Saturday, November 30, 2013

Surviving Thanksgiving

Did you survive Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and small business Saturday? 

I survived Thankgiving and went to the SIL even though DH was working.  I drove the ancient Aunt and Uncle so they could enjoy dinner with the family too.

Friday we went to a viewing of one of DH friends.  Ruth was an elderly lady, and DH is good friends with all of the family including her sister and brother-in-law.  There was a slide show of pictures going above the casket.  While I was not fortunate enough to have ever met her she looked so vibrant, full of life and happiness.  I am told she was truly a sweet and kind woman.  She will be sorely missed by all, but her family was joyous during this sad occasion that she was in a better place where there was only joy, happiness, and no more sorrow, suffering or pain. 

I refuse to shop on Thanksgiving.  I feel that people should have the opportunity to spend the day with their family without the threat of being fired if they do not want to work. 

Black Friday, again I refuse to shop because watching the way people act takes the joy out of the season, and negates what we are preparing to celebrate. 

Today DH worked, and I started to do some deep cleaning of the house.  I also managed to get my table runner completed.  OK I still need to stitch down the corners but it is all quilted and bound.

I did some stitch in the ditch.  I also did some pebbling.
And some FMQ.  Ok my flower is not centered but I think it came out kind of nice.

I love it when I finish something and I am getting so I am much more confident so maybe it is time to start working on Ginger Rose.  After I finish my Christmas Exchange table topper that is. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Do you Pinterest?  I do, and you can lose hours just cleaning out your inbox.  Recently I decided that I would create a rule in my inbox so that Pinterest e-mails go directly into a folder.  That way when I have a moment or two I will go and check out who has pinned something, new followers etc. Yep that poor little inbox as of today had over 400 e-mails.

I cooked 3 pies in the toaster oven.  Two pumpkin, and one apple pie.  The apple pie got a bit singed in a couple of spots but the pumpkin pies turned out gorgeous.
 Today I am Thankful for those that took the chance to practice their freedom.  While I am Native American I am still thankful for those that had the faith to travel far away from civilization, their friends, family and home to begin anew for their beliefs.

It is snowing so DH is out salting, shoveling and sweeping down at Ancient Uncles.  With all the elderly family Thanksgiving may be cancelled, they don't drive in the snow.  How fortunate that I took a turkey out, and it is all defrosted!

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving with the loved ones.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What's Your Turkey Name

Not too sure how many of you Facebook but every now and then someone will post something silly.  This one I loved the other day.

I would be Hot Bunns Cornucopia, my husband would be Yammy Tryptophanny, and the youngest daughter would be Yam Bam Pumpkin Pie, but we decided our favorite was Finn who would be Gizzard Wishbone Jones.  I know silly but it tickled our funny bones, or since it is almost Thanksgiving it tickled our Wishbone.

The ongoing saga of the broken oven.....

DH and I are going to be remodeling the kitchen in the next couple of years, and I wanted a gas cooktop with 5 burners since we can a lot, and a wall oven since I am getting older. Also I would love to have a griddle that I could cook pancakes or grill steaks on during the long winter here in Michigan.  I could not see spending thousands of dollars for a range, but also could not see spending almost $300 to fix a stove which was only about $500 new.

Since I go to a lot of estate sales, and auctions  DH suggested that maybe I could find a stove there.  I only found one oven in the hundreds of sales I reviewed, it was down by Dayton, Ohio, it was an auction which was not over until the first week of December and it was already at $200!   I also was looking on Craigslist and was not having a whole lot of luck.  Finally I saw one stove on Craigslist for $150 it was just like ours.  The ad said 2 of the burners are not working.  Um no not for that stove, and 2 burners not working come on!  I returned to the main listings, and a brand new listing popped up. Gas stove and it was nearby.  DH called, we grabbed the appliance dolly, jumped into the truck and headed over.  An older gentleman who had recently lost his spouse after a long illness was selling the stove.  While not new, it was very clean, and we spent?  $50 --The Almighty knows our needs and provides!  I still will be cooking pies in the toaster oven, and the turkey in a turkey roaster.  Today I am thankful for what the almighty provides if you just trust.
 I did my run to the LQS and got my fabric to finish up Swoon Block 2 or the infamous "back up block".  Turned out gorgeous!  Even my points are good.  Now to get it all quilted up, it will be a beautiful table topper.  For those of you not familiar with this pattern each block is almost 25 inches!

