Monday, February 03, 2014

L-R: Abe, Mary, Jacob, William, Kim, Paul, Nines, John, Dan, Eva, Bekah


Minus two.  Sigh.  The bigger our family grows, the more difficult it is for all of them to come together at the same time.  But I do enjoy any time that any of them are around and, while being all together is very nice, I'll be very happy and content whichever way the winds blow. The ones that are missing in body are certainly present in all our hearts!

Saturday, February 01, 2014


I got this wall hanging quilted and bound, this week.  Even have it on the living room wall.  I've been sick over the past could weeks- nothing but the dragging head cold that's been going around- and even though I have a baby quilt to quilt for a client... I figure that's best left until I'm feeling a bit more... more.  Boredom has been setting in and there comes a point where you just want to DO something.  But then, when you try, your knees start to shake and you're back to sitting on the couch.  Even though this is a small quilt, it took me two days to finish.  I did get adventurous in spite of my impaired mental clarity and put feathers in the setting triangles and outer border.  Notice how I didn't include a close-up?  Oh, it isn't bad- good enough for me.  Now, if I could only work up the inspiration to clean my bedroom...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Just a few finishes...

These are the quilts I gifted to my son and his new bride for their wedding.  A couple of the tops were already done and so, considering the short amount of preparation time, it was the perfect solution.  I no longer feel so guilty for having a tub of unquilted tops- they've gotten me out a bind on several occasions.  Paul works for Toyota and, after Christmas, his next vacation is in July and they didn't want to wait that long. The string quilt is huge- we have ten foot ceilings- John and Eva are holding it up pretty high there.  I tried to make up for it's simplicity by more intricate quilting- but not too much because I did mention the time crunch, right?

This tropical kaleidoscope was especially for Kim- she loves hibiscus and brights.  She's from the South Seas and always cold.  Maybe this will help keep her warm. It was a funny coincidence she was wearing her own blue and yellow tropical dress to her wedding shower! (Notice the "Cattle Crossing" sign above the staircase door?  When all six boys lived here, that's certainly how it sounded!)

This picture doesn't do this quilt justice.  Sarah N. of and I decided to make a challenge quilt.  We went to Joann's and choose a fabric(of which neither of us were thrilled with- rather like a couple.  Neither knowing what they want to do, so doing what neither want to do.  A compromise.)  At any rate, Sarah sewed the batik squares and I sewed the stars.  It turned out pretty.  Paul loves black and Kim loves pink... win/win.

Finally, this blue one is my favorite because Paul made it when he was just a boy- maybe 12y.  He picked out all the fabrics and did all of the sewing(I just put the outer border on to grow it a bit.)  I could tell as I was quilting it that he had meticulously adhered to the 1/4" seam allowance rule.  But if any of you know him, you know that's a given. Meticulous or not at all.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Feeling Blessed...

Ever have something wonderful happen so unexpectedly that it just floors you?  It takes your breath away.  I got home, today, and found a little mailer on my desk.  Never mind the thrill of getting mail- and a package at that!  Yes, I'm still a kid at heart and I love to get mail- of the not-a-bill variety.  But inside was a simple note from Julie W. and the most precious little quilt. I was floored!  What a sweet and thoughtful thing to do and just because... The tiny handle of the basket is hand appliqued and the block is hand quilted.  All that work and effort and it was gifted to me.  I am so deeply touched. I'm going, right now, to find the perfect place for it... Thank you, Julie.


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Laurie and Joe

Joe and Laurie's Feast...

Joe is our oldest son and he has been married for four years to a wonderful girl, Laurie.  Joe is a good man. Have you ever met one of those? Hard-working and conscientious.  Appreciative and thoughtful. Great sense of humor.  Calm and steady.  Has his priorities straight and is determined to live by a higher code and going beyond what is expected.  Joe is a good man.  And he is married to a good woman. Kind and never cross.  Happy and content.  Generous and helpful.  Loving and supportive. Never considering wrongs suffered but always charitable. Laurie is a good woman. Do they sound too good to be true?  I can assure you, they almost are. Door mats, both, bless their hearts.

I've procrastinated writing this post about their feast because it was just so... BIG.  Laurie has an intricately imaginative mind.  She's a writer and I do believe that her alter-ego is not nearly as angelic as she is!  Joe is immensely supportive and the two of them are a force to be reckoned with.

They threw a "murder mystery dinner." The morning of the feast, Laurie handed out manila envelopes and said in her most serious voice- a smile all the way across her face 'cause that's just how she rolls- "Your mission, should you choose to accept it."  Each person had their own, top secret, dossier- about six typed pages.  We were all undercover agents- complete with individual character descriptions, background histories, confidential information, and a script of action to follow- convening for a conference aboard the Orient Express.  One way tickets from Amsterdam to Vienna were included.  See?  It was BIG!

