Sunday, January 30, 2011

Design Wall Monday

My creation

The first row of blocks are recent history. I wanted to see what a few of the Civil War Diary Quilt blocks will look like. The mosaic will only allow 36 and I am pround to say that I have nearly 50 done!!

I am going to post what my before and after pics of my problem areas in the home office on the first. I am going to move on to the bathroom and linen closet for February.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I have found some really cute things at the Happiness Project. I like the 6 word Memoirs that are linked to it. I thought I would write a 6 word memoir myself.

Winter, wrestling, working , working out, FUN!

OK,  it isn't the best but it summed up the week. I will keep trying to make them clever. By the way, the photo is just for fun.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I have been thinking about what happiness is recently. I usually do this often, but starting a new year brings it to the forefront of my mind.

I have been reading info at the Happiness Project and have found it interesting. I realized many years ago that Happiness is a choice, a state of mind, a process. It isn't a place, like in the picture above that makes me happy. You know, a destination that you need to arrive to.

It is doing things that you enjoy... so here is a small list of silly things, and some more serious ones,  that I enjoy

playing Irish Jigs, folk tunes and RenFest songs on my violin
making quilts
knitting, crochet, and tatting
taking a car ride to enjoy the scenery
learning about history and visiting those places on vacation
singing silly songs
wearing jeans to work on Friday
listening to traditional celtic music as well as celtic punk

Spending time with my family
reading poetry
reading the Bible

I think I will spend more time doing those things. Not the "shoulda" list. You know like playing scales for hours not the fun stuff on the voilin. Making simple yet powerful quilts. Creating things in the "old" way, by hand to connect with art and the creative process. Laughing with family. I still need to clean my closets but it isn't going to be all of my free time!

And much more time on my spiritual walk. Maybe that's the closet that needs the most attention...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Some of the blocks in the section of the quilt are, well, weird to me. The first block pictured especially. I feel like I am really making progress on this quilt! The halfway point is getting close.

I am working on enjoying the moment today. All of them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The office is shaping up. I see surfaces where there was stuff before.  I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

It has made me think about why we keep stuff and how I invest my time. And ponder things like where does dust come from, how mice could possibly come in my house uninvited and how so much can be crammed in a small space.

I think I need to have  more fun...I am beginning to dream about how I am going to get all this out to the trash before pick up time on Monday!


Monday, January 24, 2011


Pictured are the blocks I have completed this week. I am continuing to work on the Civil War Diary quilt. As I look at each block, I have to laugh at all the little mistakes that I made in each of them. :) that's what makes it my quilt, right?! 

I have been working on deep cleaning and organizing. I am choosing one room a month. I chose the hardest room first, the home office. By the first of the February, I am going to show a before and after photo of the problem areas. I am only dedicating 20 min segments to this job. On the weekends, it is several 20 minute segments as I have more time but not the patience! I am so ready for this room to be done and on to the next room.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I am on a roll, three more blocks done!

After the last two blocks in a previous post, I was ready for something to go right on the CWDQ blocks. This green star was great until the end, when I realized I had y-seams to contend with. I mean really, y-seams with today's technology in paper piecing and we have y-seams?? C'mon!!!! After a million attempts  and several hours invested to sew it, this is the results and I am living with it! Just don't examine it closely, OK?

Love this block, no surprises. My mom cleaned out her fabric stash and I was the recipient of the little scraps. Love it when I get new colors to add!

This is such a rich colored block but it doesn't photograph that way. My favorite. I am reading each Civil War Diary entry that goes with the block made and some are very sad. I am trying to counter the sadness with such happy fabrics. I guess I needed a reminder that it was War and families were torn apart. I think the Farmer's wife quilt will be more uplifting when I read the essay's for each block.

