Friday, December 31, 2010

Guilty Pleasure

Once I start a jigsaw puzzle, I can barely drag myself away from the table. Doing jigsaw puzzles is my guilty pleasure, so I try to do them only at the holiday season.  This is my New Year's Eve puzzle, only I finished it by noon today.  Oops.  So I ran out to the store and bought another puzzle which I started tonight - New Year's Eve - and will finish tomorrow morning while watching the Rose Bowl Parade.

Next week I will get back to quilting again.  The holidays are over, the puzzles will be completed, and it will be time to clear off my cutting table (that will take a day), make a list of my UFO's, and get busy making/finishing some quilts.

Happy New Year to all...........

Monday, December 27, 2010

Puzzle finished...

Finished up this puzzle yesterday.  It was not an easy puzzle to do.  I kept having to refer to the picture on the box and sometimes I was just sure that a piece must belong to another puzzle.  I do love putting puzzles together though, even when my back is aching from leaning over the table.  I have another puzzle to do on New Year's Eve and then I am through with puzzles until next Christmas/New Years.

In roaming around Ravelry one day, I saw a pattern for a "potato chip" scarf.  It is named "potato chip" because you supposedly cannot do just one.  Clever.  I am using some leftover yarn I had in my meager stash just to try out the pattern.  It really should be done with a softer yarn.  However, it is fun to knit, and occupies my hands while watching TV.

My New Year's To Do list (of craft projects) is long, long, long.  Will this be the year I actually cross off every item on my list?  I say YES.  It is so easy to be optimistic around January 1st.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Puzzle Time

Each year, at Christmas and New Years, I allow myself the time to put some jigsaw puzzles together.  750 tiny pieces of puzzle pleasure.  This is not an easy puzzle, so it may take me until New Years to get it done!

Hope you are having a Merry Day also.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting organized in 2011 (Don't laugh)

As 2011 fast approaches, I am thinking about how I want to get myself organized.  It all starts with my desk/office area.  After seeing pictures in a few magazines of highly organized (and cute) desks, I am green with envy and determined to do something about my messes.

(Please note that the magazine pictures have NO wires showing, from the lamps or computers.  And most of the desks don't even have a computer on it.  Come on.........  get real.)

Here are pictures of my messy office. 

The wires.

The computer desk.

The auxiliary desk.

Under the auxiliary desk.

Today I spent several hours organizing the pictures on my computer.  There were 450 files of pictures to organize.  I have eliminated and re-organized 63 of those files and am up to the year 2006.  Digital pictures are mighty convenient, but keeping them organized is a daunting task.  (We won't even mention the boxes of unorganized printed pictures stored in my basement.)

I wrote out a LONG list of cleaning/organizing projects to occupy my time in 2011.  Will I ever have time to quilt or stitch or knit?  Yes I will.  I have also decided to carve out time each day for all my crafts.  

And now, since I don't have to do anything until 2011, I think I will go read a book.  

Please do not remind me of the list I made for 2010 - or the seven year goals I set back three (four?) years ago.

Ever optimistic.................

Thursday, December 9, 2010

No Sewing Here

There is no sewing going on here.  I have been busy with other things and although I am having fun and enjoying the Christmas season, I'm also looking forward to January when I can concentrate again on quilting, stitching and knitting projects.

Tonight I am having friends over for dinner and an evening of knitting and/or making some simple Christmas decorations.  The table is set.

The wreath is up on the fireplace and a Christmas card from one of my favorite people is proudly displayed.

Although I decided that I would not decorate for Christmas this year, a few favorite things have found their way onto tables and walls.  Here are a few favorite Santas.

Today (and every day) I am grateful for friends, good food, a fire in the fireplace, and wonderful smells coming from the kitchen.

Friday, December 3, 2010


In the midst of working on various Christmas projects, I took an hour out to make this apron.

It is a panel - Cookie Jar Treats Apron by Wendy Edelson (licensed to Wilmington Prints).  There are two pockets that are cut to perfectly match the fabric.  I seldom purchase panels, but this one was well worth the price.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Decorating

Today I put my tree up.
(OK, OK, so it's a little itty bitty thing - it's a Christmas Tree!)

I also put out these two place mats that I started two years ago and finally finished today.

Of course good old St. Nick (made by Lindsay) was hung in the place of honor in my living room.

A woolie made by Moe  -

a quilt made by Melanie -

and a 12 Days of Christmas quilt (made by me) -

and a Scentsy warmer with the Nativity scene
complete most of my Christmas decorating for 2010

(Just love that Silent Night Scentsy warmer! ! )


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Tonight I finished knitting the scarf to go with my very first knitted sweater.  Now I have a complete ensemble for a very cold day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Borders on

My blue and white nine-patch quilt top is finished.  The next step is making the backing and binding - and deciding whether to quilt it myself or send it out.  (mmmmmm - me thinking - mmmmmmm)  Who am I kidding?  It will get sent out!

