Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sorry's the link! It's working below too now. Sometimes if it's off you can look at the address in the little line on the top of the screen and see what the problem is. I just had one too many http// 's at the beginning!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

hey, how ya doing?

Now come on, who could distrub this to make the bed? He was already there when I got up and made my half, so I left him. Came back to finish after eating and reading the paper to find this...

Yea, right. You wouldn't move him either! How does their fur know how long to be? It is so weird that one row can be an inch and the next part 6 inches!!

I'm really working to switch my frame of mine from every blog post being about "here's what I did" and "here's the next step!" to more of a "hey how ya doing, this is what I have to talk about today"...subject based posts. Jan just made a post exactly stating how I felt and what I'm trying to get accustomed to doing. I used to do it but it will take some time to revert, but I'll get there. Plus I'm lacking a few things others have.

I can't walk outside and photgraph the backyard and outdoors...don't have one.Condo, remember. I also have to admit we are homebodys. We like it! We don't go out too many places....fairs, shows, stuff like that. We love being here together.
But I'll get it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

alternatives to sewing...

I used to be a voracious reader. I would lay on the sofa until the wee hours of the morning reading if the book was that good! When I developed fibro, the muscles in my arms would ache and spasm from just holding a book open and upright. It slowed down and threatened to stop my reading all together. Suddenly one day my sweet hubby surprised me with a cardboard book holder improvised in the garage and I was back in business. It was crude, full of duct tape, and used a thin wire across the bottom to hold the book open. I LOVED it! But it had flaws. The books slid out at the bottom and the wire required the whole book be lifted up to turn the page. So I gave him some gold elastic string and some foam core and back he came with this version above. My hero....swoon! We even developed 3 or 4 better versions together finally ending up with this one here. Duct tape works for everything, right? It holds 2 sizes and works like a charm. I sit it on a tv tray with the top lifted open and resting on the sofa arm. I never had to hold a thing and I was off again reading everything in sight.

Then I found quilting. I was instantly consumed. I found Bonnie Hunters Quiltville site and stumbled onto her blog and wow have things changed from that point. Other than Harry Potter, I haven't read in what?...5 years or so except for very occasionally. You can't hold a book when you are hand stitching. If my rump was in front of the tv, I was stitching. Then I found more and more blogs.I started a blog and soon my blog got more popular. So more comments and more comments to leave, emails, thank yous for comments and so much goodness to read. You guys are truly talent prolific ladies.

I think I can pinpoint the overuse of my arm to about the time I started doing the paper pieced Civil War Bride blocks and spending 3 or so hours on the computer reading 120 some blogs. Clicking and typing for hours each day. I know my quilting time has suffered because of it. I don't want to stop blogging, and I don't want to stop reading all your lovely posts but commenting is going to have to get even far and few between, as will my own posts. I'm desperately trying to learn to be less wordy. More pictures and very few words...ha!

In that frame of mind, I realized I better find something to occupy my mind and hands while I try to be good and attempt once again to heal my arm. That's where the story about the book holders started from...I decided to finally go back to reading. I got a big book the other day from Amazon with lots of loveliness. Just had to order the newest Kaffe book. Don't let the different cover confuse you, it did me! It must be the US version, but inside are all the same wonderful quilts.

I also stocked up on my favorite mystery writer, Joanne Fluke. I've missed quite a few of her latest books. I'm still reading the Cherry Cheesecake Murder but I'll have plenty to keep me busy.So I can read until my arm gets better. I'll still be around, but I'd rather do fewer posts than stop all together. I'll still be reading, but I might not leave as many comments. It will be hard to do...I think I'm addicted to seeing what you all have to say and what you've finished! Hopefully I'll be able to get more handwork done soon to show too.

Friday, September 11, 2009

jelly glasses...

Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments you left me. I still miss that lady more than I can say. Not knowing my father's mother, she was all I had. When I wrote that post...which by the way took over a week because I had to stop every 10 minutes to blubber and then dry my tears...I remembered the days making her grape jelly topped with paraffin wax. In a make-do world she didn't have real canning jars for things like jelly and jam so that's what they did.

When Anna wrote a lovely comment and remembered the paraffin wax, I wrote back asking her if she ever had the old Flintstones jars that came filled with pimento cheese spread and the flat little metal top that just snapped onto the glass? Yes! Seems a lot of you remember those glasses. That's what Nama used for jams and jelly. The half inch of paraffin was carefully poured on top to seal the jelly. No top needed. We had tons of these glasses we used for juice in the mornings at our house.

Well here they are! Having none of my grandmothers glasses left, I wandered onto eBay after thinking about those glasses just to see if any were still around. Just a few were there and once I saw these two I knew I had to have them...HAD to. Today they came! I feel like I have two little pieces of my grandmother in my hands. No matter to me that they were never hers or that they came from's the memories. That and a few really weird coincidences once I started looking closer at them.

The white glass is Pebbles First Birthday party.The teal is the Bedrock Pet's very hard to photograph these glasses, so I couldn't see everything on the eBay pics. I'm looking over them this morning and what do I see??? What is the elephants name?

JUDY??!! She's on her perch and ain't she pretty! Com'on how freaky is that? Judy? Then I get Wilma and Betty!! Not one of the guys or kids or animals...but the 2 gals! Two lovely ladies!Wilma and Betty.None of these were in the eBay pictures. These glasses were meant to be here in my house!! poor Betty has been thru a lot with all those scratches! It's a silly thing really, but just having these this month makes me feel better!

Now onto the other books!! I'm still reading, but these stitchery books are fabulous!

