Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Wish Granted

I had to go to a client's office today to pick up some supplies, and to my delight, the snow stopped and the sun came out, bright and beautiful!! I have to admit, I dawdled a bit on the way, so as to make the most of it. And when I got home, I stood outside and turned my face up to soak it in all in for a minute. Now, it's back to work, but I feel recharged.

Oh what miracles a little sun can accomplish!!


Fabric Fun and Stash Building on the Cheap

I went to the grocery store on Monday evening to pick up a few things to get us through the winter storm that was in this week's forecast. I try to make sure we have enough bread, milk, eggs and such to get us through being snowed in for a couple days if necessary. Truthfully, we could very comfortably live out of our pantry for a week or more if we had to, but I like to be prepared!! While I was out, I picked up some fabric for the quilt I'm making for our newest great nephew.

I'm going to do a pattern of my own design that I worked up many years ago, but never made. So we'll see how it turns out!!
I always check the remnant bins when I shop for fabric. It's a good way to build up my stash without spending alot of money. Sometimes I don't find anything, and other times I hit the jackpot!! Monday was a good day. I found all of these 1/2 to 1 1/4 yard pieces for about $1.00 each. I love the chickadees and cardinals, don't you?

And I found these flannel remnants for a dollar and some change for about a yard of each. I see a baby rag quilt in my future!!
That is, if I ever have time to sew again! The rest of my week just got filled with work. We need the business, but it's really hard to work those 18 hour days like we did when we first started out. I don't know how we did it then ... and the kids were still young!! I feel like I'm working harder and getting less done these days and that seems to be all I have the energy for!! And being housebound because of the weather doesn't help any!! Oh, how I long to sit outside and let the sun shine on my face!!
Honey and I are going to try and get away for a weekend soon. I'm still working on that. We both need the break!!
Have a great day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Blues

I didn't mean to go a whole week without posting, but there hasn't been much to post about!! It was a busy week at work, as one of our transcriptionists was out sick all week so I had to do doublt duty. I spent my spare time at medical appointments ... which is not fun ... but necessary. And I watched the inauguration ... which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have a niece that lives in DC and her mom flew out there for the week and they went to the inauguration. I haven't talked to her since she's been back, but I can't wait to hear all about it.

I haven't been in my sewing room at all ... mostly because I need to spend a couple of hours cleaning up in there before I can work ... see what I mean??
What a jumble of mess, huh? Here's more ...
I have managed to get a little knitting done though. I have the back of my sweater finished and I'm about halfway done with the front. I'm liking it more the more I work on it, so hopefully, by the time it's finished it will turn out to be something I'll actually wear!!
I was the lucky winner of a prize in the Whirl Into Winter Giveaway and it arrived last week. It's a kit for a wool felt notebook cover and key fob. I can't wait to get started on it. Many thanks to Angela at The Country Cellar for participating ... and for picking me as the winner!!

Here's my Chloe, looking out the living room window, longing for spring. Me too, Baby, me too. It's still bitterly cold, and we don't go outside any more than we have to. We're all getting cabin fever!!

My oldest son, The Poet, is getting married in June. He and his fiance live in Florida, but the wedding will be here, since this is their home town and both their families are here. So they've been planning the wedding long distance. Yesterday, the mother of the bride and I went to a Bridal Expo open house to check out the food offerings by the caterer, since the bride can't go herself. It was a fun afternoon, looking at wedding gowns, table settings, flowers, but most of all ... the food!! They had almost everything they offer, and we had a taste of it all!! Everything was so good, it was hard to choose our favorites. We both decided we like the prime rib with horseradish sauce and one of the chicken dishes for the entrees. We talked about the wedding shower, which the bride's aunts are doing, and our dresses. I have an idea of what I'd like, now the challenge will be to find it!! Wish I could get away with wearing the same dress I wore to the Big Guy's wedding in September. Finding that one was quite an ordeal!!

