Sunday, November 30, 2008

a mural and a window

I had the pleasure of meeting up yesterday with a few of the ladies from the HGTV Quilting and Needlework message boards. Sassy Needle Pusher, Christmas Queen and her DIL Sara, and Happy Erm made the trip to Quilt Country in Lewisville, and after just a few wrong turns, I did too. You see names on the board and form your own mental impression of what they're like, and it's fun to meet in person and put a face to the name. So, in order of the linup in the picture, we have Sara, me, Christmas Queen, Happy Erm, and Sassy Needle Pusher. Thanks to Happy Erm for coming up with the idea of meeting.

One of the ladies in the shop came out and took our picture in front of their mural on the outside wall. If you get the chance to go there, you won't be sorry. They have fabric galore, and quilts hanging just everywhere you look. We were told ahead of time about their special over the weekend of getting a 5% discount for each canned good brought in, up to 5 cans. The canned goods helped replenish the food bank, and we got a bargain. What a deal!

Today I worked on a snowmen in the window pattern. I made one last year, and got my measurements a little off (see this posting). I expect this one to see some improvement, but that's not to say it's replacing the first. I'm just adding more windows.

Sad to say, vacation is over and it's back to the grind tomorrow. But, Pollyanna that I am, I'll just be thankful I have a job to go back to considering how many people are not as fortunate.

Have a good week, everyone.

Friday, November 28, 2008

another day, another year

It's amazing how fast the time flies these days, and the older I get, the faster it goes. Ah well, such is life...

I received a couple of Carol Doak quilting books for my birthday, so I took them to an office supply store today to get them spiral bound. I've done that now for several books, and it's so much easier to look through the pages, or be able to leave the book open to a page and not worry about it flopping shut. Anyway, these are on paper piecing, something I've been wanting to try. It may be after the first of the year before I can do much, but I'm sure you'll be seeing glimpses here and there of whatever I do. To see some examples of beautiful paper piecing using these books, check out Penny's blog on my blog list. She has a quilt called "Surf and Sand" on her sidebar, and in her archives for about October or so are more pictures. She did a great job. I'm meeting a few of the ladies from HGTV's quilting forum tomorrow. It will be nice to get to know some of the people who live in this area, and should be fun. Appropriately, we'll be meeting up at a quilt shop!

That's it for now. Hope everyone has had a nice Thanksgiving, and a renewed appreciation of those you hold close to your heart.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Another taste of retirement...ain't life grand? Yes I'm on vacation again. But it's been well over two months since my last one, and I traditionally take off the week of Thanksgiving. When the kids were younger, it was a chance to make a start on Christmas shopping or sewing, or maybe spend time with Mom when she would be able to make it out for the holiday. Now there's not a particular need or reason to take it, other than I just want to. Which I guess is a good enough reason in itself.

I have been able to baste Wild and Free in preparation for quilting, and did some running around today. I found a really neat place in Fort Worth that sells salvaged goods for old houses. Lots of eye don't just walk in and walk out, it takes awhile to look at all the fun stuff. Hinges, door knobs, drawer pulls, claw foot bathtubs, doors, windows, and on and on. Not that I need any of it, but I didn't let that stop me.

And I treated myself to coconut shrimp at Red Lobster. Love it, love it, love it. I've actually downloaded a recipe and might try my hand at making it one of these days.

I've said many times, don't put your life on hold waiting for some magic day (like retirement) to do what you want to do. We all know there are no guarantees in life, and we need to do what we enjoy as we go along. So I do enjoy... but it's still gonna be nice!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I've got to learn a bit more about this blogging business. This morning I posted about my latest quilting project, the one named "Wild and Free". I think it's pretty descriptive, and apt. However, maybe I should have thought it through a bit more before heading up my posting with the title. I looked at my little world map, and going into it I see that I've had visits from Austria, Singapore, Sweden, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Spain, and Germany. Far more than my usual list of visitor countries (it doesn't show who is from where, just the location). Do you think a few were surprised to see Elsie as a quilting grams?

wild and free

I started this Fractured Flag pattern several years ago. The first one I did was shortly after 9/11, and I gave it to Robert. Then I made the second flag, probably about a year later, and it's been a UFO ever since. The other night when the Bunco ladies were over, I showed a couple of them my sewing room. While I was seeing stacks of this and that and mentioning my mess, Glenda and Linda saw it on my design board and really liked it. I think I had quit "seeing" it because I'd had it up there so long. Anyway, their enthusiasm spurred me on to finishing the top.

I was in a red, white, and blue strip swap (get your thoughts up out of that gutter, I'm talking about the squares with the strips of fabric!) a couple of years ago, and had in the back of my mind that I wanted to combine them with the flag in some form or fashion. This is the result. Once it's quilted, the binding will be the same darker blue that separates the flag from the strips.

Meet Wild and Free:

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Another project is pretty well finished. The top is completed on Ashley's t-shirt quilt, and today I'll get the backing ready so it can go to the quilter's this week. She won't be able to get to it until after Thanksgiving, but that's ok.

What's next on the agenda? Hmmm. Heaven knows I have plenty of things I can work on, and I may actually pull out one of those ufo's (unfinished objects) and knock it out just for that sense of accomplishment. Alright, and so I won't feel guilty starting something new.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

snake in the rain

So the other night I was watching Dancing With the Stars, and there came a tapping on my door. A vigorous tapping. Alright, an urgent knocking. Anyway. I, looking particularly lovely in my nightshirt and sweatpants, answer the door, and this young woman says something to the effect of we just saw a snake heading to your garage and wanted to let you know so it wouldn't get into your house! Let me tell you, she got my attention with that.

