Saturday, November 24, 2007

These are the ingredients for a little birthday gift. I purchased and downloaded some images and printed this one on transfer paper. I'll frame the image with the pink and also use it for the back of the small pillow I'm going to make. When I stuff it, I'm going to include some dried lavender that I have left from some sachets I made a couple of years ago for Christmas gifts. It still has lots of fragrance! She's really a pink person, so I hope she'll like it.

Brrrr, it's cold here - 24 degrees! The frost looks like snow and is so pretty. I've got to put out new suet cakes for the birds and refill the feeders. I just wish the wind would die down before I get to those chores - it just seems to blow right through you!

This jumbled mess will (hopefully) turn into a cute little quilt. I found the little Crazy Eights pattern and thought it looked nice and easy and like the perfect thing to use for those bright little fat quarters I bought 2-3 years ago and haven't been able to bring myself to cut. Some of the prints look like they escaped from a 50's kitchen, which is why I like them. I needed 8, so I had to augment with some other 1/4's that looked like they'd fit in. There are precious few seams that need to match, and I like that! Precision is a wonderful thing, but it's nice to be able to just relax and go sometimes, too.
I've got about 6 weeks' worth of stuff to do today on my first Saturday at home in forever. I want to start getting stuff ready for various projects, and one of them is some quilted Christmas postcards. Anyone want to share ideas for such?
The laundry is calling me . . .

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend with those near and dear to them . . .

Friday, November 23, 2007

Here's the little candle mat I made for Beth in its early stages - it's a Bare Roots pattern, but I found a kit with wonderful dyed wool felt at the Quilt Exposition in Nashville. The color gradations are great. This is at the beginning of the embroidery - who knew that it would be impossible to mark on the felt? Just had to eyeball the designs! all turned out great in the end. And I still have the pattern and know better how to approach it next time. I found a small pumpkin-scented candle to go in the middle and sneaked the whole thing into her classroom. She loved it!
And here's the whole-cloth mini quilt I started in Gulf Shores . . . haven't washed out the blue lines yet...thot the quilting would be visible, but it doesn't seem to be. It was lots of fun, though. I was doing the whole Tonya thing - no frame, no hoop, etc....using an embroidery type position and motion rather than the traditional rocking motion...I have since started on a black one with a different quilting design and will show it when done...maybe can figure out how to make the quilting show up.
We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving at Evan's mother's house, even though it will be our last one there. She just moved to an assisted living facility last weekend. It's painful, but we are so blessed in that she had no broken bones in spite of numerous falls in the last couple of years and didn't burn down the house in spite of leaving the cooktop on, etc. Evan's sister Connie picked her up and brought her out to her house where we congregated, bringing all the feast elements from turkey and dressing to ham to potato salad to everything else! My brother and his wife and daughter came over from East Tennessee as well. Evan and all his siblings were there and some of the grandchildren and out-laws (as in the case of my brother and his family). Having a good family is a blessing we often take for granted, I fear, but it is a tremendous blessing nonetheless. It gives you a good start, it gives you support along the way, it wraps its arms around you when you need that. We are so very blessed.
With a heart full of thanks for the rich blessings from God that are all completely undeserved . . .

Friday, November 16, 2007

The journey continues, whether it's blogged about or not . . . I've managed to read a few of your blogs even though I haven't posted anything. I've been having camera difficulties on top of lots of other hindrances, and what's a blog without a picture? One of the things I love so about other blogs is the fact that I get to see handiwork, families, houses - which helps you enjoy "knowing" that person. I love reading stories about good friends who have met courtesy of the internet, specifically blogland - even friends from different countries who actually get to meet in person! It's one of the positive ways that technology has impacted us all.

Sooo, what have I been doing since August? Well, Evan and I managed a trip to Gulf Shores for the first time in a LONG time - we dearly love going to the beach. We found the perfect place to stay and had a fabulous time. I took some pictures - which are unavailable at the moment, but I do plan to share a few of them. Mostly we goofed off and relaxed. It was absolutely wonderful.

