Thursday, March 30, 2006

The 'flu is finally letting go...

I've been down and out with the 'flu. Not a lot of fun. Of course, it would coincide with the extra days I had to work! Oh well, I lived through it and, for that, I am most grateful. My knees are still a little wobbly and my nose is peeling- a real good look for me, but otherwise I feel pretty great.

My nephew, Jonathan, was here for a visit and I didn't even get a picture of him! Bummer. There's a picture on my mom's site, if your interested. He is close to the same age as my oldest, and they get on very well. Actually, he got on great with all of my kids- my daughters' idolized him the entire time he was here! He was a great sport and ate everything I sat in front of him and I'm pretty sure that 99% of it was completely unfamiliar. The guy with the maniacal look in his eyes is my brother, David. He's Jonathan's dad. (Doesn't he remind you of that Fiennes brother in Luther? You haven't seen that movie? Well, maybe you should.) At anyrate, David is explaining to the children how redeye occurs. "Coooool," they say when they find out it has something to do with your blood veins. He is very good at explaining things. He was picking up his son after he had stayed with us a week. Ever wonder how to move a plane? In the back of a Penske moving van, apparently. Even the kids recognized the parts.

I have been playing around with Kansas Troubles blocks. I saw this idea in a book called, amazingly, Kansas Troubles. (I had some leftover yellows from my GFG.) When I realized that it included "prairie flowers," I thought I had to try it. It is a table runner- just in case it isn't recognizable. The flowers are appliqued on and I decided that I would try it their way. Maybe they've made improvements in heat-n-bond since I last tried it, 15 years ago.... nope, it's still not a great way to applique. Maybe it's me. I just have a real hard time ironing the flowers on and then stitching them down with the sewing machine. Does anyone else think this looks really bad? It's probably me. (I once had to try on 46 bras before I finally quit railing against bra designers everywhere and settled onto the thought, it's me. An epiphany moment. The amazing thing isn't that I tried on that many bras, but that I took 46 bras off those ridiculous little hangers and replaced all 46 bras to those same ridiculous hangers. Sheesh!) My point is, I just have a hard time doing some things that everyone else seems to handle just fine. It takes me a lot of time and effort to applique with the sewing machine and the results... well, pathetic. And I am left feeling really defeated. Where, if I had just done it my way- by hand, yes, it would have taken a lot of time and effort, but the end result would have looked decent. Oh well, I have a vague impression of someone who likes yellow... she won't mind if the applique looks lame. I'll try to quilt something pretty on it to make up for the applique efforts gone awry.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Selma Lou strikes again...
Well you know it's bad when that other person keeps sneakin' into your quilting room and making a mess of things and you decide she really needs a name if she is going to take the blame for her actions. Despite the fact that I have a hard and fast rule about never shelfing anything without leaving proper documentation, she is always stashing stuff without so much as a whisper of where she was going with it. But to be fair, I doubt I'd be happy with her explanations as I just cannot see how she intended that conglomeration of roses to go together in anything that resembles something I might like. ahh... lightbulb moment... maybe that's why it's on the shelf. It's all becoming clear to me now. I hated it...I mean, Selma Lou hated it and so she stuffed it on the back shelf where she thought that, after a time, we might morph into 90 year old grannies and actually like it... Selma Lou's a strange duck. I tried to lay it out in some fashion, but alas, I'm as hopeless at this as she is. I bet Bonnie could pick up those little blocks and BAM! a work of art would be born. sigh. Maybe Selma Lou was on to something... there's a little room on that back shelf.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Multiple personalities...