I have some cooking to do so better get a going.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You is Kind

I am not too sure how many of you have read the book "The Help" or seen the movie.  I saw it and was astonished, but then as I thought about it there are many people in the world who are unkind.  Mean may be another word for it.  In the movie Abilene teaches one of the children, "You is smart, you is kind, you is special."  Imagine a world where more people were kind.  I was always taught to be kind to others or "The Golden Rule" as some of you know it.  As I get older I realize that I was fortunate to be taught love, kindness, and compassion because I see it in way too few people anymore.  I am thankful my family taught me kindness.

My quilty friend Missy over at Missy's Homemaking Adventures had an unspoken prayer request a few days ago.  A few days later she asked for assistance in making a rail fence quilt for a friend, basically asking her quilty friends to make a block or two, or however many.  I stewed on it for a day because I know how my time is allotted currently and thought I can probably whip together one or two.  I actually made 4, and they are winging their way to Missy as I write this post.

I can't wait to see what she comes up with. 

I am not too sure about you but my favorite quilts to make are simple, and the ones that I have donated.

Do something kind today.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Darn the Luck

Who would have thought that my post on grace and acceptance would come in so handy? A few posts ago I was complaining I was having problems with my oven and making banana bread.  I thought maybe it was that it was very cold, the wind was blowing against that side of the house, and so the oven was having a hard time maintaining its temperature.  (Yes that corner of the kitchen does get very cold if the wind hits it just right.)  A week later I made a roast.  Turned the oven up just a bit and it ended up wonderful. Yesterday morning I wanted to make muffins so I turned the oven on, set it, and waited.  Hmmm didn't seem very warm.  So I through the oven thermometer in it (HaHa DH always makes fun of me for not throwing stuff away, not long ago he was making fun of me for having this old cruddy looking oven thermometer!)  At 450 degrees my oven was registering 225.  Not good. 

DH decided he was going to fix it.  I pulled up articles online for stove repair, even for our model!  Which makes me wonder if this is common for these?  Of course DH has all the necessary electronic gear to test, and of course it is not a cheap or inexpensive part once all the testing was done, the part is almost $300.  So the question do we just replace the part?  Considering that the part is 1/5th the cost of a new range is it even worth it?  But then all the ranges I liked are out of stock and it will take 2-3 weeks some up to 8 weeks to order?  What the heck?  Lucky for me we have a turkey fryer, a huge roaster, and a toaster oven. 

I finished swoon block one.  I have one spot that I am not happy about but I am not taking it apart one more time. 

Remember I said I was making 2.  Well I started 2 and almost had it finished when I discovered that I was missing 2 3 1/2 by 6 1/2 blocks.  I can't find them anywhere, and I don't have enough of the very light blue to make it so guess what?  Back to the LQS tomorrow.  Also I horde my batiks and I am not using a batik for the shoot me so I will stop at Joann's and pick up some fabric for the back.  I think it will make a nice table topper which was my intention.  Dh thinks it would make a nice center medallion and to build a quilt around it. 

I usually only use my newer fancy machine for FMQ but it has a stitch that I absolutely love.  It is a darning stitch.  Dh's work pants needed to be mended and so I use that stitch to fix the hole.
It makes no sense to buy patches because wherever the patches are, it seems to tear there.  So instead of using patches, I will zig zag the  hole closed, maybe a couple of times, and then use the darning stitch.  Works great.

