Thursday, July 24, 2014

What Have I Been Up To?

Just popping in so you wouldn't think I haven't been doing anything around here lately.  I have been keeping busy with house and dogs and sewing.  There never seems to be enough hours in the day.

Admittedly, the hubs and I have been watching A LOT of Masterpiece Mystery shows lately.  We can borrow them from our local library and also watch them on PBS.  Are there any other Endeavor, Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, Last Tango in Halifax or Sherlock fans out there?  I must admit I started to watch the new show The Escape Artist and had to stop.  It was much to creepy stressful for me.  I am looking forward to some new Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple shows.  An interesting piece of information.  The British shows that are series are only three or four episodes, unlike the U.S. shows which have many more.  I was particularly upset at the end of the far too short current series of Endeavor which landed (spoiler alert!) Detective Morse in jail!  I'll have to wait a year to find out how he gets out of this one! Shaun Evans is a brilliant actor!

I've been doing quite a bit of Block of the Month sewing and I promise to post pictures soon.  My quilt guild is having one and next month I get my six blocks back from the members of my group and, along with the six more I have made for myself, will be able to have a new quilt for ME!  What fabric did I use?  Fig Tree, of course!  It's going to be dreamy with mint green, peach and mocha colors.  Yum!

I'm also doing Pat Sloan's Globetrotting series which you can read about here.  I'm making mine in Americana blues and reds.  I have to hurry and get this month's block made before the next one is published the first of August.

I have finally finished my great, great niece, Eden's, quilt.  I joke that at least I have it finished before she starts school.  She'll be one in October!  The fabrics are from Lakehouse Dry Goods from my stash and the pattern is from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  You can watch the pattern tutorial here.




If you look close you will see that I sewed ricrack into the border.  It adds a sweet dimension to the quilt, don't you think?  I used Dream Cotton for the batting and I machine quilted it myself on a longarm that I can rent time on locally.

I also made her a little fleece tag blanket and two stuffed Scotties to match the quilt.  I'll post pics of those when I get everything ready to mail, hopefully Saturday.  Hubs had cataract surgery yesterday so I'm a little (A LOT) behind on things around here.

Gotta go - I hear a cup of coffee calling my name!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Fourth of July



Here in America we are celebrating Independence Day - The Fourth of July - with picnics and fireworks all over this wonderful country.  Do we really know what all the festivities are about?  Do we appreciate what our forefathers and their families sacrificed so we could live in a free society?  It's not all about potato salad, hot dogs and sparklers.  It's so much more than that.  It's standing up for what you believe in, regardless of the cost.

This year, Independence Day means just that much more to our family.  We are also celebrating our son's retirement from the United States Navy.  He has served his country proudly for 23 years.  He enlisted and went into the Navy right out of high school.  After he had been in for a number of years, with the encouragement from his commanding officer, he decided to apply for Officer's Candidate School so he is retiring as a Lieutenant.  He has really taken advantage of all the military could offer.  He has seen the world and has had some wonderful duty stations like Japan and Spain and some not so great duty stations like Bahrain and Afghanistan.  He's also gone to college, travelled, volunteered, mentored and made an entire world's worth of friends.  I can say without bias that he is the type of person you want in your military.  It has not always been easy.  He's had to sacrifice lots to get where he is.  We have spent very few holidays or birthdays or just quiet family time together for 23 years.  A long time ago I had to purpose to give him to the Lord to watch over him when I knew he was in situations that were less than safe.  

This is all so bittersweet for me.  For 23 years I've been a Navy mom  I know it's going to be difficult to let go of that.  However, I'm glad he's going to be home and safe and ready for the next chapter in his life.



He's been having his retirement celebrations and this is what was gifted to him.  My favorite part are the pictures.  The one on the left is the young Navy recruit, just starting out, not knowing what lies ahead but ready for anything!  The one on the right is the man, the officer that young boy grew to be.

Aaron:  Dad and I and the rest of the family are so very proud of all you have accomplished in the Navy and in your life!

Fair winds and following seas on this next chapter of your life!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day



On this Memorial Day we remember:

James Floyd Parker, United States Army
Harry Arthur Thut, Sr., United States Army
Paul Edward Cook, United States Army
Jordan Elliott Roberts, United States Air Force


We would also like to honor our son, Aaron Thut, who has served proudly in the United States Navy for twenty three years.

May God bless you all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Visit From My Sister

My sister visited us this past week.  Her yearly "summer" visit.  We had so much fun.  I always try to think of things we haven't done on any of her previous visits.  One day we drove to Golden, Colorado which is a beautiful and busy vintage town only about 45 minutes from us.  The most famous thing there?  The Coors Beer factory.  It is the largest single brewery in the country.  As soon as we got there we had to wait as there was an evacuation of the building.  We still don't know why and we were glad the weather was nice since we had to stand outside for quite a while.  I really recommend taking the tour even if you are not a beer drinker like myself.  I'm always fascinated with how they figure out all the machines that do all the work. We ate lunch downtown at the Old Capital Grill which is in an old historic building and the food is fabulous.  Buffalo Bill Cody is buried outside of Golden but that is a visit for another day.


