Wednesday, December 31, 2008

RIngin' in the New Year...

Other than the USA time zones, just about everyone has rung in the New Year already. Angela (soscrappy) is half an hour away (Julie---you too???); I am one-n-a-half hours away; Andi (The Modern Diary) is 2- OR 3 1/2 hours away. (Arizona and New Mexico time zones always confuse me---I know one never changes, but the other does.

Anyway...Angela wrote her post tonight laying out some of her New Year's Goals and Resolutions. (Yes, Angela! I have read it, I'll get around to commenting tomorrow) I had already been thinking about some goals (also) while putzin' in my quilting room tonight. However, those will be mentioned a bit later. First, a catch up on the day.

I awoke at 6:15am with my alarm, and went "NOPE!" and put my head back down. DH had his turn with the nasty lil' bug throughout the night, and I am a VERY light sleeper, so ..... everytime he got out of bed, I awoke as well. So, by 7:30, I finally drug myself out of bed just because I KNEW today was a day to accomplish a lot! I scheduled daycare for the day for ALL THREE GIRLS; I had the days to blow yet before the year ended---nothing like saving it for the last day. So....yada, yada, breakfast, dressed, driven, and I was back at home, ready to tackle Cathedral Stars by 9:00. It took me all day (with a 2 hour grocery & other shopping break mixed in), but I have the middle section quilted. I putzed this morning (boy...I must like that word---I say it a lot) with how I was going to actually quilt it all. I decided on vertical stitch-in-ditch lines with red thread, splitting the red/black HST; I used a decorative stitch 1/4 inch inside the white triangles using white thread; I used a swirly-vertical-loop using "jewel-toned" verigated (sp?) thread. DH and I decided NOT to visit families this weekend after all, so I am going to relax on my original deadline a bit. However, I HAVE set a goal that I finish Cathedral Stars before starting Bonnie's new mystery.

Oh yes, which, BTW, I HAD completely decided that I WAS NOT going to take part in. Seriously---when I went downstairs tonight, I started digging through my stash, which then turned into cleaning, organizing, and ATTEMPTING to find fabrics from my stash that would "fit the bill." (Pictures coming shortly to show the disaster area my Quilting "studio?" has turned in to. HOWEVER, I am proud of my newly created "Fat Quarter" bin....really...look....

Anyway, but 7:00pm, I had finally decided: I was NOT going to take part in the mystery. I couldn't find any brown in the amount requested---I had 1 yard cuts, but no 1 1/2 cuts. I had a few FQ's that I could put together as "scrappy" browns, but....well....I'll admit....there is a collection of browns/pinks/lights that are in this FQ drawer that I'm having a hard time digging in to.....YET. I'm still waiting on a perfect pattern.

Anyway----ironing, folding, restacking commenced, which is when I started thinking of 2009 goals.

OH WAIT!!!! 10:59 for me........3 - 2 - 1 --- HAPPY NEW YEAR ANGELA, CANDACE, and all others in the Eastern Time zone.....

Anyway---so, one of my goals (HA!!! We'll see if it happens!!!) is to FINALLY try to make sense of my chaotic sewing room. WOW! It is ALMOST 1 full year since I threw the room together downstairs; turning it from the "collector-of-all-excess-house-"junk"" to my "make-shift" sewing room. I don't think it'll ever have "real walls," which is fine by me, BUT I do want to make good use of the space as well as have ALL my stash nice and neat and organized.

Yeah.....well......then.....after finding a basket of non-ironed, but washed, fabric.........I think it was "Someone's" way of saying, "Amy, you MUST take part in Bonnie's mystery." Because......there IT was. A beautiful, 2 YARDS WORTH of brown with tiny pink diamonds. I don't remember buying it, have no idea how long it's been in the basket WAITING to be ironed (probably since about June!!!---Remember that post???---I just spent 5 minutes trying to find it, but I give up---it must have been BEFORE June!)

So, are the colors that will be used for the Double Delight Mystery ONCE I start it. I MUST finish the Cathedral Stars FIRST before I dive into this one. I MUST be disciplined enough!!! (oooohhhh...but it's SO HARD NOT to start a fun, new, exciting project at the same time everyone else is!!!!) But check out that Shopko fabric price ticket! Please recall that I have only been in "serious-obsessed-quilting" mode for about a year and half, once I inherited my Grandmother's stash. Well, CLEARLY this baby is from her stash---I can't even remember when Shopko sold fabric!!! I was a kid, for sure, and that's 20-30 years ago!

Okay, OTHER 2009 goals
1) OF COURSE, running must be discussed. I hope to get my butt in gear starting TOMORROW to workout (running, weights) at least 20 minutes everyday (excluding ONE day/week--most likely Sundays) to get myself back into training shape. By February 1st, I hope to start training for a Half-marathon in May; and beyond that, I still hope for PR's in all my races. My years are starting to tick away, so I won't have much longer anymore to MAKE those PR's!

2) OF COURSE, quilting must also be discussed. I'll admit that I'm going to take this one right from Angela; I have 10 WIPs/UFOs listed; I hope to tackle one of those a month in addition to other "surprises/projects" that will come along. Other than that, I just hope to keep turning out projects to have people enjoy, whether they be someone I know or as given as donation/charity quilts.

