Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just a quick note...

Thank you so very much to all of you who commented on yesterday's post and emailed me, offering words of sympathy, support and love. I so appreciate all of you! Much more than I am able to convey with words.

I'm not going to go into what happened with Tango...suffice it to say that he seemed okay in the morning and was very sick by Sunday afternoon. His ability to function continued to decline overnight, giving me no choice but to let him go...and he went with dignity and grace.

I miss him immensely.

Though, I gotta say, the thought that he is now with Cruiser and Jigs makes me smile. (you all didn't know Jigs...he was the brown boy I had before Tag...distant relatives of each other.)

Here they are together in 1997...

Monday, February 23, 2009

R.I.P.

Tango
(Calavar's Night Vision)

June 7, 1995 - February 23, 2009










My perfect boy.

You will live forever in my heart.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More Gifts...and Doodles.

Yup, I have received more birthday gifts! And, let us not forget the beautiful afghan me Mum made and gave me last fall.

Slippers from BFF Janer. I told her that God must have been whispering in her ear the day she picked those up for me. I had just been telling myself that I needed to get me some new slippers! Thanks, Janer! (Though I photographed only one, I actually did get 2 slippers!)

Beautiful wool, box with punch needle sheepie, morning glory seeds and 3 spicey yummy smelly candle tarts. From Ginger, a new member on my eBay group. So awesome of her!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Though the winter has been better than last regarding snow accumulation, it's been a cold few months. I am more than ready for spring...hence the new header/colors. Really tired of having cold fingers while trying to work on projects. ohwell...it'll come.

I worked on a project yesterday...covering fabric boxes! My eBay group, An American Primitive Gathering, does a retreat weekend once a month. We are to concentrate each on our own projects...or have a specific project (like the fabric-covered boxes) to do. WOW...had I known it was this easy to cover boxes, I surely would have done some much sooner! Here's a photo of the 3 boxes I covered. I am very happy with them.

The two small ones are 5 and 6 inches across and go together. The large one measures 10 inches across and is for me. Probably going to put my embroidery floss in it.

I have more projects to work on...and my income taxes need to be completed!

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On...and on...and on...

Apparently, my birthday is going to be a stretched out celebration! Fine with me! ~grin~

In today's mail, I received 2 sweet strawberries and a bar of soap...smells yummy!! These are from Betty, a friend on my eBay group. What a sweet & thoughtful person she is! (I had to say that...she reads my blog! Just kidding, Betty!) Here they are...notice the antique buttons atop the berries...and the handstitched crosses down the seams of the berries. Too awesome!

AND, I finally got photos (albeit not very good ones) of the two suncatcher thingies my sister, Julie, sent me. Well, she didn't actually send them...she brought them with when she came from Durango last fall. I've been eyeing up the 2 wrapped boxes since September! Can you believe that? True! I finally got to open them on my birthday, whilest on the phone with Julie. Thank you!!! I love them both!!! (She couldn't decide which she liked better...the rooster or the angel...or which she thought I would like better, so she got them both! Love that thinking, sister!)
On Tuesday, I received this sweet Guardian Angel pin from my niece, Jody. She is my goddaughter...and the oldest of the grandkids. Not mine, my Mom's! Thank you so much, Toots!

I did receive other gifts...will get to showing them another day. More to come, too! YAY!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

American Idol!

Well, it's started!
Here's one of my picks...if not my absolute fave!

(too bad the guy who put the video on YouTube cannot spell)

Danny Gokey is from Milwaukee, WI!
Is a music director at a church in Beloit (I think?)
and seems like a really nice guy.
I will be voting for him.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Great Day Was Had By...

ME!!!


I am having a great birthday. Except for one thing. There seems to be a shortage of gifts...but I know why. I have certain friends & family members who wanted me to get my card/gift ON my birthday...not BEFORE, so they planned accordingly. Boy, they sure were surprised to find out that in honor of my birthday, the Federal Government closed the banks and the Postal Service! So, now I have to wait past my birthday for all the rest of my gifts.



