Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'll Be Bach

I'll be MIA until tomorrow's give-away - and our official June CTTY post. I'm crazy busy and crazy hot and am reading your blogs, just can't comment. I'm trying to get as much done in the cool of the morning [choke] as I can.

The post title is a reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the movie where he says "I'll be back" only it sounds like bach. The boys used to say "I'll be Bach" and I'd say "I'll be Mozart".

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Time For May's 'Strut Your Stuff'!

Wow the end of May is almost here.  For those of us in these United States, we'll enjoy a long weekend, full of family fun and hopefully some barbecuing.  It's going to be tropically hot here in Michigan...so maybe no sewing...

I did finish my May Christmas gift.  I used the little fabric basket tutorial from Pink Penguin, so so cute!

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I plan to fill it with either tea things, or bath things.  Not sure which yet.

I finally got a picture of our give-away gift for May. 

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They come this time from Lyn at BlueBird Quilts, and Cyndi from Bluebird's Wing.   Our bluebird friends are so generous!  Thank you girls!

Remember, to enter the give-away you must link up on this post with Mr. Linky, to your post of the Christmas gift you made for this month.  And don't forget to add your pics to our flickr group, or just go browse the pics for some wonderful inspiration!  Gorgeous gifts there. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Non-Productive Day

It's been storming all day, my computer has been off.  The storms here have been nothing compared to the rest of the midwest....I hope and pray all of my online friends are safe, the storms moving across the country have been so dreadful and destructive.  My heart is breaking for Joplin, MO.

Around here, things weren't nearly as bad.  Lots and lots of rain, and I listened as two transformers blew in my neighborhood this morning.  My brother's boss had just pulled into his driveway, when a bolt of lightning struck right in front of him, blew through his garage, and into his neighbor's home.  It blew all the electrical sockets out of the walls.  I don't like lightning!  Fortunately, their home didn't burn down.

Several highways and surface streets are flooded out.   Coming home, I took some pics of a local creek.  Normally, this is a beautiful park, with a tiny creek, a neighborhood ravine filled with people enjoying a lovely walk.

Not today.

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The water was right at the bottom of this bridge.

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Lots of homes flooded.  Nothing like the mighty Mississippi, I know, but strange for around here.

It was also my brother's birthday today.  In between storms, I took my mom grocery shopping for the birthday boy's dinner.  My mom is a diabetic, and a chocoholic - I really try to keep after her to limit her sweets.  We were walking through the store, and she mentioned the only things left on her list to get were bread and ice cream.  I said "Mom, we don't need ice cream..." - to which she replied in her best toddler tantrum voice, "If we're having cake, we MUST have ice cream".  I thought the lady next to us would wet her pants - she doubled over laughing.  And yes, she did have cake and ice cream after dinner. 

The birthday boy, who hates having his picture taken.

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I cannot believe my little brother is in his forties.   Funny how everyone gets older except me.


A short movie I took of the birthday boy.

 

Friends, please stay safe this week, I know there are lots more storms to come...and so much flooding in the south.  My prayers are with all of you.  If you're in an area where you're enjoying good weather, and no local disasters, please consider donating to the Salvation Army or the Red Cross.  So many have lost so much.

And now I'm going to go visit as many of your blogs as I can, before the second [or third?  lost track] wave of storms hit.  Be good, be safe.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Steady As She Goes

Well it's the weekend.  Not much difference from the week [for me] except my boy is home.  Although he did work today - he's not fond of one-day weekends, but he likes the paycheck.

Things have been slow but steady in Allie-land, not much excitement around here.  Although I did receive a lovely package today!   My sweet friend Michelle from The Raspberry Rabbits had a give-away, and I won -

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Doesn't that look interesting?  She also sent a couple of Bliss raspberry chocolates and some lovely tea - which I'm sorry to say didn't stick around long enough to get their portrait done.  Thank you Shell!!!!  I can't wait to watch it tonight!  By the way, Shell has a new addition to her household - she's GORGEOUS - go see!

I have been busy, but not with much that I can show you.  I'm working on a secret project, and it's slow-going.  I'm also working on other things when I get stuck on the secret project....such as the Summer Sand Pails quilt, by Gwen Marston, the pattern is on Homespun's site here

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Really fun and quick - except I'm making my pail handles out of rick rack, I think.  The handles go on the top portion of the block, while the pails are on the bottom.