I stepped out into the misty dampness to see what she was talking about, and sure enough, there was a snake about a couple of feet long and maybe 3/4" to 1" in diameter slinking to the side of the garage door where the weatherstripping doesn't go all the way across. (They must have a way to sense the heat or dryness or something for it to know where it was going.) Of course by this time I'm picking up the girl's excitement as my own, asking what am I going to do????? One of the guys in the car suggests getting some really hot water on it. He obviously doesn't realize how long it takes for my water to heat up all the way to the kitchen sink. But I did put some water in a pitcher, ran to the garage, opened the door, and slung the water at the snake...getting about a cup on him. Just made him move a little faster. Terry (the fellow making the hot water suggestion)got a stick and managed to get him before he got into the corner under a shelf thing. I grabbed a shovel, and started whacking. By this time, we were all making our share of noise, and my neighbor and his wife from next door come over to see what's going on. Of course it crossed my mind that I must look really great in my sweats and nightshirt but surely nobody would look too close when there's a snake to look at. I whacked 3 or 4 times, hitting his back. Terry got the shovel, and managed to whack off his head. Whew. But I was really surprised when the mouth kept moving at least another 3 or 4 minutes. Well, maybe only 30 seconds, but it felt like 3 or 4 minutes. We got him into a trash bag, and the excitement was over.

I asked how they happened to see the snake? Turns out they were turning around in my driveway, and happened to see him in the headlights.

You know, several years ago when I lived out in the country I probably wouldn't have been too surprised at something like this happening. I've got to say I was a bit taken aback at this happening in town, and not too thrilled. But, I survived and that's all that matters. That, and I'm glad it was Monday night and not Tuesday night when I had my house full of bunco ladies!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

a little of this, a little of that

This weekend moved right along. I got up and out Saturday morning, and hit a few garage sales. Always fun and full of useful (and some not-so-useful) stuff. I picked up a few soup bowls along the way (I'm having bunco at my house Tuesday nite, and serving Italian pasta soup, yummo!), a couple of patio chairs, another coat for my kids coats project (50 cents, what a deal!), a pretty vase at one sale, and the tall things to go in it at another. Not to mention a fan, some wine glasses, 3 stainless steel pans for 50 cents (a little elbow grease and they're good as new), an area rug, and who knows what else.
Do you have any idea of how many I'd ask, "do you happen to have any soup bowls?" Almost invariably, "we had some, but someone just got them a little while ago". Guess everyone is getting ready for the cold weather and the soup that will be dished up.

Moving along, Ashley's t-shirt quilt is progressing. I hit a little drawback and had to take out a few seams, but I think I'm back on track now. Don't have a picture readily available, but it will be going to the quilter before too long. I'm sure you'll be seeing the final layout before it goes.

You may notice I've listed another blog on my blog list to the side. "One Minute Writer" was one of the blogs of note that blogspot highlights. I've noticed that since I've started blogging, my journal entries are practically nil. I'm thinking this might get me back into it again, even if only for one minute a day. Do you keep a journal? If not, you might consider it. It's interesting to look back over the years, and see what was going on at the time.

Just for grins, here's the recipe for the Italian pasta soup. It's one of those that's a knock-off of Olive Garden's pasta fagiole. I've made it several times, though I leave out the mushroom pieces.

That's it for now. Oh...and remember to thank a Veteran on Tuesday. Or any day for that matter. But especially Tuesday, since it's Veteran's Day. Thanks to my family members: Robert, Carl, John, Joe, Troy, Virgil, and Art for the time you served, and Robert and Mike for being there for us now.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mansfield Writes

I went to a program Saturday put on by the Friends of the Library here in Mansfield, called "Mansfield Writes". There was a panel of 10 published authors, representing a variety of genres, and they each spoke for a few minutes, covering a variety of topics.

Some of the topics? Writing under more than one name, failing your way to success, writing in multiple genres, the heady life of a writer, and finding your voice.

Here's a listing of the authors:

Celya Bowers/Kennedy Shaw, romantic suspense
Juliet Burns, romance
Rachel Caine, vampires
Angela Cavener, paranormal suspense
Carole Nelson Douglas, mysteries
P. N. Elrod, vampires
James Ward Lee, Texas subjects
Janis Susan May, romance and other genres
Laurie Moore, mysteries
Martha Moore, children's books

They're in the Fort Worth/Mansfield/Dallas area, so these are local people who "made good". The audience filled the room to overflowing, so for each one who's made it, there are plenty ready to step up and join them.

Our library is one more reason I'm glad I moved to Mansfield.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

pics from Halloween nite and California delivered

I made it over to help Rhett and Ashlynn pass out the Halloween candy last night, and they were so sweet. They reached into the candy bowl, and would drop the pieces into the trick-or-treaters goody bags, and responded to the "thank you's" with really sweet "you're welcomes". They weren't excited about getting into costumes, but Rhett did have some google eyes he was sporting, and Ashlynn had her hair ribbons and a t-shirt that lit up. The weather was perfect, and we sat by the driveway to watch everyone.

When we were finished, I headed over to John and Bonnie's and dropped off the completed California. It came out well, and I think they'll enjoy it.