One of "my" doctors (there are 8 in the office where I work) had emergency back surgery in September and we're still reeling under those ripples. The daughter of one of our nurses was tragically killed in an automobile accident in September, and we're also still feeling those effects. Oh - but let me tell you what we're doing for Rhonda (the mother) - who loves quilting. (In fact, when I went to the big quilt exposition in Nashville back in August, it was with her.) There are several beginning/wannabe quilters at the office, so instead of getting flowers for her that would soon be gone, we're working on a wallhanging quilt. We fixed squares backed with freezer paper and managed to get everyone, including docs, to write something for her - some wrote little personal notes, some wrote Scriptures, a couple did a bit of artwork. We got some 30's repro fabric, which is something she's recently fallen in love with, to frame each little block. I am going to embroider a Bible verse for the center. (we asked her other daughter for a favorite) We're at the stage right now of getting the blocks framed. We got them laid out earlier this week so I could try to calculate how big the center with the verse needed to be before I traced the words there and started stitching. That's my Thanksgiving holiday project for myself - to get that hand stitching done. Hopefully I'll be able to show you some pictures. We hope to get most of the folks to take at least a few quilting stitches - in-the-ditch type stuff, and since pretty much everyone can sew a running stitch, which is what it amounts to . . . to make it truly a joint project.

Aaaack - and now I'm about to be late for work.

This picture, by the way, is one I'd already transferred to the computer - taken in the York Castle Museum in York, England last year. I think it's from the late 1800's.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Few Goodies

Just a quickie to show a few of the goodies I got at the Nashville Quilt Expo. Yes, I succumbed to the whole yo-yo maker thing to make it easier to make the small ones! I didn't buy any of the larger ones or any of the shapes (flower, heart, etc.), but I did buy the 2 smallest ones - 3/4 inch and 1 1/4 inch because they can be a pain to make and yet are so versatile. Lots of vendors had them, but I got them at the booth with the lowest price. I love the wholecloth quilts, so when I saw a good deal on the printed tops, I snagged 3. One of them is black, which I've never done before. I'm trying to decide whether or not to do it with black thread or maybe a bright variegated thread or maybe even metallic. Nah, probably not metallic - I hate working with them. There were lots of the little Bare Roots candle mats in all sorts of designs, so I got this kit to make for Beth - she really, really loves pumpkins and fall stuff! (When I get it done, I'll sneak it into her classroom at school as a surprise.) There were several folks who had some really neat framed things that used the little quilted hearts, most of them with stitchery words. I got 2 little packages of them - the other package is faded repro fabric that really does look old, but I didn't think it would show up in a picture. I'll show my other goodies later.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

hey, it's working!

After days when I couldn't see anything or do anything, it seems to be working! Hurrah! I'll try to post some pics of the goodies I got at the quilt expo! It was great, by the way. And guess who didn't take a camera . . . .??


Don't know what's going on with blogger or me or what.....can't view the blog, can't see anything but that last picture and one paragraph. This is just a test to see if I can get it to work at all. You know - " This is a test. This is just a test. If this were a real emergency ... blah blah blah"

Hope everyone enjoys the day!!!

p.s. I just LOVE Rosie!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Just a quickie morning post when I should be watering the flowers on the porch . . .the above is looking across the driveway one afternoon from one end of the porch where the driveway turns up to go behind the house and the road goes on down to the gate to go up the holler (that's "hollow" for you non-hillbilly folk).

I have been enjoying "lurking" around some blogs and seeing what's happening even though I haven't really had time to comment or post. Somehow so many of you manage to get so much more done than me!

The heat let up for a couple of days, but today it's set to be over 100 yet again. At least the humidity is down a bit, and that really helps. So far Evan is managing to survive the heat while he's drilling and shooting as part of putting a new waterline for a subdivision. And, thankfully, the rheumatoid arthritis is under control at the moment.

