Friday, June 1, 2018

June 1

How is it even possible that June 1 is already here?

 I was sad that Christmas 2017 was over and it's almost time for another one!! .

It's hot in eastern NC, with lots of rain so far this year.  I've actually enjoyed the rain because we planted a new tree and some new perennials, which has meant less watering from me.  I think most people are getting tired of all the rain and I've seen some horrible flooding on the news, some in my own state at my beloved Biltmore Village. 

I am now wrapping my thimble disk with duct tape

I'm still big stitch quilting on my flower garden quilt.  It's been a fun process, as there isn't much pressure to be perfect with these type of stitches.  I've moved my project from chair to chair, hoop to hoop, and room to room.... trying to find the perfect spot to quilt.  I finally found it last night when my husband offered me his Lazy Boy recliner. Yep!  my new quilting chair....the sweet spot.... I guess I need to buy my own lazy boy. 

So my daddy found himself a new dog.  Doesn't she look sweet?  Well she is a puppy and wilder than any puppy we've ever had before.  She has been very challenging for him, so much so that he asked me to find her a new home.  I "advertised" her on facebook, but there were no takers.  LOL  She must have realized what was going on, because she actually calmed down a bit over the past few days.  I don't think he really wanted to rehome her anyway, so we are hoping things will work out with his new love.

This picture is too cute not to share.  Annabelle loves her chickens.  She pets them, holds them, feeds them, and keeps a good eye on them.  She is definitely her mama's child.  I hope to visit them soon... it's difficult for me only getting to see her a few times a year.  I haven't seen her "in person" since before Christmas.... sniff sniff.  Does anyone else let their dogs keep them from traveling?  I know it's crazy, but I worry about them so much if I'm not here with them, especially now that they are older and need daily medication.  The things we get ourselves into..... ha!

We attended the annual family reunion on my dad's side of the family.  This is me and my sister in laws.  We decided we had not had a picture made together in over 20 years.... shame on us!

Hubby and I have been low carbing since Easter.  I had lost 10 pounds and was never hungry, which was a great thing.  But I got sick of eating that way.... this week I've had pizza, cake, and bread.... all I wanted.  And I've been hungry hungry hungry!  I guess we get back on the low carb kick next week.

Joy joy.... Until next time!

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Busy May

Spring seems to have finally arrived and life has gotten busy. 

First beach trip done (kite)

We aren't having a garden this year, but we did set out three tomato plants and harvested a few asparagus stalks from our asparagus bed.  I plan to enjoy my dad's garden harvest this year.  He lives alone and has plenty for everyone.

This little girl had her vet visit and the vet recommended not removing her fat tumor.  She did perform a biopsy on it, so we know it's not cancer.  She's getting stiff and achy in her old age, but she can still tree a squirrel !  She's 11 years old now.

Brinley Kate

I visited with this little girl and her brothers for a couple of days.  We celebrated her 4th birthday on Saturday.  Grandma took her to get "birthday nails" on Friday and she wanted rainbow nails.  They are growing up quickly!!

Nursing home yo yo quilt
I had not visited the place I had worked in over two years, and I got a chance to stop by for a little visit.  We weren't allowed to have phones in the building when we worked, so I finally got a chance to take a picture of one of my favorite things there.  One of our patients made this yo yo quilt years ago and donated it to the activities department for auction.  The nursing home owner made the highest bid and had it framed and hung on the wall where this patient resided.  It has always been special to me.

This little girl's daddy built her a tree swing and she's been having a lot of fun.  She's growing up quickly too.  Grandma hopes to make a visit to TN to visit with her soon.

I brought out an old quilt top to work on and put it in my pvc frame for some hand stitching.  I could not seem to find a comfortable way to quilt, so I moved it to a hoop.

Slowly, but surely, I'm getting a little big stitch quilting done.  I made all these hexie flowers when my children were little ones.  Of course, I dreamed of a "real" grandmother's flower garden quilt, but this is the best it will get.  :-))

Here's one side of my sewing room since I rearranged the whole mess.  I like sewing better on this end of the room and hope to spend more time in there. I love having a whole room just for my fun stuff.

Good bye for now.... that' s me and Chandler in the caboose.... we took a train ride for Brinley's birthday party.  I have to get busy cleaning, because these same kids are coming to stay with me this weekend, while their Mama and Daddy go out on a big fishing boat.  Two weeks in a row!!!!!  I'm so excited to see them so soon.  Have a great week!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Baby Boy Quilt for Soren

I finished up a baby quilt for a cousin's baby boy, who is due to arrive in July.

I used my 'go to' baby quilt pattern from one of  the Eleanor Burns books.  It's an easy quilt and makes a nice size for a play blanket for inside or outside.  The green squares were totally from scrap pieces, but I had to buy the blue fabric and backing fabric.  Now that I'm not working at a paying job, I am beginning to pay more attention to how much fabric costs these days!!  whew!

This is not a very good picture of the backing fabric, but the backing makes me happier than the pieced top.  You can see it better in the next photo.

