Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's sneaking up on us!!! BAM! Christmas Eve!!!

I must say - wow!  I missed a week of December due to an adorable little germ-bomb sharing what he had with Nana - sigh - so cute, and so lethal!!  But I've been really moving after I finally felt better.  It may be one of the most productive Christmases lately!!  So in order of pictures loading!!  Here's what I've been up to!

A Christmas tradition - PJ pants for all the Grands!  This year, I beat my old record!  10 pair!!  It's all Mr M's fault ... of course, he would love Seattle Seahawks PJ pants ... why didn't I think of that before the jigsaw puzzle pieces fabric was bought??  And if one Grand gets two pair, all get two pair!!  No there are no new Grands this year - I also make a pair for my Hairdresser's daughter and now our Water Aerobics teacher.  Each has a child the same size of one of my Grands - in theory I can cut two at the same time!  Sometimes that works!

Mr D is of course, super hero pants!!  It's all about the super heroes this year!! and Mr K is too little to care .... yet!!  He got jungle animals and numbers!!  Mom is a Math teacher and I can't resist cute number fabric that I find!

Miss P got a special pair of PJ pants, besides the Dorothy's ruby red shoes - Frog pants.  Alright - learn from my mistake!!  I had a yard-ish of fabric left over from a special quilt.  I've been saving it ... wait for it ... since my DD's HS graduation!!!  The cautionary tale comes in here - don't expect any praise for finally using it from the DH!  I saw his eyes glaze over, thinking that he had to move that fabric TWICE! Now, we'll see if she can figure out what quilt it is in!

We were on the committee for the Christmas Pot luck for Quilt Guild again this year.  A is a great head of the committee - more ideas than anyone can implement in 2 years!!  This year was a beach Christmas.  And we made needle cases - 4 different patterns.  Didn't they turn out great???  A lot of quilters were very carefully feeling the packages to determine what shape was inside!!

Every year, since forever, I wrap some presents like salt water taffy.  Are you old enough to remember that 'special' candy??  My Grandmother Grant loved it.  I hated it!!  BUT when the salt water taffy came out, stick around because the good times are starting!!  And that's how I feel when I wrap presents in this way!  Minis traded FQs and the wrapped very easily as salt water taffy!

Woolies Christmas party is Friday and while I can't say what is in these presents, quite yet, they are wrapped in Christmas fabric!  One year I collected Christmas fabric in hopes of making gift bags that we would use over and over again ... well, I made a couple and the year I used them, I never saw them again!!  They got taken home, or lost in the shuffle???? Who knows - but I'm way too addicted to Christmas wrapping paper to change now!  Check out the Dollar Store for some darn cute wrapping paper!  Some are even double sided!

Water Aerobics car pool is getting tea towels this year.  One friend is wild about elk.  On our 35 mile trip to Crescent City CA pool we usually see at least one herd of elk.  There are 2-3 herds in the area along 101.  The other friend has chickens.  The towels are from Craft Warehouse which is way too good of a store to be clear the heck over in Medford!!  That's 2 1/2 hours away!

Isn't Pinterest dangerous??!?!  I've seen these Nutter Butter Santa cookies a few times and was always tempted.  While looking for something else (isn't that always the way??) at Freddies I found the cookies - so this is the year I made them! Pretty cute!  Notes to myself for next year ...

Melt the white almond bark in microwave, in a mug.  Gives you the depth to coat 1/2 a cookie at a time easily. 4 squares does the whole package of cookies.

I couldn't find red colored crystal sugar anywhere!  But I did find a tube of red frosting and it worked well.  I also used it to stick the Red Hot candy nose on.

Mini chocolate chips are the right size, but a pain to work with.  I used white bark to stick them to the cookie, next year I think chocolate bark wouldn't be so "messy" looking.  If I get myself organized, I can make them the same I make the acorn cookies.  But just a touch of chocolate frosting would work too.

I hope your Christmas is merry and bright!  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

One of my little "adorable little germ bombs" aka grandkids, gave me the ick over Thanksgiving!  It's been "Nana down" for a week now.  And doesn't everyone love to lose a week in December - after all what else do we have to do????  SIGH!

I did get the Christmas letter wrote and it's all sitting right there ready to do cards with ... next to the Kleenex box!!

So let me be the first to wish you the best these holidays!!

