Thursday, November 23, 2017


Happy Thanksgiving!

A day of feasting and enjoying family!
Gotta go,
Much to do!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

November blahs!

When my children were small we had a few of the volumes of a Sesame Street book set.
  I have no idea at this point what they were called and this is WAY before Elmo! 
 In the "D" book there was  a story called Darling Dora and the Dazzling Diamond D which my children LOVED!
The jist of it is that Dora's Daddy, the King, gave her a Dazzling Diamond D necklace which was stolen by a Dragon.  After the Dragon was captured and the necklace returned the Dragon was sent to the Deep, Dark, Damp, Dreary Dungeon.
That phrase-Deep, Dark, Damp, Dreary, Dungeon-became part of our family language.

I am currently living in a November that feels like that dungeon!

Projects of any kind are moving at a snails pace.
I have a deadline next week.
Well, two really.
A mailing deadline 
and Thanksgiving.
I'm getting somewhat tense.
That isn't helped by the Deep, Dark, Damp, Dreary weather.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fabric Expeditions

This is the current state of Brayden's Trip around the world.
I was so thrilled last week to find the piece of fabric I knew I was seriously short of!
Then when I finished Part 3 and began laying out Part 4 I realized I had three other colors I wasn't going to have enough of! URGH!
(I have to say that using up my stash requires the purchasing of so much more fabric!)
I headed east to a quilt shop about 30 minutes east of here as I knew they carried
Stonehenge fabrics.
No luck.
I did buy some green for another project and some dark that I could  use if I had to.

On the way home I stopped of at Cockrell Mercantile.
I had read about the shops in that "I'll have to go there one day, it's close" sort of way.
Anyway, I decided that the time had come!
Such a fun place.
Much kitchen stuff.
A whole shop of fiesta ware! (Bri you should check it out!)
While there I happened across this fellow!

Adding him to my Santa Collection-he's rather unique.

After wandering about 4 cottages FILLED with lovely things I headed home.
MY mind was occupied with what I was going to do about the quilt.
Then I remembered!
I had cut the selvages off and kept them. 
I'm not planning any projects out of them but I've needed some in the past and had to cut them off stash pieces!
I wondered if the selvages had the numbers for the design on them.
After the usual- Hey Quinn I'm home!
I headed to the studio to look.
I found two of them.
Googled Stonehenge Gradients Bright and one of the numbers and 
found a shop called
1000's of bolts and 1 Nut!
They had ALL 3 fabrics I needed!
They've been shipped so I'll soon be ready to work on that one again!

In the meantime, I'm cutting Ethan's (guess what I need more red fabric!), quilting Kolby's and working on Secrets

Friday, October 27, 2017

Mini-shop Hop!

No not for miniatures- though that would be fun!
So your second guess would be for fabric and that would be correct!

After dropping Miss Quinn off at camp for the day I headed north for an hour and a half-give or take some minutes!  (Missed having Quinn next to me in the truck!)

First I went to Crossroads Quilting in Cameron, MO.  I have been there before and its a nice little shop but nothing fell off the shelves and into my hands there!  

Then if was off to - wait for it. . . 

Yep, Quiltown USA!
They have several buildings-one for wools, one for batiks, one for brights, 
you get the picture.
So I wandered about and bought these:

Two fat quarter bundles and a piece of blue.
The bundles for projects that will be gifts.
The blue is an alternative for the blue I have now run out of for Brayden's Trip!
Oh, NO!

A closer look at the fabric in the fall bundle.

And here are the holiday ones.

I bought some bits and bobs as well-they have really cute things!
It's fun to go there but I don't go often as it's a bit overwhelming as well.
There's the "Which shop did I see that print in again?" thing going on.

After lunch, where I had a nice chat with some folks from Grand Prairie, Texas.
(I really must be a Hickam as I will chat with most anyone-as will most any other Hickam!)

Then I was off to Chillicothe!
The shop there is called Cuts and Bolts, fun name.

These also fell into my hands and also have projects they are needed for!
Then, I nearly did cartwheels!
I went on this little jaunt looking for a specific blue stonehenge fabric,
They had it!

Why was I so excited?

This is the last square of this fabric in Brayden's Trip-which is almost 2/3 complete.
I really didn't think I'd find it so I was thrilled!

I had another shop on the list for today, but with the late start and all the fun I had shopping and chatting plus driving on back roads the store would have closed before I could get there.
Oh well, another trip!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Succulents have taken over!

