Wednesday, December 29, 2010

odds and ends

The kids got their colored pencil rolls, and really liked them!  I'm glad we had our quiet little get together a couple of days ahead of Christmas, I think they would have gotten lost in the shuffle otherwise.

Rhett was coloring with his up on the table, so you only see his leg in the second picture.

On Christmas day, I went over to Robert and Angela's before heading over to Nolene's.  Robert and Rhett were assembling a Lego Harry Potter project, and I think I see a budding engineer in Rhett.  He studied those pieces, and was really intent to get it right.

These were two of the 4 or 5 bags they had to assemble, but it was nap time right about here.  :)

I haven't accomplished as much the last week or two as I had thought I might, but I've gotten a little done here and there.   This is a mug rug I made.  A mug rug is a coaster with room for a snack.
And I made an ironing pad for a tv tray for niece Tammy. Now that she's graduated, she'll have a bit more time for her quilting.  I got one a couple of years ago, and just love it, but I couldn't quite figure out how to get the elastic casing in nice and neat.  So, I used ribbons for ties.  This should actually work out pretty well, because it can be modified to fit the size of the tv tray. 
On another note, I had a home improvement project put in a couple of weeks ago.  I've wanted a pergola type patio ever since I moved in, and talked to Chris about it last Spring when he put in my fence.  It finally worked out to be a convenient time for both of us, and he and his helper put it in the week before Christmas.  When Spring rolls around, I'll either paint it or stain it, though I'm leaning towards paint for now.   This space should be much more usable now, especially with the railing going around it.  Gives me more peace of mind with the grandkids playing out there that they won't be so apt to fall off.

That's it for now.  Have a good week, and if I don't get back before the weekend, Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

happy birthday, brother John!

If I write nothing else today, I must take time to say happy birthday to my brother John. Hope it was a good day!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

those lazy, hazy, crazy days of....December!

After I finished the hustle bustle of getting Christmas gifts done, this month has been a bit laid back.  I've worked another puzzle.

Ashlynn's pre-school had their Christmas program recently, and that was fun.  All the little 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds took part in the singing.  The lighting wasn't the best in the room for pictures during the program, but that's ok.  They were all so sweet, and all were dressed in their pj's.

 Rhett joined her in the last picture.

And here's my niece Tammy.  She graduated from Texas Women's University on Friday!  It's taken a lot of work over the last 4 years, but she made it, and we're all proud of her.
 Over on the HGTV quilting/sewing forum, we just finished up our Secret Santa Stocking Swap.  There were over 60 of us participating.  We each put up a wish list, names were swapped out by the coordinators, and everyone got busy.  The stocking was to be made by the person swapping, so no store-bought stockings.  My Secret Santa was Wiley in Arizona, and she did great.  I got not one stocking, but two!  She managed to tuck in 4 redwork embroidery patterns, 5 fq's of landscape fabric (rocks, woodgrains, birds) for a landscape quilt I want to come up with, a template for A School of Fish and the pattern that goes with it, a rotary blade, some flower head flat straight pins, and a spiral memo book.  Very nice.
 I was Secret Santa to Downsouth in Georgia.  This is what I sent her.  Fun to make and prepare, and I'm already looking forward to next year.  :)

Of course, I've been babysitting Elise.  I'm off the next two weeks since it's Christmas break and David will be home with her, but I did get to watch her last night.  She's at the age that she's always coming up with something new, a lot of fun.
 That's it for now.  If I don't get back on here before the end of the week, Merry Christmas to all! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

the puzzle

I never have tracked how many hours it takes to put together a puzzle, but I've thought for a long time that when you break it down by hours versus cost, it's a very low cost entertainment.  And when I figure that this one came from a garage sale, very reasonable indeed.

I took this picture when the puzzle was quite far along, though I guess that's pretty obvious.  Probably about 9:30 or 10:00 last night.
These were all the pieces left at this point:
Well, with only those few pieces, I finished it last night about 10:30 or so.
I've taken it down now, and will probably hand it over to brother John to have a go at it.  But, the table is still up, and most likely another one will be started within a couple of days!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

these hands aren't idle

I have found that I'm spending a lot of time on the computer, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I shouldn't use the excuse of "I don't have enough time" in other areas of my life if I can make so much time for the computer and computer games.   (Chuzzle comes to mind rather quickly!)