Happy Holidays from the Boyds

Our family was together at Thanksgiving this year and what fun we had.  20 month old K is walking/running and absolutely fell in love with L's dogs!  His little laugh "har, har!" made us all smile. The Dalmatian was watching someone make a plate of food at the counter, hoping for a spill and I spotted D standing under her chin, letting her breathe on him.  He had a look of total bliss!!

D is 3 1/2 and very busy.  He loved playing superheros with M and P. (It involved racing thru the house to save someone!) But will sit down anytime to listen to someone read to him. He now wears a great superhero cape (Batman on one side, Superman on the other!) every chance he gets!

P is 8 and in 2nd grade and is loving it. Reading and writing stories, making new friends.  But beware if P challenges you to basketball, she's good!  I am well acquainted with how fast H*O*R*S*E adds up playing against her!! She also started playing the drums this year.  Ba dum bump!!!

M is 6 and in kindergarten, learning to read, and aspires to play the trumpet! He's very into Legos (7+ age sets)  It's a 3D puzzle and he loves it.  He and Papa play chess every visit, and Papa confided to me that he has to pay attention to the game now (not the sports on tv) when they play!! Or he finds himself in sticky situations!!

The year sped by with visits to Nebraska, kids coming to the beach to stay with us, NE friends coming to visit us! Add lots of golf and quilting (including a fabulous quilt cruise last January!), some teen-age whales hanging around in our cove and it's been the best kind of year to have!

Wishing you and yours the best in 2015

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Come take a walk with me

Have you ever had one of those seasons where you're just. well, lazy is part of it.  Under-involved as well as too busy!!  Sounds crazy doesn't it!!  I think I'm living proof that it does happen!  And it's time to break out of it!!

So for the first time in months you and I are going for a walk!!

When we moved to Brookings, one of our favorite things was that we were ON the Coastal Trail.  We can just walk out of our building and there it is!!  It's a fairly easy part of the trail too!  Not much elevation change - just enough to keep you entertained!  We walked it several times a week!  By Hwy 101 it's about a mile to Lone Ranch Beach, but the trail doesn't run along side the highway, it's probably 1 1/2 miles by the trail.

So tie up your walking shoes, bring a sweatshirt because it IS November in Oregon!  And off we go.

I told you it was right outside our door!

This is the most convenient entrance to the E bldg - our scenic adventure starts right away!

But you can also walk past the garage, step over the retaining wall and walk down this path.  Our maintenance man made a bridge over the little creek. 

Once we get to the "trail" we have a wide path ... for a little while!


There are mushrooms/toadstools all around this time of year.  I don't know the difference and try to stay away from anything that might be poisonous!!  It's for the best!

We cross two creeks.  Once over this lovely little bridge and once by scrambling down a steep hill, hopping over the metal culvert and scrambling up the other side.  Be careful, it can be slick!

Here is a lovely little bench to look over the ocean.

The view from the bench.

Be careful of all the roots on the path - this makes a little staircase up the rise.

When two paths diverge in the woods ... remember to always stay on the ocean side!  Sometimes people hang streamers to mark the way.  But you can't rely on them - here one trip, gone the next!

Meet my favorite root!  It looks like something out of "Halloween Three"!!  Aliens among us!

Almost to the overlook at Lone Ranch - you can hear the little creek flowing over the rocks before you can see it.

Ta-Da!!!  We're here!  Take a good look, a deep breath, Misty day here - and it seems to be starting to rain.  That's Oregon for you!!

Okay, back home we go.  It's also fun to just sit on the deck and look at the ocean!  Next "guided tour" will be to the beach!

Thanks for joining me.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Seasons Greetings Dearies!!

My Halloween mantel!  The three Jack O'Lanterns are the UFO I finished as queen.  Thank you, thank you very much!!  It's the equivalent of a pot holder, but a finish is a finish and I'm glad of it!

The three pumpkins are actual pumpkins!  My friend J gave them to me and I was so impressed by what came out of her greenhouse this year!  And the cat jumping over the jack was a treasure I found in Nebraska in August on my visit!  It was still marked down from last year and I grabbed it!

Halloween is like decorating for Christmas but no stress about presents!  That stress will come soon enough.

We had a heck of a storm this weekend here.  DH was off on a golf trip and that's a shame - he loves storms much more than I do!!

It woke me up at 2:15 am on Saturday.  That's hard to do!!  I usually sleep hard in the middle of the night, and we're the middle floor in our condo building - hardly ever hear anything.  AND we don't usually have thunder and lightning here!  I've probably only heard 10 thunder booms since we moved here!!  We've been here 6 1/2 years!!!!

