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Monday, March 31, 2008

It's in the mail...

Over the weekend I ordered some quilting patterns and guess what...they've been shipped! Now I wonder which package will get here first, the one from Hawaii or the one from New York. I don't know if I can handle the wait :-)

I've got just about everything back the way it should be, with the exception of the sewing machine (my husband will have to take it down stairs). Now to rake up all of those snipped threads before I vacuum, those thread bits will snarl up the beater bar on my vacuum and there are there ever an awful lot of snipped thread bits on the carpet near my chair!

PS- this is post #1026, WOW!

Snow...

Not quite a "Snow Day" but a 2 hour late start is welcome news for my children on any school day! Hannah is up, dressed and is tidying up her room (or at least I hope that she is) and Andrew...that boy went back to bed. They were not thrilled that I had originally woke them up at 6:15 and then again at 6:30 am...only to tell them a short while they were getting dressed that school was starting 2 hours late.

Now for me to call and get the city to get the snow plows over to our neighborhood - or the school bus could stand a very good chance of getting stuck in front of our house in a snow drift.

Packing up the Formal Dining Room

It's true, I had basically taken over our formal dining room with my quilting. That was not my intention but alas it happened none the less. I had freshly pressed fat quarters and yards of binding hanging on a wooden clothes drying rack, the iron & ironing board are set up and ready to press fabric at a moments notice. My cutting mats and rulers are on the table and of course there are my plastic shoe boxes with quilting tools and notions and fabric scraps. My huge cracker jar full of thread is there along with my thread spool caddy (a neat little wooden contraption that holds spools of thread), bobbins galore and of course stacks of pressed fabric and quilt batting. If you didn't know that I was quilting you would have thought "oh my gosh please tell me that she doesn't live like this". So I've just about got everything put away and contained in a neat and orderly manner :-) Now that I think about it, I should have taken before and after pictures- what a great scrapbook layout that would have made. With that in mind I'll remember to do it next time when I have my quilting stuff out in the formal dining room for more than a week, LOL!

Quote of the Day

If you've never been hated by your child, you've never been a parent.
~Bette Davis

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dad, Me and Alzheimer's-a scrapbook layout

For those of you who wonder if I scrapbook (with all my talk of cooking and quilting). Why yes, yes I do scrapbook. This picture of my Pop and me was taken last year. It was one of the hardest topics that I have ever addressed scrapbooking. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease that robs you of your precious memories. And here my Pop is battling it and advanced Parkinson's disease. Please hug your parents/grandparents and tell them that you love them...you can't do it enough!

This is a test...this is only a test

And if I was to be graded on it I'd probably get a C-, LOL! I made a quilted table runner yesterday, still in the process of quilting it. A word to the wise...never and I mean NEVER let your artistically creative and mathematically gifted child have Carte Blanche (meaning blank check) in a quilting store- that goes double, especially if she's drawn to the MOST expensive fabrics the store has to offer! Oie Vie is this one expensive little table runner!

I was looking forward to spending the day with my daughter helping her to make something beautiful that would adorn the top of her Dresser. But to my great surprise, my daughter Hannah dumped on all my lap. I could hardly believe that my craft starved child (her words not mine) would much rather sit at her desk in front of her lap top computer playing games and surfing the internet than to sit down with her dear Mom and learn how to work the new sewing machine. I think that she soon realized that this was NOT the kind of project for a first time quilter. I think that she also realized that it wasn't going to be done in 20 to 30 minutes. Now that I think of it, I was the only person in this house who had not parked themselves in front of a computer screen all day long. I like to think that I spent my time doing something better...I spent my time actively doing something creative.

So I've sewn the top of this quilted table runner, now for the stitching in of the appliqued flowers (this is the part where I get a C-). I've tried sewing it on the machine, ended up taking it all out. I tried sewing it by hand, took it out too. The most valuable tool besides your sewing machine is your trusty seam ripper! I awoke from a dream...a dream about the quilted table runner and I'm going to try doing a tiny zigzag stitch on those flowers. I'm determined to get it done so I can put on the binding.

I have to say that I wonder about people...especially the sales lady who suggested to Hannah that this would be a great project for her- an absolute novice quilter who has never really sewn much of anything before. And even MORE questions pertaining to why she lead Hannah to the MOST expensive fabrics in the store, LOL! Oh well I like to chalk this up to my Live and Learn Series on the topic of Quilting, LOL!

Quote of the Day

When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things- not the great occasions-that in retrospect give off the greatest glory of happiness.
~comedian Bob Hope

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's official, I've gone over board on quilting!




The details you see here are from a quilt pattern called Baby Honu (Sea Turtle) from Dorky Homemade Patterns by Lisa Boyer. Dorky? No Way! Her stuff is just too darn ADORABLE!!! This takes me back to our family vacation in Hawaii- ah the memories!

Sandie and her sewing projects

I was asked recently about how serious I was about quilting. I said that I was enjoying myself immensely and love the new challenges that it has given me. I was also asked what got me started being so interested...I was always interested it was that I was never motivated enough to actually dive head first. Every once in a while I'd stick a toe in and test the water and it was too hot for me, LOL!

About my discovery under the stairs...While looking through all of my glorious fabric scraps in that huge Rubber-Maid container I came across a couple of surprises- 2 quilt kits. I bought them both when while were were stationed in Virginia (that's also where the majority of my fabric scraps originated). You see, Once upon a time... I made dresses for my little girl. It was the funniest thing as our little Hannah wouldn't wear pants- only skirts and dresses. I made all sorts of cute outfits for her and from that came oodles of fabric scraps. I also made beautiful valances (still do). I love making window treatments! Others might enjoy making clothing more but my thing turned out to be window treatments - that fact still surprises my Mom as she would never even attempt making a window treatment of any kind (and to me, she is much more talented at sewing than I ever could claim to be). Now to make this interesting...I have 2 sisters and neither of them even owns a sewing machine, LOL! As Hannah and I are checking out the fabrics in these quilt kits she says what I'm thinking... Eewww- oh man, do we need to changed out some of these fabrics! With that in mind I'm going to let Hannah play around with changing out those colors while I get her table runner put together.

Now on a lighter note, I came across another place I'd like for you all to check out, it's Quilt Woman. There are neat patterns GALORE there! I consider myself to be a beginner quilter with sewing experience. But just because one knows how to sew does not mean that you know how to quilt...those ARE 2 very different things. You do however need to know how to sew in order to learn how to quilt. Quilt Woman has patterns in various categories;
Absolute Novice, Beginner, Intermediate and Expert. I ordered some patterns from this website this monring and I'm excited to get started working on some new patterns and techniques! Please by all means check out the website and better yet... send me links to other websites for me to check out!

