Monday, November 30, 2009

A Star? Me? Oooh I am, I am!

I was very pleased that sometime in November I was asked to do an interview.  The lovely Micki, an American who transplanted to Ireland, asked me to be her December Star!  Needless to say, I was thrilled and happy to do it.
I filled out the interview and attached some pictures as requested.  Interestingly, I discovered a couple of things about myself.  (one thing that I discovered AFTER sending it in - my memory is crap!  I completely forgot to mention one of my UFOs because I think of it as a "long term project" not a UFO)

So, go on over to Micki's blog and read about the December Star.  

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gift Certificate? yes please

My buddy Rhonda aka Ravelly1 has reached 500 posts.  She is having a giveaway and is giving a gift certificate.  That is all I needed to know.  So I am entering. Are you?

500th Post Giveaway

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Win a Quilt Made in Wales.

Okay, so I THINK it was made in Wales.  Anyway, my good blogging friend Andrea, The Welsh Quilter has donated a quilt that she made for her daughter to raffle.  As this is to raise funds (go read about it)  you do have to pay for a chance to win.  I have entered.  I hope you do too. Go read about it and if you can spare the $$ ENTER.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving "Horror Stories"

I posted a comment on a blog about Thanksgiving. The blog owner, Pat, said "You should post that story on your blog."
So for the day after Thanksgiving (USA) here is a Thanksgiving "horror story."  (my apologies to those of you who already read it in the comments on Pat's blog)

One lovely Thanksgiving morning I was at my mother's house assisting her with the preparations. (I learned to cook before I was a teenager - nothing gourmet, but I can cook AND I am an excellent baker)
Mom was cooking some black-eyed peas in the pressure cooker.  The Turkey was nearly done, but still in the oven.  Fortunately, we were both away from the stove at the moment.

There was a loud  Whoosh/Bang/SSssssssiiss sound.  Oh My Goodness! what was that!  One quick look was all it took.  The relief valve on top of the pressure cooker had blown out.  There was a dent we later found in the ceiling from it - but we never found the plug.  This was in my pre-digital camera days or I would have a picture. It was priceless.  The peas shot out all over the ceiling. Later, when we opened the cooker, there was only a thin film of pea mush left on the insides of it.
What to do?
A: Clean the peas off the ceiling before they turn to "pea stucco"  (such a fun job - where was Mike Rowe when we needed him? )
B. Run into the pantry (i.e. the closet in Mom & Dad's bedroom) and find some canned peas.
C. Open the peas and heat them.
Then greet the guests and hope they don't see the wet spots on the kitchen ceiling.

We survived it all.

Now tell us your "Thanksgiving Horror Stories"  

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Part 2


Ham with Pineapple, Sweet Potatoes with marshmallow topping , and Roasted Garlic. It was a  small quarter ham as there was no need to cook like I had an army coming in. It was a small group.  I have ham left over and sweet potatoes left too. Mmmmm. Do you suppose I can/should have sweet potatoes for breakfast?

Sorry that is all the pictures....the eating began and I wasn't about to miss out.  Dessert is later but there will be no pictures.  (I confess -dessert was totally prefab from a box. All I am adding is sugar free cool whip)

Mmmmm.. yes , it was delish, good, tasty and FUN to make AND eat.  We are truly blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanks to all of you who are faithful followers.  I am glad you keep coming back.  I am amazed that there are 76 people who follow me.  By my blog stats, I see that about 50 of them read every post.  Wow!  For that I am thankful.

I want to wish all of you a Happy day today.  I know that some of you are not US citizens, so Happy Thanksgiving is not appropriate for all of you.  However, for all the readers who DO celebrate this day of giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives, HAPPY THANKGIVING!

Today, I will be cooking (shock!) the Thanksgiving meal for the first time that I can recall.  I have cooked a dish or two to take before, but I don't think I have ever done the whole sha-bang. 
Truthfully, I am trying to keep it simple.  My menu consists of :
Ham (pre-cooked, but I will bake it with some pineapple for about an hour)

broccoli, (cause I love it) 
vegetable mix with snow peas, roasted potatoes, and red peppers,  (cause it looked good when I was shopping)
Sweet potato casserole (because I am Southern AND I never met a sweet potato I didn't like) Uh, yes I will have marshmallows toasted on top of it. 
For dessert; Apple pie - cause none of us really like pumpkin pie enough for me to do that.  There will be sugar free cool whip to top it. 

