Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Plugging Along

Finally updated the daily reflection, that is one area that I continue to work on......

Yesterday one of my Debbie J posted a "Consistency Report" for January, it talked about her progress in the areas that she is working on for this year, just click on her name and you can read for yourself.  After reading her post I thought that if I took the time to post about my progress in the areas I am working on for 2011 it might help to keep me on track.  So here goes.........

1.  Keeping track of receipts, this are the tools that I am using to help keep me straight......

The "receipt keeper" is where I keep the receipts for the current month, then I will transfer them to the larger blue organizer. 

Inside the "receipt keeper" has folders, I have relabeled them to suit my needs.
So far I have kept up with the receipt folders and they are going to help me with the next step, keeping track of expenses.  Each month when I transfer the receipts to the blue folder I will clip the ones that I need for tax purposes together so at the end of the year I can just grab them. 

2.  Quilting, my plan was to work on the items in my stash and minimize the number of BOMs I sign up for, well I did well at the beginning of the month, then later in the month I signed up for a second one, it was only $10/month, but that is really not the point, LOL.  I also did purchase some fabric this month and NO, I really didn't NEED it, this is an area I really need to work on.

3.  Filing, my plan was to stay current on filing the monthly bills, since it's not the end of the month I haven't filed the bills yet this month (except for what got filed earlier while I was "regrouping" from last year).  The overall plan is to at least file once a month any bills or paperwork from the current month. 

4.  Grocery shopping and coupon use, hmmmm this is an area that I really slacked, the receipts for food shopping really helped me to see this!   I need to set up a working system that is easy so I can make consistent progress in coupon use and stay on track!  Those are the areas that I am currently working on.   I did not make any "resolutions" I did what many others chose to do, find areas to improve and work on them, like Debbie J has mentioned in her blog "its important to just keep working on goals and wishes, day in and day out,"  that works for me.  I also realize that it is important that when you fail, you need to move forward and learn from your mistakes, which is sometimes easier said than done. 

Now on to the progress of the Simply Charming FQQ, I started the making the applique pieces on Saturday and haven't been back to them yet.......
The "blank slate".

The first pieces pinned in place.
Later today I am going to work on the "Java" quilt, as I would like to send this along the the recipient sooner rather than later.  I may even "tie" this one instead of quilting it, not sure yet sure of my final decision.

Well gotta get the last of the paperwork filled out for this month, next month I would like to start AND finish our tax returns, then I can really enjoy the coming spring :0)

Have a blessed day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snowy Day Fun

It's snowing again today, two storms this week and tomorrow we will start with the "arctic" temperatures!  I would rather have more snow and warmer temperatures, but since I don't control the outside thermostat I guess I will just throw another log or two on the fire!  I have been putting snow around the chicken coop to make an "igloo" for them and I have kept the inside clean (or as clean as possible) with fresh shavings regularly, but the dreary weather and temperatures have slowed down the egg production.....I am hoping that they will fare well in the upcoming cold snap.

Here are a few pictures of the fur kids after the storm earlier this week........
It's Midnight's turn to work on the tunnel, while Hunter supervises!

Hunter on his "mountain" after the storm earlier this week.

I think I will take a break today from paperwork, and start the next fat quarter quilt, it is called "Simply Charming" and has applique.  I want to get all of the piecing done before tomorrow morning and then I will be able to work on the applique part at class. 

The next fat quarter quilt I will make.

These are the leftovers from the All Star Quilt, I love these fabrics and they go nicely with my decor so I'm going to dig in and pick from these!  
The fabrics I will select from for the next fat quarter quilt, "Simply Charming".
I'll try to share my progress later, but I'm also very engrossed in the book I'm reading and could get lost in that and get nothing done! 

For my cold weather friends, stay warm and for those of you that are "enjoying" temperatures above 45 degrees......send some my way, LOL.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

10 Block Sampler

As promised I took photos of the 10 Block Sampler Fat Quarter Quilt that I finished over the weekend.  I really enjoy making these smaller quilts, they are not as difficult as I thought so don't let them scare you!

I added a pocket on the back for hanging but I like it flopped over the edge of my little box.  The nice thing is that I will be making at least 4 more so I can hang the next one!  I'm thinking that the next one will have some applique, not wool but fabric applique.....I've been wanting to learn how to do it the right way, the little bit that I have done in the past was "winging it".  We will see,  I have until Saturday to change my mind several more times, LOL.

Well gotta go work on some more filing.....I'm making progress but I'm also thinking of the best way for ME to be successful in the coming year so I don't have to spend all this time filing every year.......I am going to try a once a month.....or even when I pay a bills I will just run down to file them instead of letting it pile for the year.  I have done well with my receipts so far this month.....I keep them sorted and at the end of the month they will be cleaned out and filed by month/catagory in a small folder.  I know some of you will say why keep receipts, but they are helping me with my budgeting and some are necessary for tax purposes I just need to keep them in order as they come in so I don't go crazy each year!  

Monday, January 17, 2011

A little of this and a little of that

This weekend I only finished one thing, but I worked on several different things, here is what my sewing room looked like this weekend.
At the ironing board the second "Fat Quarter Quilt", I finished this one on Sunday.  Just didn't get a photo of the finished product.

