Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Just A Few More Days

Today and tomorrow I have to work, then I am off for 11 days straight.  I am so ready.

Almost all the presents are wrapped.  I have to rewrap a few gifts because Addy got nosy.  Sigh.

Still have to make the Christmas bags for the kids.  Going to stuff them with little goodies from the dollar store and some instant lottery tickets.

Having lunch with Johanna today.  Love being able to do that.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Plans Changed

Had an ice storm Friday and was not able to travel.  Have to reschedule our trip north.  That's okay, better to be safe than have an accident.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holiday Hub Bub



It is getting close to Christmas!  More cookies were baked this week, the tree is up and waiting to be decorated, the majority of the gifts have been bought and are waiting to be wrapped, and our trip to visit family is drawing near.  Lots to do!

Next week is a short week, only 4 work days for me, then I will have 11 days off in a row.  I am so excited about that!  woohoo!

Going to Wal Mart today during my lunch hour to get a few gifts and the fixin's for a casserole for Ev to take to his mom when we visit.  Might even make a coffee cake for there if I feel ambitious.

I have yet to make the gift bags for the kids, but that won't take too long.  They are going to be a bit smaller this year, I think.  The kids are getting older and I'm just going to put some token goodies.  Johnathon will get some extra treats, but he has some awesome gifts coming, too.

One of the Yahoo Groups I belong to is having a New Year's Eve Mystery Quilt project that I intend to participate in.  Looking forward to that.  Mary and Sandy are going to play along too, so it should be fun.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Moon And Snow


Last night when I was driving home from work the moon was so bright and big!  There was still a lot of daylight and that ol' moon was just a shining as bright as you please!  Very pretty

Then this is what we had in the morning:


Snow!  Finally!  But it has all melted already.  Sigh.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Cookie-A-Thon

Sunday was a busy baking day for me.  Next weekend I am going to be exchanging cookies with Mary, so I need to have three different kinds of cookies baked.

The first thing I did was make the dough for the Amish Sugar Cookies.


Here it is ready to go into the fridge.  It has to chill for a few hours before it can be made into cookies.  The dough is then made into balls, rolled in sugar, and flattened on the cookie sheet.  I wanted them to be a bit festive, so I made my own colored sugar!


All I did was take about a third cup of granulated sugar, put it in a jar, dropped a few drops of food coloring on top, closed it up, and shook the jar.  It turned out pretty good.  There were a few spots that were darker, where the food coloring slightly clumped up, but it wasn't bad at all and I didn't have to run out and get colored sugar (and pay for it!).  I will make my own colored sugar again in the future!

The sugar cookie recipe makes over 6 dozen cookies, so one batch was plenty.

The other cookies that I baked yesterday were walnut cookies.  They were a shortbread cookie with ground up walnuts in them, then rolled in sugar.  The original recipe had them rolled in granulated sugar, but the cookies I remember were rolled in powdered sugar, so that was what I did.  The recipe only made two dozen cookies, so I made two batches.

I have one more batch of cookies to make for the swap.  I think I will make oatmeal raisin cookies.  They are a good old stand by that a lot of people like.

The Before Picture


Here is our Christmas tree before we decorate it.  Ev and I went to the tree farm and cut it down Sunday afternoon, between my baking batches of cookies.  He will get it in the stand today and during the week we will get it decorated.  Hope the animals leave it alone.

The pickin's were slim at the tree farm we go to.  A couple bad years worth of weather set them back, and they don't have a lot of mature trees.  I really hope they continue to offer trees in the coming years, and that they have some new growth!  The farm is very close to home, and real convenient.

Ta-Da!

Finished binding all four nursing home quilts and sent them on their merry way.  Here they are:





Hubby was kind enough to be my quilt holder for the pics.

I have one more top to quilt for a person in assisted living, but it can wait a few days.  The others had to be done before Sunday.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Bound To Bind


The last two nursing home quilts are quilted and ready for binding!  Have to do it tonight or tomorrow because they are to be given away Sunday.  Once again, nothing like the last minute, right?  haha.

Another thing I need to do this weekend is start my baking for my cookie exchange with my friend the following weekend.  I have two recipes I know I want to make and an idea about what I want to do for the third.

