Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quotations to Stir Heart and Mind

Here is my oldest daughter and her husband, both graduates of Auburn University, dressed and ready to go to a game and posing first with their niece.

Here is my youngest daughter and her husband, both graduates of Auburn University also, with their daughter at a game.

So my husband and myself make SIX graduates of Auburn University. We still all love "dear old Auburn". There's just no place like it.

I found this quote tonight while looking around on the web and thought it suits the season, especially for women.

"Our lives really do parallel the game of football - women spend more time "rushing" than any running back in the NFL." - Nicole Johnson

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Too Much Celebrating!

As I was putting yet another dirty kitchen towel into the washing machine in the evening on Thanksgiving Day, this is the surprise I found. Rudi, one of our cats, had enough of this celebrating and hid himself away in the laundry room!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Cookies

These are turkey cookies that my granddaughter and her mommy made for Thanksgiving today. Aren't they cute?

The turkey's head, is a chocolate-covered almond. His eyes and nose are made from a tube of white cake icing. Arrange the Oreo cookies as seen and the feathers are jelly beans. The one above was made by Paige along with three others "all by me-self"!

TA-DA! A masterpiece for Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quotations to Stir the Heart and Mind

Keep the light on, the door open, an extra log on the hearth, an extra potato in the soup. For never do we have so much as when we're sharing. - Anonymous

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

This day I wish all of you who come here a blessed and happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. I love Thanksgiving. When my girls were younger, I used to tell them that I felt "sorry" for Thanksgiving because it seems to be overlooked or skipped, at least in the retail world. We seem to just go from Halloween to Christmas. This is our table set and ready for those in our family who can be here to join us, although I have to tell you we will be eating on pretty paper plates! The furniture belonged to my husband's grandmother and grandfather and is very old. We love it and have enjoyed it for almost all our married life - 37 years this December!

My decorations are old but I still love them.

I love the candlelight and the colors of autumn.

I love the different shapes of the pumpkins and have always been a fan of Mary Engelbreit.

This is a needleroll that I cross stitched back in 2001. I have patterns for all the seasons and would like to cross stitch the other three one day and make those needlerolls.

My granddaughter loves these little figurines placed here and there and I let her play with them.
Even little things are on the refrigerator. Thanksgiving magnets are difficult to find.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quotations to Stir Heart and Mind

This one suits me to a T!

I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering. - Steven Wright

A New Outfit for Paige

Today was a babysitting day for me but she was an angel and let me sew in spurts. I made the pants today that go with the top/dress. The top is so long that it could be worn as a short dress or as a long top with pants as shown. This is a Children's Corner pattern called Abbie. Although I didn't do any embroidery or applique, it took some time because of piping, collars, lining and a very different styling in the top.

I love the colors and the paisley print. And I think it has an oriental flavor to the styling. The top was a little bit of a challenge for me but I'm glad I did it and learned something new. I love to sew for my little angel!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Old Quilt Project

This is another old quilt project I started years ago in a class with a friend. This is so old, I can't even find instructions or a pattern but I think I can finish it from observing what I've done thus far. My mother calls this a string quilt. The squares above are squares of muslin. After the squares and strips are cut, you draw lines with a pencil onto the muslin the same distance from the point (zoom in to see close-up) and sew the strips onto the muslin, beginning with sewing the first strip on each side at the pencil line, right sides together. You can use any dimensions or measurements for the squares and strips that you want depending on the size you want your finished quilt square (and quilt) to be when finished.

This first strip is turned to the right side and pressed. Then the next strip is sewn, right sides together and raw edges together to this strip and continue until it looks like the photo below.

Here are four square units ready to be sewn together into a block.

This is a close-up of one unit finished after strip piecing.

I took my four units and put them together in this order for my block. There are so many possibilities in designing your quilt block with these units as you'll see below. It all depends on the direction you sew your units together to get a different look. This is the only geometry I like!

