Friday, June 24, 2011

Link Roundup

  • A Box of Books. I won and received a total of fifteen books by various authors. How awesome is that?!?

  • Tin Can Pincushion Crafting, Sewing; Recycling
    This author used an almonds can; but, I am thinking you can use any small can.

  • T-shirt Dress Tutorial Sewing
    I imagine that this can be made for adults as well as kids. I would probably use it as a swimsuit cover up.

  • Stuffed Animal Sleeping Bags Project Sewing; for Kids
    This is way too cute! I imagine kids would love this for their favorite stuffy when they go on camping trips.

1) It's Summer. 2) I love being in the water. And, 3)we went to a water park yesterday. So, I thought this signature was appropriate.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

A special little girl is celebrating her birthday on Sunday, June 26th. She was born 14 years ago and became ours when she was just 12 weeks old. She survived a stomach blockage and Pancreatitis in 2007 -- what a time that was. We thought we had lost her; but, she rallied and pulled through. I am very thankful. It was money well spent. She is such a sweet loving cat.

March 25, 2011

{If you wish to see more pictures of Chessie, just search for 'chessie' in the search box in the right column and it'll bring up some links for you to peruse.}

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quilting Tuesdays: WIP

It has been awhile since I posted any sewing/quilting related projects. I have a couple of quilting work-in-progress (WIP) projects I am working on.

Quilting Book Club: May

  1. Information:
    • Book Used: Modern Basics by Amy Ellis
    • Quilt Pattern: Basic Ease (page 7)
    • Fabrics:
      1. "Red" & "Green": Happy by Jennifer Ryan for In the Beginning 2010
      2. "White": Polka Dot Garden by Jennifer Heynen for In the Beginning 2011
      3. Binding: Redwork Rendezvous by Alex Anderson for P&B Textiles (It is a black fabric with tiny white pin dots)
  2. Top Completed: May 27th

    Closeup Shot of fabrics:

  3. Back Completed: June 9th

    Note: It takes me awhile to complete the backing because I tend to patch up a bunch of leftover fabrics. I rarely buy separate fabric just for the backing. I tend to buy extra fabric required for the front for 1) just in case I make a mistake AND 2) to create the backing with.

  4. Sandwiched, Pin Basted, and Ready for Quilting: June 19th

    I am one frustrated quilter. There is so much I want to do quilting wise; but, I am so limited with my home sewing machine. I wanted to do something a little fancy with my mother’s Maxine Quilt; but, I could not due to my machine’s limitations. I do not want to pay an arm and a leg to send it out to be quilted by someone else. It is already expensive enough as it is with fabrics. I did a little research and purchased two items for my sewing machine. I am ready to give it a try again. I will have to set it up and practice on a sample first and see what happens.

    For now, it is gently folded up and ready for quilting. I think I am going to finish piecing the layer cake quilt (below) and get that ready for quilting too. And then, I will work on quilting two quilts.

Layer Cake Quilt Along

I am way behind on this. Heh. This is what happens when your machine breaks and sits in shop for two weeks -- you lose your focus and dedication. I am unfocused anyway. So, what does it matter? At least, I picked this back up and am working on completing this project. That is saying something. What am I saying? I don't know. I am unfocused, remember? Ha!
  1. Block 12 Completed: June 15th

  2. On my design wall last night (June 20th):

    Since my blocks are not all the same size, I am attempting to square them up by corrupting the PURE fabric line with the addition of a “Pound Hounds” fabric by Sue Marel ©2011 RJR Fabrics. This should be a piece of cake since I did the same thing for my mother’s Maxine Quilt (some of the panels were wonky) except I am stressing over the process.
By the way, I have been doing a little research into longarm (or midarm) quilting machines and Holy Cow! How can anybody afford to get one of these machines? They must either desperately saved up their pennies or got into debt by financing one. I do not believe in incurring debt and I would be an old lady by the time I saved up enough pennies to buy one of these machines. *sigh*. Hopefully, I will be able to use my sewing machine to do some quilting things I would like to do. We’ll see.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pictorial Mondays

I don't have much for you all today. There is not a whole lot of exciting things happening around here for photographic opportunities.

On the evening of the same morning I got bitten by ants (June 2nd), I was out in the backyard with my camera just hunting for stuff to practice my picture taking when I looked up and got scared half to death.

This guy was eying me like I was dinner and he was HUGE! And, he was so dark. I attempted to get closer to get a better picture, he started to take off. But, he paused and posed for me.

