Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This and That

 Peaches anyone? This is part of the "harvest" from one tree! In addition 6 grocery bags went out the door to whoever I could find to share with. This is by far the biggest "Harvest" we have ever had. I have yet to even touch tree two, until I share (unload) these, tree two will go untouched.
 If I don't have enough on going projects I was in the mood Sunday night to piece a quilt. Goal for the week is to get the quilt top completed :)
And....Scrapbooking. A friend shared with me the "Project Life" system. THANKS Val!!!! This just might get the million and one photo's stored in the PC into an album or two or ten.
I would love to spend the day at home working on getting the kitchen table, counters, and floor cleaned up from all of the piles of sewing projects I have started, need to start and, WIP's but most of the day will be devoted to errands I have put off for too long, Grrr
I needed more scrapbooking supplies like I needed a hole in my head but after seeing the album my friend shared with me on her recent (as in yesterday) trip up my way I was inspired to give this fast and easy scrapbooking system a try. I have done ZERO scrapbook pages for the toddlers. Tyler...he has 8 albums. I use to do pretty good keeping up with scrapbooking photo's before all the little ones came along. I had a great system going, take photo's, print photo's and go, go, go, pages were completed :) Our once a year girls long weekend in the Mts...I could knock out 100 pages or more with page kits I compiled from home.
Then came 3 little ones in a span of two years with this Nanny having one or more of them six days a week, need I say more? Sewing is SO MUCH faster. Sewing is much less messy. The only tools needed are the cutting board, rotary cutter, scissors, a machine, and a bit of fabric. I can whip up a quilt top to bottom in a week. A week of scrapbooking I might be able to complete 10-20 pages. Sewing has always won out for the past four years. That needs to change.
A friend of mine and I have made a pact with each other that one evening a week we will work on scrapbooks for our grands. We have high hopes of working up the backlog of photo's we both have saved on our PC's.
Has anyone else that use to scrapbook fallen off the wagon for as long as I have? My goal is to get the toddlers albums completed up to each of their first Birthdays by November. Tyler still loves to drag one of his many albums out to see what he looked like as a baby and all of the little adventures he had as a toddler. I want the other four to have that same experience.
Time to put some photo's to paper!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Fun

 I think we have all finally recovered from our family beach trip :)
 Lots of fun in the sun
 Our little buddy Elijah finished his last radiation treatment on Tuesday!!!! Now he is on a 30 day break before the MAJOR surgery he will be having on his spine and neck. We had invited he and his family to join us this year at the beach house but he was just not up to it right now. Next year with continued prayers he will be back enjoying what little boys should be doing
 I wanted to get a few cute photo's of our Kara but as always Kara was being Kara. Never a dull moment with this gal!
Kara has a mind and spirit all her own
Super fast post this morning as I need to prepare for one more day with DD#3's kiddo's. Not sure yet which one I will have as DD#3 has to work and Daddy is not yet ready to take on Tater Tot along with Kara all on his own :) What the heck, it's fine with me. I ventured out with them yesterday to the park. Having Kara by herself for the most part least year gave us lots of time for outings, now that Tater Tot has arrived...not so much. She was very understanding with her little brother as he let us know he was not a park sorta fella yet. Our Saturday grocery run was scratched, I didn't think my body or nerves could take loading and unloading little ones in an out of the car yet again.
I lucked out on Friday as DD#2 showed up just as I was getting ready to load them up for Tater Tots well baby check and shots, so thankful she agreed to keep Kara while I made a quick trip to the Dr.
Rather than drag a baby, purse, and diaper bag around I thought I was being efficient in just throwing a diaper, bottle and zip baggie of wipes in my purse, off we went. BIG mistake!!!! Tater Tot showed off by having a BLOW OUT diaper on my lap while wearing just a diaper. The Dr. couldn't help but laugh out loud as my dress was covered in poop, even more was running down my legs. Oh my
Did he stop there, oh no. After his shot he spit up, throw up is a better description all over the front of my dress. Note to self, put together a Nanny bag that doesn't weigh as much as a toddler for outings, how soon we forget :) Time to get it in gear, it's sure to be an active Sunday.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hand Quilting

