Monday, November 30, 2009

A Bit of Stitchin'

Today I planned to decorate for Christmas. I brought the ladder into the house. Does that count?

Instead, I sat at the computer, then moved to the Studio. I put together two photo album covers, using leftover strips cut for my 2008 Hoffman Challenge. yeah, I know. Why are/were the strips still hanging around?

They are not my usual color combos, that's for sure, but I was
S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G myself, doncha know? ;)

Here's what the inside looks like. All acid-free and everything. :)

I never did touch my November Step. oh well. Maybe next month...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Keeping Organized?

Wow. Blogger flipped every single picture. That's not a very Christmassy spirit. That's downright Halloweenish. grumble grumble Blogger.

I don't know about you, but I'm one of those people who writes a Christmas letter. I'm not sure if I've always done it, but I've done it for a long time. Our family was in flux for so many years, always adding children or moving or whatever, that it was the one time I made sure to sit down and record what we'd been up to.

A few years ago I was organizing, and put together a container of Christmas "leftovers." It was filled with extra cards, letters and photos.

Last year it occurred to me that it might be nice to put them together in something accessible for all. I stashed them in a binder.

Last night I decided to cover the binder, so that it no longer looked like a generic binder, lying around, seemingly without purpose.

Here's what I came up with. (Tilt your laptop, Kristin!)

The opening page has the oldest Christmas photo card I sent. It's dated 1986...when we only had 2 kiddies.

By 1989, we've got four!

In 1996, we took our Christmas photo in Scotland.

By 2006, my how we've grown!!

Unfortunately the collection is incomplete. I'm missing a few letters here and there, and more than a few pictures. oh well. It's still a lot of fun to flip through and see just how much we've changed.

I haven't lifted a needle on my November Step, but I have been keeping busy. How about you?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last November Weekend

*sigh* The November festivities have drawn to a close. Thursday started with this:

I forgot to take a picture once it was finished. It was a thing of beauty, and moist to boot. :) Here is one Sleeping Seal of Approval. (The second vetoed my picture posting. He was asleep in the middle of the hall floor. He is not a cat.)

Time to think about Christmas. Does Kris Kringle look in the mood? I'd say so...

Here are the three boys, before the two youngest headed back to Davis. (That would be the two on the right.)

In between, I've been busy. I wasn't going to post this, but then it occurred to me: The recipient most likely does not visit this blog.

I tried it out. It works! I think I need one!

Here is yesterday's project from the outside:

Here's the inside:

If you think it's for you, you're probably right! :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things to be Thankful For...

I'm thankful that my #1 son finds things to do during the day that fascinate both him and me.

I'm thankful that the mass mailing of entry forms for our quilt show has been delivered to the post office. If you would like to enter and did not receive a form, you can download the information here. The show is in April, and open to all who wish to enter.

I am thankful that I was able to empty one of the fabric cabinets in my bedroom and remove it. I still need to find a place in the Studio to store my blues, but a small Rubbermaid container may suffice, instead of a larger piece of furniture.

I am thankful for kids who love to spend time with each other. I am thankful for my husband's job, even when he works every holiday. I am thankful for each of you, who take the time to stop by my blog. I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for a full day, set aside, to focus on giving thanks. " everything give thanks..." 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

I don't always remember to give thanks, I don't always feel like giving thanks, but when I actually take the time to stop and think about it? Oh yes. I am truly thankful. God has been VERY good to me.

May you be thankful as well, as you consider all of life's blessings. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oh, Yeah

Sometimes I definitely want to be a cat. How does he even do that?!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sometimes I Just Want To Be

a cat.

Lyin' around, soaking up sun...and maybe even taking a 12 hour nap in the middle of the day... What a life!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Keeping Warm When It's Cold...

I'll start off with this picture of Wendy VB and her quilt, "Loretta Lives." This is the quilt that was voted Best Overall in our quilt guild's Circle Challenge. The label reads, "Made in the memory of Loretta White, who lived and died to the glory of God." At least I think that's what it said. I'm "quoting" from memory.

Please be sure to click on the photo to enlarge it and really appreciate Wendy's beautiful hand-quilted quilt. :)

This morning it was cold and foggy. Fog is nothing new if you're from around here. But, since this was the first foggy day of the season, I took pictures. Here's the view from the front doesn't look TOO bad...

