Dec 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Well, I'm a New Yorker, what can I say! It's New Year's Eve and even though I'd never want to be a part of the sea of humanity in Times Square, I will never lose my love for that lighted ball! What would the count down be without all the fuss and excitement of watching the slow descent?
We all have hopes and dreams for the new year. We always have. I've found that as I age my hopes and dreams change ever so slightly. Not all that much- but now and again there are new twists.
I also have found that I am giving up the yearly cry of "This year I WILL_______ (fill in the blank)! Maybe this year I will (lose weight... be nicer... finish that age old project, etc.) and then again, maybe I won't. But one thing I do know is that I will continue to be thankful for the good friends I've made and will make...for my family who puts up with me...and for the ability to be who I am no matter what.
That being said, I did make a few resolutions. Dare I put them down in a public domain?? If I do, then I may have to actually stick to them! Ok! I got that off my chest,so, here goes... I would like to accomplish the following:
*Chose 1 (yes! just one!) "Just For Me" project for 2007 and carry it through to completion. My organized bins of started quilts is embarrassing. If I don't push to do it all, I should be able to do at least one , no?
*Learn that it is ok to set limits at work. Biting off more than I can chew is a habit with me. It goes beautifully for a few months and then the deadlines set in and the fun turns into "work" and work becomes troublesome.
*Knit a pair of socks. OK, so it involves a new skill, but new skills are good, right? If one's mind stays active and one's hands busy then that person can stay out of trouble. Hummmm.....novel idea!
*Get totally organized and stay that way. Now this is going to be a biggie, but I can do it with some self -discipline. Has to kick in sometime, don't you agree? Maybe 2007 will be that year.
Small steps. That is my resolve. This will be a big year. There is much to look forward to. Youngest to Kentucky for the next 5 months (oh to be young and have such opportunities!), and college graduation in May. Oldest to take orals in the spring and settle on dissertation topic. Son's wedding in October. They get to anguish over it all, and I'll feel every bump in the road real or imagined! What's a momma for!
So Happy New Year! May 2007 be one of joy, happiness and health to all my friends (new and old), family and others I have yet to meet.

Dec 30, 2006

Foiled again! They promised me a dusting to an inch of snow today and the heavens sputtered and spewed some lovely flakes, but they were short lived. I love the way falling snow looks, sounds (the peace and quiet), and feels on you as you walk out in it. Ok, so I can do with out the cold, but I do love the snow. I have a fear this is going to be my only snowman for the longest while...
The house is quiet today. Hubby is in front of the ball games, Goober puppy is curled up on the quilt on Julie's bed, and I am getting some exercise running from the second floor sewing room to the basement to change tons of laundry that appeared like an after xmas miracle...or is that after xmas nightmare! How so few young adults can use so many towels is beyond me. I am on my third load of towels today! If I get lucky, i may have clean fresh undies tomorrow! *smile*
My mom always told me to be prepared in case of an many of you got that same admonishment. Goodness! If there was an accident I would hope the state of my undies was the last thing anyone would care about. But alas...old habits die hard, and I will get that load finished as well.
In between I am stitching up a valentine pillow to bring into work Tuesday. We went heart wild during the few slow minutes yesterday (between 4:30pm and closing!) chopping fat quarters and thinking ahead. My counterpart is as bad as I am, and we were both fairly "loopy" by the end of the day and giddy with ideas for new classes, clubs, samples. Now not that all or even most will materialize, but at least we are ahead of the Valentine game! I love this little pillow and will share a photo when it is done,done. That is as opposed to being almost there- the state it is in before this little afternoon lunch break. Soup and blogging. Works for me.
We have also decided that we are going to feature the Need'l Love book Winterberry Threads at the shop, and have most of the projects spoken for. Being beyond crazy I jumped up and down to do the bird quilt! So that will be next on the schedule to work in...mocking up the blocks and having them ready to pick up and applique. Maybe I should consider using IMA, but I so love handwork! I need to start mocking up the blocks for Baltimore Bunnies as well, and then there is the "Wedding Quilt" too. I think I'll stop thinking about it head is starting to hurt! That's what I get for being an over achiever. I need to let my enthusiam not get the best of me...but that is too late now!
I should be getting some photos too...WQ block one is finished, the Finished xmas quilt for DD#1 so I can get it mailed out to Chicago, and a few other goodies I have up my sleeves. I should be very busy this weekend. I should also remember to take some time to "ring in the new year" as well. should be a busy productive year! I need to set goals for myself and make them reasonable. Amen!