Wouldn't it be strange if weird projects kept popping up in your quilting room? Things that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, you would never, ever have started. I'm tellin' ya, this happens to me. Ok, true, I have some foggy recollection of having had something to do with it. I faintly recall starting these baskets because... oh, yes, that's right, I like to applique. Good a reason as any. What I don't recall, is that I got all of the handles done. And I suppose they have been sitting on the shelf for... 3, 4 years? Yeah. But homespun? I'm feeling a bit nauseous. And I didn't remember that each basket is supposed to be surrounded by itty, bitty little half square triangles. That would compensate for the rather dull, plain basket, eh? Uhuh. It ain't happenin' in my lifetime. What to do? I spent 30 minutes and pieced all the baskets together, which my other personality was kind enough to have already cut out for me. Then I thought, since we seemed to be having a moment of open communication, "WHY?" She just shrugged her shoulders and said that she wanted cherries on the baskets because she wanted to applique cherries in the borders and she looked and looked and never could find any she liked- had her heart set on something Asian-looking and so she finally settled for thimbleberries- which looks more like currants, I said. She shrugs her shoulders and says that's why it ended up in homespuns. See what happens when you settle? It's a slippery slope my friends.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Just because I can....
DH walks in on me this morning, as he is leaving for work. He stops in his tracks and starts laughing, "Are you starting another project?" I don't know how he guessed as I was only sitting in the middle of the floor with three of my stash bins opened. Yes, I'm starting a new project. Why? Just because I can. Just piddling, really. Or as my Aunt Isobel would say, noodling. Sometimes I just start things that I know I won't like, just because... I guess... because I can. They have no purpose. No destination. And no sense of color co-ordination. I just want to sew on something new that has no expectations. Do you ever do that? Sometimes I realize that it's the orneriness in me coming out. Like this little piece. I don't much care for doing borders and I said, "I'm going to do this thing." You'll notice, it's almost all borders- with 6 more to go. Why, why, why? There's already four borders and the silly thing is only 30 1/2." Which is now a major problem as the pattern says it should measure 29 1/2." So the next border isn't going to fit properly. And that leaves me annoyed. No, I had no expectations it would work out, but still, the mystery of how it all went wrong is ... perturbing. Is that a word? I think so.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Midnight on Mars...
involves a really cool bed. This bed was made by one of my brothers, Craig. He cut down the trees and dried them and peeled the bark off, and tada- after many hours, produced a very fine bed for my sweet SIL. Now that wasn't a bed, I mean bad, anniversary present! Craig has always like carpentry, I think. This the point in the blog that, if you are squeamish, you ought to slide down to the next paragraph. One day, about 15 years ago, I was paying my parents a visit, since my other brother David and his family were in town. We arrived at the house together and I didn't notice how quiet David had become when we started walking towards the door. David is a carpenter and he immediately noticed some things amiss. Like the garage door still open and the blood on the deck. A friend was home to greet us with the news that Craig had cut his thumb and another finger off. Beccie and I burst into tears and David quietly got up to clean the deck off before my mom got home from work. I think that was the most thoughtful thing I can remember David ever doing- not that he isn't very thoughtful, but I know he was just as upset as we were, maybe more, and that he was thinking of how upset my mom would be and was doing what he could to make it easier for her. Craig came home, minus one thumb and a whole lot of stitches in another finger, looking pale and stunned. My dad looked absolutely grey. It's hard to see your children hurting. I think Craig was 20 and he was making a new pulpit for the church. He is quite recovered, now, and when little children ask him what happened to his thumb, he just says, "Didn't you know? This is what happens when you pick your nose with your thumb." And he demonstrates.

