Sunday, November 30, 2008
Our local Kohl's department store opened at 4 am this year and in an interview in our local news paper the store manager was reported to say that he was surprised to see the line wrapping around the outside of the store before they opened. My daughter and I were there 2 years ago when they opened at 5 am there was next to no one outside while shopping inside you could roll a bowling ball down the isles and not hit anyone. Apparently this year that was not the case as people were starting to line up outside around the store at 2:30 am in the frigid temperatures to have a chance at the elusive deal, if you ask me it's NUTS! Do I dare ask...what ever happened to "Jesus IS the reason for the season"?
My husband and I went to the mall yesterday for a few hours and you could roll a bowling ball down the mall and not hit anyone. There were no lines at any check-stands. We actually went into stores that had ZERO people in them with exception of a lone sales clerk or two. Any store that we had went to and bought something, we were the only people at the register. I think that retailers are going to have a very tough time this year. I'd say look for more deep pocket sales to happen before and after Christmas.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Right at Home Scrapbooking
560 Kelley Blvd.
N.Attleboro, Massachusetts 02760
516 N. Bedford
St.East Bridgewater, Massachusetts 02333
The Stamp Act
58 Main St.
Marshfield, Massachusetts 02050
A Time for Memories
78 Worchester St.
#2N. Grafton, Massachusetts 01536
Leave a Legacy
1470 New State Hwy Unit 6Route 44
Rayham, Massachusetts 02767
THe Scrap Shack
208 College Highway
Southwick, Massachusetts 01077
Scrapbook Village Inc.
930 American Legion Hwy.
West Port, Massachusetts 02970
449 Washington St.
Weymouth, Massachusetts 02188
Driving past the various shopping plazas on our way to the mall we saw parking lots packed to capacity. The new Target store along with Cabela's and Walmart had parking lots packed full of cars, Hobby Lobby and Toys R Us were a couple of other places we passed- again their parking lots were filled to capacity. We went to the mall, were blessed to find a rather close parking space and went inside. The lines in the stores were very do-able. Not long at all as a matter of fact I was the 2nd person in line while in Scheels Sporting Goods and maybe the 5th person at bath and Body Works. I was able to walk right up to be checked out while in Sears and many other stores had no lines at all or very few people in them. Could be because I was there between 6:30 and 7 am and not when the stores opened. Still, there were plenty of "good deals" to be had. Just because the parking lots are packed full doesn't mean that consumers are spending big bucks.
Now after all that, I'm going back today to return a pair of clogs that I bought, the more I look at them the more they look like they were designed to go on men's feet than on women's feet. I want something a bit more feminine looking, this androgynous look that seems to be the rage these days is not for me :-o The best part about this experience was...I got to try on shoes and they didn't hurt my feet! It's been almost 7 months since my foot surgery and there are still days when my foot aches but on the pain scale it's nothing as compared to how it was hurting before the surgery! And the best part, I can finally buy myself some new shoes! Granted I can't wear shoes from many brands because of the lack of arch support and a few other things BUT I can buy shoes! One of my new favorite brands is Söfft, talk about COMFY!!! There's also my other all time favorites such as Clarks, Merrill and Börn, oh my gosh they all feel great on my feet which for me is really saying something :-) And they're all quality shoes made to last! Treat your feet right and give them a good solid pair of well made shoes to walk around in! I still couldn't go the Ugg shoes route even though they are super cute, the $160 a pair price tag was keeping me at bay...one of these days maybe, but not today. I have a friend who swears by them, then again she discovered them while her husband was on assignment in Denmark and EVERYONE was wearing them there :-)
I'm off to enjoy my Saturday, to do a little online shopping and a little in town shopping :-)
Friday, November 28, 2008
I did some on-line shopping yesterday and can hardly wait for the items to arrive so I can wrap them up and put them under the tree, the tree that my husband will put up today (I hope).
Now to have some more coffee and contemplate going out... I do want to look at those Born brand clogs that are on sale Ü and all the crazy people should be off the road by now...
