Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Check out

this post if you find yourself leaving comments on blogs and NEVER getting a response from the blog host. 

Stitchin' Sweet Sue recently wrote about the discovery that her comments were posting as 'no reply' comments.  In my case, I get my comments emailed to me.  My badness at thanking or writing back to each commenter doesn't always have anything to do with my bad blog-host manners.  It's sometimes because your comments come up as 'no reply'.  Sometimes I can dig a little deeper and find your blog and email address but, more often than not, I just appreciate your comment and move on. 

So, when Sue wrote her post about discovering her own comments were 'no reply' I asked her to write about how to change that.  Hope it helps.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The day after.

We're winding up a nice quiet holiday.  Soon we'll be back to work, drama club set build, and the college kids are in and out but with less noise and frequency than when they first got home. 

When Buttercup isn't at set build she's busy soaking up her new books.  Here she is Christmas the midst of the unwrapping.  She just couldn't resist a peak.
We had a blast with this game.  I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys games.  Fun and funny.  On our first go through we didn't want to quit even when a winner had been declared. 

I also wrapped up the Santa Sack Swap 2.   Here is my post about what Betsy sent me. She totally spoiled me. 

I've been stitching a few Christmas pieces these last couple weeks.  I'll post pictures soon.  I'd like to get done as much as I can before New Year's so I can get back to some of the bigger projects I have going.  So, watch for some stitching finishes by the end of the week.   

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Busy times

There is always something to do this time of year.  Baking, shopping, cleaning and so on. 

I almost have everything ready.  There is more baking and wrapping but I ran out of paper today.  That goes on top of the shopping list for Friday.  I keep hoping I'm done going to stores but I guess not.  The baking is mostly optional so if I discover I'm out of something I can decide at that time if it's worth buying or not. 

I have a few pictures to show.  First up is the Bon Bon Linda won for knowing or guessing correctly about the pie marker.  I made myself one earlier this year.  So simple.  It would be a neat way to finish a small cross stitch, too.  (There is candy inside.) 

Here are the cookies I baked the other day.  They're simple chocolate chips with swirly chips added. 
Every last one got bagged up and taken to church for the Cheer baskets.  Not knowing people's diet restrictions I kept the cookies simple. 
I finally took a picture of the tree.  It sure looks crooked, doesn't it? It's just me or the way I'm holding the camera.  The kids have even placed a few gifts under it.  In our house we wait for Santa to bring the presents.  I think I always loved that thrill of seeing the presents under the tree on Christmas morning so I don't leave any presents around for anyone to see.  I don't even like to see mine. 
I hope everyone else has everything under control. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Tree comes home.

One tradition we hold firm to is cutting our tree.  We climb to the tippy top of the world, trudge through the rows and without fail pick the best one. 

The family joke is that it's ALWAYS the worst weather of the year when we go.  There isn't a lot of flexibility...there are only a few weekends when we can go and chances are good there is only 1 day of a particular weekend we can go. 

To date, we're having an unusually mild winter.  We can almost face the day without a coat.  Certainly gloves can be left behind. 

How about today?  Nope.  No chance.  It's tree cutting day.  Bundle up. 

The hunt is on.

 Oops, I neglected to get a 'before' picture. 
We don't go small, either. 

I need to work on my indoor photography skills.  I think it needs to be dark outside to get a picture that captures the tree at it's best. 

Note to Santa:  Bring it on.  I'm ready. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Well, there you have it...

#15 and a winner.

I know, you want the winner first.  It is...

I had 5 correct guesses.  The item is a pie marker or cutter so you can get 8 even slices from a pie.  I will surely use it.  I thought maybe the remark about church would throw you off... which it may have given the low number of correct guesses.  We have several at church and use them for pie cutting when we have a dinner.  (Remember the number of times I've had to bake pies for church?  We're big on pies.)

So, Linda... watch for a little package.  Congratulations. 

And finally, I've completed the Crazy January Challenge. 

Would I do it again?  No.  It was fun but once was enough.  I'd like to pick and chose as I go.  Also, I don't like having so many WIP's.  In fact, I'm going back to stitching a few things that were left in the dark during the past year. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

So far

there are a few correct guesses on yesterday's mystery item. 

I'm moderating comments so they'll stay secret. 

Is it really that hard or isn't anybody reading to the bottom of the post to even find out there is a game?? 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Roc the day

Has anyone heard of this?  Given the publicity around here I thought it was a national thing.  Guess not.  It's a one day fund drive to raise money for nonprofit agencies in the Rochester area. 

