It's Nutcracker Season - 2009

on Monday, December 7, 2009

Atlanta Ballet is celebrating 80 years and is performing Nutcracker at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. The "performance group" is making the rounds in Atlanta to promote the show. They will be at Phipps Plaza, Buckhead Diner, Four Seasons Hotel and The Ritz Carlton. Not a bad gig, would you say? Great food included. This photo above is My Nutcracker at the very swank Phipps Plaza in front of Tiffany & Co. Needless to say, I was doing a tad bit of window shopping.

It was rather nice as the mall was closed to the public and only open to employees of the management company for the mall. Santa was there and word has it that he takes appointments several months in advance. I must say, he had very lovely hair. Thus, the appointments.

If you're in the Bob Barker would say...."Come on down!"

The Latest

on Tuesday, November 10, 2009

First let me say...I've missed you too! I love hearing from my blogland friends, and thank you for checking in on me. I promise all has been well but with sick children and My Hero traveling every week, there's been a bit of an adjustment period. Something had to go and that was my blogging. It will have to take a back seat for a short period. Falling but not forgotten.

Now for the fun stuff:
My Nutcracker (12 year old daughter who loves ballet) and I (just the 2 of us) went to....

a very fun place, beautiful and chaotic at the same time.

Oddly enough, not very quiet,

but can be tranquil if you find a nice spot to sit and eat your lunch which you picked up that morning at the corner grocery as you walked to your ballet class.

This photo should give you a hint if you look at the gold shiny statue in the background (especially if you watch the Today show).

And this is the photo from our hotel room. That's right, Times Square. My Nutcracker and I went to New York this weekend to do a weekend curriculum called Passport to Purity by Dennis Rainey. The weekend focused on the importance of waiting until you're married to have...well, you know what. It was a wonderful venue to have those "odd" conversations. It was nice to decide on "when" to date and "who" to date and what certain kinds of peer pressure look like before you are actually "in the moment". Overall, a smashing success!

My daughter took a ballet class at "Steps on Broadway" (a ballet studio in NYC) from Gelsey Kirkland. Anyone know who that is? Probably the most famous American ballerina of all time. A tragic figure in some respects but seems to have come out on the great end of life. Her battle with a hard childhood, anorexia, plastic surgery, drug addiction and difficult relationships with Mikhal Baryshnikov and others led her to write the book, Dancing on My Grave. There were many parts of the book I didn't let my daughter read but some of it was beneficial in knowing what goes on in the mind of dancers.

Another highlight was getting a fitted for pointe shoes from a professional fitter at Gaynor Minden. Click on all of those pictures, it's exactly as it's shown. The showroom is in the Chelsea neighborhood in the most precious brownstone. See photos. There's a lot of controversy over these shoes in the world of ballet for various reasons but I swear they have cleared up a lot of "issues" we had with the other shoes. Mostly "fit" issues.

Another highlight:
Seeing Ground pics but a haunting experience. Our tour guide said that New Yorkers really came together after that and everyone washed off their "ugliness" and became kind and genuine to each other. We really noticed it being tourists. Everyone was more than generous.

And the last highlight:

The Broadway musical. Encouraging story, full of forgiveness and learning to come out on top when the world is less than kind. If you haven't seen's a flat must. Costumes are outstanding, story...phenomenal. die for. I'd recommend it for all ages. Even my sports loving, corporate executive, never go to a museum husband would have loved it. We'll definitely see it again.

We also saw West Side Story....wished we had seen Billy Elliott or Jersey Boys instead. Those got great reviews.

In short, it was a wonderful weekend and a much needed getaway for me. I'll be thinking about it for ages! Now, for a little quilting...I'm doing the signature blocks, due at the end of this month. If you are not signed up for it, but are one of my readers, I'd love to have one of your blocks in my quilt. If you're interested, post a comment and I'll send my address to you and send my signature block to you as well.

Please know, all is well. And as they say in New York,
Take care.

Toy Knits

on Monday, September 28, 2009

Meet Clarisse.
This is my first attempt at knitted toys. This one is from an egg cosy pattern at the link below. I just added some legs. She's very small, just as tall as a small pepper mill but adorable and floppy. I'm hooked.
Here's my inspiration:
Little Cotton Rabbits
I'm working on my technique but Clarisse is such a favorite at my house and at ballet.
I like the process a lot and I seem to be leaning more to that hobby as it is so easy to transport. I'm still working on my Baby Jane but she's taking a back seat right now as I'm thinking about Christmas gifts! Hope you like her!

