Monday, December 3, 2012

The baby dogs and random stuff

I would love to be able to say that the dog babies 'posed' for this picture, but they didn't.  They are at the door, watching Avery and Chandler drive away with their mommy, after spending time with us.  They look pretty sad, don't they?  Random:

*Hubby RETIRED from his job last week.  He is a happy man and I am a jealous woman!   Actually, he has big plans and is looking forward to pursuing his dreams.  He will probably work harder now, than ever before.

* I had LASIK eye surgery a few weeks ago and I can see like a hawk. Happy me!  I almost chickened out and didn't have the procedure glad I did! After 30 years of wearing contact lenses...I  can say 'no more'!

*I've been doing a lot of reading on pantry stocking and being prepared.  I am not worried about the Apocalypse or anything on Dec. 21 (If I was afraid of that, I am way behind....LOL), but I do think it is important to be prepared... and it's Biblical.

*I love,love, love my Kindle e reader.  I'm amazed at all the free books that are available.  Hubby asked me if there is some kind of 'prize' for a large book collection.  He said 'you'll never read all those books'.  He is probably right, but I 'have' them if I decide to read them.  And I can always delete those books that I decide I won't read.  Right??

*I'm almost ready for Christmas.  I have a few gift cards to pick up, and I need to wrap gifts, but I think I have most of it under control.

So, that's about it in my world.  I hope everyone is having a relaxing holiday season!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Decking the halls

Christmas is almost here again; can you believe it?  When I was growing up, I always looked forward to Christmas, loved buying presents, loved wrapping presents, couldn't wait to put up the tree and decorate, ... I just loved it all.

2012 tree...yes, it's leaning!
Now that I'm older, and I have more time to do all these things, I don't seem to enjoy it as much as I used to.  Maybe it's because I know I will have to pack everything back up in just a few short weeks.

Nativity...has a few new animals this year (quilt box made by Charles)
Maybe it's because I'm wiser and I have realized that Christmas is way more than a season of decorating and buying frenzy...stressing ourselves to the max to please others, to try to fulfill unrealistic expectations.

new angel piece....goodwill... love her! (need candles)
I enjoy looking at all the pretty decorations and would be sad if everyone stopped decorating.  But when I go out shopping, so many of  the decorations I see are cheap and tacky, and  it throws my brain into overload.  I just want to go back home.

New Magic Attic doll....goodwill.... $3...she has a $12 Christmas dress on the way from ebay
Yes, there is Santa Claus and now Elf on a Shelf....but where is Jesus?  Do children even know that Christmas belongs to Jesus?  Or is it all about 'us'? 

goodwill... I keep this out year round

 There is no place like home for the holidays....Tis true...but where is home?  I grew up in a small town in eastern NC...I've always called it home.  However, I've been gone from that town for over half my life.  Is it still home?  We still drive there for the holidays.  It's very exhausting, but we don't want to 'miss anything'.  I miss the childhood memories of plays and Christmas caroling... I guess Christmas is for kids. :)  When I was in the midst of making  childhood Christmas memories, my parents were the ones who were stressed and trying to please.  ha ha   Dear Lord, help us to remember that Christmas is about YOU, your gift to us, your son, Jesus....our gift of salvation.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Just thankful....

Just so much to be thankful for;  don't you just love this face? God has been so good to us.
And now there are two.
We have been blessed with two grandsons and life just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter.
Having more time to reflect on what really matters, I have always known, but really really know now, that God is so good to us. I have so much to be thankful for....I think it is sad that so many people only see Thanksgiving as the day before black Friday.  I've not heard very many people talking about family, Thanksgiving dinner, fellowship, fun, God's blessings.... it's all about black Friday.  So sad.
Thank you God for salvation, your mercy and GRACE, your protection, your provision, your forgiveness, your COMPLETE forgiveness, your comfort, your wisdom, your healing,  your joy, your peace... just so much to be thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving to all! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

My New Favorite Blog

Have you read any Jon Katz books?  I just finished reading his book about  his dog, Rose, and I have identified so much with this man.  He is teaching me so much about animals. 

I invite you to go over and read his blog:  Bedlam Farm.   I've linked you to a funny post that I really enjoyed. (it's sort of  political)  If you like it, I hope you will hang around and read more of his blog.  I look forward to his daily entries and check my email each morning to see them.  His wife, Maria, is an fiber artist and I enjoy reading her blog, too.

Let me know if you visit him.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nov. 6. 2012

November 6, 2012  A very important presidential election.  I am praying for CHANGE!  But if my candidate doesn't win, I know that Jesus is still King.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

It was fun!  Papa and Grandma went to High Point to help pass out candy.  We had to turn off the porch light about midway through the evening, as we ran out of candy!!  Note to self:  buy more next year, because it sure was fun passing out to all the trick or treaters!. 

