Saturday, November 10, 2012


This year is flying by.  Thanksgiving is going to be here soon.  I am so not ready!  I've spent the last few weeks finishing the outside work -- leaves are mulched, garden tools are put away in the shed, snowblower is in the garage ready to go and I have a load of wood in the garage.  Had the first fire of the season yesterday afternoon -- it wasn't particularly cold outside, just felt a little chilly inside and it was nice to sit in front of the fire and do some applique- which I haven't touched in a month!  I start having withdrawal symptoms if I don't get some sewing done!

Today for the first time in awhile I cut out a new quilt and started making blocks.  This is the "Three Sisters" quilt from the Winter 2012 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.  I loved the quilt when I first saw it and then really loved it because it was designed by the ladies of Yellow Creek Designs -- they own my favorite quilt shop!  So, last week I drove to Pearl City and bought some Kansas Troubles fabrics and started the quilt today.  The three blocks above have taken me practically all day to make!  And they are only 6" blocks.  But maybe that's why it took me so long -- those tiny pieces!  It's fun to make and it also has applique in it, which I will do needleturn, not wool.  There's no deadline and I'll just keep plugging away!

A beautiful, sunny and warm day to spend in the basement sewing!
Listening to George Strait on several cd's while I sew, and Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band.

Monday, October 01, 2012

October - My How Time Flies!

It's been four months since I've posted -- can't hardly believe it.  What have I been doing?  Oh, a little of this and a little of that!  We've been hit with the drought that half the country has been hit with -- good for me because I only had to mow a few times all summer!  But now fall is in full swing, and the trees are dropping their leaves -- which means getting out the mulching mower -- I do not rake!
We had a "quilters' garage sale" - got rid of some old fabric and lots of scraps as well as other garage sale stuff like the "Pack and Play".  I did okay -- Kris did really well, but she had more "stuff".
I've been trying to get the fall outside work done -- up today is taking down screens, power washing the porches and washing windows.
Hasn't been a lot of quilting going on, but have managed to finish some applique projects and prep more.  This first one is a quilt that was in the Fall Primitive Quilts magazine (love that magazine, btw).  This was fun and easy and quick.  
Next is"Fred - there are enough Jacks around" designed by Kris and she also gave me her leftover orange and some black squares so I could whip this one up.  The applique took no time at all and I used a fabric I bought last year for the border. 
Then these next two are from Bunny Hill Designs.  This is her Merry, Merry Snowmen block of the month quilt.  After doing her Henrietta Whiskers free quilt last year, both Kris and I decided to start this one.  I do love the Bunny Hill designs for applique.

I have block number 3 prepped and try to do a little applique each day.  I also have 5 other applique quilts prepped -- just for variety and I like to have something ready for a grab and go type thing.

I've tried my hand at making soap and laundry detergent this summer -- just for fun.  The laundry soap is so easy and works great, so I'll sell some of it for our "Parable of Talents" project at church -- always fun to raise a little money for the church.  I've also been doing the Power Point for church and helping out the financial secretary whenever she needs me.

That's about it for now -- time to get busy making hay while the sun shines!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Gratitudes:  I was born and raised in the USA!  And Thank God for our Freedom.  Thanks also go to all the men and women who have fought for our freedom since the first struggle for independence to this very day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

