Thursday, December 31, 2009

They're coming!!!!!

New Year's Resolutions 2010 !!!!

My quilt buddies and I actually wrote them down the other night. And tomorrow I will reveal mine. In doing so, I will be putting them on record, in cyberspace (whatever that really means). Ooooh help me! I hope this doesn't bite me in the butt next December 31. See ya tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I don't sing in the shower.

Our house is generally full of music, I'm married to a musician after all. Not only does my big ol' honeybun play multiple instruments professionally, but he's an elementary school music teacher. If Jon isn't playing his trumpet, sax, piano, congas, guitar, or bass, then he's playing the stereo or radio etc. Back in the day, I had a few records. Then I met Jon, he has HUNDREDS of records. I am NOT joking or exaggerating. Somehow over the years, my records disappeared into his collection. He's no thief, mind you, and I don't think I've ever caught him listening to Elton John, Emmylou Harris, or Leo Kottke (yes, I do have wierd taste), he just organized until I had no idea where to find my music. A few years ago, I got Jon a great Christmas present, at least I thought so. It's a turntable that you can hook to your computer so you can record your records into computer files. Poor guy, I think he thought I was planning a slow purge of the records. Not so, I tell you!!! Well, he said, 'Wow, great gift.' then never even opened the box. The next Christmas, I wrapped it again and gave it to him. Lol and ha ha ha, it became a family joke and good story. Still the box remained sealed. And last Christmas, I wrapped it for the third time. Again with the hee hee's and ha ha's, but the packaging remained intact!! Hmph! All the while, Jon has insisted that it's a great gift, and I have insisted that it's too bad I didn't return it and get my money back years ago. Are you wondering yet if I wrapped it for the 4th time this year? NO!! A miracle has blossomed on Stockton Road! He's using it...... to record my records onto flashdrives for me. I musta mentioned that I would like to have my music on CDs or something so I can play it on my computer in the sewing room. So now I am a happy camper, singing along to a wacky mix of music while I sew or surf the internet reading blogs. Billy Joel, Joan Baez, Alabama, Kansas, Bruce Springsteen, even Men at Work, and it's crazy how many of the lyrics I remember. Of course, I just make up what I don't remember. And let us all keep in mind that when singing along to music, there is one rule-- The Louder The Better!!! Ok, I've gotta go now and tidy up while singing. My quilt buddies, The Wild Threads, are coming tonight. Yay!! Tomorrow, I think I'll have a Wordless Wednesday post and show you my fun with my friends and what I've been working on. Have a great day, and don't forget to SING!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Psst!! Looking for my clone!

Has anybody seen my clone? I gave her a list of things to do and she hasn't done ANY of it. Now I'm gonna have to finish my shopping myself, and wrap all of the gifts, start the holiday cooking, clean up the mess over here, etc etc. Sheesh!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lisa's Snow Adventure

I like snow, I really do. I have NO problem driving in snow, in fact Saturday at the height of this blizzard, I was out Christmas shopping. At least until the stores started closing. But, I'd like to share a little pictorial of why, when the forecast calls for lots of snow, I don't always get excited. This is the bottom of my driveway with the camera looking towards Stockton Road. My faithful husband is working hard, making room for us to park at the end of the drive. Why, you ask? Because this is what the rest of the drive looks like. Let's take a walk up there, shall we?

Rounding the bend and looking up, this is the troublesome part of the drive. It's a bit steep, and most of the year we have to worry every time there is a hard rain because the gravel washes out and leaves DEEP canyons of erosion. But let's stay on topic, OK?

We've gotten to the top and are looking back down. There are some suspicious hints of drifting aren't there? Oh yes! The doggone drifting!

See this huge expanse of white, white, white? Well, the winds come sweeping across this plain.... and dump the snow back onto the drive. All of this is just to the side of the driveway, in fact, if you squint and look at the bottom, you will our cars that are parked there.

This isn't our driveway, just another view of the field next to it. The tracks are from where my brother drove the skidloader back to the other side of the farm. He made those tracks about an hour ago and they're already filling in. #!&*#@!!!

All right let's keep going because we're not done yet. We're at the top of the hill looking forward and I think, yes! look! I can almost see the house. We really appreciate these trees that block the drifts, but they also block the sun and this is usually the last to melt. The pines on the left were Christmas trees, way back in the day.

Rounding the bend and, yes, the house!! Yay!!

Bleh! That's a lot of snow! So pretty!