The blue and white quilt was made by a dear family friend, Miss Darla, but it has served as the main quilt in the house for 15 years, and the binding has been replaced. It's time to put it into semi-retirement. The "twisted sister" quilt above, was made by my mom and is called Midnight on Mars. You see, she had all this fabric that she had been collecting for a quilt called Picnic on Mars... but in the end, I suppose she changed her mind. I'm glad I never do that. ahem. She added some of the blacks and darker colors and said that it looked more like Midnight on Mars. She picks very good names for quilts. (Judy, you should ask her for ideas for your quilt names.) I keep getting these pictures from my SIL, Lisa, of the finished bed- think they are hinting that they would like the quilt to be finished, too. As the weather doesn't allow me to get out and about, today, I'll be working on it and seeing if I can't finish it before my mom comes to visit- so she can do the binding! Can you believe it is snowing after all that sunshine? I have started doing one of Darcie's topography meanders in the two outer borders. Only mine looks more like burled wood- I obviously need to spend more time studying Darcie's fine examples. It always amazes me how each quilter's work has characteristics unique to the quilter. A meander is one of those simple designs that looks very different depending on who did it. Some have very short waves, some look like puzzle pieces(mine to tend to be this way), some have long lines in them. So Darcie's Maps look more like wood when done under the Nines interpretation- but I still think I could get closer to the look of hers- if I got a closer look at it- hint hint. But since the burled wood look is already in, I'll just finish with it. It looks nice, anyway.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What a beautiful, glorious day!!!
I am a sucker for a sunny day! I just feel happy, no matter what. Can't seem to help myself. I woke up to the sun streaming in my window and I can't even remember the last time that happened. The days have been gloomy and wet here for what seems like months. It is still very brisk out-40* and a stiff wind, but sunny, sunny, sunny! The picture was taken in WV, but seeing as how I don't have any sunny pictures from around here, that'll have to do. WV always gets our weather a day later, so I'm pretty sure they'll be in for a pretty day, tomorrow. And don't nice, sunny days help you get all kinds of things done?

  • I finished the quilting on the coal mine quilt. I'm actually happy with it. Hope that'll hold through a rainy day. DH keeps trying to get me to keep it. My mom says she might come and help with the hand-binding of it. Now won't that be nice? They haven't been here in about a year and I am always ready to let some one else do the hand-binding!
  • I got the guest room all cleaned out. This was the room where my MIL was staying, and I have been putting off cleaning it for a couple weeks, now. It is weird knowing that she won't be living with us, anymore. Taking care of her was a challenge, both physically and mentally, and while I am glad to no longer be burdened with that part of it, it still makes me sad. But life goes on, and she might be able to get strong enough to at least come for a short stay. My nephew, Jonathon, is coming for a visit, next week and then my brother is coming for a day, later on, to pick him up. My brother is one of those guys who closely inspects everything- just the kind of person you'd want to build your airplane- which is what he does- but not the kind you'd leave cat hairs hanging from the curtains, around. So all the cat hairs are out- I'll probably be picking them up for the next 50 years.
  • Then I got about 8 loads of laundry done, so far. I know it's a good day when I can squeeze laundry in between all the other things I am doing!
  • Then, I made two loves of banana bread. I found a recipe in a bread book, that comes all the way from Hawaii. Hana Bread. So I had to try it as it reminded me of Darilyn. Sorry, had no macadamia nuts and had to substitute pecans. It is very tasty. Apparently, bananas+whole wheat flour=green bread. A lovely shade of green, though. See? Nothing could spoil my good humor, today. Bill bought me a "new" wheat mill, and it is a just a thrill a minute to see what we can do with it, next.
  • Then, I pinned on Michael's wedding quilt, and I didn't even get nasty when I spliced the batting- something I normally despise doing. Nope. Not this time. I just hummed away. I did have to stop and take a caffeine break as the pain between my shoulder blades was threatening to explode into the same stiff neck I have been struggling with all week. I finally resorted to using the heating pad- Judy's story gave me some pause on that number, but after three straight days of moving around like a robot- ever try to back into a long driveway when you can't turn your head?- I was all over the yard! Thankful to say, I didn't combust with the heating pad and it did seem to help.
  • We found the missing bottle of medicine. Ever read that story in the Bible, "The Kindom of Heaven is like..." and it goes on to tell of this woman who has 10 gold pieces but loses 1. She seaches and sweeps and finally finds it. She throws a big party to celebrate that what she had lost is found. I felt like that lady, today. I gave Eva her medicine, two days ago, and then yesterday... it wasn't where I left it. Now this is serious as the meds can't be skipped and cost is about $275 (it was a brand new bottle.) I had enough of a lesser dose pill to combine and give her, but that was going to run out before long, and I needed to find that bottle!! Joseph stayed home from work to help me and after 2 hours of searching we found it- in the sock basket, fer cryin' out loud!

