the joys of a laptop!!!

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my amazing brother gave me his old laptop when he bought a new one last week!  i’m so excited and how did i ever live without a laptop!  now i can surf the net faster, it isn’t a freezing nightmare to post stuff, and i can lie in bed watching movies till midnight!!!  so, the plan is to post more often, and to post some pics of what i’ve been up to lately!

I just basted a 9″ potholder to get it ready for quilting.  I read a couple of books on art quilting and have fallen in love…on the basted potholder i fused some flower motifs and then embroidered around the outsides of each flower…i love this technique!  now i have to buy a leather thimble (i hate the old metal ones) because my pointer finger is sore from all the pushing of the needle!  i really like doing embroidery because i can do it in front of computer while watching a movie…

my plan is to focus on art quilts instead of bed quilts…one of the books i used is Fabric Collage Quilts by Joanne Goldstein…i checked it out of the library and have to give it back (will probably check it right back out!)…i located it on Amazon so naturally i’ll have to get my own copy eventually!  i want to treat the quilts like i treat my watercolors and oil paintings…i have so many ideas….one of them is to do a quilt of my sisters chihuahua (sp?) Kandy who I’ve fallen in love with and threated to put in a sombrero or beret and steal her on a daily basis!  i am drawn to fabrics and found a love of sewing through my grandmother and mother, both of whom sewed all through my childhood…i hope to pass it on to my grandaughter!  right now life is good for me, and i hope its good for you too!  happy crafting!

flying geese everywhere!

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i just finished sewing up my first ever flying geese block…it was so easy and fun to do and now i am obsessed with all things flying geese!  i received 2 books a few days ago…one was Beginners Guide to Free Motion Quilting by Natalia Bonner.the other was 130 Mini Quilt Blocks: A Collection of Exquisite Patchwork Blocks using Ready made Fabric Bundles (whew! long title!!!) by Susan Briscoe…the mini quilt block book is where i learned to do the flying geese block…mini blocks are fun because they go so fast and you can make potholders, pillows, bookcovers, and mini totes as well as table runners, and quilts! 

so that is how i spent this 100 + degree afternoon…under the air conditioning happily sewing away after icing 30 cupcakes for a friend’s little girl’s birthday at school…neon colors to match my flying geese block!

another great trip to the library!

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I went to the library this morning for preschool storyhour and found an amazing book!  it’s the quilter’s album of patchwork patterns by jinny beyer…I MUST HAVE IT…!!!  found it on Amazon for 33$ (the library lists the book as 50$)  It has 4050 blocks in it…i am perusing it right now…it’s amazing!!! can’t wait to get my paper, pencil and 45 degree triangle together so i can dig in and make some blocks…I’m also interested in getting software for making block patterns on the computer and if anyone has experience in this area i’d love to hear from you…i have sewn some, though mostly just experimenting with the free motion foot…i did make the body of a potholder and need to get material for the backing and bindings…making a set of two with alternating patterns…will post pic when finished…not much else going on…now i’m off to bake some snickerdoodles!  ciao everyone!!!

free motion quilting is fun!

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i have been trying out my darning foot and having lots of fun!  so far i’ve only worked on scraps of  fabric with batting in the middle…it’s a bit scary to have to control the fabric, but at the same time it’s fun to see the wiggles and swirls magically appear on the pieces!  i want to try to draw some pics and then quilt them…simple stuff like flowers or smiley faces!  i need to make a quilt for my granddaughter so she can go nite nite with it!

i also have to get some pics printed out this week so i can start painting again.  my son has been painting up a mad storm and it is making me long for the smell of fresh oil paint again!

there really isn’t much going on this week, but i wanted to touch bases with everyone so you wouldn’t think i dropped off the ends of the earth!  mostly reading, cooking (potstickers on sunday!!!),  quilting, and watching grandbaby…all of my favorite things!

