Wednesday, October 28, 2009


My sister, who granted is self-admittedly insane, has really wanted a snuggie. Well, on our bead shop/fabric shopping expedition today, Mum found her one and bought it and we all had to pose in it. Below marks the beginning of our family modeling career. The last picture is my sis, nephew, and neice conflated in the snuggie - like three peas in a very ugly leopard print pod! And, if you'd like one of your very own you can make it yourself! I found this pattern online. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Full House

Our house is bursting at the seams - well close to it! My mom's still here and today my sister, niece, and nephew came to visit. It's a nice feeling to have family in the house, but I am so not used to having children around. They put life into perspective, though. I actually had an incredibly trying day at work, but my nephew accidently left his teddy bear at home and that is truly a bigger travesty than anything they tossed my way today! It's fun to hear thier little voices as they try to avoid going to sleep. I think spending time with children is the best thing to do to get over myself. It forces me to abandon my puntilious nature and just go with the flow!

In a surprisingly related note, Michele asked if I would give her a little sidelight in my blog since she is no longer able to get a reliable wireless signal and has stopped keeping her blog. I shared some of your comments about her truck. She says that the red truck probably goes faster than others, but her truck is regulated at 63 mph - though she's found that she can get it up to 64 mph! Speed demon!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm Alive!

Hello all! I am alive. I survived the roller derby clinic . . . by not going! Ha Ha! Actually, there was so much going on this weekend with Mum's visit and Michele's hometime and us trying to get Michele's new truck outfitted, that I didn't look at the derby website until Saturday night . . . at which time I realized that I needed to have purchased all the pads and gear needed for roller derby! So, the decision not to attend was sort of made for me, but they have another clinic in November, which I am hoping to attend. Of course, the more I delay, the more time I have to think myself out of trying it! We'll see.

The three of us had fun this weekend even without the derby clinic. Michele and I cleaned her truck and stocked it on Saturday and Sunday and then Mum and I saw her on her way. Thankfully, with this new company, she'll be away 5-7 days and then will be home. Good times!

On an unrelated note, my local Etsy team is hosting the mother of all giveaways on our blog. We'll be having seven weeks - that's right, seven - of giveaways starting this week. You can enter this first giveaway here. And make sure to come back for every week! My week is next, so be sure not to miss it!

In an effort not to be too loquatious tonight, I will simply leave you with this picture. I'm sure it needs no caption.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Visits Galore!

Michele came home several days early, which is awesome because Mum comes tomorrow. My mom and Michele are fast friends and haven't seen each other for nearly a year. Michele will be going back on the road on Sunday, but Mum will be here until next Friday. I am excited about spending time with my mom - she's such an aesthete about all things fabric related, so I'm looking forward to getting her take on some of my new designs. Then my sister, niece, and nephew will be coming for a visit next week! Oh so much fun planned. Plus, this Sunday is the first Fresh Meat clinic for roller derby!! Mum is really looking forward to it! LOL!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mum!

Today is my lovely mother's birthday - and the scuttlebutt is that it's one of the big important ones! She'll be here on Friday for her annual birthday-time visit, but I wanted to send her a happy birthday wish via my blog, too! The first picture below is from her annual May visit. She claims she was only smelling the tulips, but it looks like she's picking them to me! The second is a picture is one I found from my big sister's undergrad graduation - about 16 years ago. Obviously that's my sister in the cap and gown, my brother's beside her, our short mother is in the middle, and the tallest on the end, yup, that's me. Happy, happy birthday, Mum!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Carrot Crazed

I don't know that I have been overt about my obsession with carrots, but they are truly my favorite thing in the world. I love to eat them, I love to quilt them, I love everything about them. My friend Sarah of Happy Olive Designs, made me a carrot family felt magnet set that I display in my craft room. I firmly believe that carrot quilts work in any milieu, which explains the quilted carrots on my desk at work and kitchen table at home and the carrot wallhanging in my dining room. Plus, I have a 3 foot long wicker carrot hanging in my kitchen. Now that you understand my adoration of carrots, I want to bring the following serious issue to your attention. This was forwarded to me by Sarah and was created by Natalie Dee (who, by the way, has some awesome carrot t-shirts and totes on her site!).

