Friday, December 31, 2010

Getting ready . . .

I am getting mentally ready for 2011. I love this last day of the year. I fix an extra pot of coffee so I can really enjoy basking in good memories and thinking of the new year with the promise of good things coming.

I am not one to make New Year's Resolutions. Last year I chose "guiding words" and I liked that. I think I did a pretty good job of being more loving toward myself so I could then love others better. It has been easy to be proud of those I love. (I still think the vitamin D also helped. LOL)

This year I want one resolution - one thing to do each day no matter what. I will sew each day. It may be only sewing on a button or it may be hours in my studio. And I will keep record of it. Some of those records I will share here, but the sewing I do each day may not be "sharing material". The process of creating, repairing, completing with fiber is like warm oil for my soul. I must do it!

I am borrowing my version this from a wonderful quilter's blog I read and enjoy. Go to her blog here: Sister's Choice Quilts. Today she is sharing a summary of her work from the year and her New Year's Resolution for 2011. I admire her commitment to her art and craft.

So for the coming year:
1. I will continue embracing my guiding words of loving and proud.
2. I will sew something each day.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And . . . time to exhale!

We had little visitors today - and it is a good thing they were so much fun because we are both beat! Walker still takes a good afternoon nap and today was no exception. Weston even snoozed a bit while I did. This old rocking chair is my favorite and they both love to sit in it - sometimes even when I am in it. But, here they are together. It is a chair full of giggly, little boys! Such fun!

Tomorrow I am in my studio - in fact, I am there some of every day through Sunday. Ahh - it feels good to exhale . . .

There is a bad storm heading this way with lots of snow tomorrow and major cold on Thursday and Friday. We will have a good reason to "stay close to the fire" - which we plan on doing anyway. We will be remembering great memories from our wonderful month of December.

Monday, December 27, 2010

We are home . . .

We are safely home tonight. It was a spectacular holiday time with Roy and Meagan. We stopped and visited my mom in Missoula. We then stopped for a quick visit with Bob's sister and her family and a little gift exchange. We then came home, worked hard for 30 minutes and got the car unloaded and everything put away.

We turned on the Christmas lights that we enjoyed before we left and settled in our comfy clothes in our comfy chairs.

Tomorrow we see the little guys here.

Life is now back to normal with lots of warm memories that will stay with us forever. It was a very special Christmas.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good Memories . . .Healing . . . Friendship

It is Christmas morning here - Merry Christmas to all.

We are making magnificent memories here. Lots of laughter, hugs, good food, and just the right gifts for everyone. Last night was a very special dinner and evening with Roy's dad and step mom. There was lots of family there of all ages. Sometimes healing takes 35 years, but it was a healing time for all. We opened our gifts last evening after we returned to Roy's. We had more fun this morning enjoying what Santa left after his visit.

In addition to special memories and gifts, I received a very blessed gift of understanding. I woke in the middle of the night thinking of my friends and feeling so blessed. I realized that some friends stay with you through your life from the time you first meet them and some friends stay as long as the friendship is needed and then you each move on. All friendships are a gift and I so appreciate each and every one. Each friendship lasts only as long as it is supposed to last. It was such a peaceful remembering and I know I have been so blessed with good friends - some lifelong and some brief. It is a Christmas I will long remember . . . a beautiful gift of peace. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wonderful days . . .

The time is flying by . . . so many good hours and minutes . . . so much love and so many blessings.

Here are a couple pictures of our Meagan. She is almost 7 and went on a Cinnamon Bear Cruise with her other Grandma today. The first picture is of her right before she left. This evening she entertained us with a fun magic show and we decorated our sugar cookies. I am not sure I will ever want to see a sugar cookie again - not ever!

Bob and I did a bit of shopping today while Meagan was on the cruise. Roy worked yesterday and today, but he is off tomorrow and Friday of course. We have a few things we want to check on tomorrow to finish up our last minute shopping. We have watched the movie, "Sorcerer's Apprentice" at least three times as it is Meagan's new "favorite" movie. And there will be more viewings to follow for sure.

We have eaten at our favorite "Pastini's" and enjoyed Roy's excellent homemade chicken enchiladas. He makes everything from scratch including the white corn tortillas and pork verde sauce. He also gave me a lesson on how to make really great pizza dough and his homemade pizza is the best. I am anxious to get home to give it a try. He is an excellent cook. And, he makes the best beer I have tasted in a long while. He and Meagan really enjoy their time together and he is a great dad. I am so proud of them both.

It is a marvelous Christmas. It is one that we will remember always.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Portland for the week . . .