Having said that, I already know 2 quilts that need to be made in 2009. Julie, (my runny buddy gone astray) was home visiting her family and stopped in at the house tonight to give some C'mas gifts to the girls. I showed her the Cathedral Stars, and she brought up the "blue quilt" yet again and how she was going to steal it from me..... This "blue quilt" that I call Scrappy Hearts - Blue was made years ago before I really was obsessed with quilting. It is only tied-not quilted. The HSTs NOR squares line up AT ALL! ; the backing is torn in 2 different spots. Yet, everytime she is at the house, she HAS to mention it and threaten that she is going to steal it away. It's MY baby; in fact, I'm wrapped up with it on my lap as I type-----So, yes....I HAVE to make a lap quilt for her similar to this one.

Also, her sister, Nikki, has taken over as our family babysitter (ever since Julie went off to school). Nikki graduates this year, so it's a GIVEN that a Graduation Quilt will be made. I have a beautiful pattern picked out---it's more perfect for a wedding, but still beautiful! I'm not completely decided on that pattern yet, or not, idea JUST came to me! Maybe this DoubleDelight mystery could work for one of them....

So, how am I ringin' in the New Year? ....

Bloggin'; wrapped up in a quilt,; rockin' in my glider while DH flips through stations on the TV. It really can't get much better than this relaxed life----unless, of course, if I could get off my butt for a brief moment to make some lemon-flavored Green Tea.

14 minutes left for me. This post took some time to type up; I was disturbed for a few moments, though, when DH snuck up on me (well...TRIED to....!) He had been resting on the couch since 7:00, fell asleep, and when I came up at 10:00, I found him all tucked in and cuddled up in bed already. How romantic, huh?? :0) Then, he stirred....I HEARD him even though he INSISTS he scared me by sneaking up! Come on, dear! You're talking to a TEACHER here! We have EARS like a Hawk has eyes!

Alright---I suppose I can go cuddle up with DH! (giggle)

Happy New Year everyone! May 2009 bring much joy and lots of life for you!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The world is still good (Post 172!)

First of all, wow! Post #172 already!

Second of all, I am finally feeling MUCH better. Tummy muscles are still a bit sore -- at least one good thing about vomiting: the stomach muscles get a good workout! *chuckle*

Thirdly, the world is still good regardless of all the "ick" that shows up in the news. I am watching the 6:00 news, and there was just a story that brought me to tears! We get news from the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN). There was a large apartment fire; HUGE apartment complex, in Burnsville, MN. Everything is gone, burned to the ground. I guess living in a town called Burnsville might bring on some irony here.... But all kidding-ness aside, one lady was interviewed, and the background caught my attention. The lighting and colors made me think of a Quilt Shop, and sure enough, it was. She was giving herself some "therapy" from the ordeal by shopping her LQS. The story continued by sharing her passion for quilting and the loss of some dear quilts in the fire, as well as all her quilting supplies. One of her quilts remain, however, because it is on display at the shop. The story closed by showing her trying out some of the shop's machines so she could get back to her hobby (she has moved into her boyfriend's apartment); and the Shop owner brought out a Bernina 440QE. The machine was gifted to her, and it completely brought herself (AND ME!) to tears!

Happy Tuesday night!

Ugh---The bug showed it's ugly face!

Yup--it WAS inevitable!

I know all of you were hoping for me NOT to end up with the bug, but come on.....after playing nurse to three vomiting girls for the past week, there was NO WAY of avoiding this beast!
Ugh--I promise not to whine and moan too much, but I simply can not STAND that ewwy nausea feeling! It's been a night of tossing & turning & moaning & ......well, ....... visiting our bathroom on more than one occasion. I can't even really tell you if I slept at all.

I know different parts of the world have different "remedies" for soothing ill individuals and getting them back on their feet. I grew up with sipping on "Sprite" or "7up." Both are clear carbonated drinks; lemon/lime flavored. Most people say to avoid Coca-cola or other "dark" sodas, however, there was one time when I drank some Coke and I felt better very shortly after that. I suppose that makes a bit of sense since there have been documentaries on Coke "eating through" an American penny and different types of metals. What bug would stand a chance? We have some 7up on hand because of the past week, thank goodness! Typically, we don't have soda in the house---gosh! I'm gonna be one of "those moms" that never allows her children to drink pop! *chuckle*'s just too expensive, and my girls would rather drink Milk or water.

Anyway, so today will be a lounging day. The Cathedral Stars is almost ready for quilting. Backing was pieced last night before wrapping up at 9:00. When I came upstairs, DH was amazed I had called it an "early night." I wasn't feeling well already; tired and drained. I guess my body was already preparing for what was coming.

I have had some wonderful response to my Quilter's Block request. I will spend some time this morning playing around with drawings in a notebook as well as some research online for some motifs. IF I finally find myself with some energy and not feeling I need to stay curled up in the fetal position, I'll make my way downstairs to put the sandwiches together.

I think there will definitely be a much needed nap coming later, too.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cathedral Stars---"Quilter's block"

We all know about "writer's block," but I am now faced with "quilter's block." I am working on putting the diagonals together and started brain-storming about how to quilt it. I am stumped---flat out have NO IDEA how to quilt it.

I only know that I'll be quilting this in 3 sections---one upper corner (that you see pictured top left), one lower corner that will be the same size as the upper, and a middle diagonal section that is 3 diagonals wide.