Also going to be starting something with these fabrics.....

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for a very special friend.  AND I'm working on some stitcheries,  for another special friend.

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What I'm NOT working on is my Christmas gift for May.  I really need to do that!  How are you coming with yours?  Do you need some more ideas?  Well, then, you're in luck.  Carmen has been busy sending me tutorials, bless her!  Here we go.

From Sew4Home, a darling half apron. 

From Toad's Treasures, a kitchen towel mat tutorial, among others!  I personally love the owl.  Scroll down the right hand side.

From Flamingo Toes, another darling apron.

From Windham Fabrics, an apron, gorgeous quilt,  and an apron and table mat.

From Sharon Holland Designs, several lovely projects to make.

Now let's see if I can kick it in high gear and get busy making a Christmas gift - although we do have nine days to complete one.  No hurry, right? *gulp*

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Followers

Quick post - for some reason, I'm not seeing the followers gadget on anyone's blog, is anyone else experiencing this?  I can see the title, but the gadget isn't showing up, so I can't just click and follow new blogs.  If you're unable to see it as well, could you please comment here before I report it to Blogger?  Thanks!

Edit:  Thanks everyone, the followers gadget seems to be working again!  I can see it on everyone else's blogs now.  Especially important during the Blogger's Quilt Festival, when I get to look at so many new blogs!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday

It's Tuesday ALREADY?  My weekend disappeared in a blur of raindrops, and huddling under a quilt - our beautiful weather turned very cold.  I know it's my fault, I packed the winter coat away.  I should know better.

Today I'm tickled because I finally caught these little guys on camera - 

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Normally, I catch a flash of gold out my window as they settle into the apple tree, flitting from branch to branch, then blink! they're gone.    I know the pictures aren't great, there's a window between us.   If I went outside to capture them, they'd never show up - they seem very skittish.  And with all the bees around, I'd never be able to sit still.  I have no idea what kind of bird this is, does anyone know?

Are you enjoying the Blogger's Quilt Festival?  I sure am!  Although looking at the quilts there really makes me feel like a rank amateur.  AMAZING creativity.

Enjoy your Tuesday!  I'm going to go put on 20 layers and venture out for some errands.  Maybe even drag my coat back out of storage!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival!

THANK GOODNESS blogger decided to come back up - I was going through withdrawls!  If you're here as part of the Blogger's Quilt Festival, welcome! 


My quilt for this festival is pure Jennifer Paganelli.  She had gifted me these fabrics, and I fell totally in love with them.  What I love is that they are from many of her different lines, and yet they all go together beautifully. 

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I can't quite remember where I found the quilt pattern, but it uses the Drunkard's Path template.  It's all in the way you arrange them.  It took me a long time to decide how to quilt this - originally, I was going to do spirals, which meant it had to be hand-quilted.  I started by stitching down the seams on the circles.  [Which I may take out - it makes the circles look appliqued.]  I ended up doing all straight lines, horizontally in the circles, vertically everywhere else.

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Which, of course, meant I could have done it on the machine and saved myself six months.  But I do love the hand quilting, and I love how it makes for a cuddlier quilt - it drapes beautifully.

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I love all the color in this quilt.  Jennifer's fabrics are saturated with color and design.  She brings out my inner gypsy.

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I love my quilt!  I hope you like it too.  It's a deceptively simple quilt to make.

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And now, finally, I can go start my weekend browsing session to see all the wonderful quilts on display - thank you Amy for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday And A Lot Of Pics

It's officially Tuesday, although I haven't been to bed yet so in my mind it's still Monday.  Today, Sam and I went to a beautiful place, and I couldn't resist taking pictures of the spring glory all around us.  I think it's safe to say that winter is over.  I can't tell you how much that tickles me.

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We took my latest quilt on a photo shoot.  The pictures that follow are from where my wedding reception was held, almost 20 years ago.  It's a historic home and acreage.

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This was a very tiny tree, I have no idea what it's called.  It reminds me of an umbrella.  The bark is silver, and the flowers are just gorgeous.

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But my absolute favorite was this stunner.

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These are the flowers.

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If anyone can tell me what this tree is, I'd be forever grateful.