Mmmm......I am ready to eat now! 

Have a wonderful day and remember that if you are able to read this, you are blessed - so give thanks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ahh....It's Magically Crinkly

I finished the "re-quilting" and the lap quilt is washed and ready to be loved. Here are some pictures that show the crinkly goodness, the stitching and the pattern (or part of it.)
I now love this little lap quilt. I hope Mom loves it too. More after the pictures, but for now LOOK!

You see, my parents and I have a "deal." They told me "We don't want you to buy us anything for Christmas. We aren't going shopping so, just come to see us. Don't buy us a present."

I am keeping the "deal" in my own way. I didn't go and buy them a present. I made it. It can stay on the sofa and be for them both.

Do you think I am a bad son? I know I am sort of circumventing the deal, but I made it and I want them to have it. Does that make me bad?


This is one of the quilts I finished a while back.    I had quilted it lightly using a programmed stitch on my machine.  Now that I have fallen in love with free motion work on that same machine, I decided that it needs more quilting. So last night, I decided to start on it.  Or would that be "re-start" it?

Anywho!  I put on a movie and set up the machine in front of the TV.  The movie I chose was "Ant Bully"   About halfway through I got slower on the quilting because I got interested in the movie. I got finally just stopped sewing and watched the rest of it.   So then I put in one I have seen many times - Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte. It is a tale of murder and suspense, with a bit of horror thrown in.  It is actually a cautionary tale of deceit.  The ending always makes me think. Last night I realized that there are a couple of questions left hanging at the end of the movie.
Where was I?  Ha ha.  Yes I was quilting away. finally after three ?? or four bobbins, I stopped.  There is still a little bit to quilt and I will finish it this week.  Meanwhile you will have to make do with the picture above from the previous post.  Hopefully it will be wash and all crinkly the next time you see it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sew Fantastic - Get ready for a giveaway! (and an announcement)

Sew Fantastic is planning a 12 days of Christmas giveaway. One a day for twelve days. AWESOME
This will start on Dec 1st. Sew-Fantastic is here.

Have fun!

Oh, for the announcement- I opened an ArtFire store. Check my sidebar or click here

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Show

The sale went well. There weren't as many shoppers this year as last year. Most of the purchases I had were small ones. But I did make more profit this year. Not a lot more, but it was an improvement.

I didn't take many pictures because I just forgot I had the camera. But here are those I did take.

My friend had an rack that his mother used to use for hanging ironing. So I put it at the end of the table to hang a quilt on. That made the table a bit less crowded.

Right next to me was my friend Dave's table. He is a terrific photographer.

And way too close to me was the Bake Sale table. I had to buy some fudge. Bad me! Good Fudge!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Out of the boxes -Ready to sell

One of these days I will figure out how to get both pictures on the same line in blogger.  Right now i just don't feel like writing HTML code to fix it.

However, I am putting up the pictures for you to see my table at the sale! I couldn't fit in easily in one picture so you see some of the stuff twice.  (so be sure to enjoy it twice - ha ha)

The rack on the right of the table actually has four paintings on it. The rack is 3-sided so customers will see both sides.  It just doesn't show here.

On the left end of the table is all my quilted stuff on and around the A-frame shelving.  (I took two wire shelves and placed shelf boards through them. Ta-dah!  There are two more paintings in the window sill. And in the middle of the table is my jewelry and note cards (notecards also in the basket on the right side of the table)
I have more 'stuff' in boxes under the table so I don't expect to run out of anything.  I must say, running out of stuff to sell would be wonderful.
Now I must get up EARLY in the morning to be there for the sale -it starts at 8 a.m. and vendors should be there by 7:30.  So it will be "up and at'em"
in the morning!

We're -----OFF!

I have been packing everything for the show Saturday. Here it is Friday morning already and it is "set up day."
Everything is pretty well packed up -oops, there are a couple of purses and a couple of sheets that haven't made it into boxes.  Those will have to sit in the back seat and behave - "Don't make me stop this car and come back there!"  LOL
The wire racks and the white boards assemble to make an A-framed shelf.  That black thing under the purses is part of my jewelry display.  The sheets are for the table coverings.   That bag?  It has some small paintings to (hopefully) be sold.

