Thursday, December 31, 2009

I didn't expect this!

The weather report kept changing  and the last one I saw indicated we were going to get rain today.  When I opened the door this morning to take out the trash I couldn't believe what I was seeing!  When I left for work we had 3" on the ground and it was coming down hard.  I picked up a mocha at McDonald's and headed out onto the highway.  It was a skating rink.  I called the office, went back home and I have been working on-line all morning.  It is AMAZING how much office work I can get done when there are no distractions!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's very, very vindy...

Yes, that says "vindy"...I am having a Pennsylvania Dutch moment!  I woke up at 2am because the house was moving.  Again.  I have mentioned before that wind at night makes me nervous.  It's a throw back to being 8 years old, living in Kansas and tornadoes.  Anyway, no sleep for me.

I got an order yesterday for two children's purses and I should be working on them, however, I feel the need to quilt something other than a bag so I am working on table runners.  I LOVE working with 2-1/2" strips of fabric.  I am too cheap to purchase jelly rolls on a regular basis so I use my June Tailor Shape Cut and I can bang out a lot of strips in a short amount of time.

Do you have one of these?  I use mine whenever I am making multiple cuts and if you have a sharp blade in your rotary cutter, you can layer several pieces of  fabric.  That can be a huge time saver!  I think they retail around $39 but you can always use a coupon at Joann's.  Oh, another cool thing.  The folks from June Tailor have videos that you can watch that give great tips on using the Shape Cut so if learning visually works for you, these are great!  (Why I ever thought I would want one of those cheaply made Simplicity strip cutters is beyond me!)

OK - enough rambling.  I am off to sew!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post post Christmas

You know how plans change?  Yesterday my quilty sister, my scrappy sister and I went shopping.  We didn't get to Lebanon.  We went in the opposite direction with my scrappy sister's intent to go to Target as her daughter said they still had Christmas stuff.  Nothing there really sent me around the bend so I ended up buying body wash ('cause I needed it) and a throw rug for the front porch.  Next was Michael's.  Two rolls of very thin brown satin ribbon (for Hazelnut Hill labels) and that was it.  The next stop was going to be Joann's but we drove past another Target first so we had to stop there.  Again - nothing exciting.  Then it was decided that Big Lots should be on our list of "stop & shop" so we zipped in there.  MOTHER LODE!!  I got a huge bag of bottle brush Christmas trees, DVDs, a Christmas rug for my kitchen and I don't even remember what else.  We were in there forever.  Sisters snatched up lots of goodies as well.  Finally we ended up at Joann's and I got fabric (surprise!) to make napkins for my Christmas tea next year and two country French wine label plaques for my kitchen because they were on clearance and clearance stuff was half price.  Finally because it was on the way out of town, we stopped at AC Moore.  I found a couple of things including a bag of "snow".  (Hmmm - bottle brush trees and fake snow.  I think there is a craft there somewhere!)

Thanks, Sissywickens and CeeCee.  I had a great time!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


In a moment of weakness, I agreed to go shopping yesterday.  My purchase - a pair of silver snowflake earrings that were discounted down to around $5.  Everyone else seemed to find things they wanted but I think I just wasn't really in the mood to shop.  Today my quilty sister is picking me up after church and we are going to Joann's and a couple of shops in Lebanon.  We are also going to Lowe's.  I received a gift card and now have to decide - outdoor rolling trash can or beadboard wallpaper.  Sadly, I think the trash can will come home with me.  (I live an extremely glamorous life!)

Pretty, huh?  You know you want one, too!

One last day of fun and then back to the office.  I really do need to start playing the lottery!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

From my home to yours - may this Christmas be a time of peace, joy and reflection.  I hope that you are surrounded by the people that you love and that your heart is open to all the blessings from our Father, our Savior and the Spirit that surrounds and restores us.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Is my hair on fire yet?

Two days before Christmas and I just got a last minute request for a weekender bag.  I haven't made my sister's gifts.  I haven't decided on a gift for my father.  I just realized that I "forgot" one of my nieces.  I have two large piles of laundry to do.  My kitchen looks like Martha Stewart had a melt down in it.

So - what did I do last night?  I turned on all the lights in my little Christmas village houses, lit the candles in the windows and turned on Christmas carols.  'Cause I really just needed to calm down, relax and enjoy.

I am planning on freaking out late this evening...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Did you say "Snow"?

I have read a several blogs today that mention snow in the forecast.  Here's mine!

I am prepared - a case of Diet Coke, 2 bottles of wine, bottle of Bailey's.  (I really am very low maintenance!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What I do when I get up at 2:30am

I read blogs.  I read lots and lots of blogs.  I am inspired by some, in awe of some and some just make me shake my head.  Lately I have been looking at beautifully decorated homes and incredible handmade gifts.  I start to feel badly about myself and my thrown together Christmas decorating and I remember how wonderful our home looked when I was fortunate enough to not have to work a "regular" job.  After I finish feeling sorry for myself, I think about the fact that I do work 40+ hours a week outside the home, work unknown hours for Hazelnut Hill and I still manage to get some decorating done.  Every once in a while I have to give myself the "you go, girl" pep talk.  Do you ever feel that way?

