Category Archives: Quilting

My quilt projects.

Skipping Merrily into Spring

March is finally here. My birth month.  My mother’s birth month.  My daughter’s birth month.  I love March because it is the start of Spring.  March, April and May are my very favorite months of the year. But I have to tell you, January and February haven’t been too bad this year. So many days of almost Spring like weather. I kind of feel cheated by winter since we never had very much snow.  Of course March could still surprise us.  Here in Indiana we have March madness when all the high schools play their sectionals, semi-state and state basketball tournaments.  In the past, the weather usually turned bad at this time with snow and ice and cold.  I remember one year my school was playing in the sectional and I wanted to go so my mother made my brothers take me with them and their friends.  The weather was so bad the gymnasium was almost empty.  I found one person I knew to sit with for the game. I still wonder why my mother allowed us all to go that night as it was blizzard like weather.   Maybe she was just glad to get us out of the house!

We have daffodils already blooming and lots of other flowers popping up all over the garden.  One week it’s gray and nothing is growing and the next, new life appears.  It’s really a miracle.  I just don’t want Spring to come too quickly and then turn immediately into hot Summer.   I’ve ordered a pound of zinnia seeds and gotten two packets of pumpkin seeds to plant.  I didn’t start tomato plants this year.  I will just buy a few plants this year.   That’s pretty much all I am planting this year other than any perennials I might have to have.  My yard is full, but there is always room for one more plant.

March being my birth month, I celebrate all month.  David and I have plans for this weekend.  Doing more antiquing and buying some things for our new bathroom remodel and maybe some paint.  I love to paint.  I have probably painted every room in our house three or four times.  I have the paint color picked out for the bathroom. A very soft grey for the walls and a soft green called “Stillness,” for the ceiling.  I thought it was a nice color to stare at while soaking in the tub.  We are not replacing the bath tub.  I love that tub.  Almost long enough for me to lay down in and it’s been there since the 1950’s and I want to keep one thing old in there. We did find an old mirror to replace the medicine cabinet.  It has an old looking mirror and is surrounded by old wood.  I will show it after we have it placed in the bathroom.  I was thrilled to find it as we were looking for an old mirror last weekend and the very first antique store we visited had that mirror.  They had just gotten it in the store.  Serendipity.  I was meant to get it.  I love when things come together.

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This flower blooms in the winter and is loaded with flowers right now.  I forget what it’s called, but it’s about the only flower that blooms in the winter this far north.

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Daffodils coming up everywhere.  I forget how many I have planted until they come up every Spring.

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Colorful train cars right in front of our house loaded with gravel.  Men have been working on the tracks for weeks.

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Men held up plywood to keep the gravel from getting onto the road.    I heard on the radio today that next year one train an hour will go through our city and some will be three miles long.  Wow.  That is really going to mess up traffic in many places.  Our city fathers are scrambling to try to figure out what to do about all the extra traffic.  Move the tracks?  Put up signal arms at the crossings so the trains won’t be tooting all day every hour?    It’s going to be interesting and we are going to have a front row seat on it all.   Little boys who come to our house love to watch the trains. Maybe we could sell tickets to parents who want to bring their children to sit on our porch and watch the trains go by.  Trains seem to draw little boys like magnets.  Our grandsons can be anywhere in our house and when they hear the train whistle, they make a mad dash to come watch the train go by.  I find I am drawn to them also although their whistle can hurt the ears.

Last Saturday David and I took an antiquing jaunt to southeastern Indiana.  I was looking for an old mirror and things to put in our soon to be remodeled bathroom.   As I wrote, we found the mirror at the first store.   I wish I had had my camera at one of the stores. When we get in the car and start driving, when we are several miles from home I will say to David, “Did we bring the camera?” or Did we remember the cellphone as we hardly ever have our cellphone with us.  We forgot both this trip so I missed some really interesting shots.  Anyway, this one store called The Whistle Stop was so chock full of wonderful things.  A little old lady was running the store(I’m a little old lady, but I always use the term when I see an older lady who may or may not be older than me!)  Anyway, she sat in a chair reading a book while David and I, who were her only customers, walked around looking here and there.  There was an upstairs with lots more good stuff.  I ended up getting a book and a bowl.

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I have read so many of Catherine Cookson’s books.  Most are about women living in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s who have to make their way alone in a very harsh world.   Most take place in England or Ireland.   I don’t think I have read this one and it was cheap, so I bought it.

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I love these little bowls.  I have a small collection of them.  I use some of them to hold my yarn balls while I am knitting so the balls won’t roll around.

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This bowl was made in Roseville, CA.

In my constant quest for vintage tablecloths, I have become more selective in the ones I buy, but this one caught my eye and it was large enough to fit our dining room table.

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I really love it.

Then this week I was looking through an old magazine I had and what  did I see?

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The exact tablecloth that I had bought in a little store in Indiana.   Maybe it’s the same one. Who knows.

This week a friend asked me if I was still working on quilts and I almost felt a little guilty when I had to tell her, “No,” because I have been knitting socks.  Well, that made me decide I needed to get back out into my shop and sew for a while.

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While it’s not a quilt, it is a quilt block I am making into a pot holder. In fact, after this one, I made a couple more in different patterns.  I think I could make these and sell them if I got my act together.   But…..

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Then I dug out this quilt I had appliqued years ago and never got quilted.  I think this one will get completed this year. It’s called Ohio Rose.

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I think I must have planned to hand quilt this one as I have drawn on designs on this one.

Then…….

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I came across this quilt pattern on a blog and decided I just have to make it.  I forget what blog it is, but when I find it, I will tell you so you can make it also if you would like. Quilt is found on Tilda blog.  A lot of beautiful things to see on it and free patterns.  

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Made like banners and I love banners.  Looks like something that will go together very quickly. The hard part will be picking out the material.  The person who made this quilt had her own fabric line and showed where to use each material.  But I like to pick out my own material and make a quilt my very own, so I will search in my stash and maybe buy some new material to make this one.