Today I am thankful for my sense of humor.  DH says I am the only girl he knows who would laugh about the fact that the oven broke just a few days before a major holiday. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Grace to Accept

Being reasonable is not always my strong point, but there are days that I am more reasonable than others.  The Youngest daughter's vehicle has been broke down for a couple of weeks.  DH has offered to pick it up and bring it home to work on it, he is a mechanic after all, and it is easier to work in the garage/barn with all his tools.  But the daughters SO  (significant other) insists that he can fix it.  SO diagnosis was it needed a new alternator.  DH offered to pick one up for them since he gets a discount.  DH started asking what was going on exactly and determined that actually it is a starter problem.  Then the argument began.  The SO says that the youngest daughter needs to trust his opinion, the daughter just wants a vehicle that runs so she is not "stuck" at home with 4 children under the age of 7.  I am thankful for age, and I hope some wisdom which comes with that age.  Wisdom is knowing that I do not know everything  and having the grace to accept expertise and help when it is offered.

I am still feeling a little on the downside after my procedure.  Ran to the LQS and got my fabric for my Christmas Exchange, and ran to the post office to mail the strips for the one strip swap which was finished.

I cleaned up my wallpaper mess in the bedroom upstairs which will eventually hold my quilt frame.

I used my additional fabric acquisition to cut my remaining pieces and started sewing.

The problem with sewing on different sewing machines is that each one has a different quarter inch mark.  I thought I had measured before I started to sew on my Christmas project since I had pulled out Jane the Singer 500A.
I got all the HST sewn and measured they just did not look right.
Yep I am 1/8th of an inch off on both and that is a bit too much.  Sew guess who is unsewing tonight?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The House of 10,000 Wallpapers

I know I have mentioned I live in DH family home which was built by his great, great grandparents.  It is huge, and quirky.  It is not a "fine" house with all the fancy Victorian type molding it was created as a utilitarian home.  It was and is a farmhouse which is over 150 years old. DH's oldest sister lives in a "fine" house. 

DH great grandmother worked for the Kaiser automobile company upholstering seats. Maw's Maw as they called her also was quite the whiz with wallpaper and would hire out to wall paper the nicer homes in the area.  Anything left over or that the owner ordered and did not like usually ended up in this house.  There are times I think that DH's ex channeled Maw's Maw because she was a wallpaper fiend too!

The Christmas Wrap wall paper with the striped border.  It is still in the hallway heading up the stairs and the hallway into the laundry room.

The funky geometric design which is on the wall going to the basement.

The green wallpaper with the dogwood looking flowers, flower border and brocade ceiling.  This is the one room in the house that no one has touched to remodel.  We call it the junk room.  Currently the guest bed is set up in this room.  It has the lovely old coved ceilings.

Boarded up in the wood-stove chimney area is this yellow and green foil tree and flower wallpaper. 

Remember I said our house was quirky.  Well this is the one thing that just makes me wonder.  How often have you seen a stairway that goes up in the middle of the  house?

Yep this is the stairway going upstairs.  There is a short hallway upstairs opening up onto the 4 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.  The bottom ends in a short alcove with a door heading into my sewing room to the left if you are looking up the stairs and the dining room to the right, and a wall straight ahead.  Do not plan on taking anything large up these stairs, cause it will never get around the corner, and nothing will ever come back down.  Kind of scary huh?  This is still lathe and plaster.  Someone started peeling this wallpaper years ago on the stairs and stopped.  There are at least 4 layers if not more.  The upstairs of the house was closed off by Maw's Maw for years from what I understand.  Which probably attributes all the water stains on the wallpapers.
There is this kind of pretty Victorian green with the pink flowers and flourishes.
This cream colored brocade.
This Art Deco styled motif. Just to name a few.

For some reason I think the house was originally constructed as a 2 story frame, but the 2nd floor with the weird stairway and upstairs bedrooms were not added and finished until much later.  Looking at the stairwell you see that line going across.  For some reason the plaster is really bowed there.  DH and I agree the only way to fix the stairway is to remove the old lathe and plaster and drywall the whole thing.  But if we do that we have an one of the old chimneys to remove and open up the upstairs a bit more. 

Most recently DH's ex had the minty green/blue brocade and floral border in the dining room which I have been working at removing this year.  Sorry but the room is too big and dark with only the one window, and the color is just not very inviting to dine in. 

