Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Something I Ate . . . I Hope

I feel sick to my stomach! Now, I wouldn't usually blog just to tell you that, but I figured I might as well, since feeling sick fits in with today's word of the day. So, I feel sick to my stomach. I hope it was something that I ate and not the I'm actually sick - both really suck, but, unless it's food poisoning, upset stomach tends to end quicker than illness. I believe I will go lay down in the hopes that lack of movement will ameliorate my symptoms.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New Beginnings

I started my new job today - sort of. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but, by day, I work as an instructional designer and up to this point I have developed instruction, mostly in the form of online courses, for custom clients. For over a year now, I have worked for the same client, a pharmaceutical company. Recently, I decided to change things up and applied for a new position within the company. I will still be developing courses, but instead of creating courses for custom clients, I will be creating courses to fill our catalog. These courses could be purchased by various clients and are not customized for just one. So, I still work for the same company, just in a different department. And because I work for the same company, my transition to the new job will be sinuous, but that is necessary so that I can leave my client in a good place. For a little while I may be straddling the fence between the two departments, but all is well. Since I officially became part of the new department today, they gave me this lovely bouquet and took me out to lunch. Such a nice gesture and a wonderful way to ease me onto their team and ease my leaving a department and client I will miss dearly. Oh, new beginnings wouldn't be so hard if endings weren't so sad!

And the Winner is. . .

# 80 - Audrey. How exciting!! Audrey, congratulations!! I am very excited to send you this lovely quilt. I hope it brightens up you home! Please go to my profile, find my email address, and email me your mailing address so I can get this quilt to its new home.

Although I am excited for Audrey, I'm sad that I couldn't make you all winners! I wish that I could do what I did with the PIF contest and let everybody win! Bu don't worry, I really like giving things away and plan to have contests regularly.

Speaking of contests, I'm sure you all remember helping me decide which quilt to enter in the Nature's Best Quilt contest. Well, voting has started. I'd love to win, so if you will all got to this site, take a look at the contestants in the small quilts section, and vote for Lily Garden: Year One, if you think it's the best. Thanks!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Clearing the Clutter

Those who have been following me for a while now probably remember following along on my tour of my craft room. Well, this room is the largest in the house (aside from the attic, which houses the other half of my crafting supplies!). One of the problems with having such a large space is that when it gets messy it takes a lot of time to clean and straighten it up. My predilection is to clean up after every project, but I've been so busy lately that I haven't taken the time to do so and things are just out of control. So, today is the day! I will end clutter's hold on my craft room and my creativity!! (Just as soon as I finish goofing off on the computer!)

Speaking of endings: today is the last day of the Fall Celebration giveaway, so if you haven't yet entered, now's your chance.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I'm gonna live forever! We just got home from seeing Fame! What fun. I loved the show as a kid. Remember rushing home on Saturdays to a house full of crockpot cooking beans and watching Fame with the family. The movie was great and like all great movies left me feeling on top of the world. I left the theater cavorting wildly and singing loudly, while Michele tried to walk enough of a distance away so that people would think she didn't know me. I don't think she fooled anyone.

Well, from my post-theater antics, it is pretty obvious that singing and dancing will never be my claim to fame. Though I am pretty decent at both, I'm a lot better at quilting. And, thankfully, I just found out that the lovely little mini quilt, Lily Garden: Year One, arrived safely to my new friend Anne in Norway. Enjoy it in good health, Anne.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fun, Pain, and Fun!!

Oh, I am having so much fun reading all the comments on the giveaway post! Keep those entries coming! I cannot wait to see who wins!

Now for the pain segment. I wanted to tell you what happened to me the night I was working on the fall wall hanging. It is something that has happened to many other sewers, but I never thought it would happen to me. I sewed through my finger! Surprisingly, it didn't hurt, but the needle made a very eldritch noise when it went through my finger and fingernail and broke into many tiny bits. I think this makes me a real sewer - I have been initiated into the club! Although there was no pain when it happened, my finger really smarts now, especially when I type (which I do all day at work and quite a bit when I get home!!)