So now I can tell my friend I am working on a quilt.   I also have another chicken quilt half done.

But, still……..

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There will always be socks to knit.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Wonder?

Well, the blizzard I was hoping would hit us in January never appeared. In fact, we had the warmest January in years and February is turning out to be warm also. Today it was 67 degrees out.  It smelled like  Spring.  We sat on our front porch and watched the  Sandhill cranes flying above us heading toward Camp Atterbury where they will rest.  They have a distinctive call as they fly and David heard them before we saw them. Trill your tongue against the roof of your mouth and that is  kind of what they sound like.  We saw two flocks today, but there will be several more.

I wanted January to last for a long time. It seems it’s the only month we are not super busy. A time to get things done inside before Spring.  I have knitted three pairs of sock, made one quilt and completed another since Christmas.  I also made a couple of new pillows last week from some leftover patchwork fabric I found.

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I’ve been working on this quilt for a while and was so happy to get it completed. All machine quilted.

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I used a lot of different fabrics in this quilt which gives it an old fashioned look which I was aiming for.

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These are the two pillows I made this week.  They are big and fat and comfy to lay your head upon.

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These are socks I knit for David. No, they do not match exactly because this yarn did not have a repeating stripe, but he likes them. He has to wear blue jeans and navy shirts to work at Ralph Lauren so these socks will go with his outfit.

I also knit a couple of other pair, but since they might be gifts one day, I can’t show them now.

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Oh, I forgot I made this pillow also. It came in a kit for a small wall hanging, but I wanted a pillow out of it.  I really love it.  It was so much fun to make and I’m thinking an entire quilt made with this pattern would be cute.

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We have missed sitting on our porch and when the weather is even halfway decent we sit outside and watch the world go by.  Even when we have to bundle up.

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But, as I wrote, our temperatures have been such that we sat out in our shirtsleeves today and were quite comfortable.

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The skies have been so blue. You can see the Snow Moon peeking between the branches of this tree. Last night it was full and so bright. They say we had a lunar eclipse which we missed and a comet was supposed to pass close to earth. We didn’t see that either.  I saw the moon early this morning from our bedroom window and it was so beautiful. There is something about a full moon that lifts my spirits, know that there is a God and makes me feel at one with Him.   He set the moon to guard the night, lift the tides and light our way.

Speaking of lighting my way, this dog does it for me every day.  She is so sweet and makes me laugh just to see her.

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The sun was shining on her this particular day and she looked absolutely beautiful.  A shiny coat, a broad chest and that little white patch.  OOOOh, she is so cute.  David has been working with her as she likes to bite his feet so I told him to keep treats with him and when she starts to bite his shoe, stop, tell her to sit and then give her a treat. He also has been playing fetch with her and she seems to be breaking the habit of biting on him.  He has been sorely tested by this dog I will have to admit. She has been slightly more rambunctious than any of our other dogs have been.   She has the sweetness of a Labrador, but the playfulness of a Boxer and sometimes the two don’t mix well.   We think she is more Boxer than Labrador.

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But how can you be angry with her when she has chewed up one more thing, when you look out and see her with her chin on her chair fast asleep?  Kind of like naughty children. They look so sweet when they are asleep!

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Sent out a few Valentine’s Day cards.  I like sending them better than Christmas cards because people don’t really expect to get them.

Can’t believe February is almost half over already. This year is speeding along.  One season following the other in quick succession.   Hope your year is going well. Happy Valentine’s Day.  Bye.

 

Quiltin’ and Knittin’

This last week has been a productive week for me. I had all kinds of energy and put it to good use.   I made an entire quilt for Valentine’s Day.   I haven’t been quilting much since I discovered the joy of knitting socks.  I have become as much a yarn fanatic as I am a fabric fanatic.   I just received more yarn a few days ago and already have two pairs of socks almost knitted.

But, back to my quilt.  I have many old quilt magazines and I enjoy looking through them on occasion and a quilt caught my eye that I was sure I wanted to make.

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It came from this magazine.

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And this is how long I have had this magazine!

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And this is the finished quilt.  I love it.  I just put the last stitches on the sleeve on its back so that I can hang it.

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I dipped into my stash of red and pink fabric and I love how each heart turned out.

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And this is the backing. I can’t remember where I got this fabric, but it was probably in some western state with all the little cowboys and cowgirls on it.

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Very vintage looking.  This was an easy quilt to make and I got it finished quickly, which I loved.

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You corralled my heart.  Love it.  Looks like a Valentine I might have received when I was a school girl.

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It took a lot of pins to pin it together, but nothing like a king size quilt takes which takes hundreds and I have to crawl around on my hands and knees on the floor to pin it.  I have asked(begged) David to build me an extra big table for my shop on which  I could lay a king sized quilt to be pinned.    He says he will do it this Summer.   I am planning on doing some remodeling in my shop, painting and moving things, so Summer would be a good time to get a new table.

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Since I was in my shop and had some extra squares laying around I made a couple of pin cushions since mine are looking a little raggedy.

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Looks like a porcupine, doesn’t it?  And speaking of animals.  We had crescent rolls for dinner last night and one looked very much like an animal.

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Does anyone see a walrus in this, or is it just me?

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I love this yarn so much.  Whoever gets this pair of socks, I want to borrow them! Ha!

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Using up some of my yarn, I have knitted some patchwork socks.  These look a little wonky right now because I haven’t blocked them, but I do love how they turned out. Notice, I say, “love” a lot.  We kids use to say to each other in school, “Well, if you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?”    Yes, we did say that to each other.   I still say it once in a while.

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We(David) finished the puzzle. I liked working on the colored pieces, but when we got to the white pieces I left them all to David. He’s like a little dog with a bone when he has a project like this to complete. He would sit at this for hours looking for pieces. Kept him out of trouble.  I must find another puzzle to do.