All in all, a great, great day!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My first attempt at an altered book...
I have always liked fabric books. My sister made my oldest son one when he was a baby- full of counting projects, pockets and such. I made this as a "get well, soon" card for a friend who is having surgery this week. She is fond of vintage fabric, as her grandma used to quilt and that is what she would have used. This little book was made using a picture board book, bought at goodwill for 69c. - you just peel off the slicky pictures and you are left with a plain book. You have to cut out every other page so that there will be room for the thick fabric you'll be adding. Then you make your pages and glue them in. A very much beginner's project, but a fun little thing to do. I used an old hanky for the cover that I spray adhesived down. The rest of the pages I pieced and sewed to batting and embellished with trim and embroidery- the journaling is mostly on vellum and just sewed down. The next little book I do is going to be for me- I'll probably let my Mom borrow it. I have all of the pages torn out of hand-dyed fabric- that leaves a nice soft edge. And I won't be mounting it- it'll be all cloth. I have some lovely plums and purples and I plan on including pictures of all the kids -printed on bubble-jet fabric. And trimmed out with lots of fun fibers. After working on so many big projects, it's kinda nice to start and finish something in quick order!

Shall I tell you how my DH made me cry the other night? You might be surprised I am still calling him "dear." But they were happy tears. Years ago, I saw this movie- on A&E, called Persuasion. Most of you know I love Jane Austin (and lest you think I'm high-browed, I also get a big kick out of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer!) I mentioned to DH that I sure would like that Persuasion movie on DVD. I looked for it everywhere, but I could never find it. Finally, about three months ago, DH comments, quite casually, that he found it, but WOW! It cost almost $30. Bummer. I opened a box from the mail last week and there it was!! I cried like a big baby! Now wasn't that sweet? Oh, it is such a good movie! Bill says he thinks Sense and Sensibility is better, but I think that is only because he is the one crying like a baby at that big climactic scene at the end! This also has one of those scenes and I replayed it four times before Bill peeks around the corner of his desk and says, "Are you watching that scene, again?" It is the best letter ever written, I'm sure. It is a BBC film, with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. If you like Sense and Sensability and Pride and Predjudice, you'll love this one.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Monday's accomplishments...
Seems like most Monday's are spent trying to recover from Sunday... and not much of anything getting done. Well, I had a lovely Monday, this week. Oh, it was stormy, alright, but a good day for getting some things done. I've had this little quilt on the machine for two weeks without a stitch taken- he was so forlorn. It wasn't that I couldn't find inspiration, but rather... I just lacked the umption. How's that song go... "Give me umption in my gumption, help me function, function, function..." There's another verse..."Give me gas in my Ford, keep me truckin' for the Lord..." Well, apparently none of you have ever ridden the Joy Bus with my Aunt Dottie. She's still a scream. Anywho, getting back to lack of umption... I just haven't felt like doing it, and so... I didn't. But I had a moment of forward motion on Monday and so the quilt got quilted. Woo-hoo! Good to get it done. Just did a very simple mum meander type thing- as it was a pretty busy top- of left over thimbleberry fabrics. My friend Lynn, will be happy to get it back. The design rather reminded me of Tonya- only, not so much the fabrics. If she has even one piece of Thimbleberry fabric in her stash I would be amazed.

But you know, getting that project done sent me on with some momentum and I am thrilled with the remainder of that day's accomplshments, also.

  • I made a list of the 5 projects that have to be done before my nephew's wedding on the 5th of May. I found out, last night, that I get to add making 2 flower girls' dresses to the list.
  • I pieced the backing for a quilt that my mom made for my brother's new bed. (He made the most incredible bed!- and no missing appendages, this time! I'm so proud!) So I'm ready to go on that one.
  • I loaded the coal mine quilt onto the machine and have it about 3/4 done. Right now I am working with gray thread on a white and gray background and it is driving me a little batty because I can't see a thing- quilting by memory of where I have been and where I am going!
  • I got another backing made for the YBR wedding present quilt.
  • And I finished an altered book. Not much to look at, but I learned a lot about what I like and don't like in making them.

