Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy new year!

What a year 2011 has been. I survived (quite well I must say) my first year divorced, got back into the crazy world of dating, took a solo road trip to the far reaches of Montana (literally. I was 12 miles from Canada!), had my first major car wreck thanks to a suicidal deer, quilted some for myself and more for others, baked tons of heavenly bread, dropped those last 3 pesky pounds (I know, those two statements don't go together, and I love it!), started this blog to try my hand at something new and to dabble in writing, and in general had a great year. Yes, there were some disappointments. I didn't create a powerhouse swim team (if only the boys liked to swim more than play soccer), there hasn't been a real romantic spark yet, being department chair is difficult with the deep seated negativity in my department (and these people teach special ed!), and I did not win the lottery.

Out with the old, in with the new I say! 

So long 2011, along with its crazy ride.

Here's to 2012! Its going to be another great year with its share of ups and downs. I'm going to turn 40 this year, it only happens once so we'll do it up big (after this I'm going to turn 39 for several years to come).
I don't make New Year's resolutions, just suggestions of things to come.

So without further adu...

1. I will travel more (already on it! going to Phoenix next month!)

2. I will go to Italy (I know that really goes with #1, but its so big it has to be on its own)

3. I will try to make at least one quilt every month (ok, I've tried this every year for the past 6 years and haven't made it yet, but there is hope that this is the year!)

4. I will get grass to grow in my front yard

5. I will earn tenure (ok, so thats a given, will happen in August, but still!)

6. I will take my camera everywere and snap more photos

7. I will paint at least 2 rooms in the house

8. I will get rid of more junk in the garage and basement

9. I will get more readers and followers of my blog

10. I will get more comments on my postings (thats really up to you to make this one happen!)

I think thats it for now. I hope you have hopes and dreams and aspirations for the coming year that are fullfilling and fulfilled in their own ways.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tuesday's Truth

The great thing about Christmas is it only comes once a year; that keeps it special, and helps you get through it. I hope everyone got something they wanted for Christmas (maybe next year I'll get a white Christmas).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


In case you think I short changed you with my brief Tuesday posting, here's a bit of randomness from the past two days....

Remember that fun fabic I got at my last Modern Quilt meeting for our charity project? In the paper bags? Well, I made my pillow cases yesterday.
The top two are the pillowcases I made with the donated fabric. The bottom two are extras I made, just because. Pillowcases are really easy to make. Check out this link (it has several easy peasy patterns, I used the Roll Up pattern) and join the Million Pillowcase Challenge!

Make a pillowcase, or a dozen, register your numbers with the challenge and then give them to your favorite charity. You'll have fun and do some good!

Made this incredible tomato soup for lunch today. Really fast and easy and yummy. I even used basil that I grew and dried myself.
Check out the recipe here:

And now you know my horrible secret (ok, just one of many, but who's telling?).
 I drink ice water from coffee mugs, because
I am not a coffee drinker.
I know, its horrible. But I did drink coffee last night at a friend's corporate Christmas party.
Those of you who know me can pick yourselves up off the floor now. I survived the coffee experience, mostly because we had a decadent chocolate desert and a lot of wine with a fabulous dinner.
AND the Bob Cuban Band was playing Christmas music (for those of you not from St. Louis, the Bob Cuban Band is a St. Louis staple, something you have to see once in your life in St. Louis, like Chuck Berry or Grant's Farm (both checked off my list!)).

No dancing, unfortunately, but lots of fun anyway. And check out the HUGE pointsetta I got to bring home...

To give you an idea how big it is, that clock is 2 feet tall, and the plant is pulled out from the wall so I don't break any more branches off of it.
Word to the wise, big plants like that don't fit well in a little Audi. I could not see over or around it the whole way home!

It was raining and the wine bars were shutting down (it was Monday night afterall), so what's a gal to do but shoot a little stick in her basement in a cocktail dress and heels!

Wish I had taken my camera on the 12 mile hike I went on Sunday, there was a really neat little waterfall that spilled into a rock pool. Really pretty.
If you know of any really fun hikes in or around the St. Louis area, post a comment for me. I'm always on the lookout for new hikes.
Think I'll go work on my Lemon Squares quilt for a while, the blocks are trimmed and ready to be sewn into a quilt top. Its my goal to get the whole thing finished by Sunday (lofty goal? maybe).