 I wanted to take "My" quilt along on our beach trip last week. As I was pulling together what I needed to pack I decided to upgrade my hand quilting supplies from this gallon zip lock bag into something more convenient.
 One of the big box stores had craft storage containers on sale 1/2 off. I like this one because I can move the dividers around to the size storage area I need but change it up as time goes by. Love that everything is now in one place, no more dragging zip baggies around. Notice how many standard white quilting thread spools I have ? I found them on sale long ago at $1.00 a spool, can't pass a deal like that up!!
I didn't get a lot of hand quilting done while on vacation but it was nice to sit and quilt once the grands finally went to bed each night. Now that we are back home I am loving having quite quilt time in the evening

Can't remember if I shared the completed quilt before. I did FMQ on the piece work leaving the white borders for hand quilting. Normally I wouldn't bind a quilt until it was completed but....knowing it was going to be drug around from pillar to post, in sand, dirt, and toddler crumbs I figured adding the binding might be a sanitary solution :)

This is the first time I have tried to hand quilt a full quilt with Perle cotton. I am still getting use to the difference between traditional quilting thread and Perle cotton. I think I am making my stitches to small but now that I have started with this small stitch I figure I better stick with it :) The other difference I have noticed is using Bee's Wax on Perle cotton makes pulling the needle/stitches really difficult. Once I skipped the thread waxing things are going much easier.

Today is a me day :) I have done a few odds and ends around the house but not much!! Tomorrow DD#3 will start back to work so...I will have Kara and Tater Tot, figured I better rest up for the big event. It's a hand quilting sorta day.

Has anyone else tried hand quilting? Do you have any tips to pass on?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Scrapbooking to the Rescue

 Last week by chance I ran into one of my dear cousins on FB. We PM messaged for a bit, what are you up to etc, she shared with me they were having a family reunion in August they would love for my Sister and I to attend. YAAAA One of our other cousins had set up a descendants FB page to share family photo's old and new. Double YAAAA. I spent WAY more time on the FB page than I should have catching up on cousins that were a part of my Sister and I daily life way back when. I shared a few photo's of our family now, who they are, how they are related and such. One thing lead to another, I ended up spending a few days scanning and sharing old photo's I had of our family. Talk about a pain in the rump!!! I was working with our scanner that is at least 12 years old, it was like pulling teeth to get the thing to work right :) After Kara hit my laptop with a slice of pizza I was out of business. That is until Monday. We are now the proud owners of a super fast wireless, very cool all in one printer, I love it!! The new laptop, grrrr windows 8.1 stinks!!!!!
 When our Father past away 10 years ago I had a gut feeling our family photo's would not end up in my Sister or my hands, turns out I was correct. Why do people think it's OK to be mean just to hurt others out of spite, I will never understand. Our Aunt who helped raise us after our Mother died was as heart broken as I was. She offered to share the photo's she had but didn't know how to make copies for me. I do, I do!!!! I began to scan photo's each month hubby and I visited them (they lived in IN) Once I returned home I would print the photo's then scrapbook them. On our next visit I would share what I had done and we would get back to scanning more.
 She had lots of obituaries from long ago...Humm maybe I should include them, we scanned away. Rather than mount them on pages I made envelopes to tuck them in then mounted them onto the pages.
 A poem my Grandmother had written long ago after her children had all left home. I typed it up then tucked the original in this envelope. Love that I have her handwriting preserved for future generations
 To aid me in all of this genealogy I took photo's of tombstones. Of course all had birth and death dates, many also have their parents name engraved, branch of service, even their own children or spouses name
 I stop working on this album after my Aunt passed. I had it put away until last week, it was just too emotionally hard to work on it alone. Today I am over the top excited that I have been able to share with the rest of our family far and wide a small piece of our heritage. I never in a MILLON years would have thought my Aunts documents and photo's would have been done away with, Such a crying shame :) So thankful she and I had the last few years of her life to make "our" album together. She would be tickled to death knowing her family has at least a bit of our family history to share
 As you can see I use to scrapbook a lot! Here is a sample of the albums that are complete :) Excuse the bits of paper taped to some of the albums. I use to have cute tags that were attached to each one. Then God blessed us with grands that pulled each and ever tag off, Ha Someday (maybe soon) I will drag out the label maker and get them all tagged again.
 Here is a small album I made of my Aunts home, yard, garden, barn, all that jazz as well as site's around town. My Aunt had Alzheimer's, she was still at home most of the time when we were working on "our" family album but eventually had to go to a nursing home to receive the care she needed. I would still bring "our" scrapbook to share with her each month but I got thinking she needed a little something of home to brighten her days.
We could talk for hours over one photo, the photo's would jog her memory.  I never knew what memory it might jog, sometimes it was laugh out loud funny for both of us. At times it would be heartbreaking to me but she showed no emotion, the stories just flowed. Towards the end I got that gut feeling again. This little memory book of her daily life was sure to disappear after her passing. I took it home with me :) Such sweet memories of the time we were together and things were as normal as they could be with someone who had Alzheimer's. There home was sold soon after they moved to the nursing home, but we still have this little album to remind us of times we spent there

