Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday Finishes!

I was actually able to get a few things done this week and even decorate the house for Christmas. It is a hard time of year, but I keep busy and enjoy making presents for others and decorating for the boys. I even put up my pencil tree and my unbreakable kitty ornaments, I know Alex will love that. He goes around my house and says kitty kitty, meow meow. Maybe grandma has way too many cat collectibles, lol.

I finished and hung my snowman piece, a free design by Buttermilk Basin. I really loved doing this one and love looking at it. It hangs from my front windows. I did the back with a premade quilted backing in black, that way it blocks out the sun and it doesn't shine through.

I also made up 14 balsam pillows. I still have a balsam, so I guess I need to make more, the next will be with the snowflakes. I cheated and bought a runner for my table. I plan on making runners for each season to fit the new table, fun projects for next year.

I also made two of the pre-printed pillows by All Through the Night. I have mixed feelings about these. I love the designs and they seem simple, but it took me awhile to stitch them, you have to be exact since the designs are printed on. The material is also a bit stiff and thin for my tastes. But, I still love them and love how they look, so I would do more of her pre-printed designs.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Always make sure you take the time to enjoy the holidays and creating for them, sometimes we try to do it all and put too much pressure on ourselves.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Friday finish and holiday fun!

I didn't get a lot finished this week, I did get my Christmas hanging quilted, so now I just have to finish it off. I also made some pillows and realize I need to make a lot more since I have two more bags of balsam, so I need to get busy on that.

I have a few relatives that love snowmen, so I made up some with a fun print and some simple ones. I do have a lot of the snowmen left, so I think I should use more of that, it makes it fun and most people seem to like bright and happy.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I started cooking and at first I thought I had used bad cornmeal, it was old, so I threw it out. The next day I had more pancakes with my blueberry sauce that I made from frozen berries. And, it happened again, but worse, sneezing non stop, coughing and blowing my nose and then nausea. So, I am assuming it was the blueberries, I know the pancakes were fine, all from scratch with fresh ingredients. I am still coughing and notice when I eat, I get worse, so I know it triggered off my mold allergies.

But, I was still able to get the rest of the food cooked and the house cleaned and enjoy the day with the kids and Ivy's friend. It is nice to have the extra company and we all fit around the table nicely. Which by the way, is new. We went out last weekend and found  larger table with an extension and comfy chairs. It is designed to look like reclaimed wood and the chair seats are padded.

Alex is growing fast and such a joy, he loves my home made popsicles and the card Bill got me, it has a kitty in a basket and when you pull it out, it meows Happy Birthday. Annoying to me, but watching Alex laugh every time he pulled it out, was the best present ever.

And we attempted to get family photos and ones with Santa, that didn't work out too well with the bad lighting, but we had fun trying. Santa was being more of a problem than the kids, lol.

Today I got all the decorations down and started with Christmas. It was cold but I really wanted to get out and hit the beach. We got to enjoy a few hours before the winds got too cold. Of course I came home tired so I didn't get much else done. 

We found some nice pieces of glass and nice to breath in some cool fresh air. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I am hoping I can get things done and get all my projects done in time.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday Finishes!

I was able to get a few things done this week and it is nice to finally make some progress on my unfinished items. The first is a BOM by Buttermilk Basin. I made the blocks, except for the largest one, so that got done and I was able to put it all together.

I know my piecing is wonky, it always is, but I can live with that. I added a single border to keep the main fabrics from raveling while I did the stitching, that will be trimmed down and another darker border will go around that. I did a feather stitch on the seam lines, hard to see in the photo, but I will take better photos when I finish it. I plan on quilting around the designs with a matching thread once I put the batting and backing on. There isn't a lot of room, so I think an outline, would be enough for this one.

I also finished some more pillows, using stitcheries that I made last year and some simple snowflake ones.  I have two more bags of balsam, guess I need to make a lot more and most will be with regular fabrics like the snowflake pillows and some with other designs, that I have in my stash. Some will go into gift boxes or as gifts and some will be hidden for others to find.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and holiday. I am finally feeling better from another bout with the flu and Bill has it now. I am hosting dinner so I will have to spend time getting the house rearranged and clean for company.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Weekend Wanderings!

This was a great weekend for getting out, even though it is getting cold. But not too cold to go for long drives and find new places to shop.

We headed into Connecticut to check out a new quilt store. We have driven by this town a lot and never knew that it was there. Sometimes it pays to do searches of areas you want to visit for shops that are in the area.

The store is called Colchester Mill Fabrics. I wasn't sure how nice it would be and if it was local mill fabrics but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a full service quilt shop, with 3 large rooms of fabrics, supplies and crafting items. They carry a lot of Moda fabrics and even wools, so it is a great store to stop in, if you are in the area.

The staff was friendly and helpful, if you had a question or needed to know where something was, they had the answer. So much nicer than the big stores, where they have no idea what is in stock. The only negative for me was, not that many prim patterns. They had a few but none that I wanted, which I guess is a good thing, lol.

Another thing they have is an assortment of gifts and decorative items. I found this cute snowman garland and had to have it. The hearts are rusty, but the flash washed the prim out.

Once you are done shopping, you can drive to the next town up, and visit the Shops at Marlborough Barn where there is a wonderful antique barn and a few other small shops and businesses. I was surprised at how big it was inside, room after room of antiques and primitive goodies and gift items. The prices were also reasonable, so another shop we can visit, since our favorite one is closing.

On Sunday, I just wanted to have fun and I wanted to have fun with Nick. Luckily my son stopped by and Nick stayed here, so we could just go and not pick him up. We took him to Mystic Aquarium which is also in Connecticut, not sure whey we just don't move there, lol.

We wanted to see the new Dinosaur exhibit, which was really fun and the boys loved it, both of them.