I think I mentioned that we performed in a fundraiser for the local museum a couple of weeks ago - done and forgotten. Forgotten, that is, until folks I see at the clinic or the grocery store or wherever who tell me they just saw me on tv - the local cable folks filmed the silly thing and keep using it for filler! We had no idea it was to be filmed. We live in out in the country and are happy to have satellite tv (after several years of no tv) but we have no local programming, so it always catches me offguard when folks talk about seeing us on tv. Various performances, whether actual plays like A Christmas Carol or the annual Christmas concert we sing in, get shown again and again at the right season. It's just a hoot.

Guess what!!! Friday I'm going to the AQS Quilt Exposition in Nashville!!!! It's at the Opryland Hotel, and it is truly an extravaganza!!! It actually begins today, but I can only afford to take off the one day for it. I won't be taking any classes this year, but I sure will enjoy seeing the myriads of quilts from all over the world and all the vendors. One year I took a class from Mary Ellen Hopkins that was wonderful, and one year I took a class from Becky Goldsmith that was also wonderful. It's so cool to see folks that you've previously only seen on tv! Eleanor Burns is usually there, too....Ami Simms....all sorts of people. The quilts themselves are the best part, of course. The creativity and skills displayed are mind-boggling in the extreme!!! You can't touch them, but you can get very close and peer at the fabrics and the stitches and ooh and ahh to your heart's content! There are quilts for everyone's personal preferences - pieced, appliqued, art quilts, vintage quilts, painted quilts, wooden quilts - if you can think of it, I can just about guarantee it will be there. Can't wait!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Well, here are a few of the stitchery postcards I've been working on. I managed to get a few of them almost done today. Underneath you can kind of see the stamp I've used - from Alpha Stamps - which is ever so much easier and nicer-looking than the postcard back I was printing on fabric from a book with cool images. It's easier because I don't have to fight with trying to position that piece of fabric in addition to trying to position the front and can just get on with things! I'm always trying to use the absolute minimum piece of fabric which can make for some positioning difficulties. It's nicer-looking because I don't have to fiddle with settings and fabric and all that jazz. The quilting is actually quite pathetic - had thread problems and bobbin problems and just went at it rather than try a practice piece first...silly, impatient me! Not to mention no real sense of balance with the whole meandering thing. Ah, well...hopefully the recipients won't mind. I'm planing to work on some ribbon or other edging trim for the next few - the zig-zag looks pretty plain. However, on some of the ones I did a few weeks ago, I used a variegated thread that coordinated with the stitchery thread for the zig-zag and it looked pretty nice. I just failed to get them scanned or photographed. :-(
It's been another extremely hot day today, and the humidity is back up after a day or so of unbelievably low humidity (as in 30% or less). The sun is still beautiful. We saw several young bucks with nice-looking antlers still in the velvet stage. Lots of adolescent turkeys wandering around.
One of the guys form our small church family was invited to speak tonight at the large, downtown congregation....a bunch of us went to support him and the effort....enjoyed a dessert and fellowship feast was really enjoyable to reconnect and visit with folks we used to go to church with...

Blessings and gratitudes:

  • incredible husband

  • incredible daughter and son-in-law who are interested in spiritual things over the popular and socially and culturally surrounding things

  • sunshine

  • health and well-being which are so thankfully present in spite of various aches and pains and disabilities

  • good friends from all tme periods

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What a case of "Bed Head"!!

Well, the last little Carolina Wrens have left the nest. This is the family raised in my lantana pot, severely hindering the lantana growth and blooming because of all the digging around the parents did and because I had to be so careful and chintzy with the watering so as not to waterlog the nest. I was probably too careful - the nest was probably much better armored than I guessed. The first picture shows pretty much naked little babies and just a couple of days later they had the funky "bed-head" look with feathers and the down sticking up so wildly as it was being replaced from below with the feathers. The babies were just about eye level to me and looked as though they had a bad case of the morning-after syndrome. The pictures just don't do justice - it's a cheap camera and I'm no photographer! The down just looks like a blur in the picture, but it was really spiky.

