Saturday, February 28

A visit to the "Chipmunk Theater"

Some of you may remember the pretty picture of the old sled that was on my blog header in December. Well, this is what it looked like after "The Big Snow" we got on Thursday. I snapped this picture just as Jacob, my grandson and I were headed out to eat dinner last night.

It's almost totally buried!!! Fortunately, our neighbor, Jerry, snowplowed his way across the street and plowed out much of our driveway so I didn't have to shovel a path to the mailbox. And because he did that, I was able to take Jacob for a treat and when Steve got home today he was able to get in the garage. I called to give my thanks but just want to say "Hi" to Cathy and Jerry and "thank you" again!! Now if you all want to know what Jacob and I have been working on you will want to visit us here ....... at the "ChipmunkTheater".
Of course, I've squeezed in work on my crazy quilting projects and there was laundry and cleaning, too, but mainly we had fun!! :-) I will not get my BOM posted by tomorrow and so please bear with me, be patient, etc. and I will publish them next Sunday, March 8th and e-mail the blocks to all of you on the list. It's possible I'm trying to do too many things, but February is a short month so I'll blame it on that!! :-)

Friday, February 27

The Big Snow

It arrived. Thought it might not happen when by 11:00 a.m. no snow was falling. Within an hour there was a ton of snow falling, up to a couple inches per hour. It tapered off about 1:30 p.m. but there is snow everywhere and now it's blowing all over. There'll be shoveling to do tomorrow as it's several inches deep on the driveway....just a path, though. With my husband out of town on business, he'll get to snowblow the driveway as soon as he gets home. There'll be no getting into the garage unless he does!

Busy hands today doing cleaning and stitching and typing. Tomorrow is all stitching. That is until my grandson arrives in the evening. My projects will go on the "back burner" while he's here and I'll get back to them on Sunday. We'll be crafting, though. Always do some project when he comes to visit, so we'll post pictures for sure.
Lights out!

Thursday, February 26

So you want a sneak peek.........

Well, here it is ......... a sneak peek at a little of the crazy quilting that will be on exhibit at the Scott County Historical Society. Don't think for a minute that I stitched up this lovely block, though. This is the work of my friend, Deanna and if it weren't for her, our crazy quilting group wouldn't be!! But I can't tell you more because it will all come together in a few days ...................

In the meantime, this poster was hanging on the ceiling of my dentist's office and the words are prophetic!.............

Yes, if you are patient, I will share pictures and stories of our exhibit and I'll finally post my next Christmas ornament which is a Redwork ornament, and lots of other stuff! "Ewe" might enjoy the story of how I got the poster so I'll tell may remember that a couple of weeks ago, I went to the dentist for a filling and also stopped at the local thrift shop (see photo below). As I looked up at the ceiling I saw this picture above. Now my "Wooly Buddies" group was really on my mind that day as we will celebrate our one year anniversary soon. I was making notes about it in my little M&M notebook while we waited for the novacaine to work. I commented to my dentist, Dr. Jabs, that I liked the message in the poster on the ceiling. He noticed that I must like chocolate when he saw my notebook. Valentines day was coming up and he said that everyone should have chocolate for Valentines Day and two layers for sure. Yep, that came from my dentist. :-) When he finishes with the filling, he asks me to come back in a couple of days to have the filling polished, so I do as he says. Again, I'm in the chair, looking up at the ceiling and I comment on the poster again. When he finishes the polish, he offers me some sugar free gum..........or, he says "you like that poster, would you like to have it". I wanted to giggle because I felt like a kid and said "you'd give me the poster". "Sure" he says. And so.......... the poster is mine and he will get good press out of this one little deed of kindness that I have shared with all of "ewe". Hee hee!