Lets look inside a couple of the boxes.  In this one is lots of quilty goodness.
Several lap quilts and a couple of table runners!

This is my "jewelry box"
I opened one of the silver boxes so you could see what I mean.
In the brown box there are note cards.
Stuffed strategically around the bags are some quilted journals.
The white box that you can barely see in the back has fabric coasters.
Those are packaged in sets of four and tied with sparkling shiny gold ribbon. Pretty!

I will be taking a couple of print racks for my Photographer friend, Dave to use.  The other wire racks that will be the display for my paintings are already in the car.  Whew, I have to get moving.  Sorry if I don't get to reply today or tomorrow, I will be busy! (and hopefully selling a lot of stuff!)
Thanks to Norma for asking. This will be at the Church of the Epiphany in Guntersville, Alabama. The Sale will be held from  8 am to 2 pm on Saturday November 21, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Did I fall in a black hole?

I suppose some of you think I fell in a black hole.  I haven't posted since Monday and that was a quick "giveaway post"

The fact is, I did NOT fall in a Black Hole.  Whew!  Aren't ya glad?  Ha ha.  I have been busy but not with anything to really show.   I have been preparing for the "big sale" this Saturday.  Last night I worked on packaging note cards.  The note cards are prints of my paintings.  I sell them pretty inexpensively at the sale.  A package of five is $5 except for the fancier ones.    I haven't placed any of them on Etsy since the shipping would cost as much as the cards.  If you go to my website you can see a lot of my artwork.  Meanwhile here are some of my best selling note card images.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mystery Giveaway

Elaine over at Faithful Quilter is having a giveaway  It is a Thanksgiving giveaway.  Be thankful.  Go enter!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quilted -Free Motion Delight

Today I took the runner from yesterday's post and had a wonderful time quilting it.  I did my version of free motion quilting. It is part meandering/stippling and part drawing with the needle.  As in all my work it is heavily influenced by abstraction.  You can click on the pictures to see them bigger.  Just use that back button on your browser to get back here.  I don't want you leaving before I am done! LOL

I did this little loopy border around the edges, just because.
I love using an ecru thread over dark fabric to quilt. It makes the stitches really pop. The down side to that is that every mistake is highlighted too.  Such is life.  Risk is like salt, without it life is bland, but if you overdo it, it can be dangerous.

Ooops, I see fuzz on that burgundy...... well it needs washed to make it crinkly and soft anyway.

I clicked on these pictures - to check them out and found several "birds" in my quilting designs.  They were totally subconscious renderings. I did intend some other shapes that didn't come out so well, but the birds look intentional.   My subconscious is a strange place!

Barbara asked (in comments) if I drop the feed dogs, the answer is Yes I do!   I emailed Barbara, but I thought I would let everyone else know right here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bits and pieces make a whole

I used some leftover bits and pieces, blocks or parts of borders that hadn't been used.  I added a few leftover jelly roll strips.  After all I paid as much per square inch for those bits as I did per square inch for the yardage, now didn't I? So all those pieces make for a table runner that is certainly unique.  Will anyone buy it at the sale? who knows!  I can never figure out the buying public.

So for this piece I took the batting and used it as a foundation. I started at one end and sewed two strips down, face together with the LOOSE edges left at the end of the batting. (say they were 2 inches wide) When I ironed it open then the first 4 inches (minus seam allowance) were covered. Then I added a strip at a time ironing after each till I reached the other end.  Some of the strips, as you can see are pieced sets sewn or cut to the width of the runner.  This made it more interesting AND took up some of my "whadda I do with those pieces?" stash.

In the picture it is hanging from my room divider and I can see it is hanging crooked.  It is actually pretty evenly squared up. I don't fret that too much.  Some of the strips came out slightly wonky.  I decided to call that "charmingly unique."   OR "real folk art original"  yeah, you know kinda like Gee's Bend quilts.  After all, I am from Alabama.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carving out a Happy Place

Life got in the way of my sewing plans, so I am sharing some of my co-worker's creations.  Part of what took up my sewing time was working on his website. Yes, I am his webmaster -woo woo! In total I manage 3 websites not to include this blog. The three are completely designed by me.  I will tell you, it is a lot of work.

