Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
The obvious -- we're thankful we still have Steve and he's doing well.
We're thankful, once again for Dr. Crute, Neurosurgeon extraordinaire.
We're thankful for the entire group at Madison.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
We've had more of this strange weather too. It was clear on Christmas day, but yesterday it started warming up and becoming foggy. Today it's been raining -- most of the snow we had is gone -- but not all, so it's also very foggy today. I did run a couple of errands yesterday, so today was a great day for staying in.
I've started thinking about my New Year's Resolutions and one of them was to get my quilt patterns organized. Years ago I saved whatever patterns I wanted out of my stack of magazines and put them all into binders -- but I didn't sort them, just put them into one binder after another. So yesterday afternoon and for a few hours today, I sorted the patterns into baby/kid, Americana, totally scrappy, applique, holiday and seasonal, etc. I think I have seven binders. Then I sorted a large stack of quilt related papers and threw out a lot of stuff that I haven't looked at in years. I still need to go through a large stack of magazines again and add the keepers to the binders (I will probably have to add more binders). And then, finally, I'll go through the patterns/magazines/printouts that are in my sewing room -- all I've done so far are the ones in the 3rd bedroom upstairs!
Another resolution is to get my cookbooks and recipes in order. I've already been typing a couple of recipes every day and sorting as I go through the loose ones, but today I sorted through a huge pile of loose recipes that I had in that same bedroom upstairs! I have one file folder (overflowing) that I will go through again as I type them up -- I'm only saving the recipes I'll actually use. I did find a book of hand written recipes that my grandmother on my dad's side wrote out. She didn't always write the name of the recipe, or if she did, it was in Swedish, but the recipe was in English. That of course, is a treasure and I'll not be throwing that out. I also have some hand written recipes that were written by my mother and my sister -- both of whom we lost many years ago -- so those also are a treasure.
So that has been my day -- as I was thinking about the resolutions, I decided there was no time like the present! Typing the recipes is going to take a long time, but getting them sorted and throwing out the ones I don't want is half the battle, so I'm glad to have part of that done. And now that I've separated the quilt patterns into categories, filing new ones will take less time -- plus, I've spent quite a few enjoyable hours going over the books and picking out projects I may have time to try this year! And, I've noticed my tastes have changed and I will be more discerning when I go through the rest of the magazines.
The weather has cooperated in that what travel we have had to do has been okay.
Being all together for Christmas.
Actually beginning to get organized instead of just talking about it.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Anyway -- the program was at the church where the preschool meets. These are mostly 4 year olds, maybe one or two 3 year olds. They enacted the Christmas story. AJ was one of the wise men, the boy behind him was a camel! They all proceeded down the center aisle of the church.
Friday, December 12, 2008
And finally, I reminded myself that I wanted to type two recipes and try out my new recipe printing for the binder and here they are:
I think this is going to work really well, and while I was picking two recipes to type and print, I threw out another dozen that I will never make. In a little bit, I'll go up and sort through a few more.
The Bears won last night! (And I got two more blocks appliqued on Steph's Christmas present).
Finishing my to-do list.
Organizing my thoughts.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I ran errands yesterday and stopped at JoAnn's with a couple of 50% off coupons. I didn't really need anything, so gravitated to the books, of course. I picked up one on fabric postcards. So far I have resisted the urge to make postcards, mostly because I didn't want to add another addiction, plus I'm not nearly as creative as some I have seen on others' blogs. I did buy the book however. Then came home and printed off Mary's tutorial on postcards -- which is written and illustrated so well, I certainly didn't need to waste my 50% coupon on the book! vbg So, today I dug out my non-fusible stabilizer and my fusible web and made up 3 postcards. These are quite un-imaginative, but I wanted to play. I'll send them to the grandkids as they are. Boy, did that not scratch that itch! I have some ideas already simmering, so I've ordered some envelopes and will let the ideas flow ..... as soon as I finish the wallhanging I have to make Steph for Christmas, and finish the auction quilt!
I haven't forgotten the ideas for printing recipes, but that's been put on the back burner temporarily -- until I finish the Christmas gift! I did test my idea for printing them, so we're good to go with that.