Quote of the Day

Celebrate you success and find humor in your failures. Don't take yourself so seriously. Loosen up and everyone around you will loosen up. Have fun and always show enthusiasm. When all else fails put on a costume and sing a silly song.
~Business Executive Sam Walton

Friday, March 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

Unfortunately, many people do not consider FUN and important item on their daily agenda, For me, that was always high priority in whatever I was doing,
~Test Pilot General Chuck Yeager

It's the little things that make me Happy!

My girlfriend Kim is always so upbeat and peppy, take this morning when she's calling to tell me that the Thrift Shop is closed for good (well, until our move) due to water pouring in through the ceiling like an indoor waterfall. It's situations such as these that make or break you. Certainly circumstances beyond our control are something to laugh about. We were getting ready to move the Thrift Shop into a bigger and newer building (hopefully with fewer technical problems) and now that time frame is moved up a whole week. The funny thing is out of the core group of volunteers, none of us are really physically able to pack and move the shop- there's me and my gimped out foot issues, Kim is pregnant, Gaby is pregnant, Leilani is pregnant, Theresa is pregnant, Molly is pregnant- with twins, Amber has fibromyalgia (my heart really goes out to her) so having her pack up the Thrift Shop is absolutely out of the question, Heidi and her back problems, and Gary just had a hernia operation- I'm telling you we are one sad group of people, LOL! The only one of us who is in any shape to do this is Joe- and if he does this by himself we'll never hear the end of it, LOL!

So where am I going on this happiness kick right? I told Kim that I would hem her pants to bring them on over any time and I'd be more than happy to do it for her. She she brings over her pants and then takes me out to lunch. What a nice thing to do! She got me out of the house, made me laugh and made me feel loved and appreciated... that right there made my entire day! She knew how bad I was feeling yesterday and she got me to laughing then too :-)

So now I'm home checking on e-mail and getting ready to sit down at my sewing machine. I feel happy all over...with exception of my feet, they're feeling tired and sore. But at least I'm not in the kind of pain I was in yesterday and that's a good thing!

More on my Mother Lode of Fabric find...

I've spent the greater part of this morning stitching in the rest of my Mother Lode of fabric. I edited my post from yesterday to say that I have come across OVER 3 dozen prints. I've got left over fabric from all sorts of projects. All I can say is that I'm very glad that I've kept those scraps! I've got scraps large enough for fat quarters galore! Plus there's the fabric that I have a yard and more of...woohoo! Something that I'm VERY thrilled at coming across is the blue background with white stars fabric (I've got 2 different ones) as these are going to come in very handy with my Americana quilt. I don't know if I've mentioned it but it's the one that's got me collecting 20 different red prints and 20 different white background prints (insert eye roll here).

I've got several different prints of Christmas fabric, Easter fabric, Americana fabric and more floral prints than I can shake a stick at! I'm in fabric heaven! I've also figured out that I can sit in my drafting chair and iron my fabric, no having to stand on my sore feets!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The fabric stash I didn't know that I had...until today!

Thank goodness no one I know can see me crawling around on my hands and knees today. I can hardly believe that both of my feet hurt as much as they do- it's like some sort of cruel joke. But alas, I have tea and some cookies and a lovely recliner in my bedroom where I've been hanging out today. Wrapped up in my Cheese and Cracker quilt and I've been reading a new magazine.

Since I'm stuck in my room (it's a happy place full of my favorite things)- I pick up a magazine and start reading an article and I'm looking at these pictures of this persons "sewing room"- looks a great deal like my scrapbook nook but instead of stamps and cardstock it's full of fabrics...oodles and oodles of beautiful fabrics! I start thinking....hmmm I wonder where I put all of that fabric that I had left over from my oodles of various crafting projects. I know that I kept it but did Lucien toss it all out when he was organizing the storage area? Over the years he has at times tossed out items of mine.

So I crawl down stairs and into the storage area that is underneath of our stairs. My husband and I had re-organized the area down there a few months
back- everything is in Rubber-Maid 18 gallon totes (or larger). They are all labeled as to what exactly is in them. I see it in a back corner...there it is, the Holy Grail of containers, the one marked "Fabric". Oh let me tell you I am not the least bit disappointed in what I have found. I have oodles of really cool fabrics! I have fabrics in prints that are not available out here- Texas Bluebonnets and Maine Blueberries just to name two of the OVER 3 dozen prints I've come across. And solid colors I have found a rainbow of happiness in a Rubber-Maid container! WhooHoo! I'm in fabric heaven! I've got a good portion of those fabrics in the washing machine, and other load is waiting to go in as soon as this one is done and I'll iron it all once I can stand for any length of time :-) I've made myself happy midst my foot issues :-) My motto for today...Bloom where you are planted!

My small but growing stash of fabric

Okay beyond all the foot pain I'm currently experiencing...I'm looking at my small but growing stash of fabric. I told myself that I'd only get enough fabric to work one project at a time. But before I was done with my 1st quilting project (which was/is a table runner that I've yet to finish). I then bought enough fabric to work a second project before the first was finished (and as I said before, it's still not finished- it ended up being way beyond my skill level). While I was still working on my first quilt, I had finished my second quilt and made two more quilt tops. I've now got 2 quilts completed, binding sewn on and everything!

I've come to realize that my worst fears have come to life...I've turned into a fabric junkie! At first I was happy with buying Fat Quarters at my local quilt shop, so why I am now buying fabric in 1½ to 6 yard increments? LOL! Is it because I think they're PRETTY? For the most part I have to say Yes of course I'm buying it because I think it's pretty, but mainly it's because I realized that I can make my own Fat Quarters and save myself a great deal of money in the process. Lets do the math...4 fat quarters make a yard, but when you buy the fat quarters at $2.50 each and a yard of fabric is anywhere from $2.00 to $9.00 a yard...that's quite the mark up. It makes a fabric that started off as $2 per yard suddenly a $10 a yard purchase, yikes! So I started buying in bulk, especially the background fabrics.

I discovered something else during my adventures in fabric purchasing...stores such as Wal-Mart and Ben Franklin, Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics and of course my favorite Quilting Stores downtown all sell the same white on white, ecru on ecru and off white on off white background fabrics (no joke they all have the exact same background prints) but all of them selling at VERY different prices. I realize that the local home-grown business do not have the bulk buying power that the chain stores/ big box stores have. I do find it outrageous that I can find those same fabrics at such a great price range...one store sells it for $2 per yard while another can sell it for as much as $10 or more a yard (no joke). I enjoy the process of shopping around and have learned these lessons (though I hate to admit it) through making a purchase or two. Early on as I was just getting started in quilting (sheesh, look at me- I talk as if I've been quilting for ages), I had actually made 2 separate but over priced purchases one of 2½ and another of 3½ yards background fabric at the whopping price of $10 a yard. Those purchases took place a few weeks before I knew that I could get it for $2 a yard. I come to look at that as a VERY valuable lesson. So where I spent $60 - if I had only taken my time and shopped around I could have saved myself a good sized chuck of change and only spent $12. I now no longer go on what the person at the quilt shop tells me about quality, I'm looking it all up on line. I reading up on what quilters around the USA are saying about the products they use and the brands of fabrics they're buying.