Dec 27, 2006

Oh what a day it was. Seems as if Christmas was so long ago now. This is one of my favorite pictures- Goober puppy opening his own gifts Christmas Eve. We didn't want to push the excitement issue with a house full on Christmas day,so he got to be the first to see what Santa had left in his stocking! I think there may be a "before" picture of the new Bo-bo toy. It didn't stay new about 3 short minutes the squeeker was pulled out and not long after the stuffing was all over the rug. But fear not! Bo-bo was under Goober's little paws in his bed moments later when the sheer exhaustion of all that play called for a nap! Oh how I wish I could nap like that!
More snippets of Christmas-tide and photos to come. It truly was a good holiday this year!

Dec 18, 2006

Deck the Halls

The last vestiges of decorating are underway. I've been putting off the foyer;I'm really not sure just why. It has always been one of the first things to be decked out for the holidays.
So today,rather than the red and green quilt I usually hang on the landing,I pulled out a very special quilt top and gave it a good pressing. This year, Joyeux Noel was going on the landing.
I have always loved this top...I didn't make it. It was made several years ago by a very dear friend of mine from Kentucky. She was so proud of this top. She had seen a photo another quilting friend had done and HAD to make one for herself. Did a darn good job of it too, if you ask me, but she never got around to quilting it. She was a hand quilter...all her beautiful quilts were always done by hand. She loved the feel of fabric in her fingers. Don't we all- I think that is half of why we quilt.
My dear friend lost a short but well fought battle against cancer a few months back. It is the first Christmas without her child-like giggles and stories. She did however, once she realized she was failing faster than she wanted to,tell her husband that he was to make sure her things were distributed to all of us- her cross-country guild, her friends and in many ways her sisters.Fabric, books, magazines and quilt projects were boxed up and stored with her neighbor waiting for the time they would be sent out to new owners. This top was the only thing I asked for. It felt funny in the beginnig, but knowing I loved Christmas as much as she did gave me the strength to ask. Hanging it for all to see gives me peace, contentment and happiness. I'll miss the laughter, the sewing into the wee hours on those occasions we were together, the hugs and the never saying good-bye. Even at the end, there was no good-bye to be said- just "safe journey home, dear friend".

Tonight I feel the decorating is done. She is here. Things are good.

Dec 16, 2006

French Magazines and Rabbit Lust

Well! Bet that got your attention! Seriously...I was introduced to a new magazine, a French publication that is now available locally. It's name is Patchwork Quiltmania, and when I heard there were only 2 copies left at Barnes and Noble I HAD to stop after work and get myself one of them. Luckily for me there was 1 copy left, and I grabbed it up and headed for the cafe for a spot of supper and some reading. This issue featured (of all people) my favorite design team of Blackbird Designs. The first featured quilt in the article about them was Winter Wonderland from the book, Warm Hearts. This book caught my eye back in 2001 when it was first published because I am madly in love with rabbits of all kinds and there were the most wonderful rabbits within its pages. Winter Wonderland had two leaping bunnies that stole my heart and I knew right away I had to make them and the entire quilt (of course!). That was- as I said- back in 2001. So, after finding Quiltmania and the article I had to rummage thru the attic storage area where I have my overflow fabrics, and long-ago forgotten projects. Sure enough- there they were!! Leaping bunnies. They now reside on my small design wall and I will, yes, I WILL finish this project in the coming year!
There. I've said it! I will do this! Perhaps I will reward myself after finishing the last two sides of DD's christmas gift quilt and allow myself to pull some fabrics for Winter Wonderland. It surely is not such a thing here in upstate NY. The weather feels more like March than 9 days before Christmas. Maybe if I think winter wonderland, we could get the semblence of one here before the 25th??
But until then, I will at least share my new obcession! What is it about quilting that lets me flit back and forth like a bug in a breeze?? There are days I am so focused. Then there are days such as French Magazines and Rabbit Lust!

