Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Tomorrow, tomorrow,
we're moving
I hope that
it doesn't rain!!!

Yes, it's true, we finally closed! Moving truck has been reserved-- pick up at 8:30 tomorrow morning!!! Good thing I've been packing, packing, packing!!!!

I put my sewing machine away this morning. I was feeling optimistic that this time would be the final time, and it would all work out. And I was right!

Hooray, finally it will be moving day!

I called all the places I needed to call to turn off the water here, changed our address, and cancelled internet... that last one was kind of weird... I might wake up to no internet... the lady didn't know if canceling it tomorrow would mean 12:01 tonight or 12:01 tomorrow... I think she was new. But, hopefully once we get down there it will be a relatively short time before we have internet there (Just in case, I have a random post scheduled to appear...).

I can't believe it's ten at night already. I need to get some sleep!!! I've got a big day ahead of me tomorrow!

Thanks for all the encouragement and well-wishes!

Monday, November 29, 2010


I like Mondays. At least, after breakfast, I like Mondays.  Perhaps that is because none of the jobs I've had ever had a M-F schedule... I almost always worked weekends, so Monday was just another day to me.

I also like Mondays because of their history. My dad was a barber, and Monday was his day off. When I was really young, he used to take me along on his errands, which meant riding around in a truck or SUV, staring out the window, and making idle 5-year-old chit chat with my dad. We always had to go to the bank, which (oh, shucks) was just a couple blocks away from Dairy Queen. I used to love chili cheese dogs! And then a small soft serve sundae covered in hot fudge.... MMMMM!!!

So today, Monday, November 29, I am not dreading what the day will bring like so many people seem to do. I'm looking forward to meeting with my Professor about my poetry, running errands, going to class, and then coming home to pack some more. I'm almost out of boxes! I don't know how much (if any) sewing I'll get done, but the move is fast approaching... :)

Have a happy Monday!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Dear ADHD Self,

Next time you try to sell something on Etsy, make sure EVERY STEP is done before you get distracted. After all, money from sales can buy more distractions later...


Extremely Focused for a MOMENT Self, currently hoping someone wants something bad enough to have put up with waiting for me to figure out what step I missed with Paypal (which is now finally fixed).

RRCB step 2

Another step of the mystery quilt is done! And I have 16 extra pairs of HSTs. I was guessing as I paired up strips, hence the excess.
I made these this morning since I was up early to go out to breakfast, but breakfast got cancelled... so I got a decent amount of piecing done. The pictures are darker than I would like... those are really fuschia and navy. Another reason to look forward to moving--  more windows= better light!

The dogs are doing their best to make me forget how badly my foot hurts-- I let them outside, put their dinner in the bowls while they were out, then called them in only to see Prudence momentarily standing on Matt's back as they came running! She must have been trying to hurdle him again, and landed on top, making them look like my own two-dog circus!
(Did someone tell my dogs that Peru, Indiana is also known as the Circus City?)
And now Matt Lauer is doing a crazy hop and spin combo.... Crazy kids!

I'm going to go pack a few more boxes.. it gets easier knowing we're closer to moving, but harder because I have all the oddly-shaped things left to pack that don't fit easily into boxes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


How about a fabric basket?
It seemed like a good project for that seemingly odd piece I had made from my initially Go play. I think it turned out rather well... it should be the perfect size to organize the limited makeup I use-- mascara and a champagne-colored eyeshadow if I'm feeling like putting some effort into myself.

Isn't it cute? I found a tutorial on this blog. Look on the sidebar for the little basket... it's there! I think I might have to explore some of the other tutorials on that blog... I might find something else I "need" to make for the new house!

Moving day should be Wednesday!!!! Hopefully we'll get there, get unpacked, and get internet quickly... but not too quickly; I want to be able to focus on setting up my sewing room!!!!!

Miracle? Maybe...

They still had one at 9:30 this morning. I sent Tim this picture... I was trying to make a strong hint so he would have a good idea for a Christmas present without me actually asking for it... but then he texted me back, and told me to go ahead and get it now!!! As a belated birthday present! Which means I've been playing with it this afternoon rather than waiting for Christmas! :)
Oh Happy Day! I've got a new toy! :)
I made this with the die that comes with the Go. I have no idea what it will be when it grows up, but I don't really care. It's fun, and bright, and could be part of a new purse, or adding some more HSTs could make it a medallion, or who knows! I don't care, I have a Go!!!!

Which makes it easier for Tim to shop for me for Christmas-- I already know what other dies I would love for it... like the Tumblers, Rob Peter to Pay Paul, Apple Core.... there's the benefit of having tried so hard to win one through those giveaways- I've analyzed over and over again what would be most useful to me.

The best part about the Go today is that fact that I was able to cut fabric while wearing my boot without massive discomfort. The boot makes it difficult to get down on the floor where I am still cutting for a few days more. But my Go is perched on top of my Fashion Mate sewing cabinet (which is tucked away waiting to be moved).

I did get another die for it, too... they were on sale, so I got the 5" squares. This way, I can make a charm pack of washed fabric... no more irritation to my hands!

Can a get a hooray all around???!

I had to wait until after lunch to play with it, because my brother and I had some unfinished business... our parents used to fight about these two UGLY ceramic vases. My entire childhood, these vases stood in one room or another in their hideousness. One of the airedales we had broke them one year, but Dad was sooooo attached he glued them back together with what looked like wood glue- it was the only way those vases could have gotten uglier! So, since our whole family has a sense of humor, before Dad passed away it was determined that the vases would persist as long as he was alive, but after that, they had a date with a golf club.
2 vases, 2 children.... Ben took 2 swings to demolish his, but I only took one beautiful WHACK to turn that thing into shards and ceramic dust!!! This is how we grieve in my family. :) It's rather cathartic; you should try it.

Tim just reminded me via text that I promised him a new beanie by Tuesday, so I guess I should prop my foot up where it belongs and sit back and crochet a new green hat for him.