See the three other possibilities of designing your quilt square? I've only sewn one together and now I need to decide which design I like the most or do I mix it up? I definitely want to update it by adding pink, pink, pink to the browns and blacks. So many projects, so little time :) NOTE: This was NOT intended to be a tutorial! Just a description (and not a very good one - I"m sorry!) of how I started and plan to finish this quilt. I will probably add the pinks in the borders, binding, etc. Sometimes I just fly by the seat of my pants!

Quotations to Stir Heart and Mind

I know all of you are probably familiar with this one but it's one of my favorites and thought this would be a good quote to start the day.

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. - Indian Proverb

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quotations to Stir Heart and Mind

One of my favorite things to do from time to time is to collect quotations. I think a blog is a wonderful place to keep them. Hope you enjoy this one.

We mostly spend [our] lives conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have, and to Do . . . forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except so far as they are transcended by and included in the fundamental verb, to Be. - Evelyn Underhill, The Spiritual Life

A Beautiful Sunday Outing

My husband and I went to the 70th birthday celebration of a friend from church this afternoon.

The weather was wonderful and the leaves were just beautiful.

Just wanted to share some of the beauty of the historic area of our city.

Quotations to Stir Heart and Mind

It's been a very good day except for spending SO many hours fooling around with iTunes. I do wish I understood computers better! But to end the day, I wanted to leave you with a quote I found. I have been inspired by so many of you as I have spent hours just looking at your work shared through your blogs. Your sewing, quilting, cooking, reading, tutorials, writing about your lives, and the beautiful photography! Thank you for enriching my days.

We are, in truth, more than half what we are by imitation. The great point is to choose good models and to study them with care. - Lord Chesterfield, Lord Chesterfield's Worldly Wisdom

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Adorable Little Creatures

These are some adorable little creatures I have on a disc and can applique with my fairly new sewing machine. At first I was so scared to try doing this kind of thing because I thought I was incapable. But I just kept plugging along trying to sync my sewing machine with this thing called a computer and figured it out at least this far! LOL There are 20 little creatures on the disc and I stitched the ones above just for practice and to watch what order they stitch and make notes. Then one day I was at my sewing shop and a CUSTOMER, not the owners, told me there was a feature in my software called Slow Redraw and it's wonderful. Now I can just pull up the design on the computer and click on Slow Redraw and watch it stitch on the computer and make notes. This works especially well if the designs don't have a text you can print with directions. For these practice pieces, I've decided to save them and go ahead and applique the others on white and make a little quilt with them. I used as few colors on each one as possible so I wouldn't have to keep changing the thread so they do look kind of monotone. The possibilities with using these designs are just endless. Look below for individual photos of each design.

I love the little cat and so does my granddaughter. I already have plans for my first use of this design. I have hemstitched a bright pink and white polka dot flannel blanket and am crocheting a white edging around it now. There are four rows of edging and I'm on the last row. Then I'll applique little kitty in the corner in bright pink and the blanket will be done. I was going to save it for a baby gift but my granddaughter watches me work on it and says, "that's mine!" ha! You know who will get it, don't you?

Mr. Bunny will probably have to wait until Spring and Easter although he would work well any time of the year for some sort of baby gift or children's clothing.

This little fellow I've seen on a burp cloth and it is so adorable. I'd love to do one of those. It's quite a large burp cloth and it's hemstitched around the edges and then crocheted with bedspread-weight yarn just like the baby blankets.

This little octopus is definitely headed for a hooded towel or just a towel or bath mitt or something for the bath.

And, lastly, this cute little zebra has lots of possibilities! I just love them all. I love whimsical things and tiny things and baby things.

