Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm detecting a theme.....

My birthday was about 2 weeks ago and I am truly blessed to have wonderful friends who showered me with goodies, but I am detecting a theme and it tickles me no end!

First there is this card.....

It is huge! When I first saw it in the envelope I thought it was a record album. You remember record albums, don't you? Yep, I know you do! Anyway I loved everything about it... it is yellow, it has a chicken and it has polka dots- a trifecta of wonderfulness! Then you open it up and.....

it plays the Chicken Dance song! OMG!! I live in an area with a strong German heritage and around here every weekend in September and October there is an Oktoberfest celebration somewhere and I don't think I've ever been to a wedding around here when this song isn't played. You can't help but smile when you hear it.
And there were presents too.....

This yellow polka dot chicken fabric is from Linda. I love it and can't believe I didn't have it in my stash. I'm thinking I'll make a mesh tote bag with this. And the yarn is from Cathy and Stephie. It is gorgeous! Its called Summer Sunset and has tones of yellow, peach and beige and it is a mix of alpaca,silk and cashmere- soooo soft. I'm thinking this should be a little shawl or scarf. And then there is this gift from Laurey.....

isn't he adorable? Another cute dotted chicken to add to my collection. He's sitting here on my Charming Chatter quilt. When you touch him he bobs up and down, his legs are on a spring. The furniture he is sitting on has a big honking computer printer on the other end and every time you print something out he bobs -- cute cute cute!

So I am one lucky lucky woman to have such great friends who find the perfect presents. Thank you Thank you Thank you!! Oh and ALL of these wonderful gifts were packaged in polka dot bags!!! I love it!

Happy stitching....

carol fun

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Sampler for Sunday

Ok - I know that Sunday is just about over but I want to see if I can get this posted and then I'll feel like I accomplished something today. I find satisfaction in little accomplishments - and some days they are very little - LOL! This Sampler is The Red Reindeer by Birds of a Feather.

I have no idea when I finished this but I do love all the little motifs. The little girl and the tulip are 2 of my favorites. And I love this frame too - definitely one of my best selections -if I say so myself and I do!

I tried to do a little more fall decorating.

This little quilt hangs over my cutting table. Can you tell it is a window? Since I sew in the basement and there is only one window which is no where near my cutting table I let myself gaze through this one.(Yes I know this is delusional but it makes me happy.) This quilt is all Debbie Mumm fabrics and it is one of her patterns too. Debbie Mumm was my first designer crush - I loved her style and still do. I have quite a stash of DM fabrics. I haven't sewed with them for a while but I don't want to part with them yet. I think I have a few more DM quilts in me. I have a stack of quilts I've made just using her fabrics. Several of them are of the "charm" variety in that I used a different piece of DM fabric for each block. There is an "Eye Spy" quilt, and a calendar girl quilt (one girl for each month), and one with a big eagle. I need to take some pictures and share them with you. I'll make a note to myself and I'll surely get around to it - someday. So many plans so little time - you know what I mean?

It was noticeably cooler today and we are suppose to get some rain tomorrow - oh do we need rain. I hope it rains all day. I want to plant some more tulip/daffodil bulbs but the ground is like concrete. A nice soaking rain would make this a lot easier.

Hope your week is productive - heck I hope my week is productive-

Happy stitching -

carol fun

Friday, September 24, 2010

Looks like Fall......

...inside the house! Well today the temperature hit 90 again not exactly fallish, but tomorrow is suppose to be cooler. I am soooo ready for Fall. This is my mantle in the family room, the polka dot chicken quilt has been replaced with a polka dot pumpkin quilt.(I told you I REALLY LIKE polka dots, remember?)

This quilt is from a Sandy Gervais panel and all I did was outline different elements. Not fancy but I'm happy with it. And here is a full view of my pumpkin populated mantle...

I like mercury glass pumpkins. I have 2 medium sized ones on the mantle....

and then there is this jumbo one on top of the television. All of these pumpkins have jack-o-lantern faces on the back side. I'll turn them around and put up my witchy quilt for Halloween.

And then there is this sweet little scarecrow. My youngest son gave me this last evening - a sweet present from a sweet boy.

On the cross stitch front I did get quite a bit done on the No.3 house of the Anniversaries of the Heart series.

