Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year End...

Well, here it is. The last day of this year.
And, I need to ask, "Where does the time go?"

As I look back in terms of what I
accomplished in my rug hooking,
I am actually quite surprised!

Here are the rugs/mats I hooked and/or finished...


(sizes are not proportional...the photos are how I sized them at the time)

AND, I started this one...

which, by the way, I am anxious to get back to.

But, first things first...need to finish some sewing projects.

Might even do some organizing this next year!

Before I forget...I must show you.

Remember this photo?

My friend, Elaine, had it
put on a mousepad! I just love it!

AND, Bren sent 'crocs'...bright lime green,
but I am loving them!
Never had a pair and they are
so very comfortable...
I've been wearing them since I got them.

I am having a quiet few days...

trying to get things straightened up

from all the projects I had been working on.

Never one to put away as I go, I have quite the mess!

Have a safe and HAPPY

New Year celebration...

all the best to you in 2009!



Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Hills Are Alive...

With 'The Sound of Music'! The movie was on tv tonight. Gotta say...it is absolutely timeless. See the trailer here! I never tire of it...my favorite movie of all time...and I adore Julie Andrews!


We have had 38" of snow thus far...more than last year at this time...and still a few more inches possible before the end of the year. We even broke our record of 37" in 1994...I'm so proud! Average snowfall for the season is 50". hmmm...it could go like it did in 2000...30+" of snow in December and then barely anymore for the rest of the season. That would be so much better than last year (100+ inches)! I must say, though, that in the past few days, much of the snow has gone away, due to the higher temps and the rain.

Here's Kaylynn...photo taken by her Mom
...makes me smile!















Friday, December 26, 2008

Gifts Given...

Gotta tell ya, there is nothing more satisfying than using what you have (or what a good friend sends you) to make Christmas and other gifts. As you know, Brenis sent me a box of cotton fabric...see it here. She gave me some great ideas to sew and give as gifts!!! A plastic bag holder...know what that is? Here's what one looks like...see, ya put those plastic bags from the stores in the top...and pull one out at the bottom. Very simple to make...cut fabric, sew side seam, turn under top and bottom edges, make casing for elastic, insert elastic, sew strap to hang over door and attach to bag...all done!


I haven't sewed much (other than serging the edges of patterns and some mending here and there) in the last 8 years. BUT, I used to sew a ton! Some day, I might show you some of the fun things I've sewed over the years. This year, I sewed every single gift I gave...what a good feeling that was. And, better yet, I am finally able to show some of them to you!


Here's what I made for my sister Joyce...a plastic bag holder (it's folded in half), which is on top of the red with b/w chair fabric tote bag! I lined the tote with a black cotton I had. Joyce was ecstatic...she had just told herself that she needed to have a bag to use when she collects her books from the library. So, now she has one!

I made this market bag for Janer. The toile fabric totally fits her personality! I lined it with the light sage green fabric I had used for my bathroom curtain. I am happy to say that she LOVES it! See the frog closure thingie? I've had that in my sewing drawer for I can't even tell you how long...probably years and years! Though it's white against the natural color of the background, I still thought it would be fun to use...

Here are two more totes I made...the top one is for Jill & has a plain muslin lining...the other tote is for Julie. All of the tote bags have gussets...so they can be opened flat on the bottom. Behind them lay 6 of the 12 plastic bag holders I made.

I still have many more things to show...the best is yet to come! You'll have to wait, though, as some are not done and some have not yet been given.
All in good time.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Toys & Dogs...

Merry Christmas, everyone! I am spending the day alone...I'm okay with it, so don't worry. Besides, I still have gifts to finish. I'll see my oldest son when he brings Conlan for an overnight January 3...and Kaylynn will be here then, too.

Here's the story of the day (yoohoo, Joanne...are you reading this???).

Last Christmas I was involved in a Secret Santa Swap on a rughooking board I belong to. Joanne sent me many wonderful gifts...see them
here. Included were two toys for the dogs. But, because they were so dang cute...and because the dogs got other toys for Christmas, I put them in my closet. I would see them and think about giving them to the dogs every once in awhile, but then all of a sudden it was November and I decided that I would just wait until Christmas to give them. Well, here are the photos...


see how cute the toys are?

I got the moose...YAY!