Was going to make chicken bacon ranch subs for dinner last night but I forgot to get tomatoes.  Ugh.  So we went to Tilly's instead and I will make the subs tonight.  After I go to the store and get tomatoes....  haha.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sewing Last Night

As I am sure some of you noticed, I hadn't been sewing for a while.  To be honest, I was just in a funk.  Well, I am out of that funk and roaring to go!

I did some sewing on Gemma last night on the last nursing home quilt.  Made two passes of quilting on her and have two left and she will be done.  Hoping to get to that tonight.

I would like to have them done so that I can do some holiday baking on Saturday.  Need to make a few batches of Christmas cookies for my exchange with Mary the following weekend.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Winter

Temps are dropping and it is getting colder!  Hoping to see some snow before the week is out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy St. Nicholas' Day!


Two Christian holidays that are near and dear to my heart are St. Nicholas' Day and Epiphany.

St. Nicholas is dear to me because we named our son Nicholas.  I had always wanted a baby boy born near Christmas and wanted to name him after Santa Claus!

Epiphany is the day Johanna was born on.  What a beautiful gift we were given on that day!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy Place


Just like my mug says, my sewing room is my happy place!  I was downstairs working on Gemma over the weekend.  Here I was just winding bobbins.  This was a thread that I had previously deemed not usable because it kept breaking.  After gaining some experience with the machine, the thread now works like a dream.  I used it for both the quilts I worked on this weekend.


This is the last nursing home quilt for the year, on the frame.  Just doing simple quilting on it.

TSO!


Here was our view for the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert we went to yesterday.  Great seats!  Even though we were up high, the view was fantastic and the sound amazing.  Cool light show and pyrotechniques.


Had an awesome time with my honey.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Crunch Time

I have to get those nursing home quilts done before next weekend.  This year it has been hard for me to get motivated to do them for some reason.  It's not like I didn't have the tops completed early enough... haha.

During my lunch hour at work I have been working on more snowmen.  Here they are before they have little faces and buttons.


I love those little sock hats!  Wal Mart had 10 pair of the cutest socks for $3, probably a Black Friday sale.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Doctor Visit

I had my annual physical yesterday.  Some of my numbers were off from the blood work I had done, along with a few other little things, so he changed up some of my medicine a bit.  Not a big deal and hoping all works out.

I really need to lose some weight to get those numbers back in line.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Holiday Cheer

Over the weekend Ev and I put up our lights on the fence.  Here's what the one side looks like:


Last night we went to Dairy Queen and took Addy with us for the ride.  We usually get her a little cone.  When we got up to the drive thru window, the gal let us know that instead of getting her a cone, they have what they call a 'pup cup'.  It is ice cream in a small sundae container with a dog biscuit in the middle of it, for 60 cents!  So next time we get Addy a DQ treat, it will be a pup cup.

When we came home from DQ we had to drive around the block so we could see the lights on the fence from all sides.  I noticed a couple bulbs were out, so tonight I might go outside right when I get home and replace them.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Car Milestones


Yes, I know I just posted that my car turned 200,000 miles not too long ago, however it's now at 202.  With all the driving we did over the holiday and past few weeks, it got there pretty quick.

Have I mentioned lately that I love my car?  hahaha  Ev and I were talking about cars over the weekend.  The car I have now is a 2006 Ford Taurus.  I don't think I will ever have the attachment I have to this car with any other car I may own in the future.  Don't know why.  Or maybe I do.  It was my first 'new' car, although she did have 12,000 miles on her because she was a 'program car'.

We went through a lot of grief when I first bought this car, but the dealership shined like a diamond during that time, and I have not quit praising them since.

And pretty proud that we chose Ford, because of their reputation.

Moving Right Along


We had a nice visit up North over Thanksgiving.  When we got home we did a few things around the house, putting up lights on the fence, etc.  I also found time to load a double backing on Gemma and one of the nursing home tops.  Have to get moving on them!

The bobbins came for the 201, Belle.  I haven't even had time to try them out in her.  Been kinda crazy lately.

Del and Sarah came back from Brazil and came over last night to visit.  They stayed for a while showing us lots of pictures.  They brought a few little gifts, which was really nice of them.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Little Piece Of Fancy


Had a few minutes today and made a little doily for one of the spool pins on Belle, the 201.

Did Someone Say Cheesecake?


Here's the cheesecake I made last night.  I am so tickled that it did not crack (yet) in the center!  Hoping it stays that way.  It smells delicious.  I'm not going to put any fruit topping on it, because my mom likes it plain.