I've also been thinking about my goals for next year. Not only the things I want to accomplish, but ideas on how to go about accomplishing things and keeping track of finished things. I also decided that even though I do work a lot with my stash, I will also be buying fabric next year -- I like the look of brighter colors in my scrap quilts, and most of my stash is more on the muted colors side.
Having a varied to-do list, so jumping from one thing to the next actually means getting something done!
I'm off to do something constructive with my day now!
Saturday, December 06, 2008
I quilted a table runner this afternoon and loaded another small quilt to do tomorrow. I've been using pantographs so much lately that I've forgotten how to do freehand -- so I'll be doing some practicing on this one and the next small runner! Think I'll watch the Pajama Quilter dvd again, and Kimmy Brunner's beginner's dvd -- lots of ideas on those two.
Staying in by the fire on these cold, snowy days.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Today I managed to finish quilting one quilt and have the second one loaded and all ready to go. Then I made some candy for Christmas and we started writing our Christmas cards tonight after dinner. Tomorrow I hope to spend an hour or so quilting and then spend some time baking some Spritz cookies for Christmas. And if I have time after that, I'll quilt some more! We'll need to spend more time after dinner tomorrow doing Christmas cards too. So far, we have used up the loose cards I found in the Hoosier cabinet, and I have started using one of the old boxes of cards. I will definitely not have to buy cards next year and possibly the year after that!
Next week I should get my new computer. I will need to finish taking stuff off this one and the other old one and try to learn Windows Vista and load all my programs on the new one -- can we say at least 3 weeks of tearing my hair out?! vbg
Taking time to baste the entire quilt before I start quilting -- I have learned that this saves me plenty of heartache in the end --even though it takes longer to do as opposed to basting the sides as I go.
Surprise gifts from friends.
Getting a start on the Christmas cards -- better than procrastinating all month!
Friday, November 28, 2008
I did manage to load one of the quilts today, so it'll be finished tomorrow and I may get the second loaded, but I need to make some cookies this weekend, so the second one probably won't be finished til next week sometime.
A day to sit and sew.
Making lists and crossing off the finished stuff!
A surprise gift from a friend.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
And isn't this a fun backing fabric Kris used?! All I have left to do is remove the basting in the ditches of the borders. My plan for tomorrow is to actually finish the auction quilt for AJ's preschool fundraiser. I have the blocks put together, but need to do borders.
On a sad note, David M Bailey is a 12 year survivor of the same type of brain tumor that Steve has. David is a singer/songwriter/poet extraordinaire. Last week he had surgery to remove a cyst and tumor in the same spot as his first tumor and it was confirmed as a GBM -- the recurrent cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with him as he begins a new round in the fight against this insidious disease.
Friday, November 21, 2008
This is my daughter's old room, on the second floor. A month or so ago I moved my second sewing machine up here with it's table and all. I also opened up my antique wooden ironing board, covered it and bought a second iron to have it easily accessible. This is not my actual sewing studio -- but a second one!
My quilt books and magazines and patterns are a total disaster. I had reduced the number of books a few years ago, and cleaned out the magazines and made binders from pages I kept. But, I've still been buying magazines here and there and need to purge again. I have stopped all subscriptions to quilt magazines, so the number will be reduced!
I also have a tremendous mess of recipe books and papers printed from the 'net and copies of recipes from magazines and cooking magazines -- probably worse than my quilting stuff.
These pictures are the before shots! This is going to be my ongoing project probably for the next year -- the plan is to get a handle on both the quilting stuff and the recipe stuff. It will take a lot of time to go through everything, but it should be easier having it all dumped in this room (I can at least close the door and not look at it! vbg)
We (I had to hold while he used the battery powered screwdriver), hung it this morning. He was surprised to find that I filled them all. So, he was redesigning as we went -- "should have put another rack by raising the top one and fitting another between the two." (There are 10 pegs on the top holding those cones). I will not be surprised if he makes me another over the next few weeks with three racks! Either way -- I love it. I have more thread that I have on a shelf and in a drawer, but these are the ones I use the most -- all Signature cotton.
Being married to an engineer!
