Monday, November 30, 2009

My poor little sewing machine

is huffing and puffing. It thinks that it has just ran a marathon. I finally finished the tops of these quilts for the boys. What started as simple block bedspreads really morphed into something way bigger than I normally take on. I am sort of an "instant gratification crafter" and these were way out of my league. I was planning in the early stages to tie tack them but right now I have a call in to a machine quilter that I am hoping will take them on and get them done before Christmas. Is that too much to ask?
For right now I am going to give my machine a little cool down while I put away the basket of laundry that has been sitting here since Friday, run the sweeper, straighten up the house, get a shower and then it is back to the sewing room to make the curtains for the boys' bedroom, maybe some curtains for my sewing room, work on my ornaments for church, and oh how about the 15 or so painting orders that I took on for before Christmas. All that UNLESS the quilting lady calls and says, "I can get those done this week if you get them to me today" In that case I will be firing up my car and heading the 75 miles to her place, quilts in tow. That is in a perfect world!

Back to the real job tomorrow! Oh how real life puts a damper on my crafting productivity.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Number 5!!!!!

Thanksgiving brought a joyous announcement to our home. We are expecting grandchild number FIVE next summer!!!!! Dianna and Travis announced the happy news Wednesday night. She reminded me that she is keeping her end up with what I asked for, a new baby every year for Christmas for the next eight years. I am such a glutton! How truly blessed I have been to have this loving, growing family.
Thanksgiving brought crafts to Gramma's this year. I found these foam trees at Pat Catan's a couple of weeks ago and thought that the kids would like them. I hope that this can continue as a tradition, it was fun. Of course we had to strip down to diapers and underwear for this event. Glitter Glue would have to be hard on clothing. How can she sit like this for so long? I would be in traction.
Tyler is probably the perfect age for this. He was so excited with craft time.

And Logan loved the Glitter Glue, making big piles of it on his tree.

Even Kendall got thrown in to the action, with Gracelyn, ever the little mother, trying to help her.

Finished this scarf on Thanksgiving morning. Since we have Thanksgiving on Wednesday night, John and I have Thursday to do whatever we want. It is always a day of much needed rest for us. I am embarrassed to tell you how much I slept. Let's just say it went something like this. Breakfast, tidy sewing room, lay out some ornaments, sleep, lunch, cut out some ornaments, sleep, supper, sew some ornaments, sleep, make a jello salad for today, sleep, sew, sleep, go to bed, sleep. Seeing a pattern here?
These are the boys crafts. They were left here to dry.
And the ornaments. Cathy at Cath's Pennie Designs was making an adorable candle mat and one of the elements was three button snowmen. If you have not checked out her patterns, you need to do that. They are wonderful designs! Anyway, as I was still drawing a blank for my ornaments for in my Christmas cards this year, this idea seemed perfect to me. Off to the button collections and digging through wool.

They are fun and every one is a little different. Right now they are hanging on my lamp at my chair. They still need steamed, but I like the way they are turning out. The first few were a little thin, so I cut a smaller oval out of blanket wool as sort of a batting for in them and now I like them better.

Fun TV work!

Today I am off to my cousins' house near Ohio. I have not been able to spend time with them in so long and I sort of invited myself to Thanksgiving. I am going to try a reprise of the cake this morning. Dear hubby has left for deer camp and I am sure this one will not burn as he is not here to witness the success.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Surely, it's Friday!

It really can't be only Wednesday, and AM at that. There has been enough jammed into my three days that I think I could call it a week. Most of it lots of fun though.
I would try to put this in chronological order, but I can't even remember it that way. Yesterday, Molly and Kim came for lunch, something I rarely get to do, have lunch with the girls. I felt so bad when it was cut short by the arrival of my neighbor's family with lots of questions.

Kim brought me all this fabric and goodies and this morning I woke up at 4 and all I could think was that I wanted to go through it all! That and because we have our Thanksgiving tonight, I needed it moved out of the family room also. Thank-you, Thank-you, THANK-YOU Kim!!!! It was so fun to go through and divide up between my Mom, Shawnee and I. I can see so many projects in it already! Now to get it all to my sewing room.

Wool pieces and blankets and even a quilt top! Stacks of homespun and just in time, our stash was depleted after the Open House.
And tons of ideas in this stack.

I love the colors in this sweater. I think I see some stockings or ornaments there.