The green ivy border going around the master suite.  That was removed before I moved in and the blue/green walls were painted a bright cheery yellow and all the woodwork was cleaned up, sanded and painted. 
The kitchen herb border going around the main bath.  I am just not ready to even tackle this one yet.
The leopard print border in the one bedroom. All gone, now to figure out if I can live with the beige on the walls.  Oh even the floor is painted in this room with a leopard print throw rug. 
And the bird houses.  Like the yellow, not a fan of the birdhouses or the same color ceiling as the walls. 
OK so maybe I exaggerated a bit there are not 10,000 wallpapers but when you are removing them it sure as heck seems like it.  Slowly over time I will put my mark and style to it and make it my own.

Ever lived somewhere that had something horrendous?  If so what was it and how long did it take you to change it?

Today I am thankful for patience.  It takes plenty of it to love a house back into good condition which has been left to it's own for a long time.  I know there are plenty of people that would just run out and take out a loan to "fix" it but DH and I can't see doing it, and we thoroughly enjoy the time we spend together working on the different projects. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

For A Cup of Coffee

I know you make think this is silly but today I am thankful for coffee.  I love my coffee!  I drink several cups throughout the day.  I take my coffee with a little cream and sugar and while I use a non dairy liquid creamer DH said he really thought I should probably not chance it since I was not supposed to have any dairy products the day before my procedure.  Guess who was not a happy girl. :(

My procedure went well, the prep was horrific!  The day after, I was told I cannot drive.  What does that mean, it means that cannot work anymore on my Christmas Exchange project. I was only making one block I read the pattern, and have you ever had this happen?  They give you the fabric amounts so many fat quarters, so much backing, etc.  Obviously telling me I need 4 1/2 yards of the background fabric did not register with my pea brain.  4 1/2 yards for 9 complete blocks would be 1/2 yard per block.  Yep I am short background fabric and did not even realize it until I had all the smaller pieces cut.  I will at least get the other parts sewn together.

I pulled Jane out and decided to sew on her since it had been a while.  DH is working tomorrow so I will run to the post office to mail the green strips since that swap is completed.  Then off to the LQS to go get more of the background fabric and get my Christmas swap done.

Tonight we are going to run to the youngest daughters so I get a baby Finn fix, well he isn't exactly a baby anymore since he is 10 months old already.  My how time flies. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Going Postal

Day 20 of Thankfulness. I am thankful for the post office.  I know you are all thinking What?  I live in the country and sometimes it is not always convenient to get to the LQS.  The one of course which has the best selection is 30+ miles away.  I shop online a lot, for my fabrics.  The post man brings packages to my door many of the times, and I am on a first name basis with the people at the post office.  It is nice to be part of a small community at times. 

Lately I started helping the lovely lady who began the Batik Swap which I belong to.  She has been having some health concerns so to keep the swap going three of us took over the duties.  At the time there were 5 different strip swaps going.  Silver, Gold, Red, Green, and Blue.  I took the Green and Blue, another lady took the gold, and since the Silver and red were completed so the lady who started the swap kept those. 
This is what my dining room table looks like currently.  I am short a couple of sets of strips for each color.  Then the real work will begin. 

Yesterday late afternoon I received a call from my doctor's office.  They needed to move up my procedure to Thursday.  That meant I needed to run to the local hospital to get all of the pre- procedure lab work done.  Blood tests, x rays, EKG's.  I have lived in large cities where you wait for hours just to get your blood drawn, and small towns which are just about as bad.  This place has it goin on!.  I walked in a little after 3 and I was done and out of there before 5.  Registration and everything.   Tomorrow is prep day so not too sure how it is going to go but hoping for the best.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In Laws and Out Laws

I am thankful for my "new" family of inlaws and outlaws.  They say when you marry someone you don't marry the family.  I would like to say Pshaw! If they are too involved they can cause many problems.  I try very hard to not say anything negative about my daughter's spouses or significant others, at least to them.  My husband and I may discuss certain things but to me it is the surest way to cause derision if you say I think Bubba there needs to lose a few pounds, or I think Diego needs to help with the kids more.  Cause sure as rain in Oregon, they will repeat my momma doesn't like you because your are fat, or you are a bad dad. So like my grandmother used to say if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. 

