovers so that I can take the day off from cooking on Christmas Day. There is still a lot to be done, a bit of decorating, setting up the tables, putting the cookies on trays, and a few more odds and ends. It will have to wait for tomorrow. I am pooped.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I Want My Studio Back

Christmas wrapping is made so much easier with a rotary cutter, acrylic ruler and self-healing mat. My studio looks like Santa's workshop right now. But, in a few days Christmas will be over and I hope to return my studio to it's original state. It's time to get back to quilting/sewing on a regular basis.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Way Too Many Dishes

I own too many dishes. Really. Right before Thanksgiving I spent over an entire week just washing my fancy dishes (you notice I didn't say china, because I don't own china). I also washed out the top of the china cabinet (glass shelves, glass doors, inside and out). Now, I have spent the last 2 or so weeks washing my Christmas dishes. I have so many that some of them are stored in the bottom of the china cabinet and the rest take up a full cabinet in the basement. Then there are the everyday dishes (Corelle) and a Debbie Mumm set of dishes (winter, snowflake). As if that isn't enough, I have a set of dishes from my deceased Maternal Grandma and a set of dishes from my deceased Mother-in-Law in the basement. So, if you have to leave me something when you go, please, no dishes!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Tonight Jack and I attended a potluck supper at Gilda's Club. It is always an interesting evening. You get to meet people from all walks of life. Tonight was no exception. We also had a white elephant exchange. Most gifts weren't all that "odd". Mine was probably the one exception. I brought an old medical book. We all got a good laugh out of it. The food was excellent and the conversation lively. One great evening.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Prize Winning Cookies?

Today Jack took a couple dozen cookies to work. They were chocolate cookies with Andes mints melted over the top. Every month Jack's co-workers vie for an award for cooked food. A couple of month's back he won a spoon for his pineapple salsa recipe. Last month was a stew, but we didn't enter. So, this month it was favorite cookies. This isn't Jack's favorite cookie, but his favorite was being made by someone else. In a few days we will find it if it was good enough to win.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More Decorations

After being married 32 years, I have collected an unbelieveable amount of Christmas decorations. And yet, each year I buy a few more things. Of course, I do get rid of some of the older decorations, but I have enough that it takes days, not hours to decorate. I find that after that many years, your tastes do change. It is always fun though to drag them all out and remember the memories that are attached to them. I do have one old Santa that used to be my parents. I won't give him up. He is all I have from my childhood Christmases. He is very special to me. On another note, I forgot to blog yesterday that I made two doggie bandanas. They were so easy. It only took me an hour. And Morgan and Brady will be "all dressed up", just like the rest of us on Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Yesterday, Today, but not Tomorrow

I was so tired yesterday that I passed on blogging. I had a wonderful day. Our family (dh, myself, son #2, his girlfriend, my niece and 2 Godchildren went to the Fireside Theater. We had a yummy brunch, did some shopping and saw a Christmas spectacular show. We have been there before to celebrate Christmas, but each year the show is different. And, it never fails to be enjoyable. Mostly though, it's the company you keep that makes it so special. Today I finished decorating the Christmas tree. I also went to Barnes & Noble, one of my favorite places, and picked up a couple of magazines...and now, off to my chair to peruse said magazines!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's a Blizzard Out There!

Tonight was Jack's Christmas party from work. Of course, there is a blizzard outside. It never fails, you get all dressed up and then, wham-o, we get a ton of snow and there you are with flat hair, runny makeup and wet feet. That didn't stop the party from being fun. We had great food (prime rib) and a luscious dessert (chocolate kahlua mousse). Then we were given 1,000 dollars in fun money. They hired a casino company to come in and let us play some games. Jack and I stayed at the "21" table all night. As a Christmas gift, the owner gave each employee a fleece blanket with the company's logo on it. Very nice. All in all a good time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Andes Cookies

I am getting to the end of baking Christmas cookies. Today I tried a recipe for Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies. Yum-o. I have never made these cookies before, but they sure are good. The cookie itself is chocolate and then you push 1/2 of an Andes mint into the center and let it melt.

I also visited the fabric store today. Normally buying fabric would be a no-no for me, but I plan to use this fabric next week. I plan on making doggie bandanas for our dog and my son's girlfriend's dog for Christmas. Afterall, a dog needs to be well dressed too.