Avery and Chandler
Here's our two little trick or treaters, all ready to go out into the cold, to collect candy from the neighbors!

Halloween 2012
This is the whole group that went out...Mommy, Daddy, Aunt April and the boys.  It was sooo cold!

Daddy brought Chandler back after a few stops because  it was so cold and windy.  Avery didn't think he wanted to go out at first, because he thought passing out candy was a lot of fun.  But when he came back with his bucket full of candy, he was glad he went.  I convinced him to go trick or treating, by telling him that Grandma needed a green piece of candy.  He came back by the house shortly after they started going door to door, so proud that he had Grandma's green candy!  (<3 p="p">
When they decided to stop going door to door,( as mommy had to go to work at Spooky Woods), Avery continued to help Grandma pass out candy.  He really enjoyed checking out the costumes of all the trick or treaters.  I remember him saying about one person "he's not nice, he has a scary mask".  His face lit up with delight when he yelled out "there's Spiderman".  The scariest mask we saw belonged to a teenager.  His mask had a built in 'blood pump'.  He reached behind his back and squeezed something and blood poured down his face.  Avery backed away and it was visibly clear that he didn't like that mask.  However, Avery was a trooper and had a great time!  (as did Grandma and Papa)  

Avery at Andy's

This is a picture from the night we went to see the bullriders.  I was excited for Avery to eat at Andy's because I thought he might enjoy having his food served in this car.  He really wasn't that hungry and enjoyed pretending that his chicken nuggets were mommy and daddy in the car.  :))

Avery feeds Grandma

I am having more and more fun with these boys. I love being a Grandma!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Popping in...

Hey everybody!  We are still here.  I've been busy, it just seems I can't see much accomplishment from all the busy around here. 

This is my fall arrangement for my new farm table.  Hubby is painting the chairs for me, so the table stands alone right now.  This enamelware pan is one that I 'inherited' from my granddaddy after he died.  He used this bowl to make biscuits.... impressive, huh?  I still can't make a decent biscuit.

I found these old sewing machine drawers at an antique show back in the spring.  Hubby has a friend who is talented in woodwork, who made the little cabinet for me.  Not sure what these drawers will be used for.  Avery has discovered them and I'm thinking 'treat drawers for the grandchildren'.  :))

The fall fireplace with the creepy eyed portraits on display.  (they are my favorite)

A picture that Avery took of his little brother, sitting in his great grandma's lap.

Not sure what happened, but I can't figure out how to fix or remove this pic...this is a sideways shot of Avery helping his great grandma blow out her birthday candles.  (he picked out the cupcakes)
And this is one of my favorite things:  Avery is enjoying playing with his daddy's fisher price barn these days.  It has the original 'little people' and accessories.  He will ask me each time he gets it out to play, "did my daddy play with this when he was a little boy?"  
So, that's about it....not much sewing, but lots of grandbaby sugars!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

YUM! Mock tuna salad (chick peas)

Thanks to Pinterest, (my latest addiction), I found this yummy recipe and tried it:  Mock tuna salad made with chick peas!!  I'm not a tuna salad fan, as tuna is just a little too fishy tasting for me; however this recipe is delicious and doesn't taste at all like fish to me.  It reminds me more of chicken salad or egg salad or potato salad.  If you love any of those, I think you will love this!  And it's sooo easy:

This recipe comes from The Apron Archives:

And check out the ingredients in the next picture:

Now, can it be any easier??

hint:  My husband does not like celery, so I chopped mine very tiny, very very tiny...and he loved this spread as much as I did!  I also chopped my purple onion much much finer than the ones shown in this photo. 

We ate some of this using honey wheat bread and some of it using Triscuit crackers.  OMG... I hope you will try it... you may never need to make chicken salad again!

Link for recipe here:   The Apron Archives

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Birthday to my mama!

My mom celebrates a special birthday tomorrow.  Every birthday is a big deal, but  considering she was diagnosed with breast cancer over 20 years ago, this is a really big deal! God is good and   I love you, Mama!!

This is her 'happy birthday' quilt that I made for her.  In January, a dear friend  of mine started swapping nine patch blocks with me each month.  We were not very far into the swap before I realized that I wanted to use my blocks to make something for mama's birthday. 

I put this quilt together and quilted it in sections, then put the whole thing together.  There was a LOT that I like about this method, but a few things that were difficult for me.   I'm not sure if I will try it again or not.

This was the first time I had stitched the entire binding by machine.... loved that!!  I will definitely do that again. 

Now, back to the Underground Railroad quilt....

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Friday!