We are here. We got in yesterday afternoon after some really yukky roads between Spokane and Portland. There is no snow here and I hope it stays that way for the week, but there was snow all the way through the Columbia River Gorge. The roadways were clear and wet in the Gorge once we were down at water level, but if the road went up in elevation at all, there was lots of slush. The roads from just west of Spokane to the east end of the Gorge were snow covered and slow going. I was surprised there were not more snow plows out in eastern Washington. We saw only one in the 200+ miles. The pictures are of the Columbia River while we were driving. I have never seen the Columbia so still - it was just like a mirror. You can click on the pictures for a better view. What do you think?

We are off to do some shopping this morning. Roy had a great idea for something I could get for Meagan and she is still at her mom's until this evening so it is a good day to get that stuff done. She will be here with her dad and us all week and that will be such a wonderful blessing. We are going to make cookies, bracelets, shop, eat at Pastini Pasteria (her favorite), laugh, walk the neighborhood, just have a glorious week. I will take lots of pictures.

Friday, December 17, 2010

So many good things . . .

My blogging seems to have become a "once a week" event. The good thing about that is I am busy and loving it. The not so good thing about that is "why in the world do I even blog?" Well, I enjoy it and I like it even better when folks who drop in leave a word or two in the comments. So, if you are reading this, please say "hello" in the comments area.

One of the fun things we did this week was make cookies - all kinds of cookies. Here is a picture of Weston shaking sprinkles on a sugar cookie. We made ginger bread men, sugar cookies, frosted maple cookies, and some gooey cookies that I had not made before that start with a cake mix. They were all good. I found out if I roll out the ginger bread dough and the sugar cookie dough between two pieces of parchment paper it is very easy. I then placed the rolled out dough in the freezer and I could use it within 30 minutes or I can wrap the rolled out dough, freeze it, and use it later.

But, the most fun part was using my new Christmas present. Bob got me a new KitchenAid Professional 600 mixer. It is just like this one. I have never had anything more than a small, fragile portable mixer. I guess I never felt I had the skills to be a "cook" of any kind so I just never acquired the right tools. I am not sure where that idea came from. My mom didn't really "love" cooking and her mom passed away when she was a young girl. So, baking and cooking didn't seem to be one of my gifts. But now, I may find I am "gifted" - or I may find I am making way too many cookies. LOL.

We are in Spokane tonight. We came this far on our way to Portland tomorrow where we will spend Christmas with Roy and Meagan - and other family. Guess what? I brought the mixer so Meagan and I can make some ginger bread cookies and some sugar cookies. Of course, I also brought my sewing machine and some jewelry making tools. I always bring way more stuff than we have time to do, but it will be a really special week and we are thrilled to be making the trip.

Just so I didn't feel too badly about leaving Walker and Weston over Christmas, I found 12 little gifts for each of them and wrapped them individually so they can open one each day. They started last Monday morning. Some days have been more of a hit than others. It was more fun for me I am sure to find the "just right" little gift for each.

I will get more words and pictures on this blog this week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Busy week . . .

Where do the days go? I turn around and a week has past. Here is a quick summary of some of the highlights from last week and some pictures of the table topper that I finished - except for the binding and that is coming.

Monday - most of the day in the studio
Tuesday - went to Missoula for Christmas lunch with Mom. She is heading Phoenix to spend Christmas with my sister.
Wednesday - serious house cleaning to get us back on our "house duty" schedule which we have ignored for too long.
Thursday - recycled mitten making workshop - several friends came and we made the recycled wool mittens from sweaters.
Friday - getting Christmas shopping done and then to the basketball game - great day!
Saturday - sewing with a friend . . . she finished more mittens and I finished the table topper finally
Sunday - breakfast out with friends and then to an art group Christmas gathering.

The pictures are of the table topper I started using Ronda Beyer's digital design, Behemian Tulip. You can see the beginning here in this post. I then had a great time doing lots of freehand fill.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Enjoying this . . .

I continue to work on this little quilt. I am just doing freehand whatever I want around the motifs and liking it.

I hope to finish it tomorrow, but I want to get a few Christmas decorations up. We are heading to Portland, OR for Christmas so we are not putting up the "whole shebang" this year - just enough to make it warm and loving with a couple little trees that I keep decorated and cover in the attic as well as a few decorations. Tuesday, I am heading off to Missoula to take my mom her Christmas gifts as she is flying down to Mesa, AZ to spend Christmas with my sister there.

More later. . .

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I have been away from my quilting doing lots of "Granny Nanny"-ing on Monday and Tuesday and lots of gabbing and eating yesterday.

