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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Eagles Are Playoff Bound!!

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
~ Anatole France
The day went the way no one really expected and my boys are headed to Minnesota next week. I have faith......regardless of what my man says.....he calls them my Beagles.....
A little peek into what I have been doing. My Brother-In-Law is an artist. He liked the heart quilt on my blog so I offered to trade him his own for one of his paintings. This is the beginning of his. I am definitely getting the better end of this deal....Thanks Gary.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, Which shall be to all people. "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, Lying in a manger.
St. Luke 10-12


And now for the saddest eyes I have ever seen:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice 2008

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Albert Camus
So it begins, as of 7:04 AM EST, the days began to get longer, the nights shorter and the hope of Spring and of sprouts in the garden is revived. Today maybe the beginning of Winter true, but we know that with the beginning, there will also be an end.
The kitchen window...taken months ago, still looks the same except now there is snow past the plants. There are two bay trees (my freedom plants), a Christmas Cactus that I am reviving for a dear friend and an allspice tree.
My little sewing kit, complete with a little pocket for scissors and binding clips and a spool of thread. I would like to learn to wrap wire and make a piece of jewelry from this heart that I found on a walk a few years ago. I carry it in the red felted sewing kit.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ohhhhhhh...The Weather Outside Is Frightful....

I played as much golf as I could in North Dakota, but summer up there is pretty short. It usually falls on Tuesday. ~Mike Morley
Since South Dakota is much, much farther south than North Dakota...I figure our sumer last a day or two longer. We are in the middle of a devastating blizzard with no travel recommended. Quite beautiful from the inside looking out, or so the cats think. I am very thankful to have a warm place to ride it out with family.
Something you may not know about me....I always seem to run out of time. The plum puddings are all ready to go to their new homes...and here I sit unable to get them out today. Monday it family never expects me to be on time and I love them for it. The basket is sooooo special....a gift from my daughter. I wish I could tell you where she got it. I was very very impressed....and thankful.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Moments

It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
It seems like I am showing you a lot of basket quilts. I am not sure why, I do have others. I love baskets and have more than I would ever use. Of course, I have a lot of stuff stored in each one, after all that is the sole pirpose of a basket, to carry a load.
Another thrift store find. The sterling on these little condiment pots shined up beautifully.
It has been a quiet weekend. I went Christmas shopping with friends yesterday. On Friday night I went to a Christmas party and won a lovely prize, the twelve days of Christmas in chocolates. I think I will have a great deal of fun opening each of the twelve boxes.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

And see the peaceful trees extend their myriad leaves in leisured dance—they bear the weight of sky and cloud upon the fountain of their veins.
- Kathleen Raine, Envoi
I just received this beautiful wool brooch in the mail today. You can find a similar one on Etsy at Kaylacoo's shop. They are all unique and completely awe inspiring. Take a peek, it will be worth your time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Morning

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."
May we never forget....God Bless Our Troops!
Procrastinate. It frees up time to quilt!
After work yesterday, my daughter (who had borrowed my car), came to pick me up and off we went to our favorite thrift shop. The crocheted heart will look lovely adorning a bag or a quilt or a needle book for a friend or...... I think I will start a basket of small treasure like this one and the ribbon on the box of chocolates Bruce gave me and the buttons my sister gave me a few weeks ago and..... If they are all in the same place, do you think they will inspire me? What do you do for inspiration?
I believe this beautiful hand blown glass bowl will be doing duty holding cranberry sauce or maybe ambrosia very shortly. It is not overly large, but just about the right size for a small fruit salad.
As promised, a quilt from a while ago. I went to a quilt show years ago in Brookings, South Dakota. There was a basket quilt that caught my eye. I stood and looked at it long enough I was able to come home and make the block. The block stayed on my design wall for what seemed like an eternity until I was between projects and looking for something fast and easy.
What I really think I needed was something in the hoop. I piece to have something to hand quilt. Happy Sunday!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Beautiful Prim Doll Giveaway

Check out Dawn's doll giveaway over at The Forgotten Barn. Wouldn't she look wonderful somewhere in your home? Or mine?

