Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Doggy Tales

Pineapple muffins! Yes, I'm still doing the muffin thing. One of my favorite SNL quotes, "Pineapple, it's neither a pine nor an apple-- discuss"
Make sure you read that with a Jewish accent.
See these socks? My sweetie brought them to me at work today. Does this seem like a strange work present?
Well a couple of weeks ago I hemmed and hawwed and finally came out with "Well, maybe we should think about getting another dog."
You know that commercial where the wife comes in and says "Well maybe we should get a new TV" and the husband goes flying out of the house like his tail is on fire? Well, that was how Jim reacted. See he has been ready for a few months now, and trying to nudge me along but I wasn't having any of it. I didn't even go see our friends new "adorable puppies". Nope, nothing doing.
well............ maybe. Then last week Vanessa convinced me to go to the animal shelter to look. Here is Nakita. She really is a sweetie, and she is winning me over. We got to play with her for a while today in a visiting room and when the shelter lady came to take her back she said "Well! Nakita, this is a different attitude for you." Ever on the alert I asked what she meant and she explained that with everyone else so far Nakita had been very shy and stand offish. I guess when a dog this size tries to sit on my lap I can't complain about her being stand offish! I did explain to her that I was pretty sure she wasn't a lap dog though and the floor might be a better option for both of us. Whereupon she rolled over and begged for a tummy scratch.
And then we have my latest needle felted creations.

Someone asked about the process. I did these just with my felting needles and dry roving. I did get most of my roving online, which is totally dangerous. Why do I let myself shop online? It doesn't feel like real shopping, it's more like winning!! And then getting a present in the mail!! woo hoo!

and Granny, your package is headed to Alaska tomorrow!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Green Dream

Well, I went with Granny's choice for the quilt "Green Dream"

You can visit granny here:

So, Granny, if you send me your address I'll pop that tea cozy in the mail right away! I didn't think about the different sizes of tea pots when I made it, sort of a duh moment for me. Live and learn? It seems to fit my Brown Betty pot okay. Not great mind you, but okay. I have a collection of tea pots even though I don't really drink the stuff. I think the pots are adorable.

So, next to the tea cozy are some of my latest needle felted wool pincushions. They have become totally addicting to me! I got my greenapple, which for some strange reason led to a cupcake, which led to a banana, which led to a strawberry............ I'm currently working on one that looks like a cinnamon roll, and I have ideas for about a bazillion others! I wonder if there is a twelve step program for pincushions too? It's totally fun though, like sculpting fiber. Okay, it actually IS sculpting fiber, but since I've never done it before I'm quite smitten!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bake on Saturday???

Well it wasn't sew on Saturday. I'm not sure what got into me, but it was another baking day. First I needed to use up some ripe bananas, so here we have banana chocolate chip muffins.

Then I wanted to try something different so here we have white chocolate raspberry muffins. Now normally I don't really believe in white chocolate. To a real chocolate lover it's an oxymoron, sort of like jumbo shrimp, or government intelligence. White chocolate???? Still I have to admit those little pale anemic chips go pretty well with raspberries.

Next we have oat scones. These are for my mother. I'll be braving the wild winds and visiting the parents tomorrow. My poor dad had his supply of diet coke sadly depleted when he was fighting off some sort of virus so I must go and fill up his closet again. The scones are the ultimate comfort food for my mother. Not getting real baked goods where they reside now, it's a special thing for her. She made these ever since I can remember being able to walk to the table. They are not sweet like Americans think scones should be, these are traditional Irish oatmeal scones. And no, mother is not Irish, she's just traditional. ;-)

Of great importance is the French press you see here. A lovely present from my sweetie. I was in very desperate need of coffee this morning, and this came through beautifully. I fully intend to take it on retreat with me next fall so I don't have to rely on the bad coffee there, or submit to endless cups of herb tea. Notice the cup is getting low........... time to make more!!

Now we come to the fiber portion of this post, (because there isn't all that much fiber in the muffins-- but the scones are pretty full of it) anyway, I digress, this is my newest wool purchase. Isn't that pincushion the cutest????? I'm working on my green apple, but I'll wait to post a photo until it's done. I'm also figuring out a cupcake pincushion.
The tea cozy however turned out a bit big in my opinion so I'm going to work on that before I draw a name for it.
So that was my Saturday.

Monday, April 21, 2008

wooly for me!!

It's not a greenapple, but it's MY FIRST WOOL FELTED PINCUSHION!! I have to get some more colored roving, this is fun!! I made a pincushion!!!

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Behind it is still the "Green thing", I'm still in the market for names, though I've been given some good ideas. Please see my previous post for the reward for helping me!

Other notable happenings in the Green household.......... This is the 2008 science fair project.