I needed a certain color of Kona cotton to finish a special quilt. I just couldn't find what I was looking for and I bought the fabricI have about 3 years ago. I bought plenty then, washed it and prepared it for the quilt. Somewhere, part of the fabric has disappeared. I couldn't remember the color name and then I found that Robert Kaufman makes a color chart of actual fabric pieces of every color of Kona cotton. I was so excited and ordered the chart. It came today and I just called a couple local shops and found the right color at one of our shops. It is so easy once I know what I need. LOL It takes so little to make me so happy, huh?

I did do a little more quilting - piecing and machine quilting - and I am in the process of getting a little more done on this little table topper. It is a learning piece so the errors aren't going to bother me one bit! Don't look too closely.

Tomorrow is a quick trip to town in the morning - one of my favorite clothing shops has a sale - 50% off the entire store. And then I am heading to the quilt shop to get my Kona fabric. I will sleep much better now knowing my problem has been solved.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fun gathering . . . good food . . . good cheer.

The Middle Creek Women's Club started out here in this area about 90 years ago. Women had to live near Middle Creek in order to belong. Now the club includes many of us who have moved into the area as well as several descendents of those who originally started the club.

Today was our Christmas meeting which is a buffet and a white elephant silent auction. We use the money for a charity. The club is more social than anything else. I got some really nice hand embroidered dish towels that one of the members does. You can't see it, but they have rickrack all around. I really like them and the price was phenomenal.

We met at our neighbors and I was her "helper". She provided a wonderful ham and everyone brought something to go with it. I took twice baked potatoes and kind of made up my own recipe. I include some sour cream, cream cheese, chives, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar and seasoning - everyone raved about them so I felt good as I had not ever made them before. Janna from Tin Teepee/Log Cabin talks about making them once in a while on her blog and they always sound so good. So today, I got brave and I even impressed myself. I will make them again and often.

Here is another dish that was a great hit - "Pineapple Casserole". It was just scrumptious and the woman who brought it said she only uses half a cup of sugar and it was perfect.

We never have real meetings - but always have fun and gather a little money here and there that we give to a designated charity. Today our roll call was to name our favorite Christmas song and two of the members sing as a local group called "The Saddle Bags". When each song was named, they would lead us in singing it. It is a fun day and a fun group.

I continue to be amazed at how really wonderful my life is - it is the same life, but it just seems perfect. It probably always has been, but I was just "out of it". I think it could be the vitamin D.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So - what is good about all of this snow?

You just have to see this picture to know. It is our son, Stan, and his son, Weston.

Weston and Walker were out again today. We took a "field trip" to Michael's. I love to go to Michael's, but have never taken the grandsons there and it is quite a wonderful experience. They see totally different things - fun things - and not all of them are expensive. The big hit today were whistles - several different kinds and we bought a couple. From Michael's, Grandpa and I took the little guys to Burger King - or Booger King as Weston fondly calls it. Then we came home for a nap for Walker and some quiet time for Weston.

Being as the pictures yesterday were of Weston - today I want to be sure I have one of Walker. He is 17 months, talks all the time in short sentences, runs, climbs on everything, eats with a spoon and fork, and loves to take his nap. We have had two wonderful days with these very special little people. We are blessed - and very, very tired!

Tomorrow - there is a buffet lunch for the neighborhood women's club to kick off Christmas celebrations and I need to get up early and make some twice baked potatoes before I have to run in to town for a quick dentist's appointment. I get my invisalign trays changed every three weeks and it is time again.

But - Thursday - I am back in my studio - come "hell or high water" as Dad would have said. Life is grand!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Busy weekend . . .

Well, what have we been doing - besides eating lots of turkey - since Thanksgiving?

The pics on the side here are of Weston today. Since he was first able to walk, he has loved the little remote to turn on lights outside. It hangs on a hook by the door and he has always gone and picked it off the hook and then returned it at the end of his stay. Walker liked to get it as well, but he never put it back and we never knew where it ended up so we had to put it up higher. Today, Walker was sleeping and the remote was hung back on the old hook so Weston had to take it for a bit. Things he has loved doing here since he was a baby are still high on his list. It is funny he likes it because now he has hand held gaming toys and can run the Wii like a pro. But this simple little remote is still close to his heart.

It seems there has been lots going on and I have not taken my camera anywhere. I need to get lots better with that. We had a wonderful day with Stan, Rainy, Weston and Walker on Thanksgiving Day. The company, the food and the drink were the best!

