so, approximately 9 days ago i was starting to feel a sickness coming on... ugh, was i right! I cannot remember having a sore throat that even compared to this one! i hardly slept for the first 5 days. no kidding. then the coughing started,too! after two doctor visits, two different cough meds, an antibiotic, and the most caring husband ever, i am feeling better. didn't cough too much today until, well, bedtime. why is that anyway? soooo, I have not gotten much done for the last week. (ok, really nothing. nothing at all.) then throw in thanksgiving with all the kids home, and there really wasn't much hope for production. it was great having them all here! if only I could have given them more hugs! sure didn't want to pass my 'crap' onto them. ewwww, gross, noooooo! hope to have something to share tomorrow... famous last words, huh?


time... slow down!

so, it is obvious that i have not been updating my blog like i usually do... which isn't as consistent as it should be in the first place.  this time of year is just so busy (really, when isn't it these days?).  i have been working on some new floorcloths to start selling, but want to have about 5+ made before i put them online.  my plan is to open an etsy 'shop' in the next week or so!  in addition to the floorcloths, i am also going to have miscellaneous handmade items that people have shown interest in around here.  it is exciting and fun, but in the midst of getting ready we have traveled to new york to visit our son/celebrate my husband's 25th reunion at west point (all during the ridiculous snow storm that hit 3 weeks ago), prepared & held our annual young life info & fundraising banquet which i was in charge of this year, helped my son apply to college & plan a visit, and then tried to just complete day to day requirements of life.  it's all good, but has unfortunately kept me away from my blog.  which is always fun to write on and look back at... sooo, i am hoping to be back on track now.  oh, except for the thanksgiving & christmas festivities which will no doubt overwhelm me at some point as well... probably tomorrow! 'cause we all know, that is how it works... just when you think you are back on track and things are 'normal', you find out your forgot something/have to get something done asap/someone gets sick/something breaks... you get the idea!  anyway, i am going to try to put some pictures on tonight and over the next couple days of what fun has been going on.  but for now, it is off to the craftroom for some creative work.  yay! 


new book & beautiful fabric collection...

i am always looking out for new books with cute patterns and/or ideas?  'sew what you love' from tanya whelan is coming out in december, and i can't wait...  so many lovely items to sew.  wish it were sooner for some christmas gifts... but no worries, there are always other birthdays and holidays next year!  you can pre-order them now from amazon or barnes & noble.
is this lovely?  this is tanya's new collection!  this picture is from her flicker
site, and you can see it and more here
her new fabric collection, sugar hill, is coming out in december as well (pictured above).  definitely visit her blog for a chance to win both some fabric and her new book at grand revival designs.

it just made me feel cozy and comfy just looking at the colors and designs of the fabrics.  i can't wait to make something with them!


apron. check.

after the review of my 'to do' list for 2011, i had to get busy... so, i found an apron that i liked online at one more moore.  it was fun to make, and i had some cute fabrics left over from other projects.  my daughter came over today and modeled for me...

i think it is so cheery and fun.  it is definitely time to bake some cookies in my new apron. off to the kitchen...


raspberry lovin'

my family loves raspberies.  year's ago some friends of ours gave us about 5 raspberry shoots which we planted beside our house.  it has grown into a large area which we pick our raspberries from each year.  this year the raspberries came in a little later than usual, and we are still harvesting into october.  usually we are all done by the end of september.  this has been a weird year... but, none the less, they are still delicious.  this weekend might be the end of filling our freezer with these yummy berries. sad. 


let's make a stocking...

i was surfing from one blog to another this morning and ended up at purple panda quilts.  it is a great blog with lots of wonderful ideas... and she is part of a movement to make stockings for foster children in central virginia for christmas!  how fun and wonderful is that?  so, i have attached the link to the right and will be starting to plan my stocking to donate.  how about it?  you want to make one, don't you?  let's do this together!  check out the link for all the information on 'stockings for kids.'   christmas is really just around the corner.  i am soooo not ready! but, starting out with a something like this will definitely get me motivated.  this year, i am hoping to make presents for my family and friends.  yeah, yeah, i know... i need to get busy! so, here i go... 


