Thursday, November 28, 2013

Today I am 71

Birthday 71And given that both my birthday and Thanksgiving arrived on the same day this year I decided to share what I am thankful for.  First and foremost I am thankful that I know Jesus Christ as my Savior and that he has walked with me for most of my 71 years.  Second I am thankful for my husband, Eric, who has been my partner for almost 53 years.  We have survived good years and bad years (currently good) and each has made us stronger both individually and as a couple.  And third I am thankful for our 4 children.  Each has grown into a strong and successful adult with good marriages.  We have watched them mature and grow as parents and to learn to accept each child as an individual rather than carbon copies of themselves. 

There are many other small things that I am thankful for (other family members, our nation, my home, friends, etc.) but if I tried to mention all of them I would forget someone and that wouldn’t be good (sounds like the academy awards, doesn’t it?).

Now let me tell you about my birthday.  As instead of cakeyou can see from the picture above, we went to the beach after a Thanksgiving dinner at Applebee’s, which was terrific.  We walked the beach so we could make a stop at Village Inn for PIE.  They make the best lemon meringue pie and serve very big slices.

004Anyone who regularly reads my blog knows that DH took me to see Kenny G earlier this month as my birthday gift.  But this morning he presented me with this book, which I didn’t even know was coming out.  I have read all of her Elm Creek books so this was well welcomed.

birthday earingsHe also gave me these earrings.  Aren’t they the cutest?  And perfect for a person who has three doxies.

bedside owl pitcher-glassI also need to show this again.  It is a bedside glass owl pitcher that my/our twins and their very special spouses gave me for my birthday after they had been together this summer.

glass & pitcher
It is quite unique and I have never seen another like it.  It always makes me feel special when my children remember me even though we are so far apart.

followed me homeAnd I guess there is one last thing.  Look what followed me home.  A whole lemon meringue pie.  I guess we will be celebrating my birthday for a while longer: but of course there are still 2 more days in BIRTHDAY MONTH!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Getting Ready & Birthday Month Continues

owls back on wallThe owls are back on the wall. 

latest owlsAnd these are the newest ones to be completed.  I still have one small one to do but I think I will wait until next month and do two of them together.  These three were lots of fun and required a really long tree branch.

New Roll Top DeskMost of my time this week was taken up with this.  DH and I did some antiquing/shopping early in the week.  He saw this and said “Here is your desk” as I have always wanted a big old roll top desk.  Of course we couldn’t afford it even though it was less expensive than I had thought (not an old desk).  Then a couple of days later he offered to share the cost if I wanted it.  So I called the store and found that it was now 25% discounted ….. so I bought it.  However it was 100 miles away and way too big for our already overcrowded house.

drawers & chairSo we drove down, completed the paperwork and I measured it upside down and backward.  Then home we came and I began measuring everything else in the house.

New deskSaturday, while DH and our SIL went to get it, I moved every big piece of furniture in the front and dining room.  By the time they gone back with my new “birthday” desk, I had the puppies completely confused and I was ready to collapse.  But it was worth it: isn’t she beautiful?

drawers & cubbiesLook at all those little drawers.  I have been filling them up but there are still several that are still empty.  Flirt male

desk-side view
She is even beautiful from the side, isn’t she?

Fred at rest (2)After all that work even Fred was tired and felt the need for relaxing.

Nature LoverAnd Stubby, afraid she would get sucked into the work, took refuge among the plants on the deck.

I have been knitting but partial socks are not very interesting so I will show them later. 

I did start a couple of small projects.  I had decided to not make Christmas gifts this year but changed my mind when I couldn’t think of or find anything I wanted to gift for a couple of people.  DH has this week off so he will be watching football and taking care of the puppies giving me more studio time.  All of this needs to either be completed or almost before Bonnie doles out Part 1 of her Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt on Friday.  My plan is to put last years completed mystery quilt, Easy Street, out in the studio to remind me, when I feel overwhelmed, that it can be done cuz I did it before.  Open-mouthed smile

For all of my US readers, have a great Thanksgiving.  As it is my birthday we are going out to eat, something we have never done before, and then plan to spend some time at the beach (if it is not too cold).

And for everybody, have a great week.  Gari

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Still Catching Up

My babies-Lisa and ToddOn Saturday our youngest children became 45.  They were so cute. 

Lisa at 45 (2)
Todd at 45

But these were the pictures they posted of each other on Facebook.  I blame it on their spouses.  Angel

This is what is on my Design Wall, my fish from Fat Cat Patterns.  I think I am up to date, or maybe there is one more, I’ll have to finished fishcheck.  I know there are 11 there but I did one twice, by accident, so it doesn’t count.  I guess I will need to go through my patterns to see which one didn’t get made.  Crying face

fusible drawingI thought I’d show how I draw my fusible pieces.  On the big piece, the outside line is the fish.  Inside that line are smaller pieces that go with this fish.  After I get it all drawn I cut about 1/4” inside that outside line and that leaves me all that inside fusible to use.  Usually I will also “window” the medium pieces but when I was doing this fish I was so eager to see it complete I forgot.  Tisk, tisk.

Nov fishAnd here he is in all his glory.  When I first went fabric hunting, I was thinking of doing him in blue.  I pulled 7 different fabrics but they just did not want to be a fish.  About that time the darker purple started yelling from it’s shelf.  The other two chimed in and we had a purple chorus  and then a fish.

blocking slippersI finished these angora slippers and they are now on the blocking forms.  They are kind of funny looking (one at least) but it was an experiment.  The second one looks more like the picture on the pattern.  But I’ll bet they both will feel soft and warm.

back to sockAnd today I finally got back to this sock.  This is the one I had started, on bamboo needles, when one of my sweet puppies found it.  By the time she had played with it the yarn was in tangles and four of the needles were like broken matchsticks.  I put it all aside until last week when I spent 3 hours untangling the yarn and then today I began knitting it again.

steel needlesI am, however, using new needles.  I found these steel needles recently and I really like them.  They are sturdy, of course, but they are not slick.  I only bought the one set but there may be others in my future.