I enjoy working jigsaw puzzles, but haven't had one out in quite awhile, so this week I set one up.  I like the 1000 piece version, and this one has a cute little theme of things from the 50's. If I remember right, I came across this one at a garage sale!  Heck of a deal!
 I pretty well approach most puzzles the same way, pulling out the edge pieces first. 
 I don't always manage to find all of the edge pieces at the beginning.  Usually there are one or two that will show up later in the process.  This time I lucked out, and I had them all. 

Now that my borders are set up, I can start filling in.  You know how it is with puzzles, there are several areas that are pretty easy to find most of the pieces.
So it's started.  I'm already enjoying it, as I knew I would.  This morning when I got up, instead of going straight to my computer, I sat down with puzzle and 30 minutes flew by just real quick.  Now, I didn't do all of the above in 30 minutes, but it's not a's a process.

Yesterday I got together with a few friends for what has become a monthly sewing/craft session.    Kay was working on panda ears for her grandson's music program coming up next week.
 Linda took time from the hand stitching on her dresden plate project to help Carolyn get familiar with the sewing machine.  She's working on a ruffled tote bag. 
I was real pleased with the progress I made on a couple of wall hangings.  Sorry, no pics of me actually doing something!  It was a nice day, and made me think of the old time quilting bees, and how the ladies would come together to quilt and visit.  It's a concept that still works.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

secret sister revealed!

I've been a part of the Secret Sister swap on the HGTV quilting/sewing message boards for the past year.  This month was our "reveal", and we finally got to know for sure who our sis is.   I was glad to have my suspicions's Quiltygal in Kentucky!   She's been more than generous all year long, and so considerate...never late and paid attention to what I liked/wanted.   

Yesterday I checked the mail 2 or 3 times, thinking her package would arrive, but sigh, it didn't.  So about 6:00 in the evening I settled in for my evening snooze, er, resting time watching tv.  I heard a tap on the door, and lo and behold, I got mail!  UPS actually.  ;)      In the package was a nice little Christmas card introducing herself and enclosed was a picture of her and her hubby.   She also included a snowman tin with homemade cookies inside (yum!); a scrapbook-type recipe book for me to write my recipes and include photos and comments about the dish; and knowing how I like the little French chef kitchen accessories, a set of 4 dishtowels and a 7 piece set that includes pot holders and dishcloths as well as more towels.  Thanks Audrey, aka Quiltygal. 

On the flip side of this, the secret sister I sent to was dtigger!   Here are a few of the things I sent her over the year.  I couldn't post pictures earlier because she could have figured out my identity, but here they are.  Mainly I'll show the ones that have things I made in them.

Can you guess that dtigger is a fan of Tigger, from Winnie the Pooh?  On the right is a journal and the journal cover I made for her.   One of these days I'll make one for myself.  The Bon Appetit was a little kit I put together with a pattern and the fabrics to make it.

Since she likes dragons, one month I made a pillowcase and embroidered a little dragon on it.  I really like that one.  Who knew I'd be embroidering dragons???

And recently you saw my little oven witch with her dangly legs.  Well, dtigger got one of those too, along with some other Halloween goodies.
And, I made her one of the redwork Santa's that I've posted about.  Here's hers:

What's next on the agenda, after all this excitement?  Well, the Secret Santa Stocking Swap is in the works, and we'll be opening those on the 18th.   I'll keep you posted.  :) 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

lunch with Rhett

I had lunch at school with Rhett just before Thanksgiving break.  Sorry to say, I forgot to take my camera.  However, there was a mom sitting at our table, and she graciously took our picture and emailed it to me.  Thanks, Jordan's mom!

Elise joined us for the lunch, but you can tell her attention was occupied elsewhere.  With all the kids, there was so much to see!