I'm working on a post from the Atlanta Quilt show. Stay tuned!
Stay well,

Swine Flu - H1N1 - Helpful Tips

First let me say a big thank you to my blogland friends who so contacted me during this time. It is a huge blessing to have folks praying and thinking about you when a hard time hits.

Now, here's what I've learned during our 3 bouts (husband, son and daughter, one daughter and I have not had it) with the H1N1 virus at my house. It's not over yet but we seem to be on the back end.

1- What can you do now? Drink lots of fluids...not just lots but lots more. Gatorade is your new best friend. For some reason this strain of flu dehydrates a body very quickly. With my 15 year old son, we stayed on top of it like crazy but he would still wake up in the morning asking for water. Drink. With my little one....well, you'll see at the end.

2- What's the fuss? It's not as bad as the media makes it out to be. Yes, it can be very life threatening but we're finding that it has a fairly short lifespan...4-5 days plus a lingering cough that is fairly easy to deal with. The folks that suffer the most are the ones who are compromised in some way already, such as someone having asthma or general poor immune systems. Did I say drink lots of fluids?

3-Managing: Dayquil / Nyquil are as good as manna from heaven. This made all the difference for my teenage son. He actually had it twice. That has been the pattern for some have it twice in the space of 4 weeks or so. The first time we just used ibuprofen. The second time he had more severe symptoms but dealt with it better. Of course, always ask a health care professional about this.

4- How does it start? Headache and sore throat. Then you are slammed in the bed hard for 3-4 days with fever. The first day is worse with each day gets a little better. Drink fluids.

5- Why is it such a scare? Because it's a new strain of flu and no one has antibodies built up to fight it, thus, lots of folks will get it. The doctor and hospital both told me that they are not testing anymore for this particular strain because they already know that's what it is. Why? Because the regular flu cannot survive at the outside temperatures. Regular flu season doesn't start until November when the temperatures drop. The CDC has to confirm all the cases and by the time all the testing is sent and completed, you're over it by then! BTW, our children's hospital has 50 emergency room beds but had 92 cases, in one day.

6- Prevention: A very wise home school mom told me that she started her family on Vitamin C, morning and evening until they developed diarrhea. That would take about 2 weeks. They had all had the headache and sore throat but no one was in a non-functioning mode. I'm saying the vitamin c works pretty well. 4 kids.

7- What happens if you don't drink fluids? You start throwing up. Go immediately to the ER and get help. Here's baby girl in the ER getting her fluids after waking up at 4:00a.m. with the throw ups. She was non responsive; the only thing coming out of her mouth in a whisper was, "Mama, Mama, Mama" Over and over again. It was a heartbreaker to say the least and very scary.

Notice the Gatorade box in the corner in the picture at the top...even the hospitals are giving it out.

The IV was no fun but I'm grateful for modern medicine!
She got a bag of just good old fluids and then a half a bag of glucose.

My final piece of advice...drink fluids now and lather your hands for a full 26 seconds at least 5 times a day. One more...don't use your hands to open public doors...use an elbow or back into it. One more, elevator buttons, use your knuckle not the tip of your finger. Keyboards, keep a can of Lysol handy.

Do you have any good tips for preventing or managing the flu? Add them here!
Thanks and stay well,

Early Christmas

on Thursday, September 10, 2009

I've been knitting lately!  These are mini-stockings from little cotton rabbits.  It's a free pattern.

Knitting is easy for me to transport and a great way to pass the time while waiting for ballet class to get out.  

We've had three of our five sick with the flu so I haven't been a very good blog girl lately.  Baby Girl hit 103 degrees with her fever 2 nights ago and that's when I start to squirm a bit.  She's fine now and just dealing with a lower fever and cough.  

Hope you enjoy my mini stockings!  I have more to show you soon.

Sweet Nostalgia Giveaway - Free BOM

on Monday, September 7, 2009

This looked like a nice giveaway...drawing is September 30. Good luck everyone. Dorothy Baker Designs says, "There are 10 colors of the wonderful Cosmo Marble thread, 4 Fat Quarters of the repro 30's fabrics, a Clover embroidery hoop, John James Embroidery Needles, and a marking pen."...all in one giveaway...sweet!
Good luck everyone!


on Thursday, September 3, 2009

Today, we're going to the memorial service for Baby Samuel. The family has been a wonderful testimony and yesterday's post, Life and Love, was no exception...worth a read. It is a constant reminder to me that everyday with my family is precious. Every exchange is to be cherished, not wasted. It's a moment to look at each other like it was your last time.

