Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Still yo yo'ing!

I can't seem to stop making yo yo's. 


I wanted to share this little candle mat I made for an upcoming birthday gift.  I will buy a great smelling  candle and gift them together. 

This was fun to make and I'm planning to make a more 'country' version for myself.

I'm itching to get back to the sewing machine , so my yo yo making needs to take a break soon!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Yo Yo's and Grey Hair

Just to prove that I finished something....


It's not much, but it still feels great to mark a project as complete.

granny spreads done

I bought a couple of clearance  quilt kits after Christmas, one I hope to make into a wall hanging for my livingroom.  I found an awesome deal on Elsa and Anna fleece no sew blankets (you know, the ones you tie the fringe together) , so I bought two to make for the my granddaughters.  They really need another blanket... :-))

L@@k at this grey hair

Ok, so this is me and the top of my hair!  Back in the summer,  I had all the color cut out of my hair, just to see how much grey is really there.  (I have colored my hair since I was in my 30's... before I even needed to color)  It was a fun experiment with the idea of letting myself go grey, embracing my age, being all natural, etc. etc.

I was thinking it looked pretty good in my own lighting at home.  Every now and then I would catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror if I was out somewhere in different lighting and think 'hmmm.... looking old there , Penpen."

My  final decision was made for me during a Christmas party at my sis in law's house.  Known for saying what she thinks, she gazed into my hair and said "what have you done?"  I proudly replied "nothing.... it's all natural."  She replied, "well whatever it is, don't do any more of it."  SHE POPPED MY BUBBLE!  She told me it looks as if I had it 'frosted'.... anyone remember when we had our hair frosted?  I do and I did!

So I came home and took some pics of the top of my  head, just to see what others might be seeing.
                                                            ********************

Since it's a new year, a new me, etc.... I've decided to have my hair colored  on my next  salon visit.  

I am not going to lie... I feel like 'something' happened to me when my own mother died almost 3 years ago.  A part of me went with her.  I just didn't care much about most things any longer.  I went into survival mode.  It didn't matter how I looked, because I was going to die soon, too.  Just be.... take care of daddy.... do the best I can.

I quit my job, gained weight, spent a lot of time on the couch, rarely went outdoors, stopped walking the dogs (they have a fenced in yard), slept a lot, ate terribly., developed high blood pressure and gastric reflux .... you name it, all the typical signs of depression. (something i've fought all my life)

I saw my doctor several times, who recognized my depression and has been very kind and patient while seeing me through this.

Several things happened at Christmas, besides the hair color comment, that made me take a good look at myself.  The blood pressure and gastric reflux really really got my attention, because I thought I was having a heart attack one night.  Something had to give....

So, it's 2018.  Time for a change, time to get back to being me , time to look after me, to improve my health and my outlook.  And time to color my hair!  

Life is beginning again in 2018.

*Prayers welcome*


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Happy New Year! *2018*

Happy New Year!  Each new day is truly a gift!


I changed my wreath out to represent winter and snow and then  amazingly, we had snow in eastern NC just a couple days later!!  It's been unusually cold and we've had trouble with our water heater freezing a couple times this week.  But with hubby to the rescue... he was able to get it running again in very little time.

Snow 2018



I've been enjoying some hand stitching this week, staying warm with blankets and dogs and fireplace.


I"m making yo yo's , using the Clover yo yo maker, that makes the process SO easy!  I made my very first yo yo when I was in 7th or 8th grade.  We  had a fun day at school and we were able to choose which fun  'learning' session we wanted to attend.  My English teacher was teaching yo yo making (the old fashioned way) in her group and without hesitation, I signed up for her group.  It was so much fun and I remember having a brown paper grocery bag full of fabric, thread , and yo yo's after her class.  I don't know what ever happened to those yo yo's, but I fondly remember making them.


My son and his wife gave me a huge stack of 5-6 inch charm squares a couple years ago.  I have had fun going through these to make yo yo's.  I'm making a little spread to drape across the top of a chair.  I have matching chairs and one already has a spread, so I thought the other needed one, too.    I'm such a 'granny' decorator.  :)))



Here's a link to my first yo yo spread, that now resides on the matching chair.  https://littlepenpen.blogspot.com/2011/02/yo-yos-finished-here-it-is.html   I had framed it to hang on the wall, then I got tired of looking at it.  It was removed from the frame and used as a table scarf for a night stand in the bedroom.   The grandkids were were always taking it and dragging it around, which made my heart smile.  It recently became an addition to the navy chair,  therefore it needs a twin.




It's still cold and the roads are still covered with snow and ice, so our church has been cancelled for today.  I think I'll make more yo yo's today.

Happy 2018!





Friday, December 29, 2017

Another Christmas Over So Soon!

It was a Merry Christmas, but it came and went so soon!

Little Penpen and the grandchildren

I've heard others say this and it's true for me, too:  I enjoy the week after Christmas the most.  There is nowhere to go, the presents are all opened, and the stress is gone.  I can enjoy my Christmas tree lights, reflect on the season,  reflect on the birth of Jesus, find the calm that I wish was there during the hectic part of the season.  