By this time, he was beginning to lighten up color-wise. Once I got this picture, he took off. I wish that brown gadget thing with a screw was not behind his head. It would have be a great picture if that thing was not there. Oh well, live and learn.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Link Roundup

The links for today are not many. In fact, it is just one. I have not come across many that appealed to me. And, if I did, I neglected to jot the link down. My apologies! Hopefully, next week's roundup will be better. In the meantime, enjoy the link below and have a great weekend!

  • Campfire Brownies Baking
    Not really for camping; but, it sure does sound delicious. I wonder if this can be modified so that one can make it in a cast iron dutch oven near a campfire using coals?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Mine! All Mine! Bwahahahaha!

This was part of the Self Portraits series I did back in May.
'Nuff said.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My First Quilt

Way back when, after I was engaged and before I got married, I wanted a quilt for our bed. I hunted and shopped and much to my shock, good old fashioned quilts are expensive! I decided I was going to learn all I can about making quilts. I bought magazines and books and learned as much as I could. My classes and teachers were the magazines and books I read. The thought of attending a class intimidated me. Deafness can interfere in so many ways and can frustrate teachers to no end. However, books and magazines are excellent substitutes.

I bought a lovely cheap Kenmore sewing machine on sale. I also grabbed their last floor model sewing cabinet that was marked at a deep discount. I purchased a Kenmore for two reasons: 1) I knew I only needed a machine that sewed a straight line and 2) my mother had a Kenmore that lasted her for years. I think she bought that machine before I was born. And, as far as I know, it is still going strong.

I still hesitated on sewing. I was afraid. The perfectionist in me also got in the way. But, one day, I saw a complete beginner’s quilt kit in one of the many quilting catalogs I received. It included everything except the thread. I purchased the kit and not long after the kit arrived via mail, I dived into the sewing and quilting world.

I read the instructions for putting together the kit. I arranged the squares of fabrics together into rows. And then, I sewed all the rows together. I was real pleased with my efforts even though the corners didn’t exactly match in some places.

Halfway into tying the quilt, I discovered a very critical error. I misunderstood the instructions. Instead of using a single strand of yarn, I used two. No wonder why it was difficult to pull the yarn through. Ha! I already had more than half the quilt done. So, I decided to purchase a skein of red yard and finish the quilt instead of ripping it all out and starting over. The color wasn’t an exact match; but, I was satisfied. I was not planning on keeping this quilt at the time. It was just to help me learn the basics of both sewing and quilting.

After I had the quilt tied and bound, I was amazed with the silly little thing. It is approximately 26” x 33” and very wonky. At the time I got into quilting, all the magazines were big on documenting quilts. It was ingrained in me to create a label or signature. And, I wanted something unique.

I was in a weird creative mood and decided to applique my initials with one letter backwards along with the year I made this. Good Lord, it’s ancient! Where have the years gone by?

I decided to keep it for my childhood baby doll as it is the perfect size for her. And, now all I need is the perfect doll cradle and I have been looking for years!

I have since learned and now understand why quilts are so expensive. The cost of fabric along with the labor of love causes the prices of handmade quilts to seem high. In reality, the cost for most true handmade quilts you see out there are reasonable.

By the way, I have yet to make a quilt for our bed. I got sidetracked with many things in life including making a quilt for my dad and going back to college. I have many UFOs; but, I plan to work on those soon along with the new projects I have started.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pictorial Monday: Missions Baseball (6/4)

We snagged a Groupon to see the San Antonio Missions play at 50% off the admission price. We usually go see a game once a year; but, this made it even cheaper! And, cheaper is better in my book.

Below are some random pictures that I snapped at the game on June 4th against the Springfield Cardinals.

This was kind of odd. First pitch of the game only there was no first pitch. She was just out there while they gabbed at home plate. This was snapped as they were walking back. Cutest little girl. Sure wish I managed to get a better picture. It was Girl Scouts night at the game.

Several pictures I snapped where I managed to capture the ball in motion. Not the greatest. But hey, I have never been able to do this until now. I had learned a little about taking pictures in motion a couple weeks prior to this game. I am hoping to try again with Jake someday.

This hound stole a drink from a spectator. Of course, he could not drink the thing. He is the Express News mascot.

Scramble! The guy was safe.

A cute baby. It was very hot out there; but, most of the babies at the game handled the heat well.

Church's Chicken Mascot. They did this event where he came out between innings with the flag and a kajillion little kids ran after him.

One of Missions mascots, the Puffy Taco. He gets a head start on second base and a kid would go running from first base to tackle him between third and home base.

The cutest boy! This is practically the last shot I took at the game. And, one of the best! At least, I think so.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Link Roundup

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Moody Pictorial Essay

The last two blogging breaks I took are due to the fact my soul was in anguish. I felt frayed to the core I just could not deal with coming up with stuff to post. I needed to recoup and deal with life first in order to avoid serious depression.

