Friday, December 20, 2013

Scrappy Happy Days (Sutherlin, OR)

Merry Christmas!
Wishing everyone a wonderful week filled with family and friends.  

This will be my last post before Christmas.  My next post is due on Christmas Eve, so I'm taking the day off.  I'm hoping to celebrate this holiday with our son if the weather allows him to travel.  Fingers are crossed!  In the meantime...and when my fingers are not crossed, I plan to catch up on emails, blogs, and get more quilting done.

On The Cutting Board
I went to the Craft hour at the Community Center yesterday.  It was nice to sit and sew while listening to the ladies talk.  No one else was quilting.  One lady was knitting slippers, one was making cross-stitch Christmas ornaments, and the last one was making hats using a large loop & hook.  It may have been a few years since I have been to a Project Linus session with my ol' quilting buddies, but I was able to get right back into my relaxed routine of stitching, listening, and checking out everyone's projects.
I took along a UFO to work on for my first meeting.  I have been meaning to add a penguin to this snowball quilt for a long time.
I don't know why I was procrastinating with this one.  The penguin was done in no time.  Now that the border has been added, all that is left is to do is to quilt it.  Well that and I need to find some fabric for a backing.  It's too bad I don't have more of the penguin fabric for the backing.
I have also been spending a lot of time working on the tumble blocks quilt.  I have two more rows to do, but I will be short one block.  I ran out of the two center/main prints to finish the last block.  So the last one will be a solid block and I am going to applique an elephant and lion into the plain block.
I'm still working on that scrap bag that never seems to shrink.  I'm pretty sure the scraps are multiplying when I turn my back on them.  I'm beginning to think the scraps are related to Gremlins.  Never feed or water after midnight!....They multiply!  Below, I have cut out blocks for more Crazy 8's quilts.  I like using the pattern for the random block pattern making it a quick quilt to make.  So far, I believe I have enough for two tops.  I haven't counted the squares yet.  I'm not sure I will be adding applique to the tops.  I will wait to see how they look when they are done.  They might be too busy for applique designs
This is my favorite Christmas video.  Enjoy!
If the video doesn't work here, you can click on this link:  
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Getting Ready For Christmas (Sutherlin, OR)

The weather is warming up and the snow has melted but it left its mark behind along with a collection of pictures.  Because we lived most of our life in the southern states, I have rarely seen snow before or on Christmas.  I think the movie and song "White Christmas" has always influenced my idea of the perfect Christmas.  But, that is silly.  The best Christmas is being with family and friends while sharing memories of our past.
One of my x-stitch projects  
When I decorate our 2-foot tree, I spend a lot of time remembering past Christmas times with friends, family, and our travels.  Our tree ornaments have come from all over the world.  Some I made.  Some were made by friends.  Others are handmade that I bought for their uniqueness.   Needless to say, I can't see the tree because of all the memories!
Elf gloves from Izmir, Turkey.  German rocking horse from SIL
With so many memories, I thought I would share just a few with you.  The Santa below was made by a friend and co-worker, Mary.  We were stationed in Virginia and I worked for a furniture store's credit department.  Santa wasn't the gift.  He was a decoration on my gift.  Mary barely covered her bills and shared a small trailer with her daughter.  I was lucky to have her as my Secret Santa one year.  Mary always gave food usually some very delicious fudge or cookies and always added a handmade ornament on the gift.
I bought the handmade German Paper ornament
at Trier's Christmas market in Germany
 Germany was my favorite overseas station.  Christmas in Germany was like a children's story book.  The decorations, the lights, and the outdoor Christmas markets.  Then there was Kathe Wohlfahrt's store.  Filled from floor to ceiling with Christmas decorations.  The details in each wooden ornament is amazing and brightly painted.  I visited the shop often and I have quite a collection from that store!
Kathe Wohlfahrt wooden Santa
The reindeer was made by my SIL.  It holds a Hershey's Kiss so when you squeeze its cheeks, it gives you a kiss.  She made Santas as well as reindeer.  When the kids were little, I would fill each one with a Kiss for them to find.
The brass ring was made by a neighbor.  We were living in base housing in Florida and Sandy lived across the street from us.  Neither one of us could afford babysitters, so we would trade off time watching the other one's kids while she went jogging or I went to aerobics.
I have many more, but I probably should move on to what I found online.

40 Pets Who Are Ready for Christmas
I had to share this Cheezeburger page with you.  There are some cute and funny photos of all kinds of pets getting into the Christmas spirit.
40 Pets Who Are Ready for Christmas
I love the look on the Elf cat (left).  So funny!
40 Pets Who Are Ready for Christmas
40 Pets Who Are Ready for Christmas
Hmmm, I guess I need to work on getting our cats in the mood for Christmas.  Maybe I should hang catnip from the ceiling.  Wouldn't than drive them crazy!  I know I don't need to encourage them into climbing the walls.  They do that alllll by themselves.
Well, I guess I better go wake up the sleepy heads and see if they want to go outside before I start working on a project.
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mixed Signals (Sutherlin, OR)

