Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Sara at Quilting Bookworm awarded this award to me. Thank you, Sara and thank you for stopping by and leaving comments! I love when some one comments and then, I find their blog and enjoy reading it.

Part of the award is to list five addictions. Now years ago, I would have told you that I spent my life making sure I had NO addictions. I grew up around smokers and drinkers and made sure that I avoided both. But I have come to realize that we ALL have our addictions and you don't have to put it in your body for it to be addictive. So, I will fess up to at least these:

1. This is a no brainer....FABRIC! I love the stuff. I love the feel, the smell, the color. I can enjoy a small square as well as a whole bolt. This addiction goes back to when I was a little kid. I was always gathering up my mother's sewing scraps and putting them in a bag for later! There was a long period of time in my life when I was not using fabric for much but I still looked, felt and bought it!

2. Another life time addiction is books. They are the one constant in my life and the more the better. Problem is the great white hunter likes them too! Storage space is full and we have a very hard time getting rid of a book! We have a on going discussion on which ones you should keep. He says anything with reference material or instructions is a keeper, novels should be read and gotten rid of. (guess who does not read novels much???) I say you should keep them if you love them.

3. Coffee is up there with long time addictions too. I was allowed to drink coffee with lots of milk and sugar as a kid. Odd but we lived where it was cold and it was a warm drink??? I did away with the milk as a teenager but still have Sweet and Low in it. I drink it all day.

4. Add tea to that list. When the coffee pot is empty, I make a cup of tea. In hot AZ summers, we go through gallons of iced tea.

5. Apples.........give me a tart, crisp apple and I will follow you anywhere! This one is somewhat of a life long love too. A day without a apple is a day when I feel like something is missing. I introduced my grand daughter Julia to apples when she got two teeth. I would hold the apple and she would gnaw on it. We did this every afternoon. This eight year old gets very cranky if she does not have her apple every day! I am proud that I passed this addiction on!!

I am supposed to tag others for this award but I have done that several times in the past. If you are reading this and you want, take the award and tell us about YOUR addictions! Maybe someone out there has one that is not quite as boring as mine. I discovered in thinking about this, how some of mine are connected. Reading a good book and eating a crip apple is heaven on earth!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Could It Please Be Feburary?

I know at my age, I should not be wishing for time to go by. That does not stop me from wishing that the February BOM's were posted. I finished these last week. I saw several of the Love blocks on other blogs done on beige fabric. I liked that much better and I am almost done re doing that block. So, February, come on down!! Like.......NOW! I am enjoying this so much and want to do MORE.

This is my first time stitching with a piece of batting behind the piece. I was a little concerned how that would go but it works great. It seems to give the whole thing more stability. No plans yet for the setting fabrics, think I will wait until I see what direction the quilts are going before I chose that.

Many thanks to the designers who are so giving of their time and talents to post these wonderful patterns for us.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Color for the Snowbound

From mid May to mid October, we all question why in the world anyone would want to live here. About July, when the temps. hit 115 degrees and the monsoon humidity hits, you really wonder if you are seriously missing some of your marbles. Then about the middle of November, you sit back and enjoy the good life. Yesterday it was 80 degrees and sunny, today is rainy with 75 degrees.

So for those of you who are tired of looking at nothing but white snow, here is the 2009 tour of my backyard to give you a bit of color from AZ.

This is today's pick from our Sweet 100 tomato plants. They grew really tall, then we had a windy day and they bent down. We had to cover them a couple of nights due to frost and that bent them down even more so they are thick and dense. Picking tomatoes is a job as you have to really get inside the vines. Hey, I will bend and twist whatever way I need to so we get each and every one. I made salsa yesterday and have enough in the fridge for some spaghetti sauce.

Lemons from my back neighbor's tree that dips into our yard. Think I need to make a pie!

Grapefruit from the tree in the side yard.

Oranges from the side yard.

These plants were on clearance at Lowes, three for ten dollars. I decided to follow Belvie and Amelia's example and give the clearance plants a home. I have my fingers crossed on these.......and NO idea where we are going to plant them. So, I was not thinking ahead that day in Lowes but love the flowers anyway.

Now in case you think all is good and wonderful in the growing aspect of winter in AZ, here is a example of what grows the very best of all. Winter weeds sprout this time of year and in a few days can take over everything. They grow in gravel and in the sidewalk cracks and they grow fast and furious. It takes diligence with the Round Up spray just to keep a few steps ahead of them. Some folks don't.....so if you have neighbors who don't, you have twice the problem because they spread like crazy. Guess what kind of neighbors we have on both sides? Need another jug of Round Up!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More Quilt Show

As promised, here are a few more of the quilts from the Tucson show last weekend.

The rows were pretty narrow and I could not get far enough back to get the complete quilt in the frame but you get most of it. It was just beautiful!