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Michigan.  No wind, sun, but cold I don't think the temperature rose about the mid 40's all day.  I only sewed a few stitched yesterday though.  I had to take advantage of the lovely weather. 

Cleaned up this shelf in the garage.  I have a heater out here and everything.  I am going to experiment with making chalk paint to paint it with.  I have heard it has a wonderful finish and then you use paste furniture wax to seal it.  This will go on the wall in the sewing room to hold part of the stash.  Here it is actually sitting upside down. 

Raked all of the leaves out of my flower beds after the windstorm on Sunday night.  DH will finish them off today if the weather holds. 

I also dug up my Dahlia tubers to store for the winter. 

Then I worked inside. 
See this wallpaper border?  It is leopard strip.  While Samantha loved it while she lived here, Gabe was not a fan and was always peeling off slivers.  This is going to be the room where my quilting frame is going to go. Me I am not a fan of the leopard print, nor the colors on the wall. So I managed to get all of the wallpaper off the wall in this room yesterday too. 

I did finally manage to get all of these trimmed.  So I just have 19 blocks to put together and I will have part 3 of the Lazy Sunday Mystery done.  Then onto the Christmas Exchange Project....(Key sinister music).

Today is prep day more on that later. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Oh to sleep to dream.  Today I am thankful for sleep.  What is it about getting older that you don't sleep much or well?  Aches and pains show up and become unwelcome bed partners.  Obviously I needed some sleep because I slept well past 8am this morning....ahem OK past 8:30.  I must have needed it!  I am thankful for the rest of a good sleep, or nap if I can catch one occasionally.

I have been agonizing for days about a Christmas Exchange that I signed up for.  I explained in this post.  I know these are supposed to be fun, but for some reason I always get all worked up.  I had several ideas which I really should at least sketch out.  None seemed manageable in the time I have.  One idea was a Lonestar type of quilt made up of 3 colors with the largest star point being 3 diamonds wide.  This block measures 14 inches. 
But then I remembered I had to use what was in my stash! 

This is my batik stash.
OK just part of my batik stash but if you look closely every piece is either a 2 1/2 inch strip, a 5 inch square or possibly a fat quarter.   Which won't get me far making the lone star.  Also not much blue especially icy blue!

I then started thinking about something snowflake looking for a pattern.  I found dozens on Pinterest, and wouldn't a feathered star be spectacular?  But I have never made a feathered star even though I own a book.  I then saw a Swoon quilt done in Dark colors and thought that is kind of snowflakey looking.  The Swoon  was created by Camille Roskelley and is sold through Thimble Blossoms. I was told by Amy at A Quilting Sheep that a Swoon block measures about 25 inches!  Yeah bigger than a mug rug but doable right?  Reading the pattern it is made up of fat quarters....that is getting closer to what I have hanging around.

I have been digging through my stash and this is what I found so far. 
Not too sure about the dark.  Maybe a small jaunt to the LQS is in order.  Hey 1/2 yard of 3 fabrics would make 2 swoon blocks.  I mean you always make a sample before making the final right? 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Calm and Beauty

There were some terrible storms that ripped through the Midwest yesterday afternoon and last night.  It was unseasonably warm yesterday, just rainy.  Around 5pm yesterday we got a notification of a high wind warning.  They weren't kidding.  Watching the neighbor's flag pole flex to the point where it looked like it could not bend one more bit, then suddenly the wind would change directions for a second and the poor flag would end up flying straight up into the air until the weight on the rope would someone pull it back down. This old house groaned,and whined, and moaned some more.  I am thankful for the calm and beauty that is provided after the storm.  Most of the leaves have blown away to someone else's property to be stuck in hedges, fences, and ditches.  The sun is out and everything is scrubbed clean.  I am also thankful that no harm came to us, and pray for those that lost loved ones and their homes.

I sewed for a few hours today.
The unit on the right are all trimmed.  The unit on the left are all sewn and need to be ironed and trimmed, then I can finish making the blocks and set this aside. More on this later in this post. 