And another thing

Time sure flies around here.  I was going to try to keep up blogging more often and here it's been almost three weeks since I blogged.  This is what I've been doing in the interim:  This first shot is a picture of my back hall before I cleaned it.  That bookcase is solid maple and we've used it as a catch-all for gardening stuff and etc., for 18 years.  I cleaned it off and took it to the shed/shop and sometime this summer I'm going to strip it and refinish it and put it in the library where it belongs.  The door goes to the back yard; the garage door is on the left and the door to the half bath is on the right.
The after shot. Bill made the bench on the left and used it for all kinds of stuff -- hats, gloves, knives, miscellaneous.
I did clean it out, but forgot to take an after picture -- this is the before!
And my latest adventure:  I've been wanting to try my hand at making soap for a few years now and finally got up the courage yesterday afternoon.  These came out of the mold today.  They need to cure for 6 weeks, but I'm pretty happy with my first attempt.  I've been following this blog for years  Rhonda is very knowledgeable on a lot of subjects and I love her writing (and envy her writing ability too!).  She published a book a few months ago and I bought it and have read it twice.  She's doing the whole simple living thing and what I really like is she encourages everyone to do their own version for their own reasons.  My reason for making soap?  I like the idea of no chemicals and all natural.  I've been buying handmade soap for a couple of years now from the Oregon Soap Shoppe near here and really love it.  But I just wanted to try making some myself.  It took me half the day to get everything organized and set up -- the soap making itself didn't really take all that long.  I learned a lot and maybe next time I'll add some fragrance, or not.
And last but not least of what's been happening the past few weeks.  We made it through the second anniversary of Bill's death, and our happy occasion was the day before when Mikey turned 2!  Will graduated from preschool -- he'll be 5 this summer and heading off to all-day kindergarten in the fall.  Briana graduated from 8th grade and will be heading off to high-school in the fall.  The picture below was taken Saturday when we celebrated all 3 events!
Gratitudes:  Family
Trying something new - always good to expand the horizons.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Road Trip

Kris, Jan and I went on a road trip today to Wisconsin (we live in Northern Illinois).  First shop was in Belleville, WI and is in the new Quilt Sampler magazine just out, called Patches and Petals.  Great little shop in a restored 1905 building with wooden floors and center staircase.  Lots of samples of quilts I'd like to make "someday"!  And the only thing I ended up buying was four cotton towels that I may applique something on, or I may not -- they're nice and long though and I like that for hanging in my kitchen.
Next stop was the Mill House Quilts in Waunakee, WI.  Great shop -- it's been around a long time and was in the Quilt Sampler magazine many years ago.  We spent a lot of time wandering around and looking at everything, but I didn't buy anything there!  I sometimes think I have so much fabric that I'll never use -- too much fabric, not enough time -- that I don't buy anything.
We did walk over the tracks to the pub  next door and had lunch on the patio though.

Third and final stop for today was JJ Stitches in Sun Prairie, WI.  JJ's was also in the Quilt Sampler magazine many years ago.  We've all been to this shop before, but I really love it -- lots of civil war repros and my kind of antique colors -- the darks!  I absolutely fell in love with a quilt on the wall (should have taken a picture but didn't even think of it).  I bought the background fabric and a bundle of fabrics for the squares along with the pattern:  The picture on the front of the pattern does not do the quilt on the wall justice -- the background was a deep cream/almost yellow color and all the 1" finished squares are the darks in the stack.  I love the quilts made with tiny squares, but don't usually make them because I really don't like working with the tiny pieces.  This one is mostly strip pieced and I think I might be able to handle it.  Who knows when I'll actually get around to starting it!

All in all it was a very good day -- it was a great day for a road trip!  And I can fondle fabrics and dream about starting this quilt!

Gratitudes:  Kris drove today and it was nice to spend time talking quilts.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More building

Having finally made the decision to stay, I've been making other decisions much easier!  I asked my son-in-law, Aaron to make me a water barrel.  I've always been interested in conserving and reducing my carbon footprint and saw water barrels for sale last summer at the Farmers' Market for at least $100.  Aaron made one for them last summer at a fraction of the price, so I asked him to make one for me.  They brought it down for Mother's Day (it's actually my birthday present because my Mother's Day gift is a handmade planter that the grandkids made filled with a variety of annuals.)
So, Aaron told me what I had to buy and what I had to do to set the barrel up.  I have it at the corner of the garage and the overflow spot should drain right into the part of the downspout that Bill buried way back before the sidewalks were poured that drains way away from the house.  I had to take the solid downspout off and replace it with the flexible one -- once again really happy that I invested in that trusty power screwdriver!  Now I'm just waiting for rain!  I have it set up on blocks so I can fill the watering can from it for watering my tomatoes and peppers!

