Saturday, March 31, 2012

Link Roundup

  • DIY Mini Pallet D├ęcor Crafts, Stenciling, Painting
    Cute Wall Art! Looks easy to do.

  • Monster Patch Tutorial Cute Patches for little boys (and girls) jeans.

  • DIY Garden Planter and Bird Bath DIY using terracotta pots, rebar and a “boob” light.

  • You Don’t Need My Tolerance
    I posted this link on facebook and I am reposting it here. It is a really good read. The excerpts below are not enough. Read the whole thing if you really want to get the gist of the whole article.
    But “tolerance” today means something totally different. Because “tolerating” each other is no longer enough. It’s not enough to “live and let live” or to mind your own business.
    What you have to understand is that “tolerance” doesn’t just mean “tolerating others.” Today, the convoluted, politically correct definition of “tolerance” really means “validation.” See, it’s not enough to merely tolerate someone’s habits, beliefs or lifestyle choices. To tolerate them really means you validate them. The cardinal sin you can commit today is to believe that your beliefs or choices are better than someone else’s.
    Guess what people…

    You don’t need my validation. I’m not your mother or your spouse. Stop being so co-dependent.

    No, I will not always validate your lifestyle or beliefs. Don’t worry about it though. You don’t need my permission to live your life however you want. It’s within your rights as a human to live and believe as you wish. And it’s within my rights to disagree with your choices. My acceptance of your choices or lack thereof in no way hinders your ability to make them. I’m not going to celebrate you, unless it’s your birthday. And I’m not waiting for you to throw me a party either.

    I love you. I think you’re made in God’s image.

    But I won’t always praise, validate, affirm, or celebrate you. Please affirm my right to make that choice. Stop accusing me of being intolerant, just because I disagree with you.

  • What We Hear Makes a Difference Christian
    We kept saying "S Corp" and they kept hearing "Escort" until finally we realized the misunderstanding and broke into giggles. Whew, what kind of daughter-in-law would encourage their son to set up an escort service? I don't think I would have gotten Christmas gifts this year.

    After we laughed so hard we cried, I thought about how what we hear versus what's actually being said matters a lot.

    "A friend says, "You look pretty today."

    And we hear, "You didn't look pretty the other days."

    Our husband innocently remarks, "Did you go shopping this afternoon?"

    And we hear, "You spend too much money."

    God says, "I'm calling you to be holy."

    And we hear, "You'll never be good enough for me."

    Truth and perception can be two totally different things. What can we do to have a hearing check?
    1) Ask - Simply say, "This is what I heard. Is that what you really said?"
    3) Focus - A lot of times we misunderstand because we're only half-listening. If something seems odd to you, stop and give it your full attention until you really figure it out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordy Wednesday

We've been having a lot of storms in the area which is a very good considering we have been under a severe drought for over two long years.

On March 9th around 1 p.m., there was a flash of light and an immediate KABOOM. It rattled the windows and scared the crap out of me. And, then the rains came. I really enjoy watching the rain. I was shocked when hail started dumping and grabbed my camera to play.
I had to switch to manual focus (on the lens). So, I was using manual mode and manual focus. And, I was shooting through a screen (with the window open). What fun! The blurs you see in the foreground are actually the raindrops or hail. I was able to snap three pictures before the hail disappeared.

I need to practice taking pictures in a hurry like this. It is not easy to use manual mode and manual focus; but, I think it could make for some cool pictures in certain situations.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's State of Affairs

And, it is not pretty. I am just keeping it real here. It is also extremely gloomy here this morning. So, the lighting is terrible.
Here is my sewing machine and cutting table. What a mess! I am working on several projects at the moment. You will find out what the stripe fabric is for someday soon.

I struggled with the machine itself this weekend. I got so frustrated that I stomped right out of the house and took a short walk to pick up the mail. Dan took a look and come to find out, it is the spool of thread giving me grief. I never dreamed it was the thread. I thought the machine itself was messing up.
Do you notice how much thread is left on that spool? I cannot even wind up bobbins with this particular spool. What a waste! Well, it is not a waste considering I can use the rest to hand sew bindings onto quilts.
Here is the troublesome spool compared to a full spool of thread. As a side note, these threads are getting harder and harder to find. I am going to switch to another brand. I am thinking of trying Aurifil threads with this machine. I have heard some good things about this brand. So, I am crossing my fingers Aurifil will work out beautifully when I do try them out with the machine.

