Thursday, December 24, 2009


I'm sneaking online to wish all my readers and followers the merriest of Christmases! May the wonder of the shepherds as they beheld the star, and the overwhelming love and peace of Christ fill your hearts and homes during this most holy season.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It Can't Be Helped

This last week, I've really limited my time on my computer - after the assessment, I was in a lot of pain, and the weather didn't help. We've had front after front move through, and I've had some bad days. My shoulder isn't coming back like it should - I can barely use my right hand, and that just won't do. The least bit of mousing or keyboarding does me in.

So I'm going to take a break. I'm going off-line for a couple of weeks. I don't have health insurance, so seeing a dr. isn't an option - but I do have physical therapy exercises that I can do, along with some deep heat. I'm hoping a complete vacation from the computer along with that will do the trick. My big fear is permanent damage, and I need my right hand to sew! And of course, lift the ever-present coffee or tea cup.

I have no idea how I'm going to stand it - I wake up with email and coffee every morning! And check my mail last thing before bed. But I think I need to focus on treating my body kindly. I'm going to miss you all terribly - you feel like family, I spend so much time with you.

I'll be back right after New Year's Day. My thoughts and my prayers go with each one of you, to have a joyful and blessed Christmas with your families.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
Love, Allie

Friday, December 11, 2009

I've Missed You!

Well, it's been a boring week - a lot of recuperating and not much else. Today I finally felt good enough [and bored enough] to start this....

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I had cut all these squares back when my machine was at the spa. Last year, I made my mother a lap quilt. Lap quilts, as the name suggests, are not full size, they’re meant to keep your legs warm. Well, she tries to sleep under hers. She’s short but not that short. So I’m making a simple patchwork out of the repro 30’s fabrics for her, for Christmas. Yes, I started today, yes, I’m nuts. But you knew that, right?

I’m also working on Vikki’s stitchery pattern, Mother’s Love. I promised to show you last post, and here it is.

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Sorry about the awful pictures - it was so dark in here! I colored in with crayon, but not dark enough, so I’ll be going over it again after I’m done stitching. This is for my mum’s birthday, which is December 20. I really love this pattern, and will probably make a small pillow for her from it.

The assessment is over, for now. Or should I say on hold. Clerical work is not an option. When I’m typing from home, I’m half-laying in my recliner, with my keyboard on my lap, my neck is well supported. And I really don’t type that much. Sitting upright for long periods is painful.

It’s not looking like Christmas around here yet – I’ve been admiring all your trees and d├ęcor in blogland, and feeling like a slug! My mum and friend will be coming over for a cookie baking marathon, we’ll scour the thrift store for pretty tins, and everyone will get cookies for Christmas. Unless we eat them all……mmmmmmmmmmm.

I'm finally all caught up on my blog reading, and back to commenting, thank goodness! I missed you all so much!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I thought this week I'd wait to post til I went for my assessment for REAL. I started this morning. The assessment is to see how my stamina is, how much typing I can do, etc. Let me say that blogging is NOTHING like working. I am so sore this evening....I have a pinched nerve in my neck, that runs down my arms, which is why I had to stop working at data entry so many years ago. Now my neck is filled up with arthritis, along with the rest of me, and I have fibromyalgia. That's why I'm doing the assessment, to see what kind of work I'm best suited to. I was hoping it would be clerical, which is what I'm used to, but I don't think it's meant to be.

Last week I didn't do much - other than working on the stitchery I bought from Vikki at Sew Useful Designs, called Mother's Love. I LOVE this stitchery! I'd show you a picture but my batteries are dead - I'm about 3/4 done. I'll show you soon!

I got a package in the mail the other day - I wasn't expecting anything, so it was quite a surprise. It was from Carrie, and oh my did she make my day!!!

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Some beautiful Christmas fabric, a punchneedle snowman ornament, and CHOCOLATE all wrapped up with the sweetest Christmas ribbon!

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I told Carrie she's got me hooked on punchneedle now. I want to learn it. I really love the feel of it - as much as I love fabric. It's so neat looking! Oh no, I just had a thought - I suppose now I'll have to search for punchneedle blogs, lol! Isn't he just the sweetest thing?

