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

Friday, December 17, 2010


So today for my birthday I went to Build A Bear. I had always wanted to go there, so today I went!

I did a little dance and made a wish on the heart that went into my bear. I gave her a bath, dressed her in pretty clothes, and picked up her birth certificate.


Meet Elizabeth!! I call her Lizzie for short. She’s really soft and cuddly.


And during the party I noticed that she’s a chip off the ol’ block. Kind of. I don’t really like Smirnoff- this was someone else’s drink! But she partied hard for my birthday just like the rest of us did :)

We spent the evening eating pizza, drinking beer and playing with my Wii. It was the best birthday I have ever had!

Happy Birthday To Me!!

32 years ago today the most amazing thing happened to me… I was born!!


This is the youngest picture I have of me- Mom and Dad have all my baby pictures. I was 4 when this one was taken :)

I’m going to Build A Bear for my birthday, then this evening all my friends are coming over to my place for pizza and cake. It’s shaping up to be the best birthday ever!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Here’s a typical Western/Upstate New York forecast for you… ;)
Snow Showers
Snw Shwrs
Snow Showers
Snw Shwrs
Snow Showers
Snw Shwrs
Snow Showers
Snw Shwrs
Snow Showers
Snw Shwrs
Snow Showers
Snw Shwrs
Snow Showers
Snw Shwrs
Snow Showers
Snw Shwrs
Snow Showers
Snw Shwrs
Snow Showers
Snw Shwrs

It’s Fun Time!

My stuff came!! Finally! I haven’t seen most of it since September! I was SO happy when that truck with the pod on it rolled it. I was even happier to open it and find all my stuff… and happier still to find that thanks to Michele’s careful packing, not a thing was broken or even scratched!

It’s been so much fun to open the bins and make this little place really feel like home! I went from this…


To this…


and it feel SO much more like a home. I had been feeling like I was living in a rather large hotel room!

I still have a lot to do (and a lot of pictures and quilts to hang!), but I’m getting through it slowly. My next step is to set up a little sewing area. I can hardly wait to be sewing again. I feel like creating again!

Friday, December 3, 2010


I have set up a new Twitter account! I missed the online quilting community that exists there. You can find me as @quiltgirl1978. I have my tweets protected, but if you’re quilty and want to follow me, just send a request and I’ll let you in!

I’m also very excited that my stuff (personal belongings, fabric, yarn, etc) is on it’s way from Illinois! Michele and some helpers packed it into a container from PODS and shipped it off to me. It’s supposed to arrive on December 11th. I can hardly wait- I already have a little area in my apartment set aside for a sewing nook and bookcases ready to fill with my books! It will be nice to have this place really start to feel like home.

The job search is on but so far nothing is panning out. If you’re in the Rochester area and know of any clerical/administrative assistant or medical billing jobs available, let me know! I’m working temporarily at a local mall in customer service. I really like the job and the company is great to work for, but the job will end 12/23.

Not much else! This past week was insane with a few things but the coming week will find me with a lot more time to sew and knit and I might even have a picture or two to share soon :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So Thankful!

This year has been insane. If you had told me in January that by October I would be divorced and living back in New York I would have had someone take you away in a straight jacket. Life is so unpredictable!

But I also have a LOT to be thankful for this year, and with Thanksgiving coming up I’ve been thinking more and more about it.

And I’m thankful….

That I am healthy (aside from the teeny cold I have at the moment).

For Mom, Dad and Amy.

For Michele. I still haven’t been able to thank her enough. I never will.

For Terry, who welcomed me into her home when I first arrived back in New York.

For Wayne, Shawna, Alysia, Damian, Terry, Jessica, Cullen, Andy, Bob and Joanne. These are my friends. My wonderful amazing friends who have helped me with everything from moving to finding a job.  

That I have wonderful friends and family who have all supported me, helped me, given me shoulders to cry on and dried my tears.

That I am back home in New York.

That I have a job.

That I have a place to call home.

That I am starting to get my quilting mojo back! It’s been a LONG time since I even wanted to sew but I’ve been gathering for a project that I hope to start this weekend.

For my blog friends who have kept in touch and encouraged me even though I haven’t blogged about anything remotely crafty in months. I ♥ you all and your blogs have helped inspire me again! So, thank you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Starting Again

Well, I made a big important step today in my quest to get started sewing again: I went to a quilt shop and bought fabric!!

I bought fabric from the “Bliss” line and the “Origins” line (both from Moda) to made a quilt and pillow shams for my new bedroom. I plan to start working on it tonight. I’m so excited!