After I got comfortable doing the applique, I used this little giraffe on two flannel receiving blankets with the hemstitching and crocheted edging. They looked just like the little fellow above and traveled to Jackson, MS, to twin boys, the first and only great grandchildren of an angel of a lady in my church. I took photos of the blankets but don't have them to publish here (yet - see note below!). This was my practice piece which I did on the white flannel instead of the white broadcloth as all the other designs above, and, not wanting to "waste" anything, I decided to make a bib with this practice piece. I squeezed the biggest bib I could out of it and crocheted around it. If I made it fasten as it is, it would probably only fit a doll or teddy bear's neck so I'm looking for ideas so that a baby could use it. Or it could go on a doll or teddy bear! Some people have suggested ribbon and I may do that. I could put little buttonholes on the two ends and run the ribbon through knot it on the front and the other end and it could be tied at the back. Any ideas from anyone?
I hope you have enjoyed meeting my little creatures and there will be more to come as I use them in projects. Ideas are churning around in my head.
***NOTE: Lately I have had a terrible time with losing things. One day about a month ago, my husband and I were in my vehicle going somewhere and I had my camera card with me and had used it (out of the camera). I was trying to put it back in the camera and dropped it between the console and the passenger seat in the front of the vehicle. I SAW it drop! This was a 2 GB card. There's no guessing as to how many photos were on that card! We have done everything trying to retrieve (or even see) that card. We have even put a new bag in our vacuum cleaner and vacuumed that area and all around and then tore the bag open and - no card! We have looked and looked and looked. I am tempted to go to my dealership and ask them to take the seat OUT to see if we can retrieve that card. I hate to lose all those photos!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Very First Quilt

This is the pattern for the very first quilt I stitched. I am thinking "out loud" now. I started this quilt when my children were in elementary school so that was probably about 20 years ago! I would sit by the pool and anchor everything down so the wind wouldn't carry it off and I hand-pieced the entire quilt while I watched them swim.

Here is a photo of the quilt "sandwiched" and ready to be quilted. At first I was going to hand stitch the quilt since I had hand-pieced it but now I have decided to machine quilt it. I did sew the borders on by machine. My machine does have a feature that makes the stitching look hand quilted and that will be fun to use that. I've begun stitching it and am going to rip it all out and start over. In fact, I almost decided to "ditch" the entire quilt because my tastes in quilt styles have changed so much in 20 years. But I decided to finish it. I'm too sentimental about remembering what was going on in my life to do that and have decided to finish it. It will remind me of that happy time in my life when my children were so young and I enjoyed watching them play.

Here is a close-up of the stitching. You can see the little french knots for the angels' hair and their little round mouths hand-stitched as they are singing :) It's really an old fashioned pattern (or vintage as the term is nowadays) and vintage is "in", right? It is a wallhanging size, a very small quilt. I've decided that it is charming and a keeper.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Thanksgiving Feast

My granddaughter had a big time today at her Mother's Day Out dancing, singing, eating and playing. The 2 yr. old class went to visit all the other classes and did some Thanksgiving "carolling" - a new concept. Parents and grandparents were invited to eat lunch with them and I went with her mother. We had a good time. Here she is dancing and enjoying herself.

Paige and her best friend, Madison.

She actually kept the bows tied on her gobble, gobble dress!

She's a hoot!! Her mother made the dress and she made the headdress!

Let Me Introduce You

May I introduce you to our second cat? This is Peekie, shortened from his given name, Peek-A-Boo. The reason I named him this was because of how shy he was when I brought him home as a 4 month old kitten from our vet's office. He and his brother were looking for a home and I just fell in love with the little white fur on his nose. I remember the day I brought him into the house and put him on our bed, he hid behind our pillows - thus his name! But we call him Peekie. He is the sweetest, most laid back, laziest cat. He is so easy to take to the vet. He plays with the dog. His favorite thing is for you to pet him while he's eating. And in the winter, he is so big and fluffy, especially his beautiful fluffy tail. He only eats cat food and drinks water. He is low maintenance and only wants loving. Isnt' he precious?

A Stocking for Paige

I found this stocking at Target today for Paige and I just want to personalize it. Any ideas from anyone?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I'm such a doting grandmother that I have to share another Paige-ism. Yesterday we saw Santa Claus on a whim - didn't plan it at all. He was just at this shopping center where we were and we went in to see him. He gave Paige a gold jingle bell necklace on a gold cord and a "Twas the Night Before Christmas" coloring book. So when we got home at lunchtime, I put her in her little booster chair to buckle in to eat and told her she could color in the coloring book that Santa gave her while I made her lunch. I gave her instructions NOT to color or mark on the countertops, only in the book. We've been through this many times and she always marks on the countertops at least a little (tee hee) but I really don't worry about it because we still have formica countertops and have never switched to the new granite tops and don't know much about cleaning the granite, etc. I was busy making her lunch and she was busy coloring. All of a sudden, I heard her say "Ta Da"! I looked over and she had created a really, really, big piece of art in blue and purple on the white countertop. At least the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser did its magic! I love it - a proud little budding artist - but don't want it on my walls or furniture! ha!