Friday I worked in my studio most of the day - some organizing, some quilting and some piecing - no pictures to share, but I will get some new ones soon. I did miss the Black Friday shopping - on purpose. I picked up a few bargains online - added some to that today.

Saturday, we finally checked Gus out of the RV hospital. The refrigerator had gone kaput clear back in September before we went out to Washington and Oregon. At first, the extended service people said they would not cover the repair, but Bob worked with them in his nice, persistent way. They looked at it again and agreed to cover the expense. The RV repair place here could not get all the parts in but finally everything was ready for the repair and Bob took Gus out there a couple weeks ago. And then the RV place had trouble with two techs - one quit - the other one was out sick for a week. And you know what happened to the weather - a foot of snow and 20 below zero. Well Saturday morning Gus was ready to get out so Bob took him to the place where he is going to spend the next 3 months inside.

We watched a ton of football over the weekend which means I did a lot of handwork - mostly hand stitching bindings on a bunch of placemats I have made in the past few months. We enjoyed the Hallmark show last night, "November Christmas". Sam Elliott is one of my favorites.

And then, the little guys were out today. They will also be here tomorrow for a few hours. I will do better with more pictures - promise!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving . . .

This wonderful holiday started out perfect with the great show on PBS last night sharing the event, "Sondheim, The Birthday Concert". It was magnificent and I didn't care one bit how cold it was outside. It is actually warming up - I think it is 4 above this morning.

Today we are heading off to dinner with our family here. I will take some pictures and share them later.

Here is a link to a great song sung by Bernadette Peters. I hope you can find an extra minute in your day to enjoy.

Stay safe, stay warm, give thanks for your blessings.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday . . .

We woke to another beautiful, very cold morning. How about -20 as the sun comes up? There was no breeze, just cold snow as far as eye can see.

Today is about getting ready for our family gathering tomorrow. I am going to make the potatoes and will do them in the crock pot. Those are my favorite so I get to bring them. As the "grandma", I get to have things "my way". I also will make a couple salads.

It is going to be a good day and we should see a high of almost 0. There is no sense being upset about the weather. We are warm, happy, healthy and where we are supposed to be. That is a lot of good stuff for which I give thanks!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It is still cold here . . .

It is so cold here - it didn't get above 5 degrees today and tomorrow is supposed to be a real old fashioned blizzard. It sounds like we could get another 12+ inches of the white stuff between this evening and Wednesday morning. Of course, with the wind, it may all pile up somwhere else - probably not! And the temps are supposed to be really, really cold - wind chills nearing minus thirty to forty.

This little package came in the mail today. I wanted this fabric for the back of the quilt I am finishing and I had only one yard. I searched all over the internet and finally found a place that had 4 more yards so I ordered it. It came today and it will be perfect. It is called Geranium by Martha Nagley.

Today was a great lunch out. I met up with another art quilter from our art group. She does beautiful work. We decided we would meet once a month starting in January during the day to have a creating day. We are going to do this in addition to our regular monthly gatherings which are brief and at night. We are not sure where this will go, but I think it is going to be very inspirational. I want to do more abstract creating because I also enjoy traditional detailed piecing and need something for my other personality. I am thrilled with the idea.

I am so thankful for family and friends. Stay warm!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It got colder last night than expected. It cleared off a bit - between storms I guess and it was 12 below when I got up. I couldn't sleep in this morning - too many things on my mind - all good. I think it is this time of year.

"To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do." Victor Hugo

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We won!

Woo Hoo!!! The Montana State Bobcats beat the Griz from the University of Montana. And - the game was played in Missoula - and it was very cold there as well!

It is still cold here now - below zero with the wind chill and near zero actual temperature. It is going to get colder for the next few days. The first picture is out the back patio door about mid day today and the second one is out the kitchen door. You can't really see the wind blowing, but it was. It snowed off and on all day, but most of it blew into the next county or maybe to Idaho.

We had some folks in for the game and it was fun to share in the win. I made a little buffet of good stuff that you could make our own nachos with or just pick and eat whatever parts you wanted. It worked perfectly as some just wanted to pick and some wanted something more substantial. The meat and bean mixture was in a crock pot so it was hot as was another crock pot with a nacho type cheese. There was shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, onions, shredded cheese, chips, sour cream, guacamole, olives . . . the works. It was really easy and I got to watch the game with everyone else while we all ate and cheered

Friday, November 19, 2010

And I do mean cold . . .

It feels like the dead of winter - words we usually reserve for January. The "old east wind" is howling and the snow is blowing sideways and there is drifting already on some of the roads. It is supposed to continue until Sunday morning with another 8 to 12 or so inches here in the valley. And after the reprieve on Sunday, there will be more again on Monday with temps falling to below zero - like near 20 below zero for the low by Wednesday. It is crazy to be out and about, but . . .