Baskets & Kitties

"Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want." - Joseph Wood Crutch
Something not quite "old" but definitely not new. I enjoyed the hand quilting on this one. It was a pattern from Thimbleberries Club a few years ago.
Schuster did want to know why the quilt was getting more attention than she was. She definitely is a firm believer that she is cuter than any piece of cloth. If you look closely at the bottom right hand corner, Sebastian wants to know why Schuster is getting all the attention. He is a firm believer that she gets entirely too much attention all of the time and that cameras really do steal your soul. in the household of cats.....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Moments

Fruits each in its season, are the cheapest, most elegant and wholesome dessert you can offer your family or friends, at luncheon or tea. Pastry and plum-pudding should be prohibited by law, from the beginning of June until the end of September.”‘Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea’Marion Harland [Mary Virginia Terhune] (1875)
In our family, my Grandmother Lillian, always made the plum puddings and it is still considered bad luck to cut into one before Christmas. She passed the torch to me years ago. Instead of steaming the puddings in bowls with waxed paper and foil on top, tied with string, I purchased Williams Sonoma and garage sales. You can't get the molds from them anymore, that I know of, but they sell the puddings. I still pick up the molds, even though I have more than I will ever need. In the course of a traumatic divorce after almost 30 years of marriage, I had no clue where the recipe was in storage. I found the molds this year and have yet to find the recipe.
I remembered most of it and found a similar recipe on the Internet. These are loaded with raisins, sultanas (golden raisins), currants, spices, and lots of beef suet. No bread crumbs here. Each pudding comes with a silver dime buried somewhere in it's depths. The lucky recipient of the dime is supposed to have good luck for the next year.

These little beauties steam for 9 hours, so this is an all day event. They have been on since very early this morning and will need to cool once they are done so I can get them wrapped in wax paper and then in foil to get them ready to be mailed all around the US, including Hawaii.

This post is filled with memories of a woman I loved dearly and still do. The wool penny ornaments for our tree are made with large buttons my family saved for me from her stash. I think about her every time I hang them on the tree. Today, my house smells like hers did. I love you, Grandma.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Binding Bag

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Can you believe I found this little handmade bag (that I am just sure was made by loving hands for someone special) at the local thrift place for less than $2? Completely my gain! I thought it might be ideal for use as a binding bag, to hold a small felted needle book, binding clips, a little pair of scissors and my thread. I am open to other suggestions.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Ignored

"Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find."
~Quoted in Time

This year I have taken the handmade pledge. I know I will not be 100% successful, but I am striving for 80% with improvement next year and more every year after that. I want my Grandchildren to see the things I have in my lifetime. How sad if they take all the trees and put them in a tree museum. I found it! I found it! It took going through several...okay....many journals. I got to see my children at a younger time. I got to read the obits clipped from newspapers of the people that I have loved who passed on. There are recipes I had forgotten about and pictures clipped from magazines that I wanted to try in my house or yard. There were literally armloads of quotes like the one you see at the top of the post. My sister shared this recipe with me quite a long time ago. It really is a great recipe. I figured if I posted it here, it would be around a while and easily accessible. Give it a try, it really is very good.

On a bright note, my port and stitches came out today and I learned I truly am a big didn't even hurt. I do have the most awesome Dr. in the world. I should have asked for a sticker! As I told my Dad, Lord knows I don't need a sucker.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

"We can always find something to be thankful for, no matter what may be the burden of our wants, or the special subject of our petitions."
Albert Barnes

My daughter has chosen, through her workplace, to help a familyof six with Christmas. All the needs have been met, but she wanted to do a little extra. Today, she and I tied a fleece blanket for the two year old in the family. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of her.


1. The love and health of my family and friends, most especially that both of my parents are still with us after the events of the last month.

2. That I am truly blessed to have such a good man in my life.

3. That the people I love all have a job and a roof over their heads and food on their table. There may not always be excess, but thank God there is always enough.

