Friday, December 30, 2011

Quilting Muse? (Patagonia, AZ)

Confession time:  I have to admit that I had lost my passion for quilting.  Even the thought of creating something new made me...okay, I'll say it "cringe".  Every time I tried to work on one of my projects for the last couple of months, I felt like I was making myself do it.  The love of quilting just wasn't there and I did not know why.  

During my 3-day break, I found my creative passion for quilting and I understand why I lost it.  I contribute this enlightenment to yoga. I know I'm getting a little deep here, but bare with me. I promise to keep this short.  

I started back into yoga about 7 years ago to help lose weight.  I keep to simple poses for strength, stretching, and relaxing/meditation.  I did not realize how much I and my body were missing these sessions until last weekend.  

Halfway through the first session, I could feel my spine stretching, the blood flowing to the brain, and oxygen filling my lungs.  My relaxed mind kicked into high gear and all sorts of quilting ideas start flowing....images of quilts, color schemes, new ideas for finishing UFOs.  

It was a wonderful feeling!  Welcome Back!  Okay, so I sound a little weird, but nothing else motivates me like yoga.   Yoga is my Muse and I cannot ignore it.

On to Q U I L T I N G !
I pulled out the four Dresden Plate blocks and added sashings to them.  It seemed a little small and unfinished.

After some thought, I decided to add borders to make it a little larger.  All right! One top is ready for quilting this summer.  WooHoo!

I also finished the last Redwork block of Teddy Bears.  I bought the red polka-dot fabric just for this project.  I came pretty close to using it for other quilts.  I'm so glad I did not use it.  I hope to start on the sashings soon.  We get another 3-day weekend for New Years.  Guess what I'll be working on.

Did I tell you that I like to crochet too..just for something different that is fast and easy.  I usually crochet while Dan is driving, but I decided I needed to get this one out of the closet and get it done.  I'm about halfway through this one and I hope to have it done before we leave here.

I love this yarn.  It is so soft and fluffy.  I think any child will love having it.  The yarn color is called Tutti-Fruiti, but I think it looks like Cotton Candy, don't you?
Oh, and all three above projects are going to Project Linus unless I can find a local charity that takes blankets and quilts for children in need.

Remember my Delighted! squares that I won?  I thought I would save some time doing some fast stack-n-whack cutting.  BIG mistake!  I cut one of the stripes the wrong direction!  Nooooo!  I should have known better.  I guess I will replace it with some of the green fabric that I bought for the border.  I'm hoping this is a good mistake because I did not plan to add the green into the quilt blocks.  Maybe it will look more uniformed with a little of the border in the blocks.  Fingers crossed - well, not while I'm sewing, of course.

I am curious.  Do you have a Muse?  Not one that inspires you, but actually gets you motivated and gets your creative juices flowing. 

My Memories Freebie Friday
** After today, I will be adding the Free designs on a separate "Freebie" page along with coupon information and tips.  Each one will be available for one week.**

Please note that all of these are .png files only, not MyMemories Suite Templates. They are usable in any software so these freebies are for everyone!! These freebies include 2 Quick Pages, and all of the papers and elements used in creating them. The elements and QuickPages are .png and the papers are .jpg format.

Free Download

This Digital Kit Includes:
  • 5 Page Elements
  • 2 Quick Pages
Free Download
This Digital Kit Includes:
  • 2 Digital Papers
  • 5 Page Elements
  • 2 Quick Pages
It is easy to make your own digital scrapbook. I created the below scrapbook page using one of the free Designer Packs.
Here are the simple instructions from My Memories - LIZ:
Just open MyMemories Suite to a blank layout, click: Photos ==> Add (find your .png Quick Page on your computer)
Add the Quick Page to your project, and then do the same for your photo. Add a little Text for your journaling and voila - you're done in an instant!! 

If you are interested in getting the software, please go to My Memories website and don't forget.....
Use this discount code: STMMMS75192
during your checkout and receive:
$10 off  the software purchase

and a $10 gift  certificate to the online store

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (Patagonia, AZ)

Okay, I just could not be "Wordless" today...
Oh! Jingle Bells!
What's the matter, human?  Never heard a cat sing?
Christmas is over, right? I can eat the tree now?
Did I hear a nut crack?
Tough guy to follow...with the camera, that is!
My World and Welcome to it!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Taking Some Time Off (Patagonia, AZ)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

We have three days off, so I have decided to stay away from the computer and blogging to get some very neglected quilting done.  Between our volunteer work, different online team obligations, editing photos, and running errands...well, my quilting and my yoga have been suffering.  I need to get back into a good routine...Riiiiight!

Anyway, I will leave you with some photos of our cats...Enjoy!

Max:  is it safe??

Squirrel's been hunting in the tall grass.

Hitch is warming his belly

Max and Dusty - best friends..

Caught hugging

Friends until bath time...


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Memories of Christmas Past (Patagonia, AZ)

I hope this finds everyone happy and healthy this Christmas Eve.  We are celebrating our third Christmas in our motorhome.  It is amazing how fast the time goes.  

I put up our tiny 2-foot tree on the dashboard and covered it in all my favorite decorations.  Every time I decorate our little tree, I find myself going down memory lane. 

These were school projects from our children.  I have to hide them on the tree because Dusty thinks they are his chew toys.  He did manage to munch on the reindeer's feet before I caught him.  

I got this Santa while we were stationed in Germany.  I bought the little elf gloves while stationed in Turkey.  Aren't they cute?