Writing about being inspired, have you seen the great recipes for sugar scrubs as gifts?  I am going to make them for my nieces for Christmas.  (This image is from C&H Sugar.  They have some great ideas here including appropriate gift tag printables.)  I already have most of the ingredients in the house and just need to pick up some essential oils.  Yes, I do realize that Christmas is only a little over a week away but I work best under pressure!  I am making two other gifts for my sisters and that is it.  Well, that isn't exactly true.  I am also making gifts for my grandchildren but I won't see them until Epiphany so that gives me nearly 3 weeks to have them finished.  (We believe in using ALL the 12 days of Christmas in our family!!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

One of those nights

I have hardwired smoke detectors throughout my home.  They are extremely good smoke detectors and though when one goes off they ALL go off (that feature can be frustrating!) I know that in the event of a fire, I will be thoroughly alerted.  What I discovered last night about my smoke detectors is that even though they are wired directly into the electricity, they have a battery backup feature.  I know that is a wonderful safety feature.  Really, I know that…however, when the battery needs to be changed the smoke detectors start to “chirp”.  And they continue to chirp until the battery is changed.  This chirping notification can start at any time of day.  Guess when my smoke detectors started making noise?  Midnight, you say?  Actually, a little after and now it is 4:30am and the chirping continues.  This is NOT a noise that you can drown out or cover up.  This is an extremely sharp, shrill chirp…AND IT WILL NOT STOP!   

My ceiling is very high.  I cannot reach it without my 8’ long step ladder which is in the basement.  I do not have any 9 volt batteries laying around.  I live in a really tiny town in the middle of nowhere and getting to Walmart is a hike.  The local hardware store doesn’t open until 8am.  Had I known, I would have kept spare batteries on hand.  Had the moron who rehabbed this house left any kind of installation manuals or user manuals here I might have been prepared.  Guess who didn’t get much sleep last night and is feeling pretty witchy this morning?  Good thing I just live with a cat…

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dang! It's cold!!

clip_image002If y'all were reading my blog last winter, you know that I struggle with heating my house.  Usually the second and third floors stay pretty warm based on the fact that warm air rises from the first floor.  Well, not THIS morning!  It is cold in the studio.  "Throw on a pair of gloves" kind of cold!  A few months ago, my mother picked up a little Pelonis ceramic heater.  I have been using in the kitchen on cold mornings but I just brought it upstairs to the studio and in 5 minutes, the change in temperature is dramatic.  Thank goodness!

I know I said I wasn't going to do it but the Christmas fabric I picked up on Wednesday is calling my name.  I think if I just whip up a couple of table runners I can get it out of my system!  Off to find a fast pattern...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Temptation called....

and I picked up the phone!  I received an email from Fabric Mart yesterday afternoon.  They have leather on sale (I have no interest) and at the bottom of the email it mentioned that the rest of their Christmas fabric was on sale for $1 a yard.  I think I squealed out loud.  I left the office later than I wanted and called the shop.  I told them I was coming but would probably only arrive about 5 minutes before they closed.  If they were not busy, would they start cutting some black & white Christmas toile?  I pulled into the parking lot with 5 minutes to spare.  She had already cut a couple of yards of each fabric and told me to just pick out what I wanted and she would continue to cut past closing time.

I chose only the Moda fabric.  Here's what $28 bought me

Table runners, table toppers, a couch throw, Christmas tote bags - the possibilities are rolling around in my head.  I don't think I have the time to do anything this year but for Christmas next year I am totally prepared!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snow Update

So...we got about 4", it got very cold over night and snow is still on the ground!  It will be in the upper 30's today so the snow will go but I see now they are predicting snow again on Tuesday.  Some sweet little boys came by the house last evening as the snowfall was winding down and wanted me to hire them to shovel my walk.  Granted the portion of the sidewalk that I am responsible for is about 12 feet but it was worth paying the little guys to clear it for me.  Hope they come by all year!

Studio progress - another bag finished, two more cut and I started a quilt.  The quilt is going together easily because I am using jelly roll strips for a portion of it and the blocks that I cut are a decent size.  This is one of those projects where you can mindlessly sew strip to block, strip to block and gun them through the sewing machine.

Oh, I finished the pot of coffee and only a little of the Bailey's.  I figured it would be good to have some on hand for the next time it snows!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Apparently I am a very good dancer!

It isn't sticking to the roads and it will all disappear overnight but for the moment we have snow!!

This is what I see when I look out the window in the studio.  They say 2 - 3" will fall today.  I have a pot of coffee, a bottle of Baileys and a whole stack of DVDs.  I am doing some strip piecing and everything has been cut so there should not be any danger of me cutting off a finger.

Hope your day is as fantastic as mine!!

Snow Dance

I know that everyone doesn't feel the same way about snow that I do, however, I cannot help but get excited about the possibility of our first snowfall today!  I keep looking out the window but nothing yet.  I am going to go put on my snow boots, a scarf and mittens and do a little tap dance in the backyard.

If no one carts me off to the hospital for observation, I will update you with snow (please, please, please) photos as soon as I see the flakes!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Somebody needs to stop me!

Guess where I went?  Yes!  Back to the cheap fabric store.  Fabric Mart (in Sinking Spring) now has ALL of their quilter's cottons on sale at $1.99 a yard.  Admit it - wouldn't you go?  I bought 12 yards of beautiful fabric for quilt backings.  (I would show it to you but I haven't dragged it up to the studio yet!)  I also found these pieces for bags/purses/totes as well as some additional Moda "Peace on Earth" fabric to add to my collection.

I could have done some serious damage...again.  You cannot believe how much fabric they still have left.  I know that they have finished bringing all of it up from the basement.  There is still Moda, Free Spirit, Rowan, Makower, etc.  If you live near Berks County, PA go to Fabric Mart.  Really.  They just dropped the prices all the way down the other day so for the best selection, go soon.  Here's the new buzz - they bought out another on-line quilt shop and they are bringing in more fabric in January.  Not this much inventory but I am sure that is why they have dropped the prices so low. 

Now I have to sit back down at the sewing machine and start working on bags again.  I managed to cut out two yesterday morning but this morning I am not feeling it.  I will be doing some serious work over the weekend.  (Jan and Dee - bags next week!!)

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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