"...for we put the thought of all that we love into all that we make" ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!

2009 has really been a nice year. I'm excited to see what 2010 will be like :)

And for my quilty friends...

May your pins always be sharp...
Shiny New Pins!
My pins were in really bad shape! I pitched them all and bought brand new ones this morning, taking advantage of a really great sale at Joann's.

May you always have a good sharp blade...
New Rotary Cutter Blades

More lovely sale stuff from Joann's- including pinking shears, something I've been wanting to get for a long time!

May you have time to sit down and enjoy the work made with your hands...
Hoop Up! Supplies
This hoop is the BEST!! The thread doesn't have anything to catch on!

And may your fabrics always coordinate!
Fabrics For A Quilt
I'm trying to find a pattern that these fabrics can be used for. Because I just love them all together!

Today is my 7th wedding anniversary :) It's hard to believe that it's been 7 years already! They've been good years, and I pray that the ones to come are just as good (or better!).

See you next year! (YES! I wanted to work that in somehow!)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December Bee Blocks

Hi everyone! I hope you had a lovely Christmas! I did... we spent Christmas Eve with my mother-in-law and had lots of fun and good food and eggnog with brandy in it :) Christmas Day was spent at home because the weather was bad. But that was OK too, because in addition to lots of nice things, Santa brought Hubby and I very bad colds for Christmas :(

I spent yesterday and today catching up on December swaps and bee blocks! I took everything to the post office this afternoon- just in the nick of time! I can't show you the mini quilts yet, but here's the bee blocks!

APOWB December Block
Joyce sent some red and green fabrics and asked for wonky log cabins for the "A Piece Of Work B" bee.

SDQB December
Kimmie sent some really pretty pinks and blues and asked for traditional, symmetrical blocks with no wonkiness for the "Sweet Dreams Quilting Bee" bee.

SDQB December Block #2
Kimmie sent enough fabric that I was able to make her two blocks.

December Buzz Cuts
And Sudi-Laura sent out white fabric, and asked for wonky stars made with our scraps for the "Buzz Cuts" bee! I have LOTS of scraps, so I made her two blocks...

December Buzz Cuts
I like making wonky stars. They go so fast and they're quite addictive! I may have to make some more of these to use up more scraps!

I spent part of the past weekend going through UFO's and making plans to finish them up! I also cleaned the room my GrandQuilter is in, organized all my threads, and went over the machine and frame, tightening bolts and oiling and generally getting it ready for heavy use. I have big plans for getting a LOT of stuff done in 2010.

As for my 2010 resolutions- I have set a goal of not buying ANY fabric from now until June!! It will be hard to keep that goal, but I am determined. I have so much fabric now it's really quite ridiculous, and it's also making my sewing room too crowded, which makes it unpleasant to be in. And I can't create in an unpleasant environment!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Well, it's been a very interesing day around here!! Part of my morning was spent breaking an ice jam on the porch roof. I managed to accomplish this before the roof collapsed, so that was good. The gutters are completely frozen, and a buildup of snow had started collecting water. Hubby noticed it last night and broke it up, but it re-formed.
Christmas Eve Ice Storm

 Christmas Eve Ice Storm
Our trees are not doing well either. The ice, combined with 30pmh winds is tearing them to pieces. As I sit and write this I can hear snapping sounds outside.

These pictures are not in black and white, by the way. It's really that gloomy outside today!

It is warming up, though, and now we're supposed to get plain rain- lots of it, too. Maybe 3 inches of it by tomorrow. Then it's supposed to get cold really fast and snow.

Hubby and I will be having our first Christmas Day at home tomorrow... this was not the plan, but this storm has made it unsafe to travel to my parent's house. I'm not terribly happy about this. I love spending time with my family! And since Hubby and I are not giving each other gifts this year, our only presents to open are also in Madison. But I think Santa is planning to fill the stockings I made, so at least we'll have something to "open" tomorrow morning :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm Still Alive!

Everything has been crazy!!! I'll be so happy when it's 2010, and all this holiday stuff is over.