And I just bought this vine on Sunday and it matches this wool perfect! This is a huge piece and I can't make up my mind what to do with it. I hate to cut into big pieces like this until I am sure.

Pic of Little Miss Kendall from Monday. She is just reclining away watching everyone at work on Monday. I just thought that she looked so much like her Mom in this picture.

Finished this towel the other day...I think Sunday, not sure, my days are all running together.

And this hat for Gracelyn. Her coat is such a pretty turquoise color and when I saw this yarn, I thought it would look so nice with her coat.

Finished this Monday AM for an order. These message boards have sure been the hot item this year for me. I think this is number 8 or 9 that I have done.

And the cake. It didn't turn out too bad. The problem was the cake pans, at least that is what I am blaming it on. They had a separate bottom and the praline topping that was on the bottom of the pan all leaked out. John bought regular cake pans for me last night when he was in town. I used to have lots of them, where did they go? I am going to try to make another cake for Friday when I am going to my second Thanksgiving.

And the issue of the camera cord was solved. Molly brought her cord with her, she has the same camera as I do. Her cord worked when I finally had a chance to try it late last night. I am almost embarrassed to say what the problem was. But here goes, it was a really blond moment and I am not even blond. John got this new Blackberry and the cord was laying with my camera cord behind the laptop. I grabbed the end of that cord and plugged it into the computer instead of the camera cord. How stupid was that?
And now for noodle making. Jenn wanted to go to town last night to get groceries and all I had to do was make noodles so I offered to keep the boys for her. I figured John would be here to help. WRONG! When he saw the start of the noodle making and the boys helping, he decided to go grocery shopping with Jenn and Di. As a matter of fact, you never saw three people clear out faster than those three did. Not before snapping some pics for evidence. The boys loved to stir and crack eggs. We used a few extra in that process. Logan kept tapping and twisting until he got frustrated and smashed and egg went everywhere. Tyler is actually pretty good at breaking eggs. Very gentle for his normal trash 'em, crash 'em demeanor.

And rolling out the dough. Needless to say, there is flour everywhere in my house, clear to the upstairs bathroom where we finally got it washed off of little boys. I think that the bath water was turning to paste.

And honestly, these are the messiest noodles I have ever made, but the boys are excited to eat "their" noodles tonight for Thanksgiving.

And in the downstairs shower, the turkeys are brining. I am not really sure about this process, this is John's experiment for this year. Talk about a no stress Thanksgiving though. The kids have divided up all the trimmings and are bringing everything except the turkey and noodles. How easy is this? I am so looking forward to a nice evening with all of my family AND a day off tomorrow, AND a quiet weekend at home. Hubby is headed to deer camp and I am hoping to spend the weekend around the house working on all the projects that I have started and maybe starting a few new ones....

I hope that all of you have a great Holiday and remember to give thanks for all of our many blessings.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Four words that strike fear.

These words always manage to strike fear in my husband.
"I found this recipe..."

This time was not an exception. I found this recipe, or rather my MIL found this recipe and since the computer that she found it on will no longer link to the printer, (long story involving a four year old that wanted to print out his Imagination Mover pictures that he created online) she sent it to my email for me to print out. Actually to be honest, she sent several recipes, a JC Penney online purchase receipt and a Walmart site to store pick-up paper all while I am trying to print out a five color seperation job for shirts that needed done last week, and NEEDED them immediately as only a 70 plus year old prioritizes. Can't wait until I get there.

Not to digress, but while I am glad that my MIL stays current and can surf the web, shop online and keep up with about 100 friends on Facebook, there has to be a special jewel in the crown in heaven for anyone that teaches someone over 70 years old to use the computer. At one point in the five year long process, I actually used a highlighter on the screen after the two zillion post-it notes of directions did not work.

Back to the recipe. As the recipes came out, this one for pumpkin praline cake looked so yummy and because I have friends coming to lunch today, I thought I would tackle that this morning. Long story short, every window and door in my downstairs was open by 6:15 trying to clear out the smoke and my dear husband's parting comment as he walked out the door for the shop where I am sure he is trying to recuperate from some bug that he thinks he is getting was "Good grief, Cathy, it is just a cake. Babies can bake cakes in plastic ovens with light bulbs. What is wrong with you?" Then, "I am going to the shop, if I hear the fire whistle and see an orange glow, I am going to turn up the radio louder and ignore it, just so you know" Well!

