Sunday, May 25, 2014

Woo Hoo!

I got 100% on my first test...only 26 more to go by Aug. 10. :O

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Slacker...kind of

Ok, I know I'm a slacker. I've been meaning to post for ages but you know how life is. This is the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway week and I really wanted to take part again but I didn't have anything ready, so maybe next time. You can check out the other giveaways here.

I do have an excuse though. I've decided to go back to school and get a second degree...this time, a BS in Nursing. There's a program at the university I graduated from that allows you to get a BSN in one year if you already have a BA or a BS. First though, I have to take care of 7 prerequisites, 3 of which I have to redo because my sciences are well past the 5 year expiration date. So, I'm trying to do 5 of the 7 classes during the summer while my kids are taking a break from homeschooling, leaving me only 2 to manage during the "school" year. Classes officially start Monday but I've got my books and have already started working my way through some of them.

I may not post much between now and August but I'll still be checking out other people's blogs.

Wish me luck. :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Design Wall Monday

I don't have anything new that I'm currently sewing because I've been spending time cutting my batiks into nickels, 2.5" strips and the random 2-3.5"x5" brick. This is only one set, I've got another set cut and about 18 more to cut into.

I've also got a little wall hanging that I'm finishing up from teaching a beginning quilting class to 8-14 year old homeschool co-op kids. The 8 and 9 year old boys in the class did far better at this project than the 11-14 year old girls. I should have taken pictures but never thought to bring my camera.

I never got around to showing the last baby quilt I made. I got it delivered just a couple of weeks before the baby's arrival. His 5 year old "big" brother helped pick out a lot of the fabrics for the snowball blocks. I didn't get a close up of the quilting but it's just wavy intersecting lines with loops in the black corners.
Sorry about the shadows. I didn't have time to get a better picture. That's ds2, my 8 yo, acting as official quilt holder, poking his head over the edge of the quilt.

Happy St. Patrick's Day or...

what happened to spring?
Here's a closer look for you.

It feels like we've had about a billion inches of snow this year. Nearly every week since mid-December, schools have been closed at least one day for either extreme cold temperatures or snow-mostly snow. This winter feels more like when I was going to school in Indiana rather than most other winters here in Virginia. I think I can safely speak for a lot of Virginians and say "We'd like spring to start any day now, please!" BTW, this snowfall was predicted at 2-4 in. yesterday afternoon and we're expecting at least another inch. That's another trend this year; the snow totals have been off the mark more often than not exceeding predicted totals.

This was taken two days ago when temps were around 60.

My 8 year old ds just came up with a new concept. He's not homesick, he's warm and sunny days sick. At least they've gotten good use of their sleds this year.

Here's wishing everyone sunny and greener days!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Happy New Year and Design Wall Monday

First off, a belated Happy New Year to everyone! It was a pretty quite night here but enjoyable none the less.


Here is what I'm working on right now. It's the baby quilt that I mentioned, oh, about a month ago. Right now it's at the sandwiched waiting to be quilted stage but I haven't taken another picture. Yesterday was the baby shower but since I've got a little guy running a fever I didn't make it. Which is a good thing, since the present was still waiting to be quilted. The baby is due at the end of the month but, fingers crossed, I'll have the quilt finished by the end of the week. (It just depends on how quickly H. recovers and whether or not anyone else gets sick.) This will be the first quilt I've finished or even worked on since last March.

I haven't been idle though. I've been working on crocheting. I, along with some friends, have made several baby blankets and scarves that were donated to foster children on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. If you're considering ways to give to others, please include the residents of this community in your thoughts. This is one of the poorest counties in this country with many homes holding up to 13 people because of a lack of affordable housing as well as little chance of earning a reasonable income. Instead of asking for monetary donations, this website includes lists of needed items for the various communities on the reservation. (http://friendsofpineridgereservation.org/projects/) You can read more about the reservation here and here.


These three are the items I worked on and the ones below are everyone's contributions together. Aren't the baby hats and dress adorable?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winners!