The rain was pounding that hard!  When we looked at the weather station site in our little town on the coast - the storm gave us THIRTY inches of rain in just 2 days!!  Unbelievable!  DH was doubting my definition of a storm - but he's a believer now!!

Stashbusters Online has a reminder for the 25th of each month to work on something "Christmas-y" and I always ignore it!  And I'm always sorry I did.  Well, believe it or not!  This weekend I finished 8 dish towels!  I'd found them in the depths of my closet looking for UFOs during my reign!  Stuffed there after I'd finished some last winter.

They are very simple - meant to be used.  And they are D*O*N*E!  It's a new record for me!  A work session before November!!  Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Well, that's all for today!  I'm off to a Fun Day at Guild.  We're making baby quilts today for the annual baby shower our town has.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Greetings from the Queen of UFOs - oh, NO!!!

Yep, I've reached the top of the UFO list once again.  This year has been a bit of a PIA and I sure didn't pay any attention to how fast I've been ascending that list!  Oh, well!  It is a good chance to boss people around!!  The Queen Says... do this, do that!!!

I told my DH that I was Queen.
DH:  Is that a good thing?
ME:  NO!  If I don't finish something this week, I have to pay a FQ!
DH:  Well, that seems reasonable - but I know how much you hate to give up FQs!!
LOL!  And I thought he wasn't paying attention!!

I did have a successful finish this week - my DDs 10th anniversary is this month.  She wanted a "family portrait" and I made one.  I was very scared about her reaction!!  She can be a little opinionated about home decorations!  And no, I don't really wonder where she got that!!  BUT I'm relieved to say, it was a big hit!  What a relief! Sorry for the reflection in the glass!  Guess it was sunnier than I thought!

Even Meg the Dalmatian was interested in it!!

I had added lots of personalized details and my daughter found them right away!!
Meg had a "heart" spot when she was younger.  M loved purple, so he's in a purple shirt.  L has a favorite necklace, twists her hair over her shoulder when it's drying, is always in jeans and flats.  J has 2 tattoos, worked for Ohio Northern baseball out of college.  Miss P had fake glasses that she loved, is usually in a dress and leggings.  Tonka is of course, the middle dog and Poor Rocky - this is the only time he ever had a halo!!  That chocolate lab loved chewing on stuffed animals - I had to repair alot of them!!

Here's how the family portrait developed: 

I made the people and dogs individually; then appliqued them to the background.

If I do another one - I would make the background darker - the faces tended to blend too well.  I ended up re-coloring the faces - that was nerve wracking!!  And then outlining them in black to get them to show up!!

There is both machine quilting and hand quilting on the piece.

I tried Jo Morton's framing technique.  Sewing the quilt to the matting!  It's scary to start but I liked how it turned out.  The tip that helped is - do all your figuring and drawing on the back of the mat!!  Duh!!

On the back, mark the center, vertical and horizontal.  Measure the quilt, divide by 1/2 and then mark the lines from the center to where the quilt edges will be.  Double check, okay then check one more time!!!  

Start poking holes through the mat from the back with a large needle.
Poke those holes just inside the drawn lines - it helps keep the stitches from showing and the quilt from stretching!!  Your thread should match the MAT!!  Seems backward, but it helps to float the quilt!  

Lay your quilt on top of the mat - check the placement of the holes.

Start from the back of the mat - I know, backwards! Make a BIG knot and tape it to the back of the mat.  I used a L*o*n*g thread doubled and knotted.  Go into a hole, take a stitch on the edge of the quilt, go back down the same hole.  Keep a little pressure on the quilt so there's no floppy edges.  

Go to the next hole ... and so on.  At the end knot the thread and tape it down.

Remember you'll need spacers in the frame to avoid squishing the quilt.  But. in general it was the easiest part of the whole project!!  Trust me!!

So, as Queen, I started straightening the sewing room today - OYE VAY!  Where did all this stuff come from??  I thought I was being really good this year, not buying much!  Apparently not!!  

DH is golfing in CA this weekend - so I have until Monday to sort and shovel it all back into place.  I'm hoping to find a UFO that I can finish within the week - I do hate to fail as Queen!!

So far I've found:  a wool jack o'lantern project ready to pillow; a wool Christmas mat; baby quilt tops, a machine stitching sampler piece the right size and color for a Veteran's wheelchair quilt; and a Grandmother's flower garden quilt - waiting for it's binding for at least 7 years!!!  

Well, you see how I get into this mess!  I really haven't been able to face that darn binding!  AND the quilting group offered to bind it for me, and I turned them down!!!  We'll see - this could be the week!!!

Your adorable queen, sweating under the ermine cape!!  doni 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Back in the saddle again ?????

Summer really ended with a bang!  I had a quick trip to Nebraska, and while I was there, my sister had a medical emergency.  I stayed almost an extra week.  She is still recovering, but stable. I was glad I was there to help my other sister and Mom.  But it sure is good to be home.

I got home just in time for Miss P's and R's birthdays.  We had a birthday breakfast in Portland to celebrate.  Miss P is EIGHT!!  How on earth????

Then we had two wool applique classes at guild - taught by Cathy Ware of WildHareFiberonline.  Such fun and don't you love it when the projects turn out oh-so-different!  This is my bouquet - to be worked on FoReVeR!!  Hand embroidery to finish the top!  Can anyone stand to have another UFO??  Hopefully, it will be finished before long - cuz I love it!!

 This weekend, the fun continues!  A and the boys came over for the weekend.  J is busy with the new school year and is busy working at home!  A little mist doesn't keep the likes of us off the beach!!  A lot of rocks were thrown into the stream!

Once I got home, well, life sped up in a hurry.  Just try staying away a week longer than expected ... there's a whole lot of life waiting for you to get caught up!  Just the way we like it, of course!

Monday, August 18, 2014

And as the summer zooms by ...

Hellooooo! It's been super busy at the coast, apparently, but man did that summer zoom by!  We're in the foggy section of our summer, but it's good quilting weather anyway!

Fun has been had by all. Let's go backwards ... I've been working on a top secret anniversary gift for my DD.  Definitely out of my box, but I'm enjoying it.  Let's just say thank goodness for a friend that has the same general type of project going and we're able to encourage each other.  Last friday we sat and made faces together!!  And I'll leave it at that!  Don't worry - all will be revealed when the magical date comes.

I'm also working on Mr M's kindergarten quilt.  He drew me a picture of an alligator (with some help from Miss P too!) and I'm appliqueing it to a checkerboard quilt top.  Hoping to machine quilt it next week, we'll see.  The way the time has been flying by ... well no time to dilly dally - which is my favorite activity here on the coast!

Tonight is the kick-off of the Fractured Round Robin in my Mini's group.  Hope I got the premise right!!! Cause my kit is ready and packed, but my fingers are crossed!! 4 out of 5 of us are participating and each member has each project box for one month - I'll know more about how challenging this will be after our introductions tonight!  The suspense is killing me!

The first weekend of the month I traveled up to Newport for the Annual Guild Quilt Show.  My these women are so-o talented!  The show was wonderful and I got a 2nd place ribbon on Mr D's big boy bed quilt!!  Yea!

I never expect a ribbon up there, but as DH puts it - I'm easier to live with if I do get one!! LOL!  It did put a spring in my steps!

There was a country music festival between Brookings and Newport that same weekend, so I headed to Portland to see L and the kids to keep out of the traffic.  We had fun, went school supply shopping, out to lunch with the kiddos - just the 3 of us!  And made pillows!

Google "5 minute pin cushion" or follow this link to the Youtube instructions.  I've made many of these cute pin cushions but they make darn cute small pillows too!  Just increase the squares to 6".  the kids picked their fabrics; sewed the 4 patch with their hands on top of mine; stuffed it and I finished the opening seam.  The pincushion has a button holding it together.  I got out the buttons and asked Miss P what color she wanted, here's the conversation:

P:  Where does the button go?
Me:  I showed her - in the middle.

P:  Well that wouldn't be very comfortable when I lay my face on it!!

So we didn't sew buttons on them!

On the way home I had a dentist appt down by A's house.  They were on a camping trip and it was very strange staying at their house without the boys tearing it apart!!  And 3 and 1 yr olds can do a good job of mayhem!!  A said no to worry, mayhem would be back next time!

My birthday happened to be on Martini Lunch Thursday!  These flowers were brought from a Friend's garden and they were the hit of the party!  Yep, 62 now!  Big decisions - to get the money or wait???  Stay tuned!

A friend is gathering 65 presents for her sister's 65th birthday ... and I made this mug-rug to give her.  Her sister lives in Alaska so figured bright colors and a bear's paw was needed!  Double sided and I liked it!  Hope she does!!


That's all for now.  I'm thinking of what to blog, even when I don't actually blog!!  But hopefully I'll be back in less than a month!!  Thanks!