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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas !!

Merry Christmas to you in whatever language you say it!

We are STILL having a White Christmas. Something we haven't had in several years. I'm glad the kids enjoy it. Our family has decided Christmas is about children, so dedicate all our resources to the younger generation. Here's a photo of one of the youngest ones with her new sled.
Hubby just came in and asked when breakfast would be ready so today's post will be short I guess. (Trying to be nice to him since it's Christmas !!) Just kidding! I DIDN'T tell him I'm busy QUILTING!! (I was trying to get caught up with the mystery quilt over at A Pocketfull Of Mysteries. Ah, well, there's always tomorrow! Hehe!! I'm sure I'll be too tired after we get home tonight.
Love, Peace and Joy to each of you.
Christmas Thanks,
That Jesus came to offer salvation to each of us ( Not sorry if you don't like that, it's how I feel. You can believe in whatever you wish. Not trying to tell you what to believe.)
Beautiful Morning--the SUN is shining, however briefly
AND my new Janome MC6600P (my early Christmas from Hubby)

Monday, December 22, 2008

And Still More Snow

This is a photo of a set of placemats and coasters I made and quilted for a friend who loves cats in a big way!

I babysit for my daughter who lives about 40 miles away. Usually it's about a 45 minute drive. It took us 2 HOURS last Thursday, so hubby is taking me over there this evening as he has work tomorrow and I need to be there by 7 a.m. (YUK!!!) So I'm trying to get myself ready to go. I'd much rather lie down in front of the TV and take a nap! It seems that's where I do my best sleeping(laughing). Especially during my favorite TV show, Dr. House.

I think we have close to two feet of snow now. Sigh. Maybe more, it just keeps coming down. I hear Portland has relief in sight, but I hold out no hopes for our elevation. Hubby said MAYBE it would melt by March! If we're lucky! I think we've entered the next ice age!!! I saw a weather map yesterday and it appeared that you could go from Seattle, WA to New York State without ever getting out of the snow. Everything North of the Mason-Dixon Line! Ok. That's it, I'm moving from the Northwest to the Deep South, maybe Florida or Puerto Rico!!

I got a really bright idea while sorting through my quilting stash. I came across some Dale Ernhardt fabric. (Son-in-law is REALLY into him in a BIG way) It has 7" or so #3 race car on it and his signature etc. I cut out a car, the signature, and a large 3. I have some checkered flag fabric for the back. I'm going to machine embroider Owen's 1st Christmas on the back, and then fuse the back and front together, maybe add a decorative stitch around the edges. I thought it would make a cute ornament to commerate his first Christmas. We'll see how it turns out. And of course, I have to do a Tink for his big sister, Aspen.

I've been being pulled in so many other directions that I've given up on doing the quilt for my Mom for Christmas, maybe Mother's Day!! Doing that has really taken a huge load off me. It's like I can relax and actually ENJOY the holidays now.

Hubby just called from the shop and said he's about ready to take off. Oh what joy! And the heater is sadly unable to keep up with our near-zero weather. I'm NOT looking forward to this trip !! I've got 2 pair of tights, 3 pair of socks and a heavy pair of pants on. Also a heavy sweater and sweatshirt with a hoodie. I've got a VERY heavy coat that Hubby bought me many years ago, a stocking cap and the coat has a hood. I think I trew in 3 pair of gloves. Think I'll be able to keep warm? I will be SOOOO glad when Spring comes!

I'm going to be doing a mystery quilt called Moasic Tiles. I've never done a myserty quilt before so this sounds like fun.

Also I've seen a quilt called Storm at Sea that I want to do. I wish I could find the photo of it again. It was really unusual. It had been quilted from the back I think and really made the rolling of the sea stand out. I've seen other interpretations of this pattern, but this was the most striking. Also another one I'd like to do soon I don't remember the name of but the block is a star that is made with various strips on each 'arm' of the star. Looked like really an awesome way to get rid of those 'scraps' that we quilters just can't seem to part with. Recently I saw some fabric postcard that a friend had done with selvege edges. How's THAT for re-purposing? I've never even THOUGHT of saving them, but after seeing what she had done, I went digging through the trash!! Now to just have enough time!!