And those few things really made me happy as I haven't sewn or quilted anything in the past 2 weeks- a record in these parts, I'm pretty sure. I'm really trying to stay focused on my goals- there's lots of new post-it notes over my work table!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Jak's sampler...
Here is a picture, a poorly lit picture, of Jak's sampler which he made up all by himself. I showed him how to make the daisies and the french knots, and he took off with the rest. I especially like the dragonfly. Jak's 9 years old.
Boys will be boys... or not...

Being the mom to six boys... well, it doesn't take long before you discover that there really is a big difference between boys and girls- and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. My sons love to play with "guns." From the time they were old enough to hold a stick, they were pretending they were shooting things. Then, there came the wrestling. Like little puppies on the floor. Never once have my daughters involved themselves in a wrestling match with each other. I must say, that is one "guy" thing that I just don't understand. I must leave the room before the first bloodshed- or the first piece of furniture is broken. My boys tend to like things orderly, where the girls like things pretty.

But they all love being creative. My sons have all spent time at the sewing machine and most are anxious to get their turn, still. Joe and Dan made their first quilt when they were 12 and 11 years old. They seem to like trying whatever I am doing. I was sitting and doing some embroidery a couple of weeks ago and my #5 son comes in and watches a bit. We got him set up with fabric, a hoop, thread and a needle... he took right off- knowing only a daisy stitch and a french knot- he loves french knots. After watching me some more, he figured out how to make a daisy chain and then... well, I'll need to post a picture of his latest creation. He's thinking he'll make pillows for a living when he grows up. Of course, one of the advantages of having so many children is that you rarely have to teach the same thing, twice- I learned this when my 3 year old potty-trained my 1 1/2yr old. Well, DS Jak sits down with his older brother and his cousin and sets them up with their own hoops and thread... they had their own little sewing circle going!! I was curious as to what was going on when I heard Pavarotti singing at the top of his lungs in my sewing room. I stepped in and found them happily stitching on their little samples. How adorable is that?! I was curious as to why they had chosen Pavarotti ... seems they were just imitating me! "But Mom, we can't understand what he's saying." To which I say, "Why muddle up such a beautiful song with meaning? Can't you just feel what he's saying with your heart?" A blank look on their faces... ok, boys are different than girls.

The last picture of Abe is just included because the boys pitched such a fit to find the girls had dressed their little brother in a tutu. The girls thought it such fun- they were giggling their heads off. The boys are standing there with frowns on their faces, gritting their teeth, chanting, "Take it off!" The head piece was an original- a doll dress. When I grab the camara, the boys about fainted in horror that I would want to immortalize this humiliating moment... Ah come on guys, it's funny! Only if you promise not to blog it. Who made you boss of me? Guess I can be just as stubborn as a boy!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I'm seeing stars...

I think this is the last picture of quilts that I took while in WV, last month. Mom, who made this one? It looks like Oe, but the fabrics remind me more of Grandma Jessie. And she often quilted on the diagonal. This quilt is stuffed to the gills and feels very thick and heavy. I think I need to make labels for some of these old quilts...

We had company over for dinner, last night. I am sadly out of practice. There are several reasons(excuses) for that. When we moved into this house, 6 1/2 years ago, we had no walls. Not conducive to hosting. We have been living in the middle of a construction zone, ever since. And you know, I think that men are even more self-conscious about these things than we women tend to be about housekeeping. I think DH felt guilty about inviting people over- worried they wouldn't be comfortable, or that they would worry that we weren't comfortable- when in fact, we are as happy as pigs in mud. Maybe too accurate a description than not. Another reason is having 8 kids kinda slows you down. I mean the actual having the babies. And then, last but not least, I am not a great house keeper. I know my mom is cringing as I write this, but that's the truth of the matter. It's not that I mind doing it. Though there is that whole, "Didn't I just do this?" sinking feeling when I am washing out the microwave. And the, "This is taking way longer than it ought" when tackling the bathroom. And the, "What's the point?" feeling when I'm sweeping the floor for the umpteenth time... OK, maybe I don't like doing it so much. But I really do think it is just because I would rather be quilting or baking or gardening or reading books to the kids... Plus, I have a perverted way of doing things and so...every time I give the house a good cleaning, I feel compelled to rearrange the furniture and hang new pictures on the walls and make new curtains... my poor DH. I remember when we were first married and he'd come home and find the house turned upside down... Traumatized. Apparently, his mom never rearranged the furniture. He is getting used to it. I told my mom that I was hanging some new pictures, yesterday, and that I discovered that I had very few blank spaces to choose from... And I was trying so hard to go for a more spartan look... Ah well, a busy mind lives here. But! I did get a reasonable amount of house cleaning done, yesterday, and we had a nice visit with friends. Their two boys stayed the night. House cleaning's rather like cleaning out the litter box- you dread doing it, it's not as bad as you thought it would be and then it is so nice to have it done.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Red For Oe...