a moment before i go…

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didn’t want to let too much time go by between posts, so i am writing before i dash off in an hour for the local library storyhour!  my mom gave me a darning foot last week and i am in love!  so far i’ve only used it on scraps to learn how to use it, but it is addictive and so much fun to use!  i’m going to whip up some potholders and a fabric baby book for granddaughter…i’ve got some ladybug prints and some ants on red checks that i think would be fun for both projects…

the wind has been blowing like crazy here and doesn’t seem to want to stop…it’s driving everyone crazy (me included!) with allergies…it also was 85 degrees yesterday, and supposed to be 87 today…so i guess maybe a little wind isn’t so bad…

i put together a brand spanking new office chair for my sewing/painting area the other day…it’s nice and comfy and ready for hours of sewing or painting…i’ve been looking at california painters and their works…i’ve decided to haul my camera with me when i go out from now on because i want to start a series of landscape paintings…i’ve never done landscape paintings and would like to give it a whirl…i don’t think mine will be realistic per say…probably more abstract focusing on the colors…i have a super nice nighttime photo that i’m anxious to try…gonna start small and work my way up!

well, almost time to go…take it easy everyone and remember to smile today!

I’m back!!!

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i cant believe how long since my last post…i missed not writing, but have been busy with non knitting/crafty stuff….babysitting, reading, etc…so i thought i’d catch up on things…

right now i’m in the middle of watching past seasons of amazing race (on season 10 right now) on hulu plus while simultaneously reading the silver linings  playbook…both are excellent activities and i highly recommend them…

in awhile company is coming for sushi night…it will be my first time making it and i am excited to try my hand at it…my daughter and my son’s girlfriend both say it is super easy to make…the other day i bought some at the store and it was 7.99!!!  if i can make it at home i am all for it!

craftwise i have been in limbo for no other reason than i have been lazy about it all…my mom bought me a couple of nifty quilting tools…one is a foot that makes these neat little flowers, a quilting attachment that lets you measure your lines, and a darning foot for free motion quilting…i am super excited about the last one…i told everyone they are getting potholders this christmas so i can practise free motion work!

i also set up my easel so i can get to painting again…i owe my sister a painting of my mom when she was little, and then i am going to do some paintings from old family photos…i also want to try my hand at landscapes…something i’ve never done, but am interested in trying out…

so, as you can see, i have great ambition, i just need the drive…but pump me up with caffeine, and i can get a lot done (i just got a cuisinart burr grinder for coffee beans!)!!!

so, i hope you will not abandon me, and i promise to be more diligent in my typing…believe me when i say i appreciate everyone who stops by to see what is up in my little corner of northern california!

ciao for now!

attack of the four legged terror!

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greetings all…thought i would catch everyone up on whats going on in northern california…at the moment we are in the middle of a four day storm to include rain in the buckets (think cats and dogs and throw in elephants and lions!) and a terrible wind…there’s been some flooding, though not in my area, and downed trees and loss of electricity in some places…

i have been having a fight with my puppy dog…he gets bored when we’re gone and has made it his mission to destroy the carpeting on my landing in the front room by the door…he chewed a hole through the carpet and padding right down to the cement underneath…i covered it with a small kitchen rug hoping it would fool him, but when my back was turned he tried to chew it also!  i scolded him and he seems to know he’s doing wrong…i’m at my wits end…he’s worse than the grandbaby…!  and i had to move my sewing stuff upstairs to keep her chubby little hands off everything!  i had to put all paper in plastic tubs lest sir woofington decided the chew it all up…the carpet is the last thing out that he can chew!  if anyone has any ideas let me know please…before i lose what little sanity i have…

made it though turkey time and now it’s on to christmas…i bought a cute toy for my granddaughter today for xmas-its a giraffe you push down on and these popping balls pop up and down…somehow i won’t be surprised if it’s a toy that stays at grammys house!  sunday morning i clean the carpet and then go down to buy supplies for cookie/bread/fudge making…i love this time of the year…my sister has her tree up and it is really beautiful…we won’t have one this year, but i’m buying one in jan when they are marked down for next year…grandbaby will be 2 then and will know more about christmas!  can’t wait!

it was a good thanksgiving…family all gathered together…we haven’t spent the holiday together for 20 years and it was great to laugh and joke and remember those days gone by when we were all still at home…we had a health scare with my mother right after and she had to go to the hospital and have a blood transfusion but she is doing much much better…i hope you all have a great holiday filled with much love and joy…take the time to say i love you and enjoy even the most smallest of things…babies grow up and leave home but hopefully they come back with their little ones to repeat the cycle all over again…happy holidays everyone!