Here is the scoop:  Whittler's Hollow Creations is the creative effort of T. Nelson Robertson Jr.  I must tell you that Mr. Robertson is my friend and co-worker.  I tell him that he doesn't charge enough for his work.  Carving the cypress knees into these figures and finishing them is truly hard work. He loves it as much as I love to sew. So we understand each other.   Here are two of the figures that I placed on the website this evening:

The one on the left has a purple robe (it is a warm purple and looks almost burgundy in the picture.)  The one on the right is in a red robe and wears a bishop's mitre (hat.)  These are my two favorites from this years collection.  But they are all lovely. These Father Christmas carvings certainly make me happy.  I have a collection of them.  My Nana will get one as her Christmas present, but I can't post that one here - she might look!

Go to the 2009 Collection from Whittler's Hollow and see them all.  They usually sell out rather quickly.

Art for Thursday

I am going to post one of my strange little ATC (artist trading card) pieces as the "Art for Thursday"  photo.
I am NOT doing this as a regular Thursday post. I just named this post that. Okay?

To create this piece I did some abstract watercolor shapes on watercolor paper.  Then I cut the paper into trading card size (2.5 by 3.5 inches)  Those pieces then got drawn on with a Sharpie or else  a Pigma marker.  (the really small tipped ones 1.0mm or less)

Of course the drawing is abstract also. So, what do you see?

I am hoping to have a sewn piece at least pieced so I can show it tomorrow - or would you rather see my co-worker's carvings?
Tune it to see which I decide to show!

Hey, don't forget that Barb at Bejeweled Quilts is having a giveaway in support of her niece,  Jennifer,  opening Inchworm fabrics.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trying a change

I am doing something a little different today. I have changed the way I am handling comments.  Your comments will post right away instead of waiting for moderation.  I do have word verification on.  (Sorry I find it slightly annoying but it at least slows down people who post only to advertise-not to comment on the blog.)

So give a comment and let me know what you think

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Selvedge Journal Cover -AND my prizes

A while back I won a little package of selvedge edges from Quilt Taffy. Surprise, I finally got around to making something with them. I pieced them together for this lovely little journal cover.

Here is a picture of the inside. I decided to use a spiral notebook that will be easily replaced for the inside of this one. That way a person who journals a lot will be able to refill it and keep right on using the quilted cover.

You may notice that it looks a little wonky in the pictures. It is not that crooked really. The outer cover of the notebook is flimsy so it doesn't lay neatly. I plan to use some stiff cardboard to reinforce it.

I had another win recently and I got this HAUL from Tonya at Tonya's Sewing Room.

In addition to the prize she had posted - all the pieces to use for appliqué - she included two "fat boys" (also known as fat quarters.) The little card with the Jonquil made me smile a little brighter. I do love jonquils.

And how about those pieces from the movie CARS? I have to make something for a co-worker's little boy out of those!

Speaking of PRIZES - Barb at Bejeweled Quilts by Barb is having a giveaway too. You could win a quilt...but I hope my luck really holds and that I win it. (yeah I AM like that- sorry)

AND at Hawthorne Threads there is another nice giveaway. Go and see.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Art for Today

Today I am sharing another painting. This one sold quickly to a friend that I first met online. We are now "in person" friends, too.
While this is mildly abstract, it is obviously a mountain scene. In my mind the foreground is water.

I hope you enjoy. I did some sewing last night. I will post that when I finish it. Hopefully I will finish it tonight and get the post up tomorrow.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Gene’s Easy Almost Vegetarian Vegetable Stew

I was inspired by my friend the Petit Debutant after her "What's for Dinner?" post.

I made up this recipe as I was going. The next day I did a "lab write-up" to keep since it was so easy AND so mmm mmm GOOD. You can adjust this in many ways. It would be easy to make it completely vegetarian OR to really add some meat and make it a carnivore's delight. I am thinking it will be a vehicle for leftover Thanksgiving turkey in some homes. (It would make an EXCELLENT disguise for the leftover turkey)

Here is my easy, "open some cans and 'cook'" recipe.