My friend Sandy crocheted the snowflake way back in 1988 when we lived in Florida.  The little jumping-jack soldier was given to me by my sister-in-law when she and her husband were stationed in Germany.
 Jo gave me this beautiful angel bell when I was working at Dillards in Albuquerque.  Jo was a very upbeat and happy lady.  An Angel in disguise, Jo was only in her 40s when she passed away from cancer.

May your holidays be filled with laughter, love, family, friends, and new memories to treasure in the years to come.

I wish one of the networks would bring back this Christmas classic show with John Denver and the Muppets:

Merry Christmas Everyone.....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Featured Christmas Treasury (Patagonia, AZ)

This Treasury was made by Dess from The BesssCorner.  My Reindeer has sold, but you can stop by to see what is available in my shop.

Thank you Dess for including my Reindeer.  Stop by Dess's shop . She has some cool items!

Quilted Love Snowmen Pot Holder OOAK  Quilted Love Christmas Tree Pot Holder OOAK
Crochet White Baby Hat With Flowers

I'm going to leave you with a cute LOL Holiday Kitty, and a classic tune White Christmas by The Drifters....Enjoy!
Funny Pictures - It's Santa Cat
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Looking for Google+ followers?  Click on Bee Friendly button and add your Google+ page.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday Treasury - A little Christmas Sparkle

I did a little window shopping for Christmas.  How about you?  Are you still shopping or are all your gifts wrapped and under the tree?

Here's to Winter Solstice, our shortest day of the year,  21 DEC.   There's always a little sunshine somewhere..
365Project - All a Tweeter

365Project - Sitting Pretty

The River is my favorite Christmas song by Sarah Mclachlan.  I like this video because it is a loving tribute to this ice skater's dog - Bear.  A home video shows the owner skating while Bear follows along on the ice.  Sorry, it can only be played in YouTube, but it is worth watching.  Please remember to feed the animals by clicking on the Rescue the Animals button on the right.  Thank you!

Sarah Mclachlan - River

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nikon D7000 and 500mm Lens (Patagonia, AZ)

I thought I would show you my camera and the lens I have been using for a lot of the wildlife photos.  I am rarely close enough to an animal to be in danger thanks to my  Sigma 500mm lens.   I have my 70mm (standard) lens on my camera to show you the difference in sizes.  Yes, the 500mm is a little heavy to carry around, but it is worth it when I am getting such wonderful close-ups.  

The lens has a stabilizer that I can turn on if needed.  The stabilizer keeps my photos sharp and clear so I rarely use a tripod to keep the camera steady.

I recent purchased a D7000 Nikon to replace my old D70.  I am so much happier with the new Nikon.  Just the difference in Megapixels has really made taking pictures so much more fun.  My old D70 only did 6 megapixels.  My new D7000 - 16 megapixels and I can shoot 6 photos per second!
 Since 16 megapixels or 6-8 MB is a little too large for uploading photos, I can crop my photos as much as I want...
and still have a great photo.  Why I look like I was right next to this Great Egret.  Only in my photos...He would not let me get closer than 100 feet before flying farther down the creek.

Rapid shooting can get some excellent action shots.
If I can get it to focus, of course..
I goofed on this hawk's identity.  It is not a Cooper's Hawk.  This is a Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Apparently, they have similar markings according to this link.
This guy was very close to me thatI had to back up to take his photo through the branches.  I had scared him out of some tall grass.  I think I interrupted his lunch and he did not want to leave it.
The hardest part is getting the Auto Focus to focus on the bird and not the branch.
Did I hear a camera click?  I heard the Paparazzi were around today.

I have several favorite Christmas videos that I watch this time of year.  Here's:
Winter Wizard
By Trans Siberian Orchestra

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Freebie Friday and More Delighted! Blocks Done

It's My Memories Freebie Friday
Please note that all of these are .png files only, not MyMemories Suite Templates. They are usable in any software so these freebies are for everyone!! These freebies include 2 Quick Pages, and all of the papers and elements used in creating them. The elements and QuickPages are .png and the papers are .jpg format.

This Digital Kit Includes:

  • 2 Digital Papers
  • 3 Page Elements
  • 2 Quick Pages

This Digital Kit Includes:
  • 2 Digital Papers
  • 7 Page Elements
  • 2 Quick Pages

Here's a tip from My Memories - Liz:

Creating many different layouts using a single Quick Page is fast and easy, and your pages will all coordinate! Many Quick Pages work when turned 90* and then turned again!! So you can use and reuse them!

Let's look at this Quick Page:

And see that you can make it into this:

Now take the same Quick Page and turn it 90*

And look how you can use it again!!

And look how coordinated the pages look!! Perfect for a 2 page layout in a photobook!!
     Go here to learn about Loading Up Your Albums for Print
If you are interested in getting the software, please go to My Memories website and don't forget!
  Copy and Paste the code below before clicking on the above link: STMMMS75192

Check out MyMemories Suite,
the #1 Rated Scrapbook Software

(provided above) during your checkout and receive:
$10 off the software purchase
and a $10 gift certificate to the online store
Go here to learn about Loading Up Your Albums for Print

And Now - Back to My Project...
Delighted! Fabric is now 9 blocks.  This is as far as I have gotten on this project.  I'm still using up the first pack.  So what do you think?  This should make a perfect Spring time quilt with these bright colors.  I know one thing - I'm not adding any applique to this quilt top.  It is busy enough.

Another Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Mother Nature dressed up this morning with dew drops
Mr. Hawk flew by.... say Hello
Even the dry weeds glowed
Crispy air....Clear blue sky.....Perfect!
Happy Quilting!

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