Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

And what better way for a New Year to begin than by working on a quilt?  Remember I showed you these squares on my design wall the other day.  Well, yesterday I saw that Stephanie of A Ditchin' Time Quilts had posted her finished snowball quilt.  She had taken a class in Paducah from Kaffe Fassett, and had finished her quilt from that class.  You should go and see it.  It is gorgeous!  And then this morning I saw that Karen over at Lee Haven has almost finished her Alabama Beauty.  Wow!  Another gorgeous quilt, and these two smarties both did a lot of their work by hand!


This afternoon that little light went off in my head.  Hmmm....I had a lot of the same fabrics already up on my little design wall that Stephanie had used in her quilt.  Wonder if I have something that would look good for the snowball sides?  Of course I do.  Ah, stash shopping is the best!


I've added more squares to the mix and made a start right there in the center making snowballs.  Don't you just love it when someone else's creativity sparks yours?!  Blogging friends are such a blessing.  I love you each and every one, and I truly hope that 2011 will be your best year yet!  I know we've all faced challenges this year, but in my time zone - 2010 will be history is about twenty minutes.  Let's continue to encourage each other in this new year, shall we?

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking at You Looking at Me

I let the chicks out this morning to maraud a little in the back yard.  Then I put them back up.  I had some errands to run and did not want to leave them out.  Good thing, because when I looked out my window when I got back - I saw this hawk sitting on the handle of the old wheelbarrow grooming himself.


Here are some closer looks.  When he flew away the chicks went into a panic, so I went out to be sure they were all right.  I found a pile of sparrow feathers - no bones or anything else, just fresh feathers.  I'm sorry about the sparrow, but sure glad it wasn't one of our chickens!

There is a big area not far from us that had been wooded.  It has been cleared off recently, and my guess is that has moved some of these woodland creatures over into our subdivision.  I only hope there's nothing bigger headed our way.  LOL

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just Playing




I was playing last night.  Just putting some squares up on the my little design wall. 

These are pretty wild, aren't they?  I like them.  Don't know where I'm going with this.  Still thinking.

I should have taken my Janome in for repair yesterday, but I was attacked by some sort of stomach upset and stayed in.  Feeling much better today, but today we had visitors (my sister, niece and her two children) for most of the day.  So, I'll try again tomorrow.


I brought the Christmas cactus in over the weekend when we had the below freezing weather, and I'm glad I did.  They have started to bloom!

So, of course I have some of them here in the sewing room window where I can enjoy them while they last.

And for you, Karen, some gratuitous chicken action:

video
This little video is from a couple of days ago.  It has been pouring rain here for most of the day.  Not to worry.  Our chickens have a nice, dry house and yard, so they are happy.

Are you ready for a new year?  I AM!   I'm believing it will be a good one.

Hugs and kisses,
                                         

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Fourth Baby Quilt

This is the last of the baby quilts for the families at our church who are expecting new additions right about now.  This one is for a little girl.


I've used some more of those wonderful thirties reproduction fabrics.


And it is backed with some cozy flannel.  Should feel pretty good to a new little girl this time of year.


I quilted it with a sort of meandering lazy daisy thing I made up as I went along.  Typical muddling, I know.  My Janome decided to have tension issues about half way through, so it is due a trip to the shop tomorrow.  I am so thankful for a back-up machine!  My old Brother machine finished the job in fine style.  So glad I was able to find a replacement motor for it and get it running again!
We've had a couple of below freezing nights over the weekend, but Mr. Sweetie and I covered the plants in the garden and most of them came through it just fine.  As you can see, the young chickens like that green food in there!  We don't actually use that much of the mustard greens for our family since I am the only one who really likes them, but they are a wonderful addition to our little chicks diet.  I give them some of those nutrient rich greens most every day.  (Of course, they think it would be a much better idea for me to open the gate and let them help themselves.)


And this is just because I'm really hungry and I think I'd better go now and prepare some lunch for us!

Hope your Christmas was wonderful.  It's good to be getting back to normal, whatever that is!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Scarf, Some Flowers, and Friends, Oh, My!


I received the most beautiful scarf today from Angela at Oiyi's Crafts.  The Oiyi blog was one of the first I found when I discovered blogs several years back.  It so invigorated me to see that a young woman in New York City was vitally interested in making things.  Through the years I've seen her grow and develop in so many ways.  She's also now a mother to the very beautiful Melody, who sometimes models her mother's creations. 


I was so fortunate to win this scarf in a giveaway Angela had recently.  She has begun to design knit patterns and has some available in her etsy shop.  Alas, I do not knit.  Thank you, Angela for this scarf!  I will treasure it and enjoy wearing it.




Oh, and thank you for including care instructions!  That's a good idea.


We are in that odd suspended time between autumn and winter here.  It's not a rare occurence, pretty common here in fact.  The temperatures are very pleasant now and we still have some flowers showing off their colors.  These are zinnias still blooming away out in the garden.



The yellow angel's trumpets still have lots of those deliciously fragrant blooms, even though there are some burnt leaves on the plants from the last cold snap.




Here's a little honeybee that couldn't resist crawling around in the trumpet to gather some pollen.



We don't have much in the way of fall foliage here, but there is a little Japanese Tallow tree in the yard behind us that always gives us some nice color.