We had to go to downtown Denver for sure.  We had reservations to go on the Banjo Billy Bus tour, which is a must as far as I'm concerned.  It's a lot of fun and you get to see a lot of the downtown and decide what you want to go back and see more of.  Check out the link.  The bus has no windows and it started to rain but that didn't keep us from having a lot of fun and learning where all the skeletons are buried in Denver!

The tour met outside the Colorado Convention Center, home of our famous Blue Bear.  Why a blue bear?  Why not!?!


Denver has made downtown 16th street into a pedestrian walking plaza.  They recently purchased pianos that they set out during the day for anyone who wants to play.  Like any large metropolitan city, there are the usual characters (why was that man dressed up like a robot?), art work, music and various shows going on.  We ended up helping this young man with his magic show.  He was really good.

Last year I took Janice to the Dumb Friends League rescue shelter and she almost took home a dog so we were on orders not to go there this year.  She has 8 dogs already!  Instead I surprised her with a visit to the Alameda East Veterinary Hospital.  If you are a diehard pet person like she is you would remember back when Alameda East Veterinary Hospital had a television show.  We both watched it religiously. When I started to pull into the parking lot she started yelling!  When we walked in, she started tearing up!  I do believe that if Dr. Fitzgerald had walked out she would have fainted!  It was so much fun!!!!

On Mother's Day we stayed home because we had a huge snow storm (I know - in May!).  Janice had to leave early, early the next day so she had to take a shuttle to the airport. I wouldn't drive as the roads were horrible.  As usual, by afternoon they were all clear.  Colorado weather - sheesh!!!

All in all we had a great, albeit too short, time.  You'll never guess what we plan on doing next visit!  Go on - try to guess! I dare you!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Checking In.....

I thought I should check in to say hello to everyone.  One reason I haven't been posting is that, for some reason,  I can't send pictures from my phone to either my computer or to someone else's phone in a text.  I just haven't had time to go to the phone store to ask them what is wrong.

I've been doing a lot of sewing.  Mostly working on blocks of the month but I have a few quilts to bind.  One BOM is for my quilt guild and also the Globetrotting BOM program that Pat Sloan has designed.  Have you heard about it?  I had to follow along since there are literally thousands of quilters world wide doing it and I did't want to be left out.  You can read about it here.  Five blocks have been revealed so far but it's not to late to get started. There are eight more to go.

We had friends over yesterday and had such a nice time visiting.  I had taken them to the airport last week and picked them up yesterday.  We only live 20 minutes from the airport so when they travel I babysit their truck and they don't have to pay for airport parking.  Bill was nice enough to help us with a little project in the house that needed done which was so helpful!  When we moved here our refrigerator was too tall to fit under the cupboard so for two years it stuck out too far.  Now it's all fixed and, boy howdy, does my kitchen seem bigger!!!

We're having gorgeous weather.  I'm getting ready for my sister's visit so I'm in clean mode.  Today I had to wash the windows on the back of the house.  One day I looked out and thought it was raining as there were "drops" on the windows.  Turned out to be a dust/dirt storm and my windows were just filthy, including the ones I had just washed!!!!  I'm really looking forward to Janice's visit.  We always have so much fun.  I was thinking I should go get some cough drops and throat spray because of all the talking and laughing we'll be doing.  Janice is really anxious to meet Mollie.  She is the quintessential dog person - she hasn't met one she doesn't love.  I think she's up to 8 or 9 now.  All rescues of some sort or another.

Gotta go.  I heard the washer go off so I need to finish the laundry, air out the rooms, fuss around to make sure everything is perfect.  You know the drill.

Have a happy week - don't work too hard.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter



From Maggie, Mollie and me!



*graphic used with permission from Valerie Moldovan

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gentle Reminder

Wow!  I've been M.I.A for an entire month!  The time sure flies when you are having fun, doesn't it?  I have started going to a local quilt store and renting time on their longarm quilt machine.  I finished one quilt top and am going back Sunday to do a baby quilt.  I'll show pictures when I get them finished and bound.  It is really gratifying to actually finish something for a change.

We've had a few birthdays in our family this week.  On Tuesday our grandson Redmond turned 15!  Yikes, when did he grow up!  On Wednesday, our little rescue Scottie Mollie turned 2!  What a joy she has brought to our home.  Today is our daughter's birthday.  What a lovely, talented and driven women she is.

Spring is definitely in the air so I have to attempt to split my time between quilting projects, house cleaning, yard work, reading, etc., etc., etc..  You know the drill.  One thing I really look forward to is sewing while baseball is on.  I don't care for football or basketball but there is something soothing about baseball, don't you agree?

One little quip about our Mollie that you might enjoy.  Do you all remember the Seinfeld show and the character Elaine?  If so, you probably remember Elaine's dancing.  You can see it here.  She was hilarious with absolutely no rhythm.  Now, you know how when dogs scratch on the bed, turn circles and lay down?  Well, Mollie somehow didn't the memo on how to do it and she looks just like Elaine dancing.  In fact, the other night she was doing her "Elaine dance" on the bed and fell completely off.  Hilarious!

