Monday, March 21, 2022

Spring Break 2022

 I don't always take off during spring break, but this year it was a good time to take a little time away.

I had a few projects to finish, like the pillow above which I started a year ago.  All it needed to be Mom's birthday gift was to be stuffed and closed up.

The bunny hooking project wasn't as delayed as the pillow.  I started him in January or maybe February.  The hooking is fun, but the finishing never is.

After working in a couple of days of work, it was time off again to visit The Mill at Findley Farms for lunch with Mom and Aunt Connie.  It was a stunningly perfect day to enjoy lunch outside.  Good food and neat place with the best company.

I finished the top of this quilt, made with leftovers and rejects from other projects about a year ago.  I had the batting and backing, but just hadn't made time to finish.  Once I got started, it didn't take long at all!

On St. Patrick's Day, I dressed for the occasion even though I only had the nerve to wear the headband into one place.

On Friday, David and I spend the day in the woods for the 100 Acre Wood Rally.  It's been a couple of years since we had been, and despite the rainy weather, it was a great day in the woods.  Picture is borrowed from David's friend Andrew.

I had been looking forward to the St. Patrick's Day Parade since it was canceled in 2020 and 2021, so I was really disappointed to learn that it was canceled again this year.  Undaunted, we met up with some of the usual parade crew downtown for lunch and non-green beer.  At least 3 of the original sweatshirts from the days when Todd and David had a firetruck in the parade have survived.

All in all, it was a great break!  Let's do it again next week.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Looking Back at 2021

 2021 was a good year, despite Covid's continued impact. We got vaccinated, we traveled, we saw friends, we ate good food.  

January:  Lots of time at home, working on projects.  I took a quilting class in November and again in January and February, and enjoyed learning.  

February:  Goofy picture, but Kevin came to visit and ate at Springfield Brewing Company where we also got a behind the scenes tour.  It was great to get out, even with masks.  And even with this mask in particular!

March:  I'm always up for a good burger, but this one is significant as we stopped for lunch at Double E after my first Covid vaccination.  David was already vaccinated, as were Mom and Dad.  It was such a relief to get those and be a little safer.

April:  I decided to let a kidney stone break free, which resulted in an ER visit and an unfortunate reaction to fentanyl.  Thankfully, I was still able to make most of our college roomie reunion.  It was so good to spend time with these friends.

May:  In may we camped in the shadow of Big Brutus.  It was a great trip, and we saw Arkansauce for the first time.  
June:  The dogs would swim even in the coldest water if we let them, but by June, it's really dog swimming season at the lake.  They both love it, but Annie most of all.
July:  One of my favorite months, especially at the lake.  Lots of time outside, homemade ice cream, all the grilled meats, and lots of activity.
August:  We took our fully vaccinated selves on vacation.  With the exception of a couple of camping trips, this was the first vacation for us since December 2019.  I'm not sure we've ever gone that long without traveling in our 20 years together.  We went to Taos and Red River, NM, where we enjoyed lots of New Mexican food, a pride festival, and a ski lift ride.  I'm not sure whether it was a great vacation, or we were just so glad to go somewhere or maybe both, but we had a wonderful time.

September:  In July, I moved from a large shared office space into my own office with fresh paint and new carpet.  In September, the ordered furniture arrived to complete it.  I'm thankful to have a job I enjoy in my own little space.

October: More camping - this time we were at Byrd's Adventure Park in Arkansas.  The scenery is beautiful there, and between Oark Cafe (1 meal) and Catalpa Cafe (3 meals this time), we do very little cooking.  Some would argue that it isn't camping if you're not cooking.  I don't care what you call it - it's a great long weekend! 

November:  In October, our friends Scott and Todd spread out many of their mom's fall and Halloween decorations for their friends to choose from, and did the same in November with Christmas decor.  Myra loved holidays, and most of us there had enjoyed many many Halloweens at their house.  But, the "stuff" isn't the reason I selected this was good for the soul to see friends that we rarely see and take a trip down memory lane with all the decorations.  Each year as we all decorate for the holidays, we'll think again of Myra.