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Thank you Carrie, you are such a dear - he's staying in my sewing room where I can see him all the time. *G*

I'm really behind in reading blogs, I hope you'll all forgive me if I don't comment too much for the next couple of weeks. I feel AWFUL reading your blogs and not commenting like I usually do....but I'm having such a hard time typing and scrolling. They're going to have me on the computer every day, doing data entry type work, and I know it's going to hurt and keep me away from my own computer. I'll be glad when I'm done! I'm looking forward to it already, lol. It's only 2 weeks - it's not forever! Y'all be good - I'll be watching! *wink*

Monday, November 30, 2009

And Another Quick Post...

Apparently you can't get rid of me so easily. I called this morning to see which facility I'd be going to, and they changed the start date to NEXT Monday. Nice of them to let me know! So I'm all dressed up to read your blogs this morning, aren't you impressed? LOL!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Just A Quick Post...

to let you know I may be scarce around here! I start my work assessment in the morning, and go for two weeks. I've got you all safely tucked into my Google Reader, so if I don't comment, I WILL be reading. Time is going to be a problem though, so I may not comment.

I'd MUCH rather stay home and read blogs. *pouty face* Be good!

Friday, November 27, 2009

And The Winner Is......

Boy was this fun! First, I printed off all the comments and folded them up, then put them in the give-away jar.....

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Then, I had my oldest son John come in and help. He shook and shook the jar.....

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Then he reached in.....

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And pulled out the winning ticket.....

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And opened it up! And the winner is.....

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Congratulations, Allyjo, I'll be emailing you shortly for your address!

I want to thank everyone for playing along with me, I really wish I could make you ALL a quilt. You have blessed me beyond belief in this blogging journey and I appreciate you all!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Happy Thanksgiving....

to all of my US friends! Have a safe and joyful day, be blessed! There is much to be thankful for.

For all my non-US friends, I hope you have a blessed day also!

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever. 1 Ch 16:34

I'll be back tomorrow to pick a winner for my give-away!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Look At This!

Remember this picture of my mom on a pony?


Well, Martha from Q Is For Quilter sent me an email with this:


Isn't that amazing??? Didn't she do a fabulous job??? I was so surprised! I know my mom is going to love it - this is her favorite picture. Martha, you are an absolute doll and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! That is just brilliant!!!!!

And of course I have to show you son went downstairs to change loads, turned his back and look what he found in the dryer:


I'm tempted to have a "give that photo a name" contest like Pioneer Woman, but I don't have a junk drawer with prizes like she does, lol!!!! Seriously, I remember when she was giving away coupons from the junk drawer. She's come a long way, baby!

Off to stitch my fingers to the bone - Christmas is coming WAY too fast!

Friday, November 20, 2009

100 Posts = GiveAway!!!!!

EDIT: Comments are now closed - I'm putting all the names in the jar now and the give-away will commence shortly!

So tell me - what's better than finishing a quilt???

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Finishing TWO quilts, of course!!!!!!!

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That's right, I made two - one for you and one for me. Back in May, I won a fat quarter bundle of Snippets from Kelly at Charming Chatter. After I decided I wanted a simple patchwork quilt, I started cutting and found I had enough for two quilts. So now, I'm giving one away!

The quilt measures 60"x75".

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It's backed with a sheet, the batting is a flannel sheet. Lightweight but cozy and washable.

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This is a utility quilt, meant to be used - I have no mad quilting skills to show off, lol! It's a hug from me to you.

So what are the rules? Very simple, there are only two:

1. Leave a comment on this post.

That's right, don't put it on your blog. This give-away is for my regular readers and followers. Which of course greatly enhances your chance of winning!

So read the edit on my previous post to make sure I can reply to you, and leave me a comment here. This is open to everyone - whether you live down the street or down under, or across the pond. I will pick a winner on Black Friday, the day after our Thanksgiving holiday, November 27. Good luck!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Important Post: Updated With An Important Edit!

Edit: I was wrong! Debbie was good enough to let me know how you REALLY make sure you're not a no-reply blogger! Debbie, I can't thank you enough....I was horrified! Here's how you change a no-reply. Go to your blog, sign in, and go to your dashboard. Over on the left, click on "edit profile". There are two things where you show your email addy, and I'm not sure if you need both of them or just one of them checked, so we'll do both. Under where it says Privacy, make sure 'show my email address' has a check mark in the box, then scroll down to Identity and make sure your email addy is in the box for Email Address. SAVE your changes. Everybody, be sure to thank Debbie! There's just no end to this learning curve, lol!