I'm hoping some of you may have some tips/ideas for me so that by the time I get the diagonals sewn and the 3 pieces sandwiched, I can start quilting away and finish this baby in time to start Bonnie's DD New Years Mystery. Perhaps some of you know some sites that have different quilting designs on them that you could share with me?

THANKS for any suggestions!

(Note: You can click on the picture to enlarge it)

2008 Running Log

Feel free to skip over this post :0) I am simply taking a few moments this morning to clean up and organize my blog for the coming 2009 year. This is a post recording my 2008 running, for the most part. There may be some weeks that I missed prior to logging on my blog.....

I will be searching out races for the 2009 calendar soon. I will need to seek out a new marathon to run since I don't think I'll be able to run my normal Ashland Whistlestop :0( I LOVE this race, however, if I do indeed take over the Head Volleyball Coaching job, I will be busy with a VBall tournament the same weekend as the Marathon. 'Tis really too bad, because the race is wonderful and at the perfect time of the year.

Total: 308.8 miles

Week 24
10/20/08: EZ mileage
2.0 miles
Week 23
10/18/08: TatorTrot Halfmarathon
13.1 miles (2:23:48) HR: 171
Week 22
10/11/08: Whistelstop Marathon
26.2 miles (5:02:15) HR: 175
10/8/08: EZ
3.3 miles (34:33)
10/6/08: EZ
4.59 miles (50:21) HR: 159
Week 21
10/4/08: EZ
6.45 miles (1:22:35) HR: 153
9/29/08: EZ/Med Mileage
3.3 miles (32:45)
Week 20
9/27/08: Lyndon Ellefson Half Marathon
13.1 miles (2:11:51) HR: 181
9/23/08: Speed workout
6.08 miles (1:03:16) HR: 166
9/22/08: EZ miles
2.0 miles (19:29)
Week 19
9/20/08: Birkie Half Marathon
13.1 miles (2:51:36) HR: 173
9/18/08: Treadmill EZ run
~2.75 miles (30:00)
9/15/08: EZ Run
8.31 miles (1:31:28) HR: 165
Week 18
9/11/08: Treadmill miles
3.0 miles
9/8/09: Tempo/Hard
6.15 miles (1:02:25) HR: 177
Week 17
9/7/08: EZ Long??? not quite
3.26 miles (40:01) HR: 150
9/2/08: EZ mileage
5.46 miles (59:30) HR: 166
Week 16
8/30/08: Lake Run 15K
9.3 miles (1:30:42) HR: 184
8/28/08: mileage
4.95 miles (54:21) HR: 167
8/26/08: Tempo
4.75 miles (47:16) HR: 177
Week 15
8/23/08: Long run (HILLY!)
13.9 miles (2:44:54) HR: 167
8/19/08: Speed/hills
4.75 miles (49:05) HR: 173
8/18/08: Hills
~4.0 miles inc 7x150m hill (30ft climb)
Week 14
8/16/08: Long Run
~11.0 miles (2:10:05)
8/15/08: Mileage
~4 miles (44:40)
8/12/08: Mileage & 5 GP's
3.2 miles (33:53)
8/11/08: Tempo Mileage
5 miles (51:15) HOT
Week 13
8/9/08: Paavo Nurmi
13.1 miles (2:27:42)
1.8 miles (17:57)
8/5/08: Mileage
3.2 miles
Week 12
8/2/08: Jack Pine 5-miler
5.0 miles (52:01)
7/31/08: Mileage
3.2 miles
7/28/08: AI 2x2:00, 2:30
3.2 miles (33:15)
Week 11
7/27/08: Long, hilly
~8.5 miles (1:36:00)
7/21/08: Mileage & 5xhills
5 miles
Week 10
7/17/08: Mileage HOT!!!!!
~3 miles
7/15/08: Medium tempo
3.2 miles (31:50) HR: 172
Week 9
7/12/08: Long/EZ
~7.0 miles (1:18) HR: ???
7/10/08: Mileage
~3.0 miles (33:00) HR: ???
Week 8
7/6/08: mileage-MUGGY!!!
1.6 miles (16:30) HR: ???
7/5/08: Long/EZ
6.7 miles (1:14:38) HR: ???
7/4/08: 4x1:30 AI
3 miles (29:38) HR: 170
7/1/08: (mileage-tempo)
3.2 miles (33:32) HR: 167
6/30/08: (10x1-1:30 AI)
5.0 miles (47:29) HR: 171
Week 7
6/23/08: Long
5 miles (57:35) HR: 156
BAD ME--only once this week!!!
Week 6
6/22/08: EZ
3.2 miles (35:55) HR: 157
6/19/08: Tempo
4.0 miles (45:35) HR: 158
6/17/08: (6x1:00 AI)
3.8 miles (41:46) HR: 160
Week 5
6/14/08: 5K Baldwin race
3.1 miles (34:14) HR: 164
6/12/08: (4x1:00 AI)
3.2 miles (35:58) HR: 168
6/10/08: (mileage base)
1.8 miles (19:21) HR: 166
Week 4
6/8/08: (EZ/LONG)
5 miles (54:51) HR: 165
6/4/08: (mileage base)
2.2 miles (23:25) HR: 167
Week 3
:0( None
Week 2
5/22/08: (mileage base)
3.2 miles (35:17) HR: ???
5/19/08: (mileage base)
3.2 miles (35:42) HR: ???
Week 1
5/16/08: (mileage base)
3.2 miles (40:18) HR: 156
5/12/08: (mileage base)
1.8 miles (20:08) HR: 174

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tomorrow is another day...