It seems to involve grape juice, pencil leads, and a battery. I have no idea what it actually is, but the two junior scientists are having a good time and (so far) nothing has blown up or caught fire.

We won't mention the zaps they got when they crossed certain wires now will we?

On a tastier side note, I seem to have caught muffin fever.
It started about a week ago with some overripe bananas, which became banana chocolate chip muffins.
Those were pretty popular so next came apple cinnamon muffins, also popular.
Then the grocery store had a special on frozen fruit............... so there were blueberry muffins (trite, yes, but yummy anyway) next came raspberry muffins - very popular with the college contingent who were visiting. Then Mango muffins, which I highly recommend. And today we have strawberry mango muffins. Next I am going to attempt pineapple coconut. (I don't care for coconut so those will be safe from me) Then perhaps peach............

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Green thing

Not much going on for once on Saturday so I did get a chance to work on this green "thing". I haven't come up with a good name for it yet. I used the disappearing 9 patch idea but did it all in green, and I controlled the center square to give it a bit more definition. I'm making this one for our grade school gym/health teacher. She has had all four of our daughters even though we switched schools for the last two. Small parochial schools often share teachers so that's how that happened (in case you were wondering) Anyway, she is a wonderful teacher, and I will never forget her telling me about how she came to be a gym teacher. She attended our local catholic high school where she had her first phy ed class. She came home that day and was so excited and happy and told her mother, "this is what I want to do". And then she went out and did it, and in her words "I'm living my dream". She teaches so much more than phy ed, she teaches the kids about life and hope and spirituality. She has started a program where positive happenings are noted around the school. Every month the school recognizes kids from each class and a teacher and parents who are making a difference. I think she deserves more than a quilt, but this is what I do.
Meanwhile, as I'm working on the green thing ( help I need to name it) The needlefelting starter kit we got at the Chicago show is whispering to me to come and play. As such things often do, it stopped whispering eventually and started screaming at me to come and see what I could do with it, and brother, if you have ever heard wool scream you just have to drop everything and go do what it wants!
(which is one reason there are no borders on the green thing) So I started playing around and did the little flowers and things on the hunk of jean fabric, and the little roundy thing laying on the spongie thing that you use to do the needling thing. Now you know some of the technical terms for this!
Then after pacifying the wool for a bit I was able to go back and finish piecing the green thing top. Having finished that I tried to decide:
1. if it needs borders
2. if I have fabric to make said borders in my stash
3. what it should be called
4. what other stuff I could play with
(note the ADD kicking in again, my sewing room has that effect on me)
Which brings us to this! This is going to be a tea cozy. Now, it would be even more impressive if I actually drank tea, or if I made tea in a teapot on occasion. My mother certainly did, but I discovered coffee and the rest as they say is history. So why the tea cozy? Well, I found this adorable springy green cotton sweater at the thrift store and made the body of it into a sewing machine cover (yes another one, but it's okay it's for someone else this time). So there were these little purses and flowers that I had to take off part of it, and there were these sleeves just sitting there looking like they could become something. And tea cozy popped into my head. So, what I thought was this, if anyone has a GOOD name for the green thing, and an opinion on borders, and likes to drink tea, drop me a comment and after a week or so I'll draw names for the tea cozy. I know, it's a lot to ask which is why I may even stick some tea in with it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Chicago Show Pictures!!!

More of the Chicago show to share! More of the Chicago show to share!
A writer friend of mine once said "Quilts are poetry in blanket form" How TRUE!!! Come on and enjoy the quilt/poetry from the show:

Look at this dandelion quilt! This is the absolute favorite flower of daughter number 2. She has a point really, it's the first flower each spring, and what is also the first flower every little kid brings mom? Yup Dandelions!
I can see myself doing one like this!
I didn't get the shot straight on with this one, but I got better as we went along.

This one is chicory! Which happens to be one of my favorite wildflowers. I SOOOO Want to do this! I love how it is pieced out of fabrics you wouldn't expect, and if you have ever seen Chicory growing wild, you will recognize it immediately!

Here are Flori and Vanessa taking close ups of the awesome beadwork and stitching on...............

This fabulous quilt! It reminded all of us of a Dresden plate. It was breathtaking and calming all at the same time. I'd like to think I could do this!

Okay another of the MANY very cool quilts! This one has a three D woven effect. Very gorgeous!

We wanted to see the back so we asked nicely for a white glove lady (okay we sort of yelled and tackled one but she was nice about it all) and here is the back! It's made like a bunch of long wavy quilts and then sewn together. Really COOL!! and the colors are soooooooooo vibrant! I want to do this!

Now look at this absolutely GORGEOUS flower quilt!!!!!!!!!!!! Is this just not FABULOUS????!!

and wait for it,

they hung it without a background so you could go around yourself and see the back! (the white glove lady is probably very glad!)

