Thursday, February 23, 2017

stompity stomp stomp

the buffalo found their way outta the Great Pile of Stuff... 
i put it all away last year
when i couldn't find any beads that i thought would work for buffalo horns 
cuz we all KNOW that i am not gonna applique itty bitty horns onto a gazillion buffalo 
and then, when i DID find beads
 they had to swim all the way from the Philippines
 and got stuck in Customs for a couple of months...

anywho...

here's the word on the herd...

after redrafting this pattern from Golden Quilt Company's 2016 Row by Row, i've paper-pieced one hundred little buffalo...
and used thirty-two of them to surround the white buffalo calf...
which leaves sixty-eight to roam the quilt prairie
and that oughta be enough little guys...
they won't get their horns or tails (from embroidery floss or perle cotton) till after they are quilted
and that won't happen for a loooong time...

 i'm gonna work on paper-piecing MEDIUM-sized buffalo for the rest of the month 
and then put all the buffalo away in the Great Pile of Stuff cuz this...
is calling my name...


Keep Calm 
and... 
SKWIRL!!!
anonymous

Thursday, February 16, 2017

i am groot

it's no secret that i LURVE Guardians of the Galaxy...

and it's no secret that my favorite Guardian is Groot...

when Melissa was going through her twisted phase (more on that another time) she decided to twist Baby Groot for me... 
she found a pattern (on etsy, maybe?) for a simple cross stitch of Baby Groot
 and pieced him together with fabric 
instead of stitching him with floss... 
she cut him apart with the Lil' Twister tool...
 put him all back together...
and sent him off to Liz the Quilting Wizard (who lives in Milan, Michigan with my most favorite donkeys in the Whole Wide World) to quilt with vines and leaves...
and now he hangs out in the Space room...
 across from the computer 
so i can see my big little buddy when i sit here 
and compute...


I ... AM ... GROOT!!!
Groot / Guardians of the Galaxy

Thursday, February 9, 2017

on again ... off again

on again...

embroidery is one of my favorite ways to use my hours 
and i can get lost in it
 just like getting lost in a book...

but...
i have delusional optimism about embroidered quilts that totally defies my Reality...

 an embroidered quilt around here, anyway is gonna be years 
not months
 in the making...

i KNOW this...

when i started working on Crab-apple Hill's Susan's Dresden Garden 
i should have known...

i traced out all the embroidery and started with the petal outlines...
one hundred forty-four petal outlines...
it was tedious and boring
and i wanted to get on with the fun stitching
but i ALSO wanted all of the outlines to be the same 
so i plodded along till the outlines were done 
and then i put it all away in the Great Pile of Stuff...

fast forward...

i was looking through the Great Pile of Stuff for something else when i stumbled across the Dresden petals...
ooo!!! the tedious and boring stitching is done!
and i started the plaid petals...
they were tedious and boring, too
but i wanted all of the plaids to be the same
so i plodded along till the plaids were done
and then i put it all away in the Great Pile of Stuff...

fast forward...

i was looking through the Great Pile of Stuff for something else when i stumbled across the Dresden petals...
ooo!!! the tedious and boring stitching is done!
and i started the lily of the valley petals...
they were tedious and boring, too
i wanted all the lilies to be the same
but i didn't want it enough to actually plod through them
i put it all away in the Great Pile of Stuff...

fast forward...

i was looking through the Great Pile of Stuff for something else when i stumbled across the Dresden petals...

ugh!!! these are tedious and boring ... i don't think i'll EVER get these stitched ... do i even WANT this quilt anymore?!?

yes.

yes, i do...


it is gonna take years 
and i will get bored with it 
and when it becomes so tedious and boring that i just can't look at it anymore...
i'll put it away

and that's okay ...

eventually i will be looking through the Great Pile of Stuff 
and stumble across the Dresden petals...


Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Philip K. Dick

Thursday, February 2, 2017

hand me down

it was Cyber Monday...
there was a cyber sale at a cyber site
 on air fryers... 
and i bought one... 
a glossy black air fryer that sat on one of the kitchen counters and collected dust when it wasn't frying french fries or egg rolls... 
so i decided that it needed a cover... 
i found the box labeled "kitchen appliance covers" in the Great Pile of Stuff
looked over the patterns and decided the one that might fit it was the same pattern that i'd used for the Monster in the Kitchen...
just to be sure, i slipped the Monster's cover off...
 slid it over the top of the air fryer...
and it fit! 
woo hoo! 
so i tugged the cover back over the Monster...
and grumbled about it being a bit too tight and a lot too short...
and had a light bulb moment...
if i was gonna make a new cover, why not make it for the Monster?!? 
and make it FIT this time?!?
so i did...
i made a little mat with a tab on it so i can slide the Monster out from the corner without it screeching like a banshee... 
and made the pockets a little taller so they don't sag with the weight of the paddle and the dough hook...

the air fryer is wearing the Monster's hand me down cover...
and the little mat was such an improvement that i used up all the rest of the quilted fabric making little slider mats for the blender
 and the air fryer
 and the food processor...

and everything was hunky dory... 

till Michael Myson gave me a waffle maker for Christmas... 
a glossy black waffle maker that collects dust when it's not making waffles...

sigh...

anywho...

someone celebrated a birthday this week...
which meant that Melissa baked someone's favorite little muffins...
and since the oven was already hot, someone baked herself a LXVth birthday cake...
and it was SO GOOD!!!

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Thursday, January 26, 2017

fazed by phases

i know, i know - the font for the first part of my last post was too small ... that's onaccounta the first part was more to help me (yep, it's all about me) to remember why... 
i thought that no one else would give a fairie's fart...
 for future reference
if i write 
long story...
and it's followed by tiny font...
you'll know to skip ahead to 
short...

anywho...
 over the weekend, i finished piecing the phases of the moon...

and realized that i had NO PLAN for sewing the 6 inch squares into a round tree skirt...
square pegs ... round hole
i left them on the floor -  and every time i walked past them, i said to myself
wedges would work...

ugh...

i didn't want to do the math for wedges - it would have hurt my brain...

so i whined...
 and whined...
and whined some more..

all that whining wore me out, so i went to bed...

 and the next morning 
i moved the blocks around...
and cut some background squares...
and arranged and rearranged... 
and sewed the blocks into rows...
and sewed the rows into this...

where is it written that tree skirts have to be round?!?

and now i have a flimsy that is ready for the next phase...
woo hootie hoo!!!

I like to think that the moon is there, even if I'm not looking at it.
Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 19, 2017

back to christmas...

long story...
after closing on this house on december 18th, 1995, we had three days to move from my Dream Home into a pint-sized fixer upper...
yeah...
the week before Christmas...
it was not a Good Time and i was not in a Good Place...
on the 23rd, i came "home" from working the night shift and found that Michael Myson and Melissa had put up an old artificial Christmas tree that was already broken before it was dropped off a friend's pickup truck ... Mikey had run wires from the tree to a nail in the wall to keep the tree upright, and the two of them decorated as far up as they could reach
 with whatever they could find...
it was touching and endearing and beautiful...
yes, it was...
but... 
instead of feeling blessed by the Spirit of Christmas in my youngest children's eyes, i  was overwhelmed with Sadness and Loss...
and after they left to spend Christmas Eve with the eXMan and his family... 
Guilt came to live here...

the next year, i bought a new tree...
a slim (skinny) blue spruce
we set it up in the living room and decorated with homemade ornaments that Michael and Melissa made with raw hide and pony beads and conchas 
and some pink berry picks that i found on sale...
i didn't have a tree skirt, so i spread woven place mats under it and i thought it was beautiful...
and it was all ours...

after a few years, that skinny blue spruce was losing more needles than it was keeping...
and its wire branches were not up to holding ornaments
or even lights...
and all of my kids started calling it Mom's Charlie Brown Tree...
so i let myself be shamed into buying a big fat tree - Melissa's tree - and it is beautiful, too...
she decorates it with red and white ornaments
 and cranberry bead garlands and popcorn garlands...
it is a proper Christmas tree
 and it always looks awesome...

but i missed my skinny little spruce...
i had collected a lot of southwestern-themed ornaments and garlands
and even a birch wood tree topper...
but still no tree skirt...
so i decided that i would put up MY tree in my bedroom
 AFTER i made a tree skirt for it...