OK, now on to something fun. As you all likely know, I have a shop in which I sell quilted items. Well, I am also a member of a group of others who also have shops in which they sell items (though mostly not quilted items) and we all live right here in Rochester, NY. We're called the Rochester, NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST) and we are really fabulous!! This team has a blog, which I hope you will check out because they are graciously allowing yours truly to author a weekly column. I call it Wednesday Wellspring and weekly will feature a wonderful seller who has "bubbled up" from the well, so to speak. Now if hearing more from me isn't reason enough, my fellow members will also be contributing really cool posts, like Buenahelena's recent tutorial on magnetic rings! Very cool! So, if you have space on your blogroll, definitely check it out!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Celebration GIveaway

Alright, I promised to show some love today, remember? It's the first day of fall and fall is one of my four favorite seasons! So, to celebrate, I am hosting my first no strings attached giveaway. All you have to do to win is enter and the random number generator will do the rest. And, because I like being nice, you'll have five chances to enter! Now, first, let me tell you what you will win. Just especially for this giveaway, I made this gorgeous fall wall hanging. Measuring 17 inches square, it is a smaller version of one I just listed in my shop. Just looking at it makes me think of fall!

OK, now for what you need to do to enter. You have five chances and need to leave a separate comment for each entrance:
  1. Leave a comment telling me why you'd love to have this wall hanging.
  2. Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment telling me you are. If you're already a follower, leave a comment saying so.
  3. Go to The Quilted House, look around, and come back here to tell me what your favorite item is.
  4. Go to my Etsy team's, the Rochester, NY Etsy Street Team, blog and become a follower. (Trust me, you'll want to. We'll be having the mother of all giveaways soon!!) Don't forget to leave me a comment here letting me know you did.
  5. Mention this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, twitter, etc., and leave me a comment telling me you did (no link necessary. I trust you.)
It's that easy. But, you know what, I think I want to give a little extra love to my faithful followers (who by now should be cognoscenti of me) in the form of two bonus chances to win:
  1. Leave a comment answering: Animal lover that I am, name one of the three animals I would love to sic a dog on.
  2. Leave a comment answering: What do I love to watch on DVD? (No need to be series specific.)
Best of luck to all, but don't delay. This giveaway ends Sunday, 9/27/2009, and I'll announce the winner on Monday! By the way, all are welcome to play, U.S. & International!

Is Today My Birthday?

I must be the luckiest girl in the world. I came home today and, after seeing what had come in the mail, had to ask Michele if somehow my birthday had moved from May to September! I was overwhelmed with goodies from two lovely ladies from the west. First of all, Teresa, of Sewing Trials, paid it forward in a big and wonderful way. She sent bags galore: shopping bags, a corduroy tote, a small bright orange tote (filled with chocolate that is already half gone), and the cutest friendship bag ever (that I saw her making on her blog, but had no idea it would be for me!!). She also sent a fat quarter of a fabric I fell in love with on her blog, two winter scarves, two fabric scarves, and two of the very loveliest cloth wallets I've ever seen. And she made it all herself!! Oh, Teresa, I love it all - thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Now, my "birthday" didn't end there! Oh, no, indeed. Also from the west, Kymberly (whose name is spelled identical to my big sis's), of The Cotton Patch, sent me an absolutely beautiful mini quilt from the Summertime Mini Quilt Swap. The beautiful sun-bleached colors of the whimsical pinwheels made me smile the moment I opened the package! This quilt, I believe, will grace the walls of my new "office" at work (by the way, I got a new job. I'm sure I will mention that again later). Thank you, Kymberly, for such a wonderful gift!!

Wow, all this love from two whom I have never met in person. It just makes me want to spread some love, too. Tomorrow is the first day of fall. Hmm, perhaps I have something planned to show some love. Should I hint around? Should I lead you all on a merry chase? No! I will not equivocate! There will be some excitement on this blog tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sneaky Cats, II

You may remember Myah, one of our three cats, from this post: Sneaky Cats. Well, she's at it again. I'm not sure what is calling to her, but she is driven to reach something outside this high, high window in my bedroom. I've peeked out and cannot see anything that fascinating, but there's no telling what captures a kitty's interests, is there?