WOW! Three posts today! I go days on end sometimes with NOTHING, and then....BAM...3 in one day! Ahhhhhh.....'tis the joy of vacation time!

Well....I'm convincing myself that tomorrow is another day; these final seams will just have to wait until then. I was able to get back downstairs, OBVIOUSLY, once DH arrived back home and dinner was over, to work on these 36 star blocks.

Typically when I sew, I either throw a "mindless" DVD into the player or turn on my iPod through the radio to give me background noise. Lately, I have been listening to the Twilight Score over-n-over-n-over...... but tonight, I thumbed through my collection of VHS's that have been collecting dust in the extra storage lately. Jen gifted the girls and myself a DVD/VHS player for C'mas, so now I'm able to watch those lovely VHS's downstairs. So tonight, I pulled out TWO great classics......"Dirty Dancing" and "Grease".

Tomorrow, I hope to make some big progress on Cathedral Stars, as long as the doomed-to-catch-bug stays away from my system.

Candace was doing so well after 5:00. Then....*sigh* 8:30, she once again vomited. She gets the privilege of sleeping in Mom-n-Dad's bed tonight....towels covering her section of the bed. I am hoping that was the last episode, but....*shrug* one can ever tell.

Happy Sunday night! And Happy Vacation week to all of us teachers out there :0)

Long "catch-up"; another sick child

Well folks, I had complete intentions of working on my Cathedral Stars today. This is the quilt that my Dad requested for his VFW (Veteran's of Foreign Wars) Quilt raffle at the end of January. It (OF COURSE) is one of Bonnie's patterns and I fell in love with it. When my dad requested a raffle quilt of me, I knew this would be the perfect pattern.

Anyway, I worked on some of the piecing yesterday, and I had hopes to complete all blocks today. I worked for a couple hours this morning before realizing I needed more 4-patches. (See the "missing pile" in the stacked ready-to-piece blocks? DUH! I forgot about those!) Anyway, I made it this far before needing to break for lunch. Then, just as lunch was finishing, it was lil' Candace's turn to be hit by that nasty dreadful bug!!! Sadly, and unfortunately, she is not old enough to understand the "make-it-to-the-toilet" concept, so I had some cleaning up to do. The first "round" wasn't so bad, because it was on the hard-wood floor, but the second round happened in our carpeted bedroom. *sigh* She has FINALLY fallen asleep in our bedroom, so I thought I would take this time to catch up on our Holiday Fun.

Cassie was also hit with the bug on Christmas morning, JUST before Santa came to pay a visit. (Since we were at my parent's, we had Santa make a special trip to Grandma's house.) He arrived at 9:30am, and Cassie used everything in her to stand for a quick photo before bolting to the bathroom. Sadly, her "episode" lasted much longer than Caitlyn's 5 hour ordeal----Cassie was finally feeling better after 12 hours. And when we finally made it home, the first toy she wanted to play with was her Easy Bake Oven that was given to her by Aunt Jenny (my SIS). She made a small batch of Sugar Cookies. (VERY SMALL BATCH!!! SIX cookies!) But they were very delicious!

I think the best present for me this year was my new camera, given to me by my sis, BIL, and parents. It is smaller than my other one, and I love how this camera handles close-ups AND the lack of red eye! Seriously----even WITH red-eye features on other cameras, none have done this well. Caitlyn and I ALWAYS have red eyes......But not now :0)

DH's (Paul) favorite gift was a Dual Basket deep fryer, given to him by my sis, BIL and my parents. When we visited his sister's on Friday, he opened it up and turned her kitchen into the China Buffet! He made batches upon batches on egg rolls and wantons! One thing you need to know about his sister, though, is she is an EXTREME health fanatic. Everyone kept joking with her if she would ever be able to recuperate from the fact that so much grease was present and used in her kitchen! The second picture shown here is Paul cleaning up OUR kitchen! Naturally, he (we) needed to use his new gift at our house, as well. So we were making some chicken strips, onion rings, and cheese curds when he opened a cupboard. A package of something-er-other fell out and plunged into the hot oil, splashing it ALL OVER--INCLUDING on DH's arm!!! He's this "big-ol-tough-guy", so he refused to put any ointment on the burn---thankfully it doesn't appear to be completely all that bad. We are just very thankful that the girls were not in the kitchen at the time! Besides---the other "good" thing is that my kitchen got the mopping it needed!

Candace actually was dressed perfectly to help out Dad if needed. This is SUCH an adorable "Pet Doctor" costume that my parents gifted her. Her nametag even says "DR. CANDACE." How adorable!!!!!!

Another hit of the Christmas presents is "Moon Sand." I hadn't known too much about it, but the box says "better than play-doh. It doesn't dry out and easy to clean up." Well........after see these masterpiece-makers at work, I sure HOPE it's easy to clean up!!!!!