2011 goals...

i was thinking this morning... what exactly were some of my creative goals for 2011?  I remembered that I had posted some of the fun things i wanted to complete back at the beginning of january.   here they are...
another baby quilt (for another friend)
a twin quilt (or two)
some cute aprons
a carry bag (preferably with a lesson from sew to speak)
several floorcloths 
something crafty with felt

so, how am i doing so far?  well... completed 2 more baby quilts here and here. check. made a couple quilts here and here. check. made some handbags here and here. check. learned how felt is made and made some felt balls. check.  
cute felt balls...
with that in mind, i am going to focus on making some aprons (wanted to do that as christmas gifts anyway), completing several of my floorcloths (did make one for sew to speak, but want to make some more), and would like to make a large travel bag which i found a pattern for...  how much time is actually left in this year?  i know how it flies by, so i better get on the ball.  cleaning the house will just have to wait.  this is important stuff, right?


the end of a season

my little guy is now a senior in high school.  how did this happen so fast?  i told him to cut it out and stay small a little longer, but he grew anyway.  hey, being a mom is tough business.  and here we are this past weekend at his two last matches of his high school career.  (and the two nastiest days in ohio).  he is a wonderful young man.  and we have really loved going out to all his matches watching him play.  here are some of the final moments of his golfing career on a high school team (but not the end of his golfing career, i hope!)...

he's a ham. period. 

does he look cold?  nice shot anyway...
hole #18, par 5, second shot...
and his third shot... almost an eagle to finish the season!! an awesome birdie.
 i am going to miss walking around the golf courses, watching one of my favorite guys hitting amazing shots (and some not so amazing).  we have been through this with our other two great kids (in wrestling, tennis, and lacrosse)... so, this is just the beginning of the 'lasts' for the year.  and the beginning of his life as a young adult.  i am proud of him already.


designing daughter

last week, my daughter decided she wanted to make a quilt... so, she ordered some beautiful fabric called silent cinema by jenean morrison which quickly arrived on saturday afternoon from hawthorn threads (fyi, they have a ridiculous amount of fabric to choose from).  she arrived at our house at about 6pm excited to see her fabric.  who isn't excited to see and touch the new fabrics they ordered, right?

then she started surfing pinterest to find a design she had 'pinned.'   she found one, but it was a smaller baby quilt, and her plan was to make a full-size quilt.  so, what is a new quilt maker (she has made one baby quilt so far) to do?  design her own, of course!

she based it off of the quilt she liked, came up with the measurements, color order, and was ready to cut the fabric by about 8pm!  soooo, we spent the evening cutting all the pieces so she would be ready to start sewing sunday morning.  and that is just what happened.

by noon, she was about half way done!  i helped with ironing and a little of the sewing.  and by 5pm, her quilt top was done!  how amazing is that?  it turned out beautiful as well...

next visit she will be completing the back and then... hand-quilting!  she is amazing!


union jack

my first union jack pillow!
friday night i was lucky enough to take a class by mary at sew to speak.  this was a union jack pillowcover class.  there were 5 great ladies in the class, and it was so much fun to see the various fabric choices everyone had made.  it is not a typical union jack... it is our own interpretations of the union jack flag from britain.   i am inspired to make a few more as gifts with some more adventurous fabrics (which means something with polka dots).  it was suggested to give some as gifts prior to the upcoming olympics in england.  here we are at the end of class with our finished cases...

cute, right?


pearl cotton love

some of the pearl cotton i have 'in stock' at the moment.
when i was taught to quilt last year, it was by my friend mary.  she teaches hand quilting with pearl cotton.  i like the machine quilted quilts as well, but i loooove hand quilting.  mary introduced me to pearl cotton by valdani which has a beautiful assortment of colors and sizes.  the cute little shop where i shop (sew to speak) has a small selection of choices which is usually all i need... but one of the quilts i made in the spring became an issue.  i decided to start quilting with a color i already had.  fine. no problem.  until i ran out and no one around had the same color!  what to do?  i searched the internet to find someone who sold it AND who had the same color.  turns out it wasn't as easy as it sounded.  but, finally i found a great online store called snowflake memories.  they had so many to choose from.  and luckily i found a perfect match... and then i was able to finish my quilt. shoooo.  that was a close call.  so, if you love pearl cotton and/or hand quilting then definitely check out snowflake memories.  They were great to work with and shipped it zippity-zip!


little man bennett

i finally completed the quilt for our good friends who just had a sweet little baby boy, bennett, 2 weeks ago today!  the fabric turned out well and i used the 'little man' pattern from simplify by camille roskelley.  