It's been an awesome day!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black (boot) Friday

Thanksgiving this year was so fun! Everyone who was in town for the meal got up for the Turkey Stampede and either walked or ran a 5K. My brother and his wife and Tim and I all ran-- sibling rivalry is still alive and kicking, though, since my brother ran despite an injury just because I was running, and at about the halfway point Tim just shook his head as I encouraged him to pick it up a little... we ended up finishing 50 seconds faster than my brother!

I knew this was going to happen, too....

I'm back in a walking boot. I know I really should not have run yesterday, but I promised everyone concerned I would put the boot back on, and maybe this time it will heal since Tim is home (which means he can do all the yard work, heavy lifting, etc. rather than me doing EVERYTHING like last spring while he was deployed.... hmm, maybe that's why it never felt 100% better).

Today is another day to be thankful... thankful that I'm not working retail this year! I've worked 7 black Fridays behind one register or another, always 8 hours shifts of seeing people at their worst. We're talking haggard, sleep-deprived people who on a normal day knew my name, but on that day acted like a grizzly woken in January. I think i would prefer the grizzlies, actually. So today, I am thankful I did not have to brave the crazies. If the timing had been better, the Go! deal at JoAnn's would have tempted me, but not this year. Not when the military has messed up Tim's pay (it happens to Everyone who goes AGR) and we don't know when it will get resolved completely. There are more important things.

I helped Mum as much as I could decorating her tree. She then let Ben and I sort Dad's old ornaments.... we used to put up a second tree in the basement that was entirely devoted to vehicles-- mostly cars, but also planes and motorcycles. It was a bittersweet thing- kind of like picking over a Christmas carcass- but Benny and I laughed through it, especially when he ended up with the last ornament, which was this really goofy little police car (think of the movie Cars) that he called the booby ornament. I have a feeling it might end up in my stocking at Mom's house as a joke.

Today wasn't a shopping day for me at all. I made it through the entire day buying only one thing:

And now that I"m home for the evening, it's FINALLY time to sew!!! Left footed, of course!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flash in the brain pan!!!

I just got a brilliant idea for something I can quilt for the bathroom! It involves upcycling old towels... I'll tell you when I get one made... :)

BUT that won't be until after we move, which got delayed again. Is anyone keeping track how many times I've said that? I've lost count! As of 4 p.m. yesterday, I was making fudge to take to our realtor as a thank you, but then during dinner with my mom and brother, Tim texted and let me know I didn't need to drive down today after all.... delayed again. Oh well. The way the ankle is behaving, it would have been a very painful drive for me to make, so for that I am glad I do not have to drive down there. Plus, I was able to sleep in a little.... but I did get up early enough to see this:

That right there is one thing I love about winter: sunrise comes late enough I get to see it without being a sleep-deprived barista!!! I think this is going to end up being some quilty inspiration... perhaps the color scheme, perhaps I'll try thread painting, we shall see... it's just too pretty to Not work into a project!

 The scarf is done. And very warm! And yes, that is a Playstation 3 controller behind me on the couch. :)
This morning, I worked on the letters a little more:
As you can see, "Crazy" is finished, and I also have "LAD" for the Lady part... just need another Y, and I think I'm going to make another cat to go in between. I like it a lot so far. I need to pick a solid for the border between the cat head and the words, and then I'll pick another border to go around all the words as the final border.

Yesterday I had quite the adventure with our oven....

The funny part is that I was HAPPY to have the door fall halfway off! It had been previously stuck closed!!! I called Tim... through giggles on my part, this was the conversation...

Tim: Hey, Babe. what's up?
Me: Um, the oven won't open, and my pizza is stuck inside.
Tim: What?
Me: The oven won't open, and my pizza is stuck inside, and I'm hungry!
Tim: Kick it, I guess.

(pause while I for once do exactly as I'm told)

Me: Oh! Oh! Ok, I think I can get my pizza out now, but you're going to have to put the door back on tomorrow. Thanks!

The door is now completely off and leaning against the front of the stove. That, ladies and gents, is why I am SO VERY GLAD that Thanksgiving will be "normal" again this year at my mom's house. It was fun in a way to make Thanksgiving all by myself last year for just Tim and me, but given that our stove has been, uh, decommissioned, I am thankful for family and friends and my mother's kitchen this year!!!!!

May all your ovens be working, and may you have a fabulous Thanksgiving this year!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Good idea/bad idea

I spent today with my family- my older brother, his wife, and my mom. We walked around Michigan City's outlet mall longer than intended, so I didn't get home until I should have been in class already... oops. I truly believe spending time with family like today is not something I can turn down. Last year taught me that. Today, though, I learned that walking around for 6 hours the day after running 1.5 miles is not a good idea, especially when said events are done on a bone bruise that refuses to go away.


This is what I've been up to tonight:

It's nearly done! Hooray!

So, despite being relegated to the couch for the evening, I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I'll get to wear my new scarf with my new thermal that I got for $10! If it's going to get cold, bring it on... I'm ready!!!

PS- This does NOT mean I won't be running on Thanksgiving! I'm too stubborn for my own good. :) But I promise to rest after that!!! Mmm, turkey comas....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where did the day go???

I got up and DID run 1.5 miles in 14:27... not bad, considering that I have not been running... that was maybe the ninth time since last March. I feel confident now that I will be able to finish on Thursday! The funny part about my time was that Tim did his PT run in 13:27!
After my run, the day just kind of disappeared... I know I did a load of laundry (all dog blankets... smelly kids!), and I took a short nap, and I just got back from dinner... but that leaves a lot of gaps. I feel very unproductive for once.