Also put together and baked two pans of lasagna for Ev's mom.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cute Snowman Decoration


Looky what I made!  He's so cute!  The glue wasn't quite dry on his buttons when I snapped this, but it will dry clear.  Was super easy to make.  Here is the link to the you tube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvZvcKpWf7Y&t=4s

I did it just about identical, except I added a little glue around the back of the hat to glue it to the snowman's head.  And I used different things for buttons and hat ornament, but I really like it!

Inexpensive to make!

3 pair of toddler socks in white, $1
3 pair of toddler socks in colors, $1
bag of star sequins, $1.88
bag of gem sequins, $2.88
blush, $1
orange puff paint, $.97
black puff paint, $.97
bag of rice, $1.50

If I hadn't been in a hurry to make one, I would not have bought the sequins.  I think I would have scrounged in my button box and beads for them.  The sequins were the most expensive things, but there are enough sequins to made an army of snowmen.  Remember, 3 pair of socks make 6 snowmen.  I found the socks and blush at the dollar store.  The rest I got at Wal Mart.

Backing Choice

Last night I finally got the backing sewn together for the next two nursing home tops.  It is a Christmassy print with a bit of shimmer to it.


This pic actually shows the backing material wrong side.  The blue is one of the tops.

I doubt I will have time to load the quilts on Gemma before Thanksgiving, but hopefully the following weekend I can get that done.

Tonight I need to make a cheesecake and some other food for Thursday.

Monday, November 21, 2016

My House Collection


This year I am going to display my village houses a little differently.  I was going to paint the ladder all white, but the wind was blowing and I gave up.  What I did accomplish was a whitewash effect, and I like it.  The shelves are mostly just left over laminate flooring pieces.  Since they were going to be covered with batting (snow), it didn't matter what shape they were in.


This is as far as I got before I ran out of steam.  There is room for a couple more houses.  I will put lights in all of them, then add trees and people to the display.

I refuse to light it before Thanksgiving, though.  Just on general principal.  haha.

Before and After


This is the 301 before I cleaned her up.  She didn't look too bad, just needed a good cleaning.  There is a rusted area on the plate covering the feed dogs.  I took it off and soaked it in PB Blaster.  There was a LOT of disgusting old oil and grease inside the machine.  It wasn't too bad in the old lint department.  I am starting to wonder just how much this old beauty had really been used.

The foot pedal connects directly to the motor.  The wiring on the foot pedal was pretty scary.  I cut the wire close to the machine and close to the pedal and spliced in a new piece of wiring.  I used a LOT of electrical tape and feel confident that all is good.

Getting her out of the cabinet was pretty easy.  I doubt I will save the cabinet or use it for anything.  So here she is after I cleaned her up:


Can't really tell much of a difference, but there really is.

I found a presser foot that fit, so that was one less thing I needed to buy.  I had heard that purchased bobbins from local retail stores might be a little to large, making the fit too tight, but I had to at least give it a shot.  We went to the store and bought a package for 97 cents.  True to what I had heard, they did NOT fit, so I have some ordered from a gal who gets the good ones.  Then I will know for sure that she sews as good as I am thinking she will.  So excited!

The motor just purrs.  It is so unbelieveable that a machine this old is in such good shape.  Love it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Peaceful Lake


Nick called me this morning and said if I had a minute on my lunch hour, I could find him out in his canoe at the old lake.  Now, doesn't that look peaceful?  He was really enjoying himself.  Was drowning a few worms.

Singer 201


Can't really see much detail in the pic, but I am going to look at a Singer 201 tonight.  Might add it to the herd.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Flowering Cactus

When I was shopping at Aldi, I saw that they had some Christmas Cactus that were in bloom for sale.  My great grandmother and my grandmother each always had these plants and I just think they are so pretty.


This one is just loaded with blooms!  I have it sitting on my kitchen table, where the cat and dog can't get at it (hopefully!).  I think that Ev (in the background) is bending down, telling Addy to leave Mom's flower alone!


I don't normally have centerpieces, but this just looked so nice together I had to snap a picture.  A bowl of oranges and lemons, a green candle, and the cactus.  Pretty!