I haven't decided on the personalization for this one either. I may go ahead and do the little verse that is stitched over one thread. I'm afraid if I put all the over one stitching off till the end that I'll never finish. I really don't enjoy stitching over one thread but there is no way around it with the BBD pieces.

I stopped at my local cross stitch shop today and picked up some more flosses and a couple of little graphs. I want to add some cross stitched accent pieces to my Fall displays. So many fun things to do, so little time!

Happy stitching -
carol fun

Monday, September 20, 2010

Can I get a do over on the weekend?

I'd like to rewind the weekend and do it over again - and get something accomplished! Drama on Friday evening, spilled over to Saturday and left me tired and unmotivated. I spent a lot of time sitting in my barcalounger "watching" college football - that is my son was watching and I listened. I did get some stitching done on my BBD Anniversaries of the Heart piece. I'll show some pictures this week. I am enjoying stitching this. My mood lately is better suited to cross stitch where I don't have to make any decisions, than to quilting where there are more choices. I don't want to deal with choices at the moment since so many other things in life are uncertain. Basically, I don't want to think too hard and cross stitch doesn't make me think - put this stitch in this space with this floss. I like that - A LOT!!

I'm a day late and at least a dollar short on my Sampler for Sunday.

This piece is a Ewe & Eye & Friend and as I remember it is called An Angel for us All. It was done as rememberance piece for Polly Klaas. A young girl who was abducted, molested and killed by a pedophile in California. Such a sad sad story.

I love the verse on this piece and the angel button, and it has those spiderweb roses I love to make.

I did get a little retail therapy in on Friday in Columbus. I went to a yarn shop with my niece and picked up two more skeins of yarn.

The Ty-Dy skein is totally not my usual colors but I thought it would be a good choice for a change of pace. The Opal yarn is light pink and blue - also not my normal selection but I LOVE Opal yarn, particularly the ones with thick and thin stripes and little checky patterns. Opal yarn knits up nicely and washes and wears with no special attention. I have knit several pairs of Opal socks and want to do lots more. I'm still in my one sock mode so I dont' have any finished pairs to show. At last count I'm up to about 10 single socks - sad state of affairs. I need to find the motivation to finish up a couple of these mateless soles.

On the cross stitch front I wanted to show you this great kit I got from my sons for my birthday last week.

I had seen it online at and loved it but thought it was too expensive. My son, bless his heart, ordered it and I can't wait to start it. Again it is a BIG project - 20 X 16 inches. It is a Eva Rosentand design. I will enjoy stitching this since it is primarily one color. The linen and the floss are all included in the kit and the graphs are nice and big. Easy on the eyes.

And here is a parting shot of Big Boy in his natural state.

He is comfy on my son's bed. He seems to spend the majority of his day in this state. Oh to be a pampered house cat! Maybe in my next life!

Happy stitching -
carol fun

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I didn't know.....

that September is National Chicken Month! OMG, how could I let a momentous celebration like this pass by without some fanfare!(insert trumpets) I was made aware of this special month designation by my niece. (thank you, Angela!) Obviously I need a staff of minions to help me out here.(yes I know I'm hallucinating - there will be no staff of minions and if there were I'd get them to clean bathrooms and do laundry - LOL!)

Well this little flock is the beginning of a wall quilt for my kitchen. I found these guys on the front cover of Quiltmania magazine volume no. 76 (it was a couple of months ago).

My plan was to make a dozen of these cute chickens with the Mary Engelbreit fabric "Attitude Girls" since I think they have lots of attitude. However, I was distracted by other projects, much in the way chickens are easily let astray. I need to get back to them soon.

On the cross stitch front I've been working on the BBD Anniversaries of the Heart series. This is #4 The Pink House and it is almost finished. I love the unique borders. They really frames it so nicely. I'm holding off on the personlization until I see all of them. I thought about putting my boys birtdays on the houses of the corresponding months, but my youngest has an April birthday and after seeing this very PINK house, he doesn't think it is the house for him. I'm sure we'll figure something out.

When this humongous project is finished it will measure about 28 X 18 inches. You know I like big projects - big quilts and big cross stitch. I think I'm compensating for my own lack of stature - LOL! However what I lack in height I more than make up in width. Lets not go there, okay?

