Saturday, May 31, 2014

Shaping Up

I'm talking about the house, not me, in case you were wondering...

This week the painter came and transformed my living room.  What I thought were flat white walls were apparently more of an eggshell.  Or darker.  Against all advice, I went with bright white in a semi-gloss.  You see, my house is a cave.  If you've spent much time with me, you know it's been my major complaint for the past 21 years.  Too.  Dark.  period.  exclamation point!

 wow!  What a difference!  I can actually see across the room now!!

I'm trying to remember the last time I posted.  I decided to take everything down from my design wall, so that I could put up my project from the David Taylor class.

These Christmas blocks had been up since before Christmas.  Five months is enough.  It's more than enough.  Just stitch them together already!
I didn't exactly knock that UFO off the list, but it's at a stage where I can put in a few more hours come November, and have something quilt-able by December.  These were all leftovers from Double 4-patch quilts and scraps that were turned into stars.  Perhaps you wondered what I do with those scrappy stars?  This is one option.  I make the star points from...are you ready for this?  I make the star points from binding trash.

When I piece my binding, I have leftover triangles.  I toss them in my Triangles Box, and when there are too many to close the lid, I start piecing.  voila!  Soon I have enough to make stars.

An aside regarding my Triangle Box.  It is currently filled to the brim.  I am going to have to either start binding with some light valued fabrics, or break my unspoken rule and cut some triangles so that I have something to match up with all of those darks in the box.  For now?  Stash the box away and move on. 

As to the UFO pictured above, I close my eyes and I can see it finished.  It's currently 32" square.  I think I will add a 1" dark green border, then another 4-5" border of piano keys.  That will make it a better size, and pull it all together.  Now if I can just remember to do that, come November...

Yesterday's mail brought a wonderful surprise.
I guess the mail surprise wasn't enough.  Blogger wanted to surprise me too.  "Surprise!  Your image has been rotated 90 degrees.  No charge, it's our gift to you."  Thank you, Blogger.  Thanks a lot.

And thank you, Barbara Daniel.  The quilted card is breathtaking!  Makes me want to kick my cardmaking up a notch and then some.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Bit of Clean Up

I'm pretty sure my son doesn't read my blog.  If you do, Daniel, close your eyes!

I knocked out a couple more stars...

 And then finished these Christmas stockings for the soon-to-be man and wife.
Lots to do, not so much time in which to do it!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Another Finish

I finished quilting my other string-pieced UFO.  yay!  See?  It's bound and everything!  Cross one more item off of my list.  yay!

Do you listen to Dave Ramsey?  I listen to Dave Ramsey.  He's a no-nonsense get-out-of-debt guru.  The key to his methods is the "debt snowball."  You line up debts, smallest to largest, then start knocking them off the list.  This week it hit me.  I should start a UFO snowball!  I could line them up by hours until finished, smallest to largest.  Or deadlines: soonest to latest.  Or importance:  now or pipe dream.  Anyway I want, I can snowball these projects.

The key to success is meeting goals with enough regularity to see myself making progress.

It worked with the budget, but I don't think it will ever work with my UFOs.  I want to work on ALL of the projects that I still have in my possession.  And I want to sew up ALL of my fabric, eventually. 

So maybe I won't eliminate my list entirely, but I am keeping track of what I am finishing, and marking another one done sure feels good!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

More Postcards

On Tuesday, I worked on my last group of cards for the Postmark'd Art exchange.  The theme is "Spring."  Well you all know what Spring is in my book, right?  It's iris!  And flowers!  And a blooming garden!

Sometime ago, I'm not sure when, I'd made some green blanks.  Odds are that I'd started my Spring cards, then put them back in the box and forgot them.  It happens.  But I found them, and started fiddling.

oh look!  I attended an estate sale quite a while back, and brought home a brown bag STUFFED with goodies.  Right on top, I found some ribbon roses.  Just the thing for Spring!

huh.  Facebook turned those cards on end too.  I wonder why?

The cards are very happy.  But they are not flat.  In fact, they are bulkier than the 1/4" limit before earning the title of Parcel.  groan.  The only reason I know that, is because one of the cards is headed for Wales.  I put three in my mailbox, and took the fourth to the post office.

The clerks hemmed and hawed and had a confab, and decided that if I left it as is, I needed to fill out a customs form!!  Areyoukiddingme?!!  Instead, I took it home and stitched the petals as flat as possible.  Then I put it in my mailbox, instead of taking it to the post office.  Let's hope that it finds its way to Wales, eh?

The good news is that the cards I mailed yesterday have not yet returned.  Perhaps they are headed to their destinations?  That would be VERY nice.  They made me smile when I finished them.  Hopefully they will spread smiles to their recipients as well.

Speaking of smiles, I found more pictures in my camera last night.  Who can out-belt Elsa?  Penny can!

Joy to you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

zoom, zoom!

The past 6 weeks have been 6 weeks of crazy.  It seems like Best of the Valley was a lifetime ago, rather than just last month.  Since then I've been to St Louis and Paducah and Asilomar.  Then it was off to Granite Bay (Roseville area) for a wedding, then home for a few days.