gobble, gobble, y’all!~

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cleaning up around the kitchen/sewing area so i can start the christmas rush after thanksgiving is over with…next year i vow to be prepared months in advance…i’m going to make a lot of gifts so i can work on them throughout the year…that’s my plan anyway…

today i woke up to a bunch of chewed up things care of our new puppy woofy…he’s an adorable little grey doggie who’s two main problems are chewing stuff constantly and pooping on the rug…at least his poop is small! i love him to pieces but the chewing’s got to stop (the pooping too!)…

this week my grandbaby and i had a battle of wits and she won…i was trying to keep her out of the kitchen area because of the sewing machine…i won the short war managing to keep her in the front room (she’s walking everywhere now), but she won the main war…i’m moving my sewing stuff upstairs to my bedroom!  fortunately my room is sunny enough…what i loved about downstairs is the front room window and sliding glass door in kitchen faced each other so you got a lot of light…but Haylee is just into everything…it’s fun watching her grow each day…she’ll be a year next month!  how time flies…

grandma’s pinking shears…

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remember last month my mom gave me an afghan my grandma crocheted?  well just a few days ago she gave me grandma’s pinking shears…they’re big and nice and still cut fabric beautifully!  it is so nice to have a part of grandma here with me as she is no longer with us…it means so much to me to have a part of her in my home…i wish she were here still to meet and play with my grandbaby…that grandbaby will be 1 year old next month!  how time has flown by!  she can walk and she “talks”…and every day is pure heaven when she’s around…she’s got the same mischevious little smile her dad had when he was her age…it’s like looking at him again when i see her…i have been scoping out presents for her for xmas and her birthday, both next month…i plan to begin planning for next year’s holiday season beginning in feb and doing just a little bit each month…i want her 2 year birthday/xmas to be special from her grammy!  this year she’s still young and doesn’t really know what’s going on, other than she loves to tear things open…

i got a new cookie gun the other day…gonna try it out when i have a free moment…weekdays are filled with errands and babies…oh, and i’ve been making lots of homemade bread thanks to my mom who gave me a bread machine awhile back!  i love it!

i will get back to crafting soon…my chewy puppy ate one of my gloves today…we have to keep stuff up off the floor, but he’s learned how to get onto the computer chair and get stuff we’ve put up…but now i have an excuse to make a new pair!

we are having thanksgiving dinner at my sisters house…my mom, sister, and brother will be down…i’m baking a ham…there will be turkey, stuffing, and lots of other stuff…i’m gonna make some kind of dessert…i hope all of you reading this have a very happy turkey day…gobble gobble!!!

 

has it really been that long?!

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yikes…sept 9 is my last post…all i can say is i’ve been busy busy busy! unfortunately not on crafty stuff…mostly with my grandaughter who is turning 1 year in december!  she’s gotten so big…learned to walk and runs grammy around the house like crazy now!  have to put stuff up now cause she’s in explorer mode!  she gets such a look of delight as she toddles off into the kitchen where she knows i don’t want her!  and the other day she looked up at me and it was like looking at baby mike (my son, her daddy)  all over again…the mischevious little grin on her face letting you know she’s either done something great or is about to!  it has been a time of awe and wonder for me…

also, i am about to embark on cookie/fudge making for the holidays…i just ordered a wilton cookie gun which i am all excited about…i want to make some spritz cookies which i’ve eaten (and love love love) but never made…i’m also going to glaze and decorate sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies…i bought a high powered coffee maker and i love it…will need massive amounts of caffeine to get through the holidays!

also to share the holidays my sister and her family moved in next to me…it has been so great being reunited with them all…she has two kids, a boy and a girl, and i am excited getting to know them (it was 20 years since i had seen my family)…so this holiday is about old and new joys…about remembering old traditions and forging new traditions…

one last thing…my mother gave me a ripple afghan my grandmother made a long time ago…it’s a rainbow afghan and is in perfect shape…i don’t know how after all these years it’s still looking snappy, mine seem to loose shape after a bit of wear and tear…this one was on my grandma’s couch, i even have old photos of her sitting on said couch…my grandmother has passed away some time ago…the other night i was sick and so i lay on the couch watching the young and the restless bundled up in grandma’s afghan…it was like being little debbie again, curled up under a blanket made by my grandma, safe from the evils of the world!  it made me think of her and what a great strong woman she was…i can only hope to be half as strong as her and my mother have been…