We went to the b-ball game at the university. The Bobcat boys basketball team beat Minot State from ND. It was not a conference game so there were not many people there. Smart folks.

It is nice to be safely home and warm in my flannel jammies. I wish we were in Gus somewhere warm. What in the world is wrong with us? I hope you are all warm and safe, wherever you are, on this very cold night.

Not too bad . . .

We only got about 4 inches of new snow, but it is still sifting down like powdered sugar. We still had about 4 inches from last week or whenever. It is supposed to snow all day today, all night and all day tomorrow and tomorrow night. Predictions were for over a foot here - winter is here.

A poem to share . . .

First Snow-Fall

by Albert Bigelow Paine.

THE sun that dim November day
Had failed to kiss the clouds away
From quiet Nature's furrowed face,
Where autumn tears had left their trace.

And, by and by, on fields of brown
The feathered flakes came floating down
From Heaven to this world of ours,
Like spirits of departed flowers.

And fast and faster through the night,
Till Morn arose on meadows white,
And o'er the landscape lightly stepped
Where tired Nature, smiling, slept.

This morning is going to be "housecleaning" day. We have gotten kind of lazy and let our "house duty" list fall by the wayside so it is time to get it going again. I keep telling myself it is good exercise. Two hours this morning and two hours tomorrow morning should get us caught up.

My studio is calling to me already so I better get "high behind" and get going.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting colder . . .

It is getting much colder here - snow tonight, cooler temps and by the middle of next week it is supposed to be below zero over night for several nights. I had hoped to go over to Missoula (200 miles west) and pick up my mom for Thanksgiving on Tuesday and then have her stay a few days here with us. With the weather we may put that visit on hold for a bit. She lives in a senior apartment complex with activities, meals provided, lots of friends and loves it so she has lots to keep her busy.

The little guys were here today - all day - loved every minute. Weston and I made cards, watched "The Incredibles" movie (a favorite), and played lots of make believe games. One of the best games is to put all of the pillows from the couches in the living room on the floor and then roll around on them - Weston loves to show Walker how to do that. Here is a cute picture of Walker playing "hide and seek" by hiding his head under the coffee table and then peeking up at me. Weston was helping me take the pictures.

I ordered some ultrasuede for a quilt I am trying to finish - have been trying to finish for years - determined now, but it needed something different from my original design. I used to have a store I ordered ultrasuede from in Colorado, but they are no longer in business. I have swatches from when I used to use a lot of ultrasuede. When I ordered, I couldn't find the swatches and the pink that I ordered will be good for what I need, but the green is not bright enough. I may not need the green anyway so it will be okay. The green star blocks are not sewn together and the folded ultrasuede is on the lower right. I think I know where this is going now, but sometime I just need to quit making changes and get it finished even if it never gets quilted.

Saturday we are having some friends come in to watch the Bobcat-Grizzly football game with us. The game starts at noon. It is the cross-state rivalry between Montana State University here in Bozeman and the University of Montana in Missoula. The University is usually the winner and I enjoy the first quarter, then I don't like to watch our Bobcats lose. I hope it is different this year, but I am not holding my breath as the game is in Missoula and they usually win at home.

Also - basketball season for the university has started and we will go to a boys b-ball game tomorrow night. Lots of sports this weekend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Only a few words tonight - just spent time organizing my studio today. Or I should say cleaning and some reorganizing. I went to our art group meeting tonight. It was a quiet meeting.

Here is a cute picture of Walker and Weston with their caps on. They are such fun little guys and will be spending some time here on Thursday so I had best get "high behind" and get some creating done in my studio tomorrow as there will be little time for it on Thursday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good friends, good lunch, fun quilting . . .

I spent some time sewing and trying out some new patterns on my IQ. I am making that table topper and used two patterns designed by Ronda Beyer for sale at Intelligent Quilting here.

I used the Bohemian Tulip Frame and the Bohemian Tulip Motif 1. The little topper will be about 40 inches square so I centered the frame and then centered the motif inside. I want to use some rays between the motif and the frame and then use a fill around the outer edge of the frame. It is one of those projects that just take on a life of its own as I work on it. But I am so impressed with these digitized designs.

The thread is metallic gold and at first I thought I would use additional colors, but I am thinking now I will just use gold metallic for the center rays and an off white for the outer edge. I am blown away by how elegant these designs stitch out. They are just beautiful. I had to post several pictures just because I am amazed. Heck, I am amazed to just watch Hoke drive Miss Daisy with such perfection. I know I am supposed to go about doing other things, but unless I really get tough with myself, I just sit, smile and watch.