A cool idea and I think I'm going to be addicted to watching the $$ amount go up today.  I am one of the first 1200 people who made a donation this morning.  Our local food pantry, The Friendship House, is who I thought of first thing.  I could go on for ages about how I feel about them and what they do in our community.  Amazing. 

Anyhow, I'm supposed to be doing housework today.  Instead I keep thinking up reasons to stop by my computer. 

Anyone know what this is?

I was excited to find it at the antique store when I was looking for the sifter.  Now, nobody from my church can guess.  You guys already know exactly what this is. 

Prizes?  Sure, I'll send the winner something.  Such pressure this time of year, but I'm going to wait to see who guesses right..... a drawing will apply if you're all right.  By Sunday, OK?  (Comments only, please.) 

Decking the halls

This year I've been slow to get the halls decked.  Too many other things happening.  It took me about 2 weeks to complete this little piece. 

I was inspired by a post on Paulette's blog.  First she was inspired by a little centerpiece she saw on someone's blog.  Here is the first post and here is Paulette's post where she shows us how to make a wool gingerbread man then puts her display together.  It's cool the way each of us has put our own spin on it.  The key element is the old sifter.  I stopped at an antique store between here and the mall after a day of hard shopping.  I found several but opted for this one with the crank on the top.  I'd never seen one like that.  Then I made the little quilt with some primitive holiday fabrics.  I opted for cinnamon/applesauce cut out shapes, some fresh cedar branches and some rose hips.  Both of those are too sharp for the cat to bother.    Not a bad start. It's sitting on the breakfast bar above the sink so I can see it all the time.

Friday, December 2, 2011


I had no idea this would be such a quick stitch.  Snowmen always take a long time...all those rows of white.  In reality, these are just little 2 inch squares.  How long could they possibly take? 

One lone Crazy January Challenge piece left.  Give me a week.... 2 at the most.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Me again.

I have a couple finishes to show.  As promised, I finished my 13th January Challenge piece... Pumpkin Patch Quilts by Gail Bussi from the September 2010 issue of Cross Stitch & Needlework.

It matches this pillow I made a couple years ago.  I'd have to dig up the details but I'm pretty sure it came from the same magazine but maybe the 2006 or 2007 edition. 
That leaves me with 2 more to complete.  I'm pretty sure that's going to happen, although the urge to stitch some ornaments has hit. 

Today I finished the first block in a year long block of the month....The Great Pumpkin.  Just in the nick of time since the 5th installment of Little Red Barns arrived today.  It's a doozie, too.  (Oh, shoot.  The bird is supposed to have an eye.) 
I will be doing some gift sewing so I'll either have to work it in or just give in to the fact that I'm going to fall behind at the very end. 
Finding any good Cyber deals?  ABC Stitch is having a black Friday sale.  Treat yourself to a peak and order something.  Does anyone buy you stash for the holidays?  If the answer is 'no' go order something! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bring on the food.

I can say that because this is how we spent our morning.....

What a beautiful morning for an outing. 

Tons of people showed up, classic Christmas music was piped in, and we walked off our dinner before eating it.
This is the first year I could go.  I'm usually the one left behind with the kitchen work.  This time I planned ahead.  I am cooking a small turkey and a full breast so it will take much less time. 

Hope everyone has eaten their fill and is contemplaing their game plan for tomorrow.  I'm hitting a few local stores.  Not at any crazy early hour or anything but one can always use something from Joann's at rock bottom prices and while I'm out... I might as well visit a few stores in the same plaza. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let the work begin

It's all about the food on Thanksgiving.  First we pour over the cookbooks.  Is there something we'd like to try?  A new pie?  New stuffing?  I just love Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. 
However, I still fall back on Betty.  All my turkey cooking instructions come from her.  Need a great mac & cheese recipe... page 167.  How about apple crisp?  Page 124.  You still just can't get away from those basics.  See how well loved my book is?
The first 2 pies were the standard Thanksgiving pies... pumpkin and mincemeat.  There is an apple crumb in the oven.  What spices to mix with the apples came from Gooseberry but I chose to make the apple crisp topping to put on the pie half way through baking.  I pinched a little and put it in the fridge to use on the sweet potatoes tomorrow. 
A holiday staple?  Strawberry jello with marshmallows.  Some long ago altered recipe that is a must on our table.  Not putting marshmallows on one end is a concession to my husband who eats it but removes the marshmallows first. 
Hope every one's kitchen is a-buzz with day before cooking.