First, I just want to say thank you to everyone who entered. I loved reading all of the replies. I was reminded of some shows that I had missed and given a heads up on some to check out. (A few of you said you don't have satellite or cable, me either. Everything I watch is floating somewhere out there is cyber space with the exception of a few library picks.)

Now on to the winners...

First pick was #67
Lisa Marie -
I like some of the newer shows on USA Network -- Covert Affairs, White Collar, etc.


Second pick was #159
Jane -
Criminal Minds, Castle, Downton Abbey, and Game of Thrones. Thanks for the give-away.


Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog. I wish I could have given everyone a fabric bundle. But it's was so much fun, I'm sure I'll be doing this again.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Batik Carpenter's Wheel

I've only had one quilt finish this year and it's been done for months. It's a batik carpenter's wheel that I made for dh. I started this around his birthday WAY back in 2010. I hand quilted inside the batik pieces with different variegated threads then machine quilted wavy lines in the black radiating out from the center. It's backed with a black and white word and hearts fabric. (Amour, je t'aime, amour ti amo, I love you repeats) It took some work but I'm happy with how it turned out and dh likes it.

And just for fun, here are pics of some curly icicles that formed on Tuesday after our night of freezing rain followed by more snow.

My Dad


You may have noticed that I haven't posted a whole lot this year. Part of the reason for that is that I've been putting off this post since February. My dad passed away 8 months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He found out just a day or two after his 67th birthday at the end of May. (He hadn't smoked in more than 30 years, but apparently, that didn't matter.) I went out to spend time with him and my sisters in September during which we talked about me bring the kids out once he was feeling up a bit better. He found out in early December that the chemotherapy drugs they were giving him weren't working and that he would have to try and get approval and assistance paying for a newer, much more expensive drug. December 23 he went into the hospital with a collapsed lung. I was on a plane the next day and stayed at the hospital with him for the next week to keep him company and be his advocate with the doctors and hospital staff. He underwent a surgical procedure while I was there to try to keep his chest cavity from filling up with fluid caused by the cancer. It was painful but towards the end of my stay he was doing better, had been approved for the new drug and was set to be released the day after I was scheduled to leave. We spent the week talking about all kinds of things and the last day I was there we talked about plans for the future including him wanting to come out to visit us and his plans to look into working as a fitness instructor for a cruise line. The day I left was the last time I got to see him. Even though we were hopeful, I cried the whole way back to the airport.

One week later, he was back in the hospital with pneumonia. This time, my older sister arranged to go stay with him. The hope was that she would spend a week there while he recovered and started on the new chemotherapy. He was only in the hospital a few days for the pneumonia, but before my sister's week long stay was up he had to be taken back to the hospital for a collapsed lung (this time the other side). The last 2 weeks of his life were spent in the hospital undergoing the same painful procedure, followed by a stoke which left him unable to communicate to anyone when something happened to the tube inserted to drain his chest cavity, apparently causing him so much pain that he went into a catatonic state for hours before anyone could figure out what was wrong. Within days, his body just finally gave up. My older sister called me constantly during her 2 1/2 weeks with our dad including from his bedside the hour before he died and then again to tell me he was gone. Within hours, I was on a plane back to Phoenix to help my sisters plan his memorial and beginning taking care of his affairs.

I'm thankful that my sister's work allows her to telecommute and that her bosses were flexible and understanding when she couldn't get as much work done as normal while helping our dad. I'm sorry that my sister had to see him suffer so much at the end but eternally thankful that he didn't die alone. I'm so grateful that I got to spend that week with him and so very sad that my kids never got to spend much time with him because we lived so far apart. I would make tentative plans to take everyone out to see him but things just never seemed to work out. I knew writing this post would be hard and didn't feel I right posting anything until I did. So, in true procrastinator style, I just stopped posting. I also stopped quilting after I finished dh's quilt which I had brought with me to Phoenix to hand quilt while sitting with my dad. And I stop doing almost any exercise which would make my dad really sad about since he taught 13 exercise classes a week including two the day he went to the hospital at the end of May for trouble breathing because there was over a liter of fluid keeping his left lung from inflating. Even while going through chemotherapy, he would ride his bikes for miles most days.