The design wall, a Crazy Eight Quilt, I call "Java".

The basket is the "Green Piece Stuff", in the plastic tote are the curtain fabrics.

The sewing machine with a line of things waiting to be sewn.

The "Civil War Chronicles" block is first in line and block 1 of "Green Piece" is second in line. 

Here is the completed CWC block for January, I hope to be able to keep up with this one and try to get "caught up" on the Civil War Tribute quilt this year.

This is what the completed CWC quilt will look like, January's block is the center block it measures 16 x 16, the finished quilt will be 108 x 108.

I will try to take a photo of the completed Fat Quarter Quilt later today.  I also repaired a pair of jeans for youngest son's girlfriend.  I spent most of the day hand quilting and stitching the binding on the Fat Quarter Quilt and when that was finished I continued to work on the wool applique blocks for Green Piece, while watching the Patriots lose their chance at the Super Bowl :0( 

Well gotta get going, I need to work on paperwork this week and maybe I will sneak in some sewing!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I think it might be cold outside

Woke up this morning, thankfully, and was so glad for all the wood we brought in this fall.  Here is what the thermometer told me about the outside........

I really can't complain, it's mid January and this is the coldest morning yet, usually by now we have had several 0 degree mornings and some below.  Yes, I do know some of you would say this is a warm morning, LOL.  So far the chickens have faired well, I try to keep their coop fresh and add shavings on a regular basis, every morning they get a warm mush of some kind and I fill their water bottle with very warm water and it goes back into their coop.  The fact that they are still laying eggs tells me that they are not too bothered by the temperatures.

Last night's PMS gathering was enjoyable, we has some yummy stuff to eat, shared our various projects, and just plain enjoyed each others company.  I do understand why women used to get together and sew, it really was enjoyable.....believe it or not there were times that it would get quiet and then of course there were times when we were all chattering and laughing, I'm already signed up for next month!  I didn't get as much done as I had planned, my machine was acting bad, I checked it before I left and it was fine (??), but I planned ahead and brought some hand work......I did get some flying geese done before switching to hand stitching.  I was able to get a little closer to finishing the hand quilting on the Fat Quarter quilt for January's meetiing next Saturday.  Hoping to share the finished product with you soon. I would love to have a group of friends that like to quilt/sew come on a weekly or biweekly basis, but unfortunately most of my "local" friends don't quilt/sew and while I know that I would love to invite ElizabethDebbie J, Terry, and Jackie  to come for a quilting/sewing gathering I think the drive might be a little to long, LOL.  But you are always welcome to come!

Hope you are have a nice warm Saturday morning. 

Friday, January 14, 2011


No I'm not crossing the line on my topic today, LOL.......That is the name of the sewing gathering that I'm going to this evening it is short for Potluck, Munchies and Sewing.  Everyone is bringing something to share with the other ladies and we will all hopefully have a productive fun night!  I decided to make an appetizer/snack type dish.......I really don't know the technical name but here are the ingredients and if you know what it is called let me know. 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
  • The above ingredients are heated over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
  • green & red peppers chopped (add the amount you like)
  • red onion (add the amount you like)
  • jar of pimentos (optional, I didn't add)
  • celery (again, add the amount you like)
  • can white shoepeg corn (Green Giant, unless you find another brand, I didn't)
  • can Goya black beans (other brands would work fine)
  • can Goya blackeye peas (other bands would work fine)
  • You can add hot peppers if you like, I didn't and I'm sure some of you could think of a few other things to add, experiment!
Put all BUT the first three ingredients into a large bowl, I drain and rinse the black beans and blackeye peas before adding them.  After heating and dissolving the sugar with the olive oil and cidar vinegar pour it over the remaining ingredients, mix well and refrigerate overnight, next day drain all the liquid (DO NOT RINSE)  and serve with tortilla chips or crackers.  Enjoy. 

Before draining

After draining

Now that I have the munchies taken care of here are the UFOs I'm going to work on.......
  • Green Piece - finish the last 6 pieced blocks, then work on stitching the applique, heck I'm bring the whole basket in case I want to work on the border.
  • Handquilt the Fat Quarter Quilt for this month (that meeting is next week).
That should be enough for the 3 hours that we are getting together, if not there will be plenty of munchies to keep my hands busy, LOL.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A little gimpy.......

I'm taking it easy, on Saturday I woke up and my left shoulder was very achy and I couldn't really use my arm much.  Icing on the cake.......went to put wood in the stove on Saturday evening and didn't move fast enough and a piece of wood fell on top of my right foot, that brought tears to my eyes, thank goodness its not broken.  Earlier in the week I had a toothache and went to the tooth is cracked in 3 places and I need a crown. 

Last night I didn't sleep much at all so I decided that I needed to go to the doctor, hey it bad when you can't even put your "undergarments" on without assistance, LOL.  Hubby and I worked that problem out together, what a pair we make.  I called the doctor and was able to get an appointment this morning, I just need to ice, ice, ice and use anti-inflammatory meds like Aleve for the next two weeks.  It should get better on its own, so I need to try and take it easy.  Today I got home had lunch, and sat and iced and popped two Aleve and it feels tolerable, I also need to keep moving it a little at a time.