I haven't scrapbooked in years. Four years to be exact, once the little girls came along back to back with Mason man's delivery hot on their heels there just wasn't and hasn't been the time. Now Tater Tot has joined our family :) Sewing is much less messy, takes so many less supplies, can be done lickity split unlike scrapbook that can take hours to complete one page.

I have SO MANY scrapbooking supplies organized neatly in "MY" room just sitting collecting dust. Once fall arrives I am going to try to fit one day a week to scrapbooking again. I want our DD's, grands, and whoever comes along the family line to have our family history, who we are, why we do the things we do preserved. I may end up going the digital route at some point but for now at least I need to use what I have :)

Are you lucky enough to have your families photo's and documents preserved? Do you really trust that they will be cared for in the future? If not don't put off getting copies. Once they are gone they can never be replaced :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Peach's Anyone?

 Our peach trees are looking more like peach bushes this year They are LOADED down in fruit
Peaches, peaches, and more peaches. The tree branches on both of our trees are touching the ground with peaches.
Oh how I hate learning new things from the world of technology. Give me a new sewing pattern, recipe, DIY for around the house and I am all over it. New PC, scanner, and accessories, FORGET it!!! I took me 6 hours yesterday to plug up, download, install, then turn everything on. You would think as expensive as it all is the stuff would run on it's own, sigh. The DD's promise they will get by this week to help show me around Window 8.1. All I really want is to have my old PC's back :)
What's on the list for today? Finish unpacking from our beach trip, reorganizing in the grands playroom, finish piecing quilt blocks, then finish the day off with some hand quilting. Paying a few bills is also in order :( I hate to even look at the bank account after yesterdays spending spree. Ouch!!
We have hit our EF fund so many times over the past month helping out two of the big kids, my Sister, and now this. Why is it that summer always hits us the hardest? Everything seems to go haywire where the budget is concerned in the summer.
Time to shut this thing down and get the show on the road today. The sooner I knock the list out the sooner I can sit with MY quilt. I might even take a photo of the hand quilting progress today to share. That is if I can figure out how to find the photo's I download, grrrr

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vacation Preps Many days Late

The day before we left for our yearly family beach trip I remembered I had not finished some play things for the little girls. Thankfully I didn't have much to do :) Just add elastic to doll hats I found at Dollar Tree.
Diapers, changing pad, bibs, bathing suits, new bottles (dollar store/2 for $1.00) and a few new outfits for their Bitty Babies.
Tucked in these cute cases I found at Crackle Barrel on sale for 40% off. If you have a little one who is wild about American girl furniture, clothes or accessories, check out Crackle Barrel's line, cute and cheap :)

