December 27, 2006

Just have to brag for a minute. Raf, Tommy's best friend, got a call yesterday from his wife. His daughter has won a FULL scholarship to PRINCETON in MATHEMATICS.

December 26, 2006

As I was looking through the pictures on my puter tonight, I came across the ones of the goodies Elizabet of included in the wonderful Victorian boot I got from her in the CQforNewbies swap I hosted this fall. She sent me some wonderful treats.

I thought that since I had mentioned them earlier that I would post pictures of some of the pieced blocks I will be working on during TAST. I just sat down one night and began putting the pieces together using the flip and sew method and the machine. Originally I started out sewing them by hand, but I have never been known for my patience.

In January 1985, 6 months after high school graduation, I got my first post high school job. I was a cashier at a local Wendy's. While the job was less than memorable, I did gain something that I thank God for best friend Allison. We are so very different and yet the same. Even though she didn't finish high school, she kept at me when college got hard and I wanted to quit. She cheered me on through both my degrees. She was with me when we buried my dad. She was my matron of honor when I married Tommy. Now she is helping to plan our 5 year vow renewal in 2008 which be in full Renaissance dress. (Yes, I am making most of the clothes, which is why we are starting a year ahead of time.) I don't know what I would do without her. We can go a year without talking, rare, and still pick up as if we had spoken just an hour before. I look forward to the next 21 years with her.

I have to share this picture with everyone. This is my family and they all look so happy and all at the same time. From left to right: Jeremy, my brother; my mom; Tommy, my husband; Sheila, my sister in law; Thomas, my nephew.

While I have not done any cq since before Thanksgiving, I have been busy sewing. I made two reversible quilted blankets for the great nieces of my best friend Allison. I appliqued their names on the flannel side to match the reverse side. Misty, Rose's mother, said she loved the blanket so much that she was not going to let Rose use it but was going to use it as a wall hanging instead. I soon set her straight on that point. I now have orders for a couple more blankets for other nieces and nephews who felt left out.

Marie, my mother in law, loved the velvet cape I made her. I think Tommy did a very good job of choosing the color.

Jeremy, my gorgeous 21 year old brother, enjoyed his nice warm flannel robe. He also liked his colorful jammies.

A week from today, January 2, Sharon B.of the blog is starting her Take a Stitch Tuesday. This is a year long challenge in which each week she will introduce a new stitch. Those of us following the challenge will explore the stitch using a variety of threads and forms. Since I only know about 5 stitches, I am hoping to learn so much. To read Sharon's post about TAST, go here So far she has over 100 people who have joined the challenge. I am planning on working on several pieced blocks during the challenge.

December 21, 2006

This fall in the group CQ for Newbies, I hosted a Victorian Christmas Boot/Stocking swap. Fifteen ladies participated. They each created and embellished a boot and filled it with four squishies of goodies. On the 15th of November, I emailed eiach of them the name of the person to whom they were to mail them. No one knew whose boot they were going to receive until they arrived in the mailboxes. These ladies are very talented and creative. I hope they are thinking about next year's boot as this swap has been requested to be repeated.
Well, it is one week til Christmas Eve. Am I ready for it? NO NO and NO. We are pinching pennies this year (a nice way to say we are sooo POOR…lol) and I am making all our gifts. HHmmm, with the exception of a few small ones. Tommy, Raf, and my brother Jeremy are all getting jammies. Jammies are simply scrubs in wild fabrics. They are also getting robes. Tommy picked out some flannel that has flames on it for Raf’s robe. Raf always says he is “sooo hot!”, so Tommy thought it was appropriate. My mother and my mother in law are both getting capes in crushed penne velvet. Mom’s is cranberry and Marie’s is gold. Mac, my father in law, is getting his usual gift card to the Outback. He loves that place. As for my beloved husband Tommy, I was finally able to get him something he has been wanting for a while…..a MP3 player. When RadioShack had them on sale the day after Thanksgiving my mom went and picked one up for me. He is going to be so surprised.

Monday, the 18th, was Zoe’s birthday. She is a year old. Tommy says she is no longer a puppy but now a dog! Why then does he continue to call her Zous puppus??? Our vet, Dr. Mike, says Zoe is getting so fat. Tommy says she is just healthy. He said she is going to be a tick—big body with a little head. He is such a silly man.

This weather is absolutely crazy. We went from temps in the 60’s to the upper 20’s and then back to the 70’s all in the space of 10 days. Is it any wonder that we all got sick. Raf is to blame though, he got it first and brought it home. He missed three days of work. Tommy ended up having to work a double one of those days. Boy was he ticked. Then, just as Raf is starting to get better, Tommy gets sick. Why is it that grown men always revert to being small children when they are sick??? I could probably make a fortune if I could answer that question. I have been fighting off the bug for a few days now. So far I have done fairly well. Unfortunately, my sinuses laid me up for several days. Started out with a migraine, (dang do I hate those) and then went straight to the eye and ear area. A few years ago, I had my jaw dislocated and now every time my sinuses flair up, that area is the most painful. It took me a while to convince people I didn’t need to go to the dentist; it was my sinuses making my teeth hurt. I was finally able to prove it to them. Now they just hand me sinus meds and it soon fixes everything. I think now though that we are all on the road to recovery. Raf is back at work. Tommy took one day off and slept the entire time. And me, I’m still taking meds swearing I’m not gonna get sick.