Now, to the thrift shop. I took a picture of the sign because if you are anywhere near Belle Plaine, MN and you love to peruse your way through a good thrift shop, then you need to find this one!! It's right off Hwy. 169 and is across from Emma Krumbee's Restaurant which if you haven't been there, it's also worth a stop for a great meal! While I was at the thrift shop, I picked up several little goodies, but the mug below just "screamed" that it was meant for me...............
Truly, that is me.........I am so far behind, that yes, I think I am first!! Too funny!! And now it's getting too late to write anymore as I need sleep so I can get back to crazy quilting details in the morning. "The Big Snow" is coming and I am ready to be "snowed in".
See ya tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 25

Good Monday, Great Tuesday!

Uh, oh! I am so busy with projects for our crazy quilt exhibit that I don't have time to write. All I can say is that it will be great. Had a good Monday and got lots done. Had a great Tuesday and got more done. Looking forward to a "Whopper of a Wednesday" as I finish off a couple of pieces and then Thursday it looks like we'll be "snowed-in" so I'll have plenty of time to write about all that's been going on. :-) If this snow is even half what the weatherman says it will be, it will be two times too much in my book!!! I shouldn't complain about the weather, though. There are worse things in life. Counting my blessings tonight when I hit the pillow. Later, my blogging friends........

Monday, February 23

Back again!

Morning!! I have given my arm, shoulder and elbow a much needed rest and it really helped. That repetitive strain thing can really get you so it was good to step away from the mouse and the computer and the hand-sewing for awhile!!
So what did I do in the meantime? Well, I shopped for groceries on Friday and thought I could beat the snow that was coming but not so......instead, I drove home in crummy conditions but was glad I went when I did as yesterday, the snow that fell was blowing all over because of the wind. I was glad to not have to go out. I also decided not to do any shoveling til today. It actually felt kind of good to be outside shoveling because it was nice and sunny. However, it wasn't warm and sunny so I can't say it was a real joy to do. However, there was a little bit of JOY in my mailbox on Friday afternoon. In fact, it was ROYAL MAIL from England and I knew right away that it was from my partner in JennyFlower's Mug Swap. And here's what was inside.................

Lovely gifts, right, and I really, really like that mug!! When I took the picture of these gifts I remembered that I hadn't taken a photo of the what I received earlier in the week from Nanette .....more JOY in my mailbox. I was so thrilled to find a package with one of her Valentines in it and that adorable pot holder. It's "Showtime" for that potholder. It will never get used. :-)
I can't wait to show the potholder to my mom because when my sister, Judy, and I were kids, she made each of us these full skirts in turquoise with white polka dots and that was the first thing I thought of when I saw this potholder. Talked to my mom a couple times this weekend. Winter is getting long and she was having a bit of a blue weekend. I had time to run off to the post office with another little package so she'll get it in tomorrow's mail. The USPS has a new Priority box, small and just $4.95 to mail so I tucked in a teeny spring birdhouse, some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and a little covered notepad made from the scraps from my recent giveaway project.
I have been busy with details for our crazy quilt show and the ladies in this picture were directly responsible for getting me started in crazy quilting. I made them in the early 80's and will get to their story in a day or so.
It was good to take a couple days away but oh, so much to do. Need to post my Christmas ornament before February is over so that is next on my list, then an update of the BOM requests. I also realize there is a need for me to better organize my posts with labels and whatever so that you all can find past blocks and other projects. I'll get to that. Just takin' one day at a time. :-) And now I'm takin' myself off to bed. Good night and sleep tight........
P.S. Did you watch the Oscars tonight? I thought it was the best in years!! Loved the song and dance numbers and the way they presented the best actor/actress and supporting roles with the past winners was really clever!

Thursday, February 19

Sending you get them?