In other news, I am settling in well! I love my new apartment. It’s so nice to live on my own. Except for cooking. Cooking for one person seems like a total waste of time to me. So today I have been cooking lots of food and freezing it in small portions. I hope that will help. I have either been eating out (rarely) or not eating at all (often). Neither of these are very healthy options.

I also joined the YMCA today! I am so excited to get back in the gym. I have continued to lose weight, but it has been a lot slower than it was when I was working out regularly. I am going to start tomorrow.

And last but not least, I have a job! It’s a temp job, just through Christmas, but it’s so nice to be earning something again. After Christmas I am planning to go back to school. I’m excited about that as well Smile

I hope to have pictures of my new project to show you soon!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Change Of Plans

Well, my plans for going back to Illinois to get my stuff took a turn on Friday when Grandma (of the family I am very close friends with here) had a massive stroke. She’s in the ICU and is not expected to recover. Of course this means that we cannot leave.
Please keep Grandma and the family in your thoughts and prayers. This is really hard. It was very sudden- she was just fine when some of us saw her on Thursday, and then on Friday she had the stroke.

EDIT: Grandma passed away at 3:15 this morning. Please pray for us.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Well, things have been moving along at a lightning pace here in NY! I bought a new car last week and my old car is being happily driven by a friend. I just love my new car! It’s a 2011 Honda Civic EX. I never ever thought I’d ever buy a red car, but this car was so pretty I just knew I had to get the red one :)


I also found a cute little apartment that I’ll be signing the lease for tomorrow! It’s well within my budget, walking distance to grocery stores, restaurants and shopping, and very centrally located for just about anywhere I might find a job. I will start moving in on Saturday :)

And last but not least I’m leaving Sunday with a friend to go back to Illinois and get the stuff that Michele has so graciously stored for me! We’ll load it into a U-Haul truck and be back home in NY by Wednesday!

I already have a place in my apartment designated for a little sewing corner and I tell you, I cannot WAIT to start sewing again! First on the agenda is a shower curtain! I couldn’t find one I liked, but I found fabric to make my own :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Little Bit Of Autumn

So I’ve been home in NY for a little over a week now! There has been a bit of an adjustment period, and I’m sure there’s more to come. But overall I am so happy to be home!

I was also fortunate enough to come home at just the right time! I know that snow is just around the corner, but right now it’s so pretty, and it’s going to get prettier!


I took this today- aren’t the reds gorgeous? Autumn is by far my favorite season and no place does autumn like the Northeast :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thank You, Michele!

I am so fortunate to have many good friends. Everyone has been so supportive of me through this divorce and moving process.

There is one, though, who really stands out.

I would like to thank Michele. She is a truly amazing woman and has been so supportive and helpful to me!

She let me live at her house during the separation and divorce.

She helped me pack and move all my stuff to her house, where she is letting me store it until I can come back for it in November.

She went shopping with me and helped me pick out some kick a$$ clothes for the court appointment and job interviews.

She’s made me laugh, let me talk about my feelings and really helped keep me on an even keel through this whole process.

I can never, ever thank her enough. Ever. I am going to really miss her. I’m going to miss her hot tub too :) But mostly I’ll miss Michele.


A couple people have asked why I am moving to New York. The answer is simple. I am from there. I belong there. I have missed New York so much I cried nearly every day of the 9 years I lived in Illinois. I have amazing close friends there. It’s home. And I am SO looking forward to going home!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

...And That's That

I am now officially divorced. My lawyer is my hero. Filing to final, this divorce took 21 days. I think that must be a record!

I've also taken my maiden name back. I spent a LOT of time waiting in lines this morning to make that happen, but it's all done! Now I'll have to change my name on everything.

Next up? The move to New York! I'm leaving Illinois on Thursday.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

10 Things I'll Miss About Illinois

So lately I've been pretty focused on moving and court dates and signing papers and getting the heck outta Illinois. I've never liked living here. I don't have any specific reason for this, except that Illinois is not New York. and I ♥♥♥ New York!!

Today I decided to come up with some things here in Illinois that I will miss when I move next week. Here they are, in no particular order:

10: The Fold, a wonderful yarn, spinning and knitting shop in Marengo, IL. This place is truly amazing and everyone who works there is SO friendly!

9: My Lucky kitty. She's staying with the soon-to-be ex. She likes him better anyway, and I know she'll be well taken care of. But I'll still miss her!