Back when we lived in a subdivision, we had about a 3/4 acre lot and a big garden (including an asparagus bed that Bill planted).  He also built a compost area with landscape timbers right out by the garden.  It was great.  Then we moved here, have 23+ acres, but a smaller garden and a lot of trees.  Still have an asparagus bed that he planted that first year and the asparagus is still wonderful, but he didn't bother with a compost area.  He was more into cleaning up the woods and the garden really isn't much -- the kids were gone by that time.  But, as I clean out my weedy flower beds and the garden boxes, I collect a lot of stuff that could be composted, so...I bought a tumbling composter from Home Depot.  I put it together on Saturday -- only took about two hours and once again -- that power screwdriver was a lifesaver!  Being a quilter, I've always understood a guy's fascination with power tools, but now I understand it even more! vbg

I put it out in the garden area next to the 5 blueberry bushes Bill planted -- I took the picture in the late afternoon, otherwise it's pretty sunny out there.  The asparagus bed is just adjacent to this area -- you can probably see the tall ones that have gone to seed back there.  I have two tomato plants and 3 green pepper plants in the boxes and a whole bunch of weeds too.  I'm just going to try to manage a small garden this year and maybe next year I can add a little more.

Gratitudes:  I can feel the stress of the past few years slowly falling away now.  I have lots of plans, but know that nothing has to be done immediately.  I'm taking my time and smelling the roses (well, the iris and the peonies anyway!).

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Change of Heart

I have taken my house off the market.  It was a rather expensive lesson in jumping in with both feet before I really thought everything through, but now I have finally made up my mind.  This house is way too big for one person, but it was way too big for two of us!  But it was our dream house and I still love it.  It means I have a lot to take care of, but it also means there is no rush.  The major things I will have to hire some one to do like replacing the furnaces, or staining the outside of the house when it needs it.  I already have a friend's son mow the yard most of the time, but even I can do that whenever Connor is busy.  My neighbors and friends keep the mowers and other equipment working for me, or tell me who to call.  My next door neighbor plows my drive in the winter -- although I also can work the snow blower. 

I've let my flower beds go to weed for years now, but this year I actually feel like working in them again, so slowly but surely I'll whip them back into shape; a little redesigning of them has already begun.

I'm still an hour and a half away from my daughter and grandkids, but all my friends and my church is down here and I'd miss them if I moved.  I'll just be making trips up to Wisconsin to see the boys play baseball and just to spend quality time with my daughter and her family.  Otherwise, I'd be driving down here to see my friends and church - so it's basically a trade off.  Steph made me do a pros and cons list while I was waffling about selling or staying and it came out about even :-)!  I hated having the house ready to show at any moment and having to put the family pictures away, etc.  And the housing market is not back yet, so it would probably be a long time before it actually sold.  So that is my thinking on the subject!

And I decided that there are a lot of things that I can actually do myself and a few things I want to try, so I'm jumping in with both feet.  First up -- Bill always had a Weber kettle charcoal grill -- he never wanted a gas grill.  I sold the kettle at the auction because I did not want to mess with it.  So, I went out and bought myself a small gas grill.  And, drum roll please, I put it all together myself, and even went to FS to have the tank filled (I always feel like a dumb female when I have to do things like that!).  Best gift to myself was a power screwdriver that I bought when I bought the grill!  Love it!

I took the left shelf back off when I hooked up the gas -- it was just always in the way.  Fired that puppy up and grilled a pork chop the first day and had my son-in-law grill burgers on it for Mother's Day!  It works great and all the screws are tight thanks to the power screwdriver!

Gratitudes:  I finally feel like I made the right decision after two years of waffling.