My great grandmother's name was Oe Miller. My Mom( ) and Aunt Isobel( ) have been strolling down memory lane, this week, so I thought I'd contribute a little from my own "stash." This eight-pointed star is one that Oe made and I love it. I am noticing all the water marks on it and I'm thinkin' the next time I visit my mom, I'll have to wrestle that thing into the tub with a bit of ivory snow and Biz. My mom's neck bothers her, so I wouldn't want her to mess with a wet quilt, by hand, but it is really too fragile to machine wash. The fabrics are a very loose weave. I love the string work in the stars. My mom says that Oe was particularly fond of red. It is a cheerful color. My only memory of her is her sitting on the porch in a rocker and her hair hung in braids past her hips. And it was still blonde. My thanks to DS Daniel who held up an entire parade of quilts for me to photograph- no easy feat on the ole arms.

Still a no-go on the quilting front. I did get 3 GM flower garden blocks done, yesterday. Normally, I only get one done a day, but I spent a good bit of time in Dr. offices, yesterday. (Just routine stuff for kiddos with allergies and then the nursing home with Bill's mom. She was having a not so good day.) My fingers are raw, I'll need to take a break for a day or two. I've tried thimbles, but that just seems to sends signals to my brain, "Now that you have a thimble on that finger, hold it clear out of the way!" Bandaids send the same signal. I do have a a quilt on the frame... but I'm just not inspired and I say, "Nope, not today." Needless to say, not a lot is going to be accomplished that way. I did get a book on "altered" book making and I'm having fun looking it over and trying a few of her techniques. Well, I need to make this brief as it is uber-windy, today and that just reeks havoc with my modem connection. Hope everyone is finding their own inspiration.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Bekah!!
Bekah is five years old, and she and Eva decided that they would like to celebrate their birthdays, together, this year. Their birthdays are three days apart so they decided to split the difference. They want strawberry cake with strawberry ice cream, with strawberries and whip cream on top! Maybe they like strawberries...Bekah wanted 4 "bobbies" (Barbies) and of course, her daddy got her five. I heard her whispering with her sister that she was going to ask for 4 so they could both have 2. Being a sweet Daddy, he got her the little miniature ones that are dressed like pretty princesses instead of the unrealistically proportioned ones that are dressed like... well, you can't even say what some of those dolls are dressed like. What kind of parent would buy those dolls dressed like.... It just mystifies me. And then they wonder why their 11 year old is acting a bit too old for her age... OK, end of rant, It just doesn't seem right to see children or their toys dressed in ways that an adult should be ashamed of dressing... Really, end of rant. I never had this problem with GI Joe! Everyone teases the girls that they better brace themselves for their courting days 'cause with five older brothers, it isn't going to be easy!!
Happy Birthday, Evie...