I might be able to get a little sewing done yet tonight... or I might pick up my knitting again since it's easier to do in front of the TV, and I am currently enjoying the Amazing Race. :)

With that.... time to relax.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cute and Cuter

I went back to JoAnn's today since Mum didn't suggest another gift idea until after dinner yesterday... so today, I picked up some more Christmas finishing fabrics, as I described them when answering the habitual "What are you making with that?" But I couldn't resist these little Santa Gnomes! They are too cute. 
What to make with them!!!
Mug rug? 
Gift bag? 
Maybe all of the above!

The kids were getting along great tonight. They still squabble, but I love when they curl up together like this... so sweet. Earlier, during the National Anthem before the Notre Dame-Army game, I sang along (always do!) and it was like doggy dance party they got so excited! I knew Prudence loves it when I sing (no idea why fi dogs really do hear better), but I was surprised that even before she mobbed me, Matt Lauer was a wiggle worm of happy puppy love. Which means I'll have to contain some of my usual holiday singing or be prepared to deal with ecstatic dogs!
3 bags of 50 units, plus a 4th bag with 28. 
Just to show you, I did get the last units for the mystery quilt cut- that pile of strips from earlier brought my total to 178!!! YES! I only needed 172, so hooray for an appropriate amount of extras! I really hope somewhere along the way I'll get to use the rest of the 2" strips I cut... I underestimated and have a TON of green strips left, and a bunch of pink.... which would be perfect if these units are meant for 9 patches... that's right, I'm guessing already! This is probably why I haven't done a mystery quilt before-- NO PATIENCE!

I'm sure you've all seen the latest Subway commercial where the "hot" girl asks the nerdy guy to be her boyfriend, then takes his sandwich and justifies it by being his girlfriend... Well, Tim and I saw it several times while he was home this week, and the first time he whips his head towards me and gave me a face before saying, "Gee, sounds familiar!"
Needless to say, that's our favorite commercial right now!

Have a good night, everyone! If this motivation continues to percolate, I might go run tomorrow morning... Tim has a PT test, so I told him I'd try to do the run portion in spirit with him as a practice for Thursday.


I did not win a Go... sigh. I think that was at least the tenth giveaway I had entered. I would be right there in line on Black Friday to get one, but Tim's pay is messed up so we have to be very careful about money until they get that fixed. Thank goodness for the Devines who have been letting him (literally) sleep on their couch so he hasn't had to pay for a hotel for the last month while we wait to move! I'm taking Cathi out for a pedicure whenever we finally get moved as a thank you to her for putting up with the Tim/Dustin pair this whole time, and since she's never had one (despite having had 2 kids!).

I think I must cave completely, though, and actually ask for the darn thing for Christmas. Why is it so hard for me to ask for a Christmas present???? Oh well. I'll suck it up, ask Tim, and he'll be ecstatic that I actually told him what I would like, and I'll feel greedy (especially since I already gave Mum the go ahead to get us a Kitchenaid stand mixer; I say "us" because Tim wants me to have one so I can continue to feed him all sorts of deliciousness for which my family is known).

But you know what's pretty awesome? I'm the guest blogger on Stash Manicure  today! Thanks to the lovely Mme Samm for letting me prattle on over their! Originally it would have shown a much different storyline-- moving, setting up a sewing room, sorting fabric, etc.... but I had to alter that since we haven't moved and MAKE DO with a new topic!

So last night I got 78 of the unit made for Step 1 of the mystery quilt from the lovely Bonnie Hunter. Go check out her whole website, not just the mystery- she's awesome!

This morning, I brought the total up to 125

Bright, bold, and very modern! LOVE.IT.
and also got enough strips sewn together for the remaining pieces

but two distracting dogs thought they were in need of attention, so I put my sewing away for a bit. I just need to press this pile and cut them into the units and I'll have step 1 done.  I love how bright it looks already. I almost wish there was more to work on already, but it's also nice to be able to call it "finished" for each step... makes it not so daunting. The dogs are sleeping again, so I think I can get these last pieces cut... And then what?

I'll have to dig in the boxes and unpack something... hmm, maybe I'll finally work on the letters for my MIL's quilt... Maybe!!!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A bright spot

In the chaos that has been whirling around, I keep finding bright sides... for example, the positives of not moving yet: Another free tire rotation will be due, one less week to drive only 25 mins instead of nearly 1 hour 45 minutes to class, the dogs can stay at our house during Thanksgiving instead of having the chaos of FOUR monsters at lunch that day, and yet they can still go to dinner at Val's, and last but not least, Tim and I can sleep in our own bed the night before and after the 5K! See all those positives I found to this delay? 

And then, there's this pile... Some of you can probably guess what it's for!!!

That's right: since the move is delayed again, I can get started on Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt, Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll! I took her color recommendations and then put my tweak on them, i.e. chose brighter pink, brighter green, substituted my blue for the brown, and substituted YELLOW for her constant of red.

I have never done a mystery quilt before.... it's exciting. Well, I've never done a planned mystery quilt, but sometimes my plans turn into mysteries before they're done!

I love the way the pile looks!!! If the dogs stay quiet, I'll be able to make some serious progress on step one. :)

Another thing I got done... these mittens!

They're for my BFF. She loses mittens like The Biggest Loser contestants lose weight. So, these are perfect, since they only took an hour to make. I'm going to try to find one of those cords you give little kids to run under their coats and attach to mittens to put in with these. The mittens are SOOO warm since they are fleece-lined fleece. Mmmm, cozy!

If things go even remotely to plan, we might move December 1st. Which means I have about 12 days (feels like deja vu counting from their again) to work on stuff, which is enough time to unpack some things....Time to return to my sewing area...  let's see how much more progress I can make on Christmas presents and projects!


Yesterday, while Tim took a nap and these 2 snuggled and pretended to love each other, I started a new project... and it doesn't involve sewing at all!!! GASP!

