Monday, July 28, 2008

I got nuthin'

In the middle of summer fun, yard work, and kids off from school, I have been sooooo lazy. Not one stitch has been put in anything quilty!!! I made a few little girl's sundresses but that about covers the stitches in Granny's house this summer. I am hoping for some inspiration!!! Any body have any on hand to spare??? But I think I'm not the only one, as the summer gets busy and the yard work is plenty, I don't know about you, but I get pooped by the end of the day!

Mr. Wonderful went on a three day writer's conference in Indiana, and that left DD#3 and I to fend for ourselves,,,you all know what that means...........FAST FOOD!!!! Mr. Wonderful is such a wonderful chef, and he is basically a healthy chef, with his diabetes and all, and he really likes that "every-day-a-different-dish" thing. I, on the other hand, am a good cook as long as it is for something special, and I have specialties, (I have to admit that my fried chicken cannot be beat). So, while he was away, we hit the chinese buffet, the pizza parlor, and you guessed it, Mickey D's was calling our names!! All of those things are a rarity around here, if we have fast food, it is Subway. Now, I'm not knocking Subway, I love it, and it really is healthier,,,,,but girls, a Big Mac once in a while, mmmmm....can you hear my fat cells giggling? Let;s change the subject, I"m getting hungry!!

The beaches here are so perfect this time of year, we have sugar-sand beaches, and the sun sets over Lake Michigan with reds, purples, and oranges and makes the "evening times of life" absolutely gorgeous!!!

When the kids were younger, we co-owned a hang glider and would spend all day at the beach with friends and family. The guys would glide off the dunes over the water, and the women would watch the younger ones in the water, and pass out PB&J's and rinse off sandy little paddies.

Oh, for the days gone by, right? If you look close, to the left of the seagull, you can almost see Finn's house. These pictures were taken by my DD#2, she and a friend came to spend the weekend a little while back and the weather was not perfect for the beach, but they went anyway, away from the tourist beaches, and they had a great time.

So, that is all I have, just some summer thoughts and some dirty fingernails from weeding the tomatoes.

Hope your summers are just as "beachy"


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm Honored

I have been honored with an award from Norma. It is not just the usual "I think you're great" award, because Norma is not the usual "I think you're great" blogger. Any of you who know her will agree, she has a rare heart, and she has touched me and welcomed me into her circle. So, I accept this award, and now it is with great honor, I will present it to five others who have touched my heart. This sounds so easy, just to run down the list of your "buddies" and pick a couple.
But then you have to pause, and remember each one of these people have shared a piece of their lives with us. They lay their heart out for all to read, and they lay their loves on the pages of these blogs hoping you will love them, too. This picture (above) reminds me of our friends on the blogs, one heart strung to the next,,,, you don't just find a friend, you are linked to all of her friends, too. Prairie Sisters. Teaching, learning, sharing, comforting, keeping each other company, and daring to shed a tear now and then with them. We are a lot like the women of long ago, bonding through a love of fabrics, threads, colors, and giggles, as they gathered to quilt.
When you (with beating heart and worried brow) log your first post, it is so scary. Will anybody be interested? Will anybody care? Will anybody read? Am I smart/witty/interesting/likable enough to find a reader who will be my friend? You shine your light off the bow, and wonder if there is another ship out there who will shine theirs back. And hope for a good wind to fill your sails.
Even if you're not the largest sail, somebody is out there! They see your signals, and understand your rigging, and ride the same waves. And,,,they leave a comment! God Bless the first person who left you a comment!!! And then they came back to see you another time! And you know that what ever you blog about, there will be a passing from that other boat, which keeps you blogging on. Before you know it, you are in a fleet, sharing the winds with so many others.
And you find kindred spirits, both sunning on the same rock. No matter what color, creed, or craze, we're all on the same rock, sharing the same sun. Swimming in the same murky waters.
So, my task is to share this award with five other bloggers. Wow, easy and hard at the same time, easy because the names burst out at me, but hard, because how do you tell them how important they are to you?
My first comment came from Kris at quiltedsimple. Her and I were newbies together, and she hung in there with me, and I fell in love with her babies, and my leg hurt when Jesse fell skating, and she was so patient through my Jacobs Ladder. (God Bless you, Kris)
Then there came Finn at Pieces from my scrapbag ! What a coup that was!!! Every body knows what a wonderful gem Finn is, so giving of her heart, to know Finn is to know generosity! But what they might not know is the little girl who plays in that scrapbag, the one who is so precious and gives you half of her cookies. I love that little girl. Thank you, Finny-finn-finn, for all you've given!!!
Norma would fall in right here, because I found her through Finn, but I can't give the award back...can I??? Her and I share a lot. Inside and out! tee hee
Caroline of Knotgarden is the most talented person!!! But, still she is so down to earth, kind, and sharing. I am honored she reads my blog. She is tutoring me in Applique, and as soon as I stitch this thing, I"ll share it with you. Her eye for color is outstanding, and I am in constant awe of her handwork. I am also drawn to her photography. I could learn a lot hanging out at her place!! And she is a lady, both in her honor and in her stitching.
And... Lorraine, at Granny Loz, and I have a wonderful Granny thing, she is sooo witty, and you should see her beautiful stitching!! I think the greatest thing would be to hang out with her for a day!! Hey, Loz, wanna "do lunch?" My sides would ache from the giggles...
The fifth person is hard for me to name, because I'm a "lurker" over there, I have not the confidence to comment. Hers was the first blog I read all the way through, from the very beginning to now. I cried when her Dad died, and I was proud of her daughter's stitches, and I know all the symptoms of Autism. Isn't it amazing how you feel so close to a person on here, and they don't know you from Eve? She is so busy, and has so many wonderful comments, so I just read her blog, I don't "participate." So, Lucy, would be my fifth, but she is on a "blogging vacation" anyway, so she won't miss it.
So, there you have it, girls, I love and admire all of you! and I'm having the most wonderful time in your "quilting bees" so I thank you all!
Hope all your "bee's" are buzzing!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Raggy Baggy Tutorial