Great day...lunch with 2 of my 4 grandkids!  Thanks for inviting me, Rhett.  :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

happy birthday to me, happy birthday to la la la la

Another year has slipped away.  No, that's not right.  Another year I've been blessed to enjoy everyday to the fullest.  Great kids and grandkids.  Retirement (that was a biggie!).  Time with my brothers and sisters. Time with friends.

Looking forward to see what all being 61 has to offer!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ah, a mystery...and a turkey...and some quilting

I got out this weekend with long-time friends Karen and Monica and went to dinner and a mystery theater to see Web of Mystery.  This was the first time I'd been to this community theater production, and I'm sure I'll go back for another one.  It was a nice small venue, maybe seating 60-75 people.   Very affordable evening, $11 well spent for a couple hours entertainment.  Now I want to check out some of the groups closer to home.

Karen and Monica and I were co-workers quite a few years ago.  As life happens, they moved on to other positions, and I stayed in my "other position" that took me through to retirement.  They're a few years younger than me, but the age difference hasn't mattered.  We still get together at least 3-4 times a year to keep up with what's happening. 

Here's Monica.
And here's Karen (she's the baby of the group):

I picked up a turkey Sunday for Thanksgiving dinner.  It's not every year that I cook one, so I made a call to the turkey hot line.  When I mentioned it to Elizabeth, she got a bit of a laugh out of it.   She was surprised that 1) there's a turkey hot line, 2) that I knew about it, and 3) that I called!  Hey, it takes a smart woman to know when to call for help!

And, last but not least, here's my quilting update.  I did this little snoman wall hanging, and didn't realize till after the binding was on that it was a bit wonky at the top border.  The first picture is kind of propped on the couch and you may not be able to tell, but I could.  I stewed about it for a few days, back and forth on whether I should rip it and redo.  Well, I finally did, and it didn't take all that terribly long...and I feel a lot better about it, so it was worth it.  


I know, it may not be a noticeable difference, but, sometimes its just a matter of doing something you need to do.  :)

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  Count your blessings, you may be surprised at how many you have.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

been busy this week

Been busy this week.  Little Elise is really getting around now, hence Grams is really getting around!  No complaints though,  I'm enjoying the time with her.

My wall hangings that I've been working on are almost finished.  Just need to bind one, then attach the hanging sleeves.   There is one that I'm considering doing some frog stitching on (rip it, rip it), and may do that today, but all in all, I'm at a good point.  A few other little things to finish, but it's all coming together.

Here's where I am so far.  Now this first one looks pretty wonky, but it's propped on the couch.  The others are laying flat.

There's a dresden plate pattern too, but it's not ready for a picture.

I wish I could say they were perfect, but, sigh, they're not.  Kind of like me maybe???

And, on another note, today is sister Sue's birthday.  She's Karen to a lot of the world, but as I understand it, Dad called her Suzy Q when she was a baby, so she's Sue to a lot of the family.   Happy birthday, sis!

And . . . this is my 200th post in bloggerland.  Who knew I had so much to say???

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Nice day today

I spent the day today with a few friends, working on sewing/quilting projects.  Linda and Kay and I have gotten together a few times now, about once a month.  It started because Linda asked me to show her and Kay how to make a t-shirt quilt.  They were so enthused, and we all had a good time, so we got together again the next month, then again today.  And Carolyn joined us today, working on her first sewing project in years.  It's funny how life takes us full circle...we took the "home ec" classes in junior high and high school, sewed a few things here and there, usually filling a need.  Then the time comes, often after many years of not picking up a needle, when we're back at it again.  There's a difference now though...this is because we enjoy it, and enjoy the process.  To start with a thought and see it through to a tangible object that we can touch and say "I made that"...priceless.

As part of our day, we had a little pot luck lunch.  I fixed tortilla soup, and the others brought the makings for tostadas, some cheese and crackers, and a cake.  Yummo!