BUT, I did receive a very special package on Saturday...it's gotta be one of my favorite gifts of all time! Remember this photo of Kaylynn with Tango? I took it in November and posted it here on my blog back then.

Debbie from Rhode Island, an online friend of mine...did a punch needle piece using that photo as her pattern. Oh. My. Gosh. First of all, you have no idea how exciting it is to get something that Debbie made!!! Though we've exchanged gifts in the past, I wasn't really expecting anything from her, so you can imagine the excitement I felt when I saw the box was from her! This piece is exquisite! I am totally in awe of the excellent & exceptional job she did on this. Measuring about 5 x 6 inches, it is backed with a piece of wool and stuffed...has a piece of jute or something to hang it by. And, it smells great...some orange spicey fragrance. I love it so very much and I know you are all extremely envious!!! (If I'd tried harder, I suppose I could have used more 'ex' words.)


We had a potluck at work today. In honor of the February birthdays. Course, mine is the only one, so it was a very special potluck. All centered around foods that I like! What could be better than that? I took Spanish Hamburger & buns...others brought veggie pizza, pasta salad, greek salad, cheese/sausage, chocolates, angel food cake (my special birthday cake), beans, danish apple cake (I'm gonna have to get the recipe for this one!), dill pickle potato chips (another fave of mine), homemade fried peanuts, dill pickles, and candy. HOLY SCHMOLY, can you say LOTSO GOOD FOOD?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

From my coworkers (we normally don't exchange gifts, so I was pleasantly surprised), I received a Happy Birthday helium balloon with candies, shampoo and a pair of slacks, an early Michael W. Smith cd, some hair things (I am in such desperate need of a haircut and I think everyone is tired of hearing about it, and tired of seeing my hair hang in my eyes) like bobby pins and headbands and faux hair pieces. It was a 'gag' gift, but I put the long extensions on. It looked pretty goofy, but I didn't care. I had a great time at work today. And, I even managed to get all my work done!

So. Now I need to potty the dogs and work on my taxes. Julie will be calling later so that I can open the gifts from her that have been sitting here (wrapped) since last fall.

I'll have more birthday things to write about tomorrow!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

TODAY

- Monday, the 16th -

is my birthday!

Happy Birthday to me!
Here I am on my birthday a few years ago...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What a Great Time...

we had today! Kaylynn got up early (about 5:30) and the day ran away from that point on! After doing all the usual (eating breakfast, dressing, brushing teeth, combing hair, etc.,etc.), we started mixing cookie dough. Oatmeal cookies! YAY! So. Here's Kaylynn in her apron...sorry for the multiple shots, but I couldn't choose just one.

And...please do notice that she is apparently in training to be the 'perfect wife of the 50's' with her fancy necklace and bracelet with her apron on! hahaha...had to laugh at that!
During and after the baking, Kaylynn colored and drew. And jabbered. And played with the dogs. And jabbered. And played with her doll. And jabbered.
Uncle Matt (aka my son) and Aunt Jesika (aka DIL) stopped by. I asked Jesika if she would please fix up Kaylynn's hair...here she is with pigtails (do they still call them that?) and a zig-zag part! She had to run and look in the mirror! GORGEOUS!!

Here's a photo of the doll that Jane Augenstein made for me...the one Kaylynn kept all wrapped up in her new doll quilt. I think she's about 16" tall. Too cute, don't you think?


Kaylynn left before 2:00...and I was missing her before she was to the end of the driveway. What a delightful little granddaughter I have! I love her.
By the way...HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

Having a Terrific Time...

It's early Saturday a.m....Allegra woke me up for some reason. So, here I sit at the computer, trying to be quiet. Little Miss Kaylynn is sleeping, though I suspect it won't be for long. All the dogs are waiting at the bedroom door for any sign of her awakening. They're all anxious to be close to her.

Thought I would use this time to show you what I've got so far.