I've been trying to keep up with reading blogs even though I haven't had time to post. Everybody seems busy and doing all sorts of wonderful things. I was blessed by attending the annual retreat for the teachers (and now Board) of our Christian school, which was incredibly wonderful. Then had a pretty stressful end-of-month at the medical office where I work. The heat is really getting to folks (95 - 103 each day), so tempers flare easily and you feel tired and drained even when you haven't done much. ( Sure makes me appreciate air conditioning, though!) Then Thursday evening, Evan and I were part of a group of folks from our local theatre group who performed some short skits for the annual Pasta Premier, which is a fund-raiser for the local Museum. The Museum is housed in the old Borden Milk plant, so even though air conditioning has been added, it was pretty hot backstage and onstage. (Yes, the stage was added SINCE the days of milk processing - when parts of the building were being somewhat renovated to enhance its functionality for the community.) In addition to the rooms with museum displays, there is the small theatre-type area, a tiny kitchen, a good lobby, and a very pretty little courtyard. Lots of weddings and wedding receptions are held at the Museum. Our theatre group has put on numerous plays there, also, inlcuding dinner theatre and dessert theatre.

Oops - I'm out of time! SOOOOO many chores are calling to me!! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Happy Sunday to All!

It's been a beautiful day - lots of sunshine but not too hot, thanks to the cold front that came through Friday evening. It was so clear yesterday and only in the 70's mid-morning - the air had a feeling of fall to it. It was weird, since we've got a fair amount of hot weather yet to come. Warmer today, but still quite pleasant.
After our long drought, we had several rainy days. We're still pretty far behind in annual rainfall and have lower water tables than we should, but we're been very thankful for the rain that has come in the last couple of weeks..
I've enjoyed listening to the katydids, who traditionally tell of the coming of the first frost - the old wives' tales say that the first frost will be 90 days after you first hear the katydids. Well, I heard them a bit early this year, so who knows what will happen! Also the tiny tree frogs really make a lot of music/noise at night about now - some evenings nearly drowning out the insects, owls, and coyotes! (and our Sweet P's, who love to sing in chorus with the coyotes!!!)

I managed to trace some bits and pieces of flowers for another fabric postcard this afternoon - it's just so doggoned tedious!! Wish it were easier. I work on the stitching when we're piled up in bed at night watching tv and relaxing. I've also been on a yo-yo making streak in the evenings when I didn't have any stitchery ready to do - figuring there'll be something to do with them down the road. I've just got a bag of small fabric scraps and some circle templates cut from an old x-ray film by the bed.
Evan's rheumatoid arthritis is really giving him fits the last couple of days and it just hurts me to see him in such pain. And he's got some bulldozer work to finish up, not to mention finishing up with the meter box for the water line for the ballfield sprinkler system at RCA, our church congregation's Christian school. Prayer is what is seeing us through these days.
We have so many blessings, though - just a few of which are each other, living on our farm in the midst of the glories of creation, daughter Beth and her hubby Joshua living nearby, Beth teaching at RCA and excited about it, good friends . . . and on and on.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Just can't seem to focus. It's hot and dry. Then stormy with hard downpours...we're thankful for any rain but wish it would rain slowly so all water could soak into the ground instead of running off. However - Evan did find a few ears of corn for us today - they're small but still fairly well filled out with juicy kernels thanks to those last 2 bouts of rain. We really enjoyed them. I've played with cutting out pieces for a Crazy Eights quilt and also tracing some embroidery and words for more quilted postcards - AAACCCKKKK! Meant to scan the last two before sending them off via USPS!! Can't believe I forgot. Again. The ones I just sent had designs from Powdermill by Diane Arthurs. The ones I'm working on now are designed by me with free embroidery traced from Needlecrafter designs and then words of my choosing. Hopefully I'll manage to scan one or two of them before mailing.

Found this applique block when I was hunting a needle - I added little beads after doing the blanket stitch. They look kind of cool. Just something fun to play with. Here's another . . .with no beads . . . yet

Sorry they're so wrinkly - they just got lost in a bag of odds and ends.