Edited to add: I got featured in my very first Etsy Treasury. For those who don't know what that is, a treasury is a curated gallery that houses items chosen by other sellers. This particular treasury features quilted items that depict fall. My fall wallhanging was included! Please check it out, but don't delay, one other thing about these is that they expire. This one will be gone like the wind by Friday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Musings on Fall

Fall is without a doubt my favorite time of year. The smell of burning leaves (I'm not quite sure where this smell comes from living in the city, but it's divine), apples, apple cider, and carrots, the oranges, reds, yellows, greens, and golds, the cool crisp weather that just whispers of snow (and my second favorite time of year: winter!!), sweaters and scarves and hats, and pies - the best pies happen in fall. Michele and I are lucky enough to live in an old neighborhood with huge trees lining the street. The first image is the view down that very street. The gold tree on the right is always the first to turn. The second image is the tree in front of our house. It always seems to wait to turn so that its leaves are at the height of brilliance for my mom's birthday (Wednesday). She comes to visit every year for her birthday and the window of "her" room looks out upon this tree. Ahh, fall, the most beautiful, and, in New York, the most fugacious of all the seasons.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Funnies & Feature

Ever since I announced that I am on a mission to become a roller derby girl, I've gotten a lot of encouragement, a lot of strange looks, and a lot of hilarious comments. I thought I'd share my three favorite funnies with you:
First, my mom. I said, "Mum, one neat thing is that the "Fresh Meat Clinic" is happening the weekend you'll be visiting, so you can come with me." She responded, "That sounds great - first I'll take you to the roller derby clinic, then we can head to the medical clinic!"

Next, my dad. He called be at an abnormal time (normal time is our weekly 7am Saturday call) so I answered rather anxiously and, with no preamble, he said, "If you get hurt doing this roller derby thing I'm gonna come up there and break both your legs!" (Well, that would keep me off the football field AND the roller derby rink!)

But, I think the funniest of all was Tina's response to my post about choosing the roller derby pseudonym of Sojourner Ruthless: "Just make sure you don't turn into Sojourner Toothless!"

All so funny!! I can't wait to get out there and give this thing a try!

On an absolutely unrelated note, Audrey, the lovely lady who won my Fall Celebration giveaway, has given me a feature in her most recent blog post. You should definitely check out Audrey's blog, not just to read about how much she loved the fall quilt, but because it's an awesome blog and SHE DOES GIVEAWAYS!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ctrl + Z

I spend a lot of time on the computer. I am on the computer for my entire workday and then I come home and work on my store or write my blog or any number of other things that seem to need to be done on this wonderful machine. I love the convenience and access to people all over the world that the computer and internet have given me, but I also adore that feeling of the world receding and life slowing down when I sit at my sewing table. That being said, this evening, when I needed to cut 10 strips to 7.5" and I accidentally cut them to 6.5" my first thought was "Oh how I wish I could just press Ctrl + Z and undo that!"

On a completely unrelated note, I have been giving a lot of thought to my future career as a roller derby girl. Each derby girl gets to choose a number and a cool name, which is usually a play on words, like Thea Pocalypse, Bomb Voyage, and Harriet Clubman. I've decided that, as I am no triskaidekaphobic, that I would like to have the number 13 (which actually is and always has been my favorite number, simply because 'M' is my favorite letter and 'M' is the 13th letter in the alphabet!) and I've thought of a very cool name: Sojourner Ruthless!! Ain't I a woman, indeed!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Cats Who are Not Away

I know my blog is titled "While the Cat's Away," but ever since Michele started her new career and is away from home so much, the real cats are never away from my side! In fact, Myah, is standing on my desk chair behind my back as I type. Castor likes to twine around my feet while I sew and often stands on my presser foot and starts my machine at the exact wrong moment, though I exculpate her from the incident during which I sewed through my finger - that was entirely my own fault. Now, Pollux, on the other hand, just sits quietly in this box across from my ironing board and stares at me. You gotta love cute kitties! (And Teresa, in case you were wondering, that IS the box you sent all the wonderful goodies in. I placed it there to reuse, but Pollux layed claim to it and that was the end of that!)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Roller Derby!!