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From Maine lobsters, which, by the way, true story,  I never ate one lobster in Maine when we were there.  Something I have always regretted.  Maybe if we drive to Nova Scotia like we want to, we will go through Maine again and I will eat lobster.

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To the Golden Gate bridge, which we have driven over. It really is a beautiful sight.

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Michigan cherries.  If you ever get the chance to be in Traverse City during the cherry festival, do it.  It is so much fun.  David and I honeymooned in Traverse City during the festival.  Got stopped by a policeman for running a red light.  Ate a lot of Burger Chef hamburgers. Anyone remember Burger Chef?   The Burger Chef in Traverse City had hamburger buns that tasted like homemade and we ate them every, single day while there.  There were some awesome French fries at the festival, too.  We watched otters play in the downtown zoo.  I doubt it is still there.  We have a road named after our family in Traverse City. Craig Road.  At one time only Craigs lived on it, but I don’t think that’s the case now.  We slept on David’s uncle’s boat one night and watched fireworks on the bay.  I have very fond memories of Michigan, and Traverse City especially.

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Mount Rushmore.  We have been there a couple of times. The last time we were there they had a special program for veterans and asked all the veterans to come up on stage.  I was so proud to see David up there as they sang patriotic songs.   Love Mount Rushmore.

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Texas blue bonnets.  We were in Texas, Fredericksburg, a little over a year ago.  The blue bonnets weren’t blooming then, but I think it would be a sight to see. While in Fredericksburg at Wildseed  Farms I bought this poster.

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It has a lot of different butterflies on it.  I am going to Hobby Lobby this week and see if I can get it framed.  I’ve been moving it around and worry that it will get torn or damaged.  I have a wall just waiting for it.

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The puzzle even had a rooster on it.  Chickens seem to follow me everywhere. Speaking of chickens, a friend came up to me in church last Sunday with a big bag and handed it to me and said, “Enjoy.”    I was so excited, I looked inside and there was a box and I ripped it open and here is what was inside.

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A chicken night light. OMIGOSH!!!!  I love it.  It now has a place of honor in my kitchen where I can see it every single day. Thank you, Nancy.  It was so sweet of you.  It looks reddish in this picture, but it is more yellow.

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I bought this kit years ago and came across it a few weeks ago.

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I am working on it. It’s supposed to be a wall hanging, but I am going to make a pillow.  I will show it to you after it is done.

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We have been having a few Spring like days.  The ground smells like Spring and the buds look ready to burst, which I hope they don’t do as we will have more freezing temperatures.  This is a bud on a little lilac bush.

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A bud on one on my magnolia trees.  I just planted this one last Spring. We have an older one that was planted before we built our new porch.

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It will have lots of blossoms on it this Spring.   One year when our oldest son was in kindergarten, the school had a science fair, so I took him outside and we collected branches from different flowering bushes and shrubs and put them in jars of water to watch them burst into bloom. Our son showed all these branches at the science fair and got a blue ribbon.

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There are still some green plants in my garden that will stay green all winter, but don’t ask me what this is right now. I’ll tell you when it blooms.

Now I am going to tell you a deep, dark secret about myself.  Since I let it all hang out here(although there are some things I will never tell since my children read this blog.)   I do not like to dust.  Really hate it, actually.  We live in this old one hundred year old house that seems to produce dust in bushel baskets.   I do try to keep a clean house, but every once in a while I find a spot that makes me say to myself, “What happened here?”   For the last couple of weeks when I ran the dryer, I kept smelling something like it was hot.   And I noticed that the laundry/bathroom seemed to always need dusting.   Then when I was taking a shower I noticed this huge cobweb on the wall and said to myself, “What in the world!”  Then I decided to check behind the dryer and found that the pipe that runs to the outside and sends the lint away was disconnected from the dryer.   I told David about it and he said, “Oh, yeah, I noticed that a few days ago.”  What!?!?!?  Well, just suffice it to say I wasn’t happy about the situation.  So, I spent most of a morning cleaning out from behind the dryer, washing the floor and baseboards, cleaning the walls and wiping down the dryer.  Then when David got home he brought in the shop vac and finished cleaning behind the washer and I washed the floor behind it and the walls. Found several Decon boxes under there and a Terro bottle. Terro kills ants by the way.   David also found one of my paintbrushes.   Anyway, I think we dodged a tragedy here because lint is very flammable and who knows what would have happened if the dryer had overheated.  So I thank God for watching over us.   We have had a couple of near misses through the years that could have turned into tragedies like the time the furnace man came to clean our furnace and the chimney where the gases went up through was so clogged with dirt and leaves that he told us we were lucky we had not all died from carbon monoxide poisoning.  We had not lived in the house very long before that and didn’t even know the flue had to be cleaned out in the basement!  Now I make sure it is checked.  Anyway, after the bathroom/laundry room was all clean I rearranged it.  We are planning on remodeling both bathrooms this year, but after we got all done and I looked at this bathroom, I was quite pleased with it.  All we want to do in there now is take out the old tub and shower around and have it all tiled.

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This little dresser has been in hiding in the bathroom and I brought it out where it can be seen and I like it very much.    The new tiled shower will be on the opposite wall from this.  We hope to remodel our upstairs bathroom which was put in in the 1950″s we think.  New sink and cabinets. I love the tub in there.  It is almost long enough for me to lie down in.

Well, I have rambled on long enough.  Looking forward to the presidential inauguration this Friday. So glad we live in a country where we can change leaders without too much distress.

By the way, that policeman who stopped us for running a red light while we were on our honeymoon, just gave us a warning after we told him we had just gotten married. Thank you Mr. Peaceman.  Appreciate you didn’t give two stupid kids a ticket that day.  Bye.