I also met a good friend for lunch in downtown Bozeman. We had great, spicey pasta at the Naked Noodle. You can order any kind of pasta and choose all kinds of toppings. I ordered one of the signature dishes called "The Gaucho" which is a chipotle cream sauce over a cavatoppi pasta tossed with corn, black beans, peppers and scallions. You can then select additional toppings and they recommended fried spinach. It was delicious and I am still full. If you get to Bozeman, MT - be sure to try this place. Betty and I try to meet up here about once a month for some good food and a time to catch up. Even though we are neighbors out here, we don't get to visit as often as we like. Today was the day!

More sewing and quilting tomorrow.

Sometimes . . .

I read something that just hits the spot with where I am at the moment. I read this a few minutes ago on the blog "Ordinary Courage" and it was one of the "ah-ha" moments for me.

"Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

-- Scott Stratten, author of Unmarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gray day here . . .

It was cloudy,spit snow and tried to rain all day and it seemed so dark and dreary. It isn't like we don't have days like this once in a while, but both of us were kind of feeling less than our usual energetic selves. So it is what I call a "low and slow" day. No quilting, but I did write up the summary of the trials I did on the quilting motifs from yesterday.

I also made some cookies - found a recipe that could include oatmeal, raisins, chocolate chips and walnuts. The recipe didn't have the chocolate chips and walnuts in with the raisins, but rather suggested you could substitute either for the raisins, but I just put them all in together. And, because I don't make cookies often, any warm fresh cookie tastes amazing so we liked them!

We also talked with our son in Portland and we are going to head that way for Christmas. We will plan to get out there the week before Christmas as Meagan is out of school that week and her dad has to work. What fun that will be - we will have a whole week to get ready for Christmas, to bake, to shop, to wrap and just enjoy time together. We will spend Thanksgiving here with our son and his wife and the two little guys.

Lots to look forward to - lots of blessings.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fun with Hoke . . .

I took some time this afternoon to give my A1 quilting machine a really good cleaning and then I snapped on my IQ, a computerized robot to drive the quilting machine. I wanted try some new motifs and patterns. I love the IQ as it is a tablet computer that rides on the front of my quilting machine which is an A1. The IQ is light and the A1 is very smooth so they work well together. I loaded a small piece of natural muslin so I can make sure it all works before I do the table topper I mentioned a couple days ago. And, as usual, my IQ and A1 work beautifully together doing whatever I want.

Really, I just wanted to play a little bit today. The first picture is from the side showing both the IQ and the A1. When I got the A1 a few years back, I named it "Miss Daisy" so I could be "driving Miss Daisy". Then when I got the IQ a couple years later, I named it Hoke who really did drive Miss Daisy in the movie. It is fun to just play!

You can see the pattern on the screen and watch Hoke drive Miss Daisy stitching out whatever pattern is selected. I can also change the motifs and record my own if I want. Sometimes I do forget how much I love my quilting. I have so many blessings.

Friday, November 12, 2010

We have many blessings . . .

Today Bob and I did our first driving route to deliver bags of groceries to seniors. We selected a route in a nearby town - about 20 miles from where we live. When we arrived at the food bank, it was bustling so we quickly got some directions and a list of delivery addresses. At every house, people were so appreciative and kind. It was a good morning and one we will do again next month. Now that we have everyone found, we will even do better.

It has been almost a year since Dad passed and I know he would have enjoyed this grocery delivery as well. I thought a lot about him today. He ran a small "grocery/clothing/everything" store when I was in high school in a small, western town here in Montana. This is a picture of that same store now - it looked a bit different then. It was all painted and the front windows were the large "store front" type windows then. Of course, I looked a bit different then as well - LOL - after all it was 50 years ago. I loved delivering the groceries every day at 4:30 around that little town. once I got my drivers license. Dad trusted me with the pickup to do that and I was only 15 with a brand new drivers license. I miss my dad.

It is also time for the Christmas Cactus to begin blooming. It blooms from the first of November through April with the heaviest blossoms coming right around Christmas and again in March. This plant was started from a plant that belonged to my grandmother whom I never knew. She was Dad's mom and she passed when he was in his early teenage years. One of my cousins started it for me from the original plant that his mother, my aunt, had. I remember it as a child and I love it every year.

Also, remember the geraniums that I brought in from outside? Well, with a little TLC, they are still blooming and I am still loving the two colors together.

It was a day filled with very special blessings.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good people . . .