My week:

I only added two more blocks this week to the Underground Railroad quilt, but I have two more cut out and ready to sew.  Slowly, but surely!
Hubby cut down my beloved crabapple tree.  It is the prettiest blooming tree we had, but we had been discussing removing it for a couple years now.  It is a messy tree, very close to the house, and the dogs are forever bringing us crabapples and sticks inside the house.  So, my beautiful tree is gone, but we may plant another further out in the yard somewhere. (and I love all the new sunlight coming into my livingroom window since we removed it)
I've been looking for a drop leaf farm table for a little while now.  My tiny dining space doesn't allow much room for a big table and our family is growing and growing.  Last year for Thanksgiving, we improvised by putting a large sheet of plywood over my tiny table to make room for everyone.  (it actually looked pretty with the tablecloth on it).  Yesterday I found this oak table at the little store in our town that I speak of from time to time:  The Painted Picket.  Hubby has promised to paint my chairs black and I hope to find two more similar chairs to go with the set.  (I haven't even cleaned the table up yet, so if you enlarge the pic, you will see dust on it, for sure)  And guess what my old table will be used for???? a cutting table in my sewing room.... yay!!
I fell in love with this little table while I was shopping, and asked the lady if she could 'cut me a deal' if I bought both tables.  She did and I did.... yay.... this is going to be used as a night stand in the guest bedroom.  *happy*
Last night while watching X factor, (filmed in Greensboro, NC) I started cutting paper hexies.  I've seen so many one flower Wednesday posts and love, love, love the little hexie flowers I've been seeing.  So, what's another project, right?  I've never done paper piecing before, so I'm excited to try this new project. (plus, it's an easy 'carry with you ' thing)
And... I've been listening to Francie Taylor CD's while playing in my sewing room.  She explained how the book of Proverbs is a manual for living and challenges us to read whatever chapter corresponds with today's date, as there are 31 chapters in the book.  If we do this every month, and take to heart the wisdom of Solomon, our lives will be so much better.  She calls the book of Proverbs the 'recipe for life'.... so I have taken the challenge.  It's easy for me because I've always loved the book of Proverbs. :)
It's back to work for me today and through the weekend, so my play time will be limited.  I'll be loving on little old people this weekend.  Hope you all have a great fall weekend! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Don't throw away your faded pumpkins!

We all have them....pale, faded pumpkins that we have used year after year to decorate with.  Well, this little set 'almost' went to the thrift store this year. 

But I decided to try to give it a little life.  I bought orange acrylic paint and gold shimmery glaze paint.  In a matter of 15 minutes, tops, it looked like this:

So, it was allowed to dress up my porch for fall again this year. (notice I did paint the stem in next pic)

Thanks to Mrs. Goodneedle and this post, I am trying to clean up my act.  I have made a huge dent in my closet this week and left most of my fall decor in their boxes this year.  I would love to be a 'minamalist' intead of a pack rat!!

And I leave you with this picture...just because it's cute.  Our Avery is growing up so fast!  He really keeps us entertained these days.  His little  brother is growing like a weed, too.  Full of smiles and such a sweet boy.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I love sewing room days!

I vacuumed and mopped floors this morning so I wouldn't feel guilty about spending the day in my sewing room.  While I had sheets drying on the clothes line, I went into my play room.

I made a new bathroom valance.  The color is not very true in the picture, but it is black and cream with a small green stripe. 

We took our glass shower door down a few weeks of the smartest things we ever did!  It has helped a lot with the mold buildup in the shower!  I made this shower curtain to match the valance.

Once we finish everything in the bath, I'll post better pic's of the whole room.  (we plan to paint the vanity and change out fixtures)

This is the coordinating fabric that I plan to staple onto a large canvas to hang over the bathtub.  My daughter has several of these 'instant art' pieces in her apartment and I love them.  We plan to paint the vanity the same color green that is in the fabric. 

You might remember these from a January post....I was supposed to complete a block a month this year on my Underground Railroad quilt.  As you can see, that didn't happen.  But I did start again last night and completed the wagon wheel block that you see on top. 

And I have the next block cut out and ready to sew.  I hope to do that later tonight when I get back into the sewing room.  I've been watching Bonnie Hunter live from Quiltville on Ustream and it seems to be just the motivation I've needed to get busy!  Has anyone else been watching her?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Burlap Roses

Thanks to Pinterest....

I, too, jumped on the burlap flower bandwagon.  These things are so much fun to make... and so easy!

Is anyone else addicted to Pinterest these days?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Those corners...

I am not a decorator, but I wish I was....

However, I have noticed when taking photographs in my livingroom, that my corners always look so bare.   So, I decided to do something about one of them.