AND tonight i get the privilege of taking a class from the wonderful mary of mollyflanders.  she is quite amazing!  even with the rain in ohio (what's new, really), today is looking good!


what is the internet?

do you remember life before internet?  some of us actually do...  as well as... no cell phones, no computers, no email, no remote control (seriously), no 800 tv channels (when i was a kid we had: abc, nbc, cbs, and pbs. that's it.).  okay, i should stop there before i embarrass myself even more. why do i bring this up?  because yesterday while checking out pinterest i saw the following youtube video from the today show.  it is so funny to look at now.  back then we were probably thinking, "yeah, what is that internet thingy?" enjoy...

i am now off to listen to pandora on my wireless internet while i work on the binding on the baby quilt i have been working on.  hope to finish today, then pictures tomorrow.



connecting to 9/11

as i watched the 9/11 memorial this morning, my heart was heavy.  the sweet children who lost parents on that sad day 10 years ago, now reading names of other lives lost as well as their parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents.  the brothers and sisters who lost a sibling.  the parents who lost their children before their time.  the memorial looks beautiful and peaceful with the water flowing over the falls.  my family is not directly connected to the events of 9/11/01, but i feel a connection deeply through my son's choice to serve his country in the u.s. army, my husband's previous service in the u.s. army, and my husband's current position as a firefighter in columbus.  i am blessed with a wonderful family, and i lifted up my prayers this morning to those who were remembering loved ones that were lost.  we are also blessed to be living in an amazing country.  i hope that we might smile at someone we don't know today, say 'how are you?' and really want to hear what they say, and hug those you love who are nearby.  may god bless all how happen to find themselves reading this blog and give you strength. 


sprocket pillow revisited

so, my mom came to visit last week and fell in love with the sprocket pillow i made back in april.  she couldn't stop talking about how she could reeeeeally use two of those on her couch in her family room.  well, what can you do when your mom raves about something except make her a couple of them!  we visited one of our local cute fabric shops,  feather your nest, and found some fabric that would look nice in her room...  here are the results:

now... to get them in the mail... 


quilting goes to the dogs

even though it appears that nothing is going in my life... the truth is that there just hasn't been anything going on in my blog.  i would blame that on someone else if i could... but... this is all me.  the good news is i finally have an update!  yay!  i have been working on a new quilt for a friend of our family who is have a baby boy in the next few days.  i have actually gotten about half of the hand quilting done so far.  but here is a look at the cute fabric with the sweetest little dogs.  oh, and i will try to put a picture of the straightened office some time soon as well. 


ring weekend: part 2

saturday we were able to spend the day with our son and sightsee around west point.  we visited fort putnam which is at a high point inside the post.  it was interesting and had beautiful views of the hudson river as well as usma (united states military academy).

view from fort putnam, atop west point
later in the day tone and a bunch of his friends got together for pictures with their new rings. what a great group of guys!

my 'boy' is on the right on the front row. 
here we are together as well before the formal dinner.

me and two of my favorite guys. 

and they have a life size ring which you can have your pictures taken in front of.  when my husband went to there, we had our picture taken in front of it, so i thought it was great chance to do that again... those pics had to be ordered from the official photographer, but here is a picture of the ring.

that's one big ring!
after the dinner, my sweetie & i headed to the middle of pennsylvania to stay in another bed and breakfast.  this one is the pump house bed & breakfast and is in bloomsburg, pa.  it was a very neat place with a lot of history. they are just finishing up updating the rooms.  here is where we stayed.  i would definitely recommend it.  there is also a lovely river running right behind the houses.

we stayed downstairs in this house at the pump house b & b.
and now, we are back home.  it was a great trip... but it is always nice to be back in your own bed.


road trip to west point

yesterday my husband and i set off on a road trip to visit our son at west point for his ring weekend.  it's a big deal for the cadets.  they order their rings back in the spring and then wait until this weekend to receive them.  and in addition, 25 years ago, my sweet husband (fiance then) received his ring.  now, it is our son's turn.  yay!  but we decided to stop on our 10 hour trip and spend the night somewhere on the way.  here is how the last two days have gone...

first we stopped by the yuengling & sons brewery. 
my son-in-law really likes this beer.
so, we stopped by pottsville, pa
(at 9:30pm, in the dark, on an interesting street)
just to be able to tell him that we were here.

it is the oldest brewery in the united states. learn something new every day!
we spent the night at a very nice b&b in macungie, pa called the stone house inn.
it is also a spa with massages, and more...
but, we had a ring ceremony to get to in ny.
pennsylvania has so many of these lovely stone homes.  here are 2 more
we passed on our morning walk. 
made it to west point and went to meet our son.  here is the 'beat navy tunnel.'
a quick shot of us together before he went to change uniforms and march
down to 'trophy point' for the ceremony.
that's our boy with the smirk on his face.
and his good buddy, jimmy, behind him.
the 'firsties' (aka seniors) marching in for the ceremony.  that's a lot of
exceptional young men and women preparing to serve our country.
and the rings.  a proud father and son.
then the wind and rain came in fast and everyone ran for cover.  tomorrow is the dinner and dance.  that will be fun!  i even got a new dress :-)