In the end...I've learned some valuable lessons and I know all to well that I need to shop around. But how is one to know about such things if the quilt shop owners go on and on about how the chain stores (wal-mart, hobby lobby, etc.) don't get the same kind of quality fabrics that they do? Again, it is a lesson that will need to be learned by all of us that start the wonderful hobby of quilting. I now refuse to blindly give all of my business to just one store, there's too much fabric out there, too many patterns to choose from- to settle on just one place to buy everything you need or want to have for a quilting project is simply foolish! Sandie's Floral Garden Lap Quilt (I'm giving this to my Mom for Mother's Day). And here's my Cheese and Crackers Quilt- it's a much larger "lap quilt" than the floral garden quilt. I dedicate this one to my husband...who by all means loves Cheese and Crackers!

Pain is a 4 letter word!

I had a Podiatry appointment yesterday and needless to say both of my feet hurt as if they've had 100 pound cinder blocks dropped on them. How is it possible to come out from a doctor appointment hurting MORE than when I went in? That just seems sooooo wrong to me. The only shoes I can wear are my Veggies (they're foam clogs same thing as Crocs). My feet hurt! I can't even say that they ache, aching would be a "good thing" at this point compared to how I really feel. This just sucks! Oh and now I'm taking Methylprednisolne...you should see the list of side effects, it's causing me to have some serious concerns.

What should I avoid while taking methylprednisolone?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with methylprednisolone. Vaccines may not work as well while you are taking a steroid. Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking methylprednisolone.
Methylprednisolone side effects Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
problems with your vision;
swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions);
bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood;
pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate);
low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).
Less serious side effects may include:
sleep problems (insomnia), mood changes;
acne, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising or discoloration;
slow wound healing;
increased sweating;
headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;
nausea, stomach pain, bloating; or
changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

Quote of the Day

This quote is in honor of my girlfriend Barbara who is 46 years old today! I've been friends with Barbara since we were in the 3rd grade.

The Secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.
~Lucille Ball
Happy 46th Birthday Barbara!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Crackers and Cheese Quilt...

My fingers are sore from the constant pricks of the sewing pins and the very tiny quilting needles but in the end it was worth all of the pain! My Crackers and Cheese quilt is now finished! I've yet to sew my quilt label on, but I've got it made and I just need take a few minutes this afternoon and hand sew it on- that will go quickly. I'm amazed that I did it, I finished my quilt! Look for pictures this afternoon. I"m thrilled to pieces! I'll be starting on 2 more quilts this afternoon- I've got 2 quilt tops waiting to be sandwiched and quilted.

I think that I've discovered something in myself that I didn't know was there- that I love a good mathematical challenge, LOL! I'm such a major science and natural history geek (this is one of those little known facts about me-so pay attention there will be a quiz later) so trust me when I say that quilting is all about measurements, mathematical equations and getting everything to add up and align in proper order.

So with that said I'm going on to try to enjoy my day. I have a Doctor appointment where he will be injecting something into my left heel and I'll feel intense pain for the rest of the day. And he's carving out something on the bottom of my right foot...maybe this time he will write me a prescription for some pain medicine (one can only hope).

Quote of the Day

If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.
Winston Churchill

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's Tuesday...yeah!

After 5 days spent having "quality time" with my family, am I ever ready for them to go back to school and work! I have to tell you that try as I might to get those valances started...nothing came of it. Nope, not a thing. Trying to get others to collaborate on a project was near impossible!

And of course there was our cat and her issues to deal with. Our poor kitty is losing her teeth due to an autoimmune disease and her has an infection in her gums- I feel terrible about this! PLUS she had to have a tooth pulled while we were there, my poor kitty!!! This Veterinarian says that our regular Veterinarian should have picked up on this...so much for using the military veterinarian services (yes I am grumbling about this). I'll have the base vet clinic give my kitty her shots BUT she will go for regular check ups back at her old vet clinic.

No weekend before an OSC function would be complete without some kind of snafu going on, and this one was no different. I had originally suggested that we just not hold a function this month...and well those RSVP numbers proved it. We made the call to cancel the program. We didn't have enough members interested in the wine tasting part of the program to pull it off and not enough members coming to the function in general. This is just a very busy time for year for a lot of us. We'll try again next month with Make Overs and having a beautiful Freshwater Pearl Necklace and Earrings (set in 14K gold) as the door prize- well that will get the interest of all of our members :-)

Now for me to have more coffee and get ready for fun and laughs at the Thrift Shop.

Quote of the Day

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
~Albert Einstein

Monday, March 24, 2008

What a Sunday!

Easter for the most part was interesting...Church was like church always is on Easter Sunday, long and drawn out. It was after Mass while shopping at the commissary that it got interesting. I have never laughed so much after church when talking to other parisheners than I did yesterday. I won't go into the whole conversation (too long) but it had to deal with the things we see other people doing during Mass. So this one church member and her husband were telling me how there was someone sitting near them sending a text message on her cell phone- during the church service, then I gave the account of the woman who I see near weekly clipping her nails in church. We were basically comparing notes on the odd behaviors of people who attend our church. We all were laughing pretty hard at what we all have been observing, the totally off the wall things that go on during a church service.

Now to put a little more serious spin on the day... It was after dinner and just before our kids got back from their hike to the top of Radar Hill that my husband noticed something odd about our kitty. He pointed out to me that she was sticking out her tongue- I told him to pick her up and look inside her mouth as this was a sign that she could be missing teeth (thank you Animal Planet for the awesome Pet related programing). So Lucien opens up kitty's mouth and we both gasped- our kitty is missing one of her top front canine incisors. It must have JUST happened and happened like within the last 30 minutes. I could tell that our kitty was in pain. So first thing I'm calling our Veterinarian- to my surprise his office is closed today and tomorrow. Well our kitty needs to be seen- so I called the Veterinarian Clinic where we used to take our kitty- she's got an appointment but not until this afternoon. I feel so bad for our kitty, but there's not much else I can do for her beyond trying to make her as comfortable as I can.

So here it is Monday morning, the last day of our children's so called "Easter Break". I've got a dental appointment of my own (to replace an old filling). Then it's back to the house to be with my kids and cat.

Quote of the day

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
~Jane Austen

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter
Happy Spring
Happy Happy Everything!