Laundry bag from the dollar store to haul beach toys
Basket of grand toys collected during the year from super sales (mostly) for those "they are driving us crazy times"
Why the heck is my purse so heavy? Might as well clean it out before vacation as it is sure to be loaded up with who knows what before vacation is over.
My stuff? Wallet, change, lip gloss, keys, hand sanitizer, and reading glasses. Grands stuff? Crayons, markers, coloring books, fruity snacks, notebooks, matchbox cars, boggy wipes, hair brush, hair pretties. Maybe I should have a purse just for them to pack around.
I should have sewn these appliques I made back in March onto these tee's and tank tops for the little girls. I had two choices, get to bed on time or stay up late to finish this project. Sleep won out!!

I planned on getting this post up last Wednesday, even went so far as to download the photo's onto the post, but the day and evening got away from me. Figured I could finish the post once we arrived at the beach house, HAAAA What was I thinking!!!! Sharing a house with our big kids and grands left no brain cells to do anything more than eat, sleep, keep up with the toddlers, feed Tater Tot, and change dirty diapers.

OK, I can get back in the blogging saddle when we return home Sunday evening. NOPE, on our last evening Kara threw a slice of pizza in my direction, it landed on the laptop. More than likely the laptop is fried.... sigh. DD#1 has a friend who may be able to repair the driver that went bad but I really hated to ask him to do it. When I checked on the cost for repair's this morning they wanted $180.00 just to look at it, there would be additional charges if it could even be repaired :(

Our desktop PC has been down for many months, one thing after another has been going wrong. After 5 days at the beach with our lovely family I was in no mood for issues!!!! Time to hit the EF account. What a pain in the rump. I knew what I needed and wanted but the PC world has past me by. What I wanted is long gone. I have no idea how to get around on this new PC. Things that I could just point and click on are not where they use to be. Downloading photo's is super fast, but who the heck knows where the photo's are at :). Window 8.1 is not a friend of mine. I have ask a few friends who have the new updates, I need HELP!!! I haven't found anyone who knows how to use this new and improved version Ha.

Bare with me for the next few days as I try to figure it all out. Of course there was NO new owners manual that came in that overpriced box. The sweet young clerk who gave me such great customer service explained to me you now have to go on line to get the info. Ya ,right, you want to tell me how to even get on line? Poor fella just smiled.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Quite Sunday

 Remember this pile of blocks from my lost and found?
I got this far with them yesterday, I wasn't in the mood to make more 16 patch blocks but I refuse to pack it all back up just to be lost again. What to do, what to do. Maybe set them on point? After spending more time than I should have trying to do the math google saved the day with this chart. I see a lot more "on point" quilts now that I have this great cheat sheet!

If I leave it as is this is a perfect size baby quilt and would be a great way to use up scraps but...I want this quilt for myself. I am just going to keep adding borders of some sort to get her to a lap size quilt. May have to name her Nanny's 1930's crazy quilt by the time I am done. Might even do some hand quilting on her for practice.

Sunday was quite here, a nice peaceful quite. Time for a bit of reading, sewing, napping, and thinking. I don't take the time out to think enough, maybe pondering would be a better description. I do lots and lots of what I would consider task thinking. Working on and thinking about our budget, retirement, home improvements, whats for dinner, plans for vacation, sewing, organizing you know the every day stuff.

Taking the time to think/ponder on where we have been, where we are now, where are we going kinda thinking. No goal setting, no list making, no earth shattering planning, just thinking.