My last batch of cookie dough is sitting in the refrigerator right now. I plan on baking it off tomorrow morning and then I am done with cookies. I have plans to make 2 kinds of bars next week and then I am DONE.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Slam Dunk

Today I started my Christmas shopping in earnest. I am almost done. Believe it. I had a list and stuck to it. Of course, it helped that the stores had everything that I was looking for. Then there were the restaurant certificates, walk-in, pay, walk-out, done. I don't have a lot of people to buy for, and the ones that I am buying for, are getting 1 or 2 big ticket items. It makes for a lot less shopping around. Now, If I can just remember where I put the wrapping paper....

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Holiday Program

My Goddaughter, Ashley, had her Holiday program tonight. She and her friend Rebecca were the emcees for the entire program. Ashley is in elementary school, grade 6. She is very grown-up for her age. School programs are so much fun. All the little ones dressed in their finery, singing their little hearts out. Tonight did not disappoint. The first graders were the absolute loudest, not only singing but clapping and having a wonderful time...and isn't that what the holidays are all about?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Elves are Here!

Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday. More laundry, more cookies and more Christmas cards. Although, I did have some great mail today. Back up to last Friday. Matthew's physical therapist was here and brought the cutest elves to show me. Apparently she bought them at a craft fair in November. They are made of wood and their faces and bodies are airbrushed. They have a block of wood attached to the back so they can sit on a shelf or hide in your Christmas tree. Yesterday I called the name and phone number on the back of one of the elves. I asked the woman if she was going to be at any more craft fairs soon. She wasn't. But, she said she would be willing to send me a set of four elves for my shelves, on the honor system, if I would sent her a check immediately. The ink was barely dry on the check and my elves arrived today! Now that's what I call service.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Motivational Monday

Today was pretty much a mixed bag. I decorated the dining room, I baked some cookies, I started my Christmas cards, I did two loads of wash, I went to a jewelry party, and I grocery shopped. I am tired! No quilting today, but I still have high hopes of squeezing in some quality time before the weekend. On another note, my two Christmas cactus' are budding like crazy. Hopefully, they will be in full bloom for Christmas. They are my favorite plant, mostly because flowers are so scarce in the winter months around here. A little bit of color in the dark days of winter.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Building Stress

Christmas Eve is two weeks from tomorrow...and the list is getting longer. You know the one. The one that lists all the things you still have to do before Christmas. Cookies to bake...presents to to go to...decorating...things to make...the list goes on and on...and the stress begins to build. I swore this year would be different. I started early. What happened? I don't know, but I am going to try and play "catch-up" this week because I sure don't want to have this feeling for the next two weeks until Christmas. I know that everything will eventually work out. Funny how it always does. And then, poof, Christmas is here and then it is gone as fast as it came. Then next year, it will happen all over again....even though I swear it will be different!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Zigzag Nightmare

Why is it, just when you think you have something figured out, you find out you are way off base. Today I worked on a padfolio (pattern can be found at Fibers & Stitch). You make the main components from fabric covered peltex and them sew the sections of peltex together with a zigzag stitch. I tried the zigzag stitch on my Pfaff and the thread kept jamming up in the bobbin. I figured maybe my Pfaff just didn't like that brand of thread for some reason. On to Plan B. I thought maybe my Bernina would work better. It did, but in the process I learned a few things. First of all, I needed to pin the pockets in place before I tried to zigzag along the edges. Also, nothing ever takes less time than you think it will. In this case, it took a lot more. The good thing is, once you make one, you have pretty much worked out all the bugs so that the process goes a lot smoother the next time around. At least I hope that is the way it is going to work...tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Snowglobe Cards

Besides quilting, I have a few other hobbies. One of them being handmade cards. In October I decided to see if I could create a card a month for one year. October was a Halloween card, November was a Thanksgiving card, so of course, December's card is for Christmas. Mind you, I am creating 12 of the same cards. I also got the brainy idea to try a new technique each month. December's card is a snowglobe. This one was a bit tricky. I first had to figure out how many layers I needed to get the effect I wanted to achieve. The bottom layer is the card. Next comes a piece of fun foam with a hole cut in it (for the snowglobe). Now comes the fun part. You sprinkle confetti in the hole. My confetti was mini red reindeer, mini green trees and glittery snow. Then you top the entire piece of fun foam with a piece of clear acetate. Over the top of that goes a piece of decorative paper (same size as the fun foam and also containing a hole). Lastly, you glue the snowglobe base (stamped and cut out of cardstock) on top of the decorative paper. Voila, you have a snowglobe that you can shake the daylights out of! The card turned out great, but seemed a little plain, so I added glitter to portions of the base. I have 3 more to make and then I can hit the post office. Now this was a challenging but fun project!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