I always related the American Robin with spring time.  See a Robin...Spring is right around the corner.  Hmmm, doesn't seem to be working this time.  I am seeing a lot of Robins hanging around the park.  
They must be finding some good food because they are chubby little fellows.  The berries on the holly bush are almost gone.
caught red-handed or is the red-beaked?
Every time we go for a walk there seems to be more Robins than the last time.  Maybe they are here for a short time before moving farther south.
save some for me!
We are starting to warm up, but not to spring-like temperatures.  Wouldn't that be nice.  Sounds like our snow will be melting soon with warmer weather on the way.  I'm seeing small hints with clear roads and icicles everywhere.  It has been a long time since I have had icicles hanging from our home.
It was nice to have a winter wonderland for a little while.  Even though, it was hard to keep our motorhome warm. 
 I can say one good thing about a cold motorhome...our cats became very friendly during that time.  I know it was for body warmth, but I'm not picky!
Gorgeous day!  (Timber Valley SKP)
The funny part about the cats is their short memories.  They keep begging to go outside and 10 minutes after they beg to come back in.  Only Max has not been outside.  He goes as far as the door only to turn and run for a hiding spot.  "You're not going to make me go out there!"  Smart cat.
When is this cold stuff going away?!
On The Cutting Board
My scrap bag is down to large pieces of scraps and not much variety for me to keep working on the wonky log cabin blocks.  I need some smaller pieces so I'm working on another paper piece pattern.  This is called the tumble block with second design of stars.  This will use up some of the fat-quarters and larger scraps that have been taking up space.
I'm going to make two quilts this way.  The jungle theme (above) and the transportation theme below.  I started the jungle theme a couple of days ago until I tried to slice my own finger with the rotary cutter.  Not too deep, but, yea, that hurt.  I guess I should pay more attention to where my fingers are on the ruler.  I decided to take the next couple of days off from all the cutting I have been doing.
My finger is doing better, so I will start back up on paper piecing very soon.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

This Is Not Normal (Sutherlin, OR)

We have snow!  Not a lot.  Around 2-3 inches.  We are being told this is not a normal winter for this area.  I get the feeling that just about every state in the lower 48 has unusual winter weather except for Florida.  I'm glad we did not end up in the ice storm.  I have been through several ice storms and I am quite happy to miss the latest one.  It's bad enough having ice on the inside of our windows every morning.
Yesterday, I spent the day watching big fat fluffy flakes float down from the sky while working on some quilt projects and drinking lots of hot tea.
 I went out several times to walk in the falling snow and to take pictures.
I should get warmer gloves.  My poor fingers were icy red by the time I finished each walk.
The cats were begging to go outside. We let them out and it did not take them long before their feet got cold and their bellies were filled with ice clumps.  They did not stay out for very long.
Hitch - I go with you?
Of course, they forgot how they did not like the snow yesterday, so Dan took them out again today.  Dusty and Squirrel were out for about five minutes before they begged to go back inside.  Hitch decided to do a little more exploring before the cold got to him which surprised us.  He doesn't like the cold and often begs to go inside if it is too cold outside.  If it is a heatwave, Hitch will spend the day outside in the sun while I try to coax him into the shade so I don't get heat stroke.
Dusty - What is this cold stuff?
I had to go up the hill where I have seen a couple of holly bushes.  An excellent time to get some photos of the bushes with all this snow.  Talk about looking looking like Christmas!  I have more photos, but I think I'll save them for the next posting so I can add more of a festive feel to the blog.
There was a group of Robins eating berries while I was taking pictures.  This one popped up while I was taking a shot of the berries.  He was probably eyeing the berries I was taking photos.  Then he realized that I was standing there and took off before I could get a better shot of him.  He looks like he has had quite a few berries!
On The Cutting Board
What a great time to pull out that big bag of scraps and get some sewing done.  Dusty thought he could help with my pile of scraps.  Yea, he wasn't much help, other than adding more wrinkles and hiding some pieces.  He did look cute sitting there.
I'm back to working on my wonky log cabin blocks using the paper foundation patterns.  I keep way too many small pieces of scraps and this pattern is a great way to use them up.  I like to use two color combinations per block.
For following blocks, I am using pink/reds with purples on one block and orange/browns with yellows on the second block.  I love watching this block grow.  The best part is not having to measure and cut before sewing.  I just need to make sure each piece is big enough to cover its area.  It looks a mess when I first start out.
As the block progresses, it starts to take shape.
Ta Da!  Five new blocks and a small dent in my pile of scraps.  I need to make a whoooole bunch of these to get that scrap bag to shrink in size.
I'm off to do some more scrappy blocks...
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CatHouse or Birdhouse? (Sutherlin, OR)

Well, all the fog has finally lifted and a cold front has moved in to this area.  You know it is cold outside when you raise the blinds and there is ice on the inside of your windows!  It was definitely a four-cat night.  Talk about a dogpile on!  Or would that be called a catpile on?  Either way, I stayed toasty warm under my covers and cats.
There's a few leaves hanging on, but most of the fall colors are gone for another year.  I'll just have to look a little harder for some color.
Like the least, the moss hasn't given up.  I love how green it makes everything look.  Well, not everything...I prefer to keep our motorhome a non-mossy-green color!
We have seen quite a few birds along with a couple of predators.  I have heard Canada Geese and hummingbirds during our walks.  No luck in getting pictures of them.  Maybe during our next walk.  So, how about some photos of birdhouses.  These are my two favorites:  a cute wonky one....hmm, this gives me some new ideas.  I have been looking at cottages and small beach houses all summer.  Thinking they would make into a cute mug rug.  Wonky ones would be fun to make as well!
Oh, and the second birdhouse that looks like a cat!....adorable!  I would love to have one like this birdhouse.

I have a dental appointment this afternoon and tomorrow is my birthday so I am doing a rush job on my post.  Yep, another year older...another year filled with adventures, travels, family, and friends.  

On The Cutting Board
There are only two Happy Campers left in my Etsy shop!  I'm so thankful for all the interest and support for my mug rugs.  This has been a wonderful year for all my shop.

I still plan to work on my other non-Etsy projects for awhile, but now I feel a need to start drawing new campers for the springtime.  As soon as I come down from Cloud 9, I will get to work on all my projects and plan some new vintage trailers.
Happy Quilting!

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