Growing up, my dad rarely ever got sick. He was always healthy and active, often riding his bike to and from work. My sisters were always more athletic than me and I was never big on being part of a team but I would try from time to time different exercise programs because it made my dad happy. He was never very talkative but tried to be encouraging and supportive of each of his three daughters. He taught us how to enjoy life and not take ourselves too seriously. He was blue collar and had laid back approach to living. I remember him waking us up early in the morning to play in the first snow after moving from FL to TN, doing donuts in snow in our VW bus to get us to laugh, dressing as Lucky Louie the clown for children's church many Sundays when were were young, taking each of us out to eat on our 13th birthdays, giving me a delicate gold caduceus necklace to encourage my desire to become a doctor and always being ready to help me, his artistically challenged daughter, whenever I needed help with making posters and such for school. He could juggle, make balloon animals, rip a phone book in two, play guitar and draw great pictures. He told us stories about learning to ride a unicycle when his sub would surface while in the Navy. During the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, he would walk his black lab down the street while riding his unicycle. When I was in middle school, he joined Master Swimmers where he trained and competed for awhile. On his 49th birthday, he earned a blue belt in Hapkido. For his 50th birthday, he began the process of becoming a certified fitness instructor. He was a volunteer teacher at his local YMCA while he worked full time. He won a body building competition in the senior division. By the time he "retired", he was supplementing his retirement income teaching 13 classes a week in aerobics, pilates and yoga. His students spanned a wide age range including a woman in her late nineties.

He used to say he had a black belt in "corn fu" since he was a master at telling corny jokes. He wore T-shirts with sayings like "I'm out of my mind. Please leave a message." If someone teased him about falling asleep in his chair, he wasn't napping. He had a photographic mind and he was developing the film.

My dad was so many things and he will be missed.

One of the last days I saw may dad. Dec. 2012
The picture we used for his memorial program- happy, healthy and on his unicycle.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I finally have something I'm working on that I can share for Design Wall Monday.

I've been working on cutting a million a bunch of novelty fabrics for a snowball baby quilt for a friend. Although, for the first time ever, I managed to also cut the side of my finger today while I was slicing through fabric. That will teach me to pay more attention to the task at hand (literally).

The baby's due next month so I'm hoping to get the quilt done this week. However, knowing me, I'll probably finish it right before delivery. I, also, want to get some pajama pants made for all of my kids. I picked up some fun flannels at Joann's on Black Friday and can't wait to cut into them.

Enjoy the other Design Walls at Judy's blog.

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day


Welcome to my little corner of cyberspace. I've wanted to join in on the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day for a few years but things just didn't fall in place for me to participate before. Not this year. I've been cutting 5" squares for a baby quilt I'm working on and happened to stumble onto a blog post a few days ago about the giveaway. Since I've cut out more than 500 squares this week, I have fabric to share, ready to go and I have time to post today.

So, without further ado, I'm giving away not 1 but 2 stacks of 64 5" novelty print squares. Both are identical fabrics though the pictures within each square may vary slightly. They come from a range of designers and manufactures from Timeless Treasures Snack Attack to Robert Kaufman Urban Zoologie. They're pretty much gender neutral and if sewn all together in an 8x8 square would make a 36" square for a baby blanket without borders. (I'd suggest borders to make it a little bigger.) Here's what you get...

To win, please leave a comment and answer the question: What is your favorite tv show(s) and/or movie(s)(current or older)? I'm currently hooked on Arrow, Dracula, Supernatural, Doctor Who and The Walking Dead, though I'm also a big fan of Buffy and Firefly. Basically, I like darker shows preferably with a healthy dose of sarcastic humor and I can't pick just one favorite.A commenter just reminded me. I forgot Castle! How could I?

The giveaway ends Friday, December 13 at 8 p.m. EST. I'll pick 2 winners at random either with a random pick generator or numbers in a hat depending on how many comments I get. Please make sure that I can contact you. If you don't have a blog, please include your email addy. If I can't get in touch with you, I'll have to choose someone else.

Good luck and have fun checking out all the great blogs taking part in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!