Standing closer to the house and looking back at the bend and the pines. 'Over the river and through the woods.......' ha ha ha

Here we are in front of the house. Hmm, I coulda sworn that this was fully plowed an hour ago. Oh yeah!! Wind and drifts, not my fave! Wonder what it will look like in the morning? This is why the cars are at the bottom, even if they can get traction on the hill, we never know when the drifting will put us back at the starting point. It's been a while since we had to trek up and down the hill for more than a day or two. I think it was The Blizzard of 2000 when we did this for over a week. At 6am, as I headed down to get to work, I got to the hill and sank into a drift all the way to my hips. My hubby, the teacher, was asleep in his bed, and we had no neighbors within shouting distance (my brother hadn't built his house next door yet). And there I was, flopping around in the snow, trying to extricate myself. Just picture a fish out of water. I won't keep you in suspense, I survived, and we bought some snowshoes the next day. That's the year we had to bring our groceries up the hill on a sled. I tell you, there are no streetlights around here and it can be DARK at 6am, and also at midnight when I work that shift. Sometimes I also have to hang onto the fence when it's icy and windy.

This is the view from the front of the house. Truly beautiful and we're looking west so you can imagine the gorgeous sunsets we get. Too bad the wind seems to ALWAYS come from the west. Chilly drafts are a fact of life around here and when the wind blows hard, the doors buzzzz. I tell myself it's a good thing to get some fresh air in the house.

Thanks for sticking with me for my long, whiny post. I just thought I would share a glimpse of why I don't always jump for joy with a blizzard forecast. And while we're at it, let's give thanks to all of the hospital workers, firemen, paramedics, law enforcement, road workers who salt and plow, grocery store clerks, etc who go to work in all weather while others get to jump for joy at being snowed in. And a giant THANK YOU!!! to my brother, David, for plowing us out (not once but TWICE) this past weekend. THANK YOU !!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just popping in to say 'HI!'

Merry Christmas!!!
Happy Holidays!!

Send some cheer!!! (these are little holiday postcards)

And don't forget to decorate! This is a holiday runner I made last year. It's from Blueberry Hill designs. I actually have it hanging sideways this year. It was super easy to make but my gosh! I thought I'd never finish picking the fabrics. Sometimes I get hung up on the dumbest tasks. Now get out there and 'Make Merry' people!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My vacation is over... waaaah!!

Remember the critter parade? How about the 'hampster hat' trees? Well I put them together. I thought I would give the critters an obstacle course for fun. I also added little tree trunks for my trees, to get them up off the ground. It's always fun to get out the power drill and the paint! And the best part is that the trees are like little bobble heads! I just got blocks and dowels from Michael's, painted the blocks, drilled a hole, etc etc.

My quilting buddies are coming over next Saturday for our December meeting of the Wild Threads minigroup. I had really hoped to get more done this past week. I really wanted to clean up my sewing room. I want to be able to show it off to my friends. All I did was make a bigger mess, and on top of the usual clutter, it's also where I put everything from my xmas shopping. Maybe I'll spend Saturday morning carting stuff into the guest room, lol. I picked up the last three blocks from the Christmas block of the month. And I spent ALL DAY yesterday ( and I mean ALL DAY) working on it. I got almost two of them done. I feel like quitting but if I do, I probably won't touch it until next year. I'll show some pictures of the new blocks sometime this week. Meanwhile, I have to do something around here besides play in my sewing room. Our tree is up and I started putting ornaments on it. After so many years of putting up trees and collecting ornaments, we have a LOT of ornaments. It is so much fun to see them every year. Here are a few I might have to hide before Saturday. My friend, Kathy, loves Elvis. Well so do my hubby and I. (in a joking way, OK) So we have a few Elvis ornaments that people have given us. There's nuthin like that white jumpsuit is there?

And this ornament of the young Elvis is cool because the legs are separate and they swing back and forth!!! I'm really gonna have to keep an eye on him when Kathy is here.

And I couldn't resist a shot of this little cutie tootie. All dressed up with his holiday socks! Happy Sunday everybody.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fabric giveaway!

There's a great fabric giveaway over at Twiddletails, check it out!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Critters on Parade

As promised, here is a closer look at the bottom shelf. If you haven't been to the Wisteria website or gotten their catalog, go check it out. They have a very WIDE range of products, from these adorable carved wooden critters to beautiful furniture that I can't afford. It's a good place to find a gift for someone hard to shop for. Well, on Black Friday I got an email from Wisteria offering me 25% off my purchase! I figured, what the heck, and now I have these racecar driving reindeer. Check out this cool character with the sunglasses. He and his reindeer friends are leading the procession of what I like to call ...............................................................