There are so many good people in this world and today I had the pleasure of getting to know one of them a bit better. I met Janna in Livingston for lunch. Janna is a longarm quilter and she and her husband also have a motorhome. She does a wonderful blog, Tin Teepee/Log Cabin, that I wouldn't miss reading each day. In fact, I started reading her blog in May of 2009 after they had returned from some time in the warmer temperatures of the southern states. They may have been a big reason Bob and I decided to travel down the path of being RVer's. It was so much fun to visit in person. Internet connections are sometimes across the country or around the world - or "just over the hill". It was a great time!

On the quilting front, I am loading up a little table topper and going to try a new pattern designed by my friend, Ronda Beyer. You can see it here at Intelligent Quilting. I am needing to make lots of stuff in the next year as a couple other friends of mine and I are planning a holiday boutique next November. We decided to meet monthly starting the middle of January and show what we have made for "product" to sell. It is going to be a really fun year and I will show and share as I go.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It was a good experience. . .

It was great! I did my first volunteer evening at our local food bank. We packed up about 600 sacks of food for "groceries for the elderly" program. There were about 15 others there tonight and most were like me - newbies. It was fun - we just took a bag and walked up the rows putting in the food in cans or packages. I also volunteered to drive one of the delivery routes which I will do on Friday. I liked it and everyone was so appreciative. It is a once a month commitment. I am loving this new energy for life!

Here is a pic of the back of the quilt I had been working on. I delivered it today back to the quilt shop. She was thrilled and I am going to take in some cards later this week at her request and I may take in a bit more customer quilting again. I sure enjoyed working on it and I am so thankful she liked it. It will hang in the window and both sides will show. I will try to take another picture once she has it hung in her shop. I ran out of room, and time, here to get a full picture.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fantastic Friday . . .

Busy times here, but it is all good! I have been so energized and loving life after many months of the doldrums. What is the difference? I am not sure, but, at my doctor's suggestion, I have been taking a lot of Vitamin D3. Maybe it is all in my mind, but I feel so good every day.

We have had the little guys visit a couple times in the past 10 days. Last weekend they were here and we loved every minute. Here is a cute picture of Walker watching Barney. He has just started to really love Barney and he has to sit in this little rocking chair with his favorite blanket. We took both boys with us to a memorial service for a friend on Saturday. It was a couple hour drive away and it was held in an arena. He a very distinguised horseman and an extraordinary driver of draft horse teams. Many people took turns telling good memories. It was very cold in the arena and Weston was sitting on my lap with his coat wrapped around him tight. Walker and Bob has gone off to the kitchen area where it was warmer, but he was not able to hear the service. After dozens of memories and tears were shared, Weston looked up at me and said, "Grandma, somebody just needs to say amen". Our friend would have loved that - he loved little guys and their honesty.

I am just finishing this huge quilt - it is a king and I got way to ambitious with my quilting plan. I am loving every minute, but I have not been able to quilt every day and only a bit on some days. Life seems to have others plans at times. There have been lots of thread changes, lots of ruler work, some stencil work, and some frogging. It is all part of the game I know and I am so glad to be back.

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another good one . . .

I had a neighbor who lived "up the hill" from me here. She was in her 90's and I was visiting her one day. I said, "Annie, it is such a beautiful day - don't you think?". She replied, "Carol, every morning I wake up, it is a beautiful day." Annie left us about 5 years ago, but her words and wisdom are everywhere.

Today was a beautiful day - for me anyway. I expected to wake up to snow on the grass and when I got up, there was no snow except on the mountains. It was going to be a beautiful day. When I went on Facebook, my son, who lives here wrote "Ah, the Bridgers are beautiful with their first blanket of snow." You see, he is an avid snow skier and one of the local snow areas is in the nearby Bridger Mountains. To him the site of the snow made his day beautiful. It is all a matter of perspective.

I am working on a large quilt that will be in the window of one of our local quilt shops - the one downtown. So, I am using this as an opportunity to practice some detailed quilting and try some new things. This picture shows one of the inner borders where I am doing some curved cross hatching using a new ruler from Ronda Beyer that is sold by Quilters Rule. The print in this inner border is much more muted in the real quilt and the quilting shows up a bit better than in the picture. I was surprised when I saw the picture as the fabric looks really busy and it doesn't look like that with the eye. But you can click on the picture for a better view. I love this big ruler, and she has several other sizes and shapes that I also have and am anxious to try,. The curve is just right and the etched markings are perfect. On the Quilters Rule site, Ronda has a couple videos I think where she shows how she makes curved cross hatching easy. I have done it a bit before, but these rulers make it so much nicer and much easier

Please have another beautiful day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Good news . . .