Candace's 3rd birthday was celebrated over the weekend as well, since we aren't going to have a get together prior. She will be 3 on January 4th. Pay no attention to the half-eaten birthday cake :0) My niece's birthday was also celebrated the night before, however Candace was sleeping at the time, so we weren't able to get a pic of her blowing out her candle. Another "hit toy" for Candace was her Potty-Chair baby. Candace has only shown SLIGHT interest in potty training, so my sister and I talked about getting gifts to help promote it. This doll is so blasted cute! She says when/if she's thirsty, tired, and that she needs to go "potty." She "slurps" when taking a drink; she "farts" sometimes when she's on the toilet; she gurgles and turns her head side-to-side when her teeth are brushed. Technology now-a-days is absolutely amazing.

Here is my sister, Jen, that spoils ALL of us!!! She doesn't have children of her own, so she DEFINITELY is "Favorite Aunt Jenny!" She and I often chuckle about the panties that we wear. We both have admitted to only have "seasonal" underwear---for one simple reason! Once holidays are over (Easter, Halloween, C'mas, etc), the "seasonal" underwear always go on sale!!! Here is this year's collection of panties! *giggle*

Oh yes----yet another HIT! The table-top Foosball table, given to DH (and family?) by Jen.

On the other side of the family, (DH's side), here are the oldest cousins! Cassie, our oldest, and then Westin (middle) and Walker (right). Both boys are the oldest children of DH's sister (the one who is the health fanatic!) :0) Westin is in 8th grade, while Walker is 4th. While we visited on Friday, they spent some play-time outside giving snow-mobile rides around the house.

Short interruption----round 3 just made an appearance. Ya IS inevitable that I WILL get sick after nursing three children through their vomiting spouts, REGARDLESS of how much soap and hand-sanitizer I use.

These last few shots are me playing around with the camera. Pictured with Caitlyn is my mother. TYPICALLY, she hates having her picture taken, but I must say it's much easier to get pics of her when she has a grandchild on her lap. The "sepia-toned" pic of Candace is a fun feature. However, most photo-software programs have that feature, so having it on the camera isn't so special. Still neat though........

DH is out fishing for our supper right now. The deepfryer will be making a presence again in the event he comes home with LOTS of bluegills or other panfish. YUM!

I hope to make it back downstairs sometime today/tonight. I hope to finish the entire Cathedral Stars quilt this week so I can deliver it to my parent's when we visit again next weekend for Christmas #3. (My MIL's side of the family is planning a get-together next Saturday.) And, KNOWING that it's inevitable that I will get sick, I want to be sure to use my non-sick time as wisely as possible :0)

Happy Sunday......

Pay it Forward, 2009!

With the Christmas Cheer still strong in my being, I have decided to join the "Pay It Forward" fun with Carol (at the Cornfield Quilter; and she with Lurline) so if any of you would like to join me, leave a comment to join. There is room for three of you! Come and join the fun!!

The "Pay It Forward" rules

  • Three people will be chosen to participate when they leave a comment on this post asking to join. (The first three will be chosen).
  • You are agreeing to post a similar announcement on your blog, and Pay It Forward to three more people, who will in turn agree to Pay It Forward to three other people, etc.
  • You will create a hand-made item for your three people sometime over the next 12 months

Here's how it'll work.......
Lurline (Carol's "leader") is going to send Carol and her other participants one handmade item sometime in the next 12 months. Carol, in turn, will send one handmade item to each of the three participants who signed up with her (I'm one of them), withing the next 12 months. I, in turn, will send one handmade item to each of you (MY participants). YOU, in turn, will send out a hand-made item to each of your three participants, and so on.

I know how busy life can be, but please consider sharing some of your talent with the rest of the world. Mathematically speaking (you KNEW this was coming --- hey I'm a Math teacher!)'s the number of people to be "affected" with the Pay it Forward....

Level 1: I give to three (3 ppl affected)
Level 2: Each of you three give to three NEW people (9 NEW ppl affected; 12 total lead from my saying "yes")
Level 3: Each of those 9 give to three NEW people (27 NEW ppl affected; 39 total)
(one more line, grabbin' a calculator)
Level 4: Each of those 27 give to three NEW people (81! NEW ppl affected; 120 total--just for saying YES!)

What a beautiful example of exponential growth!!!!
Equation: t(n)=3^n + 3^(n-1), with n = level #.
(giggle)---Hope you followed that!

I am looking forward to this and to meeting new people. Won't you join me????

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas (almost...)

I'm sitting at my parent's house, watching DH, Caitlyn, and Grandpa all "resting" on the couch; Grandma is relaxing with a book in the glider, sister is sorting pieces of her newest puzzle, Brother and SIL are snuggling up in the recliner with DB's new OTR quilt, Candance, Cassie, niece and nephew are all sifting through the little trinkets in their stockings.....and I wanted to take a moment to send E-Christmas Wishes to everyone out there!

We made the 3 hour drive to my parent's last night, arriving just after 10:00 pm. After witnessing two vehicles in the ditch along our journey, we knew we needed to relax and take our time. After being doused with 3 fresh inches of snow throughout the day, roads were passable, but still tretcherous. Naturally, the girls all fell asleep with 20 miles to go, so when we arrived and carried them out in the bitter cold air, they were awakened with LOTS AND LOTS of new energy!!! Specially since Cousin Lindsay and Zach had been waiting so patiently since 7:00 for our arrival! But, finally at 11:10 pm, I FORCED all kids to get to bed. By 12:00, they were all finally sleeping, so Aunt Jen (my sister) and I could stuff the stockings. My family chose to celebrate Christmas this year on Christmas Eve.