 

 

 

Despite

Despite it is only five days before Christmas and despite I haven’t finished shopping yet and despite I haven’t wrapped any of my presents(David has almost all his done) and despite I haven’t decided what I want to feed the mob coming Sunday and despite the house needs a good cleaning and despite the henhouse really needs a clean out and despite I really need to go to the grocery to get enough food for Sunday and despite I really need to get a new hairdo(which will not happen before Christmas, now)  and despite I feel this sense of urgency, this is what I am doing instead.

I get up lazily every morning. That’s what you can do after you are retired after decades of working and raising children.  It’s been really cold here and getting out of my warm heated bed is so hard to do. I make coffee and pour some peppermint creamer in it and light the cedar candle.   After Christmas, I just may plan one day to spend in bed and read and sleep.   Like that will really happen.

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I all of a sudden decided today I needed to go through all the magazines I have collected through the years. Don’t judge me.  I have magazines from the 1970’s and still love looking through them. Magazines were much better years ago. A lot more reading in them and less ads and pictures.  Now they are all ads(mostly drug ads) and pictures with very little reading to do.  I remember when Good Housekeeping had several stories in them every month.  I don’t know why I felt this was something I needed to do, but I found satisfaction in it.  I find magazines that set me off on my love of antiques.  The décor in our house seems to have evolved through the years depending on what the magazines had in them.

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I have been knitting patchwork socks using the leftover yarn from all the socks I have been knitting.   Yes, I need to get this done immediately!

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Binding a Christmas quilt that still won’t be finished this Christmas.

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My Christmas Chickens quilt.  I still have some quilting to do on it.

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Feeding the birds. They eat all this in one day.

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Loving seeing these pretty boys in the shrubs.

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Watching this silliness on the bird feeder and laughing.

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Watching Longmire on Netflix and taking naps.  I am under all these quilts and blankets.

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Playing with these two.  I have a gun that shoots tennis balls and they would play chase the ball all day as long as I have treats for them.  See how alert they are?  I have treats in my hand.

 

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Going around the house snapping pictures of things that look Christmasy to me.

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And last but not least. I found a new blog by a woman who creates wonderful things out of fabric, paper mache, and found objects.  I will write about her blog sometime.  Anyway, she made these really cute little trees and provided a pattern and directions for them, so, of course, I had to stop everything I was doing to try to make a few of them.  I will show you after they are finished. They don’t look like much now, but trust me, they will look cute, I hope.  Her name is Ann Wood if you would like to check out her blog.  She has a pattern for hens on nests that I plan to get and make.    All this makes me so happy.

Of course none of this is what I should be doing, but I feel free and easy and probably won’t really get to work finishing up everything until Friday.  Christmas will come whether I get it all done or not.   I want to enjoy every single day.

Hope you find things that are making you happy too.  Bye.

 

 

Merry Month of Many Memories

March is one of my favorite months.  Probably because it’s my birthday month and I kind of celebrate it all month long.  I had a cake.

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I got to eat out with some of my favorite people and I got some gift certificates.  Always love that.

David and I took a weekend off and just did what we wanted.  Ate out, relaxed, saw three movies and had a very nice couple of days.   We think we enjoy that as much as we do taking a long vacation.  We will probably do a few more of these weekends this year.  We have one planned to go to Cincinnati in May where I am going to a book signing of one of my favorite bloggers.  If you read Susan Branch’s blog, you know what I’m talking about.  I love her blogs especially the ones where she wrote about Downton Abbey.

I bought myself some new fabric. Seems like every March I do this.

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Love getting new fabric. I don’t have a clue what I will make with this yet, but it will be used, I am sure.

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Love these little flowers.

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Decided to complete this child’s quilt I started last winter.

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Each block has a picture of a child playing.

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Among all the getting ready for Easter and company Sunday, I did get this pinned today. I also made potato salad, cleaned the chicken house, mulched some of the garden, did two loads of laundry, did the ironing, fed the dogs and chickens, moved bags of mulch, prepared supper for David and myself and then I collapsed on the sofa and have not gotten up since!  Oh, yes, I mixed up a batch of sugar cookies too.

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Meanwhile the dogs want me to play with them.  I try to give them some play time with me every day, but today, not so much.  Sorry girls.

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‘”Then I just won’t look at you, Mom.”

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The hens are finally laying again. They went through a few weeks that we were fortunate to get an egg a day.   But now, we have them coming out our ears.  The eggs taste like butter, I’m telling you.  So rich and yellow.

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They have been fertilizing my garden area all winter so I should have a great garden this year.  I think I am just going to plant pumpkins and tomatoes.  I have about fifty tomato plants started with some ready to plant outside when the weather is warmer.

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Chickens still love their “crack.”

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They’ll follow me anywhere when I have a bowl of this in my hand.

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I got this quilt pinned this month.  I’m going to quilt it on the sewing machine.

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I just got a brochure in the mail this week for a quilt magazine and this very quilt was in it.  All finished. I hope I get this finished in a few weeks.

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I’m still knitting.  When I get frustrated trying to knit socks, I knit another scarf.   I’m trying to use up all my old yarn.

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Speaking of socks, I got the heel flap knitted on this sock and then something horrible happened and I ended up tearing out the whole sock.  That makes about six times I have tried to make a sock.

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I’m almost afraid to tell you about this sock because it’s the farthest I have gotten on one.  I knitted the heel flap, turned the heel, picked up stitches(Oh, that was horrendous) and am knitting the gussets now.  I am seeing a very dim light at the end of the tunnel, but until I get a sock finished I am not going to crow.  Even with all the ripping out and starting over, I quite enjoy knitting socks.  I just have to finish one. When I do, you all will be the first to know besides David, as he has been keeping up on my progress and encouraging me when I get all flummoxed.  When learning to knit socks, you need an encourager beside you so you don’t give up.

Spring has sprung in Indiana.  It takes me by surprise every single year.  One day it’s all grey and dark and the next tiny green leaves are sprouting from the ground and on the trees and bushes.

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The Nanking cherry bushes bloomed first and early this year.  They are already almost gone, boo hoo.