8: Michele. She's been incredible. She helped me move all my stuff... to her house, where she's letting me store it until I can move it to New York. And she's been incredibly supportive, letting me talk and get my feelings out and making me laugh. If I could pack her in a bin and take her with me I would :)

7: Trader Joe's. This one almost made me reconsider moving! I ♥ Trader Joe's and the closest one to Rochester, NY is in Pittsburgh. UGH!

6: My quilting friends. I will miss them SO much! We have always had so much fun together at lock-ins and retreats. I will truly miss the 3am Barry Manilow dance-alongs at retreats :)

5: Hong's Delight. This is the Chinese food restaurant in Marengo. They have the best food ever!

4: The Kishwaukee Family YMCA in DeKalb, IL. This place is so great- it's always clean, the people are always friendly and I will truly miss the lap pool. I plan to join a Y out in NY but I don't see how it could possibly be nicer than this one.

3: My doctor. He's a really great doctor and I'm going to miss his care. I hope I can find a doctor that's half as good as he is when I get to NY.

2: Michele's hot tub. Not joking. It feels SO good!

1: Proximity to Wisconsin: this is because my parents and sister live in Wisconsin. It's been nice living close enough to make day trips to see them. It's a 15 hour drive from Rochester NY to Madison WI.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Yesterday we had some storms move through. I was watching the clouds and when the gust front started coming through, I decided to take some pictures.


And I think this picture is pretty cool! The sky was very dark, darker than this shows.

But then….

I was taking a picture of a different angle and got this shot!


Check out the lightning bolt towards the right! This is my first ever lightning picture and while it’s not very good (hey, a Blackberry camera is only so good, you know?) I still love it!

Packing is proceeding very well and I predict that by next Wednesday I’ll have everything I’m taking out of the house. Everything is still amicable and the tedious stuff like bills and car titles has already been taken care of. It’s just a matter of waiting for the court date at this point, and I’m hoping that’s very soon. I want to get out to New York and get settled and start looking for a job as soon as possible!

Thank you all for your lovely comments and e-mails and cards! I just love you all and the support is very much felt, I assure you :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Major Changes

There is no easy way to say this, or to sugar coat it, so I’m just gonna blurt it out.

I am getting divorced.

There. I said it.

The process has been started and I am now starting the process of sorting and packing my stuff, since I will not continue living in Illinois once this is all said and done.

I will be de-stashing fabric on Etsy. I’ll let you know once I get that going!

I would really appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Everything is amicable and I want to state for the record that I do not hate my soon-to-be ex-husband and have no desire to “bash” him. What’s happening is just the way it is and he is no more to blame for it than I am.

Needless to say my crafting will be curtailed for quite a while. I hope to be able to do some sewing but so far I honestly haven’t had any desire to do anything.

I do plan to keep blogging, if I have anything to blog about. But my posts may be few for a while.

Hugs to all!


Monday, September 6, 2010

In NY Again…

Actually, I’ve been here for a few days! A few very action packed days. The most fun day so far was Saturday. We drove up to Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands and took a boat cruise. We also stopped at Boldt Castle on Heart Island. That place was seriously awesome :)


How’s that for a living room? I wonder if Hubby will let me re-decorate… :)


Maybe we’ll add a little skylight to the living room…


And of course, we’ll need new dishes!


This place was seriously huge.


And of course, we can always build on a little area for entertaining… This actually contains a movie theater, and a bowling alley.


And then at the end of the day we can relax on the porch :)

Hope y’all are doing well! I’ve been trying to keep up with my blog reading while I’m here :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Coming Back…

SO, I’ve started to feel the stir of creative ambition again! I’m really hoping I can get into my girl cave tomorrow and get some stuff made. I actually want to do this. Which is a total switch from the past several weeks!

We’re supposed to have cooler weather this week. I have the windows open right now with a lovely north breeze blowing through the house. I wonder if that has anything to do with it? I mean, who wants to make a quilt when it’s 95 degrees with a heat index of 106?

I got a new phone yesterday (Samsung Acclaim) that uses Android. I’m totally in love with it! I’m listening to Pandora on it right now. There are so many great apps! Does anyone have a recommendation for a Flickr app?

Today is house cleaning day (something else I’ve neglected in the past several weeks…). I’m slowly pulling myself together and I thank all of you for the encouraging comments and e-mails!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Hi all!

I have decided to give up Twitter. I felt that it was taking up too much of my time. So for all my Twitter friends, I've got nothing against you! This was a totally personal decision :)

I'll see you on Facebook and Flickr!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Magical Weekend

This past weekend I was so lucky to be able to go home to New York for a visit! It was SO amazing to see everyone and we had such a good time!