Happy Friday, it is cold and snowy and I am supposed to travel one hour in the weather for a meeting. We will see if they cancel it and the wrestling tournament that it 1 1/2 hours away this evening.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Challenges for 2011

I have decided to make a several resolutions for 2011.  The first one I want to share and be accountable to here. I am deep cleaning and organizing the closets, shelves and spaces. It was made perfectly clear that last December after my FIL died. We couldn't find pictures, important documents and files. My closets are dusty and cluttered. I knew that but now I KNOW it. I need to do something about it.

After living in the same house for 10 years, I have accumulated some things. I have sorted and tossed over the years but the accumulation outpaces the tossing. I have decided to redecorate and make things much simpler.

I had a Victoriana taste when I moved here 10 years ago. Now I want a more modern meets traditional fusion. I live in a 100 year old home but I think this can be accomplished. I have purchased a few modern accessories. Now the challenge.

I am going to take photos of problem areas. You will see a before and after when I have finished. I am hoping to do one room a month. Yes a month, because I am going to do a lot of things that are not noticeable on the surface. I am finding photos show me things I don't see when I am looking at it in person. I live in a 8 room house with 2 enclosed porches and a basement. All need organizing. I am not going to paint this year just tidy up. I am planning on doing this work in 20 minutes increments 3-4 times a week. The home office/music room is first. I have been working on it all month. Hopefully by Feb first it will be photo ready.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday and a makeover of sorts

I have made a few CWDQ blocks this week. They are small and time consuming but I am pleased with the progress, so far. This block is called Anxieties and it is not what the picture colorway is in the book. I had to re-sew most pieces twice and it caused me plenty of anxiety making it. I know the color mistakes won't be glaring in the overall quilt. Better to be done than perfect in this case!!

 I am going to set this quilt on point with sashing just like the Farmer's Wife quilt. Guess what my next quilt is going to be? Not Dear Jane as I originally thought but the Farmer's Wife. I may not try a Dear Jane or Nearly Insane, they are cool but not sure I want to do such tiny pieces. Not in 2011 any way!

Ok big risk time. Here is my new hairdo, fresh from the salon. See my profile pic for the before. I am tired of people thinking my DH is younger by 10 years and that I am 10 years older than my age, which happens to be his age too. :(  It isn't fair!! I am trying to buy better fitting and more up to date clothes too. The gym and dieting is paying off!

This was the weekend that DH ordered his kilt at Canterbury Village in Lake Orion, MI. He is so excited for the Highland Games. He is going to be in a few this summer for the first time and it should be tons of fun. We went to a wrestling tournament on Sat. Please note that in the above picture the smaller wrestler is my DS and was bumped up a weight class. I was a nervous wreck, the other guy is so big!! No injuries, so all went well.

I have MLK off so today is cleaning up the house and working on my organizing projects after the weekend away from home with wrestling, shopping and kilt ordering. I am getting a small amount of progress made, so I feel better about the whole thing. It definitely gets worse looking before it gets better. I have to watch the shows on TV about home make overs and the hoarders to remind myself of that truth.

Watch for upcoming decor changes, my goal for a weight loss reward that involves a tartan fabric, organization updates and if I can replicate my hair later this week. Sounds like a bad soap opera doesn't it!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Valentines quilt is bound! It is a small one for the back of the couch. I am glad I have it done and displayed. It gives the house a nice little sparkle for Valentines day.

I am going to get my hair cut on Monday. I think I am going to get it cut about three inches shorter. I have been trying to get my over all look more put together but it really isn't easy sometimes.I need to buy some clothes that fit. I have lost enough weight that my small clothes are too big! What a nice problem but I hate spending money on clothes. I would rather buy fabric and batting.  I would wear my pajamas all day if the world would let me, but it really is against the company dress code!

What are 40 something people wearing these days? Hair ideas? I may really have her cut it above shoulder length but I usually get talked out of it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Here is the products of my last couple of days worth of work on my sewing. I was reminded by fellow bloggers that Valentine's Day is soon. Thanks Tea Quilts! I started to think about a quilt I made for such an occasion. I realized I haven't bound it yet. I have to whip stitch the binding tonight and the picture of the finished product will be up tomorrow. I discovered I have a ton of edges to weave in from quilting it. It was one of my first attempts on the long arm.