December started off with a bang. Friday, the first, was my birthday. I turned 41. Am I getting old or is everyone around me just getting younger? My mother in law called me at midnight on Thursday to sing me Happy Birthday. I was already sleeping so Tommy didn’t wake me up. She called again the next morning. Tommy got me a new digital camera and my mom sent me fabric for a skirt and a jacket. Who knows when I will have the time to make me anything. Other than Tommy telling me as he was going out the door to work that he would eat there, which meant my birthday dinner was a lonely bowl of cereal, it was a quiet day.

Tommy only gets two days off for Christmas and they are his normal days. We will be making a whirlwind trip north. On Sunday we will make the six hour drive to his parents house and have Christmas with them, Then on Christmas Day we will drive an hour and half east to my family and have Christmas with them. Late that day, we will make the five hour drive home. Tommy then has to go to work on Tuesday. I will need to sleep to two solid days after that. Much to Tommy’s dismay we are taking the dog with us. He wanted to leave her here with Raf, but I said no way, she goes.

New Year’s Eve we are having an open house. It will mainly be people from the hotel where Tommy and Raf work. Several people from the surrounding area in the French Quarter are also coming. It should be fun.

November 16, 2006

It's been a month since I have updated my blog. Due to Tommy's health problems and other commitments, I have been unable to spend much time on the computer lately. We have also been doing a bit of traveling since his doctor's are in Bossier City in NW Louisiana. It is a long, tiring six hour drive. We stay with his parents when we are there, so that is a good thing. In the last month, we have been there more than we have been home. That being said, I don't think I will get to do any serious updates until after the new year. I do plan on taking part in Sharon B's stitch along as well as a couple of other things I've seen.
Til next time Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

October 05, 2006

For Mother's Day this year I decided to design a quilt block for my mom and make a wallhanging with it. My mom has always been one to hold her family very close to her heart, so that is what my block depicts. The blue represents her arms holding us close to her heart. She loved it. That is my mom holding her wallhanging.

October 03, 2006

This is my brother Jeremy's quilt.

This is my mom's quilt. She has the strongest faith I have ever seen.

September 30, 2006

This is my mother-in-law's quilt. I am very lucky in my in laws. Mac and Marie will be celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary this November. Marie is celebrating her 70th birthday the same day. She is a very spunky lady. They came and stayed with Tommy and I for Mardi Gras this year. Marie was just like a little kid catching all the beads and screaming "Hey Mister, throw me something!" It was hers and my first carnival and we had a really good time.

September 26, 2006

It has been several days since I last posted. I am still working on finishing the previously mentioned projects. Now my digital camera has died. The latch that closes the battery compartment broke off somehow. So, that being said, I don't know when I will be able to take pics of my bags. May try to use Tommy's webcam. Anyway, I thought I would post some pics of my first quilts and my current UFO's. Of course with the way blogger works for me, I will have to upload them individually as separate posts.
I guess before you see my quilts, I should warn you that I am a self taught quilter. I know of no one in my family who quilts or quilted. My mom taught me to sew when I around 10. I remember my grandmother making clothes for my doll's when I was small. But no one quilted. I have always wanted to because I love the patterns and the art of creating pictures with fabric and thread.
I first started quilting in July of 2005. I was living in a two bedroom cottage behind Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa in Whitefield, New Hampshire with my husband Tommy, Rafal, and Tommy's nephew Jeremy. Tommy was working within days of us getting there. Raf and Bug (as Jeremy is affectionately known) weren't. So I was stuck for hours upon hours with these two. The only vehicle we had was my Ford Ranger and it was having issues. Someone always had to be in it so we didn't turn it off or you couldn't get it restarted. Anyway, Raf and Bug had the very bad tendency to monopolize the only television set. I got very tired of watching the History, History International, Military, and the Discovery Channels nonstop for days. So when Tommy got a day off, finally, I made him take me to WalMart in Littleton. I picked out some fabric, a 6" square ruler, a rotary cutter and mat and haven't looked back since. I still have not put those blocks into a quilt yet.
When we moved here to New Orleans, we lived in the hotel for the first 2 and a half months so space was very limited. I decided to make quilts for my mom, brother and mother in law for Christmas. How hard could it be right? I mean it was the end of October and I had til the middle of December. Of course I had to find time to look for a place to live, travel 5 to 6 hours every other weekend to visit either my family or Tommy's and do laundry. All that on top of trying to cope with a severe sinus infection from the mold and such pervading the city. But life in New Orleans in the weeks after Katrina is a whole other topic. Anyway, I spent my days cutting out blocks. I figured that since time was kinda limited I would do easy ones this time and then better ones later. I cut over 800 squares and then sewed them together by hand to make 3 quilts. I ended up having to add to them because the people I was making the quilts for were not children. Well, my mother in law is less than 5 ft tall, but my brother is 6 ft. Then night before we were to leave to go to Bossier City for Christmas at my in laws house, I was still sitting at the sewing machine saying every dirty word in my vocabulary trying to finish those quilts. My dearest husband was right there with me, helping me work the wads of fabric through the narrow opening in my machine. He was very patient with me, although there were a couple of times he did add to my vocabulary :p
My mother in law's quilt has lines of vertical rectangles with blue sashing (pic posted); my mom's has a green cross; and my brother's has his name appliqued on moleskin down the middle of it. As soon as I find pics of my mom's and brother's quilts I will post them.
My ufo's include quilts for my best friend Allison, my sister in law Shelly, and my nephew Thomas.