By the way, I have not been back in the room since this fiasco (until now). I am planning to get back to sewing this afternoon. Pray for me! Pray that I do not get anymore grief from the machine and/or threads. Ha!
Here is my ironing board. I have a "work triangle" set up in the small space and it works very well. As you can see, this area is a mess too. I mean, do see the floor? And, why did the ironing board turn into a "hot spot"? Ugh, Ugh, Ugh! Anyway, as you can see, the top to the Maxine Mug flying geese mug rug is finished.
This is a closeup shot of backing for the Maxine flying geese mug rug. It is still a work in progress. I think I'm going to be real please with this silly little thing when it is finished.

Oops! Im Caught!

Im Out Ov Her!

Chessie was a bad girl. She snuck in, pawed an opening between the design wall and doors to closet and then hid behind the fabric. It was Gracie that "tattled" on her by acting like a Pointer (dog). I was surprised. Chessie is usually either sleeping underneath a chair or boldly laying on a small cot sized sleeper sofa. I would have never realized Chessie was in the room if it had not been for Gracie. By the way, I used a flash with the last two pictures. I grabbed the flash before attempting to take pictures of her because I know she does not like the camera.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Flat Dylan's Trip to San Antonio

{Flat Dylan is based on The Flat Stanley Project.}

Flat Dylan is in second grade and he wanted to visit San Antonio for his class. He is our nephew and we took him around San Antonio to show him some sights. I hope he and his class enjoyed his adventure. I wanted to share our adventure here too. This is the letter, more or less, that we included with the return package. There is one picture that we omitted from the package because neither one of us was happy with it. However, I included it here.
Flat Dylan arrived safe and sound in a field of bluebonnets (state flower) in San Antonio, Texas. Contrary to popular belief, San Antonio is not the capitol of Texas. The capitol is actually Austin, which is about 90 miles northeast of San Antonio. Isn’t that shocking?

San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the United States. There are about 1.3 million people living in the city, which is about three times the size of Springfield, Missouri.

We picked him up and showed him some sites. The first stop was Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo. Most people just call it “Mission San Jose”. It is one of the five old Spanish Missions in the area. These missions are churches set up by Spain (which, at the time, claimed Mexico) to spread Christianity to the Native Americans that were living in the area. Mission San Jose is the biggest of all the Missions and was the most prosperous at the time. It has been fully restored to its original design in the 1930s.
The famous La Ventana de Rosa, known as the “Rose Window”, dated 1775, is located at this mission. This basic shape is found all over San Antonio – within freeway support pillars, buildings, windows and more. If you are ever down here, keep an eye out for this particular design and you will be amazed at how often you see it.
Our second stop was Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion de Acuna – known as “Mission Concepcion” for short. It was established in 1715 and is the oldest unrestored Texas Mission and Catholic Church in the U.S. They still hold services at this church every Sunday.
The last Mission we visited was Mission San Antonio de Valero and is probably the most famous of all missions. It served as the home to missionaries and their Indian converts for nearly seventy years before becoming the central location of a famous battle. This mission is known as ”The Alamo”. Contrary to popular belief, the Alamo is not where Texas won independence from Mexico. However, it was the turning point. It became the symbol of Independence for Texas. “Remember the Alamo” became the battle cry and Texas won their independence at San Jacinto.

The Alamo is located smack dab in the middle of downtown San Antonio. Most historians say 188 Texans were under siege at the Alamo fighting against 2000 Mexican soldier for 13 days before finally being defeated.
Flat Dylan climbed all over a Carronade (small cannon) at the Alamo. They had several old cannons on display on the grounds. On the plaque, it said it was used at the Alamo, most likely on the West wall. It was disabled by General Santa Anna before he left for San Jacinto.

We then wandered on the “San Antonio Riverwalk”. This is a group of sidewalks along the banks of the river and one story beneath the streets of downtown. The Riverwalk winds and loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks which is lined with restaurants and shops and connected to major tourist draws from the Alamo to the Rivercenter mall, to the Theatre, and… well you get the point. There are annual events occurring on the river that draw tourists by the thousands.
Around this time, Flat Dylan was so hot that he tried to dive into the river and we caught him before he could get wet. The temperatures were in the low 80s and humidity was high. So, it was a hot muggy day. We don’t blame him for trying.

We visited the “Tower of Americas” from the Riverwalk. This tower was finished in 1968 for the “Hemisfair Texas’ 1968 Worlds Fair”. You can travel all the way to the top, which is about 500 feet high, to see the sights of downtown and surrounding areas.
We hopped back down to the Riverwalk. The picture of Flat Dylan with the colorful umbrella is the “Casa Rio”, which is Spanish for “River House”, a local Mexican restaurant that was the first business on the Riverwalk to open in 1946.