Gene’s Easy Almost Vegetarian Vegetable Stew

Dice a whole onion, brown in olive oil.
Set cooktop to medium heat.
Add one can of low sodium beef broth. (chicken or turkey or vegetable stock are other options)
Add one can diced tomatoes and green chilies. (if you prefer substitute plain diced tomatoes)
Add one can mixed vegetables –drained
Add one can kidney beans –rinsed and drained
Add one can small white potatoes cut up as desired
Add one heaping teaspoon minced garlic –to taste

Other vegetables may be added as desired.
If desired add one-half cup red wine to add another layer of flavor. (I Love adding red wine in anything with tomatoes)
Cook until flavor develops.

Any ingredient you dislike may be substituted with another vegetable you do like. I would think that fresh broccoli added near the end of cooking so that is remains slightly crisp, would be an excellent addition. A small amount of lean beef or ham or diced turkey would be good to add protein.

For my second rendition, I used chicken stock (because I was out of beef broth) and added some oregano and some lime juice - just to add a different kick. I also had some meatballs that I quartered and tossed it.

Gene’s Easy Almost Vegetarian Vegetable Stew

You know, I posted about a similar stew I made back in Sept/Oct...oh well. Now it is in recipe format for you. LOL

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Art for Today

Today I am posting one of my larger paintings. This piece is 22" by 30" (approx) It is acrylic on watercolor paper. I call it "In the Gloaming"
This is one of my original works of art and it is available for sale. However, I am posting it here just for your enjoyment. If you wish to contact me about any of my art OR other works, go to my website at and use the contact form. (Or you can comment here and say "don't publish" and I will keep your comment private)

In the Gloaming

Friday, November 06, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Fabric Madness

What is this draped over my sewing machine?
I think that this first one is my favorite.

Yes it is! Those of you who have been following closely know that I am working on fabric designs even though I do not have any type of contact with the fabric industry -- unless you count the buying I do so frequently.
Like many authors who can't find a publisher to accept a manuscript, I decided to self publish, although in a limited edition.
You can buy it for your very own at Spoonflower
That will take you directly to my design "Eyes of Glory"
So far, I haven't been able to get it to appear when I search. If you have trouble getting to it with that link, please let me know.

Here is the second one, that I do believe I loved more on the computer monitor than I do in person. But I do still like it.

I am putting this second one up for sale also at Spoonflower

Monday, November 02, 2009

Crinkly Quilted Goodness

First off, I washed three new lap quilts to get them ready for the sale. How is this for a pile of crinkly soft goodness?

Now, I showed a bit of this quilt earlier when it was just my "framed square" blocks. Well this one is one of my favorite squares. Isn't the little bird on the branch a happy sight?

Here is most of the quilt, some of it hung over the back of my easel and didn't make it into the picture.

I think I love doing wild free-motion quilting. For a while I thought I did too much quilting on this one. Now I understand what Goldilocks was talking about "this one is just right"

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Second Post Today

I want to step out of the usual mode and tell you of one of my all time favorite books. As a child, I discovered a wonderful series of books that led me on a journey beyond the stars. The series is called "The Time Quartet" with the first book being "A Wrinkle in Time" Somehow this author, Madeleine L'Engle knew me. She understood the parts of me that even my parents didn't quite get. I grew up reading her fantasy fiction.
The first hardcover book I purchased was the fourth book in The Time Quartet, Many Waters. I am very happy that I have a near pristine first edition.

However, later, as an adult, I discovered that she also wrote non-fiction. This link will take you to Amazon -if you care to delve deeper. The book is about art and faith. From it I learned more about myself. I once wrote to the author and received a lovely letter in return from one of her nieces. Sadly, (or perhaps not) Madeleine left this worldly existence in September of 2007. I consider her a saint. Today is All Saints Day and I choose to honor her memory on this day.

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art (

For those of you with different beliefs, I beg your pardon for the interruption, I will return to my normal mode in the next paragraph!

is having a giveaway and promoting her Etsy Store Go and look at some of the adorable items she has. You are sure to find something you love!


Since I have been a little quiet on the quilting front, I am going to post this picture of a collage/painting I did some time ago. I love the texture and colors of this. I am thinking I may try to use part of it to design a fabric. I love using my paintings and drawings as the beginning for a fabric design.

For this work, I painted papers and attached them to the substrate. Then I added paint and a bit of texturing to add depth. I really love the end result.