I'm falling apart but in time I'll be back together again.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

More Sewing

Yesterday was more productive than I thought it would be, I managed to get to the store in the morning, make a cake (from the box) with homemade frosting, and stuffed shells for my son's birthday.  I also managed to squeeze in some sewing, I finished piecing the little quilt top, here is a picture of what is now looks like. 
I tucked the fabric that I cut for the binding along the edges to see how it will look when it's complete.  I'm going to select a fat quarter for the backing and make the sandwich later today, then I will add it to the stack of had stitching near my chair since I'm going to hand quilt this one like I did with my "Fall Little Quilt".  I also received the first month of the Civil War Chronicles in the mail yesterday......but I'll tease you and save it for another post.  Those of you that love reproduction fabrics and quilts are going to love this one! 

Gotta get moving so I can hopefully play again later........don't worry next week I will have to get paperwork done so I'm enjoying this week while I can, LOL.  Have a wonderful day..

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Birthday!

I am no longer the mother of  a teenager, my youngest son is 20 years old today.  Happy Birthday!  Some days its hard to believe that 20 years have gone much in my life has changed.  Here is a picture of the birthday boy waiting for the school bus on his first day of school.
Gotta love those socks!

Didn't get as much done in the sewing room yesterday, but I did get the last block of the little quilt done, not sure what I will work on today......I do have a birthday cake to make and a birthday meal to prepare.  But I do hope to maybe cut the pieces for the borders, time will tell.  Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sewings On

 Here's what I worked on today........

I had three done before I started today, now I only have one more block and the borders and the top will be complete.  This is a small quilt, each block finishes 4", I will only need to use a fat quarter for the backing and I plan on hand quilting it like I did with the "little quilt" I finished this past fall.  If all goes well I will work on it tomorrow and maybe I will be quilting it by the weekend!

This is what it is supposed to look like when  finished, of course I chose slightly different colors. 

I do have one request, our nephew, a member of the Omaha (Nebraska) National Guard, is preparing to deploy overseas to Afghanistan could you keep him and all other service men and women in your prayers.

Enjoying the New Year

I have been happily enjoying the days,  they are filled with doing the normal activities of running a household.  This week I am spending much of my free time in my sewing room, looking forward to completing a few things soon.  Currently I am cutting the fabric for the remaining 6 "pieced" blocks for the Green Piece quilt.  The main reason I'm wanting to get this quilt done is that I love the fabric and there are lots of "leftovers"  I would like to use  in the Mystery Quilt I got here,  but I don't dare use any of the fabric until I am finished the top.  I also want to work on the "Fat Quarter Quilt" I picked for this month, I want it to be done before the next monthly meeting on the 22nd of this month. 

I did have an errand to run yesterday and on the way back I stopped at the quilt shop, I needed more Heat Bond Lite for my applique.  This time of year she has specials of the week, this week's special was $3 per yard sale room fabric.......I did look, but I was good and didn't buy anything.  I always check the sale room in case she adds something that would be great as a backing, no luck yesterday.  I left spending only $2.36 on the Heat Bond Lite! 

Gotta go get the rest of the morning chores finished before I can do any sewing, have a blessed day!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Prep Work

Today I spent the afternoon preparing some of the applique blocks for the Green Piece quilt, I only have two more left to cut and iron onto the blocks.  Here are the ones that are waiting for me to stitch........
These are going into the basket next to my chair so in the evening when I am watching TV I can grab one and stitch away! 

I did decide to "bite the bullet" and sign up for the Civil War Chronicles BOM, now I have to "behave" and work on the things I already have.  If I worked on the things I already have here I would be able to keep myself busy for quite some time, hmmmmm wonder if I should challenge myself?????  Wish me luck.

Happy New Year

I decided that it was time to change the daily is finally current!  I will work harder to be consistent as I really enjoy reading and sharing them. 

I did a little stitchery today and started a list of the projects that I have that are unfinished.  I was thinking that maybe I would post them in my sidebar just to remind me of the projects that I have going, NOT as pressure to complete them.....I love having many projects to choose from and will probably always have many going.  I also thought maybe I would follow Terry's lead and make a list of projects finished in 2011, again it would be just for fun, not competition.

I was also contemplating whether or not to sign up for the Civil War Chronicles BOM, it is the second in a series of 5, I would love to eventually have all of them??  The first one in the series is my Civil War Tribute that I am not even half way finished with, I'm not sure what I will do yet, but I need to decide soon as it starts this month.  I also decided that I would not sign up for many BOMs this year, there is so much out there that are free and that would allow me to use my stash such as Bonnie Hunter's Roll Roll,Cotton Boll.  I even thought of  "allowing" myself to sign up for just one and that is it, wonder if I could do it??

I'm planning on spending more time in my sewing room this week, but I also need to get the yearly filing/sorting done.  Maybe this year I will be better at filing and sorting as I go along instead of doing it all in January when I need it for taxes and the other paperwork that I need to fill out at the beginning of the year.