Quote of the Day

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.
~Albert Camus

Saturday, March 22, 2008

As I always seem to be making something, today is just a little different...today I want to get started on making the window treatments I keep talking about but never seem to get around to making, LOL! So while my husband and daughter are here I'm going to get them to draw me up some flower patterns (I want to get them both involved in this project). I'm going to start the applique valance for Hannah's bedroom window. I have my camera poised and ready because this is going to be funny, I just know it!

Quote of the day

Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.
~Francesco Guicciardini

My long weekend...

It's the weekend and it's important to me to be able to spend quality time with my family. My children have a 5 day weekend (3 days off from school for Easter break). I don't want to have to spend hours away from them working on volunteer things, I want to be able to be at home with them, laughing with them, watching TV or playing board games. So with this very thing in mind I let some people know that I'm "off duty" until Tuesday. The week goes by so fast and the kids are busy with homework or after school commitments. They're getting older and in a couple of years (I mean this in the literal sense) Andrew will be away at college. I want to be able to spend as much quality time with my children as possible. Be it horsing around together, making a craft project, helping them put together a diorama of something or building a display board for science class. Just being able to be there with them is the most important thing for me.

On a side note...I always make time for my girlfriends, some of them are as close to me as my own family. There are days where I have to set aside time for work related things but interruptions from my girlfriends are always welcome :-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

I feel a bit sad today...

I have so many thoughts running through my mind this morning. My husband received an e-mail (which he forwarded to me) telling him that friends of ours have lost a child. Colin was the same age as our Hannah. But unlike our Hannah who was able to overcome her little birth defect through surgery, Colin was affected by many more serious debilitating birth defects and chronic poor health. Colin was about the size of a 3 or 4 year old child, he could not walk or speak and had to be fed through a tube. But with all of that (and more) I can remember Colin's smile- he had this smile that could melt your heart and light up a room at the same time. He's in heaven now playing with the angels and no longer in pain. My heart goes out to his parents Barbie and Chuck. May the Lord grant them peace and comfort at their time of sorrow.

Quote of the Day

Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs.
~Christopher Morley

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me".
~Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy just being me!

I admire Barbara Bush and I especially like today's Quote of the day- it makes me think about who I am...I'd much rather be seen as being a nice person than a competitive one. I see so much competitiveness on a near daily basis that it makes me want to do my own thing even more. I enjoy being happy, I enjoy being creative, I enjoy being me! I'm not out there to prove anything to anyone, I'm just being my happy little self. And if I'm able to share my happiness with others and make them happy too, then all the better!

So, what am I up to today? I'm going to sandwich together my 2nd quilt top and sew together my 3rd quilt top...I can't begin to tell you how energized this makes me feel. To be able to make something that keeps you warm and it looks good too-it amazes me to no end :-) The energy that I'm drawing from my quilting projects is unbelievable! I'm seriously jazzed about quilting, the colors and patterns of the fabrics are very much like scrapbooking papers- all of them beautiful! And instead of using adhesive I'm using thread- what is not to like? I know that many scrapbookers have secondary hobbies such as crocheting, knitting or counted cross stitching that they turn to when feeling scrappers block. I'll say it- I can not knit for beans, but I can crochet! There, I've made my mom and mother-in-law proud I can crochet! But I'd much rather make scrapbook layouts, make greeting cards (of all types) and of course design and sew things for my home :-) So with that very thought in mind I'm going to start sewing some more blocks together and make another quilt top. And hopefully by this afternoon I will be able to say that I will have 3 quilts in my portfolio of quilt making!

Quote of the Day

"I'm not a competitive person, and I think women like me because they don't think I'm competitive, just nice."
~Barbara Bush

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I had a fantastic Monday!

I hope that everyone had as good of a day as I did yesterday. I know that over all Monday's in general have gotten a bad reputation. Monday's are not the "bad day" that they are made out to be. Monday is one of my favorite days of the week- my kids are back in school and spouse back at work- and I've got the day to myself to create and not be interrupted a thousand and one times. Mondays are fabulous days!

Take my Monday (yesterday) for example...Yesterday before my Stamp Group meet up I went to my favorite quilt store -Quilt Connection Etc for some help with attaching the binding. Oh my word I can't begin to tell you how truly I appreciate the help I've received every time I've gone into that shop. And friendly- I have found everyone there even the customers are as nice and as friendly as can be! I got my binding on my quilt now to sew it on :-) While there I also needed to get a few little pieces of fabric for another quilt I'm going to make...to my delight I found that everything I was buying was 28% off because of a birthday sale (one of the ladies was having a birthday and this was half her age), what a total hoot! I bought my fabric and another quilt pattern (the Americana one I had been eyeballing). Now I'm off to my stamp group- all I can say is that we laughed for 2 hour hours straight! Peggy had some terrific projects lined up for us (as per usual), CUTE city is all I can say! I'll have to take some pictures and post them later on today, I had a lot of fun making these cards! So after my 2 hour session of laughing and crafting with friends was over I bonked myself on the head (kind of like duh you should have had a V-8 kind of thing) because I didn't buy any thread while everything was 28% off...so back to the quilt store I go...they were sold out of white, black and every shade of off white ever made, LOL! So I head off to the sewing center (the store that sells sewing machines and all kinds of other little neat things). I'm in that store and feeling rather overwhelmed with the selection of things in there. I'm in there for 15 to 20 minutes looking at "stuff" and not a single person ever greeted me, asked me if I needed help or anything. Needless to say I decided not to buy anything and left- again without being asked if I needed any help. Now my last attempt to buy some thread sends me over to Hancock Fabrics and to my surprise I find that the brand and type of thread I'm looking for is one sale...at 40% off no less (good things come to those who persevere). I see that there are only 2 of the jumbo spools of black thread left, I scooped them babies up! I'm looking for the off white thread and all there is are a couple of small spools- it's 40% off so I take them too. Now I see someone stocking thread on the opposite side from where I am- so I ask the sales person if she has any white Gutermann thread- she looks in her cart and and abruptly plops into my hands this box of 5 jumbo spools of white cotton quilting thread. I asked her if there she had any off white or beige thread in her cart and she snapped at me and let me know how she has "X" amount of boxes of thread in the back room that she had to go through and how I would just have to come back later to see if there was by chance any that would be put out on the shelf (sheesh- talk about c*r*a*b*b*y). But I was not about to let that woman get me down- she might be a tad on the crabby side but me- I just hit the mother lode on a thread sale! Did I feel as if I needed to complain about this person stocking the shelves- not in the least! I didn't know her whole story, maybe there had been others who had been pretty rude to her earlier in the day. I've seen how some people can be when there is a sale going on and it can get rather ugly. So while at the check out counter I see this pretty Olfa rotary cutter I ask the clerk at the register how much it is- she tells me that it's on sale for $10- oh HELLO! Ring me up baby and put that in my plastic bag too! It was too adorable for me to pass up! I get such a kick out of unique looking tools- it's so much more appealing (to me) to use this pretty rotary cutter than my plain old school bus yellow one, LOL!