And here's the view from the driveway. As you can see, there's plenty of visibility, for about 50 feet. Then it's socked in. It took a while to get used to driving in this, but now it's not so bad. (I can say that, now that I've been driving in it for 25 years!)

And if you're cold, here's how to stay warm. Cat blankets.

This was taken last night. I was sitting there, minding my own business, when Malcolm stole my lap. Edgar thought he needed some lovin' too, and since the lap was taken, he took the next best thing.

I'm always telling the cats (and kids), "If you're sprawled on the floor, you're going to get mistaken for a rug." I guess it follows that if you're sprawled on the couch, you can be mistaken for a couch! It's the warmest I was all day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heh heh heh

I've decided that my favorite small-time purchase of 2009 has been the humane animal trap. I never would have believed it. But apparently, as Quilted Time says, we've got the tastiest snacks in the neighborhood, and all the riff raff come here to dine.

If I didn't have the outside cats, only rats and gophers would be an issue. Or, if we were to get a dog (heaven forbid!), freeloading varments likely wouldn't be an issue. But we have cats and the neighbors have dogs. That translates to the animal kingdom as "Free All You Can Eat Buffet, served here nightly!"

This fellow didn't worry about being caught. When we got home at 9:30pm, he was waiting for us. He's so ugly that he's almost cute. Note that I said ALMOST. I shudder when I see these things. I shudder when I type about these things. I will call animal control when their doors open, and request yet another animal relocation. Somehow I don't think I've seen the last of them. This brings my capture total to three...

I spent some time in the Studio yesterday, but it was primarily organizational/sorting/cleaning time. I got a call around noon, which was perfect timing. A client wanted some embroidery done. I was very pleased that she called before I put the machine away!

She's making stockings for her dogs, Foxie and Roxie. She brought by the stocking cuffs, and I set to work on the names. First I type them into the computer...

Then I test-sew on muslin (to be sure it will fit)

And finally, I sew it out on her fabric.

I forgot to take pictures of the finished cuffs. oh well. Trust me. They'll be the snazziest dog stockings in her neighborhood, with the gold yenmet thread embroidered on plush red and green velveteen...ho ho ho

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Last night I heard a noise out the window and looked...

It's another one, the smallest one yet. Leave, little beastie!! You are not welcome here! Today the humane trap will come down from the crawl space and be called back into action. Are we the only opossum magnet in the neighborhood? Or are we the only ones who care? *sigh*

Never a dull moment...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November Step

I'm going to resurrect my May goal as my November Step. Ideally I'd like to have this quilt completed and ready to enter in the AQS Paducah show. I know, I know, goals are good. This one's been pushed off time and again. But I really don't have that much quilting left, despite the photo. I've got leaves and the border to quilt, that's it. The binding and the ruching can wait until December.

So there you go, my November Step: quilt this quilt "for reals"!!! :)

Ho, Ho, Ho...

On Friday we ran up to Davis, for a quick visit. Two of our boys are there, and our youngest just turned 20. This was a quick chance to swing by and wish him a happy day in person, even though we were a week late.

Here we are, at Burgers n Brew in Davis. We've got all of Adam's roommates (Adam is far left), both of Daniel's housemates (Daniel's head is "touching" the propane heater), Andrew (left of Daniel), and Pete (who was the only one who didn't pay attention to my request to "Smile!")

We gave Adam his gifts, and he sat with them for a while, then wanted to know if he could open them. Sure. The first was a bathrobe, this was the other. What can it be? "It feels like clothing."

Oh!! SWEET!!

A Santa Sack too?!!!

The table was roaring, and requests were coming in from every quarter. "You have to come to my class during finals!" "And my class!" "I really need an elf suit, can I come with you?" I have to say that I've never seen a gift so appreciated by so many people. :)

The next day I followed him home and asked him to try it on. Here he is, what do you think?

He can even rock the suit from behind.

I suspect that it's going to be a holly jolly Christmas this year in Davis, with Santa sightings EVERYWHERE, doncha know? :)

And just to see if it was as much fun as I thought it might be? I couldn't help myself...