I'm on a mission to reduce the paper/junk/clutter in this house. This is the after picture:
It does not tell the full story. A lot of this mess was cookbooks/recipes and greeting cards. Every year we buy our Christmas cards from NWF (National Wildlife Federation). Every year I buy 4 boxes because Bill keeps up with a lot of old friends. Every year our card list goes down (emphasis on OLD friends!). But I keep buying 4 boxes. The ones I ordered this year are in the green boxes on the top right shelf. The four boxes underneath them are leftovers from previous years -- I have enough in there to send this year without buying anymore. Now that I have cleaned out this mess and actually see what I have in there -- hopefully I'll remember not to buy any Christmas cards next year. I also have stacks and stacks of greeting cards that need to be sorted and/or tossed. And on the bottom right, I discovered tons of wire-bound notebooks that I didn't know I had -- will never need to buy them again either!
So that was my project this morning.
Monday, November 17, 2008
She had to do an assignment to write a 5 paragraph story about a "tomorrow". I have copied the following from my son's blog. This was what she wrote:
Oh no! I just heard my Uncle Steve is in the hospital! This is so horrible!!!! How could this ever happen?! He has stage 4 brain cancer. His tomorrow is in danger.
When I heard the news, I started crying. I couldn't help it! He was so healthy. He is in the hospital right now. He already had his surgery. He has a scar shaped like a C. My brother and I always pray for him at night. We can't visit him now because I am sick. Soon we will visit him.
My Uncle Steve is still in the hospital. We keep trying to make him feel better with pictures, and drawing funny stuff, and coloring pictures. Alot of people visit him, like family and friends. We still haven't visited him yet. I can't wait to feel better so I can see him.
We finally saw my Uncle Steve today. He still has cancer. Almost every 2 months Uncle Steve has an MRI. He is still healthy and happy.
The lesson I learned from Uncle Steve's cancer is don't give up and keep trying. With a bit of support from your family, your tomorrow will be good and filled with love.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
They separated the invited vets and after the entire school assembled in the gym, they brought them in to a standing ovation and gave them seats of honor behind the podium. Then the 7&8 grade chorus sang The Star Spangled Banner, the older kids put on a power point presentation, the 5th & 6th grade chorus (of which Briana is part) sang a special song to the vets; then the school band played each of the branches of service organizations songs, starting with the marines and ending with the navy. Each vet from each branch stood at attention and the kids that invited them also stood waving stars they'd made. They also presented flowers to two ladies that represented Rosie the Riveter from World War II (they had my name down as a spouse of a WWII vet and I think they had flowers they were going to present to me -- but I was seated in a different area than the vets!) -- I certainly wasn't his spouse during the war anyway! They also explained the origin of Taps and played that at the end. It was very well done and the kids did such a great job. All we got to do was to wave to Briana, but I'm real glad she saw us there anyway. I didn't get any still pics because I had to tape the whole thing for Steph! 'Course, not being all that handy with a video camera, she'll have plenty of floor and feet and backs of heads to edit out of the final production! All in all, it was really great.
The drive home was awful -- all snowy rain and heavy rain at times. But, I did get a text message from Steve during the program and talked to him on the way home. They were in Madison today for more chemo drugs and he had an MRI -- still clear. They were waiting to pick up the drugs, so still had the nasty drive to look forward to. But we'll put up with the nasty drive if the MRI results are that good every time!
Having such a sweet granddaughter. She really is one in a million.
Great MRI results.
Safe drive home.
Having the forethought to put dinner in the crockpot this morning! Perfect Winter Beef Stew will be ready soon and I had plenty of time to throw some Beer Bread together and pop it in the oven!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
This was the result after 15 minutes of cutting. It doesn't look like much and compared to the amount I still have to do, it definitely isn't, but at the same time, it's this much done that wasn't sorted and cut when I started ;-)!
I put those pieces away in their correct bins and then cut out the auction quilt I need to make. Most of this quilt is from stash -- I did use some new blues, mostly fat quarters. After I cut and stitched today, I cut up the leftovers into various sizes to also add to the scrap bins.