I added the plant and the picture that you see behing the lamp. (yes, lamp needs to go!)  The man in the recliner is the one who altered my new sewing table for me.  I'm still happy about that.

Here's the little 'table' from another angle.  It's actually an extra bar stool from the garage and I plan to paint it green.  I made the little round cloth today from thrift store fabric that  I hoarded  bought sometime back.  

Sorry about the quality of the photo (using my iphone), but I wanted to show this pretty pic. that I bought this week from a new store in our town.  This picture is titled: The Basketmaker.  If you click to enlarge the pic, you can see the baskets.  I love everything about it.  Avery likes the sailboats. They are 'just like' the one he plays with in the bathtub.  ;))

Thursday, August 30, 2012

We hand sew quilt binding...why?

I am learning so much about sewing and quilting online, thanks to so many great tutorials circulating out there.  I found one last night on Pinterest about machine sewing quilt binding...front and back.  Without pinning a thing.... did you hear me?? without pinning a thing!!

I tried it tonight on a full sized quilt and I had the whole thing sewn on in approximately one hour.  It turned out well, but I'm not ready to reveal the whole quilt to you just yet. 
Click here for the link to the video.  (it is on pinterest, and I hope you can link to it) Missouri Star Quilt Company
Now to show you something else that I am so happy with:
Meet my new sewing table!  I found the table on Craigslist for $50 and my husband measured and cut out a hole for the machine.  He built a little shelf underneath to hold the machine and I'm telling you, this set up is awesome.  No shoulder tension and the table holds the weight of the quilt!  LOVE!! 
In a few more months, hubby retires from his job and we are getting rid of the two computers that I currently share my sewing room with.  (actually he shares his office with me!)  I can hardly wait to set up the whole room just for me and my sewing!
Here is a pic to show off little Chandler on the quilt that I made for him.  I watched him and big brother today while their mommy went for her 6 weeks check up.  Can you believe he is 6 weeks old??  He is giving Grandma some mighty sweet smiles these days!
I leave you with a picture of Chandler and his pretty mommy.  I think Chandler looks so much like his big brother in this picture.  I'm so in love!


Friday, August 24, 2012

What is it?

This is what I found at the thrift store this week.  $5.  I was excited to find it and grabbed it up and carried it around the store as soon as I saw it.

You see, I already own one of these, but it is much smaller, and was much more than $5.

For those who don't know, this is a light box.  It is a very handy tool for tracing embroidery patterns.  (I used to use my storm door and sunlight to trace patterns, which works very well, too)  My husband bought the one in the little box for me several years ago and I have put it to good use.  However, because of its smaller size,  I sometimes have to trace a little portion, then slide the fabric around, and then trace some more.   So, you can imagine how excited I was to find this large light box for $5.

I took it to the cashier to pay for it and the manager of the thrift store was standing there as I checked out.  When she saw that I was buying the box, she smiled and  said "what are you going to do with that thing?"  I proceeded to explain to her about the light box and to tell her how happy I was to find it. She admitted that she had NO IDEA what that 'thing' was and had no idea how to price it when it came in. She was happy that I was happy!  I, personally, think I got a great deal on a very nice light box and the manager got a nice learning lesson, so that she can raise the price on the next one that comes in.  SCORE!  :))

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happy Sunday to You!

I hope everyone is having a great Sunday and has plans for a fun week ahead.  Reflections from my past week:

why can't i get my photo's to load correctly?? it's sideways!

I have a friend from way back, that I reconnected with on Facebook.  (see, FB isn't all bad....just mostly bad! LOL) The quilting bug recently bit her and  back in January, she and I decided to swap a 9 patch block each month, just to keep us motivated....

Well, I finally have enough blocks to put my quilt together and started on that this past week.  It's been fun!

** I wanted to show you pic's of my grandsons this week, but the pic's are loading sideways.  Any advice??**   (they load sideways, I rotate them with "Paint", save them....and then they show up sideways again when I try to blog them?????)

** After doing some google research, I found out it has to do with pic's taken with my iphone.  So, gotta take more camera pic's***

April and Chandler

(Yay!  Loooooooook!  I got the problem fixed.  I downloaded an app. to my phone that takes the Exif encoding out of the picture, which was causing the sideways problem. whew! )

So, back to my week:  We spent time with this little guy, who is now three weeks old.... he's just precious!

Big Brother, Avery

And this big guy stayed two nights with Grandma this past week....what fun!  This pic was taken while we had lunch at McDonald's.  He took most of his lunch home with him, because he was too busy watching the other kids in the playplace and he was ready to get inside and play, himself!  He picked out the blue bracelet while we were out shopping....doesn't he look like a big kid?  He's only 2! I love him!!