A Mammoth Project

Fourteen Church Kneelers

This is a photograph of one of fourteen needlepoint church kneelers in our church. I was approached by a couple of ladies and our pastor about 7 or 8 years ago to head up a committee to make these kneelers. At the time, I was co-owner of a needlework shop and certainly had access to supplies to accomplish this. A lot of needlepoint is either printed or painted on the canvas and these painted canvases are very expensive before you even start stitching (or even buying your thread to stitch the canvas). We bought rolls of blank canvas, needles, paint, and wool thread and started from "scratch"! After our measurements were made and configurations were done as to what we needed, we determined we needed fourteen kneelers. So we cut the blank canvas, drew the designs onto the canvas with a pencil (all fourteen!) and then hand painted the canvases in the colors we needed. Then classes were held to teach those who didn't know how to needlepoint or to refresh those who did. These classes took about a year and the remaining seven years were spent actually stitching. As it turned out, we had fourteen stitchers who finished the "race"! What a coincidence! You will see initials on each kneeler. Some kneelers were completely finished by one person, some by two, some by three and some as many as four people working on the same kneeler but we got it done! It WAS a mammoth project!! It's the biggest project I've ever been involved in. They are beautiful and enhance the sanctuary. We dedicated our work and these kneelers in May of this year and it was such a celebration for all of us who worked so diligently to finish them.


This is what I am currently reading and I think I am correct in saying that this is James Patterson's first non-fiction book. My husband has read every book this man has written and loves his books. He always has his name on the waiting list at the library for the next new one published and boy, oh boy, can this man "spit" out the books! My husband encouraged me to read his fiction but I just didn't enjoy it because I couldn't get through the "gore" in the beginning so I've never read one of his books. This one is different and about a family's struggle with a child who has Tourette's syndrome. I don't read as much as some of you do but I do like to keep something going.


As I am a fairly new grandmother of a one and only grandchild, a 2 yr. old precious little girl, right now, I am going to post what I call Paige-isms from time to time. These are just cute and funny little sayings or happenings her Paw Paw and I experience with her as we spend time with her.

Last week we were playing Christmas music on TV as we were having lunch or doing something around here with her and the song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" was playing. Paw Paw and Paige LOVE to sing together and he was singing this new song to her. After a little bit of singing, he turned to her and said, "Paige, I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus" to which she said, "Uh Oh"! ha! Gotta love it!

Portrait of a Kitten

This is a painting I did a few tears ago of one of our cats, Rudi. He really belongs to our youngest daughter but lives with us. She got him when she was in nursing school at Auburn and "nursed" him to life. He was abandoned by his mother and the vet guessed that he was about 5 days old when she got him. She bottle fed him and did other things to become his mother. This painting is done in pastels and was worked from a photograph I took of him when he was tiny, tiny, tiny. I think he is approximately 8 years old now. He did bite and scratch one of my sisters on a visit here about a year or two ago so he ended up in "jail" for 10 days at the vet's office. His personality has changed somewhat since he's been to jail! Our vet told us that a kitten that has a history like his and never had a mother cat to raise him could never be "dominated" and would always think he was not a cat, but a human, on the same "level" with us. But, really, if you think about it, have you ever known a cat that could be "dominated"?!? ha!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Do I Dare Share This?!?

This is scary for me to share this. This is an unfinished painting but I'm seeing what comments I get on it. I went to Canvas 'n Corks with a group to paint a few months ago. We all painted a sunset and I hated mine. So I came home and painted over the entire canvas in brown and am trying to paint a huge painting of a grouping of three pears that I saw in the magazine I need to work on the pear in the back. The shape really doesn't look like a pear although I do like the colors in it. The painting is done in acrylics.