More Snow

I had a class tonight and snow was expected. So, what's a girl to do but leave early. Traffic was a nightmare. Everything was moving so slowly, which in retrospect, is good. People were being very careful and paying attention to the conditions. The class was great. I learned to make the "Wonder Wallet". I am sure I could have figured this one out on my own, but honestly, taking a class is so much more fun! And, it's always so neat to see other peoples fabric choices and combinations of fabrics. I am sure I will be whipping up a bunch of these wallets. They are almost like candy...addicting!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Easily Distracted

Today I cut out fabrics for a class that I am taking tomorrow. I am going to learn how to assemble a wonder wallet. I am sure I could figure out how to make this on my own, but sometimes it's just nice to get out of the house and be with other women who enjoy the same hobby you do. When I am in my studio it is easy to get distracted. There are so many projects and fabrics and eye candy laying around that it is hard to focus on one thing. I need to get better organized and put everything behind cabinet doors or out of sight so that I can concentrate on one thing at a time. At times, it becomes overwhelming to me. So many projects, will I ever get them all done? But then, part of me thinks maybe I should leave all the "stuff" out in the open. That way I will see just how much accumulation there is and it will stop and make me think before buying any more. I don't know what the answer is...obviously, I am in waaaaay over my head!

Friday, November 30, 2007

New Project, Old Fabric

I am trying to think of ways to use up my fabric stash. And, I am always on the lookout for easy and quick projects, especially at this time of year. I have a beautiful oriental fabric that I apparently was saving for something. The "something" escapes me. So, I am now in the process of making padfolios for gifts using that fabric. You fuse the fabric to Peltex (both sides), make two pockets (one for a pad of paper, hence the name padfolio and one to hold a pen and maybe some notes). Then, to hold all of this together (three sections), you zigzag the components together. That's where I hit a snag. My Pfaff either doesn't like the thread, doesn't like the thickness or needs a good cleaning (and maybe a little talking to). I am having problems with the bobbin thread getting tangled and breaking. I have given up for tonight. Sometimes things look better in the light of day. If all else fails, I will try using my Bernina to see if it can do a better job. But, I am definitely NOT done with this yet!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cookie Crazy

You know it's "that time of year" when I am busy baking cookies. And, that is just what I have been doing lately. Yesterday I baked 13 dozen peanut butter with chocolate kisses cookies. I need 9 dozen for a cookie exchange on Sunday. I already have chocolate chip and oatmeal cranberry cookies in the freezer. Today I baked and decorated sugar cookies. Tomorrow I plan on baking raspberry almond shortbread thumbprint cookies. There are still a couple of more kinds that I would like to bake, but my oven has been making funny noises. It would just be my luck that the darn thing would go on the blink right in the middle of cookie baking season! I did make a trip last night to the quilt store. True to my word, I didn't purchase anything that I didn't need to complete a project. Although, I must admit, I was soooo tempted. I am hoping to get some sewing time in this weekend, although the closer we get to Christmas, the harder it is going to be to find free time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How blessed am I?

Tonight Jack and I went to a potluck dinner at Gilda's Club. Not only was the food good, but the company was great. I met someone new. Another ovarian cancer survivor. She is presently receiving chemotherapy. Apparently when she stops chemo, her CA125 count rises, so she keeps getting chemo. And she tells me that she has "floating" tumors. That scared me. She also told me that she has never been married and she has no children. I can't even imagine what she must be going through. At least when I had chemo, I had my husband and kids to care for me and about me. This woman has no one. How lonely that must be. How scared she must feel. I hope to see her again soon. She was such a joy to talk to. How blessed am I?

Monday, November 26, 2007

In the Kitchen

Today was "in the kitchen" day for me. Mike's fiancee, Ashley, was having a party tonight. So, I decided to make a cake that I have had a taste for. It is called a banana split torte. Graham cracker crust, confectioners sugar base, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, cool whip and for the grand finish, topped with nuts, cherries and shaved chocolate. Like it wouldn't be good with all that stuff in it! I don't even want to guess what the caloric count was. I also made a taco platter for the guys, since they were going to be there, but in another room watching football. Apparently both were a big hit because there wasn't a lot of either one left. I did get my ribbons (hangers) sewn on the mittens today, but that was about all that got done in my studio. I am toying with the idea of taking a class to learn how to make a "wonder wallet". They look easy enough, and it would be a great way to use up some more of my smaller pieces of fabric. Anything to get rid of some of my stash.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thank Goodness for Plan B