These are a few of the smaller quilts, I really liked the small AZ quilt.

Now this was the knock your socks off quilt in my mind. I was in awe! Love those colors even if they are not something I would be comfortable with.

Every year the Tucson guild has a gift shop open with things the members have made to sell. Not sure if the proceeds go to the guild or perhaps a charity. It is fun to look. This year there were a lot of neat bags for sale as well as place mats, pot holders and assorted quilted items. There is always a tree all trimmed with hand made decorations.

This is our one and only purchase, a bag for baking potatoes. I knew I had seen the pattern for it but figuring I would never get around to making it, we bought it to give it a try. Monday night I baked white potatoes and last night sweet potatoes. They are great, they come out nice and fluffy. They do say that you need to keep an eye on the bag until you know how it will do in your microwave as some of the higher wattage ones might scorch the fabric. This one did fine but I would not put it in and then leave the kitchen. The instructions are on a site called, "A Time to Stitch" For some reason, I can not get a link to work this morning. You could also Google the words, baked potato bag. I am sure they are the ones the maker used because the instruction card is word for word what the lady has added here.

I read another post that said cotton batting only. I think mine might not be but whatever it is high loft because the bag is pretty puffy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tucson Quilt Show 2009

My great white hunter and I celebrated the New Year, and lower gas prices, by filling up the RV with gas. So Friday night, we loaded up and headed to Tucson for our annual trip to the quilt show. This is the third year we have gone and I enjoy it so much.

Last year, we also went to California to the "Road to California" show but this year, some wise person scheduled them on the same weekend. The great white hunter said I could chose which one but Tucson won out. I like the smaller town feel of it although I was awed by the California show. So many of the vendors would come to Tucson and then on to the CA show that I wonder why they would do this but whatever. A couple of my favorite vendors were not there but that is OK, I DO NOT NEED ANYTHING!! I repeated this through out the vendor area and did not buy anything! To be honest did not see anything that I wanted. We did buy a bag to bake potatoes in at the guild handmade gift section, will let you know how that works because if it does, I have a idea for some early Christmas gifts.

Here are a few of the quilts I took pictures of. I just took pictures of ones that I liked. Towards the end I got tired of people walking right into my picture and put the camera away so missed a few. The variety of quilts seemed a little different this year, not quite so many elaborate art type quilts. I did not see any that were hand quilted although there may have been some. I did see a couple that were hand pieced. Several of the quilts were so heavily machine quilted that they seemed distorted. Sorry, but heavy machine quilting is not my thing at all. I admire the skill involved but do not like the look, reminds me of the big heavy pads that movers use around furniture.

This one is for Belvie! She does beautiful applique and I thought she would enjoy it as much as I did. It was wonderfully done! It is also one that it took several trys to get a picture of because folks kept walking in to get a closer look.

There were several that captured the Southwestern feel of the Tucson area.

I loved this one, kept thinking about all those little squares coming together to create such an impact. The great white hunter said it made him dizzy!

Another lovely applique.

This one was one of my favorites. I love the colors and the pattern.

I have a few more but will save those for another post.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This and That

In case you thought maybe I had given up the ship, nope, still here. I have been just plodding along in my own way, doing my own thing. I have a love/hate relationship with the month of January. On one hand it is nice to have the mad rush of Christmas over, on the other hand, it is such an abrupt slow down that it is almost boring.

Last weekend we made our annual trip to the snow. I know if you are knee deep in the stuff and fighting it on a daily basis, this might not sound like fun, but every year, we load up kids, sleds and hot chocolate and head to the higher AZ elevation. We had a great time. The spot where we went was not crowded, having only one other family that had small children. We have been at this same hill when there were teenagers and pre teens and it gets a little dangerous for the little ones when they fly down the hill with abandon. The kids and all the grownups, except Nana, had a great time on the three new sleds Papa bought the weekend after Christmas. I thought about that pill that Sally Field and I take once a month for our bones and decided I had no business on a sled going down the hill lickety split. We played in the snow, then had lunch at Macky's in Payson, a family favorite place.

So, want to see something really sad? Last summer I had a fit about all the trash people had left around a lake where my great white hunter took the kids fishing. I could not believe folks would be so self absorbed to just throw it down for someone else to pick up or worse, to stay there forever ruining the landscape of a lovely spot. The bottom of the sledding hill had this pile of broken hard plastic sleds. As you can see there are several colors, so several sleds crashed, broke and got left behind. Higher up on the hill was a blue saucer sled, complete with a nice crack in the middle that someone just walked off and left behind. What is with this???

I believe as parents and grandparents, it is our job to teach the young ones the right way to do things. The best way to teach is example. What did the young sledders learn when Mom and Dad just walked away from their broken sled and left it there for someone else to clean up?