We then made a last pit stop at the San Fernando Cathedral, which was founded in 1731. It is the oldest standing church building in Texas and is the oldest cathedral sanctuary in the U.S.

Note: This next section was added and includes the picture we omitted in the package.

By this time, Flat Dylan was drooping with exhaustion. And, he was hungry. So, we stopped for a break and a snack. {In hindsight, we know I should have taken a bite out of that cookie and put it just underneath Flat Dylan's smile. It would have made for a better picture. But, like Flat Dylan, we were exhausted and couldn't think straight! Ha!}

Note: This is the end of the addendum and return to the normal package letter.

So, we called it a day and he crawled back into a new envelope to return back home to y’all.

There are many more sights and things one can do and see in San Antonio such as the Sea World, Fiesta Texas (Six Flags), Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, Mercado (The Market Square) and a bunch more.

I hope y’all enjoyed hearing about his travels. We certainly had a fun time showing him the sights. Y’all should find some postcards, brochures, a map and a small book about San Antonio along with this letter. Please enjoy them.

~ Flat Dylan’s Uncle Dan and Aunt Lee Ann

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Monky Do: Fabric Bundle Contest

I am just popping on briefly to participate in a challenge. Katy of Monkey Do is having a contest where you design your own bundle using twelve fabrics from Pink Castle Fabrics. I would have to say this challenge was a little easier than the first one I ever did.

I am calling this "Feeling Punchy" because that is exactly how I felt when I created this bundle.

1. Far Far Away III: Guitars in Yellow & Orange
2. Silent Cinema: Front Row Orange
3. 1001 Peeps: Sheherazade in Orange
4. Metro Living: Living Lattice in garnet
5. Far Far Away III: Clothes Line in Yellow
6. Annie's Farm Stand: Big Dots in Yellow
7. Half Moon Modern: Snip Snip in Orange
8. Woodlands: Woodlands Woodgrain in Orange
9. Reunion: Baby's Bunting in Cool Dusk
10. Walk in Woods: Dash Stripe in Cloud
11. Reunion: Daisy's Dates in Graphite
12. Ta Dots: Ta Dots in Ebony

It is tough designing a bundle when you don't know what the fabric looks like. {e.g. colors? scale? etc., & etc.} Nonetheless, I still had fun with this challenge. I hope you liked what you saw.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Taking a Blogging Break

There is too much happening at the moment for me to find time to blog. I most likely will be back with a "link roundup" post for Saturday.

In the meantime, I will try to find time to do this:

and this:

and this:

Anything I feel like doing that brings me peace. So, enjoy your break from me. Ha!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Link Roundup

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordy Wednesday:Cat's Eye View

This was a cat's eye view of the backyard shot on March 3rd, 2012, which was a very sunny day! If you roll your mouse over the image, you will see the same view shot on March 13, 2012, which was a very cloudy day!

I can imagine the cats thinking: "Whoa! We has backyard?" Ha! I have to confess that I was shocked upon looking out back seeing these weeds so tall. The rain certainly helped things sprout around here including unwanted plants/weeds.

Here is another viewpoint (shot on March 3rd), which is looking towards the house in the backyard.

Note: the boards were there to protect the glass when the weedeater is in use. When we lived in Houston, a rock shot out from the weed eater to the glass sliding door and shattered it into a kajillion tiny pieces. I have a picture of that somewhere buried in one of my archived folders. We ended up replacing the glass sliding door with french doors at that place. Anyway, we were not taking chances with this house as it is a rental.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pictorial Monday: A Flying Flower

I had every intention of doing a Pictorial Monday last Monday. However, I got so busy over the prior weekend that I never found the time to compose a post let alone go through pictures.

While out in the back doing yard work on Saturday, March 3rd, I noticed some beautiful flying flowers (aka butterflies) fluttering about. I told Dan that I am dropping everything to take some pictures.

It is frustrating that I shot about a dozen pictures and this was the only decent one. This one is not perfect as the head is slightly blurry. The stubborn critter would not stay still for me and the breezes would not stop! Also, it did not help that the sunlight was harsh. However, all in all, I am happy with the result of this particular picture.

Red Admiral; Vanessa atalanta

These butterflies are quite common. Nonetheless, I find them very beautiful. I especially love the "eyes" found on the orange band at the bottom of the wings of this particular flying flower.