Jen had taken me to get a pedicure for a belated birthday present (I love pedicures! I just wish they didn't make my talus {this very middle bone of the ankle} hurt so badly from that persisting bone bruise). Afterwards, she asked me to come along to a yarn shop that neither of us had investigated yet... and I came home with these two skeins of Cascade 50% wool/ 50% llama yarns! And since yesterday we still didn't know about the whole closing on the house deal, I started the most mindless, stress-relieving project I could- a scarf. I love scarves, LOVE LOVE LOVE them. And this yarn will make this a very cozy scarf! And the colors are soft and pretty and should look lovely with all of my winter gear, from my black fleece to my brown sherpa coat. :)

It was over a foot long by the end of their nap. I intend to knit some more tonight, perhaps finish it if I don't need any more yarn to make it long enough.

Today started out with Tim leaving to go back to his base for work again... so I decided to go to JoAnn's and spend at least part of my birthday gift cards. I found a couple treats- a 30 degree triangle ruler on clearance for less than $4, a cute pincushion with scissors that stash in the center of it, some pretty green blenders, and then (Tim would be exasperated) I spent some of my gift card money on materials to finish some Christmas gifts. In a way, making those presents is a gift for me, since it keeps me busy and makes me Oh So Happy when the recipients are so pleased.

I still have some $ left, And I will probably wait to use them for awhile... and I'll try to use them on myself, Honey, I really will!!!

Now if only we could get a definite closing date... it's been "scheduled" for Wednesday, but being that this is the third time it's been scheduled, and it keeps getting messed up, I can't let myself get excited yet. Especially because we still wouldn't be able to move because until at least December 1st. I don't know anyone else who has bee in the process of closing as long as we have... I've lost count of how many weeks it's been. We've filed three extensions, and will have passed 2 holidays by the time we get in there.... I'm so frustrated, I need to go sew!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Food, glorious food

I made a chicken Caesar salad wedge for us for dinner tonight.... AND an apple pie! I was going to made turnovers as a grand experiment, but had too much filling, so I turned it into a pie. YUM!

Tim was pretty thrilled with the menu. :) Making a good dinner like that is so satisfying. I'm one of those people who would rather make their own dinner rather than go to a restaurant. Mostly because it tastes so much better!!! And, as Tim pointed out, I know there are no allergens lurking. Speaking of which, I want to write a letter to Hot Rod Bob's salad dressing company and thank them for being the only brand I've been able to find that doesn't have xanthan gum, guar gum, gum acacia, cellulose gum or carageenan. These are all thickeners, which sometimes function as preservatives, too, and I'm allergic to ALL OF THEM. If you want to see how frustrating this can be when it comes to salad dressing, go grab the bottle out of your fridge- I bet it has at least one. But Hot Rod Bob's dressings are safe AND yummmmmmmy!

I haven't sewn yet today... we've been running around, first to Tim's mom's, then just running after the dogs, then to the grocery... funny how the day escapes like that. I think it's time to try out the grippers mom got me for my quilting rulers.... :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A better birthday in some ways!

The table topper is at flimsy stage.
I hope that previous post didn't sound like a pity party... it was meant more to show that birthday's aren't as important in the same way.

I did get the table topper to a finished flimsy on Sunday night. No sewing happened yesterday, but today I made another mug rug...

It's a little larger than my others- big enough to fit a small plate ! But I love it. It makes a good-sized TV tray placemat I guess...

Matt Lauer is losing his puppy teeth. No wonder he's been stealing socks and unmentionables! He's also leaving red spots on Prudence! At first I was concerned he was hurting her, but it's just his teeth falling out (why do dogs eat them afterwards? Both of them want to eat his old teeth!).

And in honor of today being my darn day, I'm taking a nap.


Reasons I no longer adore birthdays:

The first decade or so, I was ofter sick. When I turned 11, I spent my birthday at the Dr and found out I'd be having my tonsils out over Christmas break.

When I turned 16, my parents forgot it was my birthday until 8 pm (I remember the time because Jeopardy had just ended and I started to cry, thinking I would be going to bed soon and no one remembered my birthday-- our family usually makes a huge deal complete with cake and cards on the actual day, not to mention either a favorite dinner or dinner out... Mom had made meatloaf. NOT my favorite). Later that week, my friends were taking me out to Don Pablos and I was SOOO VERY EXCITED, but then they took my inside one girls's house where it turned out there was NO trip to Don Pablo's, but rather pizza and way too many people waiting for a surprise party. My girl friends didn't get that I was excited to be spending time with just them, rather than a bunch of idiots, one of which was the all-too-clingy moron I was dating at the time. I know they meant well, but when you're excited for girls' night and chips and salsa and Jaritos, pizza and a crowd doesn't do it.

18- we had finals (weird trimester schedule). No one likes finals, no matter the day.

When I turned 19, a different boyfriend forgot my birthday.
When I turned 20, I got dumped by yet another different guy. He cancelled dinner plans and dumped me, and then said "oh, I didn't know today was your birthday." Funny, because the week before he had asked where he should make reservations for MY BIRTHDAY. I ended up surprising the kids I nannied by showing up at their school recital. That made the night better, and honestly, probably was more fun than it would have been with the Idiot. (Yes, I dated a lot of idiots!)

24- another idiot seemed to think he could buy my affections... we broke up rather quickly, thank goodness, because then I finally met (and married!) Tim. I don't really like presents because of all the guilt that comes with them. This is not a therapist's couch, so I won't go into that much, I'll just leave it at what Mum loves to call my gross feeling of inadequacy. Nevertheless, I hate receiving gifts- but I absolutely LOVE giving everyone else presents!

25- Tim and I had been married for 4 months (dated 5 months before we got married- lots of people called us crazy, but we both "just knew" within 3 days of dating officially! To be honest, though, we had known each other through our mutual friend for three years, so we weren't complete strangers). He got activated on the 6, but he was able to come home the weekend before, and because he's a giver AND know what makes me truly happy, he bought me my good sewing machine. And, to make me not feel so guilty about it, he told me what I could make for him with it. He had to return to the base for my actual birthday, so I went out with my mom to Olive Garden, which was more fun than a surprise party.