Whatever it is, it captivates her and, in a farrago of ways, with alacrity she climbs up and stalks whatever is taunting her on the other side of the screen.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Football and Trash - it IS Thursday!

Well today is Thursday, and, as usual, I ask . . . that's right, you guessed it, "why do I play football?" Well, today I only fell once, Michele almost broke Jena's nose, I almost broke Chad's finger, clothes were torn, chests were bumped, and, from an efficacious application of defense, my team left victorious!

Today, as I said, is Thursday, trash day, and Michele is home, but guess what? There is no trash! I took care of it last week (about the first time in a month) and we hardly generate any (recycling, reusing, reducing, and composting), so there is nothing for Michele to do and for me to enjoy not having to do. Oh, wait, [evil laugh inserted here], there's the litter boxes to take care of! Oh, honnnneeeyyyyyyy. . . .

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Late Night Visit to a Truck Stop

To avoid being accused of logorrhea, I will keep tonight's post short. Actually, I am keeping it short because I am tired again tonight. I wonder if I am coming down with something. Every time I say to Michele "I'm tired. I think I may be sick." She says, "Normal people, when they are tired, think, 'Hmm, maybe I'll take a nap or go to bed early.' But you always think you are sick. Just take a nap!" And I would go to bed early tonight, but I have to make a trip to a truck stop to pick her up and I am afraid that I will not awaken when she calls (I sleep like the dead). Plus, if I go to bed for the night and wake up in the morning, I am a nice person. If I go to bed for a short time, like a nap, I am very grumpy and grouchy and the devil incarnate. So I am going to get a nectarine and watch an episode of Star Trek or two while I wait. It will be better for all concerned this way.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Unfit for Lucubration

Tonight I am tired and not up to the lucubration of writing anything truly clever, so I thought I'd just show you what I've been working on. This is my favorite of a set of four Halloween cards I just finished. Isn't he scarily adorable??!! OK, I'm off to bed now - actually, I'm off to read in bed and eat a bowl of ice cream (remember, it's doctor prescribed, sort of. See here for clarification: Health Screenings.)

By the way, Michele has been delayed on the road and will likely not be home until tomorrow night or Thursday. I think that means she will be home for a week and a half - yippee - but it may mean she'll only be home a couple days and will still start her new job on Monday - yippee on the new job, bummer on the short time!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Puzzles and Shameless Plugs

I ran across this blog post by a crafter who 1. makes really neat ornaments and 2. has a really neat project going on. She's making ornaments out of puzzle pieces that she sells to support the Autism Solution Center. The REALLY neat thing is that if you send her pieces of old puzzles that are missing pieces or whatever, she'll use them to make the ornaments, donate the ornament profits to the organization, donate the amount you paid in shipping to send her the pieces, AND send you an ornament as thanks!! How cool is that??!! Check out her post here: http://busylittleelf.blogspot.com/2009/09/puzzled.html

In a slightly related note: Not to do a shameless plug, but my sister wrote a really nice post about two custom projects I created for her and her family. Check it out here: http://kymidiva.blogspot.com/2009/09/duchess.html?showComment=1252978524027#c4073282873143613719

And, last but not least, a word of caution. As the holidays approach, I implore all of you to temper your drinking and carousing and avoid becoming crapulous. It's all fun and games until you get all crapulous all over your mother-in-law's new Christmas tree skirt! (OK, obviously I had no idea how to work today's word of the day into the actual post, so I fabricated a reason to say "crapulous." Hey, what's a girl to do when the WOTD is totally unusable in her daily speech??)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pastoral Sabbatical

Our beloved pastor left today for a eight week sabbatical. He left his bucolic surroundings somewhere in the countryside of Western New York (that likely lacked sufficient street lights for me) and his suburban church to travel to six countries in Eastern Europe (Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Malta) to be a resource to a fellow pastor in Romania and provide support to other ministries. We are certainly going to miss him over the next two months, but I think that it is incredibly cool that he is making this sojourn. Today, as always, I am very proud of our pastor.