Look at the back!!!! It's as cool as the front!!! And it DOES have a sleeve on the top! The quilter did some cool thread work on the sleeve so that it looks just as if it wasn't even there! GORGEOUS!!! I want to do this too!! I want to do everything! Now if there was just two little things....... more time, and more money. ah the quilters lament!

As we were waiting for our bus to come in line to pick us up one of the traffic control guys spotted my camera and came over to tell me "this is my best side, just in case you get a picture of me".

How could I resist? He was like poetry also, but this I don't want to do! ;-)

They were incredibly organized and kept everything flowing sooooooo smoothly with all the buses. A very well run show! I SOOO cannot wait for next year!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chicago Quilt Festival~~~ FABULOUS!

What a successful FABULOUS day! It didn't matter one whit that we drove through snow to meet the bus and then rode through rain all the way to Chicago. I'm sure the sun was shining inside on all of us. First I have to report that Flori ~ whose real name is Susan, is just as wonderful and warm and funny and sweet as she is in her blog. We met up right away and it was just as if we have actually known each other for ever! No kidding!
So this was the first quilt we saw as we walked in the door. It's huge and amazing!
Flori brought us each a cute gift bag filled with fabric!!! Look at my gorgeous pink flamingos and the coffee and chocolate fabric, and there is a bag of key lime Margarita mix with straws that have umbrellas on them! Sweeeeeeeeet!
I took loads of pictures, and Vanessa went through her entire photo card too! But I am so glad we did because now I can actually stop and see what I was looking at! Sooooooooooo many wonderful quilts! Here are Vanessa and Flori checking out cool notions at a vendor booth. It was sooo much fun! We laughed and talked and looked and had sooooooooooo much ADD going on! In the middle of one thing we would see something else we had to go look at. Sensory overload! I don't know if either of us could handle Paducah!
Now, here is a picture of me with Laura Wasilowski. (Gosh, could my hair EVER look good? I need help!)
I brought a copy of her book "Fusing Fun"to have her autograph.
Oddly enough, one of the reasons I REALLY REALLY wanted to see her booth and meet her is because we are related. She is my mothers cousin! Laura figured it out immediately, we are first cousins once removed! She has a fantastic style, and it's so interesting to me to see how she is influencing other quilters. All her hand dyed things are just gorgeous! I almost said "to dye for" but that would have been a real groaner!
Here is my autographed book!! How cool is that?
And here is one of Laura's quilts that was entered in the show, and won a ribbon, and Vanessa with it, because Laura figured out that Vanessa and she are second cousins. How did she know all that?
We are related to a prize winning quilt! um, I mean quilter.

Here is some of the booty we brought home with us, and when I say booty, I mean booty! Aren't those fruit ladies a riot? I love it! I am sooooooooooooooo seeing a totebag!

I have about 60 more pictures, some of which will be finding their way to my blog because these quilts were soooooooooo amazing! Flori and I were saying one second how totally humbled we were by all the talent and then the next second we were saying, "We could do this!" It really was one of those just gems of a day, it raced by so fast, none of us could believe it when it was 5:00 and Vanessa and I would need to go catch our bus home.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Two more sleeps!

I finally got to go to my regular quilt guild meeting tonight! And look what my super secret pal gave me! okay, she is not super secret, but she is my secret pal and she is super! I LOVE THIS PURSE!! Can you see the black patch with the adorable kitty on it?? I'm hoping she will share the pattern with me when she reveals herself. I have a few ideas on who it is, but I'm not saying anything just yet!

And here! Look inside!!! She filled the purse with some cool stuff!! Look at that sweeeeeeeeeeeet mini jelly roll! I love those bright colors! Plus there are some pretty pens - my youngest daughter is already campaigning for the one with the bamboo print on it- and there is a grocery list with a magnet on the back. Now how did she know I needed a new one??? And the pretty card! I will have to hide it in a drawer, psycho cat always finds ribbons where ever I hang them. Then he eats them, and if you have cats you know what follows the eating of indigestible items. Enough said on that subject.

Two more sleeps as soon as I get my behind upstairs and in bed! Here is the semi-dorky backpack I made for the smallest guild trip on Saturday. And just peeking out from under it is a book I'm bringing along..... sort of a little hint as to one of the booths I'm going to visit. Speaking of our guild outing- the Florida contingent had a VERY rough time getting out of Florida today. Seems 1000 flights were cancelled!! There were some tense moments via text messages during the day. As president I felt it my duty to text her constantly to keep her spirits up. I also tried to help out with wardrobe choices for the weather she is flying into. I did suggest socks with her sandals, and possibly a parka.
This is going to be rough for her. I'll have to take her mind off the pain and agony with lots of fabric choices and quilt ideas and many cups of coffee. I'm also bringing her cookies. Yes, that will help. Cookies always help don't they?
She doesn't care much for chocolate so I'll have to take care of that myself. Ahhh, the sacrifices we presidents go through.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

UPdate and countDOWN

The countdown has started to the International Quilt Festival in Chicago.