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I'm thankful for my husband and the career path that he has chosen. He's dedicated to his career and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've got to live in various places in the USA, a couple have been in tourist areas which are an added bonus. I've been able to make many friends along the way-again another bonus.
I'm thankful for where we live. My son has made many friends here, learned how to drive here and has found his self here. Here, well that's the little town of Box Elder, South Dakota. It's a quiet home town kind of place. A few minutes away from Ellsworth AFB and about a 10 minute drive from Rapid City. It's a community where you can get to know your neighbors, your children make friends and a place that can feel like home even if you're not a native to this part of the country. And that comes from a displaced California girl.
I'm thankful for community involvement. I'm someone who does get involved in her community. I help the spouses of our deployed airmen get through the rough times with positive interactive programs. Things such as just getting out of the house and having lunch with a friend can be the biggest spot in a persons day-trust me I know this first hand. Being there, listening means a lot to these spouses who are far away from home and their husbands are off on a deployment to places far away- some are experiencing this for the very first time. I host get- togethers in my home for spouses to make cards and scrapbooks for their loved ones. If they have questions I do my best to answer them or find the information they need or better yet refer them to the places where they can get the information. Besides the military community I'm thankful for my local community. The Black Hills Quilters Guild is filled with wonderful ladies who do so much for our local community. This group does so much for the local and military communities, I'm VERY proud to say that I am a member of this group! There's also the local paper crafting group head up by my girlfriend Peggy. Through her I've got to meet an interesting cast of friends which have all become very dear to me. Through people like Peggy, Ellen, Donna and Sarah I get to see a more broad view of local life and the folks that make up our community. They are caring, loving and giving people, giving of themselves to all kinds of local charities and causes.
I'm thankful for the life that I lead, It's a Good Life. Sure the military life style isn't for everyone and I know that. Some become resentful because they are often left alone for many days, weeks or months out of the year. But hopefully they can overcome that part and make life long friends along the way. I know that I have and I have the Lord to thank for it.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Hannah wasn't into having the before and after pictures with her braces and I totally understood why. But I'll see if she's up to having her picture taken this morning before she goes off to school Ü.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
What do you think of my blog tog make over? Like it? Well you better get on over to Blog Tog Makeovers and get in the SALE! That's right Cindy is having a sale, get yourself in line to get a blog makeover!
When my kids go on field trips and are required to bring a brown bag lunch, I like to decorate their lunch bags with sweet doodles. The kids always loved it when I did that, they said that their lunch bag was never lost in the ocean of 60 or more brown paper bags, LOL!
One thing the kids and I have done for years is to make paper snow flakes out of white coffee filters. This year will be no exception! Some double sided tape, a pair of scissors and we're off for some crafty fun! Paper crafting is oodles of fun no matter how old you are!
And who of us didn't make paper chains for the Christmas tree when they were growing up? My daughter Hannah still loves making them!
Go get yourself some coffee filters, tape and a pair of scissors and bring out the kid in you!
Monday, November 24, 2008
I got my packages in the mail, dropped off coat at school since Hannah was in such a rush she forgot it. Bought the things I needed at Walmart before the store was crowded, dropped off package at UPS store, stopped by Hancock fabrics and totally forgot the size of the zipper I needed, yes it really happened. Talk about having a brain fart! I had to laugh because it was pretty darn funny- the only reason I went there and I forget the zipper size? Oh geez, just call me a dork and get it over with, LOL! Getting back to Hannah...Now honestly, how could anyone forget to bring their coat when it's 25 degrees outside is beyond me but there it was at home on the cedar chest. Yup that was the 2nd trip out the door this morning. I think that it's cookies and milk time what do you think?
I've got to take some pictures of the things I've been working on and get them posted. I keep talking about them and I know that it's hard to get a mental picture. So now for me to break down and take pictures...I hope to get that accomplished within the next few days.