So many of you have asked about my bags, ie: how do you start the bottom, how do you attach the handles, so in honor of Finn, (who is the Tutorial Wonder) I thought I'd tell all of you at once, and do a tutorial. Here goes, (for my first) let me know if I've left anything out. I'm not good at reading patterns, so ,Lord help me, I'm in no position to write one, good luck with this!!!

[Any comments about the liver spots on my hands will not be tolerated! 8-) ]

I start out with a size "K" hook, and strips cut (some people tear them) to 5/8 inch wide. To make a large bag, you will need about four 4-inch balls of strips. (the equivalent of one full size sheet or 3 and a half yards of fabric.)
Chain 24 . chain 2 and stitch first dc in 24th stitch. dc all the way down your chain.
In the last stitch, dc 4, Turn the corner to dc on other side of the chain. (I dc over the tail here, to save the trouble of weaving it in later) Dc all the way down this side. Dc 4 in the last stitch and slip stitch to end first row at the first stitch. Chain 2 at start of all rows, and dc in the same stitch. Dc all the way around the row, double the stitch in the curves for 3 stitches to ease the corners for the second row. On the third row, dc all the way around, without adding any stitches, this will curl your sides up to form the bag. Continue all your rows with a single dc in each stitch. I usually go 14 rows before I add the handles.
On the 14th row, you will have a good size bag. Now we need to add the last two rows with the handles. We'll need to find your "true sides". To find your sides, lay flat and slip your finger into the lone stitch at the side, this is your true side. I count seven stitches toward the middle.
(it is very important to mark where your handles will start and stop, believe me, it is confusing if you don't) Use a strip of a darker color to mark your seventh stitch on all four sides. Dc around to the marker on the 15th row, (or how ever many rows you wish) and then chain 30. I have used less, but 30 stitches is a good amount to give you room to slip the bag over your shoulder.
Dc to attach it where your other marker is. (the 7th stitch from the left side.)This shows how the chain start would look like.
Continue to dc around to the other side where you will chain 30 at the next marker. Attach with a dc and continue to dc through the row. On the 16th row, dc all the way around, even in the chain. This will beef up the handle a bit and the double crochet strengthens it bit more. At the end of the 16th row, tie off.
Here, you can see how the two rows make up the handles.
I always try to add a little interest, a crocheted flower, this one has a heart because I didn't have enough of the purple to do a whole flower.

And there you have it. Once you get your strips sewn and in balls, the actual crocheting only takes a couple hours. Good luck, everybody, let me know if you make one!

Hope you all have a raggy baggy night!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm on the run again!

My Lillies are the most beautiful thing in my yard right now, I just love these little ladies!! I am thinking about moving them, tho. I've had them for about 8 or 9 years, and they are on the East side of the house. They bloom every year, but they should have gotten a little fuller by now, and I still only get about 3 stalks every year. (I want about 20) so Mr Wonderful said he would move them to a sunnier spot? Any suggestions? I just love these, my heart soars every year when they bloom.
I am off to the Library and Video store this morning, because we are leaving for the "north country" and Elly and DD#3 are going with us this time, so we need "busy stuff" in case there is rain. Our little sanctuary is going to be a zoo this time, tho, for the holiday weekend. Good for the resort, bad for the regulars. But, there will be plenty of activities to keep two girls busy.

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday...I will pause for a moment and try to fathom the depth of what this day means to us here in the most wonderful United States of America.
oh, and have a blast!