On a more positive note, I am still having a great time getting reacquainted with my knitting needles. Now a average knitter could have knit an entire sweater in the time it has taken me to do two pairs of slippers but true to my New Year's goal, I am having fun.

SueR asked if you needed four needles for this like you do socks. These are a two needle easy peasy beginner project. So here is a picture of a slipper before it is sewn together.

Here are the finished slippers. I have a order from "the Mama" (DD) for a pair for her and then I need a pair. I might be ready to move on to something else by the time I do those. I found a couple of patterns that I would like to try.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's Like Riding A Bicycle, Almost

When my kids were small, I did a lot of knitting. I made them hats, mittens, scarves and slippers. I even knitted sweaters for my DD. When we moved to AZ. they were too old plus we found there was not much demand for knitted things. The knitting needles and patterns got packed away. A couple of years ago, I fell in love with the new yarns they have now and knitted scarves for DD, DIL and myself on big needles, no pattern required.

When Colin saw the slippers that our neighbor gave us for Christmas, he really liked them. At six, he still believes his Nana can do anything, so there I was digging for the patterns and the needles! Looking at the patterns was fun because some of them go back to the mid 70's.

He loves camo and I was really happy when I found Red Heart yarn that was in the right shades to get a camo look. I was ready to knit and really looking forward to it.

I thought that it would be no problem to read a pattern that I had made many times before, even if it was 20 plus years ago. Ha ha! First off, I could not find the pattern that I thought I used to use. I have lots of slipper patterns but none seemed familiar. When I did find what I thought was it, it had several different sizes included in ( ) for each row. Yikes, I had a terrible time keeping my place and making sure I used the right part for my size slipper. After tearing it out multiple times, I sat down and wrote out the pattern with just the size I was using. Then, I marked off each row as I finished it so I knew where I was.

This is the end result. Colin is thrilled and will be happy when I finish the other foot! I won't give him his until I have a pair for Julia, so I am off today to see if I can find some more colorful yarn in girl colors. I am also going back to my patterns because this is not the one I used to make, mine did not have a cuff. So you can get back on that bicycle after a long time but that does not mean you will ride it well at first.

I have been thinking about goals for 2009. I found I was thinking more of what I did not want to do than what I wanted to do. Joining challenges and swaps means stress to finish and that does not work for me, so I need to challenge myself in someway. Not quite sure how to do that and have it work but, I do know what I want to do this year. I love to quilt but last year I realized that I like to do other things too. I was missing those things. So this year, I would like to get back to embroidery, knitting and more of the rag rug crochet. Finishing up several quilts that are partly done is another goal. So tune in now and then, not sure what you will find but plans are to enjoy the process more.

Other goals are to resume my de-clutter quest from last year and to spend more time reading and less time playing games on the computer! Then there is that lose some weight and get some exercise one................yuck!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Special Gift

My children were very generous this Christmas. All of them gave me wonderful, thoughtful, personal gifts. My great white hunter, true to form, did his best to spoil me as he always does. The fact that we were all under one roof on Christmas day was another great gift as was the breakfast date that the great white hunter son #2 and I had the week before. Going out to breakfast with one of your adult children, just you and your son, is a great treat!

Another great gift was the lovely hand knitted slippers that a neigbor gave us. We aren't very chummy with most of our neighbors, I take small gifts to a select few that I know and talk to, and they give small gifts to us. I have talked to this lady at the mailbox a couple of times but that is about it. Her daughter in law brought the package to the door while she stayed on the walk as she rides a motorized scooter to get around. It was a nice surprise and the fact that it was handmade was a special thrill to us. I have worn them everyday! I dropped off some flowers for her on New Year's Eve and she has promised to share the pattern, so I see slippers for everyone in the future as I enjoy knitting, just don't do it much any more.

Wonderful how even though there were purchased gifts that we enjoyed, the three things that stand out are the slippers from a almost stranger and breakfast with my son then just being together as a family..........goes to show that you can make Christmas out of NOT MUCH and still have those warm fuzzy feelings.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009

How in the world did I get old enough to welcome 2009? Very happy to be able to do so, I must admit. Quiet night here, my great white hunter and I took the kids to Golden Corral for dinner then we came back for baths and story time. They were up early watching cartoons with Papa. I woke up long enough to hear one of the neighbors shoot off some fireworks and that was the end of the celebration. Must admit I was muttering under my breath that who even it was better not wake up the kids!! Oh, when you get old, you are no fun any more.

I am thinking about goals for the new year. Last year I set a "de-clutter" my life goal and did a good job on the physical clutter, not so good on the mental. That is definitely something to continue for this year as I find functioning without clutter all over is much easier. I have a few other goals in mind but not going to post them until later........just going to enjoy the day.

A very HAPPY NEW YEAR to all, my best wishes for heath and happiness.