On an unrelated note, Michele believes she will be home tomorrow afternoon or Tuesday morning!! It's too bad that she couldn't have gotten here today to see Rev. Jim off, but I am so happy she'll be home! I think she goes for orientation with her new company a week from tomorrow, so she'll just be home for a few days (one of which will be trash day - yippee!!).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lazy Day

I shamefully didn't even get out of my pajamas today. I watched an episode of Voyager (my favorite Star Trek after TNG), chatted with my neighbor, Rita, in the garden (yes, in my jammies), made two tote bags, and accidentally made tomato sauce/tomato soup. So, although lazy, I was productive. OK, OK, you are wondering how a person accidentally makes tomato sauce/soup, right? Well, it can easily happen when said person decides to stew tomatoes, but doesn't know how and doesn't Google it and just decides to throw a bunch of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and green peppers into the Crock Pot and forget about it for ten hours. The lovely mess is definitely tomato soup or sauce and pretty darn tasty soup or sauce at that!

On a slightly related note, over these past months, I have tried to inure myself to the drudgery of chores, like the trash and litter boxes, with some success. The need for this will hopefully be coming to an end. Michele has been hired by a new trucking company for a regional route that will bring her home weekly!! Yippee!! Now, my only hope is that her weekly home time coincides with trash day! Hey, a girl can hope, right??!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Celebrating Life

I've felt sad today thinking back eight years ago to 9/11/2001 - a puissant memory that I am sure is on most minds, especially here in New York. This morning, I heard a radio host comment that in the midst of thinking of those lives that were lost, think also about those whose lives were changed for the better in the aftermath. Children who turned from crime and were inspired to become firefighters or police officers. Members of the US and international military who, without fail, defend freedom and culture worldwide. All of us throughout the world who gained new sensitivities to one another. And so, as I was acknowledging our losses, I celebrated life today. One of my favorite books that I have been working through for the past few years is You Can Do It: The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls. Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas began writing it one year before she died on United Flight 93. Her favorite quote was "Get busy living, or get busy dying" from The Shawshank Redemption. Today, I thought of that quote, Lauren, the country, the world, and the affect 9/11/2001 has on us all.

In embracing life, I thought I'd leave you with a happy picture of me embracing the packed up Lily Garden: Year One before I sent it off to it's faraway home. Happy journey, little quilt.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mysterious Burns

The strangest thing happened earlier in the week: I discovered a small burn on my hand. Now that, in and of itself is not really very strange. The thing is that I don't remembered getting burned. Now, even stranger than that, this morning, upon waking, I found two more small burns on the same hand! Very strange. I have the oddest feeling that some noisome villain, perhaps a mischievous squirrel or bunny, sneaks into my bedroom at night and burns me with some miniature cigarettes. OK, OK, I know it's a lot more likely that I burnt myself on the stove or iron a few days ago without noticing and it just took some time to color up. But, admit it, the image of a villainous smoking squirrel is a lot more interesting, right?


Hey, my shop was profiled in a blog in August - and I just found out! It was a very nice profile from a stamp carver who carves under the name of JackBear Stamps. As you can see, his portrait stamps are absolutely amazing!! Thanks, JackBear, for the profile!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Well, it has now been confirmed that I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. All my fancy maneuvering to make my blog into a three-column affair broke two things: my ability to edit posts and your ability to comment! (Thank you so much, Teresa, for letting me know the comment function was broken. I was beginning to feel unloved with 0 comments by mid-afternoon!!) Well, I've gotten a little more knowledge and fixed both issues (though the comment function still has the same glitch it's had: you have to click submit twice to get your comment to go through and now my note to that affect has disappeared - thankfully the submit thing is a Blogger problem, not one of my creation!)