I started this post on Monday, DD# 3 stopped by for some play time with Tater Tot and Kara, next thing you know it's Wednesday :) I have made lots of progress on my lost and found quilt top I will share with you later today. I need to put it in high gear today as we are going on a mini vacation suggested by Karsyn in the morning. Cute little story on that and one of the many reasons our budget gets blown all the h.. and back sometimes :)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Lost and Found

 I am having a little staycation this weekend. The big and little kiddo's all have their weekend planned, hubby is still in TX, GF's are all on vacation. That leaves me to have a plan of my own all on my own :) NICE I have have lots of those cute mini charm packs stuffed in a drawer in the sewing room humm.... I spent last night looking over some magazines to see if I could find a pattern to use some up. Bingo!! This is the Spring issue of Quilting Quickly it has a cute, easy, fast table runner using one mini charm pack.
 I Love, love, love the reproduction 30's fabric, it just so happened I had a few packages of "30's Playtime" by Chloe's Closet, Moda of course :) A little white yardage from my stash, along with some scrap batting, and more leftover fabric for the backing I was good to go. See that leftover batting I cut away? It's now in the trash!!! I have got to stop hanging on to every little bit of batting. I have a mountain of little bits and pieces of batting. Sing with me Let it go, Let it go!!!
 As I was digging around looking for some backing I remembered I had a small pile of retro fabric along with some quilt blocks. Humm, Wonder where an organized OCD person like me would have stored that. More on that later. I went with this cute leftover piece. Lots of straight line quilting just as the pattern suggested.
 As much as I liked the looks of all this straight line quilting it seemed to me this cute retro fabric needed something else.
 I have had a spool of white Cotton Perle in my hand quilting supplies for quite awhile thinking someday maybe I would have a need for it :)  What the heck I will give it a try on the cute little blocks.
 I like it!! A little homespun mixed in with modern quilting. Hope the quilting police don't arrest me :) Only 39 more blocks to go!!
 Now for the lost and found. While sitting hand quilting in the nice air conditioned house this afternoon I couldn't get out of my brain where the heck I packed away all that retro fabric and blocks I had worked on so long ago. Back to the sewing room. I have a huge pile of ongoing quilt/sewing projects stored away, sure enough I found just what I was looking for. A pile of ten 16 patch blocks were done and trimmed, and additional 20 blocks were pieced waiting to be trimmed, a few strip sets were already sewn :)
Wanta guess what my next sewing project is? I didn't have a pattern to work with (still don't) when I started working on these 16 patch blocks. I had no idea what I was going to do with them (still don't)  I just knew I wanted to make them. I also know I want this quilt to be MINE!! Not sure all this old fashion fabric would even appeal to anyone else so....Me, me, me, shall Love thee. I sorta have an idea in mind on what to do with these little 6 inch blocks, if I can work out the math it just might be pretty darn cute. Maybe some more hand quilting? Maybe backing the old fashion way with just solid colored fabric? Sew many possibilities, and another full day all to myself to figure it out.

I can think of no better way to spend a day with temps close to 100 than enjoying all this cold air from our fancy air conditioners. I was thinking back that this time last year I was sweltering in this house with no AC. July 10th to be exact the old girls blew their last blast of cold air after 25 wonderful years. Being the ever frugal girl that I am I held out until September the 12th when the units had a $2,000.00 rebate. I don't feel one bit guilty setting in this house enjoying what hubby worked so hard for, I saved and saved for, and then used that rebate to do even more home improvements. Might even turn that dial down even more so I can snuggle under what I hope will be a sweet new quilt just for me :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

$14.00 Quilt Top

 After our swim date and Birthday cake on Wednesday Kara insisted on coming home with me to sew. I didn't figure I would get much done with the wild child around but I was wrong :) While I was working away on the machine she kept herself busy with a container of thread.
 The strip sets from one of the $14.00 kits came together in no time flat
 The quilt blocks even faster
 Ta Da!! Even with the rascal in the house this quilt top was done in hours!! The original quilt would have been 41x41 which I guess is considered a lap size quilt. To me a lap size quilt needs to cover from shoulders to toes. Since this quilt is intended to be a teen Linus quilt I enlarged it to 51x71 using the leftover fabric, a tiny bit more fabric I purchased from the line, and some white stash fabric from my overloaded sewing room.
 While I was in the big box store I ask if they had any more of the $8.00 minky kits in the back room. Sure enough they did!! Hot diggity dog, she even found 2 baby kits marked down to $4.00 each.
Yesterday was run the roads ALL day :) but I did manage to get the first row of the Shop Hop Row Along completed. I am in love with this first row!! One of the many stops along the way yesterday was to pick up a second pattern from another quilt shop not far from home. Hope to pick up one more today, maybe even two if I can find the third shop which is about an one and a half hours from home.

