Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Still Here.......

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, I enjoyed a peaceful Christmas day with hubby and our sons.  Enjoying some down time and I plan to get back to more regular blogging after the first.  The next few days will be busy cleaning up and doing some cooking for New Year's Day, my family (parents, siblings and their families) will be celebrating our Christmas together on NYD.  My biggest challenge is cleaning the floor without a vacuum cleaner, my youngest son is going to look at it and hopefully he can fix it, if not I guess a new one will be in order (I would rather save the money or spend it on fabric, LOL).  The most important thing I need to remember is that I DON'T need to clean every single nook and cranny and exhaust myself in the process, my family is getting together to visit NOT inspect my house! 

After the first I am planning to get back into my sewing room, I am also doing the usual beginning of the year organizing, paperwork and hope to get it finished by the end of January.

Some thoughts of warmer days to come..........

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

"A Quiet Moment"
Timothy P. Schmalz
Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All Ready For Santa to Deliver

Just took this out of the dryer and it's nice and soft and crinkled. 
 Ready to be delivered with these little goodies.
Straight from "Santa's Workshop".  I do have to say that this elf wishes she was better at machine quilting, but I don't think the 6 month old recipient will be too critical.  Actually it gave me incentive to work on quilting more to improve my skills, I already have two waiting in the wings. 
 Packaged for delivery.
Hope you are all able to enjoy this Christmas season, I've been trying to keep it simple and not get stressed.  My tree still doesn't have ornaments,  but I was able to get them down from the attic today.  Tomorrow I will be going out to pick up a few gift items then I can concentrate on groceries for the week and Christmas.  I'm hoping that the coming week will be quiet and uneventful :0). 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some Cinnamon Buns and a Quilt Sandwich

Today I made some of these..........
And this sandwich.........

I prefer the taste of the cinnamon buns and love the look of the sandwich, although the buns look nice too!  Thank you to the "girls" for the yummy eggs that I had with the buns.  Oh and one of them is really stepping up to the plate (no pun intended) and layed a pretty good sized egg this morning!

I also managed to get the tree in the house and now I have some lights up in the windows along with my snowmen.

 The plan this week is to get the lights on the tree and quilt the "sandwich".  Then when I can get back in the attic I can get the box with the ornaments down.  This is all apart  in my garage and  blocking access to the attic.
No this is not my project, but until it's out of the garage I won't be working on my compost bin, and at this rate I might have to wait until after Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A little decorating,,,,,,

I've done a little decorating.....
Top of the computer cabinet.
The shelf in the living room.
The ladder with the two quilt tops I made for my home.

The window over the kitchen sink, sorry it's a little "bright".
Hope to get a few more things up this weekend.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Busy in Santa's Workshop

Thought I would share the fun I've been having in Santa's workshop......

I placed a piece of the fabric I've chosen for the binding on the side and the backing will be the light blue fabric with the stars.  I will try to get the "quilt sandwich" made tomorrow and hopefully I will get the quilting finished by the end of the weekend if not sooner.  So I will have this one completed way before December 20th, when I have to bring it back to put it under the Christmas tree.   This quilt is the baby size of the Yellow Brick Road, the same design as the lap size I shared yesterday.   I really love this quilt design it's so quick and easy to cut and piece together.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I believe it's a "flimsy"

I believe I can officially call this "winter" quilt a flimsy.  I aplogize for the photos, the lighting wasn't that great, but I wanted to get this post done tonight.  Here is the completed top, I will probably save the quilting of this one for later, at least until after I get the next smaller quilt done. 

I am sure going to love snuggling under this quilt (when it's complete) this winter when I am reading some of the books from my pile.

Some Sewing........

I spent most of Sunday in my sewing room working on the winter quilt for my living room.   One of my favorite quick and easy quilt patterns is Yellow Brick Road by Terry Atkinson.

Some blocks pieces ready to be sewn together.

Just waiting their turns to be sewn.

Some more pieces that are waiting to be put together.

This is one of the three block designs in this quilt.

Here are the blocks waiting to be put on the design wall.

Adding another complete row to the top.
This quilt will be a "lap size" which for this pattern is 57" X 75", I will be adding a border and there are several extra blocks leftover and I may use them in the corners of the border as suggested in the pattern.  This quilt is so quick and easy that you could complete the top in one day.  I will be making one more this week for the "6 month old boy" gift tag that I picked off the Christmas tree at our local town hall. 

I know some of you are waiting to see the compost bin, haven't worked on it yet.........