This is a comment posted on my blog some time ago and I've saved it. I read it every now and then and I will share it with you.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "This Will Make You Smile":

I'm a quilter too. I really love it and like you I exerience health scary situations. I never had a heart attack but I just started whithering away and it became hard to breath. I had a lung infection and now I have to wear oxygen so it's hard to me to jump in the car and get fabric or things I need from the store like I used to. No more surprise quilts for my family members because they have to accompany me to the store if I have the energy to go. Life's been hard since my illness. Count your blessings that you can, do all the things you do and can make a full recovery.

The last few lines ring so true for is a blessing, treat like it's your last.


Note to Self

on Thursday, August 27, 2009

Here's the note....Next blogland...

Take the month of August off.

August presents a whole long list of transitions/additions that complicate life. These would include but not limited to:

1-Returning home from vacation.

2-Starting a new year of home schooling (my girls 6 and 12).

3-Starting a new year of "go to" schooling (my 15 year old son).

4-Ballet everyday. The round trip travel is 1 hour minimum. My pony is tired.

5-Having a strong desire to "store" nothing in my home...everything must be "everyday useable". I'm even thinking about having only 20 clothing items in my closet. Comments?Link
6-Baby girl having strep throat for a lie. Started last month in Montreat.

7-My boy looks like he's on the way to having that same strep throat.

8-We have a "Shelter Breakfast" coming up on Saturday....Have I told you about the Shelter?

Maybe husband and children cook and serve (just the 5 of us unless we invite a friend or two to help) 150 women and children at the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. We do it 1-3 times per month, provide the food and get some great fellowship. That is a very long story about how I got involved with that and I'll save that for a time when we can all put our feet up for awhile.

And the list goes on and on.....

As for quilting...not much to share except that I did the Streak of Lightening block(I did mine in hot pink) 4 times...and finally got it right. I started doing some of the blocks by hand because I can sit at ballet and get a whole one done. I am actually pleased with the results because my points line up like a dream. The applique techniques from Pearl have changed my life! I did the reverse applique on Streak of Lightening which was a little tricky but the results were OK. Applique has opened up a whole new sewing world to me and that is a beautiful thing.

By the way, did anyone see the free pattern on Little Cotton Rabbits from Freebies for Crafters? This woman does beautiful knitted toy animals. (please click that last link....they're so precious) She has an autistic son so there's not a ton of production going on, understandably. Her stuff sells like bananas on her etsy shop. I did order the Debbie Bliss books she talked about.

So ladies, that's just a snippet of my life in the last month...I didn't mention the boating accident of a 9th grade girl at our school (femoral artery and both femurs severed by propeller, flat lined 4 times) or Baby Samuel who is fighting for his life (friends of ours). All I can say is...please pray.

Have a great day!

Signature Swappers

on Monday, August 17, 2009

I just wanted to say Hi to all the quilters participating in the Cornbread and Beans Quilting Signature Swap. I'm so excited to meet you and share this swap with you. Making the rounds to all of you is my goal. So here's a big howdy and how do you do...welcome to my blog, life, happenings and general journey. :)

P.S. I am working on another Heart Lesson...should be interesting!

1. Aunt Pitty Pat from

2. Lisa from

3. Teri from

4. Sherry (email)

5. Jane from

6. Barbara (email)

7. Donna from

8. Sue from

9. Molly from

10. Dawn from

11. Carrie from

12. Michelle (email)

13. Melody from

14. Kaaren from

15. Melinda H. (email)

16. Brenda from

17. Cecelia M. (email)

18. Terry C. (email)

19. Mel from

20. Steph (email)

21. Michelle from

22. Julie (email)

23. Linda (Flatlander) (email)

24. Karen from

25. Lanette from

26. Lindsey from

27. Laura P. (email)

28. Laurie N. (email)

29. Danielle from

30. Anett from

31. Rebecca from

32. Charlene from

33. Melissa from

34.Jandi from

35.Robin from

36.Lissa (email)

37.Carole from

38.Lori (email)

39. Katie from

40. Rachel from

41. Margaret (email)

42. Carol from

43. Lyda (email)

44. Bonie (email)

45. Kristine (email)

46. Pam K. (email)

47. Jennifer from

48. Julie from

49. Meghann (email)

50.Lurline from

51. Melinda (email)

52. Babs (email)

53. Julia from

54. Michelle from

55. Lynda from (email)

56. Mary from

57. Karen from

58.Melody from

59.Rita (email)

60. Judith (email)

61.Joanne from

62. Elaine (email)

63. Diane from

64. Erin from

65. Jill (email)

66. Julie (email)

67. Mary from

68. Kim from


P.S. I am working on another Heart Lesson...should be interesting!

