Monthly Archives: January 2016

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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.




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


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.


Here’s the stack of twenty blocks I need.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.





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.


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.











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.



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





I ordered this beautiful yarn from this place…



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..


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.


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


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….



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.


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.




Love the look of old fashioned Valentines.


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.



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



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


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.


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.


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.


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.


I will look forward to seeing these again next Christmas.


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.”


This little guy joined the others this year.


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


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.


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!


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.


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


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.






A Brand Spanking New Year

What is it about the start of a new year that makes a lot of us want to make resolutions, make plans, get nostalgic, and think of all the possibilities? I don’t know about you, but when I wake up on a new year’s first morning, I feel like anything is possible. I can finish all the projects I’ve started, clean every room in my house, learn a new skill, walk several miles, meet the newest best friend I have ever had in my life, save the world and do things I didn’t do in that old, rusty last year.

My only plan I have made thus far for this year is to knit a pair of socks. Not a big venture for most people, but I have never knitted a sock, so if I can manage to get a pair knitted, I will feel quite accomplished. I also want to learn to crochet. For all you sock knitters and those proficient in crocheting out there, you are thinking, well, that will be easy. But you have not seen me try to knit a sock to the heel and have to rip the entire thing out, or start a baby sock and find a hole in the middle of it and tear it all out or start a sock on my new sock loom I got for Christmas and find I am all thumbs. I am now starting my third sock. So far it is going well and I have high hopes I will get this one completed. You will know if I do. My first sock is now almost a completed scarf. It’s pretty, but it’s not a sock. I’ve ordered some beautiful sock yarn and should be getting it next week. I am an optimist and believe I will make socks from it.

I plan to read more this year. I read quite a lot of books last year. Ever since I got my Kindle White, I feel like I read so much faster. I am reading a book by Liane Moriarty. She is my new favorite author. She wrote The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot. I just finished her book, The Last Anniversary. It was so good with a twist at the end I wasn’t prepared for. Now I am reading Big Little Lies and have The Hypnotist’s Love Story waiting in line on my Kindle. Another book I really loved was Stephen King’s 11/22/63. Now let me preface this by saying I quit reading Stephen King books years ago because they got too gruesome and scary for me. But, my son told me that it was the best book he had ever read and it wasn’t gruesome or gory. It did have its places, but this story is about a man who goes back in time to try to stop President John Kennedy’s assassination. I was fourteen years old the day President Kennedy was killed. I can remember it almost as if it were yesterday. I remember sticking by the television watching all the news and seeing the funeral and John John saluting his father’s casket. So heart wrenching. Well, this book brought back many memories. It starts when the lead character goes back into the fifties. I remember the fifties as I was growing up then. So much that Mr. King wrote was so true to what the period was like. Anyway, this is one Stephen King book I would recommend. It’s long. Almost nine hundred pages, but I read it so fast and it didn’t seem that long at all. If you were alive during that time, it will remind you of all that was going on then.

I bought tomato seeds today and two books on building tiny houses. Ever since David and I bought three acres in Brown County, I have thought about us building a tiny house in the woods where we could go and stay for a day or two. We could have a bed to sleep in and lanterns and a cooler and fluffy pillows and quilts. For cool weather we could have a small heater. If I had a book or two to read, I would be all set. Plus, our grandboys would be within feet of us and would visit and we could walk in the woods. It would be rustic, like camping out, but that is all I really want. There are so many ideas for cute tiny houses, some not much bigger than the chicken coop David built, so I know it would be possible. Who knows, maybe that will happen this year.

We want to go on a vacation this year, but haven’t decided where to go. We have been just about everywhere in the United States. I think Martha’s Vineyard would be a wonderful place to visit. We loved the Outerbanks and being on the ocean. But then, the mountains call to us and we think we would like to go out west again or Alaska and take the ferry up the coast. That was one of the most wonderful trips we have ever taken. Who knows where our wanderlust will take us? I pray we have good health this year so that we can do all these things.

What are your plans for this shiny new year? Are you going to plant a garden. sew a quilt, raise some chickens, take a wonderful vacation or just stay at home and work on the old homestead? No matter what you plan to do, I pray you do it all with gusto and enjoy the ride. It’s going to be a very interesting year, I believe. We have a big election here in the states this year. A brand spanking new president. Lots of exciting things happening.

Happy New Year to all my friends around the world. May you be blessed with health and blessings far beyond your wildest imaginations. God bless you all. Bye.