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Our two dwarf magnolias are just about to burst into bloom.  The magnolias around us and in town have already been blooming for a week or two.

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Daffodils blooming everywhere.  I have planted hundreds of them through the years and they really are beautiful this year.

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One of my top five favorite flowers.  It’s a shame they only bloom in Spring, but I’ll take them whenever I can get them.

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I really need to divide these flowers.  August Lilies or Magic Lilies. They won’t flower until August after all the foliage has died.  Looks like we will have a lot of flowers in August.

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My Spring angel by Jim Shore.

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Holding a bird in her hand.  The birds are nesting and singing their hearts out.

Happy Spring and have a blessed Easter.  He is risen.  Halleluhah!!  Bye.

 

 

 

Where Did Last Week Go???

Where did last week go?  For that matter, where did the month of January go?  January use to be my least favorite month, but through the years I have grown fond of long winter days, making things in my shop, sleeping in late in a toasty warm bed, baking and cooking comfort foods, and feeding the birds.  January and I have grown rather fond of each other.

but January sped by this year like every month seems to speed by nowadays.  This was what happened at our house last week.

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I gave our living room a fresh coat of paint.  Through the years  I have painted every room in our house at least three times or more.  I love to paint although climbing up and down the ladder is a little harder than it use to be.

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The room was a light sage green and now it’s a sort of pinkish brown.  A few years ago I painted our bedroom and wanted a soft, darker pink.  It turned out Pepto Bismo pink.  We lived with it.  While painting with this color, I got some on my arm and looked at it and thought, ‘Ah, calamine lotion.”  So now I have a calamine lotion painted room, but I rather like it. It looks really well alongside the grayish diningroom.  We shall live with it.

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This painting looks really good on the wall.

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The fireplace mantle stands out better.  I am getting use to it.

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We had the wolf moon.  I almost missed it, but I got up earlier than usual last Sunday and saw it just before it set in the west.

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I love full moons.  They say people go a little crazy during them, but they have never bothered me.

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I have almost knit to the heel of another sock.  Now I will have to change to double pointed needles to knit the heel flap and then the dreaded heel turn.  I will have to try this when no one is around, all phones must not ring, the light must be just right, I must be well rested and alert, the moon must be in the right phase and nothing, but nothing must disturb me or the stitches will fall off the needles like they did the last time and I tore out the whole sock.  How did someone figure out how to knit the very first sock ever?  How did they teach themselves to turn a heel?  It boggles my mind that someone did it for the very first time without any instructions.  I have instructions, and it still boggles my mind!

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Finished piecing my chick quilt top.  It turned out even cuter than I though it would.

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I could make another one of these, it was so much fun.  It will get quilted soon.

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Today I finished piecing a basket quilt.  This was another really fun one, but oh, so many little pieces.

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I love every piece of fabric in this quilt.

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Of course, I continue to feed the birds.  They are a continuous source of joy for me.  Every time I see a titmouse or chickadee I just have to smile.

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Today I was keeping an eye on this cardinal in the crabapple tree.  She sat there for the longest time watching the other birds at the feeder.

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I kept trying to get a good picture.

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This is the best I could do.  The sun was shining on her making her feathers seem to glow.

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Walking around the yard I noticed that bulbs were starting to sprout in the garden.

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This little bush has stayed this color all winter.

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I’ve been doing a little coloring in this book.

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I have ordered a tin of seventy-two colored pencils to make my pictures more enhanced.

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There is something rather relaxing about sitting down and coloring a picture.  I loved coloring when I was a little girl.  So glad that adult coloring books are in vogue right now.  I love working with the colors and shading and trying to pretend I am an artist.   I saw in Sam’s Club the other day there was a Donald Trump coloring book.  We had our grandsons with us and one of them wanted one, but I said his mother would kill me if I bought him one!  But I thought it was funny.  He got a book, instead.

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I’m beginning to write stories about my two younger grandsons called “The Adventures of Tristan and Foster.”  I have several ideas for stories.  They always want me to make up stories about them when they visit, so I thought I would try my hand at writing some for them.

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We lost Abigail this week.   David went out to make sure they were in the coop and she was laying out in the garden.  No feathers around, no blood.

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We had been getting these really long skinny eggs lately and I was thinking one of the hens must have something wrong with her egg canal.  Since Abigail died, we haven’t got anymore of these eggs so I think she got bound up with an egg.  So sad.  That happens sometimes with chickens.  They can look really healthy, but have an egg stuck inside them and it kills them.

Besides all of this there’s been church going, cookie baking, roll making, grandboys visiting, laundry doing, book reading, dog playing, chicken feeding, Bible study planning, David’s birthday celebrating, and much more.  I haven’t been to the hair dresser for months.  I need a cut and color, but I keep putting it off.  I am getting so lazy in my old age.  Just love staying at home and doing at home things.  I feel blessed.  Bye.

 

 

 

Cold and Snowy

January is doing what January does.  Bringing us cold temperatures and snow.  We had a really nice run of warmer weather, but all good things must come to an end and we are living in a freezer now.  At least we are not waiting for a giant blizzard to head our way as the Northeast of our country is doing this weekend.  Up to two feet of snow they are telling them.  Whoa!  You won’t be able to find bread or milk anywhere up there this weekend.

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With snow on the ground and not much food available, I like to keep the bird feeders full.  The birds have gone through a thirty gallon can full of birdseed in the last two weeks.  When someone says they eat like a bird, they are a voracious eater because birds eat constantly.

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Titmice, sparrows, cardinals. juncos, chickadees, woodpeckers, blue jays and one fat squirrel have visited our bird feeders.  I have seen five pairs of cardinals at one time feeding.  They prefer the ground, so I always throw some birdseed there.

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I am so thankful for cardinals who bring us a bright spot of color on the winter landscape.

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This weather makes the house next door look even more lonely.  It’s been empty for a few years and the people who owned it are gone now.   I don’t know what is going to happen to this house, but I keep praying a nice family will buy it and move next door and bring the house to life again.  I would hate to see it torn down, but it does need a lot of work.