SADLY, at 5:15 am I was awakened by the little patter of footsteps BOLTING to the bathroom, followed by the ever familiar sound of .... well, without getting too graphic... a "sickly" child at the toilet. (SIGH) Dear Catilyn caught a bug, and the tiny microscopic beast chose this morning (of ALL mornings) to pay a visit. Every 10-15 minutes, lil' Caitlyn found herself in front of the toilet :0( At one point, she simply dragged herself to the bathroom and plopped down on the floor and rested her chin on the edge of the rim. It broke my heart. Specially when she said "Mom, I want to play with everyone else. Can't you give me some medicine?" At 9:30, we allowed the other kids to open Stockings while Caitlyn FINALLY found some peace with a short nap, and once she woke at 10:00, it appears the bug left. She has been able to join in all festivities since then---Thank goodness. Now, of course, all of us are wondering who and when the bug is going to hit next. Oh well----at least it's vacation time!

LOTS of goodies under the tree today for all. I was gifted a big box of "scrap" fabrics from my SIL and can't wait to get them cut up for a new project. I'm still thinking of Bonnie's Perikomen Dreams, so.......*rubbing hands together*...I can't wait. We (okay, mostly me) were also given a new digital camera and I have been snapping away all day. I am on Grandpa's laptop, however, so all pics will await until I return back home on Saturday.

OH!!! And, of course, my mother gave me the first two books of the Twilight saga, so now I can return book 1 to my student :0) I'm reading it for the third time -- I will be loaning my copies out to my siter since I have her so intrigued. She can't believe I'm reading it yet again!

Tomorrow is Christmas, and we have absolutely nothing planned, except rest and relaxation, and LOTS of playing with the new Christmas gifts. Friday will be a venture to DH's sister's, where we will be taking a Family Sleigh Ride, with dinner and gift opening to follow. We will then either return home Friday late OR be making the drive back home Saturday morning.

I know these words are shared numerous times at this time of the year, but truly, truly, truly.....Have yourself a MERRY CHRISTMAS! Be safe, relax, give your family members extra hugs and kisses, and as always.....Have a Happy Day!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A UFO is finished; new projects too :0)

Today started to be a "putz" day for me, tidying up the sewing area after creating all the Christmas projects and NOT having cleaned up between any of them. And, while tidying, I came across a huge bag of pinned fabric that my MIL had given me months ago for me to quilt up for her. They are "make-shift" table runners that she made up using some fabrics she got on clearance somewhere. I have no idea how that bag could have gone "forgotten," but it did, and I feel bad that I haven't gotten them back to her.

So-----for a couple hours this morning, I practiced some FMQ; standard stipple, star meanders, heart meanders, and then I call this one the "star-ripple." I like this "ripple" look and haven't done it before, but sure will start using it more often! I still have a stack of "practice runners" to go yet, but lunch break took me away from my machine.

After lunch, I was still motivated to be in "quilt-mode," but not for the table runners anymore. So, I saw Andrea's Garden hanging over the back of a spare bed downstairs and figured....sure! It was time to finish up a UFO! After about an hour of prep, it was under the machine, "RIPPLE" quilt pattern, of course. I was able to quilt mostly uninterrupted since Candace had fallen asleep and the other two kept themselves "busy" with a movie and their Littlest Pet Shop collection.

A few hours later, with binding sewn on, a UFO sees a finish! (Almost---label yet to be added, but that will come later when I have some more waiting for labels).

Last Saturday, I visited the LQS for show-n-tell of the Christmas projects. Deb (owner) loves it when customers bring in finished projects----she was quite amazed (as many) how I get so much accomplished being a mom and teacher, but......well......I'm no different than anyone else. Quilting is a priority to me; almost like "mental exercise" that is so important; so I use whatever time I have available to keep that one of the top priorities of my life (right up there with family)!

Anyway---as always, I only had intentions of buying maybe a few FQ's, but she had this wallhanging up in a corner, and I LOVED IT! AND----it was only $38.99 for a 54"x54" project, and I couldn't resist--I bought it! Here-n-there throughout the week, I've been piecing it together; most of it being pieced on Tuesday when I was home "sick." I put the final borders on this morning before I decided to tidy up, and it now awaits quilting. Hmmm....maybe tomorrow. This wallhanging will find a final home on the wall above the piano, which right now hold a SMALL 12"x15" family picture, OUTDATED!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Perfect timing, Quiltmaker

Hmmm....sometimes I wonder about how life works.....

Seriously, just today in the mail I received a padded envelope from Quiltmaker with a letter stating they were going to use my submitted photo of one of their patterns, AND a complementary copy of the Quiltmaker edition. *shaking head, chuckling* This timing is just too weird with all the emailing throughout the day......

Anyway----what's even BETTER?!?!? It's the same edition that Bonnie has her article and pattern in! Woo-hooo! It shall be treasured forever. *insert dramatic music* : My First publication.......

Okay----8:25pm. Time to head downstairs to putz for an hour.