26- Today. We still haven't closed on the house- that would be the best "present" to get right now. Tim thought he would be able to get today off, but can't now. I'm going to end up back at Olive Garden with my Mom and grandparents. I got my flu shot yesterday so I don't feel super, either. The dogs woke me up early, and it's reached the time of year where this house will not stay warm (please let us leave soon!) which means my hands and feet are so cold they hurt no matter how many pairs of socks and gloves I wear.

Matt Lauer (the dog) seems to think if he licks me enough, I'll have a great day. Prudence thinks if she climbs in my lap I'll have an even better day!
And you know what? I THINK THEY ARE RIGHT! I love our dogs. They're giving me the smothering birthday love I need.... wait, they smother me every day. I LOVE OUR DOGS!!!

(And just so no one thinks Tim is slacking this year, I'm sure he'll at least have a card for me whenever he's able to get home or we get moved).

May a dog look at you with as much love as mine have when then battle for my attention, and may you have a happy day!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A different kind of busy

I have spent all day so far trying to gather/revise poems... leave it to me to not notice the personal note scribbled on an assignment handed back two weeks ago in which my professor requested 18-22 poems of mine! EEK! In the emails that have come and gone today during this process, I'm still unclear as the end goal of all this. I have suspicions, though.

I'm going to have to leave at least an hour early so I can print things off at school. My printer has been packed for two weeks, so I'm really glad I have the ability to print on campus!!!

More later.... hopefully I can squeeze in a tidbit of sewing today!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I can't believe how long today has been!

Ta-da! I finished quilting and binding the last 2 pumpkin placemats! My drive to finish them had begun to wane since it doesn't look like I'll get to use them this year, but they were on top of one of the plastic bins I had packed, so I got them out this morning and finished them-- FMQ and machine-stitching the binding. These two have a different binding than the other two since I didn't have enough to do all four.  I still have a tiny hope that maybe I'll get to use them for a couple days before Thanksgiving... but for now, they are repacked in a different box (since they are no longer a work in progress!). It feels good to be finishing things... now if only we could finish the closing process!

The gold catches the light even in quick photos.
Last night, after hearing disconcerting noises outside and realizing I would be up a while longer until I calmed down, I got out what was the top of the pile in the packed WIPs box-- Grandma and Grandpa's tablerunner.  It took me way too long to find where I had packed the fabric for the backing, but I did find it and got it pieced big enough. Then, a conundrum... my one remaining semi-large piece of cotton batting is all packed Somewhere... but I had a piece of poly sitting right out where I could see it. I had never machine quilted with poly batting... until last night! I think it came out all right. I will be putting a care instruction label on this one so that they don't melt the bejeezus out of it.
The back side, also pretty.

The binding went on after lunch. Again, I machine-stitched it down (why did it take me so long to start machine stitching binding down? I love it!). I think it turned out rather well. I know my grandparents will love it. It will be packed in the Christmas box with all the other presents I have already, which means that's 2 things finished from the WIP box.

I ran an errand, then cleaned up Matt Lauer's first accident (to give him credit, he did go in the bathroom... unfortunately that meant the rug around the toilet is ruined.... oh well, I wanted a new one anyway). And then I needed to destress, so I pulled another WIP out of the box... I had 2 houses made from a kit I bought on the shop hop at the end of September. This is the only kit I have ever purchased, and reminds me why- once I got it home, I was discouraged by the lack of creativity. So I decided to make the two blocks it called for... and then ponder.

Tonight, I made the top left and the bottom right houses. I think I'm going to put them together like this, with some sashing in the middle, then borders, and call it a table topper rather than the awkwardly small and not sure what for sized piece the kit would have made (16" x 20"... what do you do with something that size if you don't have dolls?). I'm still glad I bought the kit, but also glad I bought it knowing I would not be making an exact replica... not my style. As soon as the Amazing Race is over, it's back to my machine... maybe I can get this all the way to a finished flimsy before I go to bed tonight.

I hope your Sunday was productive, too, even if that means you did a good job relaxing!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New purse

3 hours, start to finish, including actual designing and dog-wrangling in between seams.


"I Gotta Feelin'"

That today's going to be a GREAT DAY!

For starters, Beth (So sorry to hear she was under the weather) claimed her prize!!!! YAY!!! I love being able to give it away.

And, I'm about to work on a purse I'm designing that takes 3 fat quarters for the focus fabrics plus lining.... so I'll be throwing out one idea for using them! Perhaps by the end of today...

And I'm not the only one having issues with blogger email replies, so I don't feel like a computer idiot anymore.

And I've got two adorable dogs who are making me laugh already.

Off to start my purse! I hope everyone is having a great morning, too!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Frustrated, and finishes

I went to the LQS again... sadly, the same woman treated me in the same rude fashion.  She stares at me like I'm a shady character, follows me around the store, and when she rings me up, makes visible faces at my purchases and no attempt to be friendly. Whenever I ask her questions, or even try to have a conversation, I get treated like an idiot. And it started with the walking foot on my machine...
See what I had to do to make it work right?

Notice the wire.
 I had to (pardon the slang) jerry-rig it to get the lever to go down when it's supposed to drop naturally. When I had my machine serviced, they checked out the walking foot and said it worked fine. The Mean Lady, who is the same one that scoffed and asked if I even put it on right, was supposed to let me verify in the store when I picked it up, but she literally put my machine as close to the door as she could without putting it outside in the rain that day and said, "You're all set" before walking away into the store's back room. My husband asked me what her deal was, so I told him in the car she is the one who is always so rude to me.