Today was the first anniversary of Steve's death.  We all seem to have made it through today by keeping busy. 
 I can still hear his voice on the phone, so I'm thankful for that; and I still think about him every day -- I doubt that will change anytime soon either.  He was an amazing man whose life was cut way too short.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Change of Plans

The plan for the day was to work outside.  We'd already gotten an inch of rain by the time I got up this morning, and it's still raining -- a nice gentle rain, which is great, but rain just the same.  I'm a little bummed because for the first time since Steve was diagnosed (Dec. 2007), I actually have been looking forward to working in the garden/flower beds and yard.  I have plans to reduce the size of my flower beds and move a lot of plants around. But, I'll wait til the rain is done and do a little at a time.
Moving on, the other plan for the day is doing laundry and that's well on its way.  I'll spend some time straightening up the house, but I think I'll also spend some time on this quilt: 

The part over the longarm table is only 2/3 of the top.  The other blocks need to be sewn together and added.  This quilt is called Four Patch Plaid and is in Pat Speth's first book, Nickel Squares.  I made another of these quilts years ago when the book first came out and use it all the time in the recliner in the evening -- JR sits on my lap on it.  It's showing signs of wear, so I decided to make another.  It's a twin size which actually is a great size for wrapping in the recliner -- especially in the winter!

Gratitudes:  The rain.  We actually did need it, even though it puts me farther behind!
Connor got the front mowed yesterday before the loud thunderclap and rain.  Hopefully, if it stops raining, he'll get the back mowed this evening.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's Official

My house is listed at For Sale By  Listing #23861403

If you know anyone interested in buying a two story log home in the country with 23.5 acres, please let them know!  I am really ready to downsize now!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The view from the Porchrocker

We've been blessed with an early spring -- in fact we are in the part of the US that has been getting 80 degree temps during the past week.  I had to rush out and rake all the leaves out of the flower beds so the daffodils could grow and bloom.  I've spent many a morning lately drinking my coffee on the front porch watching the plants grow!
I'm especially enjoying the mornings and evenings on the porch this spring.  Hopefully, it will be my last spring here so I'm savoring.
 I'm getting ready to put the house back on the market For Sale By Owner.  A really good friend is helping me get all my ducks in a row as to putting together a flyer/handout and arranging for advertising in the Chicago area as well as this area and also on the 'net. 
The plan is to move to WI near my daughter and her family.  It would be really nice to go to the grandkids' sports events and not have to drive back home for an hour and a half.  It would be really nice to finally get settled -- I feel like I've been living in limbo for the past two years.

The weather has been beautiful lately -- even though our winter wasn't bad weather-wise, it was still long and gray!
Friends that know a lot and help me a lot!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My new toy

While I've been sick and whining, and not getting anything done in the sewing department, I have been doing a lot of reading and playing on the computer, the I-Pad and on my new phone.
Some background:  I've had a cell phone for a few years -- the first one I used only for emergencies, never kept it on and paid $20 a month for it at Sprint.  Bill didn't want one.  Then Steve got sick, I saw the need to have a better phone and a better phone package, so I bought a nice LG model, signed up with Verizon because Steve had good luck with them out where they lived (when you live out in the boonies you have to determine these things that aren't issues for people who live in the city!).  I signed up for a full package for texting and data, but cancelled that after a month and just stuck with the cell phone part.  I don't live on my phone.  I did buy an I-pad2 a couple of years ago and I do have a Kindle that I love.  Problem is that I still live in the boonies -- I have satellite internet because I can't even get dsl on the phone lines out here, no cable, etc.  Let me tell you what satellite internet is like -- 5 times the price of dialup, 1/2 the speed of dialup!
So, mostly I don't do much on the I-Pad because the wireless connection is bad!
Fast forward a few years -- the kids all LIVE on their phones -- texting is the new talking, Facebook is king, etc.  I finally succumbed to it and bought myself an IPhone 4S -- with Siri no less.  You can see by the fingerprints that it gets some usage!  I stayed with Verizon, am now back to having a text and data package and oh boy, a hot spot booster.  I can now use my I-Pad and my phone and they work faster than my computer!  And oh boy is Words With Friends addicting on Facebook!  Not only that, but it's been wonderful having something to play with while I'm coughing my brains out and I don't have to expose any one else to it! LOL