Playing hookie & Quiltmaker magazine

Yup..yup....I'm a bit "under the weather" today. Don't get me wrong----I could have made it through the day without bending too far over backwards, but they way I figure---why spread even the simple "head-cold" germs around when I have sick days to spend??? So, I'm kickin' back with my feet up today, reading another book recommended by my 8th grade girls----actually I just finished it. "The Hunger Games". 'Twasn't as good as "Twilight", but still held my interest to the final page.

I received a message from the Quiltville group wondering if a photo submitted to the "sew and tell" page of Quiltmaker was a quilt made by me. We emailed back-n-forth a few times so I could get a description of it, and SURE SHOOTIN! It's the Ramblin' Aunt Sukey pattern I made for Cathy back in August. I submitted the photo via email in October to the magazine, and received a "Thank you " email in return, but I never was given the impression they were going to print it. Huh! Kinda cool, yet, makes me wonder a bit. Now I need to get to newsstands to get a copy of the magazine to read the fine print. I recall not too long ago when Bonnie was a bit frustrated with some "Copyright" issues, and I'm no where near that upset or livid, YET I am a bit saddened that the magazine didn't clearly inform me they were printing it. I ordered a subscription to the magazine, but it obviously hasn't begun yet since I have not received the Jan/Feb issue, so this "self-publication" would/could have completely gone unnoticed. And THAT is was saddens and frustrates me.

Okay....enough about that.

Last night was a visit to the Public Library. Santa makes an annual trip to the library to read "T'was the Night Before Christmas" to the kids and then the good ol' classic of sitting-on-lap-sharing-Christmas-gift-wishes.

Even Candace was courageous enough to have a picture taken with Santa.

Okay----'tis lunch time, and afterwards, I'm contemplating whether to take a nap, or to head downstairs for some hopeful "non-guilty" sewing.

Happy Tuesday

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I - AM - DONE (and then some...)

It's official! All anticipated Christmas gift quilts are now completed! Pieced, quilted, bound, and labeled!

One last time, I will walk through the list.....

Masha's Wonky Nines. Started August 18th; Finished November 9th. I had 4 blocks left over, so I whipped up an 18" pillow for her today, and I CAN NOT believe I didn't get a picture of it..DUH!

Andre's Out of this World . Started: October 5th; Finished November 24th.

Isaac's My Blue Heaven. Started: October 16th; Finished: November 9th.

Jan's Family Gems. Started: October 25th. Finished: December 7th.

Patti's Christmas Stockings. Started AND Finished November 26th. (Yeah---THAT was a fast quilt to make!) When I made it, I didn't have anyone special in mind---I just wanted to "have fun" piecing. One thing lead to another, and the quilt was complete!

Scot's CountryView Camo. Started: November 11th; Finished: December 14th. The story behind the name: Scot is DH's boss, and his company's name is CountryView Log Homes----so it fit nicely to the Camo quilt :0)

Ron's Old Tobacco Roads. Started: August 29th. Finished: December 14th.

Derek's Storm at Sea. Started: September 14th; Finished: December 14th.

AND----I EVEN have been able to finish the top (Class Act)for the Quilting Class that I have been asked to offer, as well as a supply list and cutting list. The deadline for the description is tomorrow and I've been able to put that together. The "finer points" of what will be taught can be figured out later.

So....there ya have it! All are wrapped up and under the tree except for Ron's and Derek's. I need to find some boxes at school tomorrow that will fit them.

NOW, Cathedral Stars is looming on the horizons; 126 4-patches are already made. I can't wait to see that one come together!

Happy Sunday!

Runnin' (?) in a winter wonderland......

Finally, mother-nature has decided to have our landscape look like winter :0) I was (still am?) planning to get together with a couple of ladies to run 2 miles at 2:30 today.....but....well.....Those are some HUGE flakes coming down right now!

Scot's camo quilt (officially called Countryview Camo with DH's assistance) was completed yesterday; label yet to be added today. Tonight will showcase a final pic.

Ron's Old Tobacco Roads quilt's binding was just completed 5 minutes ago; label already sewn on; all that remains is to fix the corners, which will be next on the list once I finish the blog update.

Derek's Storm at Sea quilt is half quilted, using a "wave-like" vertical meander. That will be next on the list after OTR corners. I hope to check ALL the C'mas quilts off the list by the end of the day, with a Grand Finale slideshow tonight on my blog.

So...then....without further ado.....time to get stitchin'!
Happy (snowy) Sunday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

1000 apologies!

My goodness golly! No genuine excuses here other than simple "different priorities" over the past two weeks.

I AM sorry that my postings (and checking in on others' postings, for that matter) have been so non-existing over the past two weeks. My followers know that LAST week it was due to my obsession with Stephanie Meyer's Twilight saga; this week---well, it's PART due to Twilight (a sorta-kinda 5th book posted on her site) AND new book "my girls" have recommended (The Hunger Games) which I'm still not so sure about----I'm only a chapter into it. AND then on top of all of that, I HAVE been faithful to a certain extent towards my C'mas project responsibilities AND I have also needed to take two evenings to put a "rough draft" of a quilting class together since my school's Community Education Coordinator wants me to teach one and the deadline for brochure printing is Monday. SO----I needed to put a top together to have a sample photo, AND to get an idea of how many sessions/duration of each session will be needed.