Our little brides







I'm looking forward to a new year.  The longer I am 'retired' from nursing , the more I find that I enjoy being retired.  I'm hoping for a very productive year!



Happy New Year to all!



Saturday, December 2, 2017

Mr. and Mrs. Claus are Here

Look who is here to welcome everyone to our home!


This is a fabric panel I bought from ebay a couple years ago with the intention of somehow using this couple in the center of a Christmas quilt.   I couldn't see that happening anytime soon and I wanted my grandchildren to enjoy Mr. and Mrs. Claus now.


I pieced together some batting and used a blue striped sheet for the backing.   It didn't take long to sew it all together,  to do a little free motion quilting on some areas, and then pin them to the wall.  My brain is already thinking of some cute embellishments to make them  stand out even more, but that may have to wait until next Christmas.


The panel was meant to be turned into a door panel, so they are quite tall... I think they are taller than the grandchildren.  My dogs have barked at the new couple off and on all afternoon!  I'll be glad when they get used to our new house guests.


Mr. and Mrs. Claus hang on the wall in front of my little tree, which looks kind of skimpy in the picture.  I didn't dry quite as many orange slices to hang this year, but I do think it looks a little better in person.  The lights twinkle and I love the little glow in the foyer.


Avery, Chandler, and Brinley  (and mom and dad) were here for Thanksgiving and stayed a couple extra days with Grandma and Papa.  They colored these nativity scenes for me  while they were here and I am enjoying looking at them everyday.  Annabelle will be here next week and she will get to color her nativity.


She and her mommy will stay a couple of weeks with us and I am looking forward to their visit.



I don' t know how I managed to not get a picture of Avery during their visit, but  please pray for our little guy if you will, as he has hernia surgery  scheduled for next week.  This will be his second hernia repair.  He's a big boy and doesn't seem a bit worried about it.


This is Brinley Kate just before we left to go eat at my dad's house.  It was a great day... everyone was there except for April and her family, which was a huge accomplishment for us to get everyone else together at one time.

I'm sure you all are very busy too.  Take time to enjoy the little things and be 'present' in all that you do!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Cornbread, Old Faithful (s), and a Gas Station

I've never been a bread maker, although I love love love bread.  (as is evident by my thighs)  I cooked a pot of pinto beans yesterday for my husband and my daddy.  My daddy had made the comment sometime back that he didn't like my cornbread (which was a Jiffy mix) because it crumbles.  My husband has made cornbread in the past, and Daddy suggested I let him make the cornbread.  ha!


By golly, I would not be outdone by my husband!  I went straight to Pinterest and searched for Southern Cornbread.  This picture popped up and it was said to be 'grandma's recipe'.  So I went to the link here and realized I had all the ingredients, except the buttermilk.  I made it using regular milk and let me tell you, this is delicious cornbread!!!  It was crispy on the edges and creamy in the middle..... so so good!

The men loved it and Daddy went back for seconds and thirds! So yes, this is my new 'go to ' cornbread recipe.  Let hubby make it.... pffft!

For dessert, I looked in my pantry and decided to make an old school dessert:  Cherry Dump Cake.

Pinterest photo

Sometimes the 'old faithful' recipes are the best!  I didn't have any pineapple, so I dumped two single serving containers of applesauce in the bottom with the cherry pie filling.  I had pecans from my daddy's freezer, some that my mama had picked out by hand, shortly before she died.  I think we all thought the recipe was just a little bit sweeter because Mama's hands had been on the pecans.   (I only use half the cake mix; we like it better this way)

Pinterest photo

Speaking of 'old faithful' recipes, do any of you still make sausage balls?  I started making them again last year and sent several batches out as Christmas gifts to my dad's friends.  I took some to the church Christmas party and someone exclaimed "I haven't seen these in  years!"  They were eaten up in no time.  Why do we forget those yummy recipes sometimes?  What are some of your tried and true recipes?


I've mentioned my daughter and her husband's Little Blue Gas Station on my blog before.  Finally, after much persuasion, she has decided to blog a little about it here.   I hope you will enjoy seeing what she and her husband are transforming into a cute little home!  Please leave a comment if you visit her!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Persian Pickle Club (question)

Ok, I'm always late to the party, but I recently purchased this book: The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas.

I loved loved loved the book and went online to read more about it.  I saw mention of the book being made into a movie, but never could find where it had been completed.  I could not find the movie anywhere.  Does anyone know if it was ever completed?


This book is about a quilting group and the setting is during the Great Depression.  I love reading books from this era and this one did not disappoint.  The group has a strong bond and  they definitely have each other's backs, as they keep a very big secret to protect one another.   The story line was great and it also had enough sewing in it to make me itch to pull out some needlework!

Have you read this book?  If not, you should! It is a pretty quick read.  I bought my copy from Ebay for around $3.  I'm going to read it again, to see if I can play detective and see the eventual ending, before I get to the end of the book.  It's that good!


Can anyone tell me if this book became a movie?

ps.... Persian pickle is an old time name they used for what we now call  paisley  print fabric.