Whining is over -- still coughing but at least I can text someone and whine about it now!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I'm a fairly private individual when it comes to religion, political views, etc.  I'm a Christian, in fact, I'm Methodist, but I don't wear it as a badge or use a bullhorn to announce it.  My friends and I have religion discussions fairly often and I have friends from many denominations.  It's just not something I'm usually public about.  I was raised in the church I attend.  I left it for many years after my first marriage, and after trying other churches and other denominations over the years, I came back to my church when Steve was diagnosed with the brain tumor.  (We had been back before because Steve was confirmed in this church when he was 13).
Anyway, Bill and I joined this church again in 2008.  We had a female pastor at that time, but in 2009 we got a new pastor.  His name is Christopher Druce-Jones and I have to tell you that he is the most dynamic speaker I've ever heard.  He leads our bible study groups and I hate to miss any of them because we have such great discussions and I have learned so much since he came to our church.  In our regular bible study we are reading "Heaven is For Real" by Todd Burpo.  I read this book a couple of years ago and loved it and now we're reading it together and discussing it chapter by chapter.  We have all walks of life in our bible study groups -- so many stories.  It's really wonderful.

For Lent we have a special Lenten study going.  This year we're reading this book.  Adam Hamilton is a Methodist minister in Kansas -- young, like Pastor Chris -- it so amazes me the knowlege they possess.  Pastor Hamilton started his own church and his congregation numbers in the thousands.  (My church is very, very small -- we might have 60 - 75 people on a Sunday).  This book is accompanied by a dvd --each chapter shows the actual sites that we read about in Jesus' journey of the last 24 hours of his life.  I would recommend the book and the dvd.

Like I said, I hate to miss any of the bible study groups and I had to miss last week's Heaven is for Real and chapter 2 of the 24 Hours because of this lousy cough -- now I only have my thoughts on it and nobody else's insight -- I miss it alot!

Okay - enough whining!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The adventures of me...

When last we left our heroine (that's female hero, not drug), she was being productive in the sewing room.  That was last Friday.  I unearthed these blocks from one of the plastic drawers there were stashed in and put them up on the design wall.  Wonder how long they'll stay there before I either do something with them or take them down and bury them again.  I can't remember if Kris gave me these after buying them on E-bay or at an auction, or if I bought them from her at a garage sale.  Note to self -- do something about this memory (or lack thereof) thing.
Irregardless (don't you hate when people use that non-word?!  I do!).  Regardless of what I do with these blocks, I did manage to pull fabrics and cut out a quilt for Mikey -- who will be 2 in June and I thought it was time to make his baby quilt.  I even started sewing it.
And then it happened....from out of nowhere I was hit with the creeping crud.  "They" all say "its" going around -- but none of them say how to avoid it, or how to get rid of it.  It's the cough that starts in the throat, moves to the chest and takes up residence; the sinuses that fill up and then drain whenever they feel like it; it's the don't bother trying to sleep for at least 2 nights because the cough is not going to allow it; it's the rib-hurting, chest congesting, unproductive cough, cough, cough; it's the get out the Depends because at my age I can't squeeze those muscles and cough at the same time cough! It's probably a good thing I live alone and I have an idea JR would probably plan a trip about now if he could!  The pharmacist said Mucinex -- I should probably buy stock in the company.  I know it just takes time and the congestion will break up, but boy am I tired of coughing.  It's been a week now, and not only is my cough unproductive, but so am I.  Nothing more has been done in the sewing room.  I haven't even opened any of the hand applique -- it's too hard to stitch or do anything else when you're coughing or your ribs hurt!