Enjoy your random Tuesday, hopefully its not raining where you are.

Tuesday's Truth

Vacation is wonderful.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Inspiration takes us in fun directions

I just have to share with you how fun my Modern Quilt Guild is!! We had a Chinese Auction this month and
it was a blast with lots of auction items to drool over.
If you have never participated in a chinese auction, it goes like this:
auction items are donated to the cause, with a paper bag in front of the item.
You buy tickets (or get some free in exchange for your donation, like we did) and
place the tickets with your name on them in the bags for the items you wish to win. There was a lot
of "strategy" played out, putting tickets in early, in the middle, just before the drawing, elbowing others out of the way, attempts at convincing others to not bid on certain items. It really was a hoot!

So this begs the question: did I win anything?
Well of course!

Prize #1: is this fabulous fat quarter tulip of Westminister Fabrics in my favorite color - blues!

Then I won Prize #2: these wonderful bits of grays and black and whites. I think they will look great
in my Single Girl quilt (when I eventually get it started!).

And finally Prize #3: a great Amy Butler purse pattern. Will I ever make it?? Who knows,
but I liked it enough to toss a ticket in the bag and win it!

We also picked up surprise bags with fabric in them to make pillow cases for the Million Pillowcase Challenge, a national challenge to make one million pillowcases for charity. So I picked up two!
Hmmm, what's inside?

Pretty! It will be fun to make these; I can even practice my French Seams! 

Normally the quilt meeting sends me rushing home inspired to quilt all day. Well, I did leave inspired, but I didn't quilt......
Instead I painted my fireplace mantle and the wet bar cabinet. The wet bar was contractors ugly oak and the mantle was unfinished wood. I had been meaning to paint it for a long time but my former lesser half didn't want anything to do with it (it was work, you know, to paint it). I love being the one calling all the shots, even if it means a bit of work. And those of you who know me know I'm not afraid of a little bit of work!

I think it turned out quite nice, and it shows off my minimalist holiday decor. Even makes the brick pop a bit.
The wet bar has some issues, I may have to strip off all the paint I put on, sand it down really good, and start over. But I'm not doing that much work until spring when its warmer out. Just can't use paint stripper in the house, stinks too bad.

It's raining out today. If it was 30 degrees colder we would have 2 feet of snow.
I can only dream...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday's Truth

Baseball is a very simple game. You throw the ball. You catch the ball. You hit the ball. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.
                                                                                                         - "Bull Durham"

Good luck to Albert Pujols in Anaheim. The St Louis Cardinals will continue to be the best baseball team in America. I suspect he will miss us more than we will him.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday's Truth

Sometimes its possible to think too much. Slow down. Breathe. Let your brain take a rest and just enyoy life as it happens. You'll be surprised at how much happiness it can bring you.

Just a week and a half until winter vacation (but who's counting)!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I still remember how to quilt!

For those of you wondering if I remember how to quilt, I do. I have been busy with work and life and quilting for others. Unfortunately I can't show you the quilts I have been quilting for customers, it wouldn't be right. However, I can show you the quilt I made for my sister-in-law's nephew:

It was a fun and easy pattern to put together, just strip pieced rail fences:

with the corners lopped off and green triangles sewn in place:

Like this:

Whalla! One down and only 79 more to go! 

 Here's what it looked like early on.

And the finished product:

I kinda like the idea of photographing a kids quilt at the playground. If only the sun would cooperate!

Beyond that I put together a couple of jelly roll bundles for myself and my mother. Mom's is her christmas present, so I couldn't post it until she got hers. She's really happy she's allowed to open presents early!
Here's mine (identical to hers):

I'm such a sucker for black and whites!

I'll be busy the next few weekends with quilts for customers, but starting December 16 its all me baby! Winter break will be prime time for me to work on a few WIP's of my own. I hope to get at least my Lemon Squares quilt done as well as start on Single Girl (yep, I broke down and bought the pattern finally). Now if Mother Nature would cooperate and bring a little white stuff flying over break, I'll be a happy camper!