I am pretty sure one more evening of stitching (one where I'm not half dead tired) and I'll have a finish to show. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Will I? Won't I?

Can I?  Can't I?  That's the question and the answer is YES.... I'm going to finish the Crazy January Challenge one way or another by the end of the year.  I have 45 days to do it.  Here are some progress pictures.  They're B.A.D. I know.  I had a super late night at work last night, an extra early morning wake up call, and am not in the mood for pressing and fussing.  The idea is there....

First up from day 8: Tournicoton's 'Père Noël Charmant'.  This piece is full of specialty stitches.  It was killing me and making me not want to pick it up.  After many rounds of stitching and un-stitching I decided to use mostly regular ol' cross stitches.  I'm much happier working on it and am pleased with how it looks. 

Here is Pumpkin Patch Quilts from the September 2010 issue of Cross Stitch and Needlwork.  This was project #13.  I looked forward to this one all year and finally picked it up in September.  It's fun and whimsical and easy.  There is a lot of back stitching but it goes quickly.  I still have the border to do and a few stars.  I saved those incase the back stitching wore me down. 
No photo necessary for this last one.  I just uploaded the same one I posted on January 6th.  You know what that means, right?  It hasn't seen the light of day since January 6th.  Guess it will be the last of my 15.  Bent Creek's Photobooth Snowmen.
So, my shopping trip.  This is all that came home.  I was really trying. 
2 yard cuts of fabric for my quilt guild exchange and lots of thread. 
One final thing.... the real reason for today's post.  The Boy Wonder turns 19 today.  I hate being away from my kids on their birthday.  Somehow it seems like a day I should get to share with them.  We visited him on Saturday, took presents, a cake and went out to supper.  Probably that's more then I'd see of him if he was home so it's all good. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Don't tell but

I've been doing a little costume sewing.  I don't want to be sucked into sewing for the drama club...that's a job beyond my abilities.

Buttercup needed a kilt so I read some online instructions, found the appropriate fabric, and whipped this up last Friday afternoon. 

Not bad for someone who doesn't garment sew.  I always liked doing Halloween costumes and since we're well past that stage a little costume sewing is actually fun.  There is just no way I could pull off the creative costumes I see on stage.  Velcro and elastic, that's what I can do.

The play, Macbeth, is happening this coming weekend.  Buttercup plays Lady McDuff.  I think she gets murdered but....shhhh.....don't tell me.  She plays some other minor rolls, too, but I'm not sure what all.  I like the element of surprise.

We're feeding the cast and crew tonight.  I have 2 crock pots full of sloppy joe's ready to go.  Yum. 

I am off to a little quilt store nearby.  Thread is on sale.  Want to take bets on whether or not I come home with more then thread??  Yea, I thought not. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sewing for a cause.

Again, with the charity sewing. 

 While I belong to my quilt guild for selfish reasons.... the fun and friendship.... I love doing whatever charity sewing we think up.  I made these 4 pillowcases for the local VA hospital's hospice care unit.  It's fun to use some fabrics I would admire from afar and never find a way to work into a quilt.  I'm also on the committee for our next opportunity quilt.  That's where we sew a quilt  as a group then raffle it off with the money going to a worthy cause.  This time it's to a local food pantry... the founder of which was just honored by President O'Bama with the Citizen's Medal.  Seriously.... I hope that news link stays available for a while.  That women puts the rest of us to shame.  She's 94 and her energy is beyond our imagination. 

Anyway, back to sewing for me....  I finished the 4th block of the Red Barn BOM.  (The top right barn....)
 And, Anna sent me my prize for coming in second in her challenge.  I got the pretty primitive pin cushion and a little bitty Wild Rose 2" square charm pack from the BBD folks who kicked in prizes for the challenge.  I'm sure Anna made the lovely card, too.  Thank you, Anna. 
Busy, busy fall happenings continue around my house.  One kid is just done with swim season and the college season begins.  We will make a trip this weekend to watch a meet and celebrate the Boy Wonder's 19th birthday.  How do they get that old so fast?  Just a few months ago he was 3 and staying close by my side.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Crazy Legs

If The Hat Fits by Buggy Barn will forever be known as The Crazy Legs Quilt. 

Ok, so maybe putting all those legs on my Halloween table runner was a bad idea.  (And while we're being critical, let's not discuss the one odd pair of shoes, ok?  Things happen.  They're witches.  One can be different, right?) 
The legs are 3D and dangle off the quilt.  To date, all I have are the legs, and alas,  I have to set it aside and work on some holiday projects.  I'll be happy the legs are done some dark and snowy winter day when I drag this back out. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The silent treatment

& simple pleasures. 