Blessings of the day:

my beloved husband and daughter and son-in-law


good friends who asked us to go to Huntsville with them to see a local production of Nunsense - a few years ago, OUR theatre group did it, and I was the Reverend Mother and my friend was Sister Mary Hubert. We had a blast!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Just a quickie

Just quickly sticking my head in to say "Hi!" before getting ready for church. I've got my lesson ready (I teach a ladies' class) and only have a couple more things to do. I've been so inspired by the creativity and fabulous work of folks whose blogs I'm reading (how in the world did it take me so long to discover this blogworld so full of lovely people?), I decided to scan a paper pieced block that's to be part of a tablerunner. I haven't put it together yet simply because I can't decide which way I like the cabins facing - I like ALL the designs I can get with them! And the ends are pointed, and I can't decide which way I like them either. Maybe I need to lay them all out on the floor and take some pictures. (and someday rig something for a design wall).

Hope everyone has a wonderful, blessed day.

Friday, June 29, 2007

It's summertime!

It's summer, full-blown summer! I want to know how that happened since Christmas was only a couple of weeks ago and then we had that big freeze here in Tennessee that did so much spring, really.....but now the temps are in the 90's and it's D R Y (we're umpteen inches below where we should be in rainfall).


Seems like I've only spent a few brief periods at the pool and yet I've been watering my few flowers like mad (fortunately we have free spring water) and watching things die anyway. The farmers around here are really suffering - the beef farmers are already feeding hay because of the lack of pasture (and a pitiful hay crop in the works for the current year) and the row crop farmers are seeing tiny seedlings and plants die for lack of moisture. Our corn is tasseling at about 3 feet in height - no ears....the beans won't bloom or have beans without rain..

Things have continued to be really crazy at work - sick folks and vacationing folks - just staffing holes everywhere that have to be filled by already busy people. And insurance companies get crazier and crazier in their journey to paying fewer and fewer claims and those at lower and lower rates. Times are really tight for physicians.

But here's a lovely sight . . . the lowly marigold in all its beauty. And, you know what? Both Evan and I love the scent of marigolds, even though most folks do not. The scent is kind of pungent and reminds me of tomatoes and geraniums....which remind me of the smell of electricity - as in from the transformer of my brother's electric train.

The tablecloth is one from my childhood . . . and it was old then . . . so it probably came from the 40's. I got the little blue jar in a set at Pier I - I LOVE colored jars, vases, etc...and these tiny ones came to about $1 each in the set.

OH - almost forgot! The new wren nest is not in my old backpack but in my hanging pot of lantana!!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

As the journeys continue . . .

A dear, sweet, precious friend ended her earthly journey last week . . . one of the most beloved of all our nurses left us very unexpectedly. She worked Thursday as usual and was her normal fun-loving self. After the day's work, she sat in her recliner with her Yorkie "children", ate a bowl of ice cream - one of her favorite vices - and . . . went home. Journey ended. She was ready emotionally, having lost her beloved husband about a year previously. More importantly, she was ready spiritually. She truly went home.

She was 74. We are all still in shock. We are grieving at our loss, for we know she has gone to a better place. We will all miss Becky.

The little birdies left the nest last Sunday morning - around 5 or so in the morning I heard much wren music and noise and speculated that the babes were being ousted from the nest. It was fairly late in the evening - like 7 pm or so - before I had a chance to peep into the backpack home to find it empty. Sniff, sniff. But maybe they'll rear their next round of babies in there, too!! I hope, I hope!!

One journey ended, another one begun.

I thought I'd stick in a picture of some handkerchiefs belonging to my grandmother (and maybe great-grandmother) that have lived in a lovely cardboard box (I forget whether it originally held candy or fruitcake or what) as far back as I can remember into the dim reaches of my childhood. Nonnie always had this box on her dresser, a lovely huge walnut thing with a tremendous mirror, and I've treasured it for over 30 years myself. And, BTW - they still live in the same box!

The lighter strip across the top is where something was laid on it for a time...maybe a mirror handle or something....the thing in the frame just barely visible is a note my grandmother wrote on the back of a picture of my uncle in the Marines just after Pearl Harbor in 1941....these are things with no monetary value but with great sentimental value....items from journeys . . .