Friday, December 3, 2010


Today hubby and I decided to brave the chilly garage (the space heater was out of fuel and I didn't want to go out and get more) and get the roof for the chicken coop made.  This is what the coop roof was like this morning before we started.......
Their roof was a tarp with a thin piece of wood over the top, of course the temperatures are getting colder and  I also wanted a more secure roof that could be easily opened for cleaning.  So today was the day.....Hubby and I work together, he isn't able to physically do the job so he tells me what to do with the tools and materials and hopefully when we are done we have a finished product.  Thankfully we have been married for 26 years and have learned to work well together!

We had to buy a sheet of 1/2" plywood,  already had the hinges, roofing paper was leftover from a few years ago, and the rest of the wood was from "around" the house and yard.  Nails and screws are a "staple" at our house so we didn't need any of them either.  

We wanted the top to fit sort of like a box top, with a lip around the edges.  After measuring the top of the coop and adding a little for overhang in the front, we needed to cut the plywood, thankfully, "middle" son was over raking leaves (thank you) and came into the garage just in time to save me from having to use the skil saw (I have never used one before and really wasn't looking forward to it).

Now we need to mark where to put the first part of the "lip" for the top, after marking where to place it we started the screws then clamped the wood and finished screwing in the screws (sorry for lack of photos).  After getting the first board for the "lip" done we did the two sides the same way and carried it down to the coop for a "test fit".  It fit like a glove (after pulling out the nails from the top of the coop that were making it wobbly) then back to the garage to set on the hinges and put on the roofing paper.  Earlier this week we brought the paper inside the basement so it would be warm and easier to work with, but we had to work fairly quickly as it was cold in the garage.  The hinges are on the back side, we left extra paper to "overhang" the back and protect from possible drafts and tried to cover as much of the rest as possible. 

Then off to place it onto the coop and screw the bottom part of the hinges, oldest son helped with this part, thankfully because by this time my body was cold and stiff.  Voila a beautiful roof just in time for the yucky weather that is on the way for the weekend!  What do you think?? 

Of course while we were working on the roof I had to section the girls into a corner and somehow they managed to "get out", they sure do think the grass is greener on the outside, LOL.  I had to grab the dog and get him inside, I opened the pen so they could get back in but let them wander for a while....then later shooed them back into the coop!   I am making progress......I actually held one of them today, sorry I am still not quite up to speed with their names yet! 

I want to add a window to the left of the coop door so they will have some natural light on days that they have to stay inside, since I really don't plan on putting a "light" inside the coop, unless you think I should Peggy??  I was hoping to get the window done today but the roof took longer than expected, if there is a delay in the rain/snow tomorrow I will try to get it done in the morning.  I also want to figure out a better "yard area" for them, but not sure if it will get done this fall.....I will talk to hubby and see if we can build it in the garage and move outside when complete.  I would like a hinged door to get in and out and I would like to make fencing over the entire top (they have flown out several times before I covered the top).  Right now I have half chicken netting and half tarp because I ran out of netting.  If we redo this we will reuse the netting we already have and I think I will only have to get some strapping for the frame. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How Cute.....

On Saturday I went to my Fat Quarter Quilting group and started my next little quilt.  I was able to cut and piece the first square and when I measured the final product it was 1/4" too small all the way around :0(    Need to check out my portable machine, not sure if something is off with the 1/4" foot.  But anyways I went home and redid that block on my other machine and it came out great!  I was wondering what to do with the block that was too small but otherwise was fine.....well I remembered the cute little pin cushions that Terry makes (I was the lucky recipient of one in a giveaway) and decided I would use this block to make my first one! 

I started with the block, this one was 4 1/4"  square, then I took a piece from my scraps and made a 4 1/4" backing, sewed them RIGHT sides together leaving a space to turn it right sides out and fill.  I filled it with crushed corn cob, I wanted to use crushed walnut shells but wasn't able to find any locally.  After you fill then sew the opening shut and I used a button that I had for the middle.  What do you think?

I was hoping to get more done in the sewing room, instead I did some stuff around the house I even made some chocolate chip cookies! 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Step Closer to Finally Makin' It.......

Today I ran errands and didn't get much done, but I did round up this stuff...............

 The bag contains alfalfa meal, the rest are the parts that will be added to..............
this blue plastic container.  I also had to "shop" from the backyard scrap wood pile for the frame for this project.  Hubby found a free "how to" on the web to turn all of this into a Rotating Compost Bin, he is having us add the wheels to make it easier for me to rotate it.   When it's all put together it will help me make some wonderful "gold" for my garden, the one I hope to have within the next 2 years.  I gathered all the stuff into the garage so hubby and I can be in nice and warm in the garage while we put it together, not sure when, but soon.  I will try to take photos as I make it so if you are interested in making one you can see how "easy" it is to make your own, LOL

I took this photo yesterday before I started working on the improvements I made to the inside of the coop.  The girls are peaking out wondering what I'm doing. 