I did manage to make all 9 of the blocks for this quilt today and it really felt good to be sewing again. I've felt like I was at 6s and 7s lately, not focused on any one thing and not able to shake the feeling or get myself focused at all. I think I finally made a breakthrough today! vbg
I didn't put the nine blocks together yet, because there is going to be some applique on some of the blocks and it's easier for me to do the applique on the single blocks rather than on the whole top at once. I did mark the little teardrops on various scraps from the scrap bin, so they are all ready to be cut and appliqued next time I get a chance to sit and sew. The next two days will be busy, but maybe Sunday afternoon during the Bears game I can sew again.
And after I cleaned up the mess from this project, I did sit and applique on Block 7 of the Primitive Garden series, so that one is coming along also. All in all, it was a great day for sewing here.
Finally focusing on one project. It feels good, like all the stars are aligned again!
A rainy day, which was perfect for spending inside.
Kenny Chesney's new cd.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I also took Bonnie's advice and spent 15 minutes cutting and pressing some scraps to feed my scrap bins. I have a bin that is labeled 2-1/2", but it is full of 3"+ stuff, so I'm going back through and cutting them to the sizes I'll use after listening to her inspiring lecture Monday night. I actually spent 30 minutes doing that, but the goal will be 15 minutes a day to make it less overwhelming.
And, I pulled fabrics last night (from stash!) to start another top -- it'll just be a small one from the Primitive Youngins book by Primitive Pieces by Lynda. I'm going to make the one called Hide N' Seek for Steph to put in the fundraising auction at AJ's nursery school.
My ob-gyn has a new nurse practitioner and she is fabulous -- we have a winner here.
Immersing myself in fabric at the quilt shop today -- felt good just to wander around and pull bolts off the shelf.
Planning the next two quilts -- I've been at loose ends lately without a project goal. I have a scrap quilt I'm working on, but having two to make for a purpose gives me more focus.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Bonnie graciously signed my book and we had our picture taken.
I was going to make all kinds of excuses as to why I look so bad (you know, the camera adds ten pounds), but hey -- it's the way I look. My eyes close when I laugh and my double chins show! vbg
I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed meeting Bonnie. I wish I could have taken her workshops today and tomorrow - but maybe next time.
Safely finding our way to and from Dixon last night -- it was pitch dark, Rt. 2 runs along the river and is very dark and we had to be careful to watch for deer -- it's their silly season!
Bonnie is very gracious and a wonderful speaker and I'm happy to have finally met her.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Here's November's calendar page -- AJ is a sports nut just like his father and Will loves cars and balls, so I'm sure he'll be following in his father's footsteps also!
Seems to be a very busy time of year for me -- I thought things were going to calm down after the busy summer, but no sign of that. I need to finish and publish the last guild newsletter for the year (we don't meet in December). This newsletter will be a bare bones edition and I want to get it finished quickly and sent out. This next week is going to be especially busy so I need to get the chores done early!
Monday night Bonnie Hunter will be at the Petunia Quilters guild meeting doing her scrap users system program -- I'm really looking forward to this and hopefully will get the chance to meet her. I'm not all that familiar with the town, but hopefully won't have a problem finding the place.
Friday I'll be on the road early to babysit the boys while Steph goes with Briana on a school field trip. Saturday I've volunteered to peel potatoes and do whatever else needs to be done for our church's turkey dinner fundraiser, and Steph & Aaron and the boys will be down to eat that evening.
In between -- I have quilts to deliver and quilt tops to pick up, a doctor's appointment, and sometime I need to clean the house and do laundry (can't understand why it doesn't stay clean and why we have to do laundry every week! vbg). We'll be doing Thanksgiving on the Sunday before, so I need to start gearing up for that as well.
I need to do a complete computer clean-out as soon as the newsletter is finished. I find myself wading through stuff instead of getting where I want to go right away, so it's way past time to clean up files, dump the excess and back up the stuff I want to keep -- I know this will be a couple of weeks work and I may switch computers again as well, but it really needs to be done.
I have started working on piecing one of Bonnie's quilt from her book, and I hope to have the top pieced before Christmas. I'd like to get it quilted and bound before Christmas as well, but I seem to be getting a bit busier quilting for other people at this time, so it may not get finished by then. I'm sure everything will slow down some after Christmas and I'll be able to get back to my own projects by then.
Indian Summer has arrived and we have a few more days of it forecasted.
I'm grateful this newsletter will be the last for me to edit -- there will be a new editor beginning in January.