I need to find somewhere in here to put a TV. I've been watching all the storm coveraege lately instead of keeping my 'nose to the grindstone.' NOT GOOD. TV isn't THAT important. I usually keep the volume up so I can hear it in here. If there is anything that sounds interesting I can always go in there and see what's happening.

If I don't get back before Christmas,

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas


Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow, Snow, Everywhere

It makes me think of those lines from the Ancient Mariner, "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink."

The trees were so laden down Keith had to brush the snow off so they wouldn't break. We have more snow from this continued storm than we've had total for the last several years. This is really unusual. Normally the first few snowfalls are just a few inches, and they melt away. This is our first snow and it appears as though it's here to stay. Of course, who knows? With our crazy weather it could warm up and all be melted by Christmas.
This is more like the winters were many years ago. I've always heard that the weather goes in cycles. It appears that we are headed back to the hard winters. I've seen photos of Multnomah Falls when it was frozen over. I believe that was the winter of '52. Anyway, it was in the early 50s.
I remember as a child in Portland when the snow was so deep we made tunnels under the snow. And then there was a Silver Thaw. (They call them ice storms now.) Silver Thaws were so pretty. As a child one doesn't think about how the roads are, or the damage to the trees, etc.
Just the term sounds much nicer than ice storm!
Stay warm and dry,
Happiness List
I'm happy the power hasn't gone out.
I'm happy I've no place I HAVE to be today.
I'm happy my pets enjoy being in the house with me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mercy! It's been a week since I posted here. I've been very busy trying to finish up the GIFTS!

According to my favorite weather site it is -3 right now. Yes, you read that correctly! MINUS THREE!! Oh, burr! No wonder, that although the temp SAYS it is 75 in here, it feels chilly.

I haven't used a sewing machine with a knee control for YEARS. Evidentally old habits die hard. My new machine has a knee LIFT for the presser foot. I've found that trying to sew with the lift partially raised does not let itself to nice looking sewing. Hehe!!

Only four more placemats to quilt and the QUILT to finish. I may JUST make it. Maybe by living on really strong coffee! I also would like to try my hand at fabric postcards. They look like 'sew' much fun. Family and friends are used to getting their holiday cards AFTER Christmas, so that won't be a problem. I have an idea in mind but I'm not sure I am artistic enough to actually DO it.

The last few nights Hubby has been spending the night out in the shop to keep the wood stove going for his baby chicks. Not a problem. I like the house quiet when I'm concentrating, no distractions.

One of these days I'll sit down and actually figure out how to post photos on here. It makes blogs more interesting to be able to SEE what the writer is referring to. Well...what do you know? I've been looking in the wrong spot. I just found a button that says "Add Image" Now what's my excuse?

I've been told that if you keep a journal and write down just three things you are thankful for each day, it will make you a happier person. are three things for today.

I'm thankful Christmas is still 8 days away
I'm thankful our oldest is coming home for the holiday
I'm thankful I can stay home safe and snug for a couple days

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Remind Me Next Year

Next year I'm going grocery shopping BEFORE Thanksgiving and buy enough for the entire month of December. I couldn't believe it! The grocery store itself wasn't TOO crowded but people were practically fighting over the parking spaces. Oh, mercy! Wish I could just buy EVERYTHING on the internet and stay at home!

I got the fabric I needed to finish 2 sets of placemats/coasters. Then I just need to get this quilt done. Then it's on to second granddaughter's quilt. I was given the pattern for the cutest kitties that I'm going to use as the border around the center of the quilt. Think of a fan quilt with kitty heads and tails. She wants a black and white cat in the center (tuxedo type colors) so I was thinking of doing these 'fan' kitties in black/white/pink. She's also a VERY pink girl. She loves pink.

I've got the batting and backing for the quilt crying to be finished. There's really nothing stopping me, and all that. Granddaughter #2 is coming for the weekend so I really NEED to cook something and not let her think her Grandma is TOTALLY into her sewing machine.