Heart Lesson #1 HDL and LDL Cholesterol

on Sunday, August 9, 2009

Welcome to lesson 1 - I hope these will be informative, inspirational, and life changing snippets to get us all into a healthier lifestyle...that's our goal. We will focus on three main parts of reaching our goal everyday: Exercise, Eating and General Heart Healthy Knowledge. So dive in and enjoy the ride with me.

- First of all don't freak out...don't put all this pressure on yourself to go out and run a marathon the first day or ever. Most of this heart stuff is all about the mind...changing your mind to live a different way.
Homework: Just do something. That's it. It can be one push up or one sit up or 5 minutes of jumping jacks, even walk your stairs an extra time, check the mailbox again even though you know you've already brought it doesn't matter...just so you get in the habit of doing some exercise everyday. There are many days I crawl in bed at night with no exercise done that day. I, then, make myself do a few sit ups right there in the bed. Cheating? Not for me...I did something. There are other days I do yoga or run 20 minutes or only do weight training. But, there are far more days that I just get by with the minimum. It's a process of changing your mind. I'm still working on it.
Bottom Line: Do one thing a day for exercise. Anything.

Eating - for now, let's take it slow and easy....just think God food. By that I mean, whatever you can get from the earth...God made, not man made. This will get you out of the processed food department. At the grocery, shop on the outside walls of the store...the stuff on the inside aisles is mostly packaged....but yes, you will need a little packaged food, not much thought. Mrs. Dash makes a great line of sodium free spice blends. But, for the most part, you'll buy fruit and veggies and meat, or fish.
Bottom Line: Think God, not man.

General Heart Healthy Knowledge - Today, let's talk cholesterol. Did you know that there's good and bad cholesterol. Most folks focus on the total NUMBER....anything below 200. That may be OK but if it's all bad cholesterol...that's not great. The real measure is the RATIO of total cholesterol to good cholesterol. I'll talk more about that later or click here.

For now I want to talk about trucks and trash. Good cholesterol is called HDL or I call it "Happy Cholesterol". These are your trucks...garbage trucks to be exact. Now, LDL is the bad cholesterol or I call it: "Lousy Cholesterol", the garbage. That's the stuff that clogs up your arteries and gives us strokes, heart attacks, etc. The trucks, the HDL, actually carry away the garbage, the LDL. Make sense so far? Your goal is to have more trucks than garbage. Thanks to my statin (cholesterol lowering medicine), I have a ton more trucks than garbage.
Are you with me, so far?
Bottom Line: Think Ford F350 when you're at the grocery store.

This is just the beginning of our heart adventure. There's more to come, recipes, things that work for me and others that didn't, thoughts on doctors etc. Remember, it's all a work in progress and changing the way our minds think about food, health, and how we relate to our environment. That's about how we handle stress. More on that later....for now...just enjoy!

"I Think She's Got It" - C-9 - Jane's Tears

on Saturday, August 8, 2009

I did it!  I'm so proud of this one!  It's Dear Jane block C-3 called Jane's Tears.  I thought she'd be crying when she saw this one for sure but I think Jane would like this one.  I believe a speech is in order.

"I'd like to thank The Academy, and of course,   Yvette with  BOM Quilter and Carrie P. with  A Passion for Applique, who without their help, I'd be be stuck at Hancock's on a Tuesday night in a beginner sewing class. "

 All kidding aside, Yvette loaned the Pearl P. Pereira DVD to me which was INVALUABLE.  I watched it 6 times and now have it down pat.  Even took notes once.  Carrie, in all her wisdom, held my hand through a few tough Dear Jane blocks and could figure out exactly where I went wrong.  
My next goal is to get all the tools (on her site as well) that make applique a little easier.  Can you say "Stocking Stuffers"?

Thanks,'re the best applique friends a girl ever had.  