On Saturday, we headed to San Carlos, for a weekend of babysitting.  We hadn't seen Penny since her birthday, in early March.  It seemed like a year, not two months!  She was happy to have us for a sleepover, while her parents headed to Napa for a wedding-turned-into-long-weekend.  Her mom looked happy and rested upon their return.

In contrast, Penny ran rings around Gramma and Grandpa.  Happy girl, busy girl.  oh.  my.  goodness.  We went to the park and played.  We learned to play "Go Fish."  "Penny?  Do you have any lavender?"  "Yes Gramma, I do.  See?  Thank you!" (and she'd grab my card and add it to her pile).  hmmm.  Grandpa wouldn't let her get away with that, but then again, Penny wouldn't get into it with Grandpa.  ;)

It was tough to keep up with her, but we did it.  Yay Gramma!  Yay Grandpa!!

We've been invited back again.  I think I'll take the next month or so to rest up so that I can keep up better, next time around.

Oh!  And I almost forgot to add this picture.  Pinkalicious!
And now, it's back to laundry and trying to sew something.  If all goes well, I will post again in the morning.  Goals are good!

Friday, May 9, 2014


It has been very nice to be home.  Sure, there's lots of catch-up to do around here, but I'm also in a place where I can sew when the urge strikes me.  And it's been striking a lot!!

David Taylor taught me to master my Tiara, rather than allow the Tiara to master me.  Within a couple of days, this string-pieced quilt was quilted and bound.  woohoo!!

I guess the pictures aren't too wonderful - the quilt is much better in person.

I've got the next one ready and waiting for attention.  yay!
It is also a string-pieced UFO.  It will be fun to get it finished and out of my closet.  yay!

I was clearing off my dresser yesterday, and found the birthday gift I bought for my sister.  oh.  whoops.  Her birthday was in April.  I had a deferral, since she indicated an interest in a Cardinals tshirt, and I was headed to St. Louis.  But I've been back from there for a while, and her gift was still in the plastic bag.  oops.  It is now in the hands of FedEx, along with this:
Really?  Blogger?  Why?
I had two horizontal images, and it flipped them both.  gar!

I'm still behind on cards, way behind.  But I can cross one off for now.  yay!  Baby steps.  It's all baby steps.  :)

I'd tell you what's next on my list, but I don't know what it will be.  I want to do this, that, and the other thing, all at once.  Can't wait to see what what it will be.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Postmark'd Art

If you've followed this blog for any period of time, you probably know about Postmark'd Art.  We're a worldwide group of handmade postcard exchangers.  If you'd like to check us out, you can click here.  We've got a blog, and links to members' galleries.  My page is here.

We're in the middle of Round 19, and I signed up for two themes.  The first is SHEEP.  I had all kinds of grand plans, but time is of the essence, and I'm running out of it.  The mailing deadline is May 31, and I hadn't even begun making cards.  yikes.  Yesterday I got busy, once I'd put away most of my equipment from Asilomar.

I think they turned out pretty cute, don't you?  Baaaaaa!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Coming and Going

zoom, zoom!

So Empty Spools wrapped up on Friday, and I drove 4 hours home.

On Saturday, we were back in the car, driving the 4 hours to Granite Bay (east of Sacramento) for a wedding.  Our son's long time friend and roommate "We lived together for so long, we considered filing jointly!" married his college sweetheart.  Our son's wedding is taking place in July.  They are all grown up!  wow.

Here are some pictures of the blessed celebration:

Flowers lined the aisle - they were in quart canning jars, suspended from shepherd's crooks.  Very clever and quite lovely!
 The arch was woven with wisteria.  Also very lovely.
 The father of the groom performed the ceremony.  Doesn't MattMatt look seriously excited?!
 I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Mesias!
 The bridal couple was set apart in an origami crane-lined pagoda.
Here are our July bride-to-be and groom.  They came all the way from Missouri.  woo!
 Our other son was also there.  (He wasn't so happy about mom's camera.)  He looked very sharp in the pinstriped suit and bolo tie.  :)
And now I'm home (again) and trying to play catch-up.  I've been putting away my gadgets from the David Taylor class.  If I can clear out enough space, I might just be able to start working on my project.  woohoo!  Goals are good!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


I cannot say enough good things about this class with David Taylor.  He is an incredible teacher, who is amazingly encouraging.  I have loved every minute of it.

That said, I have made a point to walk around the grounds more than once, camera in hand.  There is wildlife everywhere, if you know where to look.

This little guy was outside my room.  He kept poking at the ground, looking for munchies.
 This guy, on the other hand, burst into song when I pulled out my camera.
 This guy...oh wait.  I think he's wood, not feathers.
For the first several days, the only deer I saw were wooden.
 Today I saw live deer and snaps numerous pictures.
 But it's the Galapagos Tortoise that really caught my eye.  Do you see him?
 And the Brontosaurus?
Maybe my imagination plays tricks on me, as my brain identifies this or that as something or other. 

But last night?  It was real.  It wasn't in the woods, it wasn't in the bushes, it was on the path/driveway, right there under the light.  And everything within me said "mountain lion."

Tonight I decided to forego a late night of working on my project.  Instead, I walked with the herd back to my room and will turn in early.  It's safer in here, especially hearing the reports of the animal noises that were heard 30 minutes after I saw the BIG cat.

oh my.

Tomorrow I head home.  It has been wonderfully memorable.  I've been truly blessed.