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On days like these my heart turns to Spring.  The Spring magazines are beginning to appear and I got this one the other day.

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So many pretty pictures of birds and stories about birds and what plants to grow to draw birds to your yard.

I have been having trouble sleeping and getting cricks in my neck at night.  We have tried so many different pillow through the years and I decided to try one more.

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My Pillow.  I don’t own shares in the company although I wish I did, but anyway, I bought two pillows from here right after Christmas.

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They both came in a little box and were scrunched into plastic bags.

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But once out of the bag they fluffed up very well.

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I especially like that they are made here in the good old USA.

So I have been sleeping on mine for the last couple of weeks and only had one night that my neck hurt, but other than that, I have been sleeping like a baby.   David is still not sure he likes his, but he doesn’t take to change too well so maybe he will change his mind after a while.

I’m not advertising them or anything, just telling you how mine works for me.  I think it has helped my sleeping.

I have been working on several projects this month.  January is a great month to stay inside and make things.

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I told you about this quilt book I got a while back.  I really love this book.  Lori Holt has designed some of the cutest quilts in the past and this books is chock full of quilt ideas.

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I really loved this one.  Wouldn’t this be so cute for a baby?  If you are expecting or are a soon to be grandma,  this would make such a wonderful quilt for the new baby.  If it’s a boy you could just use blue material instead of all the pink.  I love pink and I am making a pink one.

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Look at this chick closely. The material has little ducks on it!   A chick made with duck material.

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Little chicks lining up on my cutting table one by one.  I need twenty of them.  These are so much fun to make.  I got kind of obsessed with making them after a while.

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Here’s the stack of twenty blocks I need.

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Since this is going to be used as an Easter quilt, I chose this material for the backing.  We sold this in our store several years ago and I have sold some of it at garage sales and still have enough to back a quilt or two.  I really love this material.

And while I work on the chick quilt, my mind is already wandering to the next quilt or quilts I would like to make.

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I want to make a chick quilt using only blacks and pinks.  If you are old enough to remember, in the five and dime stores back in the fifties at Easter time little chicks would appear in all colors.  Pink chicks, blue chicks, lavender chicks.  I don’t know what was used to color the chicks.  It probably wasn’t healthy for them, but at the time I thought they were the cutest things and always wanted a colorful chick, but since my daddy raised hundreds of chickens, my parents thought it was foolish to buy one just because it was a different color.  So I plan to make a pink chick quilt.

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I bought this quilt book from Amazon a couple of weeks ago for a very cheap price.  Four dollars, I think. It was almost like new.  I love to make little quilts once in a while because it is instant gratification and I can make one in a day or so and still feel like I have made something worth having or giving away.

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I plan to make this quilt soon.  I love basket quilts.  I have made quite a few in my lifetime.

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I’ve been going through my stash of fabric to make this quilt. That is half the fun of quilting.  Choosing the fabrics you will need.  I just shop my stash and can come up with a nice selection.

Every once in a while I do some work for a friend.  I am not a quilt restorer, but I was asked to do a little repair work on a friend’s quilt.

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Actually a comforter as it is tied, but there were several of the rectangles that had holes in them.  I took material that almost matched and sewed it over the damaged piece and retied it.  If you look closely you can tell which ones I replaced, but it isn’t too apparent.  I hope my friend will be happy.

This is a quilt made out of double knit.  Not an easy fabric with which to make a quilt.  Back in the sixties double knit was the fabric of choice for clothes.  I made double knit skirts, my son a double knit little sailor suit,  another suit jacket for my other son, and last but not least a leisure jacket for David.  When I made David’s jacket, it had belt loops and a self fabric belt.   Well, I put the belt loops up too high and when David wore the jacket it looked like the belt was directly under his chest.  Bless him, he wore that jacket and never complained.  We have a picture of him in it and every time we see it we laugh.

Double knits came in all colors and patterns. This quilt had a lot of different double knits in it.

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It’s a very heavy quilt also.  I wouldn’t want to sleep under it. Kind of like the denim one David made.  It was so heavy I could barely carry it.

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David put up my little green house and I am starting tomatoes this week.  It won’t be long before May will be here and time to plant again.  Always nice to know it’s coming when we are sitting in the middle of snow and ice.

Last but not least, I hung some red and white hankies in the window to decorate for Valentine’s Day that is coming.

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There’s a living room to paint, a Bible study to start and a trip to plan.  Hope your days are full and blest.  Bye.

 

The Needle Arts

From the day that my mother first handed me a needle and an old sock and told me to make a doll, I have been interested in the needle arts.  I still have that sock doll somewhere.   From sewing machines needles to knitting needles to quilting needles I have been interested in making things with needles. My year started out with my trying my hand at knitting socks. I have made three false starts and now I am once again trying to knit a sock.

I purchased this book in hopes it would walk me through the dreaded heel. I have not started the heel yet and to tell you the truth, I am very worried about it.

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I’m practicing on a sock with inexpensive wool.  I am liking how it looks so far.

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I ordered this beautiful yarn from this place…

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It’s so beautiful, I am almost afraid to use it.  But won’t these make wonderful socks?

I have never ordered wool like this and I have never rolled balls of yarn before and it took a village to get it done.  If I had tried to figure out how to find the end of the yarn in these skeins, I would have been left with a  knotted up mess, but David helped me and we ended up with this..

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You know how in some of those old movies you would see the husband holding the yarn in both hands while the wife wound the ball?  That is what David and I did.  One skein down, four more to go.  One skein is suppose to knit up a pair of socks.

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Remember the socks I was knitting a few days ago and ripped out?

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Now they are a scarf, but I would much rather have had a pair of socks to show you. Someone will be getting a scarf for Christmas next year.  Ha.  I can do scarves with my eyes closed.  Maybe that is what I am doing wrong.  Not closing my eyes while I knit socks.  What a catastrophe that would be!

