Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Do you ever do something really dumb?

The Kiwanis party was a huge success. I wish I had taken a picture of the table with all the food because it was beautiful. I had a mixture of green and red foods which made it look Christmas-festive. We pulled out all the lead glass serving dishes and it just sparkled on the red tablecloth.

On the veggie tray, we had carrots, celery, broccoli, and sliced cucumbers... which leads me to the ouchie. I have a Martha Stewart mandolin for slicing veggies in consistent sizes. It comes with this pushy thingy to hold the veggies so you don't cut your finger. Well, you don't think that I would use the pusher thingy, do you? Of course not... not until I cut the heck out of my thumb.

Of course, it bled all over the place. I went through 8 bandaids. Joe told me I wasn't putting them on tight enough. I bled through the one he put on. It finally quit bleeding on Sunday morning. Now it's just sore.

Next time, I'll use the pushy thingy first.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I need to sew!

There are times when Joe's volunteer efforts suck me in. This week, I've been writing letters for the Kiwanis and preparing for the Christmas party. What I haven't done is sew and I need to touch fabric!

This is a baby quilt I made for my neighbor, Vivi. I had the top finished when she was born. She turned 1 a couple weeks ago. Of course, I had to wait on the new quilt studio to be built and the HandiQuilter to come to its new home before I could quilt it. But it is finally done.

I have another baby quilt top finished that is in need of quilting. This one is for Cooper (who lives two doors up). My plan had been to quilt it this week. Between laundry, Kiwanis shirts to embroidery, planning for the party, and Christmas shopping, I haven't been to the studio all week.

As Maverick said, I feel the need for speed (long arm quilter speed, that is!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


A couple years ago, I came across this neat button making machine at an Embroidery Conference. It seemed like the perfect thing for my granddaughter, Sarah, to use to start her own business.

The idea is to embroider designs on fabric (or use patterned fabric) to make custom buttons. Sarah's into anime and there's a blog the anime crowd reads which has trolls in zodiac signs. Thus, the zodiac buttons.

I have to admit they turned out cute.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oyster Stew

Nothing like a good pot of oyster stew on a cold night.

Joe and I went to NC over the Thanksgiving Holiday to visit the families. We put over 1,200 miles on the new car.

The last stop was in Wilmington to see Mom. After visiting her, we went to Blue Water in Wrightsville Beach to eat seafood. It was yummy. Before we left on Monday, we make a run to Mott's Seafood. We loaded up 3 pounds of shrimp, a lovely piece of grouper, and a pint of oysters.

On Tuesday, Joe and I began the great debate about what goes in oyster stew... we agreed on celery and onions but debated about potatoes. To me, potato soup is made with chipped beef sauteed in butter. Potatoes don't go in oyster stew. Potatoes make a soup, not a stew.

In the end, the cook (me) wins. I didn't hear any complaints when he was slurping it down.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


No... it's not a a small quick bread made from dough that has been rolled out and cut or dropped from a spoon.

She's my buddy. See her smiling at me. Yes, she does smile.

Biscuit loves to sit on the porch with us at night. She looks out over the yard as if she is surveying her kingdom. Yes, she owns that yard.

She also loves to ride in the truck with Joe. If she doesn't get to go ride for two days, she pouts. She loves to go to the hardware store with him. What's better than an old Geezer and his dog.

Yes, I love this dog. (ssshhh, don't tell her I called her a dog.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My New Car

I owned a 2002 Highlander. It started having some problems. When a car starts to have problems, you have to go through the thought process and inevitable discussion of whether it's worth it to put more money into a 10 year old car. Joe and I don't always see eye-to-eye in those discussions.

In the end, I decided it was time to trade it.

The grandkids call my new car the "magic" car. It has more bells and whistles than I will ever use. It doesn't have a key. It has a push button to start it. I did use the seat heaters this weekend when it was cold and think that they are something that I will use.

I've been very surprised by how much I enjoy the sunroof. I'm a sunshine-kind-of-gal and tend to get gloomy in the winter. Open the sunroof and it's just like sitting on the beach.

Of course, I already have gotten the first ding in the door. Soap box -- why can't people be considerate of other folks cars? They cost as much as a house used to cost. It's not hard to take a little care when opening a door. Thankfully, the person who hit the door was a good simaritan and left a note offering to pay for the repair.