Well I'm off with errand #1, get daughter to school early so she can work on a project. Let the chaos begin!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I plan on a nice quiet Thanksgiving here at home with my immediate family. No friends stopping by, no house guests to contend with, just me, my spouse, our kids and our kitty. I plan to dance with the turkey before I roast him, LOL! This year we're going to take a lot of thanksgiving day pictures- I want to remember this one and pay tribute to all of the things we're thankful for.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
One would never think of a place that sews on military patches as a unique little shop. Well I'm here to tell you that "Angelique's Sewing and Alterations" in Box Elder sells this fantastic line of Goats Milk soaps and lotions. I've been using this soap exclusively for just about 8 weeks now and I love how it makes my skin feel. I first bought it for my daughter who is allergic to some of the additives in commercial soaps and I have to say that this stuff is fantastic! So good in fact, that if we ever move I'll continue to order it via on-line! want to order some? Click on this Nanny's Milk Soap it's lightly perfumed and it's hand made here in South Dakota, USA...what's not to like? I use it every day on my face and have noticed a difference in how my skin looks and feels. It's a fantastic all over soap. Angelique even sells a foaming hand wash (liquid antibacterial hand soap),I use it in the kitchen and LOVE it! My hands actually feel clean and moisturized!
Thimble Cottage home of Pearl Louise designs
Quilt Connection etc the website is not up and working as they have just moved to a brand new location. New location is on Haines Avenue and it's a beautiful well lit store with plenty of parking! You should see all of the new quilting patterns and pattern books they have- OOh Whee! I had to hold myself back from spending any money- I could have spent at least $75 yesterday on patterns alone! Although that chicken pot holder pattern seems to be calling my name pretty loudly, I just might have to go back and get it!
Each of these quilt shops has unique fabrics & quilting patterns and I encourage you to shop locally as much as you can. Obviously there will be things that you just won't be able to find locally (like the Mary Engelbreit quilting stuff I bought on line). But there are oodles of things to catch your eye that will make excellent stocking stuffers! Am I on your Christmas list? LOL! Feel free to get me a gift certificate at any of those 3 quilt shops! Ü
Friday, November 21, 2008
Today it's COLD! How cold? Well when I drove my daughter to school the wind-chill brought the temperature down to a whopping 6 degrees-ugh! Now of course we're supposed to have lots of wind, some snow and of course it wouldn't be South Dakota unless the snow was mixed with freezing rain- what is not to like right? I don't see any of that being put on the Black Hills tourist brochures any time soon, LOL! All I can say is that the sun must have called in sick today (and I don't blame it one bit) because it's totally absent from the sky. I'm one of those people that opens ALL of the blinds in the house and lets in every ray of sunshine there is and today it's just dark outside which makes me have to turn on ALL of the lights... in every room of the house in order to get the same effect as natural sunlight. Good thing we have those energy saving bulbs right? LOL! I'm addicted to "sunlight" what can I say, LOL! it's not like it's a bad thing:-)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I'm off to crawl back into bed...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I've bought 2 different patterns books that are dedicated to making strip quilts using Jelly Rolls. Many quilt shops have monthly Strip Club events that are totally devoted to making strip quilts. One of our local area Quilt Shops (Quilt Corral Too in Rapid City) has a Strip Club event the first Saturday of every month and she (Joan the owner) gives away a free pattern with purchase of a Jelly Roll. But one can also buy just the pattern w/o having to purchase the Jelly Roll. I've bought a couple of Jelly Roll patterns from QCT and have plans to make them in the future. I've also been making my own Jelly Rolls using coordinating fabrics. I've bought 2 books- "Strip Happy" and "Strip Crazy", talk about some amazing patterns!
Now I have a magazine that I bought over the summer and it has this adorable Mary Engelbreit inspired design for a strip quilt. Soooooo, I finally break down and said yes to making this project...now the hunt for the fabric. I was able to find on line (at 2 different e-stores) the main panel (see picture below) it's available at The Fat Quarter Shop and the Jelly Roll (also pictured below) available at Clotilde to make this item. The fabric line is Mary Engelbreit company name is Moda fabrics (oh how I love their fabrics!). I was able to find the other fabric items needed to complete this project at a local quilt shop here in Rapid City. Needless to say, I'm excited about getting to work on my next quilting project! It's going to be CUTE!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
But seriously folks, are you a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of person. I like to think of the glass as being half full. There always a chance for something good to come out of any kind of situation, but only if you think positively!
I am thankful for...
* my husband who is thoughtful, kind, loving and a good provider in more ways than just bringing home the bacon
* the gift of laughter and to be able to laugh at myself
*the gift of friendship. It's through making friends at each and every assignment that I have built a rather extensive network of friends that live across the USA and beyond!
*being able to have developed my love of cooking to a level of excellence that makes me look at food in a whole different light than most other people see it.
*being able to be a stay at home/work at home mom.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Now yesterday...I was a cooking and baking Queen yesterday! I made my ever so yummy BBQ pulled pork for BBQ pork sandwiches, seasoned potato wedges (my own secret recipe), fudge (2 different kinds- oh is there a story to go with that) and Monkey Bread from my latest issue of Cooks Illustrated. The Monkey Bread was to die for! I can't say that it was "quick" to make but it was easy to make. It's all that time the dough spends rising that makes it a long drawn out process. But the end result is delicious to say the least! I've been very pleased with every recipe I have made from Cooks Illustrated magazine! I highly recommend that magazine to anyone and everyone who loves to cook and even to those that don't Ü
When I get the cooking bug I get it bad! I can't seem to make just one thing, I've got to have at least 4 to 5 things going on simultaneously. I like to think of it as my own way of multi tasking. Meanwhile I had 4 packages of chicken breasts cooking on the grill (it was above freezing) as I was preparing the pork for it's first round of cooking in the crock pot and prepping the kitchen for making monkey bread. I made the fudge on a whim...too bad that recipe was missing a step and it seems as if I've made a thick chocolate fudge sauce and not thick brick of fudge. So hence I used a different recipe and this time it came out the was it was supposed to come out...like a brick of fudge, YUM! The other stuff has been in the refrigerator for 24 hours and still has not "set", yup, it's chocolate fudge sauce (we're going to try it on ice cream today). So much for the fudge recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens special Pink Edition cook book that I got a year or so ago. I'm going to write to BH&G and let them know that their fudge recipe is "missing" and ingredient or two.
I'm off to be a couch potato today...all of that grilled chicken was sliced up, packaged and frozen to be used in various recipes. I'll do some more mass grilling later on this week when we have more fine grilling weather! You can take the girl out of California but you can't take the California out of the girl- Oh how I love to Grill!!!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
The wind is blowing harder than ever today, 40 mph with gusts to 60mph-ugh! Try having long hair with that sort of weather, I dare ya! So it's braids today- I can only do a pony tail so many days in a row then it starts to get rather tiresome.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
*finished the back of Hannah's quilt (cut and sewn)
*cut the batting for Hannah's quilt
*pressed all of the fabric for the quilt backing and the quilt (might I add that that was a lot of ironing)
*dropped off Hannah's quilt at the long arm quilter
*had 3 phones calls
*e-mailed invoices off to realtor for HOA stuff
all of this done before 10:30 am
Left house @ 10:30 am to have lunch with friends and am now home and preparing to make one of my very yummy cheesecakes for my friend Peggy who had knee replacement surgery. I'm going to have some Earl Grey and relax for a bit then I'm off to indulge in another one of my passions- baking Ü
My interests are all across the board- maybe it's the Gemini in me Ü, LOL! I enjoy being creative and making things and try to do something creative everyday. I see my stash of fabrics growing- even after I said I would try to curb my fabric shopping....but those clearance sales have been awesome! I mean, who can resist fabric that was $10 on clearance from $5 all the way down to $1.00 a yard? I mean come on...$1.00 a yard NO ONE can pass that up! I have some awesome fabrics to use as quilt backings and bindings...heck even for the quilt top. But the backing is where it gets really expensive since you need on average 6 yards of the stuff for a twin. And at $10 a yard, well you see why I bought the cool looking fabric at $5 all the way down to $1 per yard right?
Quilting is very much like scrapbooking, there are those folks that are always looking for the latest and greatest in products- be it fabrics, notions or tools.
Myself, I've not gotten into the "need" for the latest of anything. I'm happy with what tools I have and am loving all of the different fabric colors and prints. My thing is thread, LOL! I seem to go through tons of it!
Now I'm off to finish up putting together the backing for one of my quilts.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The different designs that a long arm quilter can do on one of those machines is amazing! I was in awe of the entire set up. Is this something for me to consider doing in the future? Not on your life! Oh my gosh the long arm machine and frame take up a room the size of my family room- that thing is HUGE! I'll be more than happy to take my quilt tops to be stitched together by a long arm quilter. Ü Now I Did feel inspired while there- to do some more quilting and to try my hand at working with flannel. I really want to get on and make my strip quilt that I have planned- the one using pinks and browns Ü
Now to get with ironing and some sewing together of some very large pieces of fabric. And I need some more coffee...where's that mug gone off to?
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
The driveway is cleared of its thick coating of ice and supposedly it's safe to go out and about. But I'm not going anywhere unless I really need to. Heck I was out of dairy products (you know- Half & Half) and sent my husband out to do the grocery shopping. It's not that I'm afraid to drive since the storm, it's that I prefer to stay warm and comfortable at home, LOL!
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Anna Lappe, O Magazine, June 2003
I look at this quote a lot, I use it as my stepping off spot. This quote is what I think of as I look for country of origin labels on items I purchase for myself, my family and my home. I try to buy "Made in the USA" items as much as I can. With the holidays upon my heels I'm holding steadfast to my quest of finding items made here in the USA. The best way to do this is to make the gifts we give this year. I look closely at country of origin labels of the products I intend to purchase to make said gifts.
So with that thought in mind, I better get a move on with my sewing!
Friday, November 07, 2008
Highway 90 is till closed from the Wyoming border to Mitchell SD. It's another snow day for the kids and they were pretty happy about it last night. As for me, I've got to find ways to keep them occupied and keep myself from going stir crazy- I've been cooped up here at home since Tuesday. Besides Onions, cream cheese and my Special K blueberry granola bars there's nothing I need from the store. Heaven forbid that I run out of Half & Half because then I WILL have to leave the house...must have half & half for my coffee, 2% milk just doesn't cut it in my coffee, LOL!
Just because we're stuck in the house because of tons of snow surrounding us is no excuse to not to pamper ourselves. I think that I'll treat myself and Hannah too if she's interested to a deep conditioning treatment for our hair and a pedicure- sounds good doesn't it? :-) OOooh a hot soak in a tub full of bubbles sounds good too! Snow day = Girls Day!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
I was talking with my in-laws this afternoon and they heard about our area being pummeled with snow. I let them know that it was all true and then some. If any house on my street was to catch fire there would be no way anyone could get to them in time because of the huge snow drifts covering the street. I'm waiting to see if school will be closed tomorrow or just delayed by a few hours. There's no way any kind of vehicle never mind a huge school can get down some of these streets. The wind is whipping up again and at least this time I've got the patio furniture and the grill secured. Those 60 mph winds were wreaking havoc yesterday with my patio furniture and I was determined to win that battle (and I did). You can't be married to an engineer as many years as I have without some of his ingenuity rubbing off on you, LOL!
OOOh I better hurry and get this posted as the lights are beginning to flicker...that means power outages-again!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
My order from Connecting threads has arrived! I'll be the first to say it, I'm a bit leery of buying fabric on-line, sight unseen ET all, considering my recent events or what I like to refer to as "my issues of late" with buying defective pieces locally, LOL! The fabric is beautiful and it's hand (that's what you call the "feel" or texture of the fabric) is right there with the $10 per yard fabrics. It's every bit the same quality as the $10 per yard quilting fabrics.
