Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Freedom from the house.  Finally.  Except for a short jaunt yesterday afternoon for a few groceries we hadn't been out of the house since Friday afternoon.  Can you say cabin fever?  The weather has turned spring-like.  The university was back to normal this morning so The Tramp went off to work.  Much to her disgust, ED's office was still closed so she and The Viking came up to town today and we amused ourselves by going out for lunch and a bit of shopping, and a visit to Nanny and Papa.

By last night I had the center of my En Provence quilt put together.  Now I'm working on the borders.  Decisions will need to be made soon as I want to make it larger to fit my bed.  I have an idea in my head, but I've no idea if it's executable.  Other ideas are percolating as well.

Well dang!  I just this moment looked across the room at the quilt top and spotted a mistake.  Easy to fix thank goodness.  I hopped up to put a safety pin in the place to mark it.  In a day or so I should turn it over so I can see the bottom rows clearly and maybe I'll spot something else.  Hmmmmmm.  Better yet.  I should just show it to my dad and he'll spot my mistakes right away.  No excuses with Dad around!  :-D

For Christmas, The Tramp gifted me this book which was on my wish list.  My Luna Lapin is in progress.  I'm very pleased with her head and am auditioning buttons for the eyes.  The inner ear and footpads on the Luna in the book are lovely Liberty prints.  She has blue coat and tweed skirt with lace knickers.  My Luna is going to be less demure and more mod.  In theory at least. :-)

Tomorrow The Viking and I will be out stretching our legs at the fitness club.  He loves the dance, gymnastics and yoga classes in the Kids Academy and I will go upstairs and sweat it out with the exercise equipment.  Tomorrow afternoon will be all about baking.  Yes, it will involve chocolate.  ;-)  So I'd better sweat a lot!!  lol

Monday, January 9, 2017

You would think.....

We've been iced in since Friday evening so you would think I could have found time to write before now.  But no.  Seemed like a good time to take off from everything and just sew.  So I have sewed.

Back in November I had to finish up my gift for my SSCS partner and get it mailed off to Fiona in Australia.  I made a tiny world pincushion for her and am happy to report that it arrived in one piece.

I hope she enjoys using it.  I use mine all the time.  It's easy to grab and move from table to table.  Pins all around and needles in the house....and thimble on top like a chimney.  :-)

I also sent one of these hot chocolate ornaments to Fiona.  This is part of the batch I made for family members.  So cute!

Like I have nothing else to do, I joined Molli Sparkles Honey Pot Bee group on Facebook.   The first block he shared was this cute wonky tree.  I grabbed the first fabrics I stumbled over which were waiting to be put away in the stash.  They happened to be pink and grey and I made up a few blocks.  So far my version is not very exciting so it's been put away to age for a while.

The Viking chose these fat quarters at Walmart ages ago.  I finally put his pillow together for him.  He is quite pleased with it.

I also dug out this old UFO.  It's a jacket I started at a workshop with Karen Eckmeier at least three years ago.  I got stuck when I didn't like some of the quilting I'd done and it's been waiting for me to sit and unpick.  The jacket is finally done.  I just need to get a photo of it!

The Viking decided to wear his jacket upside down on this day.  Love the attitude!

Stardust looking bright and Christmassy.

The Tramp and I even went out to dinner for the first time in a very long time.  A nice treat!  This restaurant seems to be very careful about their gluten-free cooking and we haven't had a problem.  So The Tramp enjoyed some pizza without worrying.

Christmas Eve we joined the neighbors setting out luminaries.  It was drizzling a bit but not enough to douse the candles thank goodness.

The Sailor Son was able to get away and join us for a few days.  He and the dogs always have a good time.  :-)

Pretty Christmas Eve view from the front door.

And a lovely Christmas morning.  I made bacon and egg pie again this year which everyone enjoyed. Gifts too of course!

My other SSCS partner sent me this wonderful stitchery.  Love those snowmen!  Thank you so much Maria.

Dawn, one of The Quilting Babes, sent us all a color wheel cushion cover.  It was the perfect size to go over one of the old cushions on the couch.  Love the splash of color.  :-)

Colorful gifts all around.