I have laryngitis.  I get laryngitis more then the average person.  This time it's hanging on a good long time.  Took real team work to get thru my work day yesterday.  I'm alone in my office so I needed to rely on the kindness of the people in another department to make a few phone calls.  My bailiff pitched in with a few once he was in.  I sure wished I could text people but that hasn't seemed to have caught on in the working world.  Sure kept our court session short and sweet. 

I've been driving a friend to her physical therapy sessions once a week for the last month or so.  Well, today she asked for an extra little favor.  Her daughter had given birth to a baby boy this morning and she asked if we could take some time to visit.  You don't EVER have to ask me twice to visit a baby!  A 10 hour old baby, no less.  The baby's mom used to baby sit for my kids.... a lifetime ago it seems. 

Is there anything sweeter?  I kept back and tried to keep my germs to myself.  This little guy has 2 older school age brothers.  Probably I was the least of his worries! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

JCS ornament

I finished my first ornament from this year's Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue.

Jeannette Douglas Designs:  Noel Stamp Ornament 2011.

I didn't finish it like a stamp...instead I did my favorite beaded edge ornament.  I used the called for fibers, a scrap of PTP Highland linen, and Mill Hill glass beads # 2078.  I went to 2 shops and none of them had the called for bead color.  They'd never heard of it.... didn't have an empty slot on their bead racks so our best guess was that they were new.  I just picked a good match and I think they're perfect.  I used DMC 315 to make the cording.  I didn't want to use up my expensive Gentle Arts Sampler Thread.  I also left off the 2011 on the front.  It's on the back where I put my initials.  By the time I was done and thinking about the back, there was no way I cared to stitch another little tiny 1 over 1 X.  The entire ornament isn't 1 over 1....just the bird and the letters. 

We'll see if I manage anymore ornaments this year.  There are just so many projects and so little time. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I love showing

you all pictures of my finished things.  Every one's so darn kind.  Who says our society has lost any sense of kindness?  They're looking in the wrong place! 

Since someone asked I'll post the pattern details..... The pattern is Snowmen on Parade by Under the Garden Moon.  Look at this link from Erica's.  Go down about 2/3 of the page then you'll see it.  If you're unfamiliar with Erica's...plan to spend some time browsing.  They have such a great selection of patterns, kits, and embellishment kits.  I didn't get mine from Erica's.  I got it as a monthly row-by-row club at a shop that's done carrying it. 

Anyone need a good chuckle? Check out this little ditty from my Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting e-newsletter. I love that magazine. Every featured quilt can be purchased in kit form.

Anyhow, I've copied this directly from the newsletter so I'm giving credit where credit is due.

There Will Be Pins: How to be a Quilter's Husband

Submitted by Patrick Cook, the husband of Valorie Cook from Grand Rapids, MI

So your wife is a quilter. That doesn't seem so bad, does it? It's a nice quiet hobby, conjuring up images of our sturdy pioneer mothers, keeping their families warm and creating beauty out of old shirts and printed feedbags. You think of plump grannies in rocking chairs, piecing a Log Cabin block by firelight, cat asleep at her feet. An idyllic picture, right?

You're living in a dream world, buddy. They buy their fabric whole now, in yardage and "fat quarters" (whatever they are). They cut this perfectly good cloth into smaller pieces, and then painstakingly, by hand, sew them back together. This process calls into question all the advances of the industrial revolution.

Quilting generates a blizzard of debris. Fabric scraps and batting clog and burn out your vacuum cleaner. (Hint: don't go barefoot. Your feet were never meant to be pincushions). The cat frequently swallows a length of discarded thread. Soon, one of two things will happen; you won't like either of them.

This is not the end of your problems. There are frequent expensive trips to the fabric store, and even more expensive quilt shows in faraway cities. There are bees, which are little groups of quilters who get together occasionally to complain about their husbands and children. These bees may meet in church basements, but occasionally they come to your house and take over the dining room table. Your presence in the next room won't intimidate them.

Quilting also tends to take up more and more of the house. Sure, your wife might decide at some point that she has enough fabric. I've never seen this myself, but it could happen. More likely, your home will become a candidate for that TV show where some poor fellow's dead body is found under a collapsed pile of old newspapers. In your case, it will be a tower of yardage and color-matched prints.

As far as I know, there is no twelve-step program for quilters, but you may avoid codependency by following these tips:

Set up a space outside the living area for the quilting equipment and fabric storage. I have refinished the basement, and we are moving everything down there. Other husbands have constructed pole barns, rented industrial space, or moved to another city under an assumed name.