Merry Christmas, it will be here sooner than you think!!! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Heading Out...

No pictures today, but be prepared for later this weekend.

We're heading to Davis to take last week's birthday boy out to dinner. It's always a lot of fun to get together with the boys and their friends. He says he's invited his roommates - he lives with 7 other guys. Add that to our three, and we're going to have a party!!

The secret something that I've been working on is finished and wrapped. I expect it to be unwrapped and on display some time this evening. I will take pictures.

Thank you so much for the encouragement after my last post.

I LOVE Del's comment, comparing rejection letters to mosquito bites. That's so true. They are annoying, but not as painful as they used to be...

Well, I've got some things to take care of before we hit the road.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009



Dear Suzanne Kistler,
Thank you for submitting your entry, Be Still: Psalm 46:10, blah blah blah, we regret that we are unable to include your entry in this year's show.


You know it's a bad sign when acceptance letters come out December 1 and you receive a skinny envelope in the mail on November 12.

It's not like I'm not used to being on the receiving end of these letters. It's just that this particular quilt is probably the best quilt I've ever made, and I can't seem to get it into very many shows. When it does get in, it shows very well.

I know, I know, you're all saying, "It's your photographs." But if you remember from this post a few months back, I invested in the proper background and lighting and everything else needed for awesome quilt photography.

It's just not to be.

Rejection helps to keep me humble.

My roll is know, as in "I was on a roll, and every quilt I entered for 5 years got into every show." I guess that went to my head, because judging by my towering stack of rejection letters, I seem to be requiring a lot of humbling these days.

Okay, so maybe I exaggerate. It's just a stack. It's not in danger of falling over. It's not really a tower. It just seems like it.

whine, whine, whine. Yes, I WOULD like some cheese with that. :)

Here's hoping that I'm the only one of my friends who received a copy of this letter today.

Ironically, I spent the morning getting the entry forms printed for our show. Next week is our mailing party, and the forms should be at your doorstep before Thanksgiving. As a word of encouragement, I'll tell you that we have a very good acceptance/rejection ratio, unlike the shows that I've been collecting letters from.

Stay tuned. As soon as our entry forms are available online, I'll let you know!

And on that, I'm back to the Studio.

oh! And I have NOT forgotten the 12 Step program. I just haven't had time to think about what my Step will be. Has anyone else out there identified a Step? Or are we moving into holiday/end of the year mode, with the Steps stopping at 10? Time will tell...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Baby is 20!!!

How did it happen? Where did the years go? When did he grow up? I tell you, blinking is a scary thing! :)

Here are a few pictures of my joy boy, taken during the past couple of years...

"Mom, can you make me a Mr. Incredible suit for class color day?"

"Mom, I want to be a yellow teletubby for class color day..."

"Mom, I need a Peter Pan suit..."

"Do you think you could make a toga?"

This one's not dress-up - they had a huge air-soft battle earlier this year. My boy was prepared.

Last year he took out the Christmas tree for us. It's a real tree, and it was at least 11' tall...

Here he is with Charlie. :) They both like to sleep a lot. I think Charlie wins, if it's a contest.

Hello? Hello? One of the phones is dying, but which one?

Little boys love playing in the sand...

These are my most recent pics, stolen from Facebook. This was taken on the Tuesday before Halloween,

I believe this was taken on the actual day...

Happy Birthday, Adam!!!

And of course, the only picture I took of his birthday card loads twisted. I've loaded it twice, but Blogger insists. Turn your head to see the card....

And that's all I've got for today!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

An Empty Shelf!

Here it is, isn't it beautiful? It's been two months since I've seen emptiness atop that shelf. It means that the last quilt-for-hire has been quilted. hip hip hooray! hip hip hooray!! :)

The last quilt was a 40 year old top, originally meant for the owner's son, who now has his own son. The maker was the owner's mother, so in some sense it's a 4 generation quilt. wow. I'm glad to be part of helping it get finished. All it needs is binding.

With an older quilt like this, I hesitate to do anything other than stitch in the ditch and outline. I want Great-Grandma's handiwork to be the focal point, not the quilting.

And there you go. That's it for today's episode of "In the Studio." Perhaps tomorrow will be more exciting... :)