And the crepe myrtles are just a delight year around.  Their bark is smooth and lovely all the time, the flowers in summer are pretty well drought-proof, and in the fall we get these nice colorful leaves.  I saw some sparrows picking the seeds out of those dried seed pods this morning, so I guess they're good bird food, too!


I had some more pictures to post, but I'm so tired of fighting with blogger.  Today it doesn't want to allow pictures from me, but I've wiggled around and got most of them in anyway!  Ha!

Hope your Christmas preparations are well in hand.  I still have lots of cleaning to do before the big day.  We are having some family over for Christmas dinner, and I expect to have a wonderful time!  I truly hope that you have one, too.  It is a time to enjoy what you have and to be thankful for it, to enjoy time with family and friends.  I've thoroughly enjoyed each and every minute I've spent with you, my dear blog friends!  May you be blessed exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or think.

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Success!


Believe it or not, we did finally get our Christmas tree up and decorated.


 It is so nice to see the lights twinkling in the darkened room.  Plus it being darkened hides all the boxes and stuff still waiting to be displayed or put back up.  You can see Ru's dog Ariel on guard duty there in front of the tree.  Got to keep those intruders at bay!
 I was so happy the tree was finally done that I just had to do a tiny little bit of sewing.  I was intrigued with the tubes of pillowcases on Wanda's blog and she kindly directed me to this tube pillowcase tutorial .
 I whipped this one up for Miss Ru (notice that it is purple - all three fabrics!) in no time.  They are really easy. 

I was working of this little baby quilt last week.  It's the last of the four for the new babies at our church.  I have no clue when I'll get back to it.

Because we had three boxes delivered yesterday.  And last night I had these parts from the boxes out in the garage.

It seems that these wooden parts should be painted or stained to resist warping.  So, since it will be going into the dining room where most of the furniture is white, I painted it all white.  Do you have a tiny little clue what these are?  Well, our younger daughter and her roommate have gifted me a quilting frame!!!  Tomorrow Mr. Sweetie will begin assembling it, and then I'll see if I can make my old sewing machine work with it.  And then, I'll have to learn how to work with all that.  I am so excited.  I have wanted an easier way to quilt the larger quilts, and this will, I believe, be a wonderful start.

I truly hope that your days are filled to the brim with only good things, that you are enjoying the love and fellowship of your friends and family, and that God is blessing you real good!

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Toys

I have so much to do that I don't want to do anything.  This is a new toy I got the other day.  Have I mentioned how much I love ebay?  My kind of shopping.  Anyway.  I read about these pencils on a blog recently.  I had never read this particular blog before, but ThreadStory is very interesting and very talented!  And I got to thinking that perhaps this would be a good thing for me to try.  I've used the watercolor pencils before on paper and liked them a lot, but these you can use on fabric.  And they're permanent once they dry.



Now obviously I am not in ThreadStory's category.  Not even close.  But I did have fun, and it was a relaxing change for me.  So not a bad thing, huh?  (Yeah, I bought the other thing she talked about - the water soluble oil pastels, too.  I know.  Haven't tried them yet, but sooner or later I know I'm going to play with them, too.)

I've been trying for almost two hours to load a little video to show you how big the chicks are now, but blogger is just NOT cooperating with me.



It's been a really nice day here - I've had the windows open most of the day.  Just the quiet peaceful sounds of the chicks is so soothing to me.  We've got one more nice day scheduled for tomorrow and then back to the cold.  I'm going to seriously try to get the decorations down from the attic tomorrow with Mr. Cutie Pie's help and get started putting them into place.

If I don't find something else to play with instead.

Hugs and kisses,







Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just for Me


I got busy last night and picked out a background piece of fabric for the pretty Christmas stitchery Margaret made for me.


The I backed the part of it that would show through the mat with batting and another piece of fabric.  Then I quilted the background with a small meandering stitch.  Next, I sewed the stitchery to the quilted fabric with a machine blanket stitch.



Now it is framed, hanging on the wall in the dining room.  So far this is absolutely the only Christmas decorating I have done.  Pitiful, I know.  I'm just not feeling it yet.  And I'm getting complaints from daughter Ru about the lack of said Christmas decorating.  I'm thinking that looking at this happy picture will get me going.


On another note, I know I haven't written much about Chloe lately.  She is still ruling and reigning here.  Just a little while ago I caught her trying to shred the curtains in the dining room to get into the sunshine coming through the window.  So, being the enabler I am, I put a chair inside the curtain for her.


She wants to be alone.

Hope your day is going great. 

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baking for Christmas (and for Us!)



I made cinnamon rolls last night. 

I also made some kolaches this time.  I'm using the recipe I used here.  It's very simple, especially if you do like me and let the bread machine handle the first part.  The filling is blueberry pie filling.  Mr. Sweetie Pie took some of these to work today to share with co-workers.  They got two thumbs up.


Can I just say, YUM!!!

I also made these Raspberry Cake Bars, found here.  I had made some sugar cookies earlier in the evening, so I used my own cookie dough instead of the purchased cookie dough their recipe uses.


I've wrapped them up by two's and put them in the freezer.  They'll be added to my Christmas packages I'll try to get shipped out to family this week.  These are really good.  I'm glad I tried them.

Yes, I have tasted (and more than tasted) everything I made last night.  I was a bad girl, but it sure was good!  Plus, don't you feel it's my duty to be sure I'm sending only things that taste good?  Had to be done.

Hope there are lots of good things to see and do and taste in your life today!

Hugs and kisses,