4. That my son is not in the desert right now and is able to spend the holidays this year with his wonderful wife and beautiful kids. That is not always the case.

5. That I have an abundance of great quality time with my daughter and granddaughter. unofficial number 6....The Eagles played an awesome game! During the game I said if they didn't keep playing the way they did tonight, the only way they would be going to the Superbowl would be as........before I could say as a wild card, my daughter said as spectators.....:(

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love, happiness, and peace. May God bless our troops, each and every one of them a hero, who cannot be home with their loved ones.

It is a tradition in our familyto go around the table so each person can tell the things they are greatful for. It was my four year old granddaughter's turn. She said she was greatful for her duckie (he is no longer yellow and has one eye a little mealted from the dryer). She was greatful for her kitties and her grandma ( I just beamed!). She was greatful for her toy and grass and helmets. She said "GO EAGLES!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Moments From Home

Believe one who has proved it. Believe an expert.
— Virgil
Dad has been home from the hospital for about a week now. He drove for the first time today and he is getting back to his old self. I didn't think Mom and I would have time for any of this. I originally had leave planned to come out and make fruitcakes. We did it last year and I thought I had fun. This year was even better. Mom thought we should go into business.

Is this not the coolest pan you have seen in a while? It belongs to my Mother and you can bet I will be looking for one like it at the thrift stores and garage sales. It was perfect for mixing large batches of fruitcakes.

We chopped cherries and dates and mixed dried fruits, mixed them with walnuts and soaked the whole darn thing overnight in the very best Brandy from my Father's closet. Yes, he was aware we did it and we bought him a replacement bottle. I can tell you VSOP is much less expensive in Washington State than it is in South Dakota!

We made 21 fruitcakes. Yes, I meant to type 21. Mom has a home for each one. She does this every year. I can tell you I had the best time doing this with her. We talked and laughed until our stomaches hurt.
My Mom had a lot of good tips to pass along, so I will share them with you, too. Bay leaves in your flour canister will keep bugs at bay (no pun intended) without imparting flavor. Always line your pans with foil for these little cakes, since they are hard to remove without it.

She wanted me to take a picture of the mess we were creating. I preferred to think of it as a production line. I believe so far we have cookie dough made for at least 52 dozen cookies.

The house has that incredible smell of baking...spices, fruit, brandy. I am sorry the rest of my sisters weren't here for this! They don't have a clue what they were missing. Maybe next year.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am on a little trek home to Washington. Dad has been ill and was in the hospital for what seemed like forever. I was lucky enough to see my brother and youngest sister when I first got here and then they had to go home. I stayed to bring him home and be here for Mom & Dad for a few days.

I am not going to be able to post pictures of what I am working on right now, Christmas and all that..... When I get home, I will post things that I have made in the past.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

4 November, 2008

It's your right. It's your duty as an American.

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Christmas Ornaments

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

My daughter was kind enough to pull out some of the ornaments I made for her tree so that I might share them with you. These are special because the buttons came to me from my Grandmother's stash after she passed away. They are also cat friendly. She has a new kitten who can't break these....although I am betting he could chew holes in them. Monster.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Moments

Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Meet Bruce, the man in my life. We had a wonderful trip to the Badlands as you can see over his shoulder. He is very special, even tempered and we see eye to eye on most things, including politics.

It has been a quiet weekend after a hectic week. The last week of the month is always busy for me. My Father ended up on the hospital in emergency surgery on Thursday night. He is chugging on through. The path report is due Monday. This little quilt is hand pieced, hand appliqued and hand quilted. I finished it a while ago, but was going through my little stash of table toppers, thinking it was time to change out the little quilt on the table, just for a fresh look. Since most of you have not been in my home, these will be new to you.

I was able to get to one of my favorite thrift shops after work on Friday and found a few treasures. The hot chocolate pot is from the Bon Jour collection at Williams-Sonoma. Very cute and a steal for what I paid for it. Someone named Molly made the pottery bowl and platter, I was lucky enough to walk away with seven of her pieces. They will be treasures here in this house.