Shifting gears a bit, I got my November package from my secret sister.  Since my birthday is this month (its on the 28th, same as Shawkl) she included a nice little custom made wall hanging.  Suits me just perfect...a little wagon loaded with flowers, and in shades of purples on a cream background.  Since the room that my computer is in has a bit of a garden theme (other than the crib and toys for the grandkids), it will fit in quite nicely.  The identity mystery will come to a close with next month's package.

By the way, Shawkl is having a 7 day giveaway, that's coming to a close soon.  Hop on over and see what she has to say.  I met her this summer at a little retreat I went to outside of Houston.  A very nice and talented lady, so willing to share her knowledge.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

check off another project!

Back in mid-September I decided to make some color rolls to hold colored pencils for the grandkids for Christmas.  I got started, then as usual life got in the way.  Well, lo and behold, today I got back to it and finished the first of the three.   I got the idea from someone's blog to color coordinate the pockets to the colors of the pencils, but changed it up a bit to suit me.  And well, to make it easier on the kids' moms.  Instead of having a ribbon to tie the roll up, I made a velcro tab.    So, here's 4 year old Ashlynn's colored pencil roll.

Here it is rolled up.

I've got two more to make.  One for 5 year old Rhett, and one for 8 year old Lily.  They're started, so shouldn't take too long.

And how about those Rangers???!!!!!  I'm not usually a big sports enthusiast, but I have to say I'm proud to see our Texas Rangers make it to the World Series.   And I've even got the t-shirt!    GO RANGERS!!

Have a good week...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

another ufo finished!

I finished the Vacation Memories quilt.  Turned out to be lap size, which will work well this winter when I want a little something over my legs while watching tv. 
It always amazes me on this type of quilt how much arranging and rearranging takes place.  I started out with bigger t-shirt squares, and huge bandanas.  I decided it gave a better balance to trim things down, since I didn't want a huge quilt. 

Another ufo is done!  Woo hoo!!!

Also, here's a Happy Birthday to Elizabeth.  It was actually yesterday, and we met for lunch. Yes, this picture has been shown before, but it's one of my favorites of her (and Elise just happens to be in it).

Have a good week...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

family time and geocaching

Sister Nolene joined me on Sunday to head over to Arkansas to see sister Sue and her family for a quick visit.  Had a nice time, and picked up a few geocaches along the way.

We made a stop at the Arkansas Welcome Center just a few miles out of Texarkana, and picked up two caches there.  Nice way to stretch my legs and get a touch of exercise.  Wouldn't want to overdo.  They were probably the requisite minimum distance apart of 1/10th of a mile, which wasn't bad at all.  We did see a snake in one, which was a little disconcerting (also a little bit plastic-y), but all in all, fine.  These were our only caches on the way to Sue's.

Today as we headed home, we decided to take a bit of a scenic route, and headed down Hwy. 259, through Daingerfield (hi Sherry!), over to Gilmer, turned onto 155 and caught 20 to bring us on home.  We found a couple more caches in Daingerfield, and one was especially interesting.  Remember the old drive-in theaters?  One was hidden there, and it was so overgrown that it was practically invisible from the road.  Indeed, had we not been looking for it, we'd have flown right on by.  Here's the booth from days gone by where you'd stop to pay the entrance fee.
 Here's the listing for the cache in case you're interested.

We also found  a couple more in cemeteries along the way, and wherever people decided to hide them.  Here's more info on geocaching.

Driving down Hwy 155, we came across some interesting names for streets.  I have a feeling they were probably county roads that had been given regular names at some point, that happened to us when we lived in Burleson about 20 years ago.  These were Snapdragon, Begonia, Nasturtium, and Periwinkle, as well as Iris, and Hydrangea.  Really rather fitting in the country setting.  This was on the stretch before we got to Gilmer.

Changing subjects, my vacation memory quilt is at the quilter's.  Ty wasn't able to fit it into her schedule for several weeks, so my friend Linda has a friend who quilts.  Linda recently completed her first t-shirt quilt, and took both hers and mine to her friend.  I'm looking forward to getting it back.  Be assured I'll have to post a picture of it when I can finally say it's complete.

Guess that's it for right now.  Catch you later.  : )