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Almost Ready to Leave the Nest

Well, the babies are growing by leaps and bounds. Both mom and dad keep the airways hot with their frequent trips back and forth with luscious bugs and such for the little ones. As mom flies away, dady flies in. When I'm there at the table, dad, the more intrepid parent, just hops on up and into the backpack to feed the babies. Mom, on the other hand, hops all around, fussing loudly. She'll even hop up to the backpack and then back down. She could feed the babies two or three times in the time she takes going back and forth while she fusses at me. If I stay nice and still, she'll eventually take her goody to the babies, but she sure makes a big production out of it.

Daughter Beth informed me a couple of days ago that these birds had a two story condominium and so evidently were a bit floocier than the others we've had. So I looked inside the bag again and saw she was quite right! Due in part to the way the backpack is not sitting completely upright (it's fabric, after all, and not full of stuff) and that my small umbrella (to be with me at all times during jaunts around and about whilst in the UK) is conveniently near a wrinkle in the side of the backpack . . . they've been able to spread out as the babies have grown. Quite convenient, because we've all looked at nests that were fine for a few little eggs but then were overflowing as the little birdies developed and grew. ANYWAY - there are babies on two levels now.
The birds in the picture have quarters in the upper story. The moss to the left leads down to the lower level.
I guess that's enough of The Tale of the Carolina Wrens for today. More than enough!
We had a lovely storm yesterday evening and were blessed with just a tad over a half inch of rain. I hope some of the rest of you got a little rain, too. The farmers around here are seriously worried, both the cattle farmers and the crop farmers. I even heard that Jack Daniels, which is just up the road a piece, is talking about cutting production because the famous spring which has supplied their water for lo these many years is geetting very low. Now that's a first! (Personally, that doesn't concern me like the plight of the farmers - just mentioned it because it's indicative of just how low the water table is and how serious the water situation is.)
Got chores to do - better get up and at 'em!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


We have babies!!!!

Sweet little naked Carolina wren babies!!!

Seems like only a few days ago she had only a nest in my backpack on the porch table without even eggs yet, but yesterday when I looked in - there were babies! Still so tiny as to not have perpetually open mouths, as to be silent, as to have no down, let alone feathers! Wow!!

They're soooo precious! Mom and Dad are both hauling in little bugs to feed the chilluns. Dad is braver and hops on up with his offerings, but Mom is more cautious and MUCH more vocal as she approaches and then leaves (kinda) and then comes back, fussing the whole way....several times back and forth before finally getting there with the grub. Whew! (just knew those babies had to be hungry!)

Sorry the pic is so blurry....I was having to hold the camera over the bag where I could not see....dark except for the

Sunday, June 3, 2007

another inspirational piece

This precious little doll was made for me by a very good friend and presented to me naked - she knew I had some treasured family pillowcases, and that's what she was making the dolls for - so she gave the doll to me naked one Christmas so I could choose the pillowcase to be used. It was really no choice, as this was the MOST favored one of my childhood and one I had managed to have on my pillow more times than not (I slept on a twin bed, one of 2 lovely Jenny Lind spindle beds long in the family that I later refinished for our daughter Beth). Saturdays meant changed beds and all clean linens at my house while I was growing up, but I managed most of the time to get one of this pair of pillowcases on my pillow! Who knows why it was my favorite and who knows when my grandmother stitched it - the point is that it was my favorite for years and years. I finally realized how thin it was getting and left it in the linen closet.....and was thankful some years after getting married to be able to take it with me. (with my mother's blessing {it was her mother who had stitched it}) But I kept it in the linen closet and did not use it - just enjoyed seeing it when I got linens out of the closet. My grandmother Nonnie, who stitched this, is the one who taught me to embroider, and I have many lovely memories of sitting with her and stitching on various dresser scarves and suchlike. This after my very young years of sewing straight stitches to spell out my name and various family names to begin my stitching practice. Nonnie would have me write the name out with a pencil on a piece of old sheet and then stitch it. I am blessed by having a few of these still. I am even more blessed to have numbers of linens (like dresser scarves and small tablecloths and napkins and other small items) stitched by my grandmother, some edged with homemade lace or crochet edging. I even have a few things done by my great-grandmother - a length of tatting, for instance.
These are all true blessings!!
(just previewed the post and have no idea where the blue lines come from on the doll picture - they don't exist in reality!! Probably something wrong I did with the camera)

Ta Da!