I'm sly like the fox, so I'll take that one...

oops...what happened here?
(truthfully, Tag did not pull it off...
it wasn't attached very well)


that's okay...a ball with legs is just as much fun!


how come you don't like toys, huh, Tango?

I could carry this fox around allllll day!

please throw this...mama...come on...
pick up the ball...
grab one of the legs...
just THROW it!!

hmmmm, with no head...what does it need feet for?

I'll just chew them off...

I laughed so hard...and then I put the toys away while I talked on the phone with all my relatives. Hard to laugh at the dogs and carry on a conversation at the same time.

I'll show my gifts later.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Greatest Story Ever Told...


While they were there,
the time came for the baby to be born,
and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped him in cloths
and placed him in a manger,
because there was no room
for them in the inn.
Luke 2: 6-7

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

No problem, there!!! We now have more snow than we had last year at this time. Could be an interesting winter. BUT, I did say that I was going to embrace this winter...and so far, I am much more relaxed about it than I was a year ago at this time.

Today is Christmas Eve!!! YAY!!! And, look...we are getting more snow!


The dogs are loving the snow because it's finally warmer. They don't really enjoy going out in the colder temperatures...but this is how they felt about being outside today...





I have more packages to open, but those will wait until tomorrow...Christmas Day. Joyce, Julie & Jill (my 3 sisters), plus Elaine & Don all sent packages. And, there's a surprise for the dogs...

I also have more gifts to finish! YIKES! I finished 2 little ones last night. Now on to more sewing. I have some fun ideas...I hope they turn out the way I see them in my mind!

Today is Kim's birthday. Happy day, my friend! You will receive your gift when I finish it...{grin}. Here's a photo of Kim and her honey, Brett...I love them both. She's over at chit.chat.room.


I wish you all a very Blessed Christmas...may we all remember the greatest gift of all...our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh. My. Gosh...

All I can say is that I am truly blessed!!!

WOW, yesterday was a really fun day! I received 2 boxes in the mail. Course, those are the ones the postman brought to me...I did not venture out to the end of the driveway where the mailbox is...too cold. For all I know, I have a gazillion more small packages and Christmas cards waiting for me there! ha! Only kidding...my luck, after bundling up and trudging through the snow to get there, all I'll have is the sales circular.


Anyway.

First of all...a box of gifts from Janer, my BFF in Eau Claire. She has been my BFF for 38+ years...long time! She knows me like no one else does...and all the history between us...WOW!

Here's a photo of what was in the box Janer sent...it's always so much fun to open gifts from her! There is a large pot/vase, which is 8" tall and 6" in diameter with cupids all around (I love cupids/angels!). Please note the exotic bouquet of sockonella heeltroides. This rare plant comes in pairs...and is available worldwide. Well, okay...what you see is 11 pairs of socks! Janer and I were chatting one day and I was saying that I never have enough socks, and she was telling me that she has more socks than one person could ever wear. So, as she was packing my box of gifts, she realized that she needed some packing material...and thought, "OH! Jacque needs socks...I'll pad everything with socks!" What a great idea, Janer! She's nothing if not hilarious!

Also in the box...the primitive wooden angel, a hand-held battery powered can opener (I finally figured out which way the batteries go in and it is a slick little thing to have!!!), a bottle to put all my worries in and hand them over to God (wow...what a concept, hey!?), and the real deal, the gift gift...a bracelet engraved with 'the fruit of the spirit' (you know...Galatians 5:22..."But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.") It is simply wonderful!

Oh My Gosh! Unbelievable...what a wonderful box of gifts!

The second box was a huge surprise! This one was from Bren. Not that I was surprised that she sent me gifts...but wait til you see! First, I received a hand-held sewing machine...you know, those little ones they advertise on tv (since the 1950's, methinks) as being able to sew anything??? Here's the photo...




Yup, I am totally set now for any and all sewing needs!
The other gift from Brenis...handmade...a LAP QUILT! I was soooo surprised and pleased and deliriously happy! It is absolutely gorgeous...my colors...and will match my big a** star rug wonderfully!!! It measures about 50 x 50, I think...and is perfect for snuggling in my big easy chair!