When I was in their today, I made sure to avoid her as much as possible. It makes me sad to say this, but I'm looking forward to moving so that this is not the closest quilt shop, all because of that one unpleasant woman. My walking foot sticks- I'm not crazy, or stupid. After sewing about 12 inches, it starts sticking, and the bar doesn't drop to make the foot "walk". I'm sure they didn't sew further than that, which is why they said it worked fine. However, since I'm deceptively young looking, no one would listen to me when I tried to explain the problem. And I sure as hell wasn't going to get into it again since I already know this woman would have been the one I would have been referred to again.

Hence, the wire. You know what? That piece of wire didn't complain, call me stupid, or try to shove me out a door. I like my wire. If only I had the welding equipment to make a new end for the walking foot's lever that would grip the needle screw like the walking foot does on my Singer....

Vision realized!
Since the wire worked, though, I did get my placemats done. I've showed them to a couple people, all of whom said I should market them (but how???).
Frankly, I'm just happy to have this set done for us. And unless they find some way to colossally mess things up further, we should be moved in time to use them. There's been another snag-- our paperwork was supposed to come back from the underwriter on WEdnesday, didn't then of course yesterday was Veteran's Day, and then no news today, so we don't know what's going on. AND I HATE THAT. I'm guessing this means no closing Monday (man, I feel horrible for the current homeowner-- she moved out a week ago!). A few weeks ago, it looked like a sure thing that we'd be moved and unpacked by my birthday. Then it was looking like we'd at least be moved. Now, we won't even be fully packed from here since everyone who can is dragging their feet while we dance anxiously on ours. My new goal it to move before Matt Lauer hits 65 pounds... he's gained three (up to 53 lbs) since we brought him home, so that might not even happen... big, resigned sigh.

To top off my frustrations, I don't know what to do about the giveaway- I want to send the prize to Beth, but have no way of reaching her. I want t send sleeves to the others, but can only get a hold of Cheri and Sophie from previous emails since blogger is not getting along with my computer (I can't open email addresses from people's profiles--and then there are those who don't even have a profile). I got their sleeves made (Hope you like them, ladies!). It seems my only recourse is to "roll over" the prize for some other giveaway if it's not claimed. Which, I think, is the sanest thing to do rather than drive myself crazy over another problem on the list of things I can't control.
If it isn't claimed by Thanksgiving, then prizes assumed forfeited and will be rolled over into a new giveaway, TBA. That is PLENTY of time for any of the people who commented to contact me... those who said they follow have no excuse to have missed my postings asking for them to contact me TRTLGRL15 at YAHOO dot COM

Good night. Thanks to those of you in advance who I know will have the encouraging words my ears need to hear. You help me keep things in perspective, both in your comments and when I read your blogs. If life were any easier, they'd call the whole thing Vacation.

Happy Friday, everyone!

First of all, a reminder to anyone who posted for my giveaway... send me contact information! I have small prizes for EVERYONE. If I don't hear from the others by the end of next week, then I will have no choice but to "roll over" the prizes and host another giveaway later... like Christmas. Sophie and cheri will be getting their sleeves, though, since I have addresses for them.

And now onto fun stuff!

Today is going to be a Fun Friday, I do declare!

First off, I will be doing a little fabric shopping... no large purchases, just a couple things to play with while I wait one more week to move. I also need to pick up a part I ordered for my Fashion Mate. Then I have some finishes... All that's left to do on the present placemats is quilt the other three (I put them together last night while Tim played the latest Call of Duty-- we're sad the new one doesn't have a co-op campaign mode... so he gets to play by himself for the most part. I'll play while he's gone, and that way we're not fighting over who's turn it is!). Then, I will finish quilting the 2 pumpkin placemats that didn't get quilted yet (I got distracted, surprise!).

This afternoon, I'm meeting some friends at Hacienda... they have the best chili con queso! I could eat a whole bowl by myself, and MIGHT have done so on numerous occasions in the past.

Hopefully, by the end of today I'll have more photos of FINISHED things, or at least Fun things!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


To those of you who posted on my birthday giveaway on the 1st of November: I cannot get a hold of you if you are no-reply, or have no profile, or did not leave any other way to contact you, or haven't since commented letting me know how to contact you, or didn't see the last post about emailing me ( trtlgrl15 AT yahoo DOT com )
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE get a hod of me! Especially Beth, since the random # generator picked you to win!

I don't know what to do if you don't....
Cheri, and Sophie, never fear, yours are being mailed tomorrow (why do I always forget there's no mail on Veteran's Day?)

My attempt at spreading birthday fun is being derailed!!! Help me out so I can send your prize! Thanks.

PS. I hope you thanked a veteran today... I made mine coffee, then took him out to Martin's where he got free lunch, then to Applebee's for free supper, and now we're going to snuggle up for movie night. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Random.org picked #3 for the winner.... BETH!!! However, I cannot get ahold of you.... so I'm giving you 48 hours to contact me so you can claim your prize!

Second place... Random.org picked #6-- SOPHIE!!! You won the two sleeves! "Ask,, and ye shall receive..." Looks like the random number generator listens, too!

But you know what? There were only 5 people to enter total.... so farhill49, Rubyd, and Cheri, I'm going to try contacting ALL OF YOU and I will send you three each a sleeve, too, as a thank you for helping me celebrate my birthday this year.

*EDIT* I'm going to have to try another method of accessing the emails for you all... it's still not opening them like it should! If any of you see this before I get a hold of you, email me: trtlgrl15 AT yahoo DOT com and let me know.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another project that can be done during puppy naps

Right before Jen came to pick up her order this afternoon, I was struck like lightning with an idea for holiday placemats. Have you ever had a design idea slap you in the face, or whack you in the back of the head? That's what it's like sometimes! I love it! This was it... Presents! So, a quick trip to JoAnn's was in order (didn't feel like driving 30 minutes all the way to the LQS... JoAnn's is 10 mins away). 
The middle loop can hold a napkin! I can't find my fabric napkins... I think they got packed already or I would have put one up there to demonstrate. 
One hour of work later, and one is done! The other three are pinned and ready to to be stitched. I was pretty excited to find this green in the clearance section for $3, AND 50% off that for their Veteran's day sale, AND I had my extra 10% off coupon for my entire purchase. Which means my set of four placemats, once done, will have cost about $6 to make, and will have kept me busy (which, when I'm making things for myself, is like paying myself to play). I was able to get the first one completed during Matt Lauer's second nap.