Farmtown Potluck!!! Here they come, right out of the barnyard, and bringing their own meal! Get it? Huh? Get it? The cow is bringing hay, the pig brings corn,

and can you see the dog? He's hauling in a BIG bone.

They just crack me up (some days it doesn't take much). I guess they aren't really Christmas decorations, but since I put them with the reindeer, I thought I could pull it off. Maybe I'll go cut some greens and put them up there. I think you can put anything on and around a bed of pine boughs and it becomes a holiday decoration.
And this concludes today's installment of "Lisa's Holiday Decor". Now go and have a nice day!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Keeping busy!

Well, we had the painting done a couple months ago and I always intended to put some shelving up. And since I have a WHOLE week off from work, it's the perfect time to get caught up around here. I love Ikea, I really do! I went in there intending to get white shelves, but then I saw these. The wood looks like a butcher block counter up close. The perfect choice for our kitchen!! Right now, I have holiday decorations up there, but my plan is to have an assortment of mixing bowls. I LOVE mixing bowls, you can see the two vintage ones that I got in an antique store about 30 years. I love new ones in bright colors as well as old ones. I have shown herculean restraint for years by not buying any more. I have been waiting for these shelves. So get ready people, there's nothing stopping me now!! Except the tuition bills I just got for the TWO kids I have in college. It's a good thing my birthday is in February!! Tomorrow I'll show you some close ups of what I have on the bottom shelf.Here are the first three blocks from the Jacob's coat quilt-a-long over at Don't Look Now. The other name for this design is Orange Peel or something like that, so I decided to go with citrus colors; orange, lemon, and lime.
My plan is for the blocks to kind of blend together. So far, these blocks are only pinned, I have to hand applique each of the twelve 'petals' per block and there will be 49 blocks altogether. The quilt-a-long started Nov 1st and we're supposed to make 1 and a half blocks per week. I guess you could say that I'm a little behind. Just getting the petals ready and pinning them in place is VERY time consuming!! Hopefully I will really kick it into gear after the holidays. pssst - i confess that i fantasize about using my machine for the applique. Look what I did yesterday. Christmas gifts!! I really felt like I was slaving away but now that I see the picture, it doesn't look like much. Hmph!!

And here is another peek at my Christmas quilt. Not done yet!! There are three more blocks and I am seriously concerned about not finishing it this year. Darn it!! Tomorrow I am going to the quilt shop to see if they have the other blocks in yet. If they do, I may be able to pull it off.
And lookee here!!! Big ol Chet wants to eat at the table! This big boy weighs at least 17 pounds and he sleeps ON TOP of me every night!! He sure keeps me warm. He talks too. In the morning when I get up, he jumps off the bed and runs down the hall chirping and chattering kind of like a squirrel. I think he's telling me to hurry up and fill his food bowl!! He makes us laugh every day. Look at that look, he's thinking, 'Where's mah suppah?'

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mama's Holiday Wishlist

Today's Mama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter, I'm sharing this meme with you.

What five items are top on your holiday wishlist this year?
- Pioneer woman Ree Drummond's cookbook (everyone needs this!)
- Some quilting books (I'm fine tuning my borders.)
- Cake Doctor's new cake cookbook
- My old records (LPs) transferred to CD

What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
- A painted rock from my daughter, it looks like a green alien and she painted it with nail polish (scented nail polish! lol)

What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
- Hmmmm? I guess a wedding quilt for family members when they get married.

What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
- can't remember that far back, lol, every year my mom gives me a new silver bell and I have zillions now!!

What items are top on your kids' wishlist this year?
- $$$$ (booooring!)
- Sephora makeup (aw jeez!)
- a new kitten (nice try!)

What is your favorite holiday dish?
- Sweet potato casserole with pecan praline topping (great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner)

What will you be handcrafting for the holidays?
- Some quilts (almost done with these)
- Quilted lunch bags (made one so far)
- Cute paper ornaments and garlands (got five ornaments done so far, no garlands)
- Little glitter houses (got one done but need to fine tune it)
- Some knitted items (haven't started yet)

What is your favorite holiday movie?
- A Christmas Story (hilarious!)