Last night when they went inside I was expecting them to be using the new roosting pole I added.......instead one of them decided to roost on the waterer, I went to Tractor Supply and picked up a hanging waterer, that should take care of that problem! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Simple Living.......continued

Happy 25th Birthday to my oldest son!

Seems that most of the blogs that I follow all have the same idea......"Simple Living".  I know that I mentioned a while back that I would do a series, well I really feel like I am just striving to do what most of you are already doing or in the process of doing, just in our own individual ways so I will just post things as I go through life, how's that for simple!  I really enjoyed reading this post from Elizabeth she has wonderful ideas.  I have to say that great minds must think alike.....Elizabeth mentioned not saving things for "someday".....well on Thanksgiving morning I climbed up the attic stairs and brought down the set of china that belonged to hubby's grandmother and we used it for dinner.  After washing them I decided that I would find a place in the pantry for them so they could be used frequently for family gatherings.....what point is there is having these dishes if they are in a box in the attic!  Here are a few of the plates and bowls, the rest are still in the box waiting to be washed once I find a place for them!  BTW they are Crookville - Wild Roses, in case anyone is curious.

I put them up there many years ago when we had to take the china hutch out of the kitchen and really had no place for them, it is a setting for I have 12 dinner plates, salad plates, dessert plates, saucers, cups, and many of the serving dishes.  I also have a set of dishes that I got from Princess House many years ago, I have always loved them but never finished buying enough for daily use since we were family of 5..... now that number is smaller so I am going to use those and donate my current ones to a local shelter.  Here are the PH ones.......
I took this photo this summer when I was trying to sell them online, guess I need to keep the since no one else wanted them, LOL.

Our discussion this morning was what to name the "girls", since they are red I thought maybe naming them after famous Lucille Ball and Maureen O'Hara, maybe Lu  & Mo, not sure yet???  So far things are going well, they are still laying, every morning I let them out and give them some "treats" from inside, on the colder days I have been putting warm water in the waterer in the AM and PM, it is getting cold enough for it to freeze now.  I hope that they do okay in the cold, others have told me that they will be fine, hope I do all I should to make the coop warm for them. 

Yesterday was the fourth Saturday of the month so I had my "Fat Quarter Quilting" class, we all shared what we got done from last months.....mine was the "Little Fall Quilt", we had some goodies to eat and began working on the next project.  Here are three blocks I completed yesterday and the fabrics I am working with for this project........
Selection for the next block, subject to change, LOL.
As I mentioned before these quilts are from Lori Smith's book Fat Quarter Quilting (just want to make sure I give credit where credit is due) Here are the fabrics I am "working" from for this project, but I could also dig into my stash if I choose to!

Off to enjoy this beautiful Sunday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Introducing the Ladies..........

Here are the lovely gifts that I receive every morning, sometimes one, but most days I get two!

Here are the ladies responsible for these gifts..................
They have been here for a week now and I am still tweaking their yard, we are also going to have to make a few adjustments to the coop before winter really gets here.  They both got out the second day they were here, I thought they flew over the fencing, but I think they slipped out a small opening in the fencing.   That was a little scary 'cause Hunter, our German Shepherd, was trying to get them, luckily they were in the bushes on the side of the hill and he couldn't get to them.  One got out yesterday and I think I have fixed the problem.

If Hunter was not unleashed we could let them free range, but he roams the yard and would surely get them.  I never thought that I would get chickens, I had a traumatic experience when I was very young and have always been afraid of them ( no laughing), but they have "pecked" me yet!  I hope that I can make everything warm and cozy for them during our cold winter, I have been doing some reading and I am up for the challenge, I will also be bugging Peggy with questions.  I am hoping that they will continue to lay eggs all winter!  I have not named them yet, they really belong to my son, but I am sure that he wouldn't mind if I named them.   So there you have it the "ladies" are chickens!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Plan, Day 2

Started yesterday morning with this pile.......

That needed to go inside with these stacks..........

One of my "helpers", isn't he cute!

This is ALL the wood finally inside, aren't you glad you don't have to hear me talk about bring in my wood anymore!

The backyard looks like this now..........

Today I got a few more things that I wanted to get finished up, except for the leaves, everything outside that HAS to be done is done!  There are still a few things that I can work on if the weather is nice, but they are not a must. 

Now since I couldn't post this yesterday, you will have to wait until tomorrow to meet the "ladies" I promise that I will have the post ready first thing, as a matter of fact I may get the post ready now and have it automatically post in the morning!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Soon I Will Be Able To Say Let It Snow.....

Today I got most of my stuff done.......tomorrow I will work on bringing in wood, yes  I'm still bringing in wood, but there is an end in sight.  Then the only major thing left on the list will be the leaves, if we have a few more nice days then hubby and I will take care of them.  I leaf blow them into a pile and he takes care of the piles with the tractor.  If I don't get the leaves done, guess what, they will still be there in the spring! 