But I gotta tell ya, as a tribute to how much we all love Laurie, our arrivals in the living room that evening just blew me away!  Every character present had pulled out all the stops.  Without consulting anyone, we were all dressed for our different rolls.  If we were gonna have a murder mystery dinner, we were gonna do it right!  Masterpiece Theater got nothin' on us! The agents included:
  1.  Irish reporter(Dan- talked incessantly about his mother- who never had the same name twice)
  2.  French painter(John- flirted with all the girls and was in love with his masterpiece painting)
  3.  Italian secretary(Mary Ann- spent the evening scared of me- bless her heart)
  4.  English nanny(Bekah- the most adorable nanny ever!  Who would suspect her of murder?)
  5. Texan cowgirl(Evabeth- had no patience for flirtatious Frenchmen or Russians- kept asking for her knife back))
  6. Japanese geek(Jacob- was falling hard for the Italian and kept holding her hand under the table)
  7. Ninja(Abe- was silent- bizarre.  Scared everyone witless)
  8. Russian seamstress(Nines- had hostility issues mixed with a healthy dose of disdain)
  9. Russian business man(Will- kept apologizing to Doris for that one indiscretion with Natasha)
  10. Head of the secret organization and his PA(Joe and Laurie- Mr. Seriously-I-could-have-you-killed and Mrs. Be-good-or-I'll-flatten-you-with-my-pencil))
 Of course, those were just our aliases. Most of us were assassins, but since the organization frowns on that term we were called things like "specialists" or "consultants" in "conflict resolution." 

Then there was the accents. Hysterical. Every time one of us started talking to another one, our own accent would drop and we'd pick up theirs!  Suddenly the Russian is speaking with an Irish brogue.

We had to leave our weapons in a tub at the "train station" before boarding.  The tub was full, what with everyone sporting numerous knives, guns and incendiary devices- and ok, a rotary cutter(all us quilters know how dangerous they can be, right?) In the dining room, Joe had arranged the tables in rows like in a dining car.  There was theme music from "Mission Impossible" playing.  We had pop in cans- just to insure there was no chance of poisoning.  We had bread sticks and pizza while different characters left the room from time to time- on cue.  Chocolate ├ęclair cake rounded out the meal- round being the operative word.  Get it?  "Operative." 

Turns out there's been a murder- in the bathroom.  There are clues lying about and we all try, during the course of the meal, to ascertain the killer.  Turned out to be the Japanese geek, by the way.  (Who requested to drop his accent as he was exhausted from the effort- and why couldn't he be Spanish- he was married to a Mexican, wasn't he?) It was a crime of passion and not a sanctioned hit. Only two of us guessed right but, hey, I won the best character representation as "Doris Venedtkov" -wife of Boris.  Scared the kids when I came out in make-up. And I mean the big kids.  Will scared the little ones with his hair and excessive jewelry. And the mafia tattoo on his neck was a nice touch.
The Brilliant Mrs. Laurie Anne
I know Laurie spent over a month on this- even setting her novel writing aside- and we all had a blast.  Wish ya coulda been there!

The head of the organization wishes to remain faceless

Friday, December 27, 2013

Abe's Feast...

Say, "Hi!" to Abe.  He's 10 and very happy to be in "the double digits." Abe is an active kid- spending his summers swimming, riding his bike and building bases.  The winter months are a bit of a trial for him as he's stuck inside, squirming and fidgeting.  Perhaps the trial is more on our end... He loves to read and that's a blessing during these cold months.  He likes action and adventure books. Abe's a loving child who cries when I cry and is very good at the encouraging pat on the back.  He's extremely analytical.  He sees how everything is connected and likes to set your mind at ease that all is as it should be.  He's calm, cool and collected and doesn't talk overly much. But when he chooses to say something... well, it's usually rather interesting... He was riding home from the wedding with his older brother, Dan, and made this statement:
Abe- "Today was a very good day!" 
Dan- "Why?" 
Abe- "Because Paul got married, today." 
Dan- "Why does that make it a good day?" 
Abe-"Because now he won't be the desperate man I always thought he would be."
Alrighty then.
Abe had a "science man" feast.  As you can see from his table, he had lots of "chemicals" and scientific concoctions decorating his table- laid with a "sterile" white tablecloth.  He had the kind of great time only a 10 year old could have mixing all the different food colorings into the jars of water.  For his appetizer, he made red jello in solo cups and then inverted them onto plates.  There were green grapes suspended in the jello to creep people out.  Everyone agreed we should have jello more often. His main course was a build-your-own-taco bar.  A big hit. He made the beverage in front of everyone, laughing maniacally as he poured together pineapple juice and lemon lime soda in a stainless steel bowl- lots of fizzing and foaming and such. His dessert was hanging from the ceiling.  Every year, Abe makes rice crispy treats. This year, he shaped them into planets and pushed the sticks of lollipops into them for satellite moons. He had them hanging from thin threads so they spun in circles when you touched them.  He made three batches so that everyone could have plenty.  For his gifts, he found some very fun spinning tops at the dollar store that light up in different colors when they're spinning.  It was a very good- and colorful- evening!      

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wedding accomplished!

I just wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from the wedding of our son, Paul, and his new bride, Kim.  They were married Monday and, as you can see, they're very happy.  We all are.