Well I need to go off to bed. I have to be up at the butt crack of dawn - 5am - to go with my brother to Columbus for a bunch of medical tests and procedures. Not a lot of fun for him and a long day for both of us. I'm bringing 2 sock projects with me to keep me occupied since I'm not good at waiting. And why is it when you know you can't stay home and play with your fabric and thread that you REALLY REALLY want to? A perpetual quandary for me -- when I have the motivation, I don't have the time and vice versa. I'm glad the weekend is right around the corner.

Happy stitching!

carol fun

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Sampler for Sunday and update on Big Boy

Well this weekend certainly has flown by. First, I want to thank all of you for your sweet comments about my new Big Boy. He is settling in nicely and has freshened up too. The shelter smell seems to have dissipated.

He's spent most of the day laying in the sun in the family room and he actually broke into a trot when he heard me opening a packet of wet food. I'm pretty sure that burst is the most activity he gets in a day - LOL! He is very sweet and I think we are going to get along fine since I share his love of naps in the sun.

Here is my Sunday Sampler offering -

Now I have absolutely no idea who was the designer of this piece so there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of me figuring out what it was called. I know I selected it for the great combination of sampler and quilting motifs and the inclusion of a house. I vaguely remember that I added the house and that there was some other quilt block in its place, but I may just be imagining it. The mind isn't what it use to be!

This week is shaping up to be busy - lots of places I need to go and things I need to do. Hopefully I can squeeze in some stitching. I've gotten a decent amount done on the BBD Anniversaries of the Heat. I'll show a pic later in the week. I'm trying to get the whole graph done (without the personalization) before I show it off.

Hope your week has plenty of stitching time in it!

carol fun

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The saga of Biggums aka Big Boy

This is Biggums, aka Big Boy. As his name suggests he is a VERY BIG cat, and very lucky too. About 6 weeks ago when I went out to water my garden one evening he came out from under the deck and started rubbing up against my legs. So sweet and obviously social. Then I noticed he had a quarter sized chunk missing out of his side. I think he must have gotten into a altercation with a raccoon or some other wildlife that lives in the woods behind our house. No collar, so no id.

Since it appears that he hasn't wandered too far from a food bowl in his life I assumed he belonged to someone in my neighborhood or the one that backs up to mine. My husband persuaded me to take him to our local SPCA shelter around the corner from our house so if someone went looking for him, they'd find him. So reluctantly I took him over and told them that if no one called for him, I wanted him. I put up flyers in my neighborhood and put flyers in a bunch of mailboxes in my neighborhood and the one that is behind ours. No one every called.

Well they shipped him down to the main SPCA facility about 20 miles away and sewed him up. I called several times a week for the last 6 weeks inquiring about his condition and whether anyone else had called (they hadn't) and when I could come and take him home. Every time I called I got a different story - the cat was on meds, the cathad a respiratory infection, the cat needed to be spayed, huh? I thought it was a male but I didn't know for sure.

Finally 2 days ago my son called and got them to commit to a day I could come and get the cat- Friday. On Friday, cat carrier in hand I went to the shelter near my house to claim "my cat" and they brought out a tiny tiny little cat. HUH??? this is not the cat I brought in. The cat I brought in goes 12, 15 pounds easily. Well the cat they showed me did have the same number on his collar but he was not the cat I was looking for.

They explained that sometimes the collars, which are like hospital bracelets come off and the animals get mixed up. I can see how that would happen but I don't see how you could mistake Biggums for a 5 lbs kitty. I came home on Friday heartbroken that they didn't have "my cat". The SPCA had a free cat adoption promotion a couple of weeks ago and they thought maybe he had mistakenly been adopted. While I hoped that was true and that he hadn't been euthanized, I was skeptical.

My son insisted that this morning we go down to the main SPCA shelter and see what we could find out. They were very nice and told us to go back and look at all the cats they had. We looked through 2 rooms of cats and while there were several gray and white ones they weren't the one I was looking for. Then the lady working there starts calling "Here Biggums" and from behind a big stack of crates he comes sauntering out. OMG!!! I was blown away. He had been there for the last 6 weeks! And while the cat at the shelter by my house wore the number 311 so did Biggums. Someone messed up. Luckily I had the paperwork they gave me that said I brought in a male 10 lbs (in his dreams) cat and now the computer says the cat was female and weighs 5 lbs.