On Saturday I went to the Rochester Red Wings baseball game. SO much fun! Our seats were behind home plate. They had lots of fun things happening and the game was good too :) We ate at Sticky Lips BBQ before and went to Mickey Finn’s for drinks afterwards. I really miss both those places. Nothing around here even comes close!

frontier field

After the game we went and watched the High Falls laser show. It was so cool!! I wasn’t able to get any pictures of it, though, since I only had my cell phone camera with me.

On Monday a few of us went driving around the Finger Lakes. We just happened to stop at a winery or three along the way!! We also stopped at Finger Lakes Distilling. This place makes small batches of the best vodka, whiskey and gin I have ever been lucky enough to taste! It was a shame I didn’t have room to bring any home with me.



The still and aging barrels at Finger Lakes Distilling.

I got some great scenery pictures. They’ll help tide me over until I can get home again :)


Grapes at Prejean Winery in Penn Yan, NY…


The view from Hickory Hollow Winery in Dundee, NY…


Waterfall on the side of the road near Watkins Glen, NY…


View From Wagner Vineyards in Lodi, NY

I had such a lovely time with my dear friends! I cried for an hour after I was dropped off at the train station. It was so good to go home for a while. Someday I’m going to go home to stay :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thank You :)

Thank you all SO VERY MUCH for all the lovely words of congratulations and encouragement on my weight loss post! I just ♥ all my friends!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Very First Tutorial!

Hey all! Head on over to the Fat Quarterly E-zine website for my very first tutorial!! It's for the "Breaking Out" flying geese block that I submitted for Fat Quarterly's issue #1 block challenge. I won the challenge (thank you!!) and wrote a tutorial on how to make the block!

Here's a direct link to the blog post!

Happy quilting!

I’m Losin’ It!!

I am very overweight. I could yammer on for hours about the whys and hows and whatevers, but let’s just leave it with that.

This is me (last Thursday):


6 weeks ago I started, with the encouragement of my Hubby and the help (in the form of showing up and expecting me to show up!) of my friend Michele, working out at the YMCA in DeKalb, IL. I started by going M-W-F. I’m now up to going 5 days a week. I’ve pretty much stuck to the fitness center, but I hope to add swimming to my routine soon!

I didn’t weight myself when I first started. I kinda didn’t want to know. But about 2 weeks in I decided that I should really know where I started, if only to measure how far I’ve come :) So I bought a scale (really nice Biggest Loser digital scale). I weighed myself on July 4.

I’m not going to tell you what it said. Maybe someday I can do that, but not right now. It’s enough to say that I cried the whole rest of the day. And became really, really determined that I would never see a scale say that about me again. I also decided that I would have “official” weigh-ins once a month.

Well, today is August 4. One month after that fateful “stepping on the scale” incident.

I’ve lost 9.8 pounds.

Go me!



I’ve also noticed some other changes:

1. I sleep better

2. my heart recovers from physical activity a lot faster

3. my skin is clearing up

4. I don’t really want to eat junk food anymore. I mean, what’s the point of working out for an hour, then coming home to eat a bag of cheese puffs?

I’ll keep you posted. Next up- September 4!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Creativity Returns… Kind Of

I’ve been in a real slump lately when it comes to creating things. I just can’t get interested!! And it’s not just quilting- it’s knitting and cardmaking and cooking too. I really think it’s because of the hot humid weather we’ve had. It’s gone on for weeks now with no break. I feel more housebound now than I do in winter!

I’m going on a trip to New York next week (by myself, since Hubby can’t get away from work) and I wanted a nice sleeve for my new laptop, to protect it as I travel.

The summer 2009 Quilts and More magazine has a really nice pattern for a laptop sleeve. I’ve actually made one before…


This was made for my sister, with fabrics she picked out.

Well, I finally broke a little hole in my creativity block and got something done!

laptop case

I made a variation on the same laptop sleeve using Joel Dewberry “Modern Meadow” fabrics with a dash of Essex linen thrown in! Both the outside and the lining have been quilted with batting, to make it extra soft. I also used velcro instead of a button. I didn’t want anything on the outside that could catch on something.

Hopefully I’ve fully broken out of the slump. I have a lot of projects I need to get done!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Monster Sunflower :)

As many of you probably know or have guessed, I love, love, LOVE sunflowers! So when one started growing in a really weird spot in front of the house, I just couldn’t pull it out. I think it was planted by a squirrel or a bird.


It’s HUGE!! It’s nearly as tall as the house, actually. And it’s just starting to open!