I took pictures of the smoke, and the cute little hat that I finished for Gracelyn and the tea towel that I embroidered, but for some reason the cord won't work on the camera. It is going to be one of those days.

Molly and Kim, please ignore the smoky smell in my house and maybe now when I say, "Let's just go the restaurant." you will understand why.

Back to cooking/baking. Honestly, I used to bake and cook. Cookies, cakes, even some pies. Full meals and I have cooked for crowds of people. I don't know what happened. I think that I got rusty in the kitchen. Maybe I just don't make it a priority any more. My husband loves to tell the story of the turkey that I put in the oven and then decided to make new curtains for the family room. Maybe a good dose of Ritalin would help.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Free weekend? Right!

This picture disappeared from the bottom of the page and since I have no idea how to move these pics we'll just have to deal with it here.
Let's see, a week ago, this was to be my almost "free" weekend. Those are very rare around here. The only thing planned was the girls and I had tickets for the Rockettes last night and dinner in Pittsburgh. Friday night, nothing, Saturday AM, nothing, Sunday, church and then nothing. Getting the picture?

I had wanted to have Gracelyn this week and the week just got away from me. I did see her on Tuesday when Shawnee and I took the kids bowling but it seems like I never get enough "alone" time with her so when Shawnee called at 4:30 on Friday asking for a last minute babysitter, I jumped at the chance to have Gracelyn and enjoy her. Saturday AM, should have found me cleaning house for the company that is showing up later today but instead I ran Gracelyn home and then on to town for the list that had been compiling here and a little fashion retail therapy. Arriving home just in time to at least get the sheets changed on the bed for the company and get ready to leave for Pittsburgh...still no house cleaning. The girls and I had a very nice evening in Pittsburgh last night. The Rockettes are a great show and the Benedum is such a beautiful venue. I am truly blessed to have four beautiful girls and to be able to have them enjoy one another as family, despite the "step" factor!

Today finds me off to church and then to an Open House with an old friend that I recently re-connected with and realized that we have a mutual friend. Nina at is having the Open House today and through a mass email, I realized that my "new" blog friend is also a friend of an "old" friend of mine. New and Old here have no correlation to AGE, mind you.

Still don't have the house cleaned.

I did finish this scarf this week for Shawnee. That was on an all-night, coffee at supper, induced insomnia. Dumb!

And this tavern board that I needed to finish for an order for a wedding on Saturday. That was a Friday AM finish. Just in time.

John and Dianna ran in another 5k on Saturday morning. His fourth, her first. While they were running, Jenn took these pics with my camera. I know that there is an untapped artistry somewhere in her brain.

Love this one, just not sure what to do with it.

And the runners! Both had great times. John has taken eight minutes off his 5k run time this summer.

Where did that picture go of them? It was here a minute ago! Hmmm, guess I'll have to post it somewhere else.

Now off to clean. Not that I would normally do that on a Sunday Am, but the weekend is getting away from me and I need to get something accomplished. Wonder how upset that sleeping husband of mine is going to be when he hears the sweeper? Well, it is HIS friend that is coming to stay for bear camp, how can he be mad about that?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Many, many thanks!

A chain of events lead to this happening. My closet that I normally stash the Christmas presents in was completely full of all the generous donations of yarn for the Dominican Republic. In order to stash the Christmas presents, I had to clean out the yarn, so last night we (my knitting friends, Carol and Tina and myself) proceeded to pack the yarn. It was actually fun to touch it all and we packed it in "projects" matching skeins and putting them in large ziploc bags, using our own form of vacuum packing which led Tina to wish that she had worn sweatpants. Please note that there are no pics of the calisthenics required by somewhat middle aged women to kneel, press and contort to get all the air out of ziploc bags. Packed and ready to go. I just have to tag them with what is in them for customs and they can be "stored" at the church until the trip in January!
Thank-you to everyone that so generously donated yarn and supplies! I really appreciate your taking the time to pack, ship, and get it to me! Thanks for being a part of this project.
Thank-you to my knitting friends for so graciously agreeing to give up part of our knitting night for this project.
Thank-you John for making us that great supper! I think that you may have started something though.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Have you heard the saying?

Do you want to hear God laugh? Tell him your plans.
Well that would be the theme of last Wednesday through Sunday in my life.