fast forward five or ten years...

short...

last year, in july, i paper-pieced four spirit guide animals based on Quilted Legends of the West by Judy Zehner and Kim Mosher...
 joined them into a big square...
not looking like much...
and sent it off to Liz Bowman to do her quilting magic...
ooooo!!! dream catchers!!
i dunno how Liz always manages to make my mediocre piecing look so incredibly awesome...
anywho...
 i trimmed off the corners (thanks to my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Walsh, who taught me how to make a compass with a string and a pencil)...
 crossed my fingers...
 cut a slit and center hole...
 and bound it with bias binding (thanks to The Net and all its continuos bias binding tutorials)...
maybe THIS should be the right side

and brought my sad, skinny little blue spruce tree in from the cold...
coulda done a better job with those ornaments ... there's always next year
gonna hafta move that into the corner so i don't run into it
gonna need some PRESENTS to put under there!!!
purty, innit?!?
the tree needed some company
so i dug out the little Nativity...
sweet Baby Jesus
and celebrated with my skinny little blue spruce tree till the day after Christmas...

and now i've decided that i need another tree for my space ornaments... 

and that tree is gonna need a tree skirt...
don't worry - it's just a phase

cuz we don't need no stinkin' bare-bottomed trees...


i am linking up with Mama Spark's WIPS with Friends


Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
George S. Patton

Thursday, January 12, 2017

night at the museum

waaaay back in 1994
 there was a nighttime opportunity to attend the Star Trek exhibit at what was then the Denver Museum of Natural History and i dragged took (most of) my kids to see it... 
now THAT was an eventful night - we ran outta gas on the way home and Earth Science pushed us to the nearest gas station, BUT i had already spent all the money i had at the museum and had to borrow gas money from my kids, which is another story for another time cuz THIS story is about how Melissa became enamored with museums...

Melissa lurves rocks ... she lurves to talk about the differences between sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks ... she lurves to look at rocks, search for rocks, study rocks...
 i don't know the difference between obsidian and onyx or diamonds and cubic zirconia ... a rock, to me, is a rock
and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (formerly known as the Denver Museum of Natural History) has lots and lots of rocks to look at ... so, even back in 1994 at the tender age of  8, when she was SUPPOSED to be on her way to becoming a Trekker at the Star Trek exhibit, Melissa fell in lurve with Gems & Minerals instead...
and THEN she saw the mummies and fell in lurve with Ancient Egypt...
and THEN she discovered the IMAX theatre...
and THEN she found the space hall... 
and THEN... 
well...
because she lurved the museum so much, i invested in a membership that we have used for the past twenty years... 
sometimes we go for the special exhibits. sometimes for IMAX, and sometimes just to look at the rocks...
anywho, when Massdrop offered a fat quarter bundle of Lizzy House Natural History fabrics, i pounced on it...
then bought some yardage...
 and made this...
bugs and dinosaurs and rocks and whales and stars and other fancy stuff
and the BEST part...
oooooo!!!
a fabric representation of a
Night (and several days) at the Museum
Ancient Egypt - Robots - Rocks and Gems - Mammoths and Mastodons - Mayans and Aztecs - Dinosaurs - Bugs - Space - Star Trek - Pompeii - Volcanoes - Mythical and Magical Creatures - Lewis and Clark - Poison - Sherlock Holmes - Chocolate - Whales

and, of course, two of Melissa's favorites - the Saber Tooth Tiger that growls when it's fed coins 
and the two ginormous slabs of petrified wood...
grooooowwwwllll!!!
yes, yes that IS Jamie on her shirt!!!

and, since i didn't get her scrapbook (that i've had thirty years to put together, but didn't) finished, i gave this quilt to her for her birthday, too... 
cuz that's how i roll...

design for the quilt's front was found in a quilters' magazine last year - sorry, i don't remember which magazine or the designer's name
quilting of Isis by Liz Bowman of Milan, Michigan

Larry Daley: You know how you were telling me that the key to happiness was something, but then the sun came up? I think i figured it out, It's doing what you love.
Teddy Roosevelt: I was going to say diet and exercise, but the love thing's good, too.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian