Thursday, December 31, 2009

List - the interesting part! Quilting

Okay, both the kids are in bed and L&J are home so ... time to list!

This year I finished 16 quilt projects. Two were bed sized, 2 crib size and the rest were little wall quilts and pillow size. Six were UFOs - woohoo! Mom got FOUR wall quilts from Thimbleberry panels. Two for her birthday and two for Christmas. There were several non-quilty sewing projects too. Three flannel receiving blankets; satin bindings on three kid quilts; and 2 pair of pajama pants for Miss P and Mr M.

I made 40 postcards. I did 6-8 for each season: Valentines, Easter, Summer, Halloween and Christmas. But it felt like I didn't do as many as usual. I didn't make any 'special' cards, I guess.

Okay - next year's goals.

I've already joined Stashbusters No Buy and the UFO Challenge again. I'm going to keep track of stash used and hope to use 100 yards in a year. You subtract what you use but you add any fabrics that you buy. Ooops!

AND I'm in charge of the "Use your own books" challenge. 'Books' include books, patterns and magazines. It involves making a project inspired by a book you own that you haven't made anything out of. The challenge is to make at least 4 projects ... one for each quarter. And if you have an UFO as a first project from a book ... if you finish it it counts as both an UFO and the use your own book challenge!

Here's hoping that 2010 brings lots of happiness and time for quilting!

Happy New Year!

Year end tallies!!! Book Recommendations

Good morning! We head for Portland today to babysit tonight for the kids and then tomorrow L and I go for some quality spa time! After facials, I'm introducing her to pedicures!!! Poor deprived gal has never had one!

I've been working on my lists - and surprisingly enough I don't 'do lists' as much as when I was working. Probably because I'm home and can get up and do what I'm thinking of - don't have to wait 8 hours to get home!

On to the lists: I read 79 books this year. That's up 25 from last year. Of course, I didn't move this year so had a little more time to lounge and read! For the first time in my life I actually don't finish all the books I start! Blasphemy! Now that I have time to read ... I quit when I don't like it! I guess I figured out there is no 'library police' to give me demerits for not finishing! AND I'm not losing sleep over this habit either!

A new resource I heard about this year is BookMarks Magazine. This is an excellent resource. Yes, you can subscribe, but really the best use of it is to make sure your library gets it; then check out the old issues. Crazy like a fox!!! You can see what sounded good from last year or earlier, and usually they are off reserve and free for you to read! Check it out! Especially you book club gals!

I keep track of my books in an old ledger book by hand before I take them back to the library. I rate them from zero stars to 4 stars. Every once in a while I give a 5* rating! I then enter the list into an Access database. I have over 2200 books rated. I've been using this method since 1980! I know it seems like 'over kill' but the reason I love it is - I can sort by star rating. So I can pull up favorite books from years ago and see if the author has written anything recently!

These books rated 4*s last year. My absolute favorite book was "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society " by Shaffer & Barrows. It's great - a quick read. Mainly because I don't think I ever put it down!

Other favorites in the running were:

Winter Study by Nevada Barr. Her 'Anna Pidgeon' series is awesome. If you haven't read her - start at the beginning and read thru them. She's one of my favorite "adult Nancy Drew" writers. Everything we loved as girls - a strong woman character you'd like to be or be friends with and a mystery to solve!

Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon. Beth is a quilter, she was married to Geoffrey Gutcheon and owner of the quilt store in NYC. She also wrote (among others) Still Missing. Also a favorite

Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg. Elizabeth is prolific. Her books are quick reads, I enjoy them all but every once in a while she really hits home with me and this one did!

Alex Cross's Trial by Patterson & Dilallo. I know, I know - Patterson must be going for some kind of publishing record. Those 1 or 2 page chapters are hilarious. But it can read 'like eating popcorn!' This one was historic - not my favorite venue - but it still rated 4* with me.

Floodgates by Mary Anna Evans. Mystery set in New Orleans post Katrina. Very interesting learning more about the problems in New Orleans.

Under the Dome by Stephen King. I actually rated this 5*! Don't let the size deter you! Yes, it's 1074 pages but I think it's his best writing since his accident. It gets alittle foofy at the end, all those strings to tie back together but all in all 'Well done!' The cover was designed by advertising artists and there's not one word about the author or the book on it!

I found Richard Morgan, a Sci-fi writer, this year. His first book was "Altered Carbon" about 're-sleeving' a person's essence in a new body when killed. Of course, the method is used mostly for soldiers and very rich people. I recommended it to my son. He liked it but couldn't get over the fact that I recommended a book with that much sex in it! Okay - I'd forgotten the sex(!) I usually just retain the essence of the book in my very old, decrepit mind!!! I'm now waiting for the last book in his series from Inter-library loan.

Well, that was fun - I'll do my sewing/quilting lists later!!

Happy New Year!

My Review of Quick Ship: Small Plastic Folding Table with Adjustable Legs

I saw a table like this at our retreat and thought "Wait a minute! That might be just what I need to lower my portable sewing machine with it's 'table' to my diningroom table height when I'm working on large projects."

Then N - our local 'go-to, git-r-dun' gal found this table on the web for me! Okay, I may have been whining about not finding what I saw ... LOL! DH let me get it for myself for Christmas!

The only 'drawback' is that it adjusts height at 1/2 inches and of course my diningroom table height is at 1/4 inch increment. But I like to tip my machine toward me so putting itty-bitty blocks under the back legs of the table fixes that 1/4 inch difference.

I did a review for the company and at the end they said "we can blog this for you!" Well, cool!!!

Originally submitted at CSN Supply

Correll Quick Ship-Standard Blow-Molded Plastic Folding Tables with Adjustable Legs are perfect for any occasion. Lightweight and extremely easy to handle, these durable folding tables are great for indoor or outdoor use. Terrific option for schools or companies alike.

This table great for machine quilting!

By Nebraska Quilter in Oregon from Newport Oregon on 12/31/2009

4out of 5

Pros: Nice Finish, Good Surface Area, Adaptable, Sturdy, Attractive Design, Good Height

Best Uses: Quilting

Describe Yourself: Midrange Shopper
It works really well. I love being able to adjust the height of this table - I line it up with my sewing machine at the height of my dining room table creating a large surface to support quilts as I machine quilt them. It's great! It folds and stores easily. It's light enough that I can set up and tear down without back strain.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas

We sure had a great time. Everyone was together. Portland was not raining and nice enough that we could bundle up and go for walks. Always a plus!

There were lots of wonderful presents. It's always fun to see others open presents that you picked for them ... it's great when they're excited too! I scored on what I gave DH - he's an insomniac and loves to watch stars in the middle of the night. Can't afford a telescope this year ... but I found some astrology books that were pretty exciting! AND I managed to keep secrets this year - he runs the budget so that's not exactly easy!!

We bought Robeez - little moccasins for Mr M. He's one and just started walking last month. Doesn't care for shoes ... takes them right off. Well, these are great because toddlers can't get their own shoes off! I put them on him - and he walked around like he was wearing swim fins!!! "What am I stepping on??" LOL! It was a riot to watch!

And Miss P loved all her presents and Mr M's too! She got two tea sets ... so lots of tea was served. There was a talking Buzz Lightyear that I bumped when putting presents under the tree - 'hush you stupid toy!!!' The other nana bought her the prettiest "PINK-A-LICIOUS" dress - what fun!!! And you always like to dress up for tea!

This is one of the last presents I sewed this year. Remember Mr M was a bat for Halloween because he loves to hang upside down? When I saw this embroidery pattern here - I just had to make it. I must admit I was more excited about it than my daughter. But it will grow on her - it's a Halloween decoration to remember his first Halloween.

My relatives in Nebraska were snowed in separately-at their own houses. Cell phones were ringing each other every minute or so - "what are you doing now? Is it still snowing there????" LOL! But they got together today, so all is good.

Question of the season: Why is it the person you finally decide to give up sending Christmas cards to ALWAYS sends YOU one - usually arriving on Christmas Eve???

It's that time of year for me. I have to get out the books and the lists and see what my totals are for this year. I'll let you know later this week. How many projects done? How many books read? I think we can pretty much skip how much weight lost AGAIN! Stay tuned ... the analysis is on it's way!

Today - Dec 28 is our wedding anniversary. 37 years this year. time sure flies when you're having fun! Isn't it amazing when you've been together far longer than you were without each other. And I'm the first to admit that I'm a spoiled brat! My DH takes great care of me. He even gave me a gift certificate for a favorite quilt shop in Portland for Christmas! What an enabler!!! Oh, I'm sure he'll be a curmudgeon many times this year - but I'll just have to coax him out of it as usual!

A Miss P story - you know you love them. As I was saying goodbye yesterday. I said, "When Nana and Papa come back next week we're going to have a New Year's Eve party when mommy and daddy go out. Won't that be fun???" She looked me straight in the eye and asked her mommy if she could go with them!!! Oh well, she had mommy call me tonight so she could tell me something, "I love you and I miss you!" A sign of a guilty conscience don't you think!!!

Lucky day today! I won FQs on a blog!!! Corky is a hoot - and you should check out her blog too! Thanks, Corky - it's a great prize!

Happy New Year Everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas to all ... and to all a good night!

Santa's workshop is now officially closed - well, mostly! I have one more present to do on the computer! No sewing involved.

Here's the pumphouse our garden club "The Bloomers" decorated for the holidays. As we were on the ladders putting up wreaths, S wondered why we didn't have men in the club - to help with the heavy work. I said, "It might be the name!" I thought she was going to chuckle right off the ladder! Since it's right by the gate you can see that 'arm' in the pictures. Cute as a button! The day we put up all the stuff was C*O*L*D! But it was worth it!

The last project I just finished is a present ... and although I doubt 'daughter-dear' will be checking out my blog ... I took a picture and will post it next weekend.

I did get carried away with this new pattern for a snowman ornament. I gave up wool last year when we moved here! Thanks, C for sending supplies!!! But isn't he adorable?? There's also a Christmas penny rug that I had to have - it will be an UFO for next year.