YES! I am going! Actually it's to be a guild outing for "One of the Worlds Smallest Quilt Guilds". Which brings me to the update. "One of the Worlds Smallest Quilt Guilds" has expanded membership by 50%!!! Yes we are THREE people now!!! After much discussion my favorite cousin and I have extended membership privileges to our online friend from Quilty Indulgence, you can see her here:
Since I am the president, (by my own decree) and Anne is the vice president in charge of care-quilts, we either need to come up with an office for our new member or we need to make her be the entire membership and an automatic member of every committee. Ooops, we don't have any committees! Since we don't have dues, she can't be treasurer............ I've got it, she can be secretary in charge of coffee!!!! Perfect role for her!
Having never actually met in person we are still working out the logistics of hooking up. Since she is from Florida I'm thinking she should wear something with huge pink flamingo's on it. Of course that's only my opinion. I suppose if I start suggesting that she will make some silly comment about cheese heads and I'll have to remind her again that even though I live next door to Green Bay I can in no way be considered a Packer fan.
I'm taking the bus trip from Green Bay with my daughter. I think I have it the easiest, I can sit back and relax and let someone else drive through Chicago! It's been a while since I've visited the windy city and I sure wish we had more than one day. But for now I'm checking out the lists of vendors and such. I do plan to visit one in particular and blog about that later on, so WATCH for it!!

So, anyway the countdown has already begun, there are 4 more sleeps so I really need to go to bed so it'll only be THREE!!!
wooo hooo!

Friday, April 4, 2008


What a great week for mail! First is some COOL fabric that Brenda in Canada sent me!!! The lipsticks will be great for a makeup bag! Of course anyone who knows me would fall off their chair laughing to think that I actually know what lipstick is. I'm not a real big makeup person and I don't actually remember to put lipstick on unless it's a pretty important occasion. I do remember putting it on for our wedding, but that might have been because my mother brought all that stuff and handed it to me. I'm pretty sure I've worn it once or twice since, but I can't be certain. Anyway the fabric is so cute I might actually be inspired to try it again! But check out the green fabric!!! Brenda's mom hand dyed it!!! It's soooooo gorgeous and it's going to be great for applique. I have been trying to email Brenda to tell her how thrilled I am but they keep coming back. I'll have to resort to smoke signals and pony express.
All this lovely booty because I sent her some fabric with words on it! Who'd a thunk?

Now for the catch up on my gifts from my guild secret pal!!! I was waaaaaaaaaay behind since I haven't actually made a meeting since November. I'm pretty sure they all think I'm dead by now. My secret pal has been giving me these cute little patterns. Now I'm not a huge pattern person, but these things are growing on me, and instead of making each little item I'm going to use the ideas to make a wallhanging for the year. Some of them are coming with CUTE buttons and she always throws in some pretty fabric too. See those cute socks???? I missed wearing them in December so I'll probably have to try them out now in April. - see former blog about my dork-ness. There was also some chocolate which I already shared with people at work. They were a bit concerned looking when I put it in the candy jar, but I explained that it was "dark chocolate, it's good for you". I'm pretty sure from the chuckles that they also think I'm a dork. So those are my lovelies for this week!!!
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And Happy Dance!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Three Finishes in ONE NIGHT!!!!

Here is daughter number three following in Mom's footsteps. When I visited Washington about 10 years ago, I had to have my picture taken like this.

I know it's sooooo corny, but as I may have mentioned before the term dork gets bandied around our house a lot. We sort of consider it a compliment.
I realize most people don't consider it as such, but...........
It all started when daughter number 4 was 7 years old and we were camping.
She bounced out of her tent one morning in true camping style, I believe she was wearing fluorescent green shorts, a Micky mouse sweatshirt in teal, rainbow striped toe socks under waterproof Velcro sandals, a Tweety bird denim bucket hat, and a Snoopy life vest. Her hair was in what we called "camping braids" about 23 braids all over her head so that she wouldn't have to actually brush it at any point during the camp stay.
Her 17 year old sister looked her up and down and said "Vanessa you CAN'T wear that, you look like a dork." To which Vanessa replied- without missing a beat or batting an eye....... "I'm 7 years old! I can look like a dork if I want to!"
Out of the mouths of babes! I have already drawn it up to turn it into a wall-hanging. I even have some of the right fabrics!

But you probably want to hear all about my THREE FINISHES tonight!!!
Here they are.............

I finished a burger.............

a bag of chips............

and a Corona...............................

Arr arr arrr