I loved what I saw in this photo, I think the whale is smiling at me;)

I took a quick shot of the penguins and noticed something picking out, behind the rock, when I looked at it closely. We all had a fun time, and since we got a Grandparents pass, we can come back anytime and bring Alex with us.

Today was an easy day, we went to our favorite antique barn, which is closing this year. They are trying to find a new place, so hoping they can and continue to host dealers and prim artists, since we usually find great things there. Today nothing interested me, but always fun to look.

Since we had time and the tide was going out, we hit the beach for an hour. Bean got to play and I found some nice pieces of glass, for my collection. It was cold and getting cloudy, so we didn't wait for the tide to go all the way out, I am sure there was a lot more glass, waiting to be found.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a week ahead, full of creating. The kids decided to have dinner at their house, so I said fine, leaves me more time to work on my quilts and get my Christmas items ready.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday Finishes!

This week I finally finished my Christmas painting, a free design found at Artist's Club. They offer downloadable patterns and lots of free ones. Of course I couldn't follow the directions for shading and changed up the colors a bit, so not perfect, but a fun piece.

I also made a pillow from Kathy Schmitz's, One Stitch Club. I was hoping for a holiday design, but this one is still beautiful and will make a nice gift. I added some lavender, with the stuffing.

I also made pillows out of the stitcheries I made last year and a few new snowflake pillows, all filled with a mix of stuffing and balsam. I got 3 bags of balsam, so I will be making a lot of smaller pillows with fun prints. I liked the red snowflakes, perfect to add the snowflake buttons to. The Annie and snowman are free patterns from Free Christmas Coloring pages.

 We still have color on some trees, but a lot of trees are dropping their leaves. Bean is quite  happy with the mess, his favorite activity in the fall. Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Weekend Wanderings!

Even with the rain, we had a wonderful weekend to get out. We headed into Connecticut just as the rain was ending, so we were able to enjoy a nice ride and visit a few places. I wanted to stop at Mystic Village which has a quilt shop, but it was no longer there. But we were still able to enjoy a walk through town and get a few goodies at the Christmas shop.

One place in Mystic that I love to visit is the Elm Grove Cemetary. I was hoping to see more foliage, but most of the trees had turned. It is still beautiful to drive through though, it is a garden cemetery on the Mystic river, a peaceful place to walk through.

What a beautiful setting for a family plot.

Since we were in the area, we took a drive to Ender's Island, where there is a Catholic retreat center. It was so windy, it was hard to enjoy the views and take photos. I love the buildings on the island, all made of stone, like the church.

There were still flowers in the gardens and views from Block Island to Fisher's Island in New york. In the distance I could see Latimer Reef Lighthouse.

The great thing about being out later is, we were a half hour from sunset so we headed to Napatree Point. What I didn't think about was, the wind. Coming over the dunes, I was hit with blasts of sand and close to the water, the ocean spray, so it was hard to stay still or get good shots. I was able to get a decent one and you can see the waves coming in. It was so beautiful, but hard to enjoy with the sand getting all over my camera.

Sunday was a beautiful day and much warmer, so I decided to hit the beach, while the tide was out. There weren't too many people in the morning, so I found a lot of nice treasures laying on the rocks.

And with the time change, it was still early enough to go for a ride. I needed more apples so we headed to the orchards to buy them from the store.

Along the way I spied this steeple and stopped for a look. The banks of the river were over flowing, so it was hard to get a shot, since we had to stand in the tree line.

We also stopped on the Thames river, where  you can walk out to the old train tracks. Another nice place to go for a stroll.

Since it was getting late, we decided to do a short hike up Lantern Hill. I wanted to see if I could spot the foliage from the first lookout. Of course the views were limited, so we went to the next height and the next, where we had nice views, but still hidden by the tree lines. So our short hike took us up the hill to the top, which was well worth it. The views are spectacular and you can see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

The sun was getting closer to the tree line and I really wanted to watch it set, but not from the top. It is a steep climb, so we went down to a lower level to watch it set. Since my photo  had a lot of black space, I added a saying I found on the web. We were able to get down before it got too dark, and my muscles are killing me today, but it was nice to finally get in a real hike.

I hope you all had a nice weekend and your own adventures.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday Finishes!

This week I was able to finish a few things. I am trying to do at least one UFO at a time, along with new pieces. I have so much that I never finished so I am doing the ones for Christmas first, then I can decide on the others.

This is a free design that I have been wanting to do and finally got a chance. I love making pillows that I can put around the house and this one was quick and easy to do. The original design was on a  wool background with snowflake stitchery, but I decided to use snowflake fabric.

The design is by Karel Hamilton and you can find it at her facebook group, Wool Appliqué Love.

I also got some new frosted paint and tried the oven bake method. The two jars in the middle have been baked. It does set the paint and makes it washable, but I think it looks dull and thick. It also emits a paint smell, while baking, so not a good thing to do, unless you can open the windows. The others are done with a mix of decoupage, one I added too much so it looks more spotty, so more paint and less decoupage, just enough to thin the paint and give it a bit of a sheen. The one I use is an antique decoupage, so it keeps the look of old glass.

You can see how the new blue looks, compared to the jade, which looks more green. They are more bright looking, than they are in person.

Another thing I finally finished was my snowman block from last year's BOM, from Buttermilk Basin. I am going to keep mine as is, with a fancy stitching on the lines, and a small border, so I can use it as a hanging on a curtain rod, for the front window.

My son sent a photo of the boys, Nick wanted to be a football player, so that is what they both went as. I think Alex fits the part much better, lol. He is such a character.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We have rain again, so I doubt we will be able to hike up the hills, since everything is wet and slippery. The last of the foliage is coming in fast in our area, so I am hoping we can catch a few more places before it is gone.