Friday, March 16, 2018

Fabric and Fiber Friday and a Finish (sort of)

It's bright! But I have another 'top' to a quilt done and in the pile to find a backing and finish up.

This is Poppy Mae by Robin Pickens for Moda and I fell in love with it the minute I saw it at Prickly Pear Quilts in January. Cold, grey January.

I bought a charm pack and the 'black poppy' fabric and came up with this design for the quilt top. A couple of trips back to pick up the fabric I used in the solid blocks and the sashing/borders and it went together. Making this top also highlighted the fact I want a design wall. A 'design floor' just isn't practical.

If you were to tell me orange, green and black would be a quilt I would make I would laugh. Orange-ish colors are not something I normally would select. But I love this quilt top! 

I am also proud my seams matched up really well (for once)! The top is about 74" square and will make a really nice quilt to wrap up in.

However, I have set it aside to make another Elizabeth Hartman Dog Pillow and a Cat Pillow for Texter's Capstone Project which is to raise food/money for the Lewis and Clark Humane Society. They will have a fundraising event and are looking for donations to raffle off.

And my Octopus hat needs some 'love' in the next couple of it get it finished now!

Today is finish up on the dog pillow while making Irish soda bread and green cupcakes for Savvy for a "Rock Show" at work on Saturday. The Saturday I will be traveling down to Whitehall, Montana to Dysfunctional Quilter for their huge fabric sale. My last fabric play date before I have to knuckle down and start getting ready for the move.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Week in Review - March 4 - 10

It's been a great week for the most part. We won't talk about me slipping on the ice Friday morning and now have a knee brace to help with the discomfort of trying to do a snowboarding move and failing.


We have had warming temperatures!

My bay window of plants got a bit of a 'makeover' this week. I had a piece of one of the orchids break off and hopefully, it will flourish by itself in a new pot. My African violet has been blooming now for months and shows no sign of stopping. I think it might be over and there is another flush of flowers. And I have several orchids ready to open up. Loving the look.

But back to the warmer temperatures. What we find so funny here in Montana is even with still being in the 30's, everyone is in sweaters and jackets, not heavy coats. As long as the sun is out, it is actually pleasant.

Last Sunday was the Princess Tea. What a great time (and great snacks). For the full report, read this post and enjoy the pictures. 

Monday was my first weigh-in at Weight Watchers and I lost 4.4 pounds! Huzzah! We won't discuss how I killed my points on Wednesday with a stop at KFC in Whitehall, Montana. Who knew a biscuit used up all those points!

Most of the week was spent finishing up projects which had been sitting there. They include...

  • 'Bella' Bear for Lady K
  • Soup bowls
  • 'Dog' pillow
  • 2 gauze and minky blankets for Texter and Lady K

  • Pulled out pieces of a quilt and restarted on it

  • A quick trip to Whitehall to the Dysfunctional Quilter to pick up my bag I had 'earned' from my purchases back last summer. They were out of them at that time, restocked in October, and I finally made it there.

I love the bag. It's a nice heavy canvas bag. And I picked up a needle threader while I was at it.

I have reached the age where I am saying 'screw it' when it comes to trying to stick thread through the tiny eye of a needle. And this one is so cute!

The coming week will be much of the same...

  • Beta read on a novel for a friend
  • Attend a craft session at the library
  • Finish up the Flower Quilt and pick another project to finish up on
  • Finish up the Octopus Hat
  • Go watch 'A Winkle in Time'
  • Attend the huge sale at Dysfunctional Quilter on Saturday with a friend
But for now, I have to go fix hot chocolate for Lady K (and another cup of coffee for myself).

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Lake Silence - Anne Bishop

It arrived the afternoon of the 6th and I finished the afternoon of the 7th...

which is typical for me reading an Anne Bishop book.

In Anne Bishop's latest book of The Others, Lake Silence, picks up a different storyline, focusing on Vicki DeVine and her attempt to make a life and living for herself at a rundown resort on the Finger Lakes. Problem is her ex-husband has made a deal which means he wants 'The Jumble' back. 

Love, love, love this book. Besides being a great story, it is so meaningful in the lessons it has to impart. Vicki is slowly learning to live with and respect the other residents of the land in and around The Jumble. With the help of Aggie, one of the Crowgard, she and the Elders, Elementals and other shapeshifters are in a great place, both learning about the other and finding out what works and what doesn't.

However, it all comes apart as a dead body appears on her property and...

Well, you HAVE to read the book.

My only problem with the book? It ended! And now I want to go back and reread the first 5 in the series. And I want more of Vicki and the Sprongers.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Friday Fiber and Fabrics - March 9

Wow! The sun is out, it's above freezing already and suppose to be in the 40's for the coming few days!

And I have been 'springing forward' and getting projects completed. Of course, it doesn't help I keep adding to the pile either.

In the FINISHED column, we have 'Bella' Bear.