Soon I will introduce you to two little ladies that are now living at my house and provide us with yummy treats daily!  I have to say that I have always been afraid of them but my son introduced me to them and I realized that they are not as big as they were when I was a little girl standing in the middle of hundreds of them!  Just thought I would tease a little but I think you are all pretty clever and can figure it out!

The Plan......

The plan for this weekend it to get 99-100% of the outside winter prep done, I am going to prioritize what needs to be done and what doesn't get done may just have to wait until Spring!  It seems that there were more things than I realized that needed to be done and I forgot to account for the way life jumps in and happens when you are try to get things done, LOL.

The weather has been so wonderful, thankfully, and I know it won't last forever.  As a matter of fact they are talking of a possible mix of rain and snow late next week......I have come to realize that once that happens I don't usually get much done outside. 

I have been doing a tiny bit of sewing, sounds selfish when I have other work to do, but it is also how I wind down.  I have 3/4 of the binding done on the Frolic quilt and hope to finish it while watching football tomorrow.  I have also been working on the little "Pink" quilt I'm making for my sister, I hope to have it finished soon.  I am trying very hard to finish these before starting anything new, wish me luck!  I want to make a lap size "winter quilt" for the living room ladder with some  fabric I got on sale,  photo of  the fabric coming soon.   I also wanted to make a couple of quilts with some Christmas fabric from my stash, but those might have to wait until next year???   There is also a baby quilt that should be made soon as the baby is due next month.  I have lots to keep me busy in my little room this winter so I should not be bored.  Goodness I keep thinking of other unfinished projects.......but I keep telling myself that sewing is something that I enjoy and not something I should dread, maybe that is why I haven't put a "Quilt To Do" list in the margin of my blog??? 

Hope to get some photos later to share.  Okay time to get moving.......have a great day :0)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When Your Huts on Fire

I received this as a "chain e-mail" a few days ago and thought it was a great story to share with others.  Some of you may have already received it in your e-mailboxes, I also do not know who wrote this so I was unable to put an authors name at the end.  Enjoy.......


The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.

The moral of this story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering.

Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground.  It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

Have a blessed day, I know I will.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Few Days.....

I've got a few things to take care of this week, then I should be back to my sewing room and things to share.  So, I will probably be taking a few more days off from posting.  I will try to update the reflection and I may visit my blog friends when I take breaks, talk to you in a few days.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You for Your Service

Thank you to all the brave men and women who have served our country.

Take a moment today to say thank you to a veteran.......or a moment to remember one.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Update on Monday's Ramblings...........

 Have patience with all things,
but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in
considering your own imperfections
but instantly set about
remedying them--every day
begin the task anew.
                                             ~St. Francis de Sales

Patience, something that I find I sometimes have trouble with......

Just wanted to take a moment to let you know that I did contact the publisher, and the authors on Monday after I completed my blog post.  Thus far only one author has responded and she now publishes her own books and they are printed in the United States of America!  Since Monday I started checking more of my quilting books published by another publisher and they too are printed in China.  I contacted them and  patiently await a response......

Today is sunny, but very the leaves will have to wait, we will work on getting the rest of the yard ready for winter.  Hope you have a great day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Another Little Quilt.......and a disappointment

Just for Today
Oh, God, give me grace for this day.
Not for a lifetime, nor the for the next week, nor for tomorrow, just for this day.
Direct my thoughts and bless them, direct my work and bless it.
Direct the things I say and give them blessings, too.
Direct and bless everything that I think and speak and do.
So that for this one day, just this one day, I have the gift of grace that comes from your presence.......
    ~Marjorie Holmes

I spent most of the afternoon yesterday working on a new little quilt, it is for my sister and will go along with the Pink Chocolate quilt I gave her back in August.  I modified it, she wanted a topper for her dresser so I modified this little quilt............
It's from Lori Smith's Fat Quarter Quilting. here is what I got done before I turned in for the evening.  I am not sure if I will put a border, but that is why there is a strip across the top, I have several other options in my stash so I will play while I'm working on it. 

Now for my disappointment, sorry for the poor quality of the picture, but I was very sad when yesterday I noticed that the above mentioned book is Printed in China, then of course I checked the other books by this publisher and yes they too are NOT printed in the USA.  I  was disappointed that the money I spent was not even helping our country's economy 100%.  I plan on dropping a note to the publisher, then I plan on contacting the authors to see if they were aware where their books were printed.  The real kicker is that the books that I have bought that were printed here in the USA are in the same price point........I guess the ones printed out of this country must have a higher profit margin??? 

Gotta get morning chores done and off to play in my sewing room, as it is windy and raining today.