Bluebonnets have sprouted, butterflies fluttering about and trees showing green. I believe spring has arrived.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Link Roundup

Here is a reminder for those of you who live in the USA, unless you are in Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands:

I found this Daylight Saving Time Around the World 2012 chart interesting. It makes me wonder why the USA is one of the few out of hundreds to observe Daylight Savings Time?

Anyway, I have been pinning a few things onto Pinterest. I need to remember to add the links here too because I just realized that many people do not use Pinterest. My apologies to those of you who are not on Pinterest. I will try do both in the future.

  • Why Are Pincushions Frequently Made to Resemble Tomatoes?

  • Free Printable Canister labels

  • Pet Photography Tutorial
    If you’re a pet owner like me, your pooch is probably the thing that you fall back on the most — and how could you not? Those sweet eyes, that soft fur, everything about your pets you want to capture! But what about what they see?
    Yup! That is definitely me – I fall back on my pets – the crazy cat lady! Ha! This would be a slightly different exercise for me as my cats like to get up high!

  • Codeacademy: Learn to Code Review; Educational
    This might be worth checking out if you have older kids wanting to learn how to program (code).

  • Self Watering Soda Bottle Planters & Wall of Plants Gardening
    Recycling / Repurposing soda bottles and wooden pallets
  • Moses Was A Wuss & A Potential Virus Sensation Christian; Humor
    Whatever word you choose, Moses was that. I never thought of Moses as being scared. I always saw him with a sweet beard, wearing a red robe (always a red robe) carrying a stick and cursing the Earth-conquering Apes in front of a collapsed Statue of Liberty. As it turns out, I’ve really got to stop getting my theology and biblical information from Hollywood.
    Moses seems oddly cool with the idea of chatting with God through a burning bush. I’m not sure if this happened a lot to Moses, but he just carries on a conversation as if nothing major was happening. He listens to God identify Himself, answer questions, and give him a task. Not recognizing that he is talking to a flaming bush, Moses asks God for a sign. The flaming, talking shrub isn’t enough?
  • Our Daily Bread: Acts of Gratitude Christian, Daily Devotional
    I found this particular devotional to be a very good read.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wordy Wednesday

We were very busy doing yard work this past weekend. The weeds had grown extremely tall out in the backyard. I was shocked when I looked out there about a week ago. And yes, I took pictures. I just have not gone through those yet. It seems I am from newest to oldest in the pictures. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Ha!

We got rid of all the weeds, mowed the grass and spread some weed and feed down. Dan also changed the oil in both vehicles. Needless to say, we were very tired in the evenings. I was out like a light when my head hit the pillow.

Anyway, there is a question that begs to be answered. What happens when a cheap baseball meets a lawnmower?

I was out in the back working on one side while Dan was mowing the other side when I heard a loud thunk and the mower died. This item was discovered inside the mower. Fortunately, no one was harmed and the mower is fine. However, the ball is dead.

I believe this ball is from our backyard neighbors who have kids. It is possible it could have come from a neighbor that has a dog. It doesn't matter because the ball is totally useless.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday's State of Affairs

I have been slowly working on making flying geese out of charm squares using a Fit to be Geese ruler. Actually, I used scraps because I wanted to be sure I understood the instructions first before dipping into a charm pack (a bundle of 5" squares).

I am not going to bother with the instructions in this post because you find them here and here. Both of these links were written by the same author. The first is in a PDF format and the second is a blog post.
I first dug into scraps leftover from my mother's Maxine quilt. I then sprayed it with some of Mary Ellen's Best Press. I have been hearing a lot of positive comments about this stuff and wanted to give it a try.
I then cut a 5" square from each fabric. I also cut 4 1/4" squares from each fabric. If I were using a charm pack, I would have trimmed them down to 4 1/4" squares. Yes, there will be a little wastage making flying geese out of a charm pack. But, that is the price I am willing to pay if they turn out well.
Triangles from the squares.
I dived into chain piecing to make these units. It made things very quick! I think I will be doing a lot more chain piecing in the future!
Finished Flying Geese Units

I am real pleased with my efforts. These are the best flying geese I have ever made. I think using the Mary Ellen's Best Press helped immensely especially when sewing on the bias. I also liked the Fit to be Geese ruler as it made trimming up the units easy.

Now, what to do with these units? I think I will sew up the units like you see in the picture and maybe make one row go in the opposite direction. And, I think I will make a mug rug. However, I could not decide which fabric scraps to use as borders.
So, I converted the picture to a black and white format. It looks like the "blah blah blah" fabric has the best contrast. So, I am going with that. I hope I made the right choice! And, I hope I have enough of this fabric to use. Ha!