And now, I proudly begin a new label...called...."Applique" - ::::can't you hear the trumpets?::::

on Friday, August 7, 2009

We had so much rain in Atlanta while I was gone, so I came home to a lusciousness in my backyard.   Those are my girls' swings....used every single day without fail and a cute little playhouse.  As for the playhouse, I can count the number of times they've been inside it on one hand since we put it in 3 years ago.  

Any suggestions how I can make it more play friendly?

These are my heirloom tomatoes.  I can promise you they did not look like this when I left.  It's almost as if the steroid doctor came by everyday we were gone.  At one point they are over 10 feet tall.  The tomatoes were some of the best I've ever had.

What's your favorite variety of tomato?  This inquiring mind wants to know!


The Marriage Saver

What is a Marriage Saver?  

Well, when you're in the mountains, folks up there have a different sort of humor than us stuffy city slickers.  At the Saturday fair,  there was the son of an elderly couple selling these.  He said if he sold these it would save his parent's marriage.  Why?  Because his mother buys yarn all the time and doesn't use it up....sounds like a stash to  me.  hee hee.  Guess what my sister said as she laughed her head off.....(he was being funny btw)

"I'll take the whole box!"
He was so thrilled to pack up his box, save his parent's marriage, and take the rest of the day off.  He probably saw her Tory Burch sandles coming from far away...(who wears those to the Saturday Fair?)

These really do make a great scrubber....perfect tough scrubber and luscious latherer at the same time.  Am I making any sense?

Does anyone have a pattern for these novelty items?  I've never seen anything like it before.  It's a dollar store scrubber with knitting/crochet around the edges.  Hysterical!  Especially when you bring it to your next house warming party labeled as "The Marriage Saver".

Let me know if you have a pattern or clue as to how to make one...I couldn't find anything in my extensive research ....of course, nothing was posted under "marriage saver"


As Promised TWUM

The World's Ugliest Man....I made him in pottery class in Montreat with the hopes of him being some great garden fabulousness.  But nooooo.....he turned on me.  The only place he should go in the garden in UNDER the garden!  

After I got his face done, I said to myself,  "He's so ugly, what can I do to cover him up" I put leaves all over one side of his head.  The next thing I saw was the rest of the 8 girls at the table putting leaves on their faces too.....then, the teacher followed suit.  I knew I had no where to turn.   The only saving grace is that he is fired in raku which gives him a nice shiny sheen.

He may be ugly but...he's growing on me every day.  

Oh well!

Heart Disease / Obesity

In a recent issue of Quilter's World magazine, I noticed an insert for women's clothing. It was several pages long and an odd size page from the rest of the magazine....sooo.....I took a peak. I quickly realized it was a larger lady "ish" sort of catalog. I was shocked. Sizes starting at 12W to 44W. I'm not even sure what the "W" stands for.

Are we, quilters, branded as having a certain body type?

It made me realized that possibly we are spending too much time in front of our sewing machines and not enough time "beating the streets" with our "feets". Major industries have marketing departments that know this and focus their marketing accordingly.

Because heart disease is near and dear to my heart, and obesity it somehow linked to the quilting industry, I'm going do a few educational posts regarding eating, exercise and general heart disease knowledge. I learn so much from all of you who are so accomplished in the quilting world, now it's my turn to give back.

I realize this may not be what many of you want to hear but if we take care of ourselves we'll be around for those who love us. We are a great "blogland" community, full of support and friendships galore. I hope we can support each other to be healthy.

I hope you will take the time to read these posts as it can only help us in our fight against aging and poor health. I'll try not to hit you over the head with it but truly mean it for support purposes.

My Goal....that I'll never see another "catalog" in my quilting magazine. Those companies will want to run from OUR industry!

Don't worry, I won't stop blogging about "Jane" or any of my other quilting adventures...I'll just throw the heart stuff in there every now and then.

And....(we all raise our glasses) "Here's to having a Healthy Heart" !!!!!!!!

I'm Back from Montreat

on Monday, August 3, 2009

We had such a good time! So much to do and see. It's nice to get out of the city air and enjoy sleeping with the windows open, especially when it rains.