(Too bad the navy blue border does not photograph well - it goes so nicely with the quilt.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Slow, slow progress

Yes, I am making very slow progress on the projects posted recently on this blog.  Today I had a chance to work on the borders for the blue & white nine-patch and hope to get them finished tomorrow.

My sewing time was made easier by the addition of a new bendable light given to me by my cousin.  Every time I threaded my needle today I hit my target the first time - and I'm sure it was because of the good light spotlighting the needle and presser foot.

While watching TV tonight I also worked a little on this Halloween stitchery.  This is a particularly slow project because the 32 count fabric is a real challenge for me to see.  I can only do a little at a time before everything starts to get blurry.  However, I so enjoy stitching, even though it goes so slowly.

Today I am grateful for -
1.  Visiting with friends.
2.  My new bendable light.
3.  Enjoying Dancing With The Stars.
4.  The Down comforter I recently purchased.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Progress on the nine-patch

All the blocks, sashing and  rows are sewn together.

Here is a close-up of the applique block.

Next I will add two borders - one small red border and one larger blue border.

Today I am grateful for -
1.  Good friends
2.  An excellent lunch with included French Fries coated with Truffle Oil. 
3.  The wonderful colors of Fall.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Japanese Paper Quilting

Tonight I took a class in Japanese Paper Quilting at the local card/scrap book shop.  I made four cards for Halloween.  The class was well organized and productive.  The teacher was patient with me as I was the only one that had not taken a previous class in the technique.

I will definitely take another class at this shop again.  It was well worth the cost - plus you get a 10% discount on anything  you buy.  I bought some paper because I only have 10,000 pieces at home and I just might run out.

Monday, October 25, 2010

First Knitted Sweater - EVER

Today I finished my first knitted sweater ever.  It is by no means perfect, however, it is roomy, very warm, and will be wonderful for those cold, cold winter days when I am working in my basement studio.

I had a hard time figuring out how to take a picture of me actually wearing the sweater.  This is the best I could do.

The sleeves are too long and extremely roomy and the sweater itself is a teeny bit short.  I'm very proud of my accomplishment though, and it will get worn a lot at home.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Scrappy Quilt

This little quilt is made entirely of scraps from my 2-1/2 inch container and my 4-1/2 inch container.  My friend Moe did the machine quilting.

Here is the pieced back.

I decided to machine sew the binding as usual to the front, and then sew in the ditch to finish the back side of the binding.  I have never done that before and although the back side is not perfectly even and some of the stitching is a little wobbly, it still looks OK because it is black.

This little piece of stitchery is one I purchased recently.  Unfortunately I did not look closely at what I was buying and was dismayed to discover that the fabric is 32 count.  With my poor eyesight, 32 count is a real challenge.  I have my eyeball practically on top of the magnifying glass to find my place.  Thank goodness this is a small project!

The sweater I was knitting is now finished.  I just need to sew it together and steam block it.  Pictures to come soon.  There was one skein of yarn leftover so I decided to make a matching scarf, adding another skein of contrasting color from the same yarn family.  I am knitting it length-wise, so there are 275 stitches on my circular needle.

Today I am grateful for -
1.  A scrambled egg for breakfast.
2.  A phone call from a dear friend.
3.  The freedom to choose which project (from many) that I want to work on and which to ignore.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Glorious weather

No quilting or knitting or stitching to blog about.  However, I had company here this past week and we had a great time shopping, going to the theater (Billy Elliot - fabulous), eating, laughing, talking, and thoroughly enjoying each other's company.

One day we drove to Lake Geneva Wisconsin and while they all investigated the shops, I sat down by the shore, watching the seagulls, and enjoying the sunshine.  The wind was strong off of the lake and kept the sun from being too hot on my face.  Every once in a while, the wind would pick up some sand and I could feel it pricking my face.  All the seagulls stood facing the sun too, and when the wind whipped that sand around, the seagulls all turned their faces to the right like a precision marching troupe.  

These pictures were taken on my phone, facing into the sun so that I could not see the screen at all.  Yes, that is my thumb on the one picture.  Of course the pictures do not capture the atmosphere as I felt it.  I will not forget my time by the lake, drinking in the glorious fall afternoon.

Lake Geneva is a beautiful lake with magnificent homes along it's shores.  I wish I could have seen where my camera lens was pointing so that I could have gotten better pictures.  Oh well, the pictures I took are lousy, but they will remind me of a special time.