We took The Sailor Son, The Viking and Dad to see the Rolling Sculpture exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

The cars were spectacular.  We could only speculate how much money on wheels was in the building.  Wow.  It was all a bit above The Viking's head, but he did pose for a few photos.  Not sure why he insisted on posing with his mouth open in front of this one.  :-)

The descriptive information was very interesting and The Tramp bought the accompanying book so we could all read it at our leisure.  My absolutely favorite car was this Hispano-Suiza, a one of a kind.  It was huge.  Most of the cars were huge.  Something you just don't realize until you are standing next to them.

On Friday the rain started and during the night the temperature dropped significantly.  We were on the line between sleet and rain and multiple inches of snow.  We got less of the snow, but since it is still frigid outside, and will be tomorrow as well, we are still stuck indoors.

We did go out to scrape what we could off our steep driveway so the sun could do it's work.

This was this morning.  Brrrrrrrrrr!

So I've holed up inside and worked on the En Provence mystery quilt.

I plan to get the rest of the rows put together tomorrow and get started on the borders.  I can't wait to see it in one piece!

The New Zealand grands are enjoying their summer holidays though I've heard there's been some quite chilly days.  In contrast to our near record cold snap, we are supposed to have spring-like weather by the end of this week.  It's a crazy weather roller coaster everywhere it seems.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jingle Bells

The holidays are fast approaching.  We've been trying to keep things simple this year.  Yeah....right.  Very simple though, is the decision to participate in Chookyblue's Secret Santa Christmas Swap, otherwise known as the SSCS.  We send a handmade gift and a Christmas ornament to our partner.  The gift has to wait under the tree until Christmas, but the ornament goes on the tree right away.  Last year I received my gifts from Fiona and this year I was instructed to send gifts to her.  What fun!  Thankfully, her package arrived in good time and she posted a photo of the hot chocolate ornament I made for her.  Silly me forgot to take a photo before I sealed the package!

I received a package from Maria, also in Australia.  Now I have a kangaroo on my Christmas tree!  I can't wait to see what's in the other squishy package on Christmas morning.  :-)

Also not so simple is avoiding the deer.  LZF met one in the dark on his way to work.  He is fine, not sure about the deer.  The truck is in hospital.

We signed up The Viking on our membership at the fitness club.  He has a wonderful time in the children's area playing and also taking classes in dance, gymnastics and arts & crafts.  There are more he hasn't tried yet.  He's also started swimming lessons.  On this first day the instructor was trying very hard to earn his trust.

Last weekend we also had the carpets cleaned.  Bad timing as usual.  The Sailor Son was visiting and we also couldn't decorate for Christmas until the carpet dried.

So a day was spent hanging out in the kitchen.  

The Sailor Son was passing through between his assignments.  In Texas he met a lovely new ladyfriend.

And they both graduated from their training program.

We finally got around to decorating on Sunday.  The bird tree goes up in the dining room.

The outdoor lights are up, with lots of help from The Sailor Son.  The contractor who did our repairs and supervised the house painting also installs holiday lights, so this year we opted for lights along the roof line.  I'm thinking next year we should add lights in those upper windows.  You can never have too many lights.

Over in New Zealand, the Evil Step-Daughter manages to fit in some wonderful sewing amongst all the other things she does as a busy mother of three young children.  I just love this shirt she made for Rocky.

And we are told he loves it too!

It's never simple to start a new project at this time of year, I should have my head examined, but I've finished part 2 of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt.  Part 3 is about half done and part 4 was released today.  I'm behind!  Don't worry.  I'm not really worried about keeping up.  Much.

Swoon.  This is my Christmas present from The Tramp.  It's a Bernina 720.  The 710 and I never bonded.  I disliked the 9mm stitch width though I loved so many other things about the machine. Along with many others on the Yahoo Bernina groups I  moaned about how I wished to have the large machine but with the 5.5mm stitch width.  I knew Bernina made the 720, but wouldn't sell it in the US.  Apparently times have changed because it's now available for Americans to purchase online, though not through local dealers.  Believe me, I tried.  To make a long story short, I contacted Bernina myself, moaned directly to them, and they and one of my local dealers were able to make the purchase happen....on terms that worked for me.  The stars were aligned that day!  I am very grateful to all who were involved.

I've also finished a knitting project.  Piglet appreciated the warm evenings on my lap while I tickled her ears with the yarn.  I shall have to spread it out for a photo!   Tomorrow.  :-)