Yes, so I am having a terrific time with Kaylynn. Oh, my heart...thought it was going to burst right out of my chest...Kaylynn got out of the truck yesterday and came running toward me, "Gramma!!!". oh. my. gosh. Tears running. BIG hug and kisses!

Here are some photos from yesterday. Try clicking on the images to enlarge them.

This is the doll that Jane Augenstein made for me to give Kaylynn (2 years ago, I think)...covered up with and laying on the doll quilt & pillow I made. I'll try to remember to take a photo of the doll all by herself. It's a simple amish-type doll with dress, bonnet and apron. Thanks again, Jane!

Kaylyn is wearing the crocheted hat me Mum made...it's cotton yarn...so adorable!
No fear here...she loves Tag. Heard me calling him Tag E. Butt...thought it was hilarious! So, course, that's now what she calls him. ~grin~ She cannot say Allegra very well...comes out Arregera. And Tango has become Rectango...cracks me up!
Okay...get this one. She's holding her doll who is covered up with her quilt, and then they are both covered up with the flannel quilt I made. (2 pieces of flannel from Kelley Belfast with batting inbetween...tied with floss...it is so dang soft!!!) I had been sitting with her, but when I got up, Tag took his opportunity. He was turning to give her a big ole kiss here...
Okay, so this one is totally posed...it's still cute! What a pair.

For those of you wondering...her apron fits really well! Too cute on her...I'll take photos when we do our baking today.

Later!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Soooo Excited!

Kaylynn, my 3 almost 4 year old granddaughter is coming to visit me tomorrow...and staying overnight! I am so excited about this, I cannot even stand myself! What is it about her that makes me feel this way? Is it the specialness that her daddy and I always had between us? Is it that I see her only about once a month (if that)? Is it that I have all of these wild and crazy ideas of articles of clothing to sew for her (now that I have dusted off my sewing machine that I've ignored for too many years)? Is it cuz she is just too dang cute? Or, could it be that I am just a mushy Grammy?


Don't get me wrong. I love all of my grandchildren. They are all so special to me and each one is different and unique.


Jasmine...10 years old and a real beauty. She is almost as tall as I am (not saying much, as I am short, but still) and has the most gorgeous face. And, she's much too busy...I don't ever get time with her...gonna have to kidnap her one of these days.


Conlan...my boy. He is 6 already, if you can believe that. I don't. He and Tag are best friends, so you know that it's a blast when he's here. He is my son's son...through and through. He cracks me up.


Kaylynn...just grabs my heart. What more can I say?


I will try to remember to take lots of photos...we're going to bake, so she'll be wearing her new apron that I smile at every time I walk by it. I wonder if the apron is smiling...in anticipation of being worn???

Saturday is Valentine's Day, so we'll make lots of red and pink paper hearts. Not sure what else we'll do. It might snow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Sewing Today...

Well, that didn't take long! About 2 hours from start to finish.

Here's what I did with the fabric I showed in yesterday's post.



It's a reversible apron for Kaylynn! I love love LOVE it! AND, what's really neat is that the waist and neck straps will velcro to the apron, so she can put it on and take it off by herself!

Kaylynn Marie is coming for her first overnight with me...she'll be here Friday afternoon until just after lunch on Saturday - Valentine's Day! We will bake cookies...and I will take photos of her wearing her apron. (ohyeah, and I'll be sure to post photos of the Christmas gifts I made for her that she is finally getting!)

This pattern was offered as a free download from Sew Liberated. The price of the fabric used = $1.25. I'm pretty sure that I have velcro here, so no cost for that. Thinking that having her here and seeing this on her will be...priceless.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sewing Today...

I finished my first BOM quilt block. It's not perfect, but it'll do. (I squared the image, so it looks a bit uneven...it's really not...just couldn't get a square/head-on photo.) That brownish color is really green, the cream is gorgeous and the red is different than it shows here. I'll have to try to get a better photo. Cuz, it's much prettier in person...very rich looking.