However, as I was adding this picture, Lady K saw it and I got into a bit of trouble.

"Why is Bella in the snow?"
"I took her picture."
"You got her dirty!"
"No, I didn't. Is she dirty on the bottom?"
After checking, "No. Did she leave a butt print?"
"No, she's too light."
"I leave butt prints."
"Yes, you do."

Also in the finished column are some fabric soup bowls I started back at Christmas and finally got them done. (I didn't take pictures before shipping them off.) They should be in the hands of their new owners on Saturday.

In the mail to is my "Dog Pillow".

The pictures were taken after being washed and dried. I love the pillow cover. It's nice and heavy and cushy. The pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman. We won't discuss the six other patterns by her I have in my to-do pile. Cat and Fox are semi-started. I have Fancy Forest, Unicorn, Delightful Desert and Greenhouse to do. And I want Tokoyo Subway Map. Depending on my stash of white(ish) fabrics, the Unicorn might be next.

I bought the pattern as a kit for the pillow. I loved the backing fabric and the fact the sweater on the dog is flannel. The size is just right to put an old bed pillow in. You know, one of those which has seen better days, but you can't bear to get rid of. 

So Dog Pillow is done and will arrive on Saturday at its destination. 

The gauze fabric on the left is now on the bed with Texter (or I would have taken a picture). The Owl fabric will be turned into a blanket today (fingers crossed or I am in BIG trouble). They are both simple stitching and cutting. The owl, in fact, will be a flip-n-stitch-quilt-as-you-go blanket.  Both are backed with minky, which means after my sewing session with them is over, I need to open up my sewing machine and do a bit of lint cleaning.

This coming week I need to do the following:

  • Finish up the Octopus Hat
  • Finish up the Peony Fabric Quilt
  • Hang a flannel sheet to use as a design wall to work on the above
There are also some plans for a couple of other quilt tops from the Goodwill Fabric Samples, but will have to see where that leads.

In the meantime, I need to get busy. Savvy wants to stop by Goodwill when I pick her up this morning!

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

2018 Princess Tea!

If there is one event we will all miss when we leave Montana, it will be the annual Princess Tea.

Put on as a fundraiser for Helena Playable Playgrounds, and with sponsorship from Jensen Jewelers, the Princess Tea allows young princesses to dress up and interact with all the Disney Princesses. 

All the Princesses (and Princes) you see are volunteers and spend several hours learning how to be a Princess and then how to act with the kids. 

Since the event is in March, Aunt Savvy buys Lady K a 'Princess of the Day' ticket so she can attend. Being a Princess of the Day means you get a really nice tiara and a piece of jewelry. And we aren't talking junk here! This is some really, really nice jewelry and well worth the price of the ticket.

It also means we got in about 30 minutes early so we didn't have to fight the crowds for pictures with the Princesses and you also get to sit up at the front with one of the Princesses during the tea. Last year, Lady K was with Elsa. This year she was with Jasmine and Moana - 2 for 1!

This year the theme was "Alice in Wonderland". This also hit all of Texter's buttons as she loves Alice. And it's also one of my favorite books. (I need a replace my the annotated copy I had before the fire.)

The set-up is magical.

Lots of wonderful snacks. There are also goldfish, carrots, apple juice, tea and more cookies for each table.

The centerpieces were so fun. Some had a rabbit peeking out.

Others had a red heart.

Texter wanted to take home one of the centerpieces, but couldn't figure out how to sneak it out. She did wind up with a partial stack of teacups as one got broken and Savvy brought it home for her.

Speaking of Savvy...

She was there, representing Jensen Jewelers. They were handing out the 'Princess of the Day' bags and also had additional jewelry for sale for the little princesses.

There is also a massive silent auction going on during the event, mainly of baskets of kid-related toys.

The entire right side were tables set up with the items for the auction. Once again, the proceeds going to Helena Playable Playgrounds.

Texter and Lady K were checking it all out. There was a 'bit' of disappointment when we didn't 'win'.

Even the stage had whimsical decorations.


Face painting, nail painting, and hair coloring went on during the event. 

Princesses and Princes lined both sides of the upper floor with colorful backdrops for each one.

And there were some Disney Villainesses mingling with the crowd too.

The funny part of the day was Tinkerbell and Belle. 

You see, they both work with Aunt Savvy. And Lady K was very blunt in stating who Tinkerbell actually was. Along with Kristoff (from 'Frozen'), who also happens to be Tinkerbell's partner. But Belle? Nope, Belle is Belle. Not Aunt Savvy's manager, but she is Belle.  

After an hour or so of socializing with the Princesses, there is the grand entrance of all the Princesses escorting the Princesses of the Day.

One thing I noticed this year was there were many more fathers at the event. It was funny to see outfits ranging from jeans and t-shirts to formal tails. And this year it also seemed more and more of the mothers were using the occasion to dress up too.