December:  In June and July, we planned a group trip to Key West.  It was the 7th for David and I, and everyone had been there more than once.  We have talked about going to the Dry Tortugas on previous trips, but have never been.  Thanks to Todd getting us organized and moving, we finally did it.  It was the highlight of the trip for most of us.  The seaplane arrives a couple of hours before the ferry, so our group had the place to ourselves for a while - sharing only with the construction workers working to preserve the fort and a new National Park rangers.  Now that I've been once, I can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

In Other News

 David may have to start posting again on the blog, or it's going to become entirely a crafty quilty blog.  Occasionally, I do leave my sewing room to engage in other activities, such as

Hanging out with dogs at the lake (no, we didn't get a third.  The dog on the right is Max, Todd's dog and Annie and Fletcher's buddy)
Laughing at dogs.  Something is quite wrong with this one.
And sitting with the dogs on the swing.  Oddly enough, the require no prompting to get in the swing with me, although Fletcher did learn the hard way that the swing is much more difficult to manage if someone isn't already sitting it in.
Also, meeting Christina for a little flea marketing at lunch
And spring flowers.  This is quite the fancy daffodil at the lake!  If you have a window box, it really should have pansies in it in the spring.
And most of all, my favorite hobby which is eating good food.  We stopped at Double E in Highlandville, and were well into our burgers before we considered taking a picture.  Delicious! 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Quilt Projects

For now, the last installment in my quilting class adventure is Quilting 102.  102 was designed to teach triangles - half square, quarter square, and flying geese.  The project is a 3 block table runner, which seemed easy-peasy after a couple of larger pieces.
It was not easy!  For some reason, the triangles really stumped me during the class.  I began to think I should have gone with a fall fabric instead of spring, as it looked like it would take me that long to get it done.  I went home with a bunch of tiny pieces shown in the picture above.  I knew if I didn't get right to work, I wouldn't remember what I learned in class, so I finished that square and did one more that night.  The second was easier and by the third, I was making fewer mistakes.

I am so glad I stuck with it and finished it, because I like the way it turned out.  It's full of mistakes and mess ups, but I don't think it will be noticeable to anyone but me.  These darker colors are my version of spring pastels.  Who knows...I might even try another star from the book.

At one point, I realized I had five unfinished projects going.  Two were just waiting on a special order presser foot to finished the binding.  One of those two was Mom's birthday gift, which I finished just in time to give her when they came for dinner.  Like every quilt project so far, it's imperfect, but I still love it.  Here it is laid out on the bed just after washing and drying.  I used a "layer cake" package of fabrics, but took some out (blues and purples) and filled in with colors she likes.  I opted to have this one quilted using a long arm machine by the teacher of the quilting class and am so glad I did.  She picked a vine/leaf looking pattern which went nicely.  The first part of the binding looks like a drunk did it while walking in Grandfather's mansion, but I eventually got the hang of it.

Here it is hanging in it's new home.  I'm not sure whether I like working with the larger pieces of fabric, but I do like the bold graphic quality that it gives the finished product.
I also finished the binding on the quilt for the 101 class, so now I'm down to two unfinished projects.  Bernie (my inherited sewing machine) needs to go in for routine maintenance, but when she comes back, we'll get those two knocked out.  


Sunday, February 28, 2021


Some weekends, all I make is a deeper dent in the couch.  I did some of that this weekend too, but also found some motivation to do other things.  This is a terrible picture of me but the dog bookends make up for it!  It's really too bad they don't like their people.

The St. Patrick's Day parade is again sadly cancelled, but we can't go without some festive green masks for the day.  
I had grand plans of painting this little two drawer bench when I bought it in September, but hadn't done anything with it yet.  Saturday afternoon it got a fresh coast of black paint, some distressing, and a coat of wax.  Fletcher settled for supervising since I wouldn't let him have a paint brush.

I really like how it turned out!
Two of the four sessions in my Quilting 101 class were canceled due to weather.  The first make up day was today, and we'll wrap up the class and the quilt on Thursday evening.  I've learned lots and had a good time.  Quilting 102 is a one-session class where we'll work with triangles.  I'm excited to try that out, as so far I haven't been great at that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Hibernation Season Continues

I'm still enjoying hibernation season, but this week the highs are below freezing and the lows are teens and single digits. 

We abided by the rules of the pandemic and stayed home to watch the ill-fated Super Bowl.  The dogs were our party guests.  Can you tell it was a wild time?
I finished this quilt top over the weekend.  It's made entirely of scraps and leftovers from previous projects.  I'll just need batting and backing.  
Lately, Annie has been claiming the middle spot on the couch.  I call her the Henrietta of the dog world, because when she chooses to sit by you, you feel like you've been singled out for a high honor.  Fletcher is used to having that spot and isn't sure how to fit himself into the tiny space left.  I took this after Annie growled a small warning at him about touching her.  He sat there for quite a while looking pitiful.  Poor baby! ;)
I'm enrolled in Quilting 101 and we're making a rail fence quilt.  These are 3 of the 12 squares that were my homework.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Newest Project...Shhhh....

 I've been working on a project for an upcoming birthday, but just in case anyone is still reading the blog, I've disguised it!  I'll reveal the finished project in a month or two.

This afternoon I return to the quilt shop for Quilting 101 class.  Can't wait to get started on a new project!