no rest for the weary

things have been busy around our house for the past week or two.  our oldest son headed back to west point after 7 months of medical leave.  his classes start this coming monday, and he has surgery on the 25th...  our daugher and her husband have now interviewed for the peace corps and are awaiting an assignment which they hope will begin next june.... our youngest son had golf tryouts all last week and matches started this week.  we (my husband & i) try to go to all his matches because: 1. we love seeing him play and 2. we love leaving the cares of the world and just relaxing on the course.  in addition, our church served lunch to 180 band members at a local high school for which i made 200 cookies and baked 35 potatoes.  it was fun to work with my friends from public house and see the kids eating lots of taco salads, too!

i actually did (almost) finish straightening the computer room/office the other day, but haven't had a chance to take a picture in the day.  that will be coming soon. 

i hope to be working on a few handbags, painting a floorcloth, and reading a new book starting this weekend.  oh,  and getting my latest quilt top put together.   too much?  well, i will at least try to get started on something.  :-)


interest in pinterest

ok, so i got up this morning and thought i might get some things done around the house...  famous last thoughts.  my mistake?  opening my laptop and seeing what new stuff has been pinned on pinterest (check out my 'pins' here).  have you heard of pinterest?  it is a website which allows you to 'pin' photos from anywhere on the web so that you can remember it and refer back to it with ease.  what they don't warn you about is how ADDICTIVE it is.  pretty soon they will need a pinterest anonymous group.  it is now 10:00a and i have successful accomplished the following:  watched the last two episodes of 'the office,' eaten a much too large piece of the best coffee cake ever (no seriously, that is what it is called), and spent an hour on pinning lovely things on my pinterest boards.

hmmmm... i have now broken away for a little while.  my goal today (now that i am setting my laptop down and being product, that is)?  clean, straighten, rearrange, simplify our office/computer room/library.  seems as the summer has progressed, the last thing anyone wanted to do was file, straighten, put away anything in here.  but with school around the corner, it is time.  and it is driving me CRAZY.  so onward and upward.  i am turning on the music (loud), getting out my cleaning supplies, and prepared to spend this 90+degree day in here:

stuff piled up every where... ugh
lovely bookshelves that my husband built for me.. all disorganized and a mess!
 goodness, i better get to work. 'after' pictures tomorrow... or monday depending on how long this project takes.


new little neighbors

years ago my husband built a birdhouse and attached it to one of our children's windows upstairs.  nothing happened... no birds came... for years.  in the meantime we did have some wasps take up residence for a while.  it was interesting to watch them... and to knock on the window to stir them up (knowing they could not get us because we were on the other side of the glass!  mean, i know, but the truth). 

anyway, eventually, after years, some sparrows decided that our cute little run down birdhouse was worth rehabbing. and in they moved!  so, they have been raising their families there for the past 4 - 5 years or so.  we heard a lot of chirping the other day and my husband noticed that the latest eggs had hatched.  sometimes their is so much nesting that we aren't able to see inside, but not this time!  here are our newest little additions to the neighborhood:

mom (or dad, i can't tell them apart) showed up yesterday with a big huge grasshopper in her mouth.  good to know that they are eating well!


a new ride...

i have always loved mini coopers.  what can i say?  they are little and cute... two things that always appeal to me, so a couple weeks ago we sold the car i had been driving for about 4 years to our daughter and her husband... which meant that i could finally look for a car i loved!  woo-hoo!  we have looked at a lot online and at several in person until we finally found the perfect one.  and after all that... i DO love it!  here is a shot of its loveliness:

my sweet mini
it just makes me smile to get in it and drive it.  :)  it is zippy and fun.  anyway, that is what i have been spending quite a bit of time on lately in addition to my weekend trips to the beach and my brothers wedding.

also, i have made 2 more handbags!  they are popular with my family and friends, so i have been trying to catch up on them.  here are the newest 2:

i still have one more to make to be up to date on the 'orders' i have received. then, i will be back to working on my floorcloths and a quilt that needs to be done by mid-september.  i know, i know, i better get my behind in gear!


going on a trip

once i made one handbag (and by the way... growing up, we called them pocketbooks... and i still do) i just had to make another one.  i used an amy butler pattern called frenchy handbag.  and the fabric is so cute! 
it was for my trip to ocean isle beach, north carolina this past weekend. i visited one of my bestest friends, cam!  we went to college together... just a few years ago (more or less).  she and her husband, alan, were the masterminds behind the amazing lighting at my daughters' wedding last summer...

isn't that just beautiful?  just like my friend!  more about my trip another day...