Did I say I love my new car?

Monday, October 31, 2011


GiGi, at www.charmingstation.com, has the cutest in-the-hoop designs. I just fell in love with these pumpkins. We have several young children in the neighborhood who are just like our grands. I made pumpkin pillows to give them for trick-or-treat. One pillow and one piece of candy.

My Babylock Ellisimo (aka Ellie) broke a couple needles today. So, she's going to have to make a trip to the repair shop as the needle threader and needle cutter no longer work. :-(

When Ellie comes back, I'll have to make a couple more pumpkins for DGD's 4 and 5 in NC.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I love quilt retreats!

I spent last weekend at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, GA with ~30 ladies who share my love of quilting. It was called the Runaway Quilter's Retreat and was sponsored by Sweet Home Quilt Co. in Conyers, GA. Melissa Morrison is the owner of Sweet Home and she sure knows how to put on a party.

We had the option of making an Autumn mystery quilt or a Christmas mystery quil. I opt'd for the Christmas quilt and am quite pleased with the result. I have a 3" red border to add to the quilt top and it will be finished... maybe. I'm toying with the idea of an outer border of random Christmas fabrics to make it a little larger. We'll see how it goes.

I'm off to quilt guild this morning. We're making a Christmas quilt, too. This one will be raggy. Can't wait to spend time with fabric friends!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Love my grandbabies

We took a road trip last Thanksgiving to see my Mom. She's in a nursing home in Wilmington, NC. My brother, my son, my son's four children, and I drove from Winston-Salem to Wilmington and back in one day.

I love all my grandchildren. These are the two little ones (Chloe and Kaitlin) with Mom and brother. This was half-way through the trip. I love the look on Chloe's face. It well describes how I felt at this point in the trip... and we had the return leg in front of us.

I don't think we'll try this as a one day trip again.

Kaitlin will be four next week. Happy Birthday, Kaitlin Jane!

It is hard to believe that my baby grandchild will be four years old. They are growing up so fast.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Awesome Cutting Table

Top on my wish list for my studio was a cutting table. At the beach, I use the bar in the kitchen. It's so nice to have 6' of space to lay out material, rulers, cutters, etc.

Isn't this awesome?

I may never leave the studio. My cutting table is 7' long. The storage cubbies under the bottom are perfect for storing my stabilizer. (They are actually full now!)

As I am filling up my studio, I am cutting and sorting my scraps into "organized" stacks by size. The cutting table makes it a truly enjoyable task. I have two stacks of 5" square scraps. Sounds like it's almost time to start on a scrappy quilt!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Life Back to Normal

I hate dislike the reruns of summer. My favorite show, Grey's Anatomy, has its premier last week. This week, both Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice will be on.

If Derrick and Meredith would quit fighting on Grey's Anatomy, then life would be back to normal.

More pictures of the quilt studio to come. Been cutting on a special quilt this afternoon.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Isn't it lovely?

We're really almost there this time...

After two months of dust and dirt in the yard, we have grass... and a sidewalk... and a paved driveway.

I went over the punch list with our contractor/neighbor/good friend yesterday and there are just a few things to be fixed before picture taking time.

Of course, there's "stuff" everywhere inside as I try to get more organized when I'm putting things away. And, I'm going through the inevitable... "I think this should go here" only to move things around as I actually start to use the space.

Inside pictures to come (when it's a little more organized).

Monday, September 5, 2011

Almost Done

For the past three months, we have had a little project going on in the backyard. As most sewist and quilters, I have dreamed of having my own space dedicated to the art. I have also wanted a long-arm quilting machine since I saw the first one on Fons and Porter ten years ago.

Well, my dreams are coming close to a reality.

This is my new quilting studio. It is 640 square feet, contains a small kitchen area (no stove), and a small half bath. I have 32' of storage for fabric stash, thread, books, quilt kits, jelly rolls, and other assorted fabric desserts.

My #1 DGD and I carried stuff valuables from the house to the studio for 10 hours on Saturday and Sunday. #1 DGD, Sarah, is the resident artist and she artfully arranged my stash in color sequence. I appreciate her so very much.

There are still 5 lights to install and a few punch list items to be complete... which is why I said it is almost done. I will be glad when it is complete and we can landscape the yard. In the meantime, I need to go sew...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

My awesome daughter-in-law and fabulous son-in-law are celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary today.