Thank you so much to Janer and Bren!!!
Lest you believe it's all about receiving and not about giving with me, I am now finally able to show one gift I gave. This is an apron I made for me Mum's birthday (11/2) and sent home with a big box of Christmas gifts. I just kinda made up the pattern as I went along. She said that she loves it and will have someone take a photo of her wearing it...I'll post that on my blog when I get it.



I finished sewing another gift yesterday...and got started on yet another one...just a few more and then I'll be all done! WHEW!
Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day...

Late afternoon...

Tag thinks he can eat his way through this snowpile...

Allegra wants someone to chase her...

Late a.m....
Early a.m....

Monday, December 15, 2008

I LOVE getting mail!!

Today was a fun day to come home...mailbox full and two packages sitting by the garage waiting for me!!!


Here's the little prim brown dog from Joanne...this is way too cute! About 6" long...I love those stubby little legs, fat body and goofy head!!! Thank you so very much! He's sewn, stuffed, painted and shined. Adorable!



Debbie sent me a bookmark that she made. Smells yummy, too! As you all know, I read all of the time! The majority of the time, I do not use a bookmark. Why not? Cuz I don't have one!!! I end up using whatever piece of paper is close by. Not anymore...thank you, Debbie!!

I received a package from my sister, Julie. A Christmas package, and 2 birthday packages (like I'm gonna wait for 2 months to open them???...well, I probably will...if I can remember where I put them in 2 months time!)


I also received a package from my good friends, Elaine & Don. I met E online through the collie email list 12 years ago. Ohmy...has it been that long? WOW! They used to live in Minnesota, but moved here (to Pardeeville, which is near Madison, but an hour from me) 9 or 10 years ago. Yeah...so she sent this box with all kinds of WRAPPED gifts! I suppose I have to wait to open them, hey?


Also, I received a package from my godchild/niece, Jody. She lives in New Mexico. ~sigh~I guess I'll add that to my pile that cannot be opened for another 9 days! {grin}


I'll be mailing out my gifts this week. And, once Christmas has come & gone, I will post photos of what I sent out!


Last week, I got cards from Jo & Paula, RAK sisters. (What is RAK? Random Acts of Kindness.)


Lindy, my almost birthday twin sent me a card, too! YAY!


Unfortunately, I am not sending out much this year. I'll try to do better next year, though.


Have a nice evening!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Week Gone...

Well, I'm happy that it's the weekend, but I have so much to do!!! YIKES! So, here I am sitting at the computer...playing. {grin}


Thought I would share this fun Christmas photo with you. That's me (Tonto) and my sister, Joyce (the Lone Ranger). I'm thinking we were 3 & 4 (or 4 & 5??). I tell you, we had more fun wearing those costumes!!! Pretending our tricycles were our trusty steeds (Scout and Silver)...shooting our guns, racing around on our horses, and generally saving the day for the neighborhood!



How am I doing on my Christmas sewing??? Well, not too bad. Today, I must finish everything I am working on that is going to be mailed. I have 3 packages...one to my sister in Colorado, one to my niece in New Mexico, and a big one with several people's gifts in it to Eau Claire. I already mailed Joyce's package to her in Alaska, as she will be travelling over the holidays and I wanted to be sure she had her package before she left. Lots to do yet...I'm not done sewing! And, I am taking pictures, so will have a big show & tell once everyone receives their gifts! Cannot wait!


With that being said, I suppose I should go and get started, hey?

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

SHOPPING...

Yesterday was a cold, blustery & snowy day. But, I had an idea and needed to act on it. I decided that I HAD to go shopping. I asked Claire if she wanted to go with me. She did. So, we did. Go shopping, that is.
We went to Saving Thyme, a wonderful little quilt shop here in Stoughton. I love quilt shops...they are so much fun...always so much to look at! Soooo much gorgeous fabric! I often get confused, cuz there is too much! But, yesterday, I actually found the perfect fabrics without too much trouble!!!

Here's Claire, looking at some fun patterns...
Here's my fabric being cut...hmmm, sorry, but I cannot show you what it is, though. Yet.
We went to a few little fun shops that I hadn't been to. Fun gift shops...FULL of Christmas items!!! Didn't take any more photos, though. Didn't buy anything, either...though Claire did find a few perfect Christmas gifts.