It seems that today is the day to gently poke fun at my misuse of the knowledge I so passionately glean from the web. Today's word of the day fits me perfectly: malapropism. It describes the torture through which I usually put these poor words of the day by trying to use them in a sentence. Well, I will persevere. My malapropisms will be on display for you daily as promised!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


OK, you may have noticed that I have redesigned my blog layout. I've been wanting a three-column layout for a little while now, but I couldn't figure out how to do it. Well, I googled it and voila - refulgent in the listings were directions on editing the html of my page template to make it three columns. And, of course, I forgot to save the link to post for you, but if you google three-column blog (and the name of your blog template) you should be able to find directions - I guess it's something a lot of other people want to do, too! Let me know what you think of my redesign.

On a very loosely related note, I am trying to reinvigorate my online shop, too. I've made it a mission to list one new item every day this week, which is a challenge because that means that I need to make new items at least daily (and those of you who sew and quilt know that quilted items rarely get completed in a day!!) I got inspired, though, by another seller, Tina, who has twin three-year-olds and has made her shop a success. Also, by my blogging friend, Teresa, with three boys (and all their activities), who is making things and taking classes right & left! And then there's my sis, with two toddlers, and her own online shop! Well, if they, with all the folks and things they take care of, can do it, I most definitely can, too! I've cut my Star Trek watching to the bone - that's how committed I am!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cheerful Ironing

This may seem odd, but I love, love, love ironing fabric - it's one of the many sacrosanct joys in my life (right up there with Star Trek!!). I'm not very keen on ironing clothes or anything else, though. So, yesterday, after that excellent movie and my heartfelt blogging, I decided that the most appropriate capstone to the lovely evening would be to finish my ironing. I've been slowly, but surely, working my way through that large suitcase of fabric that Kym, my sister, sent me home with from Pittsburgh. I love to bring new fabric into my room and dream over it while ironing, folding, and color-coordinated sorting. I keep my journal nearby and jot down all my ideas and then pin little notes to the fabric to remind me. Oh, what fun!!

On a fabric-related note, sort of, I entered Lily Garden, Year One into that contest I mentioned. Voting starts at the end of the month, but I'll remind you. There are so many lovely entries already submitted, so it's bound to be a great competition. It's my first, so I'd love to win, but mostly I'm just really excited that I had the courage to enter!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Julie & Julia

My friend, Sara, and I went to see Julie & Julia tonight. Amazing!! It was so very good. I read the book when it first came out and, although I really enjoyed it, had a bit of a hard time getting through it. The writing was wonderful, but I read it during my lunch breaks and, being a vegetarian who had never cooked meat, fish, poultry, etc., found it hard to stomach (pun intended). Anyway, the movie really resonated with me. Julie saved herself from herself by cooking her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but more than just that. She saved her sanity by blogging about it. Although I started this blog as a way to keep Michele apprised of my many projects (and to let my parents know I was surviving), it's metamorphosed into something more for me. There's something special about connecting with people this way and being responsible to a sometimes mysterious and unknown other. For the first few months, just knowing that someone out there might be expecting to read something from me helped me not to acquiesce to the desire to sleep all day - I actually had to get up and do something so that I would have something to blog about! I just really appreciate that you all read this because I really enjoy writing it. It kept me sane in the first few months and now really brings me joy!

OK, in a completely unrelated note: after tallying the votes from here and Facebook, Lily Garden, Year One edged out Dragonfly Dance by one vote. I didn't vote myself, or it would have been a tie! Lily Garden, Year One it is, I think. I should hurry up and enter before I change my mind!! Thanks, everyone, for helping me decide!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Battle of the Nature-Themed Quilts

Hello all! I have just completed the quilt for my swap partner. I will be sending it off to her on Tuesday when the post office opens again. The site that hosted the swap, Quilting Gallery, is also hosting a contest for the best nature-themed quilt. I would like to enter, but I can't decide which quilt to enter, so I thought I'd ask for your help.

The first contestant is the quilt I made for the swap. It's titled Lily Garden, Year One and commemorates my first year as a gardener and features three lilies, similar to the ones in my little lily bed, and 42 individually cut and appliqued blades of grass (yes, that's correct, 42 - not 41, not 43, but 42).