So----my evenings have usually ended around 11:00 - 12:00 the past two weeks, and I just haven't been putting "blogging" in the top 5 "things-to-do" lately. Please forgive me---I WILL be checking in with everyone tomorrow night for sure! I'm making it a date!!!!

Oh!!!! Speaking of date!
My husband is taking me out tonight to dinner and a movie.
alright, alright---so I kinda TOLD him he was----he didn't really ask

What movie, you ask????? *chuckle*
AS IF you need to ask!!!

Yup....."Twilight" again, now that it's in the theater in OUR town (tiny little blip on a map, so we never get the big movies until a couple of weeks after debut). Yeah---I went to the movie last weekend with my babysitter, traveling down to a city 30 miles away, paying $7.75 per person. Our theater only charges $6.00, and I suppose it's only fair ????

Anyway----so I am off to pick up the babysitter. We have a new girl (sweet little Freshman) lined up tonight; not old enough to drive, so....... Cassie is excited to "meet someone new"; the other two don't really know what to think. They don't understand why Nikki (normal babysitter) isn't coming........

Happy Friday!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Returning to quilting....

Once I finished breaking dawn, it was time to for lunch----cheddarwursts (nothing too fancy).

Then, since C'mas is still looming and I decided to spend every free waking moment lately immersed in the fantasy world of Stephanie Meyer, I figured it was finally time to return to quilting.

I made progress on Scot's Camo quilt, to the point the top is ALMOST complete. I think I'll add 15 more inches of "borders" on the top and call it a pillow tuck. So far, it is 78" by 83". I will NOT be quilting this baby since it is mostly a heavy denim/flannel combo of camoflauge fabrics. It will simply be tied, so once the top is finished, the complete "finishing" won't be that far off.

I also have Derek's Storm at Sea awaiting quilting, which SHOULD have been completed this weekend...but.....well......*snicker* other things took priority :0) 'Tis alright, though, because once his is quilted, I have met all my goals! (and THEN some!)

Remember that Christmas Stocking quilt from last Wednesday???? I've decided to gift it to a coworker, an aide to our Special Education department. Without her, I would really be concerned for these kids---she has such a huge heart!

So----for the later part of the afternoon, I decided to tackle creating the labels for all the quilts, and have sewed almost all of them on. They all resemble Jan's Family Gems label, however, hers was the only one I added a "special message" to.

I suppose I'll tackle some hand sewing; I still have C'mas Stockings binding to sew down, as well as Jan's and Ron's Old Tobacco Roads label. Oh----and I STILL need to fix the corner's on Ron's OTR yet too.

The movie Bean is coming on at 6:00 and I figured we'd make it a family comedy night tonight. Perfect!

Happy Sunday

Life may now commence...

I have a strange urge to share with my blogging world the exact moment when I feel my life can once again return to normal, if that truly will ever be possible after having submerged my entire being into the trials and hardships of Bella and Edward.

My goodness! Even from my words appearing on the page, I can tell how extremely this Twilight series has had the utmost affect on my life.
(Okay, maybe I *AM* being a wee bit melodramatic there!!!!)
For the past 9 days, every free moment of my time has been emerged into such a fantasy, wishing that some part of this world could actually be true. It has only been a few moments since I have read the final words from Stephanie Meyer, closing her fourth book, breaking dawn, with the words of finality. The End.

I can only hope that sometime in her life, before she reaches her deathbed, that she will reconsider and decide to open yet another chapter into this amazing fantasy world.

Until then, I can only hope and hold onto the wonderful story that she has shared with us.

If you have not read this series, I strongly share my opinion that if you allow yourself, you will also find your life slightly changed from the experience.

I love this story.
And I can't wait to read it again

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Guilty Pleasures!

Sorry folks, but my life has been put on standby! My 8th grade girls.....I tell ya! Those girls have me HOOKED and OBSESSED with this series. I have been VERY dutiful during my working hours at school to ensure I had NO HOMEWORK to take home every night, solely so I can read, read, read!

Sure enough, Monday morning, I hit up my "Twilight-groupies" to see if anyone could loan me a copy of book 2 - New Moon. Whew......THANKFULLY a student did! SO, Monday night, until midnight, I read, read, read, and almost near finished it!

So, Tuesday rolled around, and I was "hunting down" a copy of book 3 - Eclipse all day long. FINALLY, at the end of the day, the rumor spread enough, that another girl (not quite in the "groupie-bunch" came to loan me her copy. Ya see, most of the "groupie girls" have a copy of book 3, but many of them are still reading it too. So, Tuesday night.....I read, read, read :0) *duh* However, by 9:45 my eyes were SADLY closing due to my late night the night before.

Yesterday rolled around, and I hunted down a copy of book 4, THINKING that I'd be finishing up Book 3 and I wanted to continue right away. However, I actually decided to join real-life for a little while and worked on putting a puzzle together with Cassie. So, I only was able to put about 2 hours worth of reading in last night........

However, I am expecting a copy of book 4 to hit my desk today from the same girl who loaned me book 2. She is still in the process of reading book 3, but I ASSURED her, I would finish 4 before she finishes 3! :0)

Anyway-----needless to say, I have done NO QUILTING. My life shall return to normal soon, though :0) Honestly....I don't know HOW readers could wait for the next books to come out if they were reading them once directly published!

Happy Thursday!