Lady K was fortunate enough to attend 3 Princess Teas while we lived here. And has 3 tiaras to wear (which are put up actually).

And now that American Airlines flies into Bozeman and Missoula....hmmm....maybe another year?

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Week in Review - February 25 - March 3

Some weeks are interesting because you learn new things. Like buying a kit for a teddy bear and all the instructions are basically in French.

The other thing (and most important) I learned was about 'party decks'. About how you laugh, and eat, and dance. And do backflips. That part made me stop and think about it for a while. Also, about the 'captain' who is part shark. At that part, I totally lost all understanding and just nodded. I think it was the full moon.

I also realized I have never made a doll quilt for Lady K. 

Lady K got to dive into my stash of fabric (mainly scraps) and picked out the fabric she wanted for the quilt.

She was very happy with the outcome and it was a fun couple of hours making it for her. Now for the 'french' bear!

Otherwise this week...

  • Got the car serviced in preparation for the drive back to North Carolina
  • Sent out the rest of the letters/postcards I need for InCoWriMo
  • Unstapled all the fabric samples I got from Goodwill 
  • Cleaned up and organized my desk and sewing area
  • Made a list of projects to refocus on what has deadlines and what doesn't
  • Received a book to beta read
  • Finished 6 books
  • Bought way too much fabric!
  • Joined Weight Watchers
  • Watched 'Black Panther' (great movie - strong women)

The coming week...

  • Attend the Princess Tea (our last one-sigh)
  • Botanical Drawing event at the library
  • Put together a 'French' Bear
  • Finish up a couple of sewing projects and get them in the mail
  • Beta read!
  • See how much I've lost (if I have) in my first week of Weight Watchers
  • Get my writing level back up 
  • Sketch out ideas for a couple of quilts to get it out of my head and onto paper

But for now, off to savor the last of my cup of coffee...

And watch it snow some more.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Mandala Monday

Trying to channel warm thoughts in my heart, even though I know in my head Montana isn't through with winter yet!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Week in Review - February 18 - 24


Late posting this today, but it's a case of trying to do 10 things at one time. The main item is moving 'stuff' from my desktop over to an external hard drive. I have pretty much maxed out my dear Mac's storage (it's an older model, but still runs fantastic, fire and all). 

However, when you are having to transfer 24,000 pictures a 'bunch' at a time, it slows down the computer.

Therefore, I am cleaning up my room, doing laundry and listening to my YouTube videos on my watch later list while doing so.

But it's been a fun week and I think I am shaking off the winter doldrums after the past few days! Thank goodness. Not that the snow and cold have disappeared (waiting for the other shoe to drop there), but just feeling a bit more 'up' and energetic. Maybe I'm coming out of hibernation?

Two or three big things this week.

This first was meeting up with friends to celebrate a birthday. And as it happens, her birthday is the same day as Texter's Divorce-aversary. So a chance to eat out (rather than chicken nuggets at the drive through) and have some great conversation with friends.

Second fun thing was a chance to hang with Savvy for the day.

It's not often we have days off and nothing planned for either of us to mesh and she hasn't been anywhere in, well, months.

Also, I needed some John James needles for cross stitch. If you stitch, you understand. The drive was ok until we got close to our destination. Then the wind was terrible and the snow was blowing across the road like fog in a horror movie. Really interesting.

Then Saturday, Texter, Lady K and I headed in the other direction to hit the bookstores and Krispy Kreme. While we were there we were charged to stop at Bernice's Bakery for butterhorns. And across from Bernice's was a fairly new store, Noteworthy!

It's a stationary and printing store and hit all the right buttons for Texter and I. I should have taken pictures, but we were so excited about being there (and it was starting to snow) I didn't. But we will be returning before we depart Montana.

As far as Bernice's is concerned - butterhorns versus Krispy Kreme? I have to say of the two, I still prefer the donuts. Krispy Kreme is not my favorite donut. Too sweet and heavily glazed for me, the Sugar Queen. I prefer a 'Southern Maid' donut, warm from the cooker. I thought the butterhorn was a bit heavy and almost stale. The texture wasn't appealing to me. More like a rolled up coffee cake left out.

But in all fairness, I will have to return and try again!

Otherwise this week:

  • Fabric haul from Goodwill
  • Lots of little car maintenance in preparation for the drive back to North Carolina
  • Asked to be a beta reader for an author
  • Finished 6 books
  • Worked on the octopus hat and the Coffee Shop Wrap
  • Mailed out 1 letter

The coming week:

  • Unstaple fabric samples and start planning what I want to do with it all
  • Finish up the Octopus Hat
  • READ!
  • Write 9 more letters so I have my 28 for the month for InCoWriMo
  • Mail out a couple of parcels to friends
  • Look into a carrier for the minivan
  • Get a spare key for the van

But for now it's time to swap out the washer and dryer and finish up on my room!