This week is going to be another busy one with work. I'm going out for dinner with one of my oldest friends for dinner tonight. We do that every so often. She works nights and I work days, so it's not always easy to get together, so we make a special effort to do it every couple of months.

I'm going to start work on a baby quilt this week. We have a new great nephew, who was born on Inauguration Day and Honey asked me to make a quilt for the baby. Since he's already here, I'll have to get it done quickly, so I can get it in the mail on it's way to New Jersey.

Hope you all stay warm (or cool, depending on where you are), and that you have a great day.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Lazy Days and Keeping Warm

It's been bitter cold here, with wind chills as low as -20, and more snow. Even though we have a pretty new, high efficiency furnace, when it's this cold, it's hard to keep the house warm. We keep the shades drawn to keep in the heat we have, dress in layers, and pretty much live in one room that we try to keep the warmest. We go into a kind of a survival mode. No uneccesary trips outside, comfort food, snuggle on the couch under an afghan and watch movies. And that's just what I did this weekend!!

Honey made ribs on Friday with a spicy rub, recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay. It was so spicy ... it cleared my sinuses right up!! On Saturday, I made some great 15 bean soup from the ham bone I had in the freezer left over from Thanksgiving. A good, hearty soup that warms from the inside. I had it for lunch AND dinner on Saturday!! There's quite a bit left, so that's going in the freezer for another day. Yesterday, I made penne pasta with Italian sausage, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and lots of mozzarella cheese.

I worked on knitting a sweater. It's my first sweater and it's a pretty easy pattern, but hey, you have to start somewhere!! I loved this yarn in the store. I kept coming back to it, until I finally bought it. I'm not sure I like it knit up though. I'm reserving judgement until it's finished, so we'll see.

I haven't been doing any sewing. The sewing room is cold, and I've been feeling a little under the weather with the sinuses, so I've been taking naps instead of sewing!! I need to get back in there though. I have several projects to finish, and some new ones I want to start. Sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day!!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thoughts on Thursday

I'm sorry to say I haven't been in my sewing room all week. I've been laid low by the mother of all sinus headaches. I tend to be prone to sinus infections, but this is strange. I'm not congested. My nose isn't running. I have no cold symptoms, no fever and really no symptoms of an infection. I really don't feel sick, except that the whole right side of my head hurts. My face hurts, my ear hurts, my teeth ache!! I've been pushing lots of fluids, taking pain medication, using my Neti pot and warm compresses, and finally, today, I'm feeling some relief.

I'm thinking it could be the weather. We've had quite a cold snap here, with wind chill temperatures nearing 15 below zero. I think there's something about the barometric pressure when it gets that cold that plays havoc with my sinuses!! Between not feeling well, and the bitter cold, not only have I not been out of the house all week ... a couple of those days, I didn't even get dressed!!

The Whirl Into Winter Giveaway ends today. The winner of my table runner is Priscilla, from New Zealand. I think it's so exciting that a piece of my handiwork will be gracing a table on the other side of the world!! What an opportunity this blogging is to make friends all over the globe.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Morning Musings

For those of you wondering ... I'm on day 9 as a non-smoker. It's going well ... better than I expected. I know that there will be hard times ahead that I have to get over, but my confidence that this time I'm going to quit for good builds with each passing day. Thank you so much for all your messages of encouragement. They really help!!

I've been looking for some other places to purchase fabric besides Wal-Mart, Joanne's, Hobby Lobby, and the one little quilt shop I know of in our town. I remember noticing a couple of quilt shops in passing over the years, so I did a little exporing on Friday. Two of them are closed, and one isn't a quilt shop at all, but specializes in needlework and yarns. There are two more places I want to check out. One is a sewing machine repair shop, but I just found out they sell fabric too. After that, I'll have to go to the next couple of towns over. They seem to have several quilt shops each, so maybe one day soon, I'll make a day of it and go check them out.