September 20, 2006

The previous picture is Rafal Szymanski. Yes he is Polish. This is Tommy's best friend. He and Tommy met working at a resort in Williamsburg, VA. When Tommy moved to the chief engineer position at Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa in Whitefield, NH, Rafal went with us and became the evening shift supervisor. When management changed in early 2006, Rafal left Whitefield. He came to visit us here in NO. Tommy had him working at the hotel within two days of arriving. He lives in what would normally be our living room.

Rafal and Zoe

September 19, 2006

Blogger is giving me no end of trouble in uploading pictures, so I am having to do them separately. The first picture is PJ. She is sitting in the window of the bathroom in the cabin we briefly lived in when we first moved to Whitefield, New Hampshire. She loved sitting there in the mornings and watching the horses in the pasture just down the hill. PJ is a very friendly animal. She likes everyone. Everyone that is with the exception of my brother Jeremy and my nephew Thomas. All Jeremy has to do is to walk into the room and her fur stands on end and she starts hissing. It is so funny. They both deserve it though because they used to love to torment her by literally rubbing her furr the wrong way. She hates that.
The second picture is of Mitten. She and PJ are sisters. I have had them for 11 years and don't know what I would do without them. They are definitely my babies. Mitten has always been very skittish around strangers. When I first brought Tommy home with me, she claimed him like he was a gold mine in the Klondike. That was HER man!!! It is so funny to watch because she will actually come up and touch her nose to his, as though giving him a kiss. He acts like he doesn't like it but he always looks for her if she doesn't come find him first.
In case I forgot to mention it....the gorgeous man with Zoe is my husband Tommy. He is the Asst. Chief Engineer at the Le Pavillon Hotel in the CBD here in New Orleans. I actually met him online in a chatroom. April 19th of next year will be our 4 yr. wedding anniversary. He totally spoils me. Of course he says I'm not spoiled, just loved alot. Don't know what I would do without him. My one wish is that my maternal grandparents were still alive so they could have met him. They would have loved him.



Tommy and Zoe
Today I thought I'd post some pictures of my family. The first one is of my husband Tommy and our alien canine with an attitude, Zoe. Zoe entered our family in January of 2006 at the age of 5 weeks. The gentleman we got her from said she was full chihuahua. Dad was registered, but mom was not, so she came paperless; which was fine with us. As she began to get older, we realized Dad didn't know the difference between a chihuahua and a jack russel terrier. We tell everyone she is a "jackie rotchi". Mom was a jack russel terrier (jackie), dad was a chihuahua (chi) and her attitude is all rotweiller. You can tell by the picture who her favorite human is. That is her daddy and no one had better come between them for any reason....hehehe.
It took me all day to figure out how to get my picture to show up on my blog. Oh well, it's there now, so what can I say.
I finally finished piecing and embellishing the oriental bag I am doing for a swap in the Yahoo group CQForNewbies. All I have to do is put in the lining and the strap and then I will send it to Peggy in Florida. It is my first cq piece and I like it. I sure hope Peggy does. Her bag to me is beautiful. I will post pics of both bags in a couple of days. Right now I am working on a bauble bag for a swap in the same group. I am definitely happier with it now than I was when I first started because I know so much more now. I'll post a picture of it when I get it done.
I am also hoping to complete a suede vest for my husband. It has been cut out for a while and he has been so patient while I worked on the oriental bag. It won't take much to put together but he has to be here for me to fit it as we are making modifications to the pattern. After I finish the vest, I have to make my Victorian Christmas Stocking for a swap I am hosting. In between I have to finish a quilt for a friend of my mom's, my nephew's quilt, as well as ones for my best friend and sister in law. Somewhere in there I want to find the time to take Sharon B.'s stitching class through
God willing, I will remember to post every now and then...haha.

First embroidery piece for hand_embroidery group on Yahoo

September 18, 2006

Since everyone else is doing this, I thought I would give it a try. Maybe it will help me keep up with my stitching and cqing, and my extended family. I think I will start this off with a picture of the first item I embroidered. It is a heart that is for a swap in the Yahoo group hand embroidery.