Would you believe? I came up two inches short on one of the borders on that quilt. I just can't believe it. I measure and remeasure before I cut. Oh GRRRR!!! I'm really tempted to just cut that much off the width of the top and bottom borders. I don't want a TWO INCH piece at the end of one border. I'm So disgusted! I've got to make up my mind how I'm going to fix this problem and get on with it. It reminds me of the old game, "Heavy, Heavy, Hangs Over Thine Head."

Hubby thinks I'm nuts, but I took a picture of the head of his dog, Ringo. Then I printed it on some of that printable fabric that you can run through the printer. I adhered that with double sided stiff stabilizer to an old cordoroy Christmas stocking. Now she has a personalized stocking. Poor Daisy has to make do with one that once belonged to our beloved Lindy, the Cocker Spaniel. Maybe I could cover up the knit-in Cocker with a picture of her. Hmmm. Not sure how it would stick to sweater-knit fabric. I could always make her one of her own.

Three Things I'm Thankful for Today

I didn't get crushed in the shopping crowd

Our friend has made it through heart surgery she's in her 80s)

I have a warm home--it may not be what I would like but it's warm and dry)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rainy Sunday... Good Quilting Day

With much trepidation I suqared up the corners of my first un-square quilt. I basically had to breathe in, breathe out as I CUT the crooked side of the quilt. So, for better or's trimmed.

Now to cut the borders, sew them on, and then the BIG deal of quilting it. The last quilt I did was tied with embroidery floss. Not hard to do but a real back-killer Not to mention trips to my sister-in-law who has quilt frams. Right then I decided I WAS going to learn machine quilting. Nothing fancy for this quilt. Just Sittch In The Ditch.

I've got this new Janome just itching to show me what it can do!! I got the MC6600P. It has the Accu-Feed System. I've played around on "sandwiched" scraps. For the non-quilters who may read this, that is top, batting, and backing.

I'm being a real coward about doing all this since the quilt is a Christmas gift. I want it to be perfect as it can be.

Hubby's chicken flock grew in size over the weekend. Friday morning his order of 25 chicks arrived safe and sound from Texas. I was really concerned that this time of year they would arrive as frozen chicken nuggets! The hatchery included 2 extra so they must have had the same thoughts. So his flock has grown from five hens and three roosters. We have a friendly neighborhood fox who just LOVES our chicken yard. Hopefully we have the fox-friendly places fixed os it can't get in again.

It isn't getting that cold here in our area but the Border Collie has decided that at her age she NEEDS to be a house dog. Hubby thinks she stay out alll day and only comes in after dark. She's so sneaky!! As soon as he's gone, she's ready to come back in the house.

Picture this in your mind's eye. The Mini Doxi has one of those cute little beds, even wth a cover over it so she can 'hide.' It sits under the table my computer monitor is on. The Border Collie goes over there and stands and looks and looks. You ca just imagine her thinking, Why does that little beast get such a nice, soft bed and I have to lie on the floor? So I took pity on her.

I love to re-purpose things. While searching around for something to make her a bed from I found a VERY old sleeping bag. I was at the local fabric store where there was a $3/yard sale on some "not very pretty" fabrics. One piece was like what was referred to as cotton duck years ago. I bought enough to make a pillowcase style cover for the sleeping bag.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy`

I've been so busy lately sewing with my new machine that I've hardly touched the computer. I do have a couple of placemats and matching coasters done. I need to search through the stach and see if I can find another fabric to make two more. I've also finished the two quilt tops that I was working on. Now the big job of squaring them up and doing the quilting!

And, of course, there's the never-ending mending basket. I'm short so most everything needs to be shortened if I don't want to look like I'm wearing clothes that would fit my mother in length.

Christmas shopping is nearly done, one grandchild left to get gifts for. Hooray!! Since our family has grown so large, the adults have come to the conclusion that Christmas is for kids. So most of the gifting goes to them and just small things for the rest of us. Really makes life simpler.

Hubby is building me a new sewing table. It's a challenge to come up with a design that will fit in this teeny tiny space but yet be large enough. We've finally decided on a modular design. I'm getting so anxious for it to be done. I've been going through things I thought I needed in here so I'll have room for it. Thank God for large storage sheds.

I'm hoping this finds all of you:
In control of Chiristmas, not the other way around
Enjoying life