When I was a kid I loved roller skating and, though I never saw a match, always wanted to be in the roller derby. My friend, Sara, and I went to watch the local Rochester squad in a double header tonight. What fun!! I really should have brought my camera because these ladies costumes were wild! I hope to go back, so I won't forget my camera next time. Actually - don't tell Michele or my parents - I hope to do more than go back to watch again: I'm going to their "Fresh Meat" clinics to try out for the team! I want to fulfill my childhood dream - and get to wear some really cool thigh-high argyle socks!! So, the clinics start at the end of the month and tryouts aren't until February, but I'll keep you posted! And Michele, Parents, if you happen to get wind of this: I know that I'm a bit klutsy and I know I broke my wrist skating when I was a kid and I know that I fall nearly everytime I go up the stairs, but this is different, I can just feel it! I think I was meant to be a derby queen!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Produce While the Garden Lays Dormant

Though, as I mentioned yesterday, my garden did not produce many zucchini or green peppers and now lays dormant, I have been very productive lately. I made these beautiful bookmarks for a very nice lady to give to the ladies and gentleman in her church prayer group. When I was taking pictures of them for my records, I thought that I should write about them and share the pic with you. I think they came out really well! Each one has a cross and the recipient's initial on front and a scripture written on the back. I hope they're a hit! They were so fun to make I think I will whip some up for the my fellow choir members at church!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

One Green Pepper and Two Zucchini

You may remember that when Michele was home the time before last, I made her chocolate zucchini bread to send her on her way. My zucchini plant didn't produce any fruit until very late in the season and the two zucchini I used for Michele's bread? Yup, you guessed it, those were the only two that it ever produced! Now, Gloria and I planted about a million zucchini and cucumber seeds and I had one zucchini plant which only produced two zucchini!! Likewise, we planted several green pepper plants. Can you guess how many green peppers I got? Right again! ONE!! Just one green pepper!! [But it was really yummy! I sauteed it up with some chopped tomato and angel hair pasta and topped it all with some fried green tomatoes the last night Michele was home this time. Mmmmm!!] Now, I know it's weird enough that I only got two zucchini and one green pepper all season, but here's where it really gets bizarre: they all appeared only once Michele came home!! That zucchini plant was flowering for months while she was away and then the week she gets home out two totally ripe fruit appear! Same with the pepper! It had actually been there a while, but was tiny. The week she gets home it grew and started turning red, it was so ready for her! Must be that Michele put a special spell on the garden!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


As promised, I am back today to tell you why I was so excited yesterday. Remember, I teased that I had won something and hadn't won something else and I was excited about both? Well, first for the thing I didn't win: the Nature's Quilt contest. Now, why am I still excited? Well, because I didn't lose, either! I entered my first contest ever, nine people voted for my quilt, which thrilled me, and some really awesome quilts won, so I don't count that as a loss at all!

OK, now on to what I did win: A Blog de Oro (Blog of Gold) Award!! My first blog award EVER!!

This lovely golden award was graced upon my blog by Audrey of Audrey's Country Crafts. You should really check out her blog, too! (Hint, hint: in addition to featuring some really great artists and her own very beautiful painted treasures, she does GIVEAWAYS!!)

Now, I think this award is really cool for two reasons: It's international. Take a look at Audrey's blog to find out who gave it to her and you can trace the award all over the world - I went as far as Bucharest! How cool is that!

And for the second cool thing: I get to award it to TEN other blogs!! You know how I love to give things away, right? And my burgeoning list of the blogs I follow is insane! So here goes in no particular order:
  1. Quiltefia
  2. Roam Mania
  3. Sewing Trials
  4. Trials and Tribulations of Being a Working SAHM
  5. Charlotte's Cottage
  6. Buenahelena
  7. A Second Look
  8. Bookish Worm
  9. Life on the Block
  10. Canton Village Quilt Works
Now, there are several blogs I wish I could include, but couldn't fit into the ten. And there are a few that you would think I would include, but didn't (namely Michele's blog and the other two blogs I write for in addition to this one), but I only included ones that are updated regularly (which Michele's isn't) and that I don't write for (how fair would that be?) and that I knew were for public consumption. Congratulations to all!! And everyone else, please check these ten out - they are well worth the time!!