Now I am going to get some sleep so I can get busy finishing up these projects and be ready for Bonnie’s mystery quilt later this month.

Have a great week,  Gari

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Owls Everywhere

Newest owlI have been really working on catching up on the owl BOM from Fat Cat Patterns.    He is one of the bigger blocks (see below). 

current owlsThis is most of the owls I have completed.  One is under the needle being appliqued.  I only have one more block to complete and I will be all caught up.  Of course that block is another 3 owl composition, like the one on the bottom left, so it may take me the rest of the month to do.  The sashing in this picture is just up there as an idea.  They are leftovers from a binding I used several years ago and I don’t have enough to complete this quilt.  Crying face

Red CactusMy red Christmas cactus is in full bloom. 

White Cactus 2But I am really impressed with the white cactus.  Doesn’t this bloom look like an orchid?  Of course it is only a little over an inch across so I wouldn’t be able to use it for a corsage.  Winking smile

Keeping warm The temps here in the Deep South have dipped below freezing so look how the doxies are keeping themselves warm.

My babiesThey did spare a little time for me, posing for this picture. 

War EagleAnd I took this picture for my daughter in law who is a rabid Auburn fan.  The sweater came with our older doxie but it now fits Sherlock.  I tried to get him to do  a cheer but he said it was too cold.  Rolling on the floor laughing

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What I Did On My Mini Vacation

SC fabric choicesToday I am showing my “design ironing board.”  Before we left for Biloxi I pulled fabric for Bonnie Hunter’s Celtic Solstice mystery that starts 11/29/13.  I had pulled blues and bright greens but all of a sudden I decided that I really wanted to do something with purple so I made a change in the green, too.  I think I am going to use the dotted fabric as the neutrals even though I originally pulled black on white prints.

Kenny GThen we were off to see Kenny G.  He was every bit as good as he is on my albums.  I think I grinned all through the 2 hour program.

shelves, copper, hatBoth on the way to Biloxi and back home we visited some antique malls.  The first thing I bought was this set of shelves.  I love that they have sides and that they rotate up and down.  I also got a copper coffee pot, made in Turkey.  I love copper and have started collecting items for my kitchen.  I hope one day to cover my kitchen island with copper…..someday.  Also on the shelves is a sailor hat.  I looked for one last April when I bought a Navy Middy Blouse for Fred, but I couldn’t find one.  Yesterday I found this one in a mall.  It was $25 but when we got to the register it seems it was 65% off.  Boy, Fred is going to look really good when he gets dressed up to celebrate my father’s birthday month in April.

MS fabricWe also visited two really nice quilt shops on the MS Gulf Coast.  This fabric is from a Northcutt line called Stone Chips (I think).  It was really difficult to choose which fabrics to buy, they were all so luscious. 

more fabricThe stripe fabric is not from the same line but goes well with it.  However who knows how any of this will get used.

Stubby-new sleeping placeJust when I was ready to move the shelves into the studio, there was Stubby, making herself at home.  I didn’t move her, I just started “walking” the shelves and she decided she didn’t need the aggravation. 

BOM filing systemAnd this is how the shelves are really being used.  I have put the three BOMs I am working on on the shelves.  When I go to make a new block I like to see all of the others up on the design wall so I can make sure the colors are different or a different mixture.  With them on these shelves I don’t have to thumb through other BOMs or blocks to find the one’s I want.  Also they are out in the open where I can see them and, hopefully, keep up.

Not too bad as a beginning of Birthday Month, huh?  There was one other highlight:


I got this on our way to Biloxi.  It was so good that DH bought me two more slices on our way home: there is still one in the refrigerator.  Breakfast?

That’s all folks.  Hope everyone has a great week.    GARI

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kenny G & Me

KENNYGsongPics12B29wLASLH34sMGuess where we are going?  Guess who we will be seeing and hearing?  I am so excited.  This is an early birthday gift from DH (my birthday is on Thanksgiving this year). 

When I got my HQ I found that I enjoyed quilting best when I was listening to jazz so I started buying Kenny G albums.  He, along with others, has gotten me through a lot of quilts. 

001These are the fruits of my labor for the beginning of the week. 

002This is one of the smaller owls.  The pattern calls for a pieced border around but I am thinking that I will use a sashing fabric for each of the blocks.

003And this is my most recent fish.  I have tried to use this green fabric a couple of times but this was the first time this fabric fit a fish. 

I also spent this afternoon picking out fabrics for Bonnie Hunter’s new mystery that is starting the day after my birthday.  The colors she has picked out are the ones I used for last year’s mystery so I had to put my thinking cap on and come up with my own combination.  I have pulled yellow, moss green, blue, and rust, for now.  I am not really sure of this as I would really like to use purple, I think.  I really don’t like mysteries because I like to know what I am doing.  But my Easy Street from last year turned out so great that I am willing to give Celtic Solstice a try.

Now, I think I will spend some time cleaning the studio so I don’t loose all those little pieces Bonnie is going to have me/us cut.  I had baggies all over the place last year so I figure it will be the same this time.  And without some clean surfaces I will loose those little parts and just have a mess.  So I have 23 days to get my space ready…..better get at it.  Confused smile