Eva is 7. She and Bek are still at the age where they like being very helpful. I was thrilled when Eva volunteered to snip the threads between my chained blocks. While she clipped, I sewed. It was a great partnership. She wants a bike for her birthday and it made me cry because she wasn't really to be trusted on a bike before(or with snips)- with seizures, it isn't a real good idea. But now, she is able to do some of those normal kids' stuff. Isn't that just wonderful? I am so thankful. She added corndogs and chicken nuggets to the menu- oh, and strawberries that you dip in choclate and strawberry dacqueries. Yep, I think they like strawberries.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Flower gardens in March...
are pretty pitiful, here, but I did see some lovely golden crocus above ground, this morning. Finn, here are the 9 GMFG blocks that I have finished. I bought enough chubby 1/8s and fat quarters to do almost 12 more. My blocks are not near so tiny as Lucy's- whose pieces are smaller than her thimble. These pieces finish out at about 1 1/2." Small enough for me, my eyes start to cross as it is. I can do one block in an evening- that includes frequent staring off into space and such nonsense as that. Not that I do one an evening. They also make a great, very small, take along project. I am hoping to finish this for our first grandchild- yes, I'm slow, slow. I am surprised at how difficult it has been to find fabric with tiny flowers on it. I remember when that was about all the quilter had to choose from- tiny flowers(calicos) and solids. Now the scale is larger than ever, but I am enjoying the hunt. I am planning on using blue for all the centers- repeats are fine. Different yellows in the first round of petals and then assorted flower prints in the final round of petals. I was hoping to put a bug(butterfly, dragonfly, bumblebee, lady bug) of some sort in every flower, but now I realize that I was narrowing the field too much. Thinking I'll set them in a nice leafy green- maybe literally a leafy green.

I bought this little book at an antique store, today. The cover was so sweet, I couldn't resist. Finn, I know how you like vintage things. This is circa 1933. The little girl reminds me of pictures I've seen of my MIL- who would have been about the same age as that Little Red Riding Hood. She is going into a nursing home, tomorrow. It is such a sad time for all of us. They call it "rehabilitation," nowadays. What does that word mean and where does it come from, I wonder? To be "re-" anything, one would assume you were already there. "habilitated." But you know, I think there are some places you can't go back to. I guess it's a way of being hopeful. And you never do know, do you?
The universal language. I met the Goodwill Ambassador to Poland, yesterday. Actually she's a nurse at the hospital where my MIL is staying. She gave my DH a bonbon, and he, being the sweetheart that he is, saved it for me. Actually, York peppermint patties are about as exoctic as he gets when it comes to chocolate. But he is still a sweetheart. The candy was by a Polish candy-making company called Meisko. Man oh man oh MAN!!! Was it good. I couldn't quite put my finger on flavor of the creamy center... very rich. My goodwill toward Poland has grown by leaps and bounds. So, of course I had to track down the nurse. Of course. She was a doll and had the loveliest accent. Her sister sends her the candies, and she shares so she doesn't eat them all- and to let the world know that Poland makes very fine candy. Very FINE candy. The unusual flavor might have been the vodka... Oh, guys, it really was lovely. Alas, she said that it couldn't be bought here in the states. Now I took that as a personal challenge, but I'm afraid she might be right. I did find a Canadian importer, but they don't send to the states. Ask me how I ascertained this when their website was entirely in Polish. Well, I can recognize the word Praliny z Advocatem when I see it! And one of the ladies there speaks very good English. But now all my hopes are dashed. sniff. The Lindt chocolate- Swiss, made in France- is decent. My sister loves it, but then she is a big fan of Cuban coffee. Splutter, splutter, cough, cough. It is the one chocolate that I can leave out on my desk without fear that the little people will snitch it. Oh, they might try a nibble, but it will be promptly returned to it's rightful package.

The sewing and quilting activities have been severely squelched around here. A sad state of affairs. I have started working on my grandmother's flower garden, again. 9 blocks, so far. I have one more cut out and then it's time to find more fabric. No, no, please don't pity me because I have to go fabric shopping. It's such a trial, but one I'll bear up under, no doubt. Now if the shopping trip involves lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant... well, such is life. Sarah, why must you live in Alabama? Sarah sent me a notice that the quilt shop, Needles, is for sale, so I pressume they are closing and wanting to reduce inventory... That involves a little road trip. Maybe I'll need to visit the tea room, instead of Chinese...hmmm.