So that's my post and my whine for the day.  I have a couple of more things to write about -- but I'll leave them for a different post!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A more productive day

I spent most of the day today playing in the quilt studio :-)! I had to do a search and rescue attempt the other day to find a certain applique project I knew I had started. In the process I found a few other projects, of course. So, for most of the day I prepped the next blocks on four applique projects, and sorted and checked two others in progress. So, yeah, I have 6 different applique projects going at once! But that's okay, because they are great take-along items to work on and if I don't feel like working on one, I can always work on a different one!

Then I decided to make a block called Pinwheel Star from the Fons & Porter's Sampler Quilts & Blocks Winter 2011 edition (page 40) magazine.  I really like the block, but I'm going to design it with fewer bias edges -- I want to use this block as a leader/ender project while working on other things, so I don't want to mess with all the bias edges -- I'd rather sew and flip the corners of the flying geese blocks, whereas the design calls for cutting triangles.
I have a couple of other things I want to prep, too and hopefully I'll be able to do that tomorrow -- I'll be digging through scraps for another quilt!

AJ is 8 years old today -- he was a 10 week preemie and now he's a second grader taking advanced judo lessons, playing baseball, and doing well in school!  Happy Birthday, AJ! 

Being in my own little world, with the cd player on and listening to some favorite tunes while playing with fabric -- what could be better? (Plenty of things, I know!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Boring News Day

How boring you ask?  I'm sure I heard you!
I have no quilts to show you, nothing fun even on Valentine's Day except for a pic of my big toe -- I had toe surgery a couple of hours ago to remove an ingrown toenail! Whoopee on the excitement scale!  Doesn't it just look lovely.  Maybe I'll actually do some quilting this afternoon, or maybe I'll just take a nap!

I finally had the surgery done -- it doesn't hurt although it did take more than the usual amount of needle pricks to get it numb -- and that's the part that hurts.
It should be completely healed by the time spring finally arrives.
JR is always happy to see me come home!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Another Project

I have a stack of unrelated projects always staring me in the face.  You know the ones:  go through the pictures and organize them; clean out that shelf of sewing related stuff and find a place for everything; go through the decorations and toss the stuff that's falling apart and you never use...., etc.

I have a big table in my clutter room (mud room/former sewing room), and I dumped most of the photograph books and boxes on it in hopes I would start cleaning them up.  Been there since November!  Today, I took some of the loose pages of one of the books and started cleaning them up.  These were pics of quilts I made back in the nineties.  This was before I ever got a digital camera and I used to get double prints free every time I had the film developed.  Why I need 48 pics of the same quilt is beyond me!  So, today while I was waiting for my meatloaf to bake, I sorted out the keepers and tossed the rest.  The stack on the left is the one I tossed!  I still have a picture of all the quilts in the stack, but only one or two!  Now if I did that every day for the next 6 months, I might make a dent in the photo department! vbg

I did get my little Valentine quilt quilted yesterday and today I stitched down the binding and the hanging sleeve.

Gratitudes:  My daughter -- she was my sounding board today and she helped me make some decisions I've been wavering on.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

More Applique

I spent the afternoon working on my Merry Merry Snowmen block today.  This is the first block of the quilt, so I need to prep the next one.  Nice to have the first one out of the way though.

Not much else going on today -- wind was blowing pretty hard this morning and it looks like it wants to sleet/drizzle/snow or something, but I can't tell if it has actually done anything.  It's too cold to go out to check! vbg

Gratitudes:  My girlfriend made me a cowl collar for Christmas and I love it -- it keeps my neck warm and helps to warm the rest of me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Finished the Top

I found a red fat quarter in the stash today and used it for the inner border.  I think that sets it off better than just the wide pink border.  This is just a 25" square quilt.  I'll hang it in the little bath with the new shower curtain as soon as I get it quilted.

Tim plowed the long drive this morning and I got the short part by the garage snow-blown.  Hopefully we won't get the ice/drizzle they're calling for in the morning.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another Snow (Sew) Day...