Why? Well, because I want everyone to have a chance to win my give-away, if they want. So I'm posting information on how to know if you're a no-reply blogger or not.

What IS a no-reply blogger? Well, when you comment on my posts, I get an email with your comment. Normally, it will have your email addy on it, and I can just click 'reply' and email you back. If you've ever left a comment, and not heard from me, then the email doesn't show your addy - instead, it says 'no-reply commenter'. If I try to reply to it, it goes out to cyberspace and is eaten by borgs. Not really borgs, but I like the way it sounds. And by the way, I do reply to each and every comment, as long as I have an email to reply to.

So. HOW do you know? Well, if you use blogger, then I can tell you. Sign into your blog. Go to either Customize, or your Dashboard. Click on the tab that says Settings. Underneath the tabs at the top of that page, you'll see Basic, Publishing, Formatting, and Comments - click on Comments. This is where you make changes to how people comment on your blog.

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. It says Comment Notification Email. If that box is blank, then you're a no-reply blogger. You want to have your email address in that box. When you've put your email there, click SAVE. You have to save or the changes won't take.

And that's it! Now you can enter my give-away, and lots of others. Now, what if you don't have a blog, or you have a different one, like wordpress or typepad and I can't help you with those? Just leave your email in your comment, so I can reply to you.

If none of this makes sense and you need more help, you can email me at alliehomeschool at yahoo dot com [take out spaces and use the symbols]. I'd be glad to help you if I can.

This is post number 99. Friday will be number 100, so check and make sure I can reply to you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Challenge Blocks Have Arrived!

Lyn, from Bluebird Quilts, issued a challenge - to use four vintage hexagon blocks in a wall-size quilt. The finish date is May 2010. She sent out the blocks last week and mine arrived today!

Vintage blocks challenge

I'm so thrilled to be a part of this challenge. I have a million ideas fighting for my attention. I can't wait to get started - but I'm going to draw up several different ideas before I do. Won't this be fun! Thank you, Lyn, for letting me be a part of this!

Tomorrow, [or next day - next POST, anyway] I'm going to devote a post to how to know if you're a no-reply blogger, and what to do about it. It's important, if you enter a give-away, that the blog owner has a way to contact you! Heaven forbid someone else should get your prize, right? *G*

And now I'm going to wrap up in something warm, it's FREEZING here. Brrrrrrr.....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another Saturday Night

WHAT a week. It didn’t start off well – my mom’s next-door neighbor’s house was broken into. In the middle of the day. Broad daylight. For the THIRD TIME. Which of course makes my mother rather nervous. I spent all day Tuesday at her house, just hanging out and basting a quilt. When she moved in 18 years ago, folks didn’t even lock their doors during the day….it was a lovely neighborhood. I wish my mom would get a dog. If you’re a praying person, I’d appreciate prayers for her safety.

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Thursday, I went for a meeting with a work assessment guy. I’ll be going to a facility daily for 2 weeks, where they have me in a simulated work environment, to see how I do. I have an awful lot of restrictions – actually, he said I have them ALL, lol – like no reaching, lifting, walking, standing. I’ll be doing clerical work. I only hope there’s not much using the mouse – I have a bad mouse shoulder. We’ll see how I do, see if there’s anything they can do to make it a more friendly environment for my body, and then I’ll start sending out resumes. Oh boy! After 18 years of staying home, it’s making me a bit nervous.

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Are you wondering what these pictures are? Well, I'm not going to tell you. It's a secret. *G* You'll find out in 3 posts!

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Jenny from Elefantz has been having a November Trims Challenge. She used some Moda cotton tape from a jelly roll to hang her Garden Stitcheries on, and I liked it so much I copied it. I had been trying to find clothesline to use, but when I saw hers, I knew that would work MUCH better. I love it. I'm still going to look for some smaller clothes pins.

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Boy I have a lot of holes in my wall. You know what I'd love? A picture hanging system - where the wire runs all along the top of the wall, near the ceiling, and then you hang wires from that to hang your pictures from. I LOVE those. I'm pretty changeable about furniture and pictures, and that would let me change my mind without putting so many holes in the wall. For now I'll just cover as many as I can with little quilts.