I did manage to spend some of my Christmas gift money though. I bought the black and white fabrics for a special project I've been working on, which I'll show you a little later. The Peaches and Cream cotton is for some washcloths. I have several medical appointments coming up and they make good little waiting room projects!! I got some Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Autumn Print yarn and I'm going to start knitting my first sweater one day soon. And I couldn't resist the Cotton Blossom charm packs from Moda. I don't have any particular plans for those, but I'm sure I'll think of something!!

This is my Swap Til You Drop swap quilt for January. The theme for this month is "Sing It, Watch It, Read It." I chose a theme that is not only a song from the musical "Chicago," it's also the title of a movie. This little quiltie was a bit of a stretch for me. I have never done applique before, and if I'd thought about it a little more, I might have chosen something simpler for my first project!! I found a picture of the movie poster on the internet, so I downloaded it, blew it up a little with my copier, and traced it onto tracing paper for a pattern. I did a coupld of practice pieces before I tried the final project. I'm actually quite pleased with how it turned out. That's one of the things I love about this swap ... it's been pushing me to stretch my wings a little and try new things. Last month, I did the paper pieced chili peppers, which was something I only recently tried for the first time. It was a lot of fun, and I can't wait for a chance to do more paper piecing. Now, I'd like to try more kinds of applique.

I don't know how much sewing I'll get done this week. I have a lot of end-of-year accounting stuff to do for the business, which takes a lot of extra time, and that has to be the priority. The joys of being self-employed!!

Wishing for a great week for everyone ...


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Confessions of an Addict

I think I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my husband recently quit smoking. What I did not mention, was that I did not. Yes. There is it. My nasty, dirty little secret.

I've smoked since I was 18 and although I've tried to quit many times over the years, I have never been successful. I've taken three quit smoking classes, and while I did quit each time, it didn't stick. I tried nicotine patches ... they gave me a rash. I tried nicotine gum ... it made me sick to my stomach. I took a self hypnosis class ... and smoked on the way home. I've tried 3 different drugs to help me quit smoking ... one made me sick, one made me sleepy, and the other made me depressed. When I try to quit I turn into a raving lunatic. I'll smoke my husband's cigarettes, which I don't even like. I'll pick through the ashtray looking for butts long enough to light.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I even watched my mother die from emphysema and held her hand while she poked at the air for a cigarette while taking her last breaths.

Honey and I talked about all the times we've tried to quit smoking, why we failed, what we could do to prevent that in the future, and decided on a plan. We decided that we couldn't both quit at the same time because we get get so short-tempered and anxious and we hit a point where both of us are at our weakest and we go buy cigarettes. The plan was for him to quit smoking first. That made sense, because he won't smoke my cigarettes, or pick through the ashtrays, and I will, so the fact that I would still have cigarettes in the house wouldn't be a problem for him.

He quit smoking 3 1/2 weeks ago. He's been taking some medication he got from the doctor, which has helped him, and I've been trying to be as supportive as I can. He's gotten a little testy from time to time, but basically has done very well and is over the worst of it now. So it's my turn.

I quit smoking on Saturday. This is my 5th smoke free day. There are no cigarettes in the house, the ashtrays have been emptied, washed and put away. I'm doing fine. I don't know what is different about this time, except that I'm really finally ready, I think. I have some nicotine lozenges to get me over the cravings, but mostly, I've just been trying to keep busy. I've got my laundry caught up, started cleaning the basement, knitted a couple of dishcloths, listed a bunch of stuff on Freecycle, and have been sewing 4 patches from my scraps for a scrappy quilt I'll make someday.

It's working. I'm doing it. Soon, I'll be over the hump and I can start enjoying all the good things about being smoke-free. I can sit anywhere I want in a restaurant. My clothes and my house won't smell like smoke any more. I'll be able to have my future grandchildren over with no worries or guilt that I might be exposing them to second hand smoke. And with cigarettes at over $6.00 a pack here, the money I'll save will do nicely to finance my new addiction ... sewing!! It's much less harmful, and a lot more productive.