Here's a small list of a few of our fun times:
1- Long walks with the dogs - 3 times a day!
2- Going to "Clubs" every morning and afternoon
3- Skipping rocks on Lake Susan
4-Getting an ice cream at the "Huck"
5- Sunday morning family hikes with Daddy
6- Making pottery at the pottery barn hoping for a masterpiece
7- Blackberry cobbler with friends and s'mores
8- All night "lock in" with the Senior Highs (no sleep...literally)
9- Trout fishing every night at 7:00 - with corn
10-First annual fish fry at Monkey's Bottom - no adults allowed
11- Tennis, tennis, tennis
12-Pottery talk...finding out how hard Davidson really is
13-Making the world's ugliest to follow
14-Mosquitos bites...enough said
15-Mold, mold and more mold....everything is stays wet in the mountains
16-Bear the car, of course
17-"My Father's" pizza - great little restaurant
18- Meeting Baby Logan for the first time (he's 3 but was given a terminal diagnosis at 3 months - doctor declared it a miracle!)
19-Sparklers and barn dances
20-Rock hopping at the Tot Lot

Life, as I know it will resume as usual shortly. School starts in 2 weeks. I will start on my signature blocks nonetheless and dream of a new project. I don't want to get too heavy in to something as I'm saving myself (swoon) for the Spirit Cloth workshop....should be fun.

Have a great day and enjoy the last few days of was a great one!

Quilt Giveaway

Shock of the century! A whole quilt to be given away! At Marie-Madeline Studio.
Hop on over and enter to win! The quilt is fairly large at 66 x 90. Entries close on August 8th with the winner chosen the next day.... Nice!

When was the last time...?

on Saturday, July 25, 2009

.... you went to a barn dance?

And really kicked up your heels and said, "YEE HAW"

Or actually went square dancing and heard the caller say, "Now dig for the clam", and "Take a little peak" and "Tallest buzzard in the middle", "Bow to your partner, bow to your corner" or my favorite, "Now, Promenade"

There's nothing like a good old fashioned square dance. It happens every Friday night in the barn...young and old, rich and poor, dancing knows no boundaries. Last year, I sat on the side lines and hoped to muster up the strength to do just one of the novelty dances but it was not happening....I was getting better and better by the day but dancing was not on the doctor's orders. (see sidebar for Life Flight story)

What do you do if you're not invited to the square dance? find a semi-packed suitcase with a nice mixture of clean/dirty/wet clothes (perfect dog spot) and sulk.

Funny thing happened while we were in Black Mountain yesterday...I saw 2 lab puppies in training with Southeastern Guide Dogs, which is where Noel (pronounced Nole) was born and worked for the first 2 years of his life. Of course, we had a long discussion about him. She asked me if he had a tattoo on the inside of his ear. Sure enough, he is some sort of code for his birth year and litter. He's in retirement to say the least. Noel is loving Montreat with all of it's new bear, raccoon, and who knows what else smells. It is soooo nice and cool up here that we have on fleece every morning during his walks.

Other Montreat happenings...last week my roommate from Salem College (established in 1772, 13th oldest college or university in the U.S.) came to visit with her son. Super fun...we went to the pottery class where I made the world's ugliest man known. He's suppose to go in the garden but the only place I want to put him is under the garden! Photos to follow...maybe.

My favorite class thus far...the pastry class....big surprise, right? I have perfected a pie crust and make a mean apple crisp, not to mention this kind of pocket book looking thing that is too hard to explain but will try at a later date.

Classes for next week: more pottery - I'm making mugs and bowls on the potters wheel, bread making, silk fabric painting and book making classes. Won't that be a fun posting!

Enjoy and don't forget to kick up you heels today and ....dig for the clam!

Expand My Brain Please Lord!

on Friday, July 17, 2009

These are the Rainbow Jane blocks I'll be working on for the next two weeks....That's a nice way of saying... "I need to EXPAND MY BRAIN!"  There are trials that we all need help with in life but this is one of those challenges in life where you just need an expert to sit with you for about the first 10 blocks....then, I think I'd have the techniques nailed down.  

For most of you this is easy and fun and a real pleasure...I do enjoy it but it's tough to work so hard at the piecing and then have it look like the neighbors cat did it.   moving on.....

(Just sneaking in a pic of my summer girls, ages 6 and 12)

Update on my Wavy Wipers....These have saved me this's the story...I've been spending 4-7 hours (I'm not kidding)  in the car everyday going back and forth to ballet, tennis and my boy's job (stringing tennis racquets).  
I've been knitting these goodies while waiting for them or even (I confess) at traffic lights.  I gave these three to Danny's mother-in-law who got tied up by the bad guy with the gun a few days ago.  I think she really liked them!  For that story, click here.  I talked to Jake, the father-in-law (probably in his 80's) who fired three shots at the guy and he said,

"I didn't know if Danny would do what the guy told him to so I had to go do something...we just can't do without Danny, he's been so good to us."  Jake broke out of his hand bindings and hopped upstairs to the kitchen to cut free his leg binding and then went after the guy.  Danny calls him, John Wayne.  