Have I mentioned lately that I hate snow?!  I do.  Can't figure out why I've stayed in this area all my life -- really dislike winter.
It's been coming down since 9:30 this morning and probably won't end til 9:30 tonight.  I've decided to let my neighbor plow the drive this time around -- it's really cold out there too.  He has a plow on the truck that used to be Bill's and offers to plow the drive for free -- can't beat that!

So, I decided it would be a perfect day for sewing.  Wednesday would have been Steve's 43rd birthday.  I met his widow for lunch and afterward I stopped at Acorn Quilts in Rockford to see what was new (definitely needed a pick-me-up!)  I found this fabric (it was brand new -- mine was the first cut off it!).

I bought enough to make a shower curtain for the little bath.  So, that's what I made this morning.  I still have my snowman quilts up in this bath, but it doesn't read obvious Valentine anyway, so I went ahead and hung it up.
In a week or two I'll hang a couple of heart/Valentine quilts in there.  One I know I have to add a hanging sleeve to and I need to dig out the other ones to see what I actually have.  I also started a little Valentine quilt to hang in there -- just 4 appliqued hearts.  I spent an hour trying to find a contrasting or coordinating fabric for the quilt to set off the border, but can't find anything in the stash, so right now the quilt is pretty boring.  I'll post a picture when I finish it --- I've only gotten one heart done so far.

My neighbor, Tim -- I would hate to have to clear the drive myself today.
I'm thankful I can stay in and sew on days like this.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter has arrived

We finally got "measurable snow" today -- so far about 5" or 6".  I spent an hour just before dark snowblowing -- it's supposed to get really windy so I wanted to get the first layer off to make it easier to clean the driveway on Saturday afternoon when it is finally finished!

I finished quilting my Henrietta Whiskers quilt -- this was a free bom from Bunny Hill Designs.  Kris and I each made the quilt.  I stitched the binding down today and washed it -- to hide all the little errors in the stitching -- not exactly easy stitching around applique pieces! 

I do love the quilt and will be quilting Kris' version for her soon.  We've just started doing another Bunny Hill Design -- Merry, Merry Snowmen -- another year long project!

After a couple of tries, I actually got the snowblower to start and stay running!  (Happiness is all relative you know!)
I really don't like snow, but am happy to be safe at home, with plenty of food, heat and enough wood in the garage to have a few fires before I have to go get another supply from the shed!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Final Destination

The crock bench ended up in the kitchen between the two windows of the dining area.  I added a few books, but I think I'll probably add a few more.  Granted, it doesn't take much to make me happy, but this little bench with some of my crocks, makes me smile!
Babysitting Will and Mikey yesterday while Steph chaperoned AJ's field trip.  Got in some good grandma hugs!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

January 4....

and I've already blown one new year's resolution!  The whole frugal, green thing.  But, I did stay with the green thing, because it's always green to buy primitive antiques, right?!  This is the blanket chest I bought today.  I sold my old coffee table and couch at the auction last spring, bought a new couch last July and have been looking for a chest to use as a coffee table for awhile.  And here it is.

The inside even has a shelf/tray that slides on the top.  I think I'm probably going to put some quilts in it.
I haven't filled it yet, but love that I have a space to put candles and small quilts on the top again.
And then I found this little bookshelf (same shop) and I put it in my library (I also sold the four big bookcases I had in the library at the auction).  I haven't decided for sure what I'm going to put on it, but the rings indicate to me that this was a crock stand, so I put a couple of my crocks on it.  I love old crocks and collect them, so I could probably fill it with crocks, but I think I might add a couple of old hard bound books with the crocks.  Haven't quite decided yet, so I'll play with it and try different things.  I adore primitives, so this little shelf just made my day!
So, even though I already broke one of my resolutions, I'll start over in my resolve to spend less (especially since I'll be pinching pennies til the end of the month now! vbg :-))

Finding treasures and being able to buy them when I want.
Having a friend with a Suburban that likes to antique shop with me!  Thanks Kris!