Aren't those critters so cute???

This is a sneak preview of my new porch being built on the back of my house.  It's not very large, but so much safer than what we had, which was just a set of steep brick steps.  I hope the porch will be finished later this week and I will try to remember to share completed pic's.  (that's 11 year old Sweet Pea in the background)

If you click to enlarge, you can see little orange embroidery stitches made to try to brighten up the top of the quilt.  There is quite a pop of orange in the background fabric, so I added a few orange stitches on front.  Hopefully, baby Soren will get to use this quilt for a long time.

So, I saw this beautiful quilt by Jen Kingwell in a quilting book and immediately thought this would make a great hand piecing project for me.  You are seeing all seven of the blocks that I made and decided to stop.  They are all very wonky and were difficult to get consistently sized.  In all fairness,  I traced and made my own templates, which may have added to the confusion, but I've decided to look for another less challenging piecing project.  I really enjoy hand piecing while watching tv or listening to the radio.

Here's a picture my girls sent to me from Easter.  Annabelle turned 3 last month and I'm amazed at how well she is talking and just growing up overall.  My other grandbabies took a big trip to Florida and took in several amusement parks during their Easter vacation.  I think they had a wonderful time!

And..... she now has 12 chickens.  Our little girl is a chicken lover.  She is just like her mommy, loves animals of all kinds.

That's about it:

I have read a couple of really good books.

 GIRL IN THE SONG by Chrissy Cymbala Toledo    (this could almost be my life story)

I am currently reading a funny older one (2006) by Fanny Flagg:  CAN'T WAIT TO GET TO HEAVEN 
She has such a way of describing us Southerners and this book is a hoot.  I should finish it up by tomorrow, I hope.

I'm trying to pick up real 'paper and print' books from my own stash to read, instead of using my kindle so much.    I have so many that I haven't read , so my goal is to read through them, so I can pass them along and clear out room for more!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Penny Squares

I've always loved redwork and am fascinated by Penny Square quilts.  I have always thought it would be fun to make one, but will I ever do such a time consuming thing? 

*** Do you ever wonder what you would be working on if there was no internet to keep you distracted?***

We have so much to see and learn and do these days.   I used to look forward to getting my monthly quilt magazines for ideas and inspiration.  I would sit for days and look through the pages, over and over again, trying to take in all the details and goodness in each copy.  Now we have so much to see,  I tend to click, click, click and over stimulate my mind,  forget what I saw, and have a difficult time finishing anything. 

If I didn't have the internet,  I just might be working on a Penny Square quilt.  Or a state bird embroidered quilt. (I have a pattern)

But back to the Penny Square quilt....

Here is a history of penny squares that I found on the internet. 

I can just imagine the excitement of going to the store each week to pick out the next square.  I would have begged to go with my Mama or Daddy so I could spend time with the penny squares.  I have loved having a needle and thread in my hand since I was a little girl.

So what's a girl to do?

I  had ordered a 'cheater' cloth panel from ebay years ago. 

When I was cleaning up my sewing room, I found the panel, which had each block 'set' in red strips.  I wanted my penny square quilt to look more like those  old ones I had seen on Pinterest. (  So, I cut all the squares out and decided to make a doll quilt for my granddaughters' doll play.

Nothing fancy and I didn't have to stitch the squares.  I sat down last night and added all the X's and ta-da ! I have my own mini version of a Penny Square quilt.  I have quite a few blocks left, so I may make something a little larger for myself. 

Another fun and *mindless* project this week. 

So what do you think you would be working on if you didn't have internet?  Would you still be using templates?  Would you be hand stitching?  I just wonder how it would be.... probably not as many quilters, for sure!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Is it really March?

Grandma's helper

Ok folks, time is flying by!! (it'll be Christmas before we know it)

February was a busy month for me.

 Several of you have asked about Butterbean, as my last post was about him and his surgery.  He recovered extremely well from his surgery and acts like a young dog again.  I guess those large two tumors were affecting his activity level.  He has been kicking and playing and chasing his tail, and acting like a young boy again.

The  bad news is that he does have malignant cancer.  Both biopsies showed the cancer, which has pretty well been removed at this time.  We have elected not to do any type of further treatment, but will love him for as long as we can.
Brinley Kate

This little girl came to stay with Grandma and Papa for 9 days.  She was a pure pleasure to have around and is growing up so fast.  I realized two things about her while she was here;  1. She loves suckers (lollipops) and spent a LOT of  time trying to decide which flavor she could have the next time she was allowed one.  2.  She loves playing baby dolls as much as her Grandma did when she was a little girl.  

I loved seeing that she included her doll in all day play.  Whatever we were doing, we had to consider the doll.... what she was wearing, if she needed to eat, if she could ride in the car, etc.

Since Brinley has gone back home, I have been going through my scrap flannel and making bedding accessories.  I have two cradles and I'm trying to get them both fixed up for when both granddaughters are here at the same time.  

From there, I made mini burp pads for the dolls; then wash cloths and towels.  I need to pick up baby bottles, make cloth diapers, and anything else I can think of to get our granddaughter doll center into place. It has been fun and mindless sewing so far.