I had a red faced moment last night. It was my son's big birthday. 16!!! We went to dinner, had the wait staff sing to him as is our family tradition on birthdays , then went home open gifts. He started to laugh when he opened his card. I thought it was funny until he said, "Mom you bought me the same card last year." Ooops, I liked it so much I bought it twice, I am turning into my grandmother. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Here are a few of the Civil War Diary Quilt blocks I have completed this past week. I am not even to the half way point of the 121 blocks in this quilt. They are 6 inch square. My goal is to finish this for my son's room this year. Note that I said to use in his room not for him to "keep." He has several quilts, just not queen sized. :)

I am still asking for any recommendations from everyone on how to organize closets, papers and general stuff! I have made this a goal for this winter. I have several places where things are stored like papers and photos. That is step one to consolidate to one space. I am currently purging papers that aren't needed in files so I have more room. I NEED TIPS AND POINTERS. ANY COMMENTS ARE WELCOME ON ORGANIZING! THANKS everyone.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yesterday am before the wrestling tournament it was 3 degrees F. I snapped this photo quickly from the parking lot at the High School. Today it was -6 when I first woke up. Not sure if I want to try to snow shoe today. I still have my friends shoes. :) We planned I would return them this week.

Since November, this is where I have been spending much of my time on Wednesday evenings and Saturday , yes all day, for tournaments. It was hard for me to watch at first, but I think I am getting into it now and it isn't so scary to watch. Wrestling is a most difficult sport physically and mentally. It is a sport of good sportsmanship too which I like. Bad sportsmanship is highly frowned upon and will get you hissed by the crowd.

Here is my latest CWDQ block. They are getting easier to make. I think I have the paper piecing thing down. I am making this a very scrappy quilt.

The question of the day: How do you get papers, closets and the house organized? Any and all responses are welcome because I am having a bit of trouble trying to get started. I am weeding through papers and files in the house first. I am trying to organize like things together to determine storage. My problem is now I have like items in several places due to space and not organizing them together. Help, I have never been this disorganized before. I guess it comes with living in the same house for 10 years. In the past we moved every couple of years and that forces me to purge and get organized.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Here is a special chicken nugget that was in my son's order. Awwww. I had to have a picture with my new little camera! A small Nikon that DH gave me for Christmas, so easy to use and the pictures are great!

The first Civil War Diary Quilt block for 2011. I have about 80 to go. The tiny pieces are not the easiest to do.

I am going to resolve to have a more positive attitude all day when I am at work. Really, you know I would rather be quilting! By the way, lost one pound! On the road to losing 45 more by the end of the year. Just so you know, I ate only one fry when my son ordered the Wendy's ordered pictured.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Last Day of my Christmas Vacation

Here is Christmas morning. We had a wonderful time. My daughter and son in law were here for a week. The whole family watched TV, shopped, snow shoed, went to my son's wrestling tournament, saw Tron and the theater and ate wonderful meals. I really enjoyed the time together.

I spend today taking down the tree. I cleaned. I finished a quilting a queen sized quilt for a customer. I ate lunch with my Dad. I went to Hobby Lobby and decided to redo my whole house. I am starting today. All this before 2 pm!!

2011 I have decided out with the old and in with the new. I am redecorating a bit. I need a change with the house and it will be a long term project. I am going to continue my weight loss and exercise goals. I want to de- clutter and organize. I did start all of that today and plan to do a little several times a week to get organized.

What else? Not sure, but I think growing our Long Arm business and just plain having more fun. I am working on 2 quilts that were started last year and hope to finish them. I have 7 tops to quilt. My husband is getting started with the Highland games and that will be a blast to follow this summer. I have a lot to look forward to this year. Sigh, back to work tomorrow. It really was fun being off but time to get back at it.