Dec 11, 2006

trying to tie up loose ends

Today is the day to try to tie up some loose ends. Seems like the hours are just flying past and since I've declared it a "me" day- I'm going to do those little things I've wanted to do.

One of the things I thought I'd do is close out the Yahoo 360 blog I started. I think it is easier to just keep one! May not being totally quilting related, but since that is a big part of who i am, why not keep all my musings here. Sounds about right to me. I might try to move the other posts here, but not sure that will be 100% effective!

It was a fairly quiet weekend here. The house is starting to look festive. Today the dining room tree is on my To Do list as is the fireplace mantle. Husband is away for the day, so I don't have to worry about trying to do things around him! Makes tidying up easier. Tomorrow is the last day of classes for youngest daughter so she will be home sometime tomorrow night from college. Her last semester on January she is off to Rood and Riddle ( in Lexington, KY! She'll be there until just before graduation in May.

Had a lovely holiday get together with the flock from work last evening at the home of one of the owners. Such a beautiful house, and decorated with little treasures everywhere- exactly the kind of enviroment that makes me smile! I was tired, but time with people I enjoy- in a laid back setting with good conversation, good food and warm surroundings was a real treat. There will be another on Wednesday night with a small quilting group of friends that meet once a month. I am looking forward to that one as well. Seems the holiday spirit is in full swing.

On a silly note, both my girls introduced me to "wee mee's" this weekend. How completely fun. The girs say they are addicted, and promised they were going to have to "fix mom's computer" so I could actually see theirs. I managed to make one of my own, and both girls declared my wee mee to be quite sophisticated! I now know it is time to go back to work, and stop all this silliness, but it was exactly what I needed over the weekend. Feeling better is a good thing- and can't wait for the body to get back to 100% normal. I also spent some time with a hot cup of brew reading other quilting blogs and found many interesting ones. So many talented quilters out's nice to be part of a group of people who love the simplier things in life! We tend to get so busy with the daily hustle, bustle and stresses of daily existance. I know I appreciate the time in my sewing room.

Enough musings for one morning...time to go hang lights on that tree that is waiting for me!

Dec 8, 2006

Under the Weather

Under the weather today (again) but sick of sleeping! Reading quilting blogs is passing the time somewhat before my next nap and I found this fun little ditty so thought I'd play along!

My First Meme
1. FIRST NAME? Karen.
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No, my mother liked the name and went against tradition of having my godparents name me...thank goodness!
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Humm...not sure,but probably last Sunday night- don't tell anyone, but I am a sucker for Extreme Home Makeover ! Always makes me cry.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes- lots of practice in grade school. We couldn't use a pen until our penmanship was "approved" about the 5th grade!
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? A good oven roasted turkey breast.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I'm a pretty loyal friend, so I think I would be friends with me.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL?This one! I have tried to keep a written journal before on paper, but never really kept up with it. This is much easier- or so it seems.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? No, not since I was about 5- remember going under ether to this day!
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No, never, and no again! I even hate ladders!
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I don’t wear tie shoes – I prefer my clogs.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Headstrong! Very headstrong, just ask the family!
14. SHOE SIZE? 10.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Way too sensitive much of the time.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My dad. He was quite the man.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I think reading these little insights about others on their Blog is fun, and don't really expect anyone to send this back.I'm still too new at blogging for there to be much interest in me!
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? No shoes, and I'm still in my blue comfy pants and shirt aka jammies!
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Waffle and apricots
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Chuck and Kelly in the Am- sound like an old married couple!
23. FAVORITE SMELL? Either cinnamon or cedar- depends on my mood.
25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Eyes definitely the eyes (Paul Newman blue is a particular sigh!)
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? I might if I actually knew her.
27. FAVORITE DRINK? Coffee! Hot and Fresh
28. FAVORITE SPORT? I like watching (Yankee) baseball.
29. EYE COLOR? Dark Brown.
30. HAT SIZE? Don’t know rarely wear a hat.
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No, glasses- and biflocals at that these days! Thank goodness they are "trendy"!
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Beef Stew- my dad's is real "comfort food".
35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter- there is something magical about the quiet and peace of a winter day.
36. HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses are nice, but I am a hugger!
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Cheese cake! or Carrot cake...hum, decisions, decisions!
38. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Running with Scissors.
41. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? No mousepad here!
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? HGTV (thanks to reruns!) and ER.
42.FAVORITE SOUNDS? Children's laughter, falling snow, a light rain.
46. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Being a good friend, and I like to think my "crafting".
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?No one- found it on another blog.