They have given us two wonderful grandchildren, MacKenzie and Mason. The picture was made several years ago. (Guess I need a new one). MacKenzie is 11 and starting middle school. Mason is 7 and our star baseball player.

We are so proud of this family. They are truly blessed with each other and their love of the Lord.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Homecoming Queen 2023

Miss Chloe started first grade last week. She is my dear granddaughter #4. She is the first granddaughter that I was priviledged to witness her birth.

I predict she will be Homecoming Queen of her high school class when she graduates in 2023.

Monday, August 8, 2011

'Maters & Critters

It's that time of the year when tomatoes are in great supply. I love tomato sandwiches. We eat tomatoes three times a day when they are coming off the vine. In January, I'll be wishing I had one.

We have competition for the ripe tomatoes.

This little chipmunk is in a Have-A-Heart trap. We have chipmunks running up and down the tomato vines. We can stand at the bedroom window and watch them eating the 'maters. So, dear husband purchased a Have-A-Heart trap. When we catch one, we take him down to the Recreation Area on the Chattahoochee River and set him free. Some days, we make three trips. Biscuit loves to go on the ride to the river.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The porch

We had rain blow through last night and earlier this evening. It cooled the air off and made a nice evening for sitting on the porch.

I found this sign at a local shop and it explains how we feel about our porch better than we ever could.

Biscuit (aka Queenie) owns the porch. It is her domain and she rules all the critters of the kingdom.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's hot!

Seems like that is the theme for the entire US this summer. I believe we, in metro Atlanta, are coming up on our 60th day of 90 degree weather this summer.

This is my best friend...

Although it is hot, Joe and I like to sit on the porch in the evenings. It would be unbearable without the fan. We live in a friendly neighborhood, so we talk to our neighbors across the backyard fence. The neighbors all have small children and we are Geema and Papa Joe to them. I am looking forward to Fall and the cooler temperatures.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Christmas in July

I suppose there are people who actually do start on their Christmas sewing in July. I belong to a Yahoo Group which has an alert on the 25th of each month to encourage you to work on your Christmas projects once a month. Maybe next year...

I went to a Christmas in July show at Tiny Stitches this morning. The staff was in full costume, from Halloween to Christmas. The projects were inspiring. I had my eye on a couple things but remembered that 1) my sewing room is in a mess and unusable, and 2) anything I buy will have to be moved to the studio when it is completed. So, restraint kicked in (yes, it does happen) and I only bought a couple pieces to audition for Cooper's quilt (more about Cooper later).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Practice & Patience

One thing that I know about myself is that I don't have a lot of patience. It is a virtue that I constantly work to develop. Before I spent so many years in the Corporate world, I think I used to be more patient than I am now. I used to write letters and now I get impatient with the slow pace and want to type everything.

I spent three days last week learning long-arm quilting techniques. My key take-away is that I need to develop more patience.

I think my long-arm quilter (Ethel) is so fast that I should be able to quilt in no time. What I realized last week is that I have a lot of practice in front of me before I am proficient. The practice designs are pretty good for two days on the machine, but I want to be able to do it now!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Retirement Life

Sunday will mark my third month of retirement. I can't believe a quarter of a year has passed since I left work. My dream was to create a quilt room and buy a long arm quilter. Well, the later dream has been realized and the former dream is under construction.

The exterior is almost finished -- gutters, porch and a filling in the foundation are remaining. The electrical, HVAC, and plumbing rough-in are complete and sheetrocking will begin tomorrow. Another three weeks and the long-arm quilter can come to her new home. In the meantime, I need to think of a name for her...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

I am so blessed to have my father. My cousings have lost their father's. It makes me realize how precious time is with those we love.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what the hell happened.

I had a conversation with my son today wondering how I got to be almost 60. It is amazing how the years pass so fast. I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my life (life after work). I have five more days in the former and lots of expectations for the future.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

God's Country

We just got home from four days in God's Country... better known as Winston-Salem, NC. The storm blew through last night and left a beautiful Carolina Blue sky with fluffy white clouds for the drive back to Georgia today. The dogwoods in NC are about 2 weeks behind ours and the azalea flowers are just starting to open. The wild dogwoods along the expressway were beautiful.

Saturday was Chloe's 6th birthday party. There were 16 kids were there, so it was constant motion. I swore I would never to go another birthday party at Chucky Cheese and this one was a close second. I suppose it's a sign of getting old.