Okay so now I'm not done with my fantastic Monday story...I get home and I'm inspired to create something...I finish my day with having made my 2nd quilt top (no joke). I came home cut and sewed all afternoon and made this - I call it Sandie's Flower Garden :-)





I'm thrilled to pieces how quickly I was able to cut and sew this quilt together- WOW! is all I can say :-) It's a bit smaller than the Crackers and Cheese quilt (it's the picture at top of today's blog posting). This one is more of what I would call "Lap" size, the other one is almost "Twin" size. I've also started on a 3rd quilting project it's in the process of being cut and sewn but here's a sneak peek- I call it Sandie's Tribute to Autumn. The Autumn themed fabric was left over from the valance I made last November for the window in foyer. I can't begin to tell you how incredibly happy I feel when I'm creating something. Quilting is just one of many creative outlets for me. I'm so glad that decided to take the leap and get out of my comfort zone- to take on a new challenge. Quilting (for me) is just as much fun and challenging as needlework, counted cross stitching, scrapbooking and stamping was in the beginning...and they all continue to be crafts that I enjoy with all my heart.

I hope that I've inspired some of you with my crafty goodness (yes I took that saying from Kate's blog aka Scrap and Knit) to take a step out of your comfort zone and try something new!

Quote of the day

The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web.
~Pablo Picasso

Monday, March 17, 2008

What a foggy morning!

Although it's quite foggy outside I'm still excited about the prospects that this Monday holds for me. First and foremost it's the 3rd Monday of the month- the day that Stamp group that I'm in gets together :-) Peggy always has something fun for us and I'm sure that today is no exception! After Stamp group I'm going to take a quick trip downtown to my favorite quilting store with my quilting project and get some help with putting on the edging. One lady in particular said that she would show me a trick or two with putting on the binding. I need help getting my corners aligned (mitered), so any hands on help is welcome!

I hear my husband talking to our daughter about St. Patrick's Day and how she looks nice and green and then he goes on about how he always wears green...this is rather funny since flight suits are green.

It's so foggy that you can't see past the fence in our backyard. I hope that some of this burns off before my family leaves for school and work.

Quote of the day

They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?
~Princess Diana


a smile washed over my face as I read this...Diana had such a way about her :-)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quote of the day

"Radical changes in world politics leave America with a heightened responsibility to be, for the world, an example of a genuinely free, democratic, just and humane society. "
~Pope John Paul II

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Doing what my quote said...

Following in the footsteps of my quote today I'm writing some kind words of encouragement to a friend who is going through a long separation from her husband. They PCS'd (moved) into this area last year, went through the process of having a house custom built only to have to give it up because their other home in another part of the U. S. didn't sell (it's a year later and it still hasn't sold). These folks were to have been our neighbors in the home directly behind ours. Even though they did not become our neighbors I can say that Amy has become a friend :-) I've not had the opportunity to get to know her husband as he is away on a 12 to 15 month remote tour in another part of the world. My heart goes out to her in so many ways. I know all too well how hard it is to make new friends and to find some that truly care about you- well that's really something to hold on to.

I found out this week that the wife of one of my neighbors is currently away on a deployment. He's been having landscapers come over every day giving him estimates. I think that he wants to surprise his wife with a beautiful yard when she gets back in August, what a nice thoughtful husband!

So here I am...in my jammies drinking coffee- today it's that Dunkin' Donuts coffee- it's okay stuff. I'd buy it again- especially when we have guests believe it or not but not everyone likes chocolate coffee like I do:-)

I'm off to start the actual sewing of the layers together on my quilting project...wish me luck!

Quote of the day

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa

Friday, March 14, 2008

Being creative...

I think that once we reach a certain level in our skills in any craft that we start looking for challenges. That's probably why I picked up quilting. It's like recharging my batteries (so to speak). To rekindle an interest in being creative.

While I was growing up, I saw my mother as being a rather crafty kind of person- she had interests in several different kinds of crafts. She enjoyed doing-crocheting, knitting, sewing, embroidery and macramé. She was always working on little projects of one kind or another. I saw my Mother as being very crafty in an age where women were just stepping out into crafting.

So here I am quilting, something that my mother didn't try- although she likes the look of quilts. From talking to my dear old mom- she's now got an interest in them (go figure). So as a little surprise I want to make a small lap quilt for her for Mother's Day. Now to find the right pattern- or adapt one that I have (not a bad idea if I say so myself).

I've been hunting all over for my camera and can't seem to be able to locate it. Hmmm, 4 people, 1 cat in a house with 1 digital camera...where oh where can the camera be? I think that Hannah was the last person to use it and she was taking pictures of the cat, LOL! I think that I'm going to be on a search now, wish me luck!

Quote of the Day

I am a woman in process. I'm just trying like everybody else. I try to take every conflict, every experience, and learn from it. Life is never dull.
~Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, March 13, 2008

getting it all together- the quilt that is...

It would not be quilting (for me) without a few technical difficulties to over come. I finally managed to get my quilt top sandwiched with the backing and the filler. I thought I was going to lose my mind with it- I had to move to the floor because it kept slipping and sliding off of the dining table. Once I got there, I had to re-pin it 3 times until I got it right. Meanwhile my foot is throbbing like I dropped a brick on it. A couple of glasses of milk and a package of imported German gingerbread cookies later and I was fine, it was an 8 pack of cookies-sheesh!

Now to figure out how I'm going to quilt it-ugh! There are so many different ways to go about this too- I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all. I found a simple design for the quilting and I'm going to practice that technique and see how it looks.

Quilting is not for wimps! This really does give your brain a good workout in mathematics!

Creative Passions...

I saw this quote and it fits how I feel about my creative passions...

True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.
~Albert Einstein

I visited yet another quilting shop Thimble Cottage Quilt Village (my 3rd in the Rapid City area), this one was unique unto it's self as the woman who owns it also has her own line of quilting & rustic needlework patterns and her own line of quilting fabrics (marketed under the name Pearl Louise Designs)-WOW is all I have to say about that! Once we got to talking we discovered that we had much in common (being passionate about so many realms of creativity) we talked about the crafting industry, Pearl was curious to know my thoughts on where thought some crafting trends were leading towards and so forth. She asked me what I thought about the scrapbooking industry and how come so many people are interested in it and are doing the craft and how the quilting industry can start or rekindle an interest...the first thing to come out of my mouth was "new fabrics". Make some of those lovely classic quilt designs in bold striking batik fabrics (my Hannah is head over heals in love with batik fabric) instead of the vintage looking calico fabrics. The other things is that scrapbooking (and card making) unlike quilting is a rather quick fix- you know...instant gratification ;-)

There's also the intimidation factor of buying a sewing machine. I know how hard it was for me to decide on what kind of sewing machine I wanted, what I wanted to do with it (quilting, craft sewing etc) and the biggie-what I wanted to spend. So when some Quilt Shops shop sell the real high end of sewing machines that cost as much as $11,000 (no that is not a misprint it says 11 thousand US dollars) and there are ones that cost even more- well that's overwhelming and intimidating to say the least. I had started out thinking that I wanted a Bernina (because it's reputation) but soon discovered that the lowest model of Bernina sewing machine starts at $1000 retail- gulp! I started rethinking my ideas of what I wanted...I wanted more bang for my buck and I didn't need to have that status symbol that seems to go along with owning a Bernina. I started looking at other brands and found Janome. For my sewing needs and talents this one is perfect, does the same things all the other brands do and I'm VERY happy with it! By the way, Thimble Cottage does not sell sewing machines and for me that takes away some of the intimidation of walking through the place.

I was especially curious about how the fabric line- she gave me the skinny on it from designing to manufacturing to getting carried in a store and I was quite intrigued. Thimble Cottage is set up in an old Victorian style house, there were rooms set up in themes- my favorite being the little bedroom filled with floral quilts I felt as if I had found a new home. It's really is something to see an entire room set up in a Baby Nursery or Christmas theme. And having beds of various sizes throughout the place really does give such a wonderful visual aide of seeing what those finished quilts look like when display on a bed. Needless to say I spent some money while there (just a little) :-) I have added another quilt pattern to my collection but this one is a small table top size and I'm excited about making it very soon! I also bought a needlework project the Ladybug Delights kit and I was VERY delighted to discover that Thimble Cottage carries the Weeks Dye Works hand dyed embroidery threads- I'm in heaven now! I excited that I can buy my favorite embroidery floss local instead of having to order it on the internet and waiting a week for it to get to me. So now when I want to start a project...I can start it immediately while I've got my mojo going full throttle- woohoo!

I'm going to make a list of all of the quilting stores in my general area and take a trip to each and every one of them. Who knows what little gems I might discover! Why don't you make a list of places that you would like to visit in your own area...you too might discover something new that will spark your creative passions!

Quote of the Day

The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box.

~Henri Cartier-Bresson

this is how I feel when trying to take a photograph of our family pet or better yet...when trying to get a decent picture of my children.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sandie's foot issues...

I've found out what is wrong with my foot- and after having a painful injection of a pain killer I find myself being able to walk on it with less discomfort, trust me it still hurts just not to the same degree as before the injection. I think that someone somewhere sees it being rather humorous how an innocent little injection into ones foot of a pain killer really hurts (it brought tears to my eyes). I have to go in for a series of these injections, if they do not alleviate my problem then surgery will be required. I had the Doctor draw on my foot where the incision would be and what would be done etc- doesn't sound too bad (I've had foot surgery before). My heel still hurts like there's no tomorrow but just not in the same spot or in the same way- how weird is that? I go back in 2 week (lucky me) for more of the same.

Now for me to get some things together and scurry off....it's a Mom and Daughter afternoon and we're going to get manicures today!

it's Wednesday...

This morning I go to see a Podiatrist- to get answers as to why my foot is hurting- but not just an ache it hurts ALL of the time. It feels as if an ice pick is constantly being jabbed into my ankle and heel region. I know that I'll have to have something done but as to what that "something is" well I'm still a little apprehensive. I wish that I had someone to go to the Doctors office with me, but alas I don't. I didn't think about asking a girlfriend to come along with me until this morning when I started to think about how afraid I am of needles, LOL!

Quote of the Day

Both of today's quotes are by Marlee Matlin- enjoy!


"Every one of us is different in some way, but for those of us who are more different, we have to put more effort into convincing the less different that we can do the same thing they can, just differently. "
~Marlee Matlin

"Everybody's got a job to do, and I do mine as best I can."
~Marlee Matlin

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

what an awesome day!

I know that it's only 2:45 pm but it's been a wonderful day for me! From meeting the new office secretaries at the contractors office to having the owner of the quilting shop give me one on one help with my quilting questions. The Thrift Shop was bustling with happy shoppers. It's a delicious day- sunny and warm (66º is warm for us), it's only a slight breeze at 8 mph.

Now I'm all pumped up to work some more on my quilt. I've got the special pins that I needed and now to get it all pinned together and ready for the quilting phase. Once I'm ready to attach the binding on the edges I'm to bring my quilt back to the store and they'll help me with it- WOW now that's awesome customer service!

I got to talk with some friends about scrapbooking today too and at the request of others I plan on getting back into teaching some scrapbooking classes again. I got out of doing that when I started my scrapbook for hire business as it took up all of my time. Only at special requests will I take on a scrapbook for hire client- my time is just too precious and so limited. To be honest, it took the fun out of scrapbooking for me. So now I'm happy as a lark minus all that horrible foot pain I'm experiencing right now. So I'm off to relax and read a quilting magazine and get ideas on how to make an appliqued valance for my daughters bedroom window.

A day in my life...

I've got a short list of things that I want to accomplish today. One of them being a quick trip to the quilt store to get a couple of items I need to put the quilt together and of course get some advice from the wonderful ladies who work there - that's always welcome!

Tomorrow will be a busy day for me. I've finally got my appointment with a Podiatrist (in the morning). I've got mixed feelings about this appointment. You see, my left heal/ankle region is causing me more and more pain. Some days I can't even walk on that foot because it hurts just that bad. But what's the use of constantly complaining? I need to just deal with it and so I am. I'm afraid of what the Doctor may find, afraid that I might have injured myself more because of my prolonged abuse of walking on it when it was really hurting. So...will I get some horrifically huge needle poked into my foot tomorrow? Probably. X-rays? most likely- we shall see what comes from it all. I wonder about surgery- we shall see what the diagnosis is and deal with it when it comes to that. I tell myself not to worry about things, it does no good. Just deal with it as it comes and that's it.

Now on to more positive thing...Do I trust myself in the quilt shop? I'm like a kid in a candy store while there, LOL!

Quote of the day

I adore Adam Sandler even more after reading quotes by him talking about how he views family life...enjoy!

I do want children. I study dads more. I watch what they go through. I admire my father more than I ever did and my brother and my sister.
Adam Sandler

I'm 31 now. I think I'm beginning to understand what life is, what romance is, and what a relationship means.
Adam Sandler

This character feels so much like my brother. He has two children. He has a wife. He works with me. He chooses to stay in New Hampshire because he wants his kids to grow up in the school they started with. He doesn't want them to lose friends. He is his family's hero.
Adam Sandler

Are you a Brainiac?

These kind of things crack me up and this morning is no different. Links to these little quizes were sent to me by a girlfriend-enjoy!




You Are a Total Brainiac



You're amazingly brilliant. Some would even say genius.

You're curious, thoughtful, analytical, and confident.



You take on difficult subjects because you want to... not because you have to.

No field of knowledge is too complicated or intimidating for you.



You've got the brains to do anything you want.

It's possible you end up doing everything you want.

What do the flowers day about you?




What These Tulips Say About You



You are very popular and universally admired.

You are often hopelessly in love, and you connect to other people easily.

You are a naturally cheerful and upbeat person. You have an amazing smile.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Time Trivia...

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst."
~ William Penn
Some trivia about Time...
The wristwatch was invented in 1904 by Louis Cartier.
***
There are 31,557,600 seconds in a year.
***
A jiffy is an actual measurement equal to 1/100th of a
second.


ZONES
Not all time zones are in one hour increments. Some count-
ries use 30 minute offsets. When the time in Greenwich is
12:00 noon, it is 8:30am in Newfoundland and 9:30pm in
Australia. In Nepal, however, they use a time offset in
quarter hours, so the time there would be 5:45pm.
***
Talk about confusing...
Prior to 1995, International Date Line split the country
of Kiribati. The result was that the eastern part of
Kiribati was a whole day and two hours behind the western
part of the country where its capital is located.
***
Perfect Timing
The second is defined as exactly 9,192,631,770 oscilla-
tions or cycles of the cesium atom's resonant frequency,
replacing the old second that was defined in terms of the
Earth's motions. The newest generation of the "Atomic
Clock" is accurate to 30 billionths of a second a year.
It is the most accurately measured physical quantity in
science.

My quilting project is done...well almost :-)

I can hardly believe it- I've finished the top part of my little quilting project :-) I'm going to celebrate with a PB&J and a tall glass of milk! Now the really hard work begins- putting the front back and middle together, then the actual decorative quilting (sewing) of the 3 layers together, then sewing on the binding-ugh! I cringe at the thought of putting on the binding because that always throws me a curve. Having patience will be in order for me to finish this project this week. For being the novice at quilting, I have to say that I got through this without too many technical difficulties :-)

Now for me to read up some more on the art of decorative quilting or what I call the sewing of the layers together.

My quilting project...

I've been working all weekend on my quilt and let me tell you it's been quite the adventure in patience. I have a new favorite tool- it's called the "seam ripper". I've never really given it the credit it deserves. I've had mine for almost as long as I've been married. It's got a seam ripper on one side and tweezers on the other- it's quite the handy tool! The other awesome tool is my little metal ruler. It's got the measurements right to the edge which makes it fantastically easy to use and read. A good quality pair of scissors is a MUST when sewing any kind of project. Make sure that they are hidden well out of sight from your husband/significant other and most of all your children. You will want these extra nice and pricey scissors just for your fabric and knowing the others in whom you share your home with...they will see them as just another pair of scissors.

Another set of tools that is a must have is the "Rotary Cutter". The ones I own are by Olfa (this company was the first to come out with this style of rotary cutting tool) but many brands are available. The middle sized one (the 28 mm) is the first one I ever bought and the one that I pick up first when making any sort of a project that needs a long straight cut. The cutting mats are yet another must have item. The rotary cutting tool just glides across the mat


Rulers...I bought myself the O'Lipfa brand of quilting rulers. I like the over hanging "lip" edge that grabs the edge of the cutting mat. I really like how it gives me control in cutting a very straight edge. These rulers rock! Talk about a tool that makes cutting mass quantities of blocks and strips of fabric a breeze! What a truly time consuming and tedious job it would be to cut out 100 of more squares and rectangular strips of fabric for a simple quilting project. The rotary cutting tools, mats and rulers has eliminated that and has streamlined quilting as being one of the most popular hobbies/crafts of all time.


You need an iron for pressing seams- here's mine, it's Rowenta Professional (it was a gift from my Mother last year). I now own 2 Rowenta irons, I put my old one away since my Mom gave me the heavy duty Professional series iron, this thing is quite heavy and wow does it ever make a sharp crease! The price of these quality irons certainly has come down over the years. When my Mom bought her professional series iron she paid close to $150 for it. Now you can get a professional series iron for $100- I'd say that was a significant price reduction.


Here I am now showing the blocks or pieces that make up the bulk of this quilt. A short view and a wider longer view of what will be the border or edge before I put on the binding.



Now for a view of the quilt while I have it spread out on the carpet and the long boarder pinned and ready for sewing. Cute eh?

Now for the binding - I chose this awesome looking pink and green fabric (I adore pink and green). Here you see my handiwork at making a splice (I have to do this more several times). One handy dandy thing I have at my disposal is a wooden clothes drying rack. I like to hang my fabric over it when working on sewing projects. This is especially nice to drape long strips of fabric after when ironing/pressing them and not wanting them to get all wrinkled up. The green with yellow flowers fabric will be the backing of this lap sized quilt. I had at first thought that this would be a good sized quilt for a crib but alas it's too large. I did by chance purchase another quilt pattern one that can be made in crib size. I actually own a total 4 quilt patterns now and thanks to my daughter Hannah a book with table runner patterns :-)






Quote of the Day

Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, "A house guest," you're wrong because I have just described my kids.
~Erma Bombeck

I had to laugh when I read this... this is so very true of my own life.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Quote of the Day

"If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed and if we are not willing to change, we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect."
~Jacques Yves Cousteau

The war in Iraq

I read this news article over at foxnews.com and wanted to share it all with you. "For few, Iraq war has changed everything" I don't care for the title I think that they could have come up with a better one- but the story it tells is a good one. It's a harsh reality and reading the story made me cry. I don't think that any of us could imagine the grief any one of these people have experienced. But being there with them to help them pick up the pieces of their lives and start over- well that's the kind of thing I'm here for. I lend a hand and and am available 24/7 for moral support to those going through deployments.

The irony in it all is (in case you didn't already know) I'm one of those spouses that had to plan our recent family vacation around a deployment. I have many friends that are currently experiencing the lonely separation of a long deployment and living with the fear that they might never see their loved one again. I wish that our politicians would have to take 6 month deployments to Iraq and experience it first hand. To experience the same kinds of things our service men and women are trying to cope with- from sleeping in tents on cots, to being shot at, to having to eat food that's got sand in it and being ever so appreciative of the little care boxes that are sent from home.

So if you're the kind of person that prays- please keep our service men and women in your prayers. That they come home safely to their families-Amen.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Quilting....

Quilting is my newest hobby. I've always adored quilts and admired those that made them. For my own self, I've always had a deep desire to make a Christmas quilt for each and every bed in our home. It's just a "thing" and it's been something that I've wanted to do.

I've got to post some pictures of the progress I've made on my "Cheese and Crackers" quilt. Once I started understanding the quilting terminology or "lingo"- I was home free! That for me was the hardest part- the terms used for quilting are very different for those that are used in general sewing.