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Depression Quilt

My to-do list was rather long today, but I got most things done -- and the day isn't over so there's still hope :-)!  It's my house cleaning day and laundry day.  I try to get everything done in one day so I can play the rest of the week!

A couple of weeks before Christmas I turned a corner and got hit right in the face with a bout of depression.  Depression is a really ugly thing -- lots of dark thoughts that you don't have any control over; a feeling of overwhelming sadness; a feeling of what's the point anyway.  I knew what it was immediately, so I decided to try to work my way out of it -- it started on a Thursday.  I was working on an old project that I consider ugly at the time and really tedious.  So, I pulled out the Winter issue of Primitive Quilts magazine, set aside the ugly quilt and cut and started piecing the Country Christmas quilt in the magazine.  I even went to my favorite quilt shop and bought some border fabric for it.  In a matter of a couple of days, I finished the quilt, and more importantly, worked myself right out of the bout of depression.  I'm not saying this is what you should do if it happens to you -- clinical depression really needs to be treated by a doctor and if it had lasted any longer, I would have made an appointment. 
This quilt is actually quilted and bound and I'm considering calling it the Depression Quilt, but maybe not!  I really love it -- it's only 48" x 48", but that's a good size for throwing on the couch or on the kitchen table!  The picture was taken after piecing, but before I quilted it.
I went back to the ugly quilt and finished it afterwards.  It was a mystery quilt I didn't want to do to begin with, but Kris cut half the pieces for me last summer and by the time I pieced them into blocks and made another large amount of blocks for it, I figured I had too much time invested in it not to finish it!  You may or may not see a picture of it sometime -- the top is done but not quilted.

I'm thankful for my stash and for the Primitive quilts magazines -- love all their patterns.  It was nice to be able to pull fabrics from the stash on a moment's notice and start piecing.
And, I'm grateful that my one and only bout of depression only lasted a few days.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

And, it WILL be a Happy New Year! I insist
I started thinking about my resolutions/goals for the new year and I realized that I stopped making lists sometime this past year.  I'm truly a list maker and I find that I really accomplish things when I write them down, but when I don't I'm at sixes and sevens all day -- going from one thing to another and never getting anything done or always having that feeling that I should have done something and I don't remember what it was!  So, yesterday I made a short list of things I needed to get done:

And of the measly four things on the list, I only actually accomplished two of them!  But, it's a start getting back to a normal routine for me.  My friend Kris and I write a quilting newsletter for a few of our friends -- the past few times, she's done all the content and I do the editing.  Every once in a while I actually contribute something besides the editing, but not lately.  Hopefully next issue will be different.  But, I did work on the newsletter yesterday and will be sending it out later today.

I don't have humidifiers on my furnaces, so have room/house ones that need to be refilled constantly -- and yesterday I blew that job off!  I did, however fill them after church today, so I can still cross that off the list.  I did take down Christmas yesterday -- but I didn't put up a lot of Christmas, so here's the stuff I took down:
I do have lots of snowman quilts and a few Christmas quilts that I can leave up for a few more days.  The snowman quilts will stay up until I exchange them for Valentine quilts.  The other part of that chore was to clean out one of the Rubbermaid bins I keep my decorations in and sort the things again by seasons and put this stuff away -- that didn't get accomplished yesterday, so it'll go on tomorrow's list!

That'll be another resolution on the list -- sort all the bins and put them away -- a little at a time.  I'm not going to make myself crazy this year trying to do everything and accomplishing nothing.

This new year - 2012 - is going to be a good one because I'm going to give myself permission to take the time to smell the flowers.  I want to spend more quality time with my grandkids and if the house gets dirty, it'll keep til I get around to it!

Good friends, Squire and Cindy took me out for dinner last night -- lovely meal, good glass of wine and great friends.  And, we were home by 7 pm!  My kind of New Year's Eve celebration!
My church family -- a great bunch of people that really care about me, as I do them.