I can't seem to stay away from the tables holding succulents at my garden nursery!
These two arrangements are residing on my desk.

There are several others in individual pots near the window.
Then there's this beauty.

It does seem a bit confused though~it is a Christmas Cactus!

All but one plant seem happy as can be sitting where the morning sun hits them.
I didn't realize that succulents would bend to follow the sun but I have to give the pots a quarter turn now and then.

Fall has finally come,
At my last house the neighborhood was full of trees, oak trees.
They just turn brown in the fall.
This neighborhood is full of maples.
There are some oaks as well but there are several varieties of maple.
Some are VERY red.
Mine are yellow.
I never noticed before but the trees turn color from the top down.

There are also lots of these laying on the ground around the neighborhood
~ Hedge apples, fruit of the Osage Orange 

The things you see and learn while walking.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Quilting, reading and other stuff

First up Quilting.
I thought I'd show you my set up for sewing rows without messing up the order of the blocks.
Beginning on the back left.
 The clipboard holds the design.
Each fabric has a number and that number is entered on the design sheet in it's proper place.
I use the pick highlighter to mark off the rows I've finished.
The sheet leaning against the clipboard has samples of each fabric beside it's number (also the number of squares I cut in this color.)
Then there are the five piles of squares waiting for me to lay them out.
To the very far right are strips cut for binding.
 (Forgot to do that for Kolby's Trip! Had to buy fabric.)
In the front are the square sets for the next blocks.
Three are already sewn together.
Just above the first set is a sticky with an arrow on it.
That tells me which way to press the seams so that they "lock" when they are sewn.
That's really important because even though I PIN like a fool they can shift and I want all of those four corners to meet perfectly~ I don't always get perfection but it has to be close.
Also shown are the oh so necessary tools of the craft.
Scissors, seam ripper, thread.  Other tools not shown-sewing machine, OTT light, and iron.
Using all that I get this!

Only seven more strips to attach before heading onto the next row.
See the orange sicky note?
Another reminder of how that row's seams need to be pressed in order to lock.
Tonight this row will be finished, tomorrow it will be on to the next.
I still have to unsew sometimes~ not nearly as much as on Kolby's.
Last night I attached the group I'd finished and found I'd left two strips out!
 Had to fix that.

Most of you have likely noticed that I read a great deal.
That's probably an understatement!
I finished this one a couple of days ago.
It's about the Mann Gulch fire.
 I wrote a bit about it August 27, 2016 (in spite of my best efforts I can't seem to link to that post.)
The Mann Gulch fire was  the greatest single loss of life in Smokejumper history-13.
It's a hard book to read.
Well, the subject makes it hard.
The writing is exquisite.
Which is totally explained by the fact that the author taught English at the University of Chicago.
Romance poets and Shakespeare to be exact-guess that rubs off on you.
You might recognize the author-Norman MacLean.
He also wrote A River Runs Through It And Other Stories.
Yes, the one the movie was made from.
I've added it to my reading list.

This fire year has been so horrible.
It seems it will never end.
I learn quite a bit about fire behavior from this book.
Things they didn't know at the time of the Mann Gulch fire.
Scary stuff forest fires.

Other things on my "To Do" list-some of which I actually do!
Prepping the trim and walls in my bedroom for paint.
 (a project made more complicated by the fact that the previous owners painted over a wall-paper border. Thank goodness it was only a border!)
Walking most days.
Stretching most days.
Practicing Piano and Guitar.
I'll never be truly capable on either but I am happy with my progress and I love doing it.
Practicing taking pictures.
Much harder on manuel but even if it takes multiple attempts I'm still trying.
Again, I may never be truly capable.

I've even done some cooking.
And managed to keep the kitchen fairly orderly along the way.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall and finish!

Fall came!
It won't last just yet but. . .
I'm enjoying hot tea with honey 
and oatmeal.
Maybe even soup, who knows.
I'm even wearing a sweater.
I love FALL! 

And in other news~
"H" is finished!
I am so glad!
It looks okay and will keep me warm
BUT. . .
I'm not really very happy with it.
I will not let flaws keep me from a finish though!

Today, I have some paint prep work to do.
One more doll outfit for Nora to sew.
(To anyone thinking of sewing American Girl doll clothes just let me say this~
it's like sewing an outfit for the 8yo girl in miniature! Painful!)
Then I can mail that off for her birthday on Friday.
Will also make the backing and batt for Kolby's Trip
to sandwich tomorrow!

I'm on a roll!