Monday, October 5, 2009


I have two bits of excitement to share with you, but I've decided to be a little demon and not tell you until tomorrow. I will give you a hint, though: I won something and I didn't win something else. All joking aside, I swear not telling you isn't a ploy to leave you esurient for more - I can't tell you yet about the first because I have to do a few things when I announce it and I shouldn't tell you the second because I will not officially not win until tomorrow and I really shouldn't give up hope until then. Either way, win or not, it's exciting and tomorrow I will tell you why. Until then. . .

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thanks Everyone!!

Thanks everybody for your opinions on the free gift with purchase. I went with the majority and made it for $10 or greater. And, Kym, my thought was to give away the bags until the items from the featured artist are gone and them change the listing to feature the next artist (so hurry up and send me something lovely!)

And, as you can see in the comments, Audrey found her way back to me to claim her quilt. It was probably my fault - I guess for most giveaways the host emails the winner when they've won - oops! Oh well, we live and learn, right?

Well, I am suddenly overwhelmed with custom orders, PIFs, stocking the store for the holidays, and getting ready for my next giveaway and my team's upcoming giveaways - and I just got a new Star Trek Voyager DVD for season 6 - season 5 ended with a cliffhanger, so I CANNOT wait to watch it!! Now, though I'm sure you can tell by the fact that I am suddenly incredibly busy, but I'll still tell you: Michele leaves today. She's starting her new job that will bring her home weekly, but with orientation and time with a driver mentor, she will likely be gone for a month this first time. So, it's back to the busy bee for me!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Opinions Wanted!! and Wherefore Art Thou, Audrey?

I am so hoping to get your opinions on something. As you know, I run a shop called The Quilted House. Well, as part of an effort to promote both my shop and other shops, I want to start giving a free gift with purchase. I'm starting it with an awesome jewelry shop, Just Ice Jewelry. She's giving her buyers quilted jewelry bags that I've made and she's given me some beautiful earrings to give to my buyers. To make her beautiful jewelry flow with my shop, I decided to create a theme around my free gift with purchase. It will be a rolling feature promoting a different shop each time. Something like: Grab Bags featuring Just Ice Jewelry. And then next month Grab Bags featuring Heavenly Creations PGH. The "grab bag" will be a lovely little quilted bag made by yours truly. OK, so I've got the general concept in my mind, I'm just not sure how to implement it. That's where you come in:

  • First, what do you think? I figure everyone likes to get something free, right?
  • Second, do you think it should be with every purchase? Just Ice Jewelry is giving her gift when a buyer purchases a certain style of jewelry. My friend Buenahelena is doing a Halloween themed free gift with any Halloween purchase. I was thinking doing it with everything, or do you think I should do it for a certain price point - like, free gift with any $10 or greater purchase?
Thanks in advance for your opinions!!

OK, in a totally unrelated note: Monday I announced that Audrey won the Fall Celebration giveaway. Audrey, Audrey, wherefore art thou, Audrey?? I haven't heard from her, so this beautiful wallhanging has been languishing in my craft room homeless and sad. Audrey, if you are out there, please contact me to claim your prize before Saturday. I'll draw a new name on Sunday, so don't delay!

Sick, Not Dead

I'm sorry I neglected to blog yesterday. I am sure you were all quite concerned. I leave a cryptic note about an unknown stomach ailment and then disappear! My apologies. Tuesday night, I started feeling worse and worse and finally, after searching the house and calling our neighbor (at 11 o'clock at night!!) for crackers, Michele (the best partner ever!!) went out and bought me crackers and ginger ale, adjuvants to settle my stomach. After consuming a bit of both, I felt a little less like dying and was able to fall to sleep. I awoke feeling hungry and fine, so I am not really sure what was wrong the night before. Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions! They were all really helpful and all centered around drinking something gingery! Now that I think about it, instead of sending Michele to the store, I could have gnawed on that piece of ginger root I've had languishing in my pantry for a couple months now.

On a very slightly related note, I moved "offices" yesterday (the stress of which may very well have made me ill the day before!) Like many, I work in a world of cubicles. I traded one very grey cube for a very pretty new one. Its walls are a buttery tan, which I like very much and which coordinates a lot better with the quilts and other items I have as decor. I'll post some pics tomorrow.


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