Update on my neighbor: After I contacted the sister from the name in her cell phone, I started receiving calls from the family that she was estranged from and to their credit, they took over and on Saturday they came and took Kelly (the dog) back with them. Not before I was calling myself the Dog Whisperer. Kelly is old and was not in good shape on Wednesday was even worse, but through water and food (I found out she really liked tuna fish and eggs) and lots of talking and petting and conversation, by Friday she was coming to the door when I called her and going into the house at the end of the day on her own. It required lots of Lysol wipes, air freshener, hand sanitizer, Vicks up my nose and many showers and washing of my hair. On Friday, Tyler looked at me and said "Grandma Cathy, what is wrong with your hair? Do you need a haircut?" Children can be so brutally honest.

John had a big delivery and had to rent a truck which required a lot of time away from the shop last week so we got behind on orders there. I had Gracelyn and Kendall on Monday, Tyler at the shop on Tuesday, Logan and Tyler at the shop off and on Thursday and Friday. We are so behind at work, luckily though Jenn is almost caught up with her end of the work.

Two jewelry parties in the evenings last week. My daughter sells Lia Sophia jewelry and while I love it and want it all, three parties in two weeks really has my jewelry box well stocked for now! If you have never seen this jewelry take a look at

Friday night had us packing and getting ready to go to Ohio to lay a tile floor for my Mom and Dad. Saturday, 5 AM off to Ohio and we had the tile laid by noon. At that point I took the chance to do some Christmas shopping while I was there and even got it all wrapped last night.
I did manage to squeeze in some knitting. Finished this hat.

And another dish cloth. The open house depleted my stock of these. This one still needs steamed and blocked.

And this was my project in the truck on the way to Ohio. I love this yarn, it is so soft and I love the way it stripes. I made Shelby and hat and scarf out of it and Shawnee mentioned pink and gray, although this is more green than gray, we'll have to see if she likes it. Dianna. I have two more skeins, I didn't forget you!

Another project that I finished was this shower gift. At the point I took this picture, I could not find my camera so this was taken with John's new Blackberry that he is addicted to and I am jealous. I want one also. Obviously not for the picture quality though. The funny story of this project. The tavern board was all done and I was ready to put the varnish on when I realized that it said 2009 and the wedding is January 2....sand, repaint, how could I be so dumb?

And the basket for the cards. I found this basket at Hazen on Molly's first trip to Hazen. It was new, still had the tags on it. Molly wondered what I was going to do with it. I told her at that point, maybe it would be Alicia's shower gift. Well, it was actually her card basket for the shower that I had to miss on Saturday because my Mom and Dad's toilet leaked into their kitchen and that sent us into the chain reaction of a new floor.

The top of the basket.
Card basket
I had big plans last week to finish the boys' quilts for their bedrooms and get my house in order from the open house and REST! I am not even making a list for this week, well maybe just a little list.
My deal of the week. There are jeans that I love from Macy's but thrifty (cheap) as I am, they are just a little too pricey for me. I watch for them to go on sale and Saturday night they were 40% off which would have taken them to about $28. Still high for what I like to pay for jeans but I thought I would splurge. I have bought these before and they are the ones that I always grab. They are so comfortable. I took them to the checkout and they rang up at $14! I told the woman that it was not right and she tried and tried to rescan them and they kept coming up to $14. She told me that she was going to have to sell them to me for that and I ran (literally) back to the rack and got another pair. What a find? I think that Kelly was sending me good vibes and looking out for her Dog Whisperer!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Can someone please tell me...

why I cannot view some blogs and cannot post on others? I want to leave comments and read all about what everyone is doing. The first blog that I click on comes up and sometimes I can leave a comment on that one. Another might open and by then will not take comments. By the time that I try to open the third one, it freezes the computer. I close each one before I open another one. Just as a side note, it is doing this on the laptop and my desktop. What the heck is going on?