Stopped at Hobby Lobby today...picked up 1/2 yard each of these 2 fabrics. I found the cutest free pattern online...will show you when I get done. It's 'seasonal' fabric, so you know it must be for something special that will get done this week.


And, here's another song I like very much. The message is very similar to the song I posted about yesterday. The lyrics are actually printed on the video screen. The main theme is about going through the motions and not really giving everything...




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And, here's Tango
- who is in bad need of some grooming again -
snoozin' away...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Birthday Boy and Doodles...

Today is Tag E. Butt's birthday...
he's 7 years old already...
hard to believe!!!
Certainly doesn't act 7 years old.
Here are a few of my favorite photos of the brown boy...





HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BROWN BOY!!
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As I'm sure you all know by now, I love music and almost always have the radio or a cd playing. There is a song on my Christian radio station that I hear at least once a day...& it makes me move. Ya know...it's almost always the music/beat that gets to me first. THEN, the lyrics. Today, when I heard this song, I really listened to it. It's interesting that I like it so much, because it's kind of a rapper type of music. But, like I said, it makes me move. Here's the music with lyrics below...


Toby Mac ~ Lose My Soul

Verse 1

Father God, I am clay in your hands

Help me to stay that way through all life's demands

'Cause they chip and they nag and they pull at me

And every little thing I make up my mind to be

Like I'm gonna be a daddy whose in the mix

And I'm gonna be a husband who stays legit

And I pray that I'm an artist who rises above

The road that is wide and filled with self love

Everything that I see draws me

Though it's only in You that I can truly see that it’s a feast for the eyes- a low blow to purpose

And I'm a little kid at a three ring circus

Chorus

I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul

Don't wanna walk away let me hear the people say

Verse 2

The paparazzi flashes and that they think that it's you

But they don't know that who you are is not what you do

True, we get it twisted when we peak at the charts

You before we part from the start where's your heart?

You a pimp, hustler?

Tell me what's your title

America has no more stars now we call them idols

You sit idle

While we teach prosperity

The first thing to prosper should be inside of me

We're free...Not because of 22's on the range

But Christ came in range we said yes now we changed

Not the same even though I made a fall

Since I got that call no more Saul now I'm Paul

I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul

Don't wanna walk away let me hear the people say

Verse 3

How do I sense the tide that's rising?

De-sensitizing me from living in light of eternity

How do I sense the tide that's rising?

It's hypnotizing me from living in light of eternity

I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul

Don't wanna walk away let me hear the people say

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I housesat for Claire & family this weekend. That entails taking care of the outside animals...horses, chickens, cats. And, the 3 Portuguese Water Dogs, guinea pig and bird inside. I gathered about 6 eggs that I was able to keep for myself...yummy! Fresh eggs!

(My knee is mush after all the going up/down stairs, and mucking the stalls. It's probably almost time to have my knee replacement.)

Here are the horses...I made them pose for me before I brought them in today.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tutorial & Vintage Fabrics

I'm so excited to be doing my first tutorial for you all!

Do you find yourself losing pieces of paper that you need to refer to often? I do. I make piles of my papers and, consequently, end up not knowing what's in the pile. So, I started taping papers to my cupboard doors. Oh, don't worry, the tape doesn't ruin the surface of my doors. But, you know...white paper on white cupboards. hmmmm...the paper tends to get lost in all the 'whiteness' and then I forget it's there. What to do?

Well, I gotta tell you, I had a marvelous idea this morning!

I was in the straightening mode and ran across my BOM schedule...OH! I never told you about that! Okay, but first things first. My BOM schedule needed to be put up somewhere, in a conspicuous place...somewhere I would see it and be reminded of the meetings. You get the point, yes? Sure, I could have written on my calendar, but I am one of those who doesn't like to do that. And, since I always know the date (my job totally revolves around what day/date it is), I actually don't look at my calendar very often.