I just got a call from my sister-in-law, Ann. She is at the quilt show in Spokane and she had to tell me that a quilt she did that I quilted won a second place ribbon. It is so much fun to hear that kind of news - especially since I didn't know she entered it at all. This is the only picture I have of it - in progress. Thank you, Ann, for entering the quilt and for calling to let me know that we won a ribbon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mittens and visitors . . .

First off - I did get the mittens finished that I talked about trying in the last post. They will be so warm and just as cute as they can be. And, they are very easy. I lined these with fleece, but I have some cashmere recycled sweaters that I want to try on the next pair for lining. I think they will make nice Christmas gifts and it is fun to put the different sweater combinations together. These are red and dark charcoal although it looks black in this picture. The patterns worked really well and the instructions are great. Give them a try if you have some felted wool around. You will like them!

Weston and Walker visited today and we had a great time. Weston is getting so "grown up". He likes to play games on "PBSKids" and this is what he was doing here. He goes to a local sports group two mornings a week and is in pre-school three days a week so he is kept busy. Walker is just enjoying being 16 months. He talks (we don't always understand), runs, eats, laughs, and loves everything. When it is time for his nap, he just walks into the room with his bed here at Grandma's house, gets in his bed, lays down and "lights out". They are lots of fun to have as visitors.

I have a new quilt coming in tomorrow that I am going to quilt for one of the shops here. I am excited about it and that feels good.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My "muchness" is flirting with a return . . .

Each day for the past couple weeks I have noticed some subtle changes. Things seem more interesting - more colorful - more fun. And, I feel more certain, spicier, and have a bit more of my old courage. I think I am getting my "muchness" back. I wonder why it went away.

I spent some time reorganizing my desk. I cleaned out several file drawers in the office part of my studio and threw away a ton of stuff I have held on to for way too long and just generally did some thinning out. It was kind of fun to go through the files from my past life, enjoy the memories and toss it out without a hint of remorse. I have more to do, but it is lighter.

I also found a good free pattern for making mittens from recycled felted wool. Here is the pattern. So - I got the pattern ready and got my felted wood ready from my endless stash of recycled wool sweaters. I am going to use this little vest I found some years ago - it is already felted, pressed and ready to go. My friend, Gail, in Denver had a pair that she had been given - she said they are so warm. Hers were lined with recycled cashmere sweater, but this pattern shows using fleece and that is what I am going to use. I will try to get them done in the morning. . . supposed to only take 30 minutes.

We are supposed to get a freeze tonight and it is the first one so far this fall. So I wanted to bring my geraniums in and I decided I had best go dig them up and get them into some pots this afternoon. I have never done this before, but I have 4 geraniums this year in my outside pots that I just love and they have bloomed and bloomed all summer so I am going to try it. Then when I got done with mine, I went over to my good friend (neighbor) and dug up some of hers as well. We both bought the same ones last spring and have raved about them all summer. She and her hubby are back in Indiana doing some family ancestry research and won't be back for another 10 days so I told her I would do it for her as well. Anyone have good luck with keeping geraniums blooming all winter and then putting them back out in the late spring?

And tonight while I was watching "Dancing With The Stars" I got in some good design work with my new EQ7. It was a really good day. But, I am not sure if I ever combed my hair all day. It was not important. LOL.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Beautiful quilts and beautiful colors . . .

But, no pictures as I ran off and forgot my camera. Bob and I took a drive to Livingston to see a quilt show sponsored by their guild. It is a quick 25 minute drive. The quilts were really nice and I got to visit with quite a few people I know from the quilting world. I also met Janna in person. I read her blog regularly and love it. She and her husband also have a motorhome and she is also a longarm quilter. It was fun to meet her in person - it felt like I know her. Blogs are great! I need to do a better job with mine.

We then took "the long way" home through the beautiful Shields River valley and then back through Bridger Canyon into Bozeman. It was a great day in the sunshine with stunning fall colors nearing the end of their show.

"I've never known anyone yet who doesn't suffer a certain restlessness when autumn rolls around... We're all eight years old again and anything is possible." Sue Grafton

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Yellowstone . . .

It was a gorgeous day! We decided to take off this morning and head to Yellowstone Park. The park is about 100 miles south of us and the scenery between here and there is spectacular. We just took our time and enjoyed the day.

These pics were from our stop at the Upper Geyser Basin. I am not sure what I will do with the message I am getting, but the combination of colors and textures is whispering in my ear. It was a wonderful day of inspiration and gratitude.