As if we need another sad dog story, here's another one about our black dachshund.  He woke me up at 3:00 Monday morning (snow on the ground) and needed to go outside, which is rare for him.  He was acting a little strange, pacing, scratching and just not being himself.  By last night, he was vomiting and very lethargic.

I took him to the vet this morning and he was diagnosed with liver and heart problems.  We came home with a bag of medication to see if we can get him better.  He is already feeling better by this afternoon, but I'm not sure how the long term will be for him.  

I know my dogs are now known as 'old dogs' but it seems odd to me that so much is happening all at once with them.  (Sweet Pea, the other dachshund has a fast growing mass on her shoulder that we will have looked at next)  We moved here two years ago and the only thing that is different with them is our water supply.  We are now on municipal water, whereas we had used well water before.  Any thoughts?  The whole dog process is a first time thing for me.  

I have been cleaning out and reorganizing my sewing room which has been a busy job.  I have rearranged the layout and I think I like it better.  I'm hoping the new arrangement will make me spend a little more time in there.  The weather is still cool here, but I just know Spring is right around the corner!!

Question:  I have noticed that a lot of bloggers no longer reply to their comments with an email.  This means we have to go back to their blog to see if they have any kind of reply for us.  I'm not really a fan of this way, but I'm wondering if there is a way to know they have responded without having to go back to the same post to find out. 


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sweet Butterbean

Our sweet Butterbean turned 11 years old on Feb.2.

A few days before his birthday, we had taken him to the vet to have two large masses checked out.  (the first having been there a few years, and we were always told it was a harmless fat tumor)   I found a new one in his groin around Christmas time. 

This is how Butterbean looks today.  He had surgery on Tuesday to remove these tumors, which have turned out to be cancer. 

We are so sad, but we are loving on our sweet boy all we can.  The vet said he needs to rest a lot for at least a week, so the incisions on his hip, side, and belly can heal.   We are waiting on biopsy reports, just to see what type of cancer we are dealing with. 

Butterbean likes to follow me everywhere I go inside the house.  So I have had to make myself sit a little more than usual, which really hasn't been a problem.  I'm still making yo yo's. 

**Of course, after the fact, I have done lot of research and feel guilty because we have allowed the vet to administer every type of vaccine that was offered ,  used flea and tick medicine, gave monthly heartworm medication..... thinking we were doing a good thing.  I am now realizing that some of these cancers have been attributed to over vaccinating.  Go figure! **

If you have young puppies, please do your research now. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Tiny Bindings and other things

I decided to try my hand at making a mini quilt  last week; of course, using my sudden yo yo obsession.

Things were going along pretty nicely and I was enjoying the smallness of the process.

Until I tried to put on a binding!!!

First attempt at tiny binding

I ended up with a wonky mess and just knew that my ugly binding had ruined the whole quilt.  Not only was it thick, but the corners seemed to be falling off the edges, and it was just a mess.

I removed the binding and decided to ask for advice.  I received wonderful advice and tips from Janet at Roque Quilter (who is known for her incredible mini and small quilts)  and Debbie at Homemaking Dreams and  Angel Scraps Quilting.(probably my longest blogging buddy and she makes beautiful things)   (I was doing the corners all wrong and I learned to use a single fold binding instead of the double fold like we do with larger quilts)

I also held everything down with my mini clips, which helped secure the binding in place while I was sewing.  Notice I changed the binding fabric to the same fabric as my border, to help camouflage my boo boo's.

Not perfect, but way better!!

Thank you Janet and Debbie (and also thanks to a few Youtube video's I watched).

Moving on to other things...

Do you know what these things are?  They are oysters.  Hubby and I went out on the boat in January (I've never been out in the winter before)  to search for oysters.  I had never been oyster-ing and I had so much fun.  It was truly like searching for Easter eggs in the water.   We came home and hubby shucked them all (we had approx 100 oysters).  I fried enough for our supper and we froze the rest of them.  I'll definitely do this again with him.

Do you like oysters?  I ate one raw on a cracker and it took all my strength and willpower to get it down without gagging.  Around here, you are pretty tough if you can do that!

And I did go through with recoloring my hair  after going through the long process of letting my gray take over.

My hairdresser used a semi permanent gloss (versus creme color) that should wash out over time.  This may be a great alternative for me, since I can change my mind without having to grow all the color out again.... maybe?  I'm not sure if it works that way, but that's what I understood.

I'm also trying to let my short 'pixie' cut fill in a little and not be so very short.  Of course, this is after my hairdresser styled it and it hasn't looked this nice since.  I'll be able to style it correctly just before it's time for another trim.  Does anyone else have this problem with fresh haircuts?

And look who lost his first tooth:

Chandler Tate!

That's about it  for this post.  My friend liked her candle mat that I posted in the last blog post.  She told me she has a yo yo maker, too, but has never made the first yo yo! We are truly kindred spirits.  Happy Birthday Wanda!