In the spirit of that question, I would like to relate part of my day yesterday. At 7 in the morning I was cleaning a guest room for our friend, Bob. John had to make a run to Zanesville, Ohio to pick up an order early this AM and Bob was going to ride along to keep him company. Back to the story, I hear this exceptionally loud banging on my door. I run to the door in cleaning apparel, arms crossed to cover the front of my shirt, you guessed it, no bra cleaning that was and it is a member of the fire company. He tells me that they had a 911 call from a cell phone and the coordinates came up to my house. Immediately I ask him if they were at my MIL's who lives in the backyard (she loves when I say that) and they did and she was fine. They checked on the neighbor two house down and she was fine. Now they have not checked on the semi-hermit neighbor right next door and she is inside a locked chain link fence. I run upstairs and grab enough clothing to cover my lack of proper undergarments and head to the neighbor's house where the ambulance, firemen and the state police have gathered. John is not home from the gym yet and he is the one that this neighbor seems to gravitate towards when she needs help. After a brief discussion between the state trooper and I about which one of us is going over the fence which involved two factors 1.) You are what? 20 something? and I am what? not 20 something? and 2.) You have punched a time clock this morning and I have not. He went over the fence and when he reached the front door, he heard her yelling. The firemen cut the lock from the fence and I went in next, telling the state trooper that she had a dog before he pried open the door. Long story short, and it is a very long story of how people live and how you can have neighbors and not really know what is going on inside their home, after everyone pulled out, the ambulance, the firemen, several people that stopped to help and all that was left was John and I and the state trooper, I said. "What about Kelly (the dog)? and the trooper looked at me and said "I don't know" and left. So now, me the not so compassionate about dogs person, is taking care of an aging, smelly, Husky/Shepard mix dog that can barely walk and was in this house for apparently four to five days without food or water. Does God really have this much of a sense of humor?
So yesterday's events were, pet the dog and talk to her, try to help her up at which point she snapped at me, so I got her water and food and she drank three bowls of water (at which point I actually felt the stir of compassion enter my heart and felt bad for the dog. Left her alone for a little bit and then went back and checked and talked to her some more. At this point, when I asked her if she wanted to go out, I saw in her eyes that she did and she very slowly, staggering all the way made it to the door and out. Leaving work to check on her several times and giving her food and water throughout the day, I went back again at four to try to get her in the house. (Didn't really want to do that after dark, part of the REST of the story, that would have to be related somewhere other than this venue) She was not budging, it was as if to say, "No, I was in there for all those days, I don't want to go back and besides my master is gone I am going to be lonely" and while this stirred a little compassion, it was not enough for me to take her to my house, sorry dog lovers, I could not do it. Digging through the house I found a bag of bacon bits, took them out and gave her a taste and then coaxed her back in the house with them. I am sure the sight of me walking backwards with my hand held out the this staggering dog following me was quite the spectacle for the 90, 000 or so cars that went be during what seemed like an eternity for her to walk across the yard. I will be going to the store and buying bacon bits today, who knows how long I will be dog sitting now?

There is a lot more to this disturbing story that has caused me to take note of what kind of neighbor I am? what to do next? what boundaries not to cross and so on.

So any advice of neighboring, aging crippled dogs, and how to get Blogger to work will be greatly appreciated!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Open House Pics

Some of these may be slight repeats from the last post, but we did manage to pull it all together and the show was a success! By Sunday AM, our three room display had shrunk to one room and everything was well picked over. We learned a lot and plan to do it bigger and better next year. It was a great experience, but tired? I was in bed at 7:40 last night and I think that I might have slipped into a bit of a coma!
1. I was able to meet two blogging friends face to face, Lois and Nina, it was great to meet both of you. Nina, your grandsons are adorable, I can only imagine how fun it would be to have them together with my grandsons, a little exhausting, but fun! Lois, hope that you had a great bike ride home, it was such a beautiful day.
2. The girls now have the crafting "bug" and are planning for next year and what fun to have a family project to work on.
3. The nice comments from everyone about how they were happy to buy handcrafted items and not Made in China things.
1. All the people that made comments about how "this shop will now be open all the time?" I am going to have to keep my doors locked!
2. Am I ever going to find all my stuff and get it back in the right places?

My Mom setting up the refreshments and my Dad sampling them all.
Jenn's hot pepper mustard was a sell-out!

Last minute checkerboard that I made, and didn't sell and now Shawnee has it. Better than selling it anyway!
Now for the ATOH list. That would be the After The Open House list of things that I need to get done. Some orders, a shower gift for Saturday, the boys quilts, some knitting and that list of Christmas presents that I need to get done. Oh yes, and clean up and pack away the leftover inventory. At least it is all in the attic and I can do it a little at a time. OK, in reality unless someone is coming and I need that bedroom it will be about next November until I get to it. There, I said it for you, John.