Claire wanted to go to an art gallery in Madison and asked if I wanted to go with...Paula Schuette Kramer was being featured at the Grace Chosy Gallery with her 'moose' series...how fun was that!!! The moose were simply wonderful! Big...HUGE...prints selling for thousands of dollars.
There was also a series by the same artist on leash-training with 'milo, the chocolate labrador'...simply wonderful! Oh. My. Gosh! Anyone have $3450 plus tax so that I can get the entire series of 6? That's the matted/framed price, so I'd be all set!!! Ohman, I could have gazed at them all day, they were so unique. Be sure to scroll all the way down the page on the 'moose' link above...I didn't dare take a photo of them in the gallery! {sigh}
OH!!! Trader Joe's! Do you know what that is? I had never heard of it! Claire took me over so I could 'experience' it. What a fun place!
That was about it for the day...my big day out! Fun, good company, successful shopping! What more could one ask for?
(hint: To see what I'm talking about, be sure to click on 'moose' and 'Trader Joe's')

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Winter in Wisconsin...

Remember last winter...100+ inches of snow here? Well, I have been dreading this year's winter so very much. I live 25 miles from work...a lovely commute in the spring, summer and fall months. Not so much fun in the winter. I had even gotten to the point of having mini-panic attacks...and it hadn't even snowed, yet! For pete's sake...get a grip, girl!

So, last night, as I was standing on the patio, waiting for the dogs to potty, I was thinking about winter and heard these words..."I am going to embrace this winter weather!"

I said, "WHAT?"

"Who said that??? Did I just say that I was going to embrace this winter weather? ohmy."

But, I thought about it and decided that there is no reason to be in a bad mood for the next several months. If I don't like winter (as much as I don't), then I could always move to a warmer climate...ya know? In the meantime, I will try to be more tolerant of this cold weather and find the good in the days, instead of continually grumbling about the cold and snow. Doesn't mean I have to like it...I just need to be more forgiving. Grin and bear it...don't you think?

Cuz, you know...during the next 4 months, there will be a lot of snow and cold and I really don't want to wish time away completely! So. I will (try to) have a better outlook for this season. After all, there are actually some good things that happen during winter. Christmas. My birthday. hmmmm...I guess that's all {grin}.

The mini-panic attacks I was mentioning were all about driving to work. Not going to kill myself trying to get to work when there are all those crazy drivers out there driving 55+ mph on icy roads! I am actually able to go in later than my normal time...& I have tons of vacation (5 weeks), so I am able to take a day off here and there if the roads are really that bad. Now that I have dealt with the 'what ifs', I feel much better...I feel as if (perhaps) I really could embrace this winter.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I received an email from Alissa, my granddaughter, Kaylynn's, Mom.
She found the Be Funky website and was playing around...
here's what she came up with.

Here's one I did...one of my very favorite photos ever! Cruiser and Kim...

Monday, December 1, 2008

FunkyTown

I was visiting Tammy's blog...over at Skip to My Ewe. First of all, I noticed her header...it is totally awesome! In her post, (Black Friday), she tells about BeFunky.com...a place where one can cartoonize their photos...and all sorts of other fun things. So. I have been playing...please note my new header banner...and I have this one to show you.




I LOVE playing with photos...thanks, Tammy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

TSO!


It's that time of year again! If you haven't seen Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert, I highly recommend that you do. I went 2 years ago...had been a huge fan of their music for almost 10 years before that. The live show is unbelievable...great music, great lightshow, great singing...an all-around awesome show!!!

I put a video bar from YouTube on my sidebar to the left...if you're not familiar with TSO, I urge you to take a listen. Here's their webiste - TSO.

Good news! At long last, they have a new album coming out...but not sure when..."Nightcastle"!


RIVEN...a novel

I have just finished reading what is, perhaps, the most moving book I have read in my entire life. "Riven" by Jerry B. Jenkins...author of the Left Behind series that I wrote about here.

Written inside the front cover: "When a condemned man with nothing to lose meets a weary man of God with nothing to gain, everyone washed by the endless ripples of that encounter will forever recall the day a little bit of heaven invaded a whole lot of hell."


It's a large book...over 500 pages. My sister, Joyce, had read it first and urged me to read it. Well, I am so very happy that I did. It is a moving story...one of hope and faith and loss and courage. Here is a song that is in the book (entitled, "The Love of God")...it so moved me...

Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

I would recommend this to be the next book you read.


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