Here's my fabric Christmas cards - they turned out alittle 'too too!' If you know what I mean! I was making 16 fabric bookmarks for the ladies that helped with the recovery quilt - so I had a bright idea to use the same background for the pcs too. Not my favorite design BUT I did get both projects done! By the way, they look better by ones - not the whole group!!!

This year for the "Pushpin" show at the Visual Arts Center here in Newport I hung 6 fabric postcards in 'bell-pull' fashion. Winter, Valentine, spring, summer, fall and Christmas. Named it "A year on the coast". There were only 2 fabric entries - have to get the guild to work on that!!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season. Here's to more love, laughter and of course, quilting in 2010!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Greetings

Needless to say, of course, I'm still up to my eyebrows in sewing Christmas projects. But I wanted to share our Christmas letter with you. My letters and cards went out last week. My decorations went up too! But you can hardly see the tree for the piles of sewing on the dining room table! I miss my sewing room - and this time of year - so does R!!

R went to the grocery store yesterday and came home with 2 new tvs! And he complains about me not sticking to the list! LOL! He's on his way to A's house today to deliver one. So I have 24 hours to get this mess done and straightened up! [And here I am, playing on the computer!]

Yesterday was fun watching the ocean. It was fairly clear and there must be a booty call for the sea lions! They were swimming south. We watched 2-5 of them at a time swim by for over two hours. They are so big! Weight can be 600 lbs for the ladies and over 1,000 for the guys! So-yes, you can easily spot them swimming!

Miss P was a little scattered at gymnastics last week. Interrupting and wanting to try everything else in the room ... what can I say - she's THREE! On the way home, mommy had to have 'the talk' with her. "You know, Miss P, Santa can see you. He knows if you're paying attention to your teacher and following directions." After a moment of shocked silence in the backseat, she heard a little voice saying, "Oh oh!"

Happy Holidays from the Boyds

December continues to sneak up, even when retired. I’m still quilting – enjoying the guild here, which is very active. This summer I started taking free art classes. I’ve always wanted to be able to draw. R plays golf as much as he can. He joined a ‘traveling league’ this year and enjoys playing throughout central Oregon. Trust me - the traveling trophy is no prize to display!

Miss P is now 3 and Mr M is 1! We love seeing what they will come up with next! Mr M started walking and Miss P started gymnastic classes – let the adventures begin!

A & J2’s wedding is set for next July. We’re all looking forward to the celebration. And Miss P gets to be a flower girl!

Wishing you the best in 2010

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas season is upon us - thud!

We've been really busy this week. Getting ready to mail presents to family in Nebraska.

Stashbusters has a wonderful reminder program. Every month on the 25th it encourages everyone to make something for Christmas AHEAD of the season. Some year I'm actually going to it!!!

Our garden club - Bloomers - took on the task of decorating the pump house at our entrance for the holidays. I helped letter this sign - very fitting for me this time of year - every year!

My mom likes to decorate her "porch". She lives in an independent living community and her porch is a little shelf outside her door - there's room for a small wall quilt there too. Last year, I lost my mind and made her a Thimbleberries panel quilt - but it was too big for her porch so she enjoyed giving it to someone else in the family. This year I reduced the same panel. The cutest border didn't cut down gracefully - darn it. But it will fit the space this year! Mom likes to display snowman stuff in January. So she can open this on Christmas.

And because I'm on a roll! :> I also cut down a Santa panel. It won't be wrapped in her package - a bonus that she can use this month. There's the full panel laying on our table. It's a cute panel, but I'm really happy with my reduced version. Fun, don't you think!?!

We had a babysitting gig up in Portland the monday before Thanksgiving. J was getting over strep throat - ICK - so we didn't want to get there early for a change. We ended up at the mall just in time for L's break from work. We enjoyed a 1/2 sandwich and cookie with her, did a little Christmas shopping - and returning! Then we went to Blind Side. What a great movie - I loved it. See it if you get a chance.

Since we were coming back in 3 days for Thanksgiving, we brought Miss P home with us for the interim. She's 3 now and a little whiny. We think it's because mom just got a new job that is more hours than she had before. We asked Miss P where mommy was working now - at "Don't touch ANYTHING!" store! Better known as Anthropologie. And Mom's loving it despite the longer hours. Nana and Papa had fun with Miss P - we ate cake for dessert every night, we read books, we walked and played on the beach - it was even sunny while she was here - we went to the Aquarium where the octopus was awake and swimming around for once!!!

I also tried to repair Miss P's blanky - it's really in bad shape. We were hoping binding it with satin binding might help it last longer ... but what a mess! And of course, I had a 3 year old practically holding on to what she could reach while I was trying to sew on it!!! I also ran out of the pink binding. The store is 30 miles away ... naptime was coming up quickly ... so it has one blue binding corner. I told Miss P that it is to remind her than Nana loves her!!! Then we headed for home on Thanksgiving.

We had a blast up at L&Js house where Mr M kept us jumping with his 'drunken sailor' walk. Yep, like his big sister, he started walking the week of his first birthday. He's getting pretty good at it - still sits down to crawl after his sister when he wants to be fast! But that won't be the case for long. We'd better bring our running shoes at Christmas!!!