The postman brought these to me yesterday and I have to say wow! Some good tips and so far lots of lovely patterns...especially the Sublime Stitchery book...loads of patterns in that one. I will say they don't mention the back enough, but I think that's just a pet peeve with me. If everyone says don't worry about it, I guess I won't.
Now I'm off to do some more sewing on the ABC Quilt Sampler!

Monday, September 7, 2009

remembering nama...

When September rolls around every year, my thoughts always seem to wander back to the days growing up with my grandmother. September is her birthday month and the time I seem to miss her the most. Christened "nama" by my oldest sister who couldn't quite pronounce the hard 'gr" in grandma, she was forever known in our family by that affectionate name.

We had such lovely times, she and I, during the summer weeks spent at her house. My oldest sister, being 10 years older, was 18 and going away to college when I started going and my older brothers had no interest. My younger sisters were 2 and 5; way too young for overnight visits meant to be anything other than babysitting. But I wasn't there to be watched...I was there because I wanted to be. It was something special that only she and I shared. Even when my sisters were older, they never had any interest.

(My grandparents and all six grand kids. I was about 8 in this picture and just started going for overnight visits at their house.)

I remember every detail like it was yesterday. Sitting close to each other on the porch gilder, separated only by a colander, snapping ends off just picked green beans from the garden and then snapping them into bite size pieces. Snap..snap..snap... ends going back into the bowl and beans in the colander to be washed for supper or canning the next day. Over and over, we'd snap with a tiny push of her toe on the porch floor to keep us gliding gently back and forth as we worked. I remember dinners of thick chicken and dumplings, iron skillets pulled from the oven with gooey glazed donuts for breakfast, and the bottom shelf of her fridge door always lined with cold coca-cola in slender green bottles. The best grapes vines around that produced sweet grape jelly always put away in used glasses topped with a thick seal of paraffin wax. The trips up the road to visit the Woolworths five and dime store for supplies. Funny how I can remember it all like it was yesterday. I explored every nook and cranny of that house and still remember every square inch.

Nama taught me everything I know about sewing and needlework. She's the reason I crochet left handed. I know I've told this story before, but some may not have read it so bear with me. After hours of trying every way she could think of to teach me, the righty, I grabbed the needle in my left hand and said enough, just show me what to do. It took about 5 minutes and I was crocheting. We moved along to Huck toweling later, making a visit to the very old downtown JCPenny's to buy new toweling. Together we sat at the kitchen table as I worked on a set of Christmas place mats for my mom. Later she taught me crewel embroidery on lovely pillows that were used in her living room. Big thick blossoms and leaves sewn with large needles and thick crewel thread. Sadly, the one thing I never shared with her was quilting. She had made quilts in her teens but never discussed it and I was not a quilter until long after she passed away. I think she would have loved my quilts. It would have been another thing we could have shared.

In June, I came across a give-away featuring several lovely embroidery transfers as the prize. Just seeing those flooded my memory with all the wonderful Days of the Week towels that were used in Nama's kitchen. I had forgotten all about them. She collected these and made them herself when she had the time. I don't remember a towel in her kitchen that didn't start with a bit of stitching. I didn't win the give-away, but I was now determined to find some of those patterns. Luckily I quickly found a great online site that also turned out to sell the heavy feed sack towels too. I quickly picked out a few patterns and ordered 15 towels. Once they arrived, I was all ready to start...then I got worried. Could I still do the work she taught me? I know I do loads of stitchery, but always with a thick piece of batting behind to hide my flaws. Now the back would right out there for all to see. I got intimidated and let them sit. I asked questions of experts and watched videos of stitching how-to's, but still waited. Then a few weeks ago I realized September was approaching..her birthday, and thoughts of her flooded back into my head...and I relaxed. Out came the towels for a good washing and the first pattern was chosen to start sewing. After a few cautious stitches, I was having fun. It took longer than normal since I was being so careful and re-learning, but I really do love to do stitch work.

I thought I'd show you the first one. Friday's little dancing sugar bowl. I think if you love your work, and do your best, the back isn't as important as having fun. I had to realize that it's going to show on the back, but you try to be as neat as possible. The videos and techniques at Mary Corbet's Needle and Thread really do come in handy. I didn't include a picture of the back, but I will if anyone asks for it.

I working on the next little guy right now and thinking of ideas for a Christmas DOTW design for another set. It's been a pleasure working on these with my grandmother, I feel her all around me guiding me as I work. She was a fabulous woman who taught me more than she will ever know.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

CGQC September picks..

Holy Crud, I haven't been back since Tuesday? Hubby took of Friday, yesterday, so somehow the weekdays have merged and it's the weekend. Anyway...I need to make my picks for the CGQC things I intend to get finished this month. I got exactly ONE thing finished last month so I think rather than pick 3 things again, I'll stick to the current project at hand and just dive in head first to get it FINISHED!

...the ABC Quilt Sampler. No it's not an illusion...same picture as before. Still making progress and coming along, but working on other things too. But I had to make my official Quilt Club post so I used it again.
I'll be back with a real post very soon!

Edited to add:I realized this was probably the only month to get this done so I think I'll add another project to the list. Not something ongoing, but a new little quilt. Cheri Payne's Trick or Treat seen here in a sample from the Country Loft quilt show. Might not quite get done, but who knows....I could surprise myself.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

working along...

and still plugging away at the sampler. This seems to be the hardest part for me, all those little extra strips and pieces with little applique parts that can't go on until you've sewn big pieces together.

But it's all working out nicely. Slowly but surely.