Thinking of going back to Aldi and picking up a couple more for my mom and the girls.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monster Cookies


Part of my plan Saturday was to bake cookies.  With the kitten emergency, I didn't get to do any baking.  I did, however, get my shopping done and Sunday I baked some Monster Cookies.  These are the first batch that I made.  They are the 'big' cookies.  I only made a dozen of them in that size.  Yes, there are only 11 pictured.  You can fill in the blanks...  haha.  Anyway, the rest of the batter was made into smaller cookies.

I froze three bags of them and put the rest in a cookie tin.  Going to do as much of my holiday baking early that I can.  Amish Sugar Cookies are next on my list!

Second Top Quilted



I had a double back loaded on Gemma for these two tops for the nursing home.  The pink bordered one had the quilting finished a bit ago, but had to stay on the frame because of the double back.  I finished quilting the white and green bordered one this weekend.  I did a simple grid on the big squares and some oval shapes in the border.  Nothing exact, just free form.

Both need binding now, which won't take too long.  I have to get the other two tops loaded and quilted soon.  Plan to get the backing ready this week one night after work.  Time is running out!

Kitty Story

This story has a good ending, I promise!


I have two very sick kitties on my chest in this picture.  Saturday morning, Hanna's kitties were in very bad shape.  The mama cat had quit nursing and quit getting in the box with them, so not only were they starving, they were freezing cold after spending the night in the barn.  When Ben went over to work on the house, he called Hanna right away (she and I were at breakfast).  We both went over there, and so did Ben's mom.  There were six very sick kitties.  Each of us took two and tried to feed them and warm them up.  The grey one above was completely non responsive.  Even if you opened her eyes, she wouldn't respond or anything.  No movement, barely breathing, and cold.  For four hours we fed and warmed all six of the babies.  After three hours, the grey kitty twitched.  Just a little, but it was a twitch.  Then a little while later she opened her mouth just a tiny bit.  I had been putting a drop of kitty milk on her lips all along, hoping she would lick it or something.  Finally, she started to take some of it!  Not much, but we got some in her and that was a start.

Hanna was very concerned about them being able to go potty, so she massaged their little bellies until they did.  And now, they are staying in her mother in law's basement, not the barn.  Mama cat, who's milk dried up, is not with them, but she had pretty much left them already, so it isn't making any difference.  The basement is nice and warm and clean.

By the time I left, little Twitch was opening her eyes, moving around a little bit, and even meowing!  A kitty miracle!  And here are a few pictures of her from last night:


Licking her lips!  Must have just gotten some milk!


Being vocal.  Hey, guys, here I am!


I am King of the mountain, yes I am!


And my favorite picture.  Who knows she's cute?  Yup, she knows it!

Now, I have to figure out how to convince Ev to let me have a kitten!  We have Shadow cat and Miss Addy the Australian Shepherd/Labrador mix.  I am worried that if we get Twitch, Addy will be too rough with her.  Would probably have to keep Twitch in a seperate room when we weren't home, if we got her.

Will keep you posted!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Been Busy

Sorry I haven't posted again.  Been busy around the house.  I swear, dirty laundry multiplies like rabbits.  sigh.  Anyway, tomorrow is Veteran's Day and I have the day off.  Hopefully I will get to sew.

I absolutely do not want to hear about the election any more.  Sick of it.  Wish the media would put that to bed already.

Plans for Johanna's wedding are starting to ramp up.  She is deciding on decorations now.  Thankfully we have friends who have had kids get married recently and are willing to share their decorations.

Bought 9000, yes 9000, twinkle lights at Lowe's over the weekend for decorations at the wedding.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Beautiful Morning


This morning I took this picture from the boat launch area of Staunton Lake, just before the sun came up.  Can you see the tendrils of fog whisping across the water?  I am so blessed to have been able to enjoy this beautiful view to start my morning!

How did I end up at the boat launch before the sun came up on a Monday morning?  Hee hee, funny story...

Ev left for work and I was trying to get that last half hour of sleep in before I had to get ready to go to work, when my phone rang.  Nick was calling because he had gone fishing after work (he works overnight shift) and left the lights on on his car and the battery was dead.  Would I come give him a jump?  Of course, what are Moms for...  hee hee.

Thinking I would be safe just going there in my night pants, with a sweat jacket over my pajama top, I headed out there and got him all set up.  Just about the time I was getting back in the car, here comes a gal I know taking her morning walk!  So what are the chances of meeting someone you know, before 7 a.m., out in the country at a lake?  What a coincidence.  We talked for just a minute then went our seperate ways.