I'm Terri, and I'm a nicotine addict ... and I've been smoke free for five days.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Ta-Da!! ... and Other Stuff

I got the table runner for my giveaway pieced this weekend, so, as promised, here are some pictures. We have terrible light in our house during winter. Even when the sun is shining outsite, it's dark inside and it's hard to get good pictures. Flash is too much light, no flash is too little. I can't seem to find a happy medium!! I'm going to sandwich and quilt it today and then will just need to add the binding and hand sew it down and it will be ready to go in plenty of time to get it mailed out to a lucky winner!!

My oldest son, the Poet, and his fiancee were here last week. They were in a wedding on New Year's Eve, so we didn't see much of them early in the week, but Friday night we had a family dinner with the Big Guy and KT here too. Sadly, the Wonder Child couldn't come, as he had to work, so I didn't get to have all my boys together, but they did have a chance to spend time together as they all went to the same wedding!! We had a wonderful time, a great dinner, some wine, and played some Wii afterwards and just enjoyed each other's company. I'm never so happy as when I'm just sitting back, watching my grown up boys. They've all turned in to such nice young men, if I do say so myself ... and I am thoroughly enjoying the wonderful people they've become. And the two oldest chose a couple of wonderful girls to be my daughters-in-law, and it's been fun watching the two of them become friends as well!! Did I ever mention they have the same first name??

The Poet is getting married in June, and the wedding is here, so they will be home a couple more times before the big day working on the arrangements, so I'll get to see them a little more often this year!!

So I spent the weekend basking in the glow of family togetherness!! What a way to start the New Year!!

Have a great day.


Friday, January 2, 2009


It's the beginning of a new year, when we're all thinking about what we'd like to accomplish in 2009. In the last couple of months, I've come across many great ideas I want to try, but with so much "must do" sewing for Christmas gifts, I just started a pile of things I want to do "someday."

I've always loved flying geese and this quilt from the December issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine really caught my eye. I think I'm going to do a scrappy version and make this a long term project.
This isn't a wonderful picture, but I fell in love with this quilt in a Plow and Hearth catalog. It was for sale, of course, but I plan on copying the design since it looks simple enough. It would look great in my bedroom!!

I learned to paper piece last year, and I'd like to do more of it. I've already collected a number of paper pieced block patterns to try.

Somewhere in this house, are some blocks and the rest of the fabric for two quilts my mother started. I want to finish those. One, I will keep, and the other I'll give to my brother. The other three of my siblings have a quilt that mom made, but my older brother and I don't, so I want to finish these two so we have one of her quilts to treasure too.

I want to learn to knit socks. I tried a couple of times, with not good results .. but I'm going to give it another try. I took up knitting a little more than a year ago, and I'd like to continue to improve my skills and learn to follow a pattern better.

I want to learn to applique. My plan for the January Swap Til You Drop quilt calls for applique, so I'll get a chance to get my feet wet. I just hope I end up with something good enough to give away!!

I have a few UFOs to finish up ... a couple of quilt blocks I want to put binding on and hang as mini quilts, and a table topper I started years ago that I'd like to finish. Other than that, my plate is clean though and I'm looking foward to many new projects!!

I received this sweet little quilt from my partner in the Swap Til You Drop December swap. The theme was Sweet Sour or Savory. It's beautifully done and I just love it!! I'm accumulating a number of mini-quilts so I'm going to start a quilt wall in my sewing room.

I've received so many wonderful comments on my Whirl Into Winter Giveaway post. So much to look forward to in the new year ... anniversaries, birthdays, travel, retirement, new grandbabies, new homes, better health, and lots and lots of quilty plans!! I'm trying to respond to each comment, but it may take me a while!! I'm a little overwhelmed.