If I were a brave and completely open, honest, person I would have included a photo of the mess Kara and I have made in the kitchen over the past two days. Some things just don't need to be shared :) Holy moley, I have fabric and scraps covering every surface, the floor...oh my. Before I hit the road once again today I will get things back in some sort of order.

I have the day FREE!! DD#2 is helping out with DD#3's kiddo's this morning while she sees the Cardiologist for what we hope will be the last time. Her OB/GYN has given her the OK to return to work at the end of the month. Now it's up to the cardio to say all is clear on the heart front, fingers crossed.

Sew how will I spend this free day? Cleaning up my mess in the kitchen first off, meeting a friend for breakfast, then a road trip to pick up more Shop Hop patterns. There might even be some time leftover for a tiny bit more sewing. Over the weekend I need to get back in the sewing room to organize all of the sale fabric and kits I have scored this week along with putting things back where they belong. I make such a MESS when I am working.

My goal for July is to have 4 Linus quilts completed to turn in by the end of the month. That's a pretty lofty goal :) I think I just might pull it off using the $14.00 kits, that is if I can find enough backing fabric in my stash that will work.

Hubby seems to think he will be back home in the office by the first part of August. The days of leaving fabric from one end of the house to the other will be over :) I need to make hay while the boss is away. August will be devoted to Christmas sewing. I have a start on some of it, and a plan for more, if I can put the two together I will be well on my way to having time to play with all the cute stuff that comes out for the holiday's each year.

Is anyone else spending these dog days of summer locked up in the house?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bargain Shopping

 Check out these quilt kits I found at one of the big box stores on sale for $14.95. The kits make a 41x42 quilt, all that I need to add is the batting and backing. Perfect for some Teen Linus quilts!!
 Another big box store had these minky quilt kits on sale for $8.99!!!! That's 80% off!!! Go Me. Now to keep my eye out for minky fabric on sale for the backing.  Each kit will make a 52x65 quilt, again I am thinking Linus teen quilt.
The one thing I was really shopping for was the first FREE pattern on the "Row by Row Experience"
I went with the kit instead of just the free pattern. Can't wait to get started on the first row!!

Check out the "Row by Row Experience" link!! How fun would this be to hit all of the quilt shops in your own state, better yet travel around the country collecting them all. My goal is to visit 8 quilt shops in our state. We have 4 shops within 20 miles of our home, the rest on my wish list are within a 2 hour drive.

Even more exciting are the deals I got on quilt kits for charity. I am going to try to stick with teen charity quilts for the next couple of months as they seem to be the greatly lacking when ladies make donations. Teens and Tweens face lots of nasty illnesses too :( 

Each week I think I will be able to get lots done, by the end of the week reality/life has set in. I'm lucky to get even a couple of hours of sewing time. Today is a good example. DD#1 had a "Girl party" too take Karsyn to. I had the boys. What the heck, we went to the bouncy house shop, at $5.00 @ it's a great place to play during the heat of the summer. Problem is that all this fun time with the boys ate up most of the day. Left home at 9:00AM not to arrive back until 2:00.  The kiddo's and heat combo sucks the mojo right out of me. I don't expect to get much done on the sewing front today. There's always tomorrow....

Well not really. Tomorrow is Kara's real 4th Birthday. We are going to take all of the little ones to the pool for the morning followed by a Princess cake before naps. Once again I will leave the house by 9:00 and not return until around 2:00. Remember the kiddo/heat combo, I more than likely be done for the day :) Oh well, I wouldn't trade this life for all the money in the world.

Better get up and get my rump in gear, hope to at least get the house in order today.