Today was a good, but trying day. I did finish Matthew's pillowcase. Then I started making paper pieced Christmas way. Big mistake. My first color strata looked good before I sewed it together, but after, something about it just didn't look right. Onto strata number two...different colors. This time the strata color order looked great, but I looked at the clock and I knew there was NO WAY that I was going to finish any stockings in one evening. I needed something quick. This project is supposed to be ready for donation on Tuesday. Here is where Plan B comes into play. I decided to make mittens. The kind you hang on a tree or put gift cards into. I had 1/2 yard of a red print flannel and it was 8:30 p.m. I started cutting, sewing and trimming like crazy. I got 10 mittens out of that 1/2 yard piece...and used up some fleece that was left over from a table runner. Time done: 10:30...two hours, whew!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Finally, Some Progress

Yesterday was an extremely productive much so, that I got too tired to blog. I made 18 tissue holders to donate to Gilda's Club. I also worked on my Goddaughter's quilt. Today was just as productive, but more fun. My Goddaughter, Ashley, was here to visit. We worked on a craft that I have had sitting around here for a few years. It is a fishbowl candy holder. You get one of those cheap round fishbowls from Michaels. Then you apply "dots" with glass paint and a spouncer. Pour on the glitter...voila, snowflakes. Then you get a styrofoam ball to fit the top of the container (so that it doesn't fall in). You cover it with stretchy white fabric, pull it up to the top and tightly bind with a rubberband. You use 2 black snaps for the eyes, 5 smaller black snaps for the mouth and an orange chenille stem bent in half for the nose. Lastly, from fleece you sew a hat and cut a scarf. This turned out really cute...and best of all, I got to spend time with someone I love and send some more ufo's out the door! Tonight I worked on a pillowcase for my son, Matthew. It is one of those patterns where you overlap the back of the case so that the pillow can't fall out. It has dogs as the main fabric and pawprints as the coordinating fabric. Tomorrow I will sew the final seams and another ufo will be done.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving one and all. This certainly is a Thanksgiving that I am especially thankful for. Last year at this time, I was diagnosed as having two tumors, one on each of my ovaries. Eventually it led to a complete hysterectomy and stage 3 cancer. I underwent chemotherapy and am in remission. I am thankful that it wasn't worse. I am thankful that I could undergo treatment without too much interruption to my normal life. I am especially grateful to all the people who took care of me, prayed for me, made meals for my family, and did all the "little" things that we take for granted until we can no longer do them. I am thankful for all the cards, emails and letters encouraging me to stay strong. I am thankful that nobody gave up on me, but made me feel like I was important enough to fight the fight and WIN. For this and so much more, I am truly thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Let it Snow

Yes, it's true. Our first official snowfall of the season. However, the temperature isn't low enough for the snow to stick around, so I assume it will be gone by morning. I did take a drive tonight (the snow doesn't scare me). I went to the quilt shop. That's a no-no. Let me explain. I am on this moratorium of not buying anything unless I absolutely have to have it to finish a project. In my defense, I did buy a few items that I do need to finish a project. But then I got sidetracked, which isn't hard for me to do when I am in the quilt shop. I bought two 1/4 yard pieces and two 1/2 yard pieces for tissue holders. I am making them to donate to Gilda's Club, a cancer support group that is having a Christmas craft sale to raise funds. I promise that I will use this fabric and it will NOT end up being part of my stash. And yes, I probably could have pulled fabric from my stash, but honestly, what fun would that be?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Let There be Light

A few weeks ago I had the lighting in my sewing studio changed. I went from florescent lights to halogen. Oh my, what a difference! I can see the eye of the needle on my sewing machine again. The only drawback to these halogen lights is the fact that they throw off some heat. Now, I am NOT complaining at this time because the weather has turned cool, however, I don't know how I am going to feel about this when the weather is 80 degrees and sunny. Stay tuned. The bigger question is, why can't the sewing machine manufacturers come up with a bulb that throws enough light onto the throat plate for sewers to see easier? They try to give us every other convenience, why not this important one? For now, I will stick with my halogens and possibly roast a few marshmallows if I get bored!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Opening Credits

OMG, I'm blogging! Which just goes to show, miracles still do happen. I am starting this blog in hopes of staying on task with some of my quilting/sewing adventures. I figure if I have a place to post the things I get done, then I will have to get things done to post! Today I worked on a ufo that I started almost 6 years ago. Wow, how times flies! It is a quilt that is destined to live with my only Goddaughter, Ashley. She was 5 when I started the quilt. She will be 11 in just a few weeks. The pattern is from the P.S. I Love You book. Don't look for pictures, because Lord knows if I just figured out how to get a blog, it will be a while before I figure out how to download pictures! But, I am having fun, and isn't that what it is all about?