I ♥ it :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Playing :)

My new laptop has Live Writer! I’ve heard a few people say that they really like writing their blog this way, so I’m testing it :)

Check out this picture I took this morning on my way to the Y (don’t worry, I was at a red light!)


It was storming at home, but 20 miles south in Sycamore it was broken clouds. It’s funny how weather can be so different from one place to another!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


So, I've been really busy lately. Going to the Y takes a LOT of my energy right now. Cooking healthy meals and not eating junk takes more of it. Add in cleaning the house and doing yardwork in the ungodly humidity we've been having, and you end up with one tired, worn out Jennie.

I haven't even turned my sewing machine on since Sunday >:-(

In the meantime I've been...

My Special Treat :)
Drinking iced caramel macchiatos, trying to both keep cool and get a little energy boost...

My New Toy :)
Playing with my new laptop (it just came today!)!! It's already beat me at Scrabble. Which isn't hard, but anyway...

Prep Work

Prep Work
And packing fabric for the yard sale my friends and I are holding the first weekend of August! More details about that to come shortly, but if you're in the Chicago area you might want to think about stopping by :)

I'm also cleaning and planning- friends of mine from back home in New York will be here next weekend!! I'm SO excited to see them!!

I hope to get sewing soon- I have so many projects I want to make!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My {First} NASCAR Experience :)

This past weekend my sister-in-law brought my nieces and nephew up to Chicago to spend some time with family and go to the Nascar races at the Chicagoland Speedway. My dad had tickets for the Nationwide race on Friday and the Sprint Cup race on Saturday. Because of schedule issues, he ended up with an extra ticket to each race, and I was invited to go along!

Now, I confess to having harbored some Nascar prejudices: I thought it was pretty much loud, beer-drinking, tattooed redneck guys and their equally loud, beer-drinking, tattooed, bikini-wearing wives/girlfriends. I was really not looking forward to going. But I don't get to spend a lot of time with my nieces, and I'd never seen my 9 month old nephew. So I thought I would go, and it would be a way to bond with them, and I'd hate the race, and that would be the end of my Nascar experiences.

Well, I was wrong. It's NOT all loud, beer-drinking, tattooed, bikini-wearing people (although believe me, they're there!). It's pretty family oriented, really. And I really had a fun time. So much fun that I would like to do it again. Soon! With more money. The racetrack is pretty much set up to perform a "cashectomy" on you every time you turn a corner.

I digress.

The NASCAR experience :)
The first thing I did was buy a Matt Kenseth hat. He's the favorite of most of the family, and I needed a hat because it was really sunny and I'd forgotten mine. And it's pretty. And purple :)

Merchandise is sold from "haulers", which are trailers with sides that open. When the race is over, they get closed up, hooked to semi tractors and hauled (hence the name...) to the next race! When my nieces first asked where the haulers were I asked them what that meant. They looked at me like I had 12 heads and 15 eyes. I reminded them that I'd never been to a race before. And then they began educating me about Nascar :)


My NASCAR Experience :)
Dad got us some pretty amazing seats! We could see the whole track, and the flag tower and all of the pits.

#7 Danica Patrick :)
For the Nationwide race (the Dollar General 300) on Friday we pulled for #7 Danica Patrick. Because she's a girl race car driver. And 5 of the seven of us at the race were girls :)

NASCAR Baby :)
The only boys were PopPop and my nephew. They enjoyed the race too :)

On Saturday night we went to the Sprint Cup race (the Lifelock 400), which is otherwise known as the "race that has drivers I've actually heard of". We were a bit more varied in who we were pulling for. My dad, sister and I were pulling for Matt Kenseth. My niece Fiona was pulling for Kasey Kahne (because "he's dreamy"!) and Zoë was pulling for Carl Edwards (he finished 2nd. Zoë was VERY happy!).

Family At At the Sprint Cup :)
Some nice people sitting behind us took this great picture of us with the track in the background!

My sister got some great pictures of all of our favorite cars.

#17 Matt Kenseth
#17 Matt Kenseth

Carl Edwards In The Pits
#99 Carl Edwards

Kasey Kahne In The Pits
#9 Kasey Kahne

Finish Of The Lifelock 400
And all of our drivers finished in the top 15!

It really was a great weekend, and I enjoyed myself SO much more than I thought I would. And I was able to spend some time getting to know my nieces. Which was the most important thing (to me, anyway)!

PS- I forgot to show you my Matt Kenseth toes!! I had a mani/pedi the night before the first race, so I had Terry paint my finger and toe nails purple (Matt's car is black and purple)!

Matt Kenseth Toes