Have your wife make a small business out of her hobby. Internet sales can be lucrative. They might even partially make up for the enormous sums she spends. Very important: Do not participate in the business yourself. First thing you know, you'll be maintaining complicated machinery, acting as an errand boy, and dealing with the post office. You have better things to do.

Don't be tempted to accompany your wife to quilt shows, thinking that time together will add spark to your relationship. You won't see her all day. You'll wander around aimlessly among the booths, finding nothing remotely interesting. Sure, you could meet other lost husbands, and find camaraderie in the nearest bar. Usually, though, a woman in a quilted vest will mistake you for a fabric vendor. She will try to hustle you for free samples.

Don't try to distract your wife with other activities, such as gardening, cooking or housework. Though she may have done these things in the past, that's all over now. Quilting is her life. Accept your fate. Learn to cook and run the vacuum. Get a hobby of your own. You could join a softball team-slow-pitch, preferably-or learn simple carpentry skills. Then build a pole barn and move into it yourself.

Finally, remember you are not alone. There are plenty of other quilt-widowers out there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

One last

quilty finish.  Snowmen on Parade is home from the long arm quilters and has binding and a hanging pocket. 

I stopped by the quilt shop to pick up a different quilt and this one was on the machine.  It was so cool to see it all stretched out and being worked on.  Did I have a camera?  Yes.  Did it occur to me to get it out of my purse?  No.  Idiot. 

Thanks for the compliments on Peppermint Twist.  I was going to run into Joann's this weekend and look for red velvet fabric but I didn't have a coupon.  No reason not to wait. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My first Crazy

January Challenge piece is finally finished.  Not my first, as in the first ever, but the one I started on January 1st.

This was a hard won finish.  It just took me forever to stitch.  40 count linen just isn't for me. 

Wrinkles and all.  The red ran on a prior wetting so I'm going to have to address that problem soon.  It will either all have red run spots or I'll get them out. 
There's one big mistake in this piece.  I know nobody would notice but it harkens back to my previously address problems with the color Pablano Pepper.  That color is out to get me.  Apparently some lengths of thread worked themselves into this batch of threads and I used it as the light green on the left side of the picture instead of the green the word 'peace' is written in.  Figures.  It works so I left it alone.  Plus, I didn't notice until after stitching for 2 hours and there was no way I was going backwards on this. 
I'm imagining this finished as a pillow with red velvet.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The weather outside is frightful...

so what do the parents of a cross country runner do?  They bundle up and face the cold. 

The Boy Wonder came home Friday for homecoming.  We took him to his meet Saturday morning where he rode the bus back to school with his team after the race. 

 He's visiting with his sister and some camp friends who came to see him run. 
  They're off....into some serious mud.

There he goes.  Notice the rain drops on my camera lens.  This race was at a state park on the north end of one of the Finger Lakes.  The perks..... it's pretty and the facilities are unlocked.  Woot.  No port-a-johns.  The down side.... it's windy along the lakes on a nice day.... on a windy day...bundle up and brace yourself. 

On a different note...... my raffle quilt.  If you haven't seen the post just click the link and check out the quilt I made and donated to our church to be raffled. 

The drawing was Saturday night following our fall fund raising dinner.  The winner was a local women who was super excited.  She said she'd never won anything before except a brain.  What?  Turns out she used to be a science teacher and won it at a conference.  Fun times?  Maybe, but I'm not sure it's the place for me.

Anyhow, she bought her ticket right at the dinner.  Lucky her.  I really wanted someone to win who'd purchased a ticket from me.  Narcissistic?  Maybe.  But, lots of 'me' goes into a project like that.  Anyway, I was happy that the winner exuded such happiness. 

I owe a huge THANK YOU to everyone who bought tickets.  I was rooting for you.  What also caused me great happiness is the amount of money the quilt raised.... just a few dollars short of $1000.  WOOT.  Makes me want to get busy on another one! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Miles and miles

of binding later I have another quilt finish to show. 

The fabric is Hemingway by Windham Fabrics and I just had to make something from it.  The problem was what?  I found this pattern for a miniature quilt so I enlarged it on graph paper.  It will eventually go on a bed with a deep mattress so I added more length around the sides.  I also made matching pillow cases. 

 Somehow it's always hard to capture the real life colors.  It's all very tropical and Key West like. 
 For the backing I used this fabric from the same line. 
I don't think there are any pins hiding in the middle of this one.