The second contestant is the quilt I made for Michele for our anniversary. It is titled Dragonfly Dance and features a dragonfly centerpiece and lots of little bugs and flowers, each on its own pieced background.
I, of course, love both and would love to enter both, but can only enter one. Michele's already voted for her quilt, but she might be just a bit biased. What do you think?

On a related note, once I enter one of these lovelies and voting starts, I'll let you know. The prizes wouldn't satisfy a voluptuary, but I think they are pretty great and I would love to win one of them. But, first, of course, I need your help to decide which one to enter!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Michele's Send Off Treats

Michele heads out tomorrow morning, so I was no gadabout today. Since I always like to send her off with some healthy, but yummy treats, instead of playing all day, I got busy.

Her treats this time had a nutty, chocolatey theme. I made her granola, as I usually do, but this time she didn't want any fruit, just nuts. This is a real nut-lovers granola with peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, and coconut. She says it's delicious, but since I can't eat walnuts or sunflower seeds, I have to take her word for it.

I also made her chocolate fruit and nut clusters. It's dark chocolate with pieces of dried cranberries and apricot and pecans. I did try these, even though pecans make my mouth itch. They were very, very worth it!!

Last, but not least, I made her chocolate chocolate chip zucchini bread. Oh my, is it delicious!! The recipe makes two loaves, so one is staying here with me. I used zucchini from the garden, so it's an extra special treat to send her off with. I like to know that she'll have little bits of love to see her on her way.

In a related note, Michele has another chance for a regional route that would get her home every week. If you pray, please send up some prayers for that to come through.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Football Excitement

We played ball tonight! I still have no clue why I play - I fall as often as I stay on my feet! - but tonight was extra special for two reasons:
1. Michele got to play with us. She was on the opposing team and they won, but it was still great fun to have her with us.
2. I got the most amazing touchdown!! Now, you know these are rare for me, so this was extra, extra special. I was the quarterback and I was supposed to be throwing it to someone, but Chad, who is about 7 feet tall was about to rush me and no one was open, so I ran it!! I caromed off Tim - he's fast like quicksilver - scooted around Chad, Sarah, and Michele and made it to the endzone with flags intact!! I am always so very surprised every time I stay on my feet with the ball in my hands.

I really earned the veggie hotdog and pie I ate afterwards. I have also earned the extreme pain I will be in tomorrow. Oh, indeed, tomorrow I will be reminded that I am not 15 anymore, but tonight I am just basking in the glory!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Beets: They're What's for Dinner!

But not tonight. My fecund little garden has been growing the biggest beet ever and every day I have gone out and said a little prayer asking God to put a little plastic bubble around that beet to protect it from the groundhog/squirrel/bunny. And every day that beet grew bigger and bigger. You see, I had plans for that beet: Michele's homecoming. I wanted her to see it growing in the ground and then pick it with me and then we'd cook it up and eat it together! And I know that you all think that next I will say that the groundhog/squirrel/bunny got to it first. . .but no! We just picked it today and cooked it up! bwahahahaha!! We got one over on the groundhog/squirrel/bunny!! The thing is, it took too long to cook, so we actually had grilled cheese sandwiches with slices of tomatoes inside & homemade pickles on the side. Yum!! We'll have beets tomorrow.

Now you all may remember when I was just an abecedarian and first tried beet juice, straight, no chaser. Well, now that I am more advanced, more educated, I've decided to add a little sugar, chill it, and have it over ice. I'll let you know how it is tomorrow. Michele refuses to even try the beet greens, least more the juice. She claims she's living vicariously through me.

By the way #1: You may have noticed that I used two words of the day in this post. Well, that is to appease my sister who complained that since I did not blog yesterday, she was bereft and uneducated about the word of the day. So the first word was yesterday's. Enjoy!
By the way #2: If you are interested in a small purse-sized tote bag, I am having a sale at my shop: The Perfect Little Tote Bag Sale!! There are only two left, so if that's up your alley, grab them while the grabbing's good!


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