Finally! Just had to monkey around to try to get this silly thing upright. It's not that it's any great thing - but it was so annoying for it to be sideways! I remember that when I got it finished I was so disgusted to see the mistakes which are so obvious now but were not obvious during the stitching. Ah, well, that's just how it goes sometimes. The words are much more important than the medium anyway.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Something that inspires me

This was meant to be the top for a cushion, I think, because of its mother-in-law or grandmother-in-law probably made it. It's pretty much guaranteed that the fabric pieces are scraps from various and sundry sources, whether it be leftovers from something made at home to salvaged scraps from a worn-out something-or-other. I love the tiny squares and the precion of their setting-together. I rescued it from an attic-clearing-out at the beginning of the year when my sister-in-law was getting rid of stuff in a major way. There were so many handmade things, from a crocheted rag rug I salvaged (pic later) to this to all sorts of quilts and quilt tops I didn't feel like laying claim to since I'm just an in-law.....however, I'm a little worried as to what has happened to them in the meantime. Anyway, I did manage to scrounge this little goody and haven't yet figured out what in the world to do with it. I'm NOT a seamstress, so the idea of making a 3-dimensional pillow scares me. (Don't know if you can tell, but the clever maker has already rounded the corners and worked down so that there are short sides - like for a square cushion. If it were flat, I'd have no problem.) Simple suggestions welcomed here!
I hope everyone is having a good weekend. I've been at work all day (end-of-month blues) and will be at work tomorrow afternoon after church. I've still managed to enjoy a bit of conversation with my sweetie and hope to take a few stitches a bit later.
Enjoy!! Life is short!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Inch by inch...row by row....(Pete Seeger if you're old enough!)

Continuing on . . . "inch by inch.....etc....we've got to make this garden grow..." Anybody old enough to remember Pete Seeger of the Weavers as well as the writer of classic "protest" songs like "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" and countless others????? the journeys continue....inch by inch...step by journeys, quilting journeys, spiritual journeys, crafting journeys....

We had a GREAT weekend in middle Tennessee...I mowed and mowed over our rough ground and was thankful to be able to do so in spite of the pain. Thankful because after my auto accident of 8 years ago "they" weren't sure if I'd be able to walk again and thankful because my sweetie Evan has difficulties thanks to a knee replacement and now rheumatoid arthritis! This for a man who's in the construction - or should I say DEstruction - business after giving up a teaching career as band director and choral teacher to rejoin his father in business. (Evan does a fair amount of blasting in the scope of his utility work, therefore the DEstruction comment - teehee) ANYWAY - got lots done and managed to still spend some time in the pool! The water is a little cool (74 - 78 F, which is cool unless you're doing laps) but feels soooo good to my feet and legs.

I've been inspired by some little doll quilts seen on various sites like Calamity Kim's and am itching to get started. In the meantime I'm trying to finish up some quilt postcards - will try to get a pic or two in here. In the meantime, here is something I did on perforated paper whilst bedridden after the above-mentioned wreck. (designed and charted it myself before stitching)
Don't know why the picture came out in the wrong place!! DRAT!!! I do fairly sophisticated IT things at my work with complicated medical software, but I'm a doofus newbie trying to manipulate a blog! Patience, please....
Gratitudes today:
  • the smoke around is from far away and not from nearby fires and heartache
  • my little Carolina wren still sitting on her eggs in my backpack on the porch table!
  • the Canada geese on the big pond who still have their 4 babies (nearly grown)! This is the first time in years the parents have managed to help the babes evade the dreadful snapping turtles who grab the goslings (or baby wood ducks) as they swim behind mommy and daddy! (the goose and gander actually marched them over hill and dale literally between ponds at least 4 times this year)
And, thank you, Covered Porches, for your supportive comments. I'm learning from you and others.
Life is wonderful!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's Ugly, but it was Fun