Well, I'd better get back to my secret project - enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, November 6, 2009

How About A Recipe??

Do any of you have old photos like this around the house?


This is my mom, not sure how old she was, on a neighborhood pony. Probably around 1940. I love this picture. I was browsing through some old ones, thinking about my mom and my grandma - my mom is still [thank You Lord] with me, but my grandma has been gone a long time. I miss her so much, and still find myself reaching for the phone to call her. Thinking about my grandma reminded me of how we used to bake together - I don't LIKE to bake, or cook, but I do love to eat and helping her with Christmas baking was sure to get me a coffee cake all my own.

One recipe of hers that we all dearly love is her Ginger Snaps cookies. I don't like store-bought, they're hard as a rock and too spicy. Grandma's were soft, sugary, and so tasty! The only problem was in the making....the dough is VERY hard to stir. Fortunately I have teen boys to do the stirring for me. I decided to share the recipe with you. I also decided to turn it into a stitchery, and make it up for my mom for Christmas. I'll let you know how that goes.

So if you'd like to make them, be prepared for the stirring....and make a lot, because they'll disappear in no time. We made them for the entire family for Christmas one year, about 30 tins full, and I don't think they lasted a week.

Grandma's Ginger Snap Cookies

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup crisco
1 egg
1/4 cup light molasses
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp ginger - use 1/8 tsp ea. for milder flavor
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour

Mix ingredients in order listed. Roll into small balls, about 1" diameter, or size of small walnuts. Roll in sugar, place on baking sheet for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you have any left when they've cooled, put in airtight container with piece of bread. This will keep them soft.

Edited to add: Crisco is the brand name of a vegetable shortening here in the US. I'm not sure what the equivalent would be overseas.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I cannot believe I posted today and forgot to mention a give-away! Go see Melanie at Kimono Reincarnate and enter her give-away - oh my gosh she makes the most gorgeous things!!!!!

Oh dear that means this is post 95. Only 5 more to go til my give-away!

Now What?

A very sweet friend recently sent me a pattern, all the way from Tasmania. She showed a picture of this quilt made up on her blog, and I fell in love with it. Thank you Bell, I can't wait to make it!

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What I love about this pattern is that the daisies cover any points that don't match. *G* They don't call me Allie-OOPS for nothin'.

And I won a give-away over at Jan's blog:

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The cutest towels with stitcheries, cookies for Santa. My mom is going to love these - she once spent $300 at a home party for Christmas decorations. The woman goes all out. She usually has her tree up until June.

And I finally finished Jenny's In My Garden stitcheries. Oh my gosh do I love these.

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Hold onto your monitors, I took pics of them all.

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I guess I should've brushed the lint off first. Please disregard the awful job I did on the binding....I love pieced binding, but it's a bit tricksy. I dug into my vintage button stash and had so much fun. I want to hang these on a clothesline with vintage clothes pegs. They are really going to brighten up my sewing room!

So, the title of my post - now what? I have so many projects ready to start, that I don't know which one to pick up! The Gum Tree designers have been so busy, I want to make each project there, of course the towels and the quilt I showed at the beginning of this post, the stitcheries of Jenny's that I haven't started yet, all the bom's I've been saving, and dh's quilt....sigh. AND - my up-coming give-away project! This is post 94, there will be a give-away at number 100. I guess I'd better start with that! This will be only for my regulars followers - you won't be blogging about it. I'm very excited to finally have my own give-away! I've been so blessed by all of you in blog-land, and at last I can give back a little.

I have so much to do, what am I doing sitting here? See you soon!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Thankful Heart

Colossians 4:2 tells us to have a thankful heart. Sometimes, that's a struggle - I've done my best, in good times and bad, to cultivate a thankful heart, by counting my blessings, by thanking the Lord for everything. It's easy when things are going well, not so much when everything looks bleak. But it never ceases to amaze me how the bleakness lifts when I do it anyway, in spite of circumstances. The joy of the Lord surely is my strength!

This week, it's been easy to cultivate a thankful heart. Thanks to blogland friends who reach out and pray, or just email to let me know they're thinking of me, I appreciate you all.

Today, I recieved a parcel from Niki at Pumpkin Country, just because. Just because she is sweet and lovely, and one of my favorite people. Niki knows all about struggles and her sweet spirit shines right through them.

