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? ...you 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 does....it 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 summer...here'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 function....my 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, NC...my 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 that...my high school team was better than my college team!  My whole family plays tennis and I mean everybody...it'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 do...it'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