They are very simple, but I love them. When Mum called and asked what I was doing tonight, I told her I'm working on my career... every project I design and make from start to finish like this is one step closer towards turning a profit from sewing/quilting. I may be young, I may be foolish. Whatever. One of these days, you'll see my name on that pattern you pick up at the LQS, and think to yourself, "I know her!"

I can't wait to show you the tree skirt I designed and made last year... as soon as we move, I'll bring it out and play show-and-tell, along with our stockings and the bird ornaments.... I was busy last year, too! (What else is a wife supposed to do during a deployment? This year he's going to be home, so he'll get to see these things for the first time, too!)


1. Last day to enter my small giveaway. Go to the first November 1 post to leave a comment. Who ever wins will be contacted as soon as I get up tomorrow, and as soon as they send me an address, I'll head to the post office so the prize doesn't get packed by accident.

2. I've been up since 5:30 again thanks to the puppy Matt Lauer. So, I decided to unpack a couple pieces of fabric so I could make the second laptop sleeve Jen ordered and another coffee sleeve. In doing so, I have decided I'm DEFINITELY not charging enough! She's picking up her things today, at which point I'll collect what she owes and let her know prices are going up. I hate doing that, but I'm losing money on the coffee sleeves when I make them one by one like this, and the laptop sleeves take enough material I'm barely breaking even. But, what I've made for her so far has been good practice and has built enough confidence that I can justify raising the prices a bit.

They both came out well, though. She's picking them up today so that they, too, won't get packed and lost.

3. I repacked the fabric! And we still haven't heard when we're closing... :/ Hopefully soon.....

Nap time. Please let the dogs sleep at least an hour!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The perils of packing

I was very productive today, and got some more things packed away... we could close any day now (I hate being in limbo like this, but when you're working with the VA, and your mortgage broker's assistant has a name more suitable for an exotic dancer, things take longer than they should...). I packed some kitchen things, and then packed (don't gasp) ALL OF MY FABRIC.

Yeah. I was optimistic we'd hear today when we would close... I packed it all up this morning. Class was cancelled, giving me such a light, free feeling. By the time dinner with Mum rolled around, I was hoping I would have news... and now here I sit, Bored.

And so far, we haven't heard. A happy phone call tomorrow would make it less of a problem, and give me motivation to pack even more rather than make mug rugs and piece wonky letters or find something new to work on...

So now the dilemma, made even more difficult by the knowledge that I have a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks on the way, is: will I be stuck here long enough to justify unpacking some of it?


Or, I could use the "birthday money" the LQS sends out and buy a couple more fat quarters to play with... teehee....


First of all, one more day until my little giveaway ends. I know it's not a Go!, or anything amazing like that, but it's still fun. You have until tomorrow night to enter... find the Nov. 1st post to do so.

Second, and this is why I squealed loud enough to cause Matt Lauer and Prudence to jump in surprise:


Go visit Quiltmaker's blog, Quilty Pleasures for a chance.

Now, the only thing that could make me happier would be to close on our house... still waiting on the underwriter.. hopefully soon!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Momma, momma! If puppies could talk...

You would think a boy that big, even a dog boy that big, wouldn't be so needy... but no. If Matt could talk, he'd be saying, "Momma, where are you? I can't see you, where are you?" He's ok as long as he can see me, even if I'm in a different room, but if I go around a corner and he can't see me anymore, it doesn't matter if he can hear me, if I talk to him, or anything-- he does this pathetic mewl for how big of a puppy he is already!

I will admit: it is nice to know he loves me that much already!!!!!

Despite the whining, I got 3 more mug rugs made today (gifts), plus one for me(I couldn't resist!), and 6 more boxes packed. That's not counting the wrapping paper storage box I FINALLY bought and put all the wrapping goodies in, nor is it counting the storage tub I got to put Christmas things in that had been floating around in random boxes since last year. I also bundled up all the fabric that was nicely folded but not able to fit in my rolling drawer thing and put it in a reusable tote I had laying around. So, if I want to make myself feel really productive, I could say I packed 8 boxes, and one tote!

Aunt Rose will probably get this one...

And this one is for me!!! Teehee! Isn't the pocket cute? It just happened be made of the cupcake that would line up like that, so that's how I chose where to put the pocket. LOVE. IT!
Since I've been making mug rugs galore, I think my reward sewing should be something else... unless I decide on another mug rug for someone else on the list... :)

But first, dinner. Gotta love California Pizza Kitchen's frozen BBQ chicken pizza... it means I'm just 15 minutes away from YUM!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Handmade Holidays!

I took a mug rug (I've made 4 now) to show my mom, and my aunt thought it was such a cute idea... so guess who's going to get one for Christmas!!! This means most of Christmas will be made by me.


Thankfully, they are so easy to make. Here's the official handmade list of gifts:
Mug rugs for: Mom, Aunt Rose, Aunt Jean, Beth, Jen
Quilts for MIL and Tim
T Shirt quilt for Benny
Table runner for Grandparents

There are also some gifts to purchase, but I took care of some of Tim's today already-- picked up 3 video games (one free because of Target's awesome sale), and season 4 of Dexter, one of the few shows he loves enough to watch on DVD.

I almost feel like I'm trying to make too many things.... but once we move, hopefully I'll be able to get back to sewing at least in the mornings while Tim will be home to wrangle dogs. We shall see!

Found another one!

Found another GO! Giveaway... it's HERE... sigh. I keep entering, but so far it's not in the cards... man, I could really use a GO! now to speed up cutting since right now I can only sew during puppy naps!!!