I’m not the only one who can ply a needle.

I wanted to learn how to crochet and David found me one of his crochet hooks and started casting on and before we both knew it, he had crocheted this….

 

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He used up some of my old yarn and wore this to work.  He got several compliments on it.  At least one of us is good with the needle.   I still haven’t learned how to crochet.  But it’s on my bucket list.

I licked my wounds after the sock debacle and went back to what I knew I could do.  Quilting. This first week of January I have already completed two quilts.

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This is one I started a couple of years ago and wanted to finish it before Valentine’s Day this year and I did!   This is made with Pamkitty Love fabric which I love.

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Love the look of old fashioned Valentines.

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Another quilt I completed was made from the book, Little Quilts All Through the House.  A book I had had for several years and lost and just last week I ordered it on Amazon for under ten dollars and am so glad I did.  I have made so many little quilts from this particular book in the past years and this week I made another one.

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Another quilt for Valentine’s Day.  This one made up so fast and I absolutely love it.

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I love fabric with words upon it and this is the border to this particular quilt.

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Has a French look about it.    Anyway, I feel a little better that I completed a project once again as I have been rather discouraged about all the sock knitting failures.   I will knit socks.  I won’t give up.

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This is part of a new project I just started this week also.  It’s going to have quilting, embroidering, and applique on it.  I am making this to wear for Valentine’s Day.  I am so excited because it is my own creation and no one will have anything like it when I am completed.  All these ideas just creep into my mind and suddenly I just have to create.  I put everything else aside when the creative juices start flowing.  Must be like the feelings Picasso, Monet and other artists must have felt like when they created their great art, not that anything I make is great art, but it’s my art and I love it.   I will be showing my creation as soon as I get it completed.

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Alas, the day came to take down the Christmas tree.  It’s never as exciting as putting it up although I do enjoy having more room again, but I sure will miss the bright lights and cheer the tree brought into our home.

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Putting away all our much loved ornaments.  We didn’t put as many decorations on the tree this year, but it was just right and looked really pretty.

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I will look forward to seeing these again next Christmas.

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All my snow people watched with interest as we stored all the Christmas paraphernalia away.  They seemed to be saying, “Phew, we get to stay out another month or two because we are snow people.”

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This little guy joined the others this year.

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A friend gave me this wonderful Jim Shore snowman several years ago.  He is my favorite snowperson.  Shhhh, don’t tell the others.

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This little lady joined my Jim Shore collection this Christmas as a gift to me and she stands on a shelf in the kitchen.  The person who gave her to me said it was me with all the cooking and baking I do.  I took that as a compliment.   I love her.

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This is my new exercise ball my daughter and son-in-law gave to me for Christmas.  Every time I went to their house I would bounce on my daughter’s exercise ball and say, ” I would love to have one of these,” and she listened to me.   It’s good for core exercise and balance.  My daughter has MS and uses it to help her balance.   I love bouncing on it.  Feel like a kid again!

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I got this really great poster of butterflies last Fall when we were in Fredricksburg, Texas at Wildseed Farms.  Don’t know how I am going to display it yet, but I love looking at it and reading about all the different butterflies.  So many beautiful ones.

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I’ve seen a few of these in our garden.

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And last but not least, I bought a couple of inexpensive journals at JoAnn’s the other day.  I love writing in journals when I am not writing here.  There is something about putting words on paper.  I go back to some of my old journals that tell about some of our trips, family gatherings and other things and find it such a joy to read about the good times and even some of the not so joyful times because none of us gets to live a life free of pain or sorrow.  But, all in all, we have lived a pretty good life, Dave and I and I hope I can fill many more journals.

Hope you will be creative this year.  If not, I hope you get to enjoy something from a creative person.  Here’s to needles and yarn and thread and creative juices.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Four More Days

 

I really wish there were two months between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The four weeks between seem to be a whirlwind of activity.  I just came up for air today since all the gifts are wrapped and I won’t start preparing for Christmas dinner until Wednesday.  Today I have been knitting and watching movies on tv.  It’s rained all day so it’s been kind of nice and cozy here with the tree lights shining, the fireplace flickering and my needles steadily knitting my very first pair of socks.

This past weekend we shared Christmas with part of our family.

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Four boy cousins, who, when they get together, start the wrestling.  Running after each other, climbing on each other, jumping on each other, until someone cries and then they settle down for a bit until they start in again.  I just sit there and laugh, because they are really having a good time together and since they don’t see each other very often, I am glad to see they like to be together.  By the way, I made that quilt on the wall for my daughter several Christmases ago.

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Meanwhile, our granddaughter stays blissfully out of the fray.  She tolerates the boys and that’s about all.

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Santa was there.  David loves to wear his Santa hat and go “Ho ho ho.”

We opened gifts.  Here is something I made.

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A barn quilt made from Lori Holt’s Vintage Farm Girl book which I am in love with.

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Each barn block has another small quilt within the block.

It was a fun day.   Our son-in-law made homemade strombolies which were delicious.

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This is my first sock I am knitting.  I got all excited about knitting socks after reading Lucy’s blog, Attic24, where she knit her first pair of socks.  She crochets beautifully, too.  I have never knitted on circular needles and these are teeny tiny ones, but I have caught on pretty fast and actually am enjoying the process so far, but the dreaded heel will be coming up shortly where I will have to knit a heel flap and turn the heel and pick up stitches and then knit to the toe and do something called the “kitcheners” stitch which is really kind of worrying me because I would hate to get this far and make all kinds of mistakes in the latter process.   I wish I could have an experienced sock knitter sitting right by my side while I start the process so if I start to make a mistake she could tell me so.  I have been watching youtube videos of the process, read all kinds of lessons on the process and I am still rather confused as to how the whole heel thing magically comes together.  I’ll let you know if I make it though.

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I knit on the sock until my hand gets tired and then I take up my other needles and start knitting a scarf.