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Is that not too darling for words? I wish you could touch these, they are so soft, and I can't stop. Look at these lovely little pennies:

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You know you'd be petting them too.

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And CROWS. I have nothing with crows on them - and I love them! Niki, you are too sweet - I opened the package and went running for my camera, I couldn't wait to show everyone. Now if I can just keep my mom from seeing them.....she can't have them! Thank you, darling Niki!

Last week, I showed you the latest stitcheries I'm doing, from Jenny of Elefantz - her design set called In My Garden. The designs incorporate rick-rack and buttons. I didn't have any rick-rack - and Carrie from A Passion For Applique emailed me and offered to send me some of her vintage rick-rack.

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I don't know how, but the colors are PERFECT for these stitcheries. Carrie, I appreciate this so much! Look how well the yellow goes -

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And the other colors go perfectly as well! I was dreading doing the rick-rack and Carrie, you took the dread right out and turned it into joy. Thank you dear heart! The next one to use it will be this one:

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I want to get all the stitching done first, then the rick-rack, and then I'll pick out buttons - I'm looking forward to pulling out all my vintage buttons for this stitchery. I don't get to play with them nearly enough. Most of the stitching on the others are done, I'm saving the rainbow for last so I can use all the colors of floss I've used in the other stitcheries.

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Aren't they sweet?

One last but not least thing to tell you - Sue over at Blueberry Buckle Quilt Studio is having another give-away! Go vote on which fabric you like best, and tell her what fabric you use most. She's giving away a jelly roll of Objects of Desire by Sandy Gervais for Moda!

And just cuz, one more shot of soft woolly goodness:

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Go find something or someone to be thankful for!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Give-Away Alert

And boy is it a good one! A new-to-me blog, Pumpkin Patch Primitives, you need to run over there and take a peek. I read about it on Terry's blog, and if you go and enter, please give her Terry's name instead of mine to give her more chances to win it, ok? Three prizes and boy are they wonderful!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Something For You, Something For Me

First, something for me - all the way from Australia! Dawn from Dawn Hay Designs sent me the most darling little parcel, just because -

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Dawn, you are just the sweetest, I adore this fabric and can't bear to cut it until I find just THE right thing to use it for - and would you look at that lovely koala? Isn't he sweet? And the floss - oh how I love floss, and this is a lovely color! Now you know I'll be using an Australian design for this! Dawn is a member of the Gum Tree designers, and she is FABULOUS! Go see!

And now, something for you - I made a design for my partner in the Hug Swap, Dawnie from Itching for Stitching.....and I promised to make it available for you. I also created another to go with it, and you can get them here. I call them Wee Roses.

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Now I must go cut my boy's hair, since he has tried himself and it's a little ragged. Seems like I had more to say but I'm being pestered. *G* Have a wonderful day everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stuff - Lotsa Stuff

I've been kind of busy. Mostly reading blogs this weekend - the Blogger's Quilt Festival is so fun. But I've also done a few other things recently.

I was honored to test a pattern for Linda from All Stitched Up. She makes really lovely bag patterns, and this is the one I made. This is the Uluru Sunset Bag, and it's available in her etsy shop.

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It has two large pockets inside. I use it all the time - even used it for the Sewing Expo instead of a purse, it held all my goodies!

Remember the Hug Swap? Scroll down a bit to see what Dawnie made for me - this is what I sent her.

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I made a cover for Granny's sewing machine.

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I'm sending that out this evening. Click on Granny's picture on my sidebar to go visit her - she is precious. She has a birthday coming up, she'll be 96, and she makes a quilt a week. She's my hero.

I also mentioned last post that I started on Jenny's In My Garden pattern. I used mainly Moda Recess for the applique, but also a little bit of a 30's charm pack.

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And woohoo, I'm using the variegated floss I got at Expo! So much fun. These stitcheries will have lots of stitching added, some rick-rack if I can find it, and some vintage buttons. I'm making each one seperately, so I can be diverse in hanging them up.

The design I did on Dawnie's mug mat is one I created for her. I made another one with the same style rose, and both will be available later this week as freebies from me to you. I'll let you know when I get them up.

Now I'd better get over to the library - I have a whole shelf of books on hold, waiting for me! Yippee! Have a great week!


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