I've been sewing... something... for someone. And something else for someone else. And another thing... you can see where this is going. I can't post pictures of my latest stuff until after Christmas!

I did have a very lovely birthday!! Turning 31 was made a LOT nicer by the discovery that I've lost 17 pounds since the end of October!! I credit this to changes in my eating habits. For example, my birthday was 4 days ago, and we still have 3/4 of my cake left. Last year it was all gone by the next day!

I don't think I'll be on here until after Christmas- I have so much sewing and baking to do!!


I wish all my friends a lovely, peaceful, and blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And The Stockings Were Hung...

By the chimney with care- and then adored by all in the house!!

Hung By The Chimney With Care...
I just love how they turned out! Hubby likes them too. So much so that he asked me to save the scraps so additional ones can be made if and when that becomes necessary :)

Hubby and I are not doing presents for each other this year, so we won't have anything to open here at the house on Christmas morning. But I think Santa is planning to fill the stockings with lovely treats for us :) And that will give us something to "open" before we head off to Mom and Dad's for the rest of the day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Very Lovely Gift!

My birthday isn't until Thursday, but my friend Vicki decided to give me a present at the lock-in she hosted at Tammy Tadd Designs on Saturday- and it is one AMAZING gift!!

Living in such a large city area, we are blessed with many different cultures to explore. One amazing place to explore (and spend LOTS of money on insanely cute things) is Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights, IL. It's not far from where Vicki works.

Happy Birthday!!
Check out this amazing birthday present!

Happy Birthday!!
The tea cups and tea bag plates are just so adorable :) These came from Mitsuwa. I just love them!

Happy Birthday!!
And just look at all this amazing caffeine... er, I mean, tea! This will be SO nice for those long winter quilting sessions. Harney & Sons is just about the best tea money can buy, too. Yummy!

Happy Birthday!!
And lastly... Vicki knows I'm a pretty big fan of the bad boys of Hogwarts, namely Professor Snape. She found this adorable little green "Slytherin" snake at Mitsuwa :)

Thank you, Vicki, for this amazing birthday present!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Winter Wonderland!

We are getting our first snowstorm of the season. And I must admit, it is rather pretty! It's a heavy wet snow that's sticking to every branch, outlining the trees and bushes. Hubby says the roads aren't bad, either. We've gotten about 8" of snow so far here. But my parents are getting creamed up in Madison, WI! They have 18" of snow and parts of the interstate are shut down.

Sticky Snow!
On some bushes outside the window...

Sleeping Garden
The garden is resting under it's white blanket!

From The Sewing Room
The maple tree from my sewing room window. Just for fun, I did a mosaic of this tree..

Maple Tree
What a difference!

The wind is really starting to pick up now- I am very thankful to be a homemaker! I don't have to go anywhere at all today, and that is really nice to know.

I do need to clean the bathrooms, sweep the floors, bake bread, and get some sewing done today, though :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

My birthday!! It's not until the 17th, but Hubby's gift to me was some extra cash (more than our usual monthly hobby allowance) to take advantage of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.... and boy, did I take advantage!

My Birthday Present
There are Amy Butler solids, plus some of my favorite "Lotus" print... some Joel Dewberry "Deer Valley" to make a couple things, some Heather Bailey "Freshcut" to border and bind a quilt... some of my favorite Kaffe Fassett clouds (just because!), some GORGEOUS prints from Sandi Henderson's new "Meadowsweet" line, and last but not least- every print in the "Shade Garden" collection by Michelle Engel Bencsko!

In other news... I FINISHED THE TREE SKIRT!!! If you're one of my Twitter friends you got to follow the angst involved with quilting the thing... but I finally got it done, and bound it while watching all 5 hours of Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 Colin Firth version).

Finished Tree Skirt
I'm very happy with it :)

It's also beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Christmas Tree take 1, Christmas Tree take 2, Christmas Tree take 3
Hubby spent a great deal of time trying to get the perfect picture... these were my favs of the dozens that he took.

I'm off to clean my sewing room now... I have a friend coming over to sew tomorrow and the place is a disaster!!