The last two times I visited my mother, she was not up to visiting. She was sick and slept. It appears that she has given up on life. And, after the last time I visited her, my heart broke. We no longer visit, talk and rub off one another. I miss my mother. And, I despair that I will ever have a decent visit with her again.

After the last time I visited Mother, I went up to the lake house afterwards where Daddy is ever present in my memories. Having this along with the heartbreak concerning Mother just overwhelmed me at times.

The phrase “I lost my mother” kept going through my mind and I worried for her because she seemed so sick. She refuses to go see a doctor that may help get to the bottom of her constant sickness. And, I feel so helpless.

I did enjoy being at the lake house. It was exactly what I needed to do. I am ever thankful to my youngest niece for inviting us there to see her and her daughter. They were the driving force of my going back to that place as I always want to see them. I now know that I can and will go back to the lake house again. There is happiness there too with family.

We relaxed, watched the boys play video games, visited, observed and played with the dogs, ate like a pig, and just had a good time. The lake itself was too rough to take the boat out and none of us went swimming. My youngest nephew was the lone brave soul to take out the jetski early one evening and wore himself out going over the waves. Oh, to be young again.

This little girl is just too cute. She is a very happy and contented baby. She doesn’t mind at all being held by others beside her parents. In fact, she likes to be held by anybody that is standing up.

I am ever hesitant to ask to hold her or to bravely just take a baby away from Mommy or Daddy; but, the others did not hesitate. It is a joy to simply watch her. She is happy and contented no matter what her situation is at the moment. She is precious.

The one time Dan held her just before they left is the one time she was tired and fussy. Dan was the only person standing and I thought she might want to be with him. He offered to hold her. She didn’t want Dan and it was just too amusing. Dan felt bad; but, understood that she just was very tired. Hopefully, the next time Dan should ever want to hold her, she will be in a better frame of mind.

I am anxious to see this littlest girl again. I dislike the long months that go in between the times we do not see the little ones because they grow up so fast! In fact, I feel this way with all of the little ones including Dan’s side of the family. Facebook is no substitute for the real thing; but, it is better than nothing. Those twins on Dan’s side of the family are just too cute!

I am also anxious to see my other littlest niece and nephew again. I am happy that they are returning to Texas soon for it just might give us a chance to see them more often. And, a new little one will be arriving in September. Such a joyous time that will be.

In spite of feeling broken at times and in spite of the tattered dreams, there is beauty in life. Life does go on and the grief from loss does ease.

Do not miss me if I should suddenly go silent. It just means that I am taking a break for myself. Or it could just simply mean that I have gone vacationing or visiting with family. And, one day, it will mean that I am gone from this world enjoying life in Heaven with Dad, Gram and all the others that have gone before me. Hopefully, this will be quite a distance in the future for I still have dreams to pursue.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Moments After Being Bitten by Ants

Last Thursday (June 2nd), I was outside walking looking for things to photograph. I had knelt on one leg taking pictures and did not realize my foot was in an ant pile. I had made sure that my knee was not going to be in anything before kneeling; but, silly me, I did not think about the foot.

After I was finished taking the pictures I wanted, I felt stinging on my lower right leg. I looked back at my leg and discovered hundreds of ants all over my lower leg and foot. It was all I could do to not panic and set the camera down before brushing them off. I had to take off my sneaker and sock because ants had crawled inside. As soon as I was sure they were all off me along with the sneaker and sock, I immediately went back home. Fortunately, it was not far.

I instant messaged Dan and facebooked about the incident. I also took a picture to send to Dan. He was shocked. My biggest worry was allergy reaction as I have never been bitten by that many ants at once. And, it hurt like the dickens.

Approximately Nine Hours Later

When everything calmed down, I counted a total of nineteen bites. Not all of them are pictured here. There were a total of eighteen on my lower right leg and an odd bite on the upper left leg. The things I do for my “art” and passion. Ha!

I thought I was fine; but, the next morning I woke up in pain. My leg felt tight and swollen and I discovered that the vast majority of the ant bites had turned into pus filled sores. Dan had to take care of them for me. I will have to keep an eye on any future bites from ants from now on because I sure did get an overdose of ant venom this time around.

Two Days After Being Bitten

I’m fine. I still have sores on the back of my legs; but, they are slowly disappearing.

Let this be a warning to you all. Don’t forget about your feet when kneeling to take pictures. I know I have learned my lesson from this experience. At least, I hope I did. Ha!