(My giveaway for the piddly little things ends Nov. 9.... There's still time!)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Let sleeping dogs lie

Made from scraps again!
Well, at least I got these bound. While the dogs were napping, I finished these 2 mug rugs. Later, I got another one (poorly) quilted. I'm not happy with it, but not so unhappy as to rip out all the quilting. It will get bound tomorrow, I hope, so that I can start using these routinely for my snacks rather than paper towel.

So cute. She's full grown, but he's only 4 months old and bigger than her already. I hope he cries less tonight... Tim's kind of a softie, and couldn't quite get the hang of letting the dog cry himself to sleep. Hopefully by the time he comes home Matt will be better about going to sleep in his kennel. I really hope he sleeps better and cries less by the time we move... which, by the way, is still up in the air. It's at the underwriter's, so hopefully it's just a matter of time!

I must be crazy

THIS guy is why my sewing was next to nonexistent yesterday... Tim wanted a second dog, and I agreed to a point that Prudence, our bull terrier, was going to be lonely once we moved away and she couldn't play with Fergie everyday... so we ended up driving to Toledo, bringing Prudence along for approval, and brought him home, too. Everyone, meet MATT LAUER!!! (Tim picked the name. He's not a huge fan of Matt Lauer the human, he just thinks it's hilarious to give a dog such an odd name, and I agree).

Tim had me pick up all 50+ pounds of Matt to show scale.
I love him dearly already, but I would like to get some packing and sewing done! It's hard to do when you're constantly watching two dogs.

He really is a character. I'm not sure Prudence is totally cool with him living here yet.... she's waivering between play play play and retreating to her chair and giving him and us a stink eye.

I love dogs. I really do. they are such playful, happy animals... and even when they're a pain in the butt, they know how to give you the cutest/silliest look that always makes me smile.

Now, let's hope I can at least get a mug rug bound today!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A mug rug, boxes, and a pretty pile

I spent enough time admiring my mug rug that my coffee got cold!!! But isn't it cute? Last night I was working on Christmas presents-- mostly my grandparent's table runner-- and I pieced 6 mug rugs as leaders/enders.... teehee. I had to finish at least one, so I chose the one I made for me. It made another place to practice machine stitching the binding, too.

This morning I packed three more boxes... this is part of one pile. I've lost count exactly how many boxes I've packed, which is good because it means I'm making progress!

Most of these pieces are either a fat quarter or a variously-sized remnant... except the bottom two, which were 1 yard cuts i got to back current projects.
And then I folded fabric... doesn't it look so pretty? These are the ones that were semi-folded and inhabiting the chair... if I fold the rest of the drawers this nicely, then these will probably fit!

See that penguin one near the bottom of the stack? It was a remnant, and begged me to bring it home... now we're having a conversation whether it would like to be made into holiday placemats, or coasters and mug rugs (some of which would be gifted away)... The penguins have resigned themselves to being cut up, but they just can't figure out which would be more fun!!!

Oh, dear, I'm talking to my fabric... this is what happens when Tim stays on base an extra day!!!

(There's still time to enter my small giveaway! Scroll down/click/whatever to the first November 1st post!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Too busy?

Honest opinion... is this too busy? part of me LOVES the motion, but another part of me says to get rid of the stars and just do the strippy blocks.... but then I would need to make 8 more strippy blocks and I would have 8 random wonky stars... neither of which is really a problem. I'm just undecided.

Opinions welcome.

I can't wait until I have a design wall to play with...

Don't forget, I've got a small (very small, but hey, I'm unemployed) giveaway going on. Find the first Nov. 1st post.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Well then.

In class tonight, my poetry professor asked me what the "polite" term is for a person who sews... is there a "rude" one? It made me laugh, especially since Cheri had brought up a similar conversation a couple of days ago in the Stashbusters group.
And since it's getting colder at night, this is what my side of the bed looks like.... that's right, if you count the bedspread, there are FOUR quilts, all of which I made in the last year and a half.

It's too late to get motivated to pack any more boxes tonight. I'll fold fabric instead... maybe figure out what to work on tomorrow!

As it stands right now, Cheri has a lock on the giveaway... good thing I already have her address. :) If anyone else wants a chance, go here and leave a comment. Or scroll down... it's the post before this.

Happy Birthday month to me!!!

I demolished a whole bag of Riesen's in 24 hours... teehee... I have no will power when it comes to those candies!

Oh, what, you don't care about my current sugar high... you remember my promise of a giveaway in November.... well here it is!!!
3 fat quarters (from the LQS, and unwashed), a spool of rose ribbon, and a floral reusable coffee sleeve!!! Don't ask why the rose theme... I really don't know. Maybe because I love roses? Well all flowers, really... Maybe because I have an Aunt Rose? Maybe because after October, I usually return to my rose-colored glasses? 

And since you all are such lovely people, I decided to include a second prize...

Two coffee sleeves... or tea sleeves, if you're not a coffee drinker. Or cider, or hot chocolate.....basically any hot beverage you purchase while out that requires one of those brown cardboard things... use these and save trees!!!

(I sell, or rather try to sell these reusable sleeves...remember that craft festival debacle... so far, I've sold 6... 5 of which my best friend bought for her other friends for Christmas. People around here that I've given them to love them, so I figured I'd give some to you, my bloggy friends!)

Anyway.... HOW TO ENTER:

Comment on THIS POST. Only comments on this post will count! AND make sure I can get a hold of you-- if you're "no-reply" I can't tell you if you won! 

2 Chances!!!

1. Tell me where you were in your life when you turned 26... or if you're not there yet, where are you now? 
2. If you are a follower, or become one because you just have to have a sleeve (teehee), comment again saying so.

Comments will close at midnight on November 9... no, that's not my birthday, but we're moving around the 12th, and I want to get these mailed before then so they don't get misplaced.