Because their house is so full of "Manly Men"...I had to take them these jalapeno, bacon-wrapped, cream cheese things that are to die for from Pioneer Woman... Recipe here.  All I know is that when I take these to ANY plate comes home clean without fail.  I even make them for myself sometimes.

Here's the last of my Three by Three swap for Anina at Twiddletails.  Kind of Christmasy...after all it is July.

That's all for today...we're packing for our big trip to Montreat, college roommate is coming to stay with me for a bit so we have that to look forward to!  I'll keep you posted on all of our doings. 

 I think I'm even going to play tennis this summer for the firstish time in 15 years....did you know that I played college tennis (see the Salem College t-shirt above)?   Don't get too excited about high school team was better than my college team!  My whole family plays tennis and I mean's just that truly, I'm not a competitive person...My Hero loves to play tennis and I thought I'd give it a go for his sake.  When I look back 18 years ago, I think it was one of the reasons he married me!  

My best shot.... top spin lob to the baseline.


on Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When we moved back here 4 years ago, we were fortunate to find a great tennis coach for my son (15 years old) who lives just a stone's throw from our house. Danny is this kind of fellow you want your kids around and to be influenced by. He's a neat guy, built an apartment in his basement for his in laws, taught both of his boys tennis (both played at Univ of Ga and won NCAA titles), a Harley rider, holds kids accountable, picks up my boy nearly everyday for practice, I could go on and on...

Yesterday at 1:00, with one 10 year old girl at his house playing tennis, they encountered a home invasion. A man with a gun tied everyone up, and shot Danny in the leg. The father-in-law freed himself and was able to get a few shots at the fellow thus scaring him off. The 10 year old watched the whole thing happen.

Danny was later released from the hospital with the bullet still in his leg. The man has not been caught yet. If you're a praying sort of person,,,please pray as you're led.

Heirloom Tomatoes

on Friday, July 10, 2009

If you get a chance to plant Heirloom tomatoes in your garden,  DO IT.  They make such a difference in taste....I wish I could tell you the particular variety but I've done several different kinds and they all taste great and yield tons and tons. 

 Your neighbors will love you when you share!

A Mild Obsession

Everyone knows how much I love the Wavy Wiper (see side bar for Karen's tutorial)...We use them every day...all day...for facecloths, kitchen towels, spills etc.

So.....I decided to try to make one for myself...I'd like to give them as Christmas gifts...BUT...

::::cue music from Sesame Street:::: - "one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong" - Can you tell which ones are mine and which ones are Karen's.  
Oh help, where did I go wrong.  I realize that I'm not the greatest knitter in the world but I'm not awful either.  I've made the usual hats, scarves, baby sweaters, even socks.  But the Wavy Wiper has wiped me out.  
I will try again...I want to get that cute little size, like the original.  I will persevere!

more later on my success!

My First Quilt - A Closet Quilter is Born

on Monday, July 6, 2009

I'll start with my most recent stuff first.  Love that Sue Spargo...don't you...great for beginner's handwork.  My girls did great with this one.

Dear Jane...most of the time she's not so dear but I'm working through our friendship.

This one I did for Baby Girl (my 6 year old daughter), this past Christmas...turned out way better than the picture....all flannels and super comfy.

Another flannel, for my Nutcracker (12 year old daughter), that I worked on last summer while I was recovering from my James Bond moment... check out Life Flight Story on the sidebar.

It's hand quilted.  What bozo hand quilts a flannel quilt?....someone who was in bed all day and about to lose their mind!  

To be perfectly honest...what I really want to start doing is art quilts like you'd see over at Jude Hill at Spirit Cloth.  Her fourth of July piece was fabulous.  My mind just cannot figure out where to start.

And now.....My first quilt:

Definitely a first quilt.  It's not finished yet but maybe someday...I think I realized that buying the cheapest batting at the store was not the thing to's awful.  I think I'll just go with it and whatever will be, will be.  Date on this quilt....maybe 1986.  Check out Simplify and La Vie En Rose. for all the details on a Parade of First Quilts.