The lady at the main shelter has been letting him have the run of the cat area since he's been there because she thought he was too big to stay in a cat crate. She's been calling him Biggums and I think it is very appropriate. She gave him lots of love and attention and said what a good cat he is and she seemed happy that he would go to a good home. Others at the main shelter commented that he has to have a great constitution to be able to live there for 6 weeks without getting sick and he certainly didn't drop any weight while he was there.

So he's going to live with us now and there will be a steady supply of food and kitty treats and love and attention. He's been surveying his new surrounding and checking out all the new smells. My last cat passed away over a year ago. He was also a "found" cat and like Biggums I believe I was meant to find him.

My son reminded me that persistence pays off and he is certainly right in this case. If I hadn't kept calling and if he hadn't insisted we go check out the main shelter I wouldn't have Biggums. Here is a picture of him in what I assume is his favorite habitat, next to a bowl of cat crunchies ( shhh...he doesn't know it is the weight control formula).

Is it wrong to Febreeze your pet? Biggums has the lingering aroma of animal shelter about him. I wiped his down with some damp soapy paper towels and gave him a spritz of Febreeze Pet Odor Eliminator. Hopefully that and an airing out on the screen porch will help.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Summer Finish and Charming Chatter goals

Today the weather was lovely so I thought I'd take my Cherry Salsa quilt out and get a couple of pictures.

This baby is BIG!!! It finished almost 100 inches square. There are 121 9-patches and I used over 50 different red fabrics. I bound it with the same fabric I used in the red setting squares and the back is the same fabric as the yellow setting squares.

Here is a close up of the lovely overall cherry quilting - the perfect complement to the quilt if I say so myself - and I do!

I also took some time today to look back over my Charming Chatter goals for July and August. Looks like I finished about 5 of 10. 50% - not exactly passing. Oh well!! I think I'll scale back my goals for the next two months, particularly since I know when my younger son goes back to school things will get busier for me. And even though I didn't get everything accomplished, I'm ok with what did get done. In the last year I've dealt with many health issues in my family that have made me think about what I really want out of life. I realize that I don't want to be remembered for having a clean house but I want to be remembered for the fun times we had together as a family and I want to leave behind some tangible items that show my love for my boys -- like my quilts! Both of my sons appreciate the quilts I've made them and that makes me very happy. My sainted grandma shared this little gem with me - No one on their death bed said "I wish I'd spent more time at the office" or "I wished I'd cleaned more toilets". I'm going to focus on the stuff that makes me happy! I hope you do too!

Happy stitching -
carol fun

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A lost week.......

So what happened to last week? Was I busy finding a solution to world peace? Nope. Did I come up with a new jobs program? Well, no unless you consider the never ending stream of dirty laundry at my house as a "job". Anyone want this job? I didn't think so. But I did do my part to stimulate the economy. There were these cute charm squares of two new lines of Moda - I love Moda fabric!

And this great new book, Country Inn from Blackbird Designs. I like the quilt patterns and there is an adorable cross stitch sampler called The Little Red Hen.

Other than turning dirty laundry into clean laundry so my family can return it to the dirty state, all I have to show for my week is the stitching I've done on my BBD "Home is where my Heart Blooms".

I love how this is coming together. A couple more evenings in front of the TV and it will be done. Now I was going to refrain from starting a new project but I'm weak and I caved and started on the BBD's Anniversaries of the Heart. Oh are these are so pretty! I'm stitching all of them on one piece of 28ct dove gray evenweave. I think it will complement the thread colors nicely.

You can see from the picture that this is going to be a BIG piece. I always start in the upper right hand corner since I don't use a hoop. I end up holding most of the linen in my left hand and this way I don't scrunch up my finished work too much. I'm holding off with the personalization till I see them all. I know I want to include my boys birthdays and I'd like to have my mom and grandma's birth date on this piece too.

As for a sampler offering this Sunday here is a Ewe & Eye & Friend piece.

I changed the saying in the cartouche to "Ohio the Heart of it All". This use to be a motto of the state and was on the license plates and for me Ohio is home and holds a special place in my heart. This piece included some specialty stitches that add a lot of texture.

So tomorrow starts another week which I hope will be more productive. Have a great Labor Day! I plan on doing as little labor as possible to celebrate. (NO laundry will be washed or dried tomorrow in my house!)

Happy stitching -

carol fun