I've bought and now am going to test driving some of their exclusive thread line called "Essential Thread". The colors are lovely! And they will fill in color gaps where Gutterman, Robison-Anton, Mettler and Coats and Clark don't quite meet. I'm going to sew with this thread today and see if it casts off fuzz. There are thread colors that I buy from Coats and Clark only because they aren't available in the other lines- trust me if those colors were available in other brands, I would no longer use the fuzziest thread ever made by man! Little things like the all of the shades of gray are amazing! It's finding just the right shade of beige for the top stitching on a project which makes a come to life. The shades of beige are amazing too! Besides buying every neutral color they offered -at $1.99 for a 1200 yard spool, it was VERY affordable! I also bought some other colors- the Turkey Red is a beautiful warm crimson red, and the Moss green, it is what it is! Either of these colors would be perfect for the top stitching I want to do on my Christmas table runners.
I'm going to play with new thread, woohoo! And with weather like ours, playing indoors and doing something fun is #1 on my list of things to do today!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
The crumpled heap aka Hannah's quilt top
a little piece that Hannah put together for a pillow top, pretty cute stuff! Now for me to sew it all together and make said quilted pillow top.
Here's the fabric when I had the strips sewn together to make blocks and the blocks to make the larger strips that would eventually become the quilt top. This was VERY time consuming. And of course the seam ripper was my best friend on this project too.
My latest Autumn themed table runner...have you noticed the way I quilted it? Look closer at the pumpkin fabric. I'm getting more adventurous with the quilting process. I'm branching out from quilting in the ditch to making actual designs.
The chicken you see here is something that my Grandmother gave me over 25 years ago, and heaven only knows how long my Grandmother had it before she gave it to me. My mom says that Grammy had ever since she's known her and well that being as old as I am makes it at least 46 years maybe even older. That glass chicken is one of my favorite pieces of glassware.
Go see for yourself and enjoy!
One tree is totally without leaves and the others are on their way to losing their leaves. Our Russian Olive tree is holding on to her leaves pretty tight this year so it could be a few more weeks until it's branches are bare. It's Autumn and no other season that makes me miss New England with it's spectacularly colored foliage. And being from California that's really saying something!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
I plan on making my 2008 Christmas theme "From the Heart". Handmade items are the most thoughtful gifts one can give to a friend. The very thought of my friends thinking... "wow my friend (insert your name here) took a lot of time making this for me" fills me with joy. So off I got to sandwich those Holly table runners and to prepare to quilt them.
PS- I've sidelined 2 of my pumpkin themed table runners- the more I looked at them the more I really did not like the colors that I put together. I decided that I'm going to cut new ones and start over, I'll make a different pattern too. I finished one table runner yesterday and I like it very much- the other 2, just weren't doing it for me. Quilting is like any other craft...it's all a learning experience.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
I've got a "craft" planned for my daughter- making a fancy pillow case to go with her new quilt top, I'm hoping that she'll be up for it. Good thing I've got 2 sewing machines, we can both be working on something at the same time Ü Besides the table runners, I've got some small baby quilt ideas in the works. I swear that I can never be still, my mind is ALWAYS working! Colors and designs are always going through my head. Now I'm off to change the feet on my sewing machine and to start the quilting process on some table runners!
I hate being up at the crack of dawn, heck this is before the crack of dawn. I'm not an insomniac because I can get to sleep. And I don't always wake up like this.
Here's a funny- I go out to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea (it's herbal) and I see this glow-yup my neighbor across the street didn't put down her garage door. That couple has lights in that garage that make it look like an alien spaceship has landed (it's a very eerie glow). I pull up the blind in the formal dining room to make sure that there wasn't someone out there and guess what! There's this HUGE Deer standing on our drive way. It turned it's head and was looking right at me in the window looking right at it. It proceeds to walk into our front yard, slowly but still looking at me. Then it heads towards my flower bed...my first thoughts are "Alright Bambi keep walking! Those are MY plants!". I open the front door and the deer trots off across the street. I saw a group of deer yesterday in my neighbors backyard, nibbling away at plants and grass (talk about being happy that we have a fence). But what a freak out to open the blind on the window and to have this HUGE animal looking straight at me!
~Jim Henson, It's Not Easy Being Green And Other Things to Consider