What is your favorite holiday song?
- ALL of the traditional songs, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen, Silent Night, etc
- PLUS the Allie McBeal holiday CD (drives my kids NUTS!!!)

What is your favorite holiday pastime?
- well, I really have fun finding craft ideas and trying them
- my extended family has a wild get together with a crazy gift exchange that involves lots of strategy, shouting, and LAUGHING!!

This is a really cool giveaway and I think my heart would stop if I won!!! Check it out and enter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

'How I spent my Thanksgiving Weekend' by Lisa Mathis

Holiday hats anyone?? Is that little one for a hamster?
Is there a holiday birthday party planned for the cats?
Aaawwwww!! Not hats! Little trees!!

And if you want to play with them, you could always rearrange all of the little hats to make different trees. Or you can hide some mistletoe under one, then swish them around and around and have someone guess where it is, LOL.
I wonder what this little workshop will come up with next? Have a great day!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The angry iron!

It was a dark and stormy night......... Well, not really, but it was a little sinister in the sewing room today. Apparently when I was throwing around all the gratitude the other day, I may have hurt a certain small appliance's feelings. Ya know, I always sing the praises of my iron! Great steam, nice professional tip. All in all, great and consistent performance. Until today, Sunday evening, just when Black Friday weekend ends!! All weekend long, Jo-Ann had irons on sale. But tonight at 9pm, my beloved iron WENT NUTS. Heating out of control, red light flashing, not responding to my adjustments, and then..... burning my beautiful ironing board cover!!! The nerve! So, I unplugged it. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow. I can't live without an iron, I have tons of holiday sewing to do, and I am NOT in the mood to go BUY one. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am feeling thankful.

I am, of course, thankful for my family, my friends, and my health. But this week, I have made it a point to remind myself of all the other things I am thankful for. Like, garbage pickup and mail delivery. How cool is it to put our trash at the end of the drive and it just 'goes away'? And who doesn't love getting mail, like the occasional magazine, or maybe the Pottery Barn catalog? Sometimes I like to daydream that I live in the PB catalog!

And .........

I am thankful for all of my scissors. I just love scissors. They come in so many sizes and styles. I have more than you see in the picture but this is all that I had a picture of (remember? daughter in New York, borrowed my camera?).
These little silver Ginghers! Oh my gosh, I can't use them without thinking to myself, 'buttah, they cut like buttah!!'.

And let's give thanks for indoor plumbing. I mean, who doesn't appreciate a nice throne?

And thanks for all of the good books in the library. Freeee!! They are free, for you and meeee! And if you are lucky enough to have a cozy reading spot and maybe some chocolate while you read, then let's hear it...... THANKS!!!!

I am also thankful for: Pandora radio online, working appliances, job security, my Munki Munki pajamas, glitter, a good laugh, blue jeans, and fresh air.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I finally started my blocks for the quilt along at Don't Look Now. They are TORTURE!! Very time consuming to get the applique pieces ready for sewing. A glue stick is involved if that tells you anything! But my gosh this will be a beautiful quilt. I struggled and agonized over my colors, and then decided to go for lots of citrus colors. Oranges, lemons, and limes. Mmmmm!!! I can't show pictures yet because my favorite daughter (ok my only daughter) has my camera in New York. She's off to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. She's a photography major but wanted to take my little camera with her. I sure hope I get it back. Soooo, I poked around in my computer for some pictures to post, and this is what I found. This is a mural painted on the wall inside the garage at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Isn't it pretty and colorful? I get to walk past it every day. I really think it would make a cool quilt or wall hanging. Makes me think I need more solid color fabrics in my stash. Maybe next summer I will dye some of my own fabric, then I can try something like this. I'm not sure why I have to wait until summer. I think of dying fabric as a messy outdoor project, but the fact is my daughter and her roomate and friends tie-dyed sheets, shirts, socks, and pillow cases last weekend. Maybe I'll consider trying my hand at this after the holidays. Ok, time to hit the sack and get some sleep. I'm going to get up early so I don't miss a minute of the parade!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How about a little sneak peek?

I have been working on a Christmas wallhanging for MONTHS!! and I don't think it will be completely done this year. It's not my fault! It's a block of the month and I don't think the last two months' blocks will be available in time. But I thought I'd give ya a little peek anyway. I really love this design by McKenna Ryan and I can't believe I got the nerve to try it. Soooo, enjoy your little peek, maybe I'll share more soon. It just might have circus acts and other exciting fun!