This is when I became, what I call now, my closet quilting days.  I was, in fact, a closet quilter.  Someone who doesn't share their passion with anyone for fear they'll lose all their friendships.  After all, I was dating some pretty cool dudes during those years.  My friends would have accepted it OK but I think even my family would have thought I was spending a lot of money on a "phase".

It wasn't really until about 5 years ago, (that's a long time in the closet) that I came out of the closet and wasn't careful about whom I shared the info that I am in fact....a quilter.  Now, I'm more secure and can swallow that hard pill if Joe Brown looks at me with "OK that's creepy, what do I talk about now" look on his face.  

I'll just offer him some sweet tea and move on.  

And so...I offer you this post, proudly labeled....."Quilts".

Wavy Wiper from Messy Karen

on Saturday, July 4, 2009

I am so in love with these "wavy wipers" from Messy Karen....the little red one is a scrubber that she knits with a little piece of tulle woven in there to make it a nice tough scrubber.  I cleaned out her etsy store the last time she had them. 
It arrived the day before Independence Day, so it put me right in the mood!
Thanks Karen

Not So Dear Jane

Disaster has struck....Jane and are not speaking once again...

I will try again on this one as it was so easy...but will try a different method.
I pulled out the freezer paper before I basted it but this time I think I will keep the freezer paper on and pull it out after I stitch in on. 

 Placement may be more of my problem than anything....any suggestions for getting great placement?

Happy 4th

Not Sleeping?

on Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sleepless in Seattle (or HotLanta)?...that's me. I know I'm 45 and it's getting to that stage of life but still. I swear if it weren't for Tylenol PM, I'd be a 2-4 hour a night gal. My large collection of eye concealer tells me that I need more than that.

Last summer, in the hospital, for 7 straight days, I had a beautiful blend of IV fluids and a non prescription sleeping pill every night.
When I got home, you would have thought I'd been to a beauty ranch in California. I was thin, no under eye circles and my skin looked like I was 25. I have my insurance to thank for the $117,000 treatment.

Just thought I'd throw this out there to see if I'm the only night owl in the group.

Sleepless in....

Monet's Water Lilies

on Thursday, June 25, 2009

Living in Atlanta gives you all the advantages of a large metropolitan city and we try to enjoy what it offers.  Last week, I picked up my Nutcracker from ballet and we went 2 blocks south to the High Museum of Art.  What was showing there....Claude Monet's water lilies.
So facinating.

This is probably not what you think of when you think of his water lilies but I think it's interesting that he painted this, his favorite footbridge, after his cataract surgery and he could see things a little more clearly.  He died 3 years later in 1926.  Hard to believe that my mom was 3 years old then!

These are such amazing works of art with as many as 17 layers of paint in some spots. The last one sold in 2007 for 41 million pounds.

This was one of our favorites and certainly a very small one, maybe 4' x 5'.

Can you get a feel for how large they are?  He wanted them displayed in an oval room and so the paintings are actully flat panels curving away from the wall....can you see the shadows at the bottom showing the curve?

He did 19 of these tryptich, super large paintings (60-70 feet long) and 250-300 smaller ones...all with the same theme...water lilies.

Here's his house in Giverny, France.  We didn't get to see it last year when we were in Paris because it was closed but I went in my 20s with my mother...unforgettable.

It was a very simple house with very little furnishings.  It is amazing to me that he moved his family from Paris to the outskirts.  At the time that was death to an up and coming artist... I think he just wanted a garden!  We, creative types, love a gardern, don't we?!

Personally, I think he loved his family and the great outdoors.  Many of the other artsits he hung out with were not family folks at all.  

This is his famous footbridge in his garden.  And does look like this....(take a look back at the second picture from the top).

Those pea gravel pathways are still there.

We did get to the L'Orangerie Museum in Paris last year to see the large collection of water lilies there. Two large oval rooms (that Claude envisioned) with 8 huge triptychs. No one says a will leave you speechless and bring a tear to your eye.  Baby Girl (5  at the time) ran around the room just from the excitement, beauty and magnitude of such a creation.  I allowed her to do it just twice since it was just us and the security guard in the room and he was getting a chuckle out of her thrill.

Thanks Monet for giving us a thrill and a tear all at the same time.  Isn't that a fun emotion? We rarely get to experience that one, n'est-ce pas?

(How cute is this....look, she still has her ballet tights on!)