Dec 3, 2006

Show and Tell!

Here is the first of the show and tell photos. The actual "event took place this am at the weekly meeting of GFA (girlfriends annonymous!)held at our favorite diner. Before coffee I showed them the pumpkin seed quilt that I am hoping will be quilted, bound and ready under the tree for my eldest daughter. Now wouldn't that be quite the surprise! The only child to get the "college" quilt was the youngest- something that mom gets chided for now and again. My reply is simply no one specified which degree the quilt was for!
Anyway, I hope she likes it. I know I do, and it is wonderful to pull a UFO from the closet and be able to see it crossed off the list. What is even better is that it will fit in perfectly with the bedding set she bought last year.

This photo is the Sweet Columbine strippy quilt featured in the Spring 2006 Quilt Sampler. I intend to do the flowers and leaves/branches in hand dyed wools. I am very excited by this project and love the results so far!
This close up of the right upper top gives you some idea of the quilting done on it. My machine quilter said I left enough notes pinned to the top and hoped the quilting was "dense" enough! She got a good chuckle out of me this time around. I think what she does on her janome is amazing...wish I had time to really practice and build up confidence in doing larger projects!
Here is a look at the back- isn't it grand! It is the little things in life that can make me so happy. Make it two beautiful quilts in the works and I am delerious! Now that I feel I am on my way, maybe I can think about dragging down the decoration boxes in the guest room and set the house to holiday mode! Then again, I'm getting cocky and hoping I can whip up a little something for the son so he doesn't feel left out! We'll see. be super human. Now wouldn't that be nice!

Dec 2, 2006

December 2nd ! Is it really December 2nd?
It was one of those "me" days where I merrily went along my way doing errands that needed to be done. I even got to visit a new-to-me quilt shop about 40 minutes away. I needed some 30's fabrics for a quilt I would like to finish as a Christmas gift for Daughter #1. Why is it whenever you get rid of things you don't think you are going to use, you need them. I had packed away pumpkin seed blocks long ago and got it into my head that I would pull them out, finish them and have a quilt all set to go. Not so easy when you've given away your bin of 30's prints!
The little shop was cute. And they had a decent collection to chose from. I found 6 prints I liked; 5 will go into a scrappy inner border and the 6th will be the outer border. Left over prints will all be sewn together for a scrappy binding.
John, the owner's husband, gushed over my top! Boy did that feel good. He liked my color choices and loved the fabrics i pulled off the shelf. There was a trunk show from Atkinson Designs and we discussed each of them at length. It was fun. I found an old top in the "for sale section" dated late 1800's. There was a huge chunk taken out of it, and I probably could have salvaged something from it, but it was $80. I wasn't sure it would hold up to that kind of stress, so I passed on it. I may find I'm going to kick myself somewhere along the way for leaving it there.
On the way home I stopped and picked up my strippy top from the gal who quilted it for me on her machine. I wanted it densely quilted and she teased me when she pulled it out of the bag...was it dense enough?? Was it ever! It was exactly what I wanted, and she laughed and mentioned i did have enough notes pinned to it that she couldn't make a mistake! I was too happy with the outcome to hang my head in shame.
Now for the wool applique I intend to do on it and get it bound. Another finished project! Wow. It's not even the new year (and my yearly turning of a "new leaf") and already I have 2 bigger projects near completion. Dare I hope to get a third done before Christmas? I doubt it! I will post photos as soon as they are taken!
I celebrated my happy morning with a French Vanilla latte and a crandberry chicken wrap at my favorite little spot at my favorite outdoor shopping Plaza, watching the gayily decorated white horses pull the holiday carriage filled with smiling children and their respective parents (or grandparents) tucked under a warm lap robe around the perimeter of the Plaza. There may not be any snow, but it is beginning to feel alot like Christmas!
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