Not quite sure why I even scanned this, other than we had a new multi-function machine and needed (at least I thought so) to test the scanning part. You know, like when as a kid you had some change in your pocket that cried out to be spent. This little orphan block was handy. That's why it was scanned and was available to put here in the blog. So I did. I had been playing with doing "wonky" stuff with no pattern or clear plan after poking around in Gwen Marston's book Liberated Quiltmaking and used some scraps bought at the local quilt store back when they sold bags of pieces and strips left from the making of kits, etc. for $1. (No, those pieces aren't dirty - they're batiks!) Great stuff for experimenting with because you had no real investment! And I even got some cool Jan Mullen pieces and some reproduction fabric pieces that way, too. It was an educational process, too, because I learned that taking 1/4" out of two sides of a strip doesn't leave you much sometimes! And I didn't pay any attention to how it was placed on the scanner, I realize, from looking at's sideways.....I had no intention of the center piece looking like an outhouse! (maybe only folks from the hills of Tennessee would even think about that . . . teehee)

And so we travel on.

Gratitudes of the morning:

  • the sight and sound of all the birds as they go about their morning routines

  • the mist over the pond

  • the sunshine on the trees of the hill opposite my window (it will be here shortly)

  • the fact that God gave us this gloriously beautiful place to live when He could have given us flat and grey and we wouldn't have known the difference

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Journeying means . . .

LIFE itself is a journey, rather than a destination - we're all somewhere on the journey. There's no such thing as "having arrived" - duh! We're going from being young to being older, we're a bit further down the road toward heaven, etc. Hobbies like quilting are journeys, too - you have an idea or see a pattern, you fondle your fabric and pull out bits and pieces and make some cuts....then you put some of them together and marvel at the wonder colors and patterns produce! You still don't have a quilt, though - you're on the journey to a quilt, and it is wonderful. You pick an embroidery project like the wonderful Crabapple Hill transfer the pattern and find the floss....and enjoy the stitching - again, it's the journey you're on and the journey you're enjoying.
I love the commercial for some kind of celebrity cruising where after having folks comment on their special celebrity treatment there is the man, obviously back in his everyday environment at the window saying, "I look on this as a temporary exile." Well, that's exactly what it is!!! We're here on earth temporarily! We don't live here forever - we're pilgrims on a journey. And, O, how sweet it can be! I am so blessed with my family, my church family, the beautiful spot on earth where we live...and on and on!! Yet wonderful as this is, it's nothing to compare with what's ahead! The journey is often wonderful, sometimes very, very difficult....but it is leading to the best of all possible destinations.

Here are a couple of pics . . . I hope . . .

The first step

I've been enjoying a number of blogs lately and just decided to take the plunge myself! I'm interested first in being a woman who pleases God, but I'm also interested in quilting, embroidery, and crafting. Not to mention gardening - or attempting to garden in a small way.

Just to get started, I'm going to attempt to include a picture of part of our front porch, showing a hanging fuschia that was home to a family of Carolina wrens (they raised 2 sets of babies there!) and wishing you could smell the heavenly scent of the mimosa trees. I'll have to take some pictures of needlework stuff, too! Forgot about the light string - much to the dismay of my husband and daughter, I like to leave some of the Christmas lights hanging on the porch because the birds enjoy them so much. The birds will perch on the light strand while deciding which feeder to visit or which flower to visit....even the hummingbirds perch there. I love to watch and listen to the to heady fragrance of the purple petunias which are a MUST for the porch every year. The red thing is a bench I made several years ago for flowerpots to rest on during their winters in the house. The porch is a wonderful place to let cares and stresses float away on the breeze and let the wonder of God's creation wash over me.

I hope somebody sees this and comes back to check on me!