Since this is a relatively simple tutorial, I won't be showing 'as I go' photos. You'll catch on pretty quickly, though.

List of supplies:
1. whatever it is that you want to tape on the wall/cupboard/whatever.
2. scissors
3. tape
4. construction paper

How to:
1. Choose a color of construction paper that will either match or contrast with your room. AND, to serve its purpose, it really should contrast with whatever you're taping it to. Since my cupboards are white, I have the entire spectrum of colors to choose from! (well, not white, but certainly, all the rest!)

2. Because my schedule was printed on a 1/2 sheet of paper (for those of you who are not math whizzes, the paper measured 8.5 x 5.5 inches), I needed just one piece of construction paper.

3. I wanted my 'frame' to be the short/wide way (or, landscape). I brought the two ends (or what would be the sides of my frame) together, and , without creasing the paper, made a cut into the center. I then opened the paper flat and cut a rectangle. Not being too fussy about how it looked... rather, wanting it to look primitive...I just cut, not paying attention to how straight I was cutting, or how square the corners were.

4. Centering the schedule carefully, I laid the 'frame' on top of it to make sure the opening was the right size. I then turned it all over and taped the schedule (front side down) to the back of the 'frame'.

Here's the finished product. I am rather proud of this...it totally serves its purpose...the blue stands out against the white cupboard, drawing my eye to it, thus reminding me that the schedule is there for me to refer to.


I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! Learning something new everyday is a good thing, yes?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just so ya know...that tutorial was
completely a fun thing...
please don't think I think I'm
some kind of really smart cookie with a
brilliant idea that just needs to be shared!!
I was grinning the entire time I was typing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Okay...now to explain the BOM. I was at Saving Thyme Quilt Shop, buying a 1/2 yard fabric to finish Kim's quilt. Hanging on the wall next to the cash register is an absolutely gorgeous quilt. (well, you know, quilt shops hang all those gorgeous quilts all over their shop...supposed to act as incentive/inspiration, I guess. ~grin~) I kept looking at it, and finally commented to the woman who was waiting on me that I thought it was gorgeous! She proceeded to tell me that it was the BOM (block of the month) quilt for beginners.

Now, having sewed (sewn?) all my life, I have NEVER made a quilt. Actually, this winter, I did make a doll quilt that I haven't shown you...and a blanket with batting, but not a 'quilt' quilt. ya know? I am definitely a 'beginner quilter'.

There I stood, looking and looking - probably drooling, too - at this quilt...but so wasn't going there. You know that feeling. Well, the more we chatted, the more information was exchanged...and before I left the shop, I had signed up, paid my monthly fee and had my first month's BOM kit. Can you believe that?

Here's how it works. For $10 each month for all 12 months of this year, I will receive a kit of fabric and instructions for a 12x12 block, and I will meet at the shop - with the others who are doing this same BOM quilt - on a designated Saturday morning to show my block and to be instructed on some aspect of quilting. Social hour, fabric, instruction...WOW! Nothing to lose...everything to gain. I figure this is the best way for me to do this, as I am not all that great at color planning...and trying to choose quilt fabrics is way too confusing for me. Plus, it takes a lot of fabric (read money) to build up a fabric stash.

Good news...at work the other day, I just happened to overhear 2 of my coworkers talking about some fabric...one thing led to another, and I ended up with a box of vintage cotton fabrics. The fabric came from an elderly woman who obviously never threw a single scrap of fabric away. Apparently, there is much more, but I am not sure that I will be the one to receive it all...I hope so! All I need to do in return is make a table runner for the woman who brought this to me. No problem!


All of the pieces shown are at least 1/2 yard...many are larger. There are some other pieces...and a gazillion small pieces of these same fabrics. I had to wash it all, as the fabric was dirty/dusty. Oh. My. Gosh. Really dirty. All sparkling clean, now!
I have a vintage apron pattern that is very similar to the aprons my Grandma used to wear, so I am thinking of using these fabrics for full aprons. Cannot wait to get started!!

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