Now to a more serious subject:


I wanted to remind my quilter friends out there that there is still plenty of time to send quilt blocks to Kevin the Quilter.  I wrote about it in the previous post and shared a link with the information.  When I checked his blog today I was blown away.  As of April 7th, he had received 2,348 quilt blocks which is enough to make 78 quilts!!!!!!  How awesome is that!!!?!!!  Quilters are not only sending in blocks, but finished quilt tops, backing fabric, binding and even color catchers for when they wash the quilts.  Also, Kevin is giving away a gift certificate to the Missouri Star Quilt Company in a drawing and others are contributing prizes as well.   I've said it before and I'll say it again, quilters rock!!!

So if you have it in your heart, check his blog and get the information so you can contribute.  As you all know, I'm a Navy mom and this really touches my heart.

Have a lovely week!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Quilts of Valor Block Drive

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love quilters!  Most importantly for their generosity!  I stumbled upon this today:

Kevin is a quilter from Missouri.  He is doing a presentation about his quilting journey and has decided to make it into something really special. Because part of the presentation will be about his work for Quilts of Valor, he is requesting blocks be sent to him that will be made into Quilts of Valor quilts.  You can read about it all here.  The block pattern is easy peasy and the drive will result in quilts donated to this worthy cause.

That's not all!  For every five blocks sent to Kevin, you are eligible to win a $100 gift certificate to the Missouri Star Quilt Company!  How cool is that!!!!!

Ok, quilters!  Let's get our red, white, gold and neutrals out and get sewing!!!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

It's The Little Things in Life

 I just love quilters.  I always tell people that if you are lonely, take up quilting.  You have an entire world of friends out there that you just haven't met yet.  On the whole, they are kind and generous - not to mention a lot of fun.  Very giving and thoughtful! I wanted you to see what one of my quilter/sewer friends made me for my birthday.  The cutest little pin cushion with an attached needle case.


 Pin cushion strawberries are very traditional, something I love.  I'll have to show you my collection of pin cushions one day.  I have lots.  As a whole, quilters are also collectors of all things sewing and I'm no different.


Darcy is very talented.  I have never met someone who quilts and sews as much as she does.  Always busy.  Thanks Darcy!!!

I went out to dinner last night with one of my newer quilting friends.  We wanted to visit before we met some other gals for sewing.  Jan knows I am a tea drinker and look what she made for me!  No special occasion, just to be nice.


The cutest little tea bag case to keep in my purse!  Isn't it the darling!?!  Jan loves her embroidery machine and did the letters herself.

I keep tea bags in my purse all the time just in case I may need one.  You'd be surprised at the restaurants that don't have them.  I was sewing one day and one of the gals asked if anyone had a tea bag.  I had a poor pitiful crunched up one in my purse.  No more!  I'll just whip out this case and not be embarrassed to share. Thanks so much, Jan!!!


I wanted to show you what I got for myself for my birthday.  I had seen this darling Scottie on Facebook and Etsy and I couldn't resist.  Here he is sitting next to my Scottie heart pin cushion.  I'm sorry he's difficult to see.  Black Scotties, real or otherwise, are difficult to photograph.


The original one was sold, but I was able to special order one.  He arrived last week all the way from England!
 I think I'll name him Finn, which rhymes with pin.  Not that I'll ever put pins in him.  That would be just mean!  He sits next to my sewing machine and keeps an eye on it when I'm not there.  Good job, Finn!!!

So like I said, it's the little things in life that count.  Little acts of kindness that mean so very much.

Have a great rest of the week!

xo

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Initial Valentine Swap

I was surfing blogs one day and happened upon Cheryl's blog, Gone Stitchin'.  I'm so glad I did!  Cheryl is one busy - and creative - lady who lives in Australia.  Her "thing" is organizing swaps.  All kinds of swaps.  I hadn't done a swap in quite a while so I signed up for her Initial Heart Swap.    She gave us the name of the person we were to make something for and it had to include their initial.

 It took me a while to figure out what to make, but I found this adorable valentine panel and off I went. I made a wallhanging and added green accents to it to go with the green in the print.  Do you see the little heart in the top left corner?


This is what I did for the initials.  I sent the panel to her along with some other things to sweeten the pot.  Including some "made in Colorado" Valentine candy.  She received it this week and seemed to be really happy with it.  Whew!!!! Are you like I am?  Afraid someone won't like something?    I try to make something that I would like to receive and that usually works.

Now, here is what I got!  I was just so thrilled.  The gal that got my name took the time to look at my Scottie filled blog and look what she came up with!!!  I've been wanting a journal for quite a while and this one is just PERFECT!!!!!!


She also sent along beautiful home-made glass-head beads that now have a home in my Scottie pin cushion.  That rather large "pin" is a stilleto - the prettiest one I have seen!


Just so you think she was a bit shy on how much candy she sent, I ate most of it before I thought to take a picture.  Tee Hee!!!



I'm going to really enjoy writing in my journal and will cherish the care and craftsmanship she took to make it so special!!!  So two very good reasons for doing this swap - the friend I made who sent me a gift and the friend I made who I sent a gift to.

In my world, that's a win, win situation!

xo