I then decided that I probably should work on finishing up the wallpaper removal.
 At the end of yesterday that upper right hand corner was all that was left.  We are leaving the one wall until we get the other two finished first.

I finally finished.  That one corner which was about 2 x 3 foot took me 2 straight hours of wetting and peeling, wetting and peeling.

DH removed the vent in the wall when he got home from work.   The hole will get closed up because we will be removing the wood burning stove in the front living room.

It can no longer be used because it was misused in the past and all the pieces inside are warped and therefore dangerous.  We have decided to remove it, the chimney, and it will give us a much larger front living room.  Maybe we will put in a gas fireplace they do not seem to take up much real estate.

So some sewing was done, and some home improvement too. 

I signed up for a Christmas exchange with my batik swap group.  There are times I wonder what was I thinking.  My person likes snowmen, and icey blue colors.  I am stumped I have no ideas.  Oh the item has to be bigger than a mug rug, and the fabrics must be batik.  I went wandering to her page to see her quilts and nothing!  Nada!  Not one picture so not too sure what to make. 

I pulled this out of my pile of scraps.

I kind of think of this as an icey blue. 

Well maybe divine inspiration will hit soon. 

DH is saying it is time to get ready for bed.  Hope your Monday was wonderful.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Peeling Wallpaper and the Internet

Today I was contemplating what I am thankful for and after attempting to catch up with my e-mail decided that even though Pinterest makes me crazy with all of the posts at times.  I am thankful for the internet.  It allows me to keep in touch with my family and friends far away with pictures, and other little daily things.

Today DH was home, he was called in this evening but decided to stay home instead.

I sewed a bit this morning and trimmed.
See all those slivers.  I would love to get this step done so I can start working on a Christmas Exchange gift exchange for my Batik Swap group.  I need to get going on this so I can get it in the mail by the first of December. 

Then since the weather was wet it is time to start working on the inside. We managed to get 2 walls done with the wall paper and the paper border off.

While it looks like it is gray it is actually this ugly minty blue/green which is not very appetizing.  I don't think the wallpaper was put on correctly.  DH had actually put up brand new sheet rock up years ago and then the family painted and put up the wallpaper.  When you wet the wallpaper it actually bubbles the paint underneath and soaks into the sheet rock.  We are going to have to put a skim coat of mud  then sand before we prime and paint.  Argh and of course DH wants to get it done soon.  That is alright tomorrow he is back to work and I have a sewing day.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Lazy Sunday on a Lonely Saturday

Day 14 of Thankfulness.  I am thankful for my 5 beautiful daughters.  We are a blended family, even though the children were all grown up when we got married.  We look at it as we have 5 daughters.  They are all amazing in their own right and I am proud of each and every one of them for their journeys they have taken in their life, because with each journey comes enlightenment.

Last night I drove into town (ok not really that far about 15 miles, but with all the traffic, and road construction ends up being 45 minutes) to have dinner with DH and then attend The City of Wyandotte Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.  DH works for the municipality therefore he got to work. 

DH got up early this morning to go back to work.  It is the Holiday Kickoff parade, and Blitzen in the Dot the pre-parade race.  DH will man the barricades to keep everyone safe, then help clean up after the parade.  The possibly they will finish the day doing leaves.  It is leaf season for them, which means all the homeowners rake or blow their leaves to the street by the curb, and the city crew goes through, one guy rakes them into the street so the guy on the back of the truck and suck them up with a big vacuum type sucker. 

DH as he was leaving today must of had a rough morning, 5am comes very early.  I heard the door open and close several times which woke me up.  I stumbled downstairs, grabbed a cup of coffee, and headed to the sewing room.  I sewed and trimmed, and sewed some more and trimmed and pinned.  Then I definitely needed a nap!  I awoke and thank goodness for Bonnie Hunter and quiltcam.  It came in quite handy to have a voice in the house, and I sewed, and trimmed some more.
I have part of these sewn, and trimmed.
All of these sewn, and partially trimmed.
Another couple of blocks built.
And lots of left over HST.  I think I know what is to become of these.