Back to work tomorrow... for three more weeks. VBG

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thirty One

It's just a number... most commonly connected to the number of days in a month. Tomorrow it is significant for me as it is the number of days until I retire. It is also significant in that this is my 31st year of employment with my Company. Thirty one years is 11,315 days of your life. It is an amazing investment of time. As I reflect on all those days, I have been most blessed to have known all the people with whom I crossed paths. Those people have helped me grow and become the person I am today.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It always rains for Shop Hop

This is the first year that I managed to visit all the shops on the Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop. I've wanted to do this for several years and finally talked by BFF, Pam, into running the perimeter with me. I have been to the local Cobb stores in the past and know from that experience, that it WILL rain on Shop Hop. We weren't disappointed. BFF's DH called when we were on the way to McDonough to let us know we were heading into the path of a storm containing tornadoes. We were not to be daunted from our chosen path and forged on. Total mileage Saturday = 300.

Highlights... Patrick's, in Covington, takes the award for the biggest surprise. Imagine walking into a feed store with quilts hanging from the rafters. When we pulled in the parking lot, we knew that we were lost only to be directed to a visual delight of color. Got fabric, a hunk of side meat, and some cheese.

Met the queen at Tiny Stitches. She was delightful. Tiny Stitches is one of my frequently shopped sites. I'm a bag lady. If you're a Tiny Stitches regular, you understand what that means.

Met the cow at Quilts and Fixins in Jonesboro. DH could not believe picture. So glad I took it to prove to him that people DO get all involved in Shop Hop. They do a lot to benefit their local Human Society. Picked up a yummy brownie to do my part for the cause.

A Scarlet Thread is huge! They are the local Babylock dealer and I didn't even take time to look at the machine embroidery (ME). Got to go back there.

Georgia Quilt & Sewing, in Buford, was the first stop Saturday. Started off with a bang. Found a light box I need for my applique, a ME applique quilt CD and lovely fat quarters.

Intown Quilters, Decatur, lived up to everything I have heard about them. Walk in the door, and you are met by an explosion of color. Signed up for their newsletter.

Sweet Home Quilt Co., Conyers, is in a wonderful old house. It was a pleasure to walk through the house, with its high ceilings.

Red Hen and Little Quilts are two of my neighborhood quilt stores. I frequent them often. They are as comfortable to me as my beloved slippers.

Stitch 'n Quilt, Mableton, has recently moved and is greatly expanded.

Keep your fingers crossed that I win one of the prizes! My BFF and I are going to share.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Definitely Spring & 40 days

The dogwood blossoms are starting to open. We have at least a dozen azaleas in bloom. Joe and the yard crew trimmed the bushes on the fence line by our neighbor and we can now see the entire neighborhood. I love Smyrna in the Spring!

40 days to retirement. I hear the UFO quilts calling my name.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Civic Duty

I was called for jury duty this week. I am honored to perform my civic duty. It is just so hard to sit and wait. It gives me an opportunity to finish my applique blocks from my recent classes and get caught up on my quilt book reading. I got some funny looks from fellow jurors this morning wearing my magnifying glasses.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hint of Spring

We have the first jonquils of the year. Our wild jonquils in the woods produced four blooms in the warm snap this weekend. We had friends in from Minnesota this weekend and really enjoyed their company. We made our first-ever trip to the Georgia Aquarium. Aside from a couple thousand young cheerleaders, it was an awesome experience.

Monday, January 31, 2011

On The Road Again

Seems like everytime I blog, I've been to a class. You must think I have a lot to learn. This past weekend, I have been to Quilting By The Bay's Paradise Retreat. QBTB is located in Panama City. Sandy and Al, the owners, are absolutely wonderful people and their shop is delightful. My teacher was Penny Haren. Penny has a unique technique for applique paper piecing. Using freezer paper and appliques, you create blocks that make you wonder "how did she do that." Kimberly Einmo was one of the other instructors and led the mystery quilt. My mystery quilt is still a mystery as I am challenged on reading instructions and totally messed up the first blocks. I am at a crossroads of doing the frog quilting technique (rip it, rip it) or just forging ahead to see what comes out.

My BFF (Best Fabric Friend), Pam, and I are on the road home. Tomorrow is back to reality and work.