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I just finished this scarf. It’ a lot longer than shown as I have it folded.

I plan to learn how to crochet in the coming year.  Everyone on my Christmas list plan to receive one of my creations next Christmas.

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Burning candles to brighten up the dull days.  This is my favorite scent to burn during the Christmas season.

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We have an artificial Christmas tree so this makes it smell like we have a real one in the house.

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A friend gave me this cute snowmen the other day which holds tea lights.  I kind of have started a new collection of snowmen.  I didn’t mean to, but I seem to have several now, just like my Santa Claus collection.  When people find out you like something, you start getting that something quite often whether planned or not. I love this new little snowman and he will be decorating my house for Christmases to come.

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Found this little Nativity set I purchased several years ago and set it up.

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I can put this one out and know it can’t be broken. My Jim Shore Nativity had an accident one year and one of the donkey’s ears was broken off which a certain grandson hid under the couch and I found it there later.   David repaired the ear and that nativity is placed up high where, hopefully, it can’t be broken.

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Made potato and sausage soup and it was soooo good.  Think we will have it for leftovers tonight.

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Baked snickerdoodles and it wasn’t long before this happened…..

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A hand stole in to take one.  These did not last long.  I made three dozen sugar cookies Saturday and they are all gone, but it was because I gave them to our grandchildren to take home.  I think I ate one of them.

I have to tell you about a cleaning solution I saw on Facebook.  I tried it and I was amazed at how well it worked.  Here is the recipe:

2 oz. of Dawn liquid (1/4 cup)

4 oz. lemon juice(1/2 cup)

8 oz. white vinegar( 1 cup)

10 oz water(1 and 1/4 cups)

Put in a glass jar and shake it up.  I use a canning jar and canning lids.

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This was two batches and I already had used some for cleaning.

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I have these blue Ball jars I plan to store it in.

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I guess you could use another dish washing liquid other than Dawn, but then you wouldn’t have this pretty blue cleaner.  I have used it on cabinets, floors, the refrigerator and a toaster that was really greasy and I had tried to clean it with just soap and water.  This is what it looked like after a cleaning with this.

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It was sparkling, although I do see a few places I need to apply the cleaner again.  You can clean your oven, walls, windows, just about anything.  It is a little soapy, but I spray it on, let it set, wipe it off with a clean cloth and it seems to work well.  It smells fresh, too and is safe around animals and children.   Anyway, if you don’t like harsh cleaners, this is one you might want to try.  I give no guarantees, just that I had success with it.

In closing I will show you how hard it is to take pictures of your grandchildren all at the same time.

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Notice our granddaughter never moved, but stayed posed, while the boys were up to their usual shenanigans.

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Four more days and another group will gather at our house for another day of fellowship and fun.  Hope your days are merry and bright.  XOXO  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful Week in Weview Part 2

Finishing up the news for the week.  We are getting nearly done making quilts for Riley’s Children’s hospital.  Let me tell you a little about the senior girl who is doing this project.  Mackenzie was born months too early and weighed just over two pounds.  She spent a lot of time at the children’s hospital in Indianapolis in an incubator with tubes attached to her.  I remember the first time I saw her when she was finally brought home and she was still so tiny. 

Here we are years later and she has grown up into a beautiful, healthy girl.  One of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met, I might add.  She decided for her senior project to make quilts for the hospital to give back.  When she had spent time there, she received two quilts which she still has.

 Here are a few of her quilts.

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This is a cute one with hedgehogs on it.

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This is Mack.  I think she has accomplished a lot in a few short weeks.  From not knowing how to sew to making so many quilts, I would say she deserves an A for her project. 

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  This is her mom, Laura.  She doesn’t sew either, but she helped cut out and pin and iron the quilts. 

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I hope this has been a good experience for her.  I know I enjoyed it.

On to other news.  We went to Grandparents’ Day at our grandchildren’s school this week.  We always enjoy this time.  We get to see what the children are doing in school and get to spend some time with them. 

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Our younger grandson, Adler, was so excited about singing in the choir.  It was hard to get a good picture because he was moving around so much.

 

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I was hoping he would look at us so I could get his picture, but he was paying attention to his teacher.  The girls, not so much. Ha.    I got their picture. 

We got to go into his classroom where the teacher asked several questions about the grandparents, like who had been a cheer leader,( I was, but my cheer leading career was very short) whether we had played a sport in college, those kinds of questions just to let the children know more about their grandparents.  

After staying the night at a very comfortable motel, we spent the next morning with our older grandson who is an eighth grader. 

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A few days ago he hardly reached my waist.  Now he has to bend over to get in the picture.  And he is still growing.

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The mural behind us was made by some high school girls, one of whom is our granddaughter who is a sophomore.   I think it is pretty special. They signed their names in the corner.

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  Abby Craig.  Soon we will be returning to the school to see Abby in this….

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I can’t wait.  I’ve been singing the songs from it around the house.

 

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He is taller than Grandpa now.

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This is his Spanish classroom.

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Aidan’s history class. Guess who they are learning about?  While there I saw this….

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An original newspaper from when President Kennedy was assassinated. I remember it like it was yesterday.  Part of a dark time in the history of our country.  I was still too young to vote when he ran for president, but I think I would have voted for him. 

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We enjoyed both days with our red headed grandsons.  Speaking of red hair.  I have always been partial to red hair.  Don’t know why.  One of my best friends in grade schools was a beautiful red head.

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I told Aidan I could write a whole blog about his hair.

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I love running my hand through it.  I am sure he likes having his grandma do that. Ha. 

  It was a fun two days, but we had to get back to the dogs and the chickens so off we went for home.  We did take the long way, however.  On the way we came across this yard decorated for Halloween.

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I think these people really, really like Halloween!

We even managed to get some antiquing in.  Oh, yes.  I got a few things. 

Here’s to Grandparents’ Day and Grandchildren that make us so proud.  Bye.