It's nice to still be needed.

Finally Sewing Again


Yup, finally getting back into the groove.  Knew it would happen, just needed to wait it out!  haha.  Anyway, over the weekend I started quilting on the second top for the nursing homes.  Doing a simple grid pattern on the big blocks and some ovals in the border.  Nothing fancy at all.

I chose a cone of thread, and right now I can't remember if it was Signature or YLI or what, but it was a cone that I bought because it was a good brand and I wanted to try it.  I bought it a couple years ago and every time that I tried to use it, I had a mess.  Loops all over the place, thread breakage, and just all kinds of aggravation.  I put it away for a while.

Well, I got the thread out again and told myself that if I had to change threads in the middle of this quilt because of problems, that I would just change threads.  Not going to stress over it.  Would you believe that thread has been wonderful to work with this entire time?

I think part of the reason is that I am a bit more experienced now than I was when I bought the thread.  Another factor is that I am letting my machine warm up, with the empty bobbin case in it, for a lot longer than I had been.  It is an older machine and maybe it just takes things a little bit longer to get moving properly.

I also have the quilt fairly taut on the machine.  Not any sagging areas to speak of.  And, another thing, I am keeping the bed of the machine really close to the backing.  That may have been part of my problem all along with other quilts, too.

Live and learn!

Just A Little More Cub Stuff

My brother sent me this picture of the Chicago River.  The city dyed it blue for the Cub's celebratory parade.  Pretty cool!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Still Here

Not much new to talk about on the quilting front.  At least not in my house.  Been kind of stuck in a rut here for a while.  I know it will go away soon, just riding it out!

I heard from friends that Jamie Wallen of the Quilter's Apothecary had his trailer stolen in Houston.  That just sickens me.  What would someone want with all his stuff?  Unless you are a quilter, there really isn't any other use for it.  I sure hope they recover his trailer and it's contents, but the odds are tehy won't.

Been watching my Cubbies in the World Series.  Wow.  That's all I can say.  Wow.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Green Thumb


At home, because I have a cat, I don't have many indoor plants at all.  So, at work I try and surround myself with as much greenery as I can.  These two philodendron were in water, growing roots, as I had cut them off other plants.  I finally got around to buying potting soil and potting them up.  I hope they take off.  They look pretty good so far!

New Recipe


Dinner last night was breakfast for me at work this morning!  I adapted a recipe I found online for a casserole with shredded potatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, sausage, eggs and cheese.  It was pretty good!  Ev and I both had a serving last night, we each took some to work, and there is about one and a half servings left.  I had trimmed down the recipe and I think I got it just about right for the two of us.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Dark Skies


Some dark clouds were moving in when I was getting in my car at Wal Mart.  I headed over there to pick a few things up on my lunch break.

I wonder if this is the same storm system that is expected to hit Cleveland?  Tonight's game time was changed from 7pm to 6pm to hopefully get the game in before bad weather hit.

Last night's game did not end the way I would have liked.  The Indian's beat the Cubs in the first game of the World Series.  Let's hope tonight's game has a different outcome!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Cubs Are In The World Series

Can you believe those Cubbies!  I'm still in shock!  They need just four more wins and they will be World Champs.  Oh we are so hoping they make it.

Still crocheting dish cloths.  Here's the latest one.  It was in red, white, and blue yarn.


I met Marla in Fairview over the weekend and we did a little shopping and had lunch.  Had a real nice time.  I bought this yarn at Joann's while I was there.  The price on the cone of yarn was almost twice as much as my local Wal Mart wants for it, however they did have many more colors.  I guess they do that because they have those coupon sales all the time.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Boxing

Got a wild hair that I wanted to cover a box in fabric using that mod podge stuff.  Here's my first attempt.  I don't think it turned out too bad!


I made it using one of the fabrics that is the same as one of my pair of night pants.  I think it would have been easier if I had a working hot glue gun.  Going to Joann's, so I might just look for one there.  It's the right size to keep my current crochet projects in.

Friday, October 21, 2016

200,000!


My car's odometer turned over 200,000 miles yesterday!  I was on my way home from work on Old Route 66.  She's a good car and I think it was one of the best investments we ever made.  Still hoping to get a lot of use out of her yet.  We shall see!