Something to keep in mind is the importance of having the right tools for the job. Trust me when I say that it makes everything go quicker and easier. Be it sewing, quilting, needlework, stamping or scrapbooking- the finished project will reflect the tools that you've used. Another word of advice, read the instructions and read them more than once! Not sure what a certain term means? Then ask for help.

Look for some pictures to come (I'm going to go take some right now).

Quote of the Day

"The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it."
~Dee Hock

Friday, March 07, 2008

Wilson and the towel animals

Wilson the Travel Pig has had his picture taken at every port and with every towel animal that's been left in our room. Here he is with a towel elephant.


Kids can be such dorks


Have you ever wanted to get a decent picture of yourself with one of your children? Oh my gosh you would have thought that I was wanting the world with this child as he kept making faces ever time the shutter snapped. My attempts at getting a half ways decent photo with my daughter went pretty much the same way.


The really funny part to all of this is when you (the parent) realize that your child has food stuck in his braces during this photo taking time. I was cracking up afterwards, Andrew didn't care as a matter of fact he thought it was even more funny and wanted us to do a close up of his teeth.

more photos from St. Maarten N.A. D.W.I

To think that the delightful weather we were experiencing was also their winter weather was remarkable. A slight breeze and the warm sun made our day in St. Maarten truly delightful. I could see us spending an entire vacation on this island. The white sand beach felt soft under my feet my feet and the water was such a beautiful shade of blue.

I adore palm trees, and the streets were lined with them. In fact they were just about everywhere I was. I liked how the city had protected them from being trampled by installing these neat rubber grates that went over them protecting the ground surrounding them.

It wasn't too crowded either. You know how some tourist destinations get jam packed, kind of like a theme park such as Disneyland or Six Flags. Not this place. There was plenty of shops and little places of interest spread out. Of course some stores had pushy sales people that just wanted to sell you everything and anything and other shops were very helpful in trying to help you locate something that you're looking for. But in all it's a very relaxed atmosphere there on St. Maarten and I would dearly love to spend an entire week there exploring the Dutch side of the island.


Quote of the day

We're here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.
~Whoopi Goldberg

Thursday, March 06, 2008

St. Maarten- the Dutch side(D.W.I.-Dutch West Indies or N.A. Netherland Antilles)



Shopping here was unlike shopping anywhere else! The ever classic and beautiful blue and white Dutch pottery could be bought here, t-shirts galore, knock off designer handbags, knick knacks of every kind, electronics (basically digital cameras & camcorders) and of course...jewelry, Rum and Cuban cigars (the real deal).


The streets were very narrow, wide enough for only 1 car to drive on and paved with bricks. There were shops galore on this part of the island and it can be safe to say that there was something for everyone.


The one thing that bothered myself and Hannah were the vast numbers of local women getting in our faces asking us if we wanted out hair braided...just say NO! They would jump out of side street alleys holding nasty looking dirty combs, "braids for your daughter Lady?" Eeew, as if! Other than that going on, this place was pretty picturesque.

going shopping on St. Maarten


We're taking the water taxi to the shopping district on St. Maarten, it's a heck of a lot faster than taking a regular taxi- and safer too, LOL! And yes I even brought along Wilson the Travel Pig. He's been on every one of our vacations! He's just as well traveled as our children :-)

Things to make you laugh...


As I was looking through the pictures on my computer one of the funniest things on our vacation was the packets of butter in the formal dining room. Each night we would dine there, and each night I caught the kids giggling about something. So finally I asked..."what gives? What is it about the packets of butter that you two find so darn funny?" Once I looked at it, I instantly knew what was making my children laugh. Call us silly Americans but we find it funny- check out the name of the town where our butter was made...You'll say Middle what? Yes it's what it says...Middlefart. I"m sure that the Danish people don't find any humor in it, but lets face it Middlefart is a pretty funny name for a town.

Shopping for sunglasses in San Juan P.R.


I finally located the photo's of Hannah shopping for sunglasses in San Juan. The ones her Dad bought for the trip broke and she needed a new pair, so here they are shopping for a new pair. Funny thing is that she came out with 2 new pairs.

Quote of the Day

My theory is that if you look confident you can pull off anything - even if you have no clue what you're doing.
Jessica Alba

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
Lucille Ball

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

116

That's the number of photos that I picked up from Walgreen's after my dental appointment. I don't know about you but Um, that's a lot of photos to scrap. The funny part is that I didn't print out ALL of our vacations photos either, LOL!

So with the number 116 in mind, I'm going to get working on them. I've sorted them into their respective groups and now to assess what I want to do with each group of photos. I do this with a huge smile on my face!

Lets get back to...Scrapbooking!

I know what makes me truly happy- it's being creative... be it with paper or food.

But seriously, I've poured out my heart this morning about my woes and am now feeling a little better about it. Now I feel the need to do something with my hands! I'm going to sit here and print out some vacation photo's and use some of the terrific sketches from over at Blue Print Sketches. Some of the best stress relievers for me (besides Tylenol) come from working on scrapbooking layouts- working with those smiling faces and reminiscing on what happened in those pictures- well it's sort of like therapy for me. And if that doesn't work, I'll take a long soak in the bathtub later, LOL!

Stress...

I like to think myself of being a generally positive person, that I'm normally a happy person in the morning but right now I find myself in a bad mood. I'm feeling frustrated, angry and depressed all at the same time, not a good way to start ones day. As you guessed it, that's why I'm up so early this morning- 3 am is just such an lonely time of day too. My eyes are puffy, my nose is stuffed up and lets not even talk about my hair, LOL! All of my frustration stems from 3 different entities all of which are related to OSC in some manner.

Doing all of the various volunteering jobs that I do is not easy. I know that to some it must look as if it all just falls into place on it own- let me tell you that it doesn't. It's a lot of behind the scenes hard work that no one sees or really knows about - heck, besides my husband and a couple of close friends no one has any idea as to how many hours go into the behind the scenes work I do for a function. From picking out menus & table linens, negotiating menu prices, and staying within a budget plus there's dealing with the wants of my OSC President and the general membership- it's nerve wracking to say the least. I'm down to the last 2 programs I have to plan and my brain hurts. It's tying up all of the loose ends, making sure that everything comes off looking like it took no effort while all the time you were pulling your hair out in clumps. In the end...it's about putting on the high heels and the little black dress and acting as if it all went so smoothly in front of 30 or more people. I feel like such a phony acting like it was easy to put on a function walking around the room smiling asking everyone if they're enjoying themselves- while at the same time giving a sigh of relief that the function came off without too many last minute "issues".

I'm skipping the OSC board meeting and going to a dental appointment today- I'd rather have my teeth scraped & cleaned than have to be in that room today presenting a board report.

Quote of the Day

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963),
speech prepared for delivery in Dallas the day of his assassination, November 22, 1963


Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931)