Another thing that tickled me this weekend was our Mother's Day dinner.  Hubby made a complete turkey dinner, and my mum and his mum and dad came.  He even baked a CHOCOLATE cake.

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Very soon gone.  It was too warm when he frosted it, because we were encouraging him loudly to "git 'er done".  Sad to say my vintage tablecloth will never be the same.

A pic of my mum [on the left] and Jeff's mum.

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And to top it all off, here's the kind of day we had.

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Bliss.

What's tickling you today?  Join Cheryl and I and let us know!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Bad Case Of The Now-whats

Another beautiful spring day here in Michigan.  Made especially beautiful because I AM DONE.

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The marathon binding session has ended successfully.  Now what?

I took some time to smell the flowers today.  Well, at least take pics. 

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Those are from my friend Cathy's garden.  These are from my tree outside my window....

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That tree is always filled with bees, so I took the pic through the glass of my window.  Glad I cleaned it.  The tree is getting ready to burst into bloom - I hope no storms take them off before they have a chance to open.

So after I took some time to smell the flowers, it hit me.  What do I do next?  One of the projects in baggies?  Something new?  A UFO?  I have no idea.  I might take time to stretch and breathe before starting something new.  One thing I will have to make is a pillowcase for Carol at Brown Quilts - and she could use your help too.  Go here and bring a box of tissues, then please help.  What a great cause.

I have a couple of tutorials for you, courtesy of Carmen [thank you Carmen!].   From Kojodesigns, a great bag pattern with a bunch of pockets, lovely!  And from Vivat Veritas, another great bag. 

You know the Versatile Blogger award Leslie just gave me?   Well, Cathy gave me one too!  Talk about feeling special!  Thank you Cathy!  I'll not try to do another 7 things... I can hear you sighing with relief.....

All right, I'm going to go read blogs.  And read and read and read.  Then tomorrow, I'm going to let hubby cook a turkey and have mum over for dinner.  I hope all you ladies have a wonderful Mother's Day.  May you be dreadfully spoiled.  For those of you whose children wear fur coats, I don't advise letting them bring you breakfast in bed - this video is for you.




HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Gloaming

Some people call it twilight, some people call it dusk.

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I call it the Gloaming.  I love old poetry.  I also call it my favorite time of day.

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The time of day when long shadows fall, the light turns to pure gold, everything is highlighted in sharp relief.

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The long light cuts to the heart of the bushes, and spills out the other side, making the bushes look as if they're glowing from the inside out.

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As the sun gets lower, the light in the trees turns from bright yellow to a reddish hue.

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The flowers seem to glow, highlighted against the intense blue of the sky.

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And Abby wants so badly for us to be back on the right side of the fence.

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This post is for Midge, who wanted more trees.  Ask and you shall receive, my friend. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Christmas Through The Year

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Well, I'm going to kick off the month [a bit late] without a picture of our give-away gift yet, simply because I FORGOT [see previous post here] it was May.  Um, yes.  Pathetic. 

This is month five.  If you've been following along from the start, you should have four gifts ready for Christmas.  If you haven't, don't worry - we still have 8 months to go.  But remember, they speed up as we get closer to Christmas - it's a well-known fact that the last six months before Christmas have fewer hours in them.  Ok, I made that up.  But it sure seems like it's true.

I do have a bit of news - exciting to me, at least - I finished my hand-quilting for my Sis Boom quilt!  Ten days ahead of schedule!  I'll show it to you when I get the binding on.

So, do you want some tutorials to start you off this month?  I do. 

From Carmen, who is a perfect dear....

Allsorts has the cutest bunny tutorial, along with the dress pattern for bunny.

Buzzing and Bumbling is a cute blog, scroll down the right-hand sidebar for some tutorials and ideas.

Cute tea cozy at Stash Manicure .

From Our Shabby Cottage, a kissing ball - everybody needs one of these at Christmas!

And a few from me -

Em's Scrapbag has a great tutorial for Stuck On You dishtowels, cute!

Penny from Sew Take A Hike has a darling tute at the Moda Bake Shop, for a reversible rug/bath mat.  If this doesn't come up to the proper link, the project is called Strawberries and Sunshine.  I really want to make this.

That is IT for now - guess I'd better get browsing!  I should have a bit more free time, now the quilt is done.  I'll leave you with one more piece of evidence that spring is almost here....

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Go forth and create something!

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