Have a blessed week and get out and be patriotic. Vote!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Moments

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. - Charles Dickens

Better Homes & Gardens has challenged us over at All People Quilt again. These litte guys are cute! I used two small yellow buttons and a larger blue glass bead for the hanger. The backing for these snowmen was from a man's wool jacket I picked up thrifting and brought home and felted. The rest was all scraps I have saved from various projects. These are going to look festive tied to packages.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A home without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat, may be a perfect home, perhaps; but how can it prove its title? - Mark Twain

After the flood this year in Cedar Rapids, daughter adopted one of the flood kittens. A friend of her's makes these kitty teepees and gifted one to my daughter when she heard of her generosity. She makes them with her Mother and sells them here at local craft shows. As you can see from the photos, the hut is a hit with Dexter.

Although from this expression, I seriously doubt I was. I think he looks bothered. Honestly, it may not have been me, it may have been my daughter's other cat, Gizmo. She was in the process of sneaking up on him, and he spotted her.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.
Abigail Adams

This is the current project in the hoop. Take a look at the spool of thread. A rubberband will keep your tail of thread from unwinding and making a mess. I have been using this trick for years and came up with it as a fluke.

This box was a gift from a secret sister several years ago. It is one of my favorites with the pin cushion on top and plenty of storage. It is very beautiful.

And last....two moe little finds. The pitcher will be a Saturday morning pitcher for syrup, just the right size. I believe the bowl will sit on the table next to my rocker to catch threads.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
— Scott Adams
A minor harvest from a garden that will soon see a devastating frost. It is late in coming for us this year, always a blessing. I have lost my basil to a light frost this past week, but the rosemary is holding up beautifully. Cindy over at My Romantic Home had a great recipe for part of this pile of rosemary. I still have quite a bit more to harvest. Being in Zone 4, it will not over winter and I have quite a few plants in the house already.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't.
~Frank A. Clark

I could not find a more appropriate quote with the upcoming election. My daughter and I are voting for different people, but that is what freedom is all about. I am knitting the house socks for her.
Another Friday spent thrifting with my friend Penny. You would think this was the norm, but that could not be farther from the truth. I have just been very lucky to do this two weeks in a row. We started early and went to several places as well as lunch. It is great to have a friend who enjoys searching through another man's junk to find the few treasures buried out there.

My Grandparents got me started collecting shells when I was very young. I can never pass up good deals. Penny has been sprinkling them out among her miniature roses in the small bed in her back yard. These little shell balls are adorable. I have no clue how the lady made them or even what she used them for....I think I will use them as plant buddies for right now. They are light weight. The doily under them was a thrift store find, too.

I collect heart shaped rocks when I am walking. The little one bottom left hand corner was in the Black Hills when Bruce and I were walking along Needles Highway. It appears to have a little rose quartz in it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
— Maya Angelou

My dear friend Penny and I went thrifting on Friday. This beautiful pot was sitting there waiting for me to walk by....again. I had been to the store a couple of times and had seen this pot, and decided that with a price tag of $7.95 it probably was not for me. Everytime I went in over the course of two weeks, I had the same conversation with myself. Then, on Friday, someone else had moved the pot to a different location and covered it with a hat. It took me a while to locate it, but once I did, it was coming home with me. I love handthrown pottery. I should have bought it the first time through...but now I know it is a treasure. Note the little acorn at the bottom of the handle. My daughter thought we should use it for syrup. Sounds like a good excuse to make waffles to me!

I started this sweater last week for one of my granddaughters. It is almost finished, but I wanted to share the progress. I really like the feel of this yarn and I am sure she will love the color.

I bought the beautiful amethyst stitch holder (which just happens to be my boyfriend's birthstone) from HookedOnEwe. She has a most delightful shop on Etsy. Christy is very generous and sent me a free little lamb stitch marker along with my stitch holder. How cute is he? She is shipping from overseas so it does take a little longer, but her things are well worth the wait. She makes knitting needles, too.