I am curious about something. For all of you bloggers out there, please give me any help you can. I really enjoy all the comments I receive and while I don't reply to all of them, I do reply to several each week. I have often wondered if they actually get received. So I decided to try an experiment.
Here's what I did....... I posted a comment on my blog in answer to something someone else had asked about in a comment so that I would be able to reply to my comment. I waited a bit and then I came back and clicked on that comment and up popped my profile where I could click on my e-mail. I clicked on it and up came the screen with the e-mail address in place and I entered "Testing" in the subject line and then a few words in the message body. Then I clicked send. A little bit later I checked my e-mail but no message was there. So, I tried it all again and waited a day. This morning, still no message. Now this could be because I am commenting on my own blog although I can send myself an e-mail from my own e-mail inbox so why not this way? The very fact that I couldn't do this, made me wonder if anyone ever gets the messages I send to them when I click on their profile. Could I have set something up wrong? Any thoughts would be really appreciated.
I think I may have to take a couple days off from posting and stitching. It appears that I have a case of "mouse-itis of the right armus" and also a case of "stitcher's elbow". Gee, can't imagine why I would have either one of those. LOL! Maybe if I lay low for a day and just relax, the pain will subside in my shoulder. Ibuprofen has helped and I am headed for the heating pad in a few minutes for some warmth. Poor Kaiser is also "laying low" today. He tripped coming up the basement steps this morning and must have pulled a muscle. Initially, he couldn't seem to walk - he sort of took two steps backward as he tried to go forward and it didn't work - and I had to help him gingerly get up the rest of the steps. He's okay walking but couldn't jump up in my sewing chair so I am almost sure that he pulled a muscle. I'll watch him and make sure that's all it is. In order to get into my chair, he sat in front of it and contemplated wanting to be there, then very carefully hopped up into my chair and is sound asleep there now. Guess we both need a rest!
Later, folks!
P.S. Another good phone call today plus a couple of nice e-mails from friends both near and far. :-) Perhaps later tomorrow, I can finally post what I found at the Thrift Shop last week plus after my dentist appointment yesterday, I stopped there again and found more goodies. Will also share the poster that my dentist gave me. "Ewe" may really enjoy this post when I get to it. :-)

GUESS WHAT? All three e-mails I sent, and the first were earlier today, just showed up in my inbox and all came in at 9:26 p.m. While that makes no sense at all, I am not even going to worry about it since at least the experiment worked and I know the e-mails do go out to those I send them to. Thanks to you all who offered thoughts on this one!

Wednesday, February 18

Crazy for Quilting!!!

I am switching into "high gear" for an upcoming Crazy Quilt Exhibit. Have been labeling quilts and other Crazy Quilted items, writing their descriptions, etc. Lots to do. I will tell you all about it this weekend. In the meantime, here is a photo of a vintage crazy quilted pincushion that my mother gave me. It's one that she bought at auction and I will share it at our exhibit at the Scott County Historical Society.

I'm in a Pincushion group called "Crazy for Pincushions" and participated in a swap last year. I decided to do a "reproduction" of the above pincushion and the one in the photo below is what I ended up making for my partner. I made it last June and I realized that I had never posted it on my blog.

It is now at home with Chris K., who was my swap partner. I will eventually do a tutorial on this but not til later this spring. It was fun and easy to do!! If you would like to see what Chris made for me, you can go to this POST and at the end of it you'll find a picture of the lovely blue crazy quilted pincushion that she made for me!! It will also be on display in our crazy quilt exhibit. :-)
I had a good Tuesday and a lovely day of phone calls, e-mails and snail mail that made me smile!!
Here's hoping you all have a good day today!!

Tuesday, February 17

Re: Seasons of the Heart BOM Files

There are two ways to get the blocks that I will post each month.
One is to right click, save to your computer and print the file.
You do not have to sing up to do this.
The other way is to receive PDF files via e-mail.
Starting today, February 20, 2009, this post is the only post
where I will take names for the Seasons of the Heart BOM.
I am so very happy to share these blocks with you. :-)
I know that many of you download the files
and if you do make the blocks,
I would love to hear from you or see photos of what you make!!

To be added to the list, you need to leave
your name and your e-mail address!
This is for new sign-ups only! If you received the
January and February blocks then you are in!!!

January & February BOM files.........

Well, I think I have checked every name and e-mail of those who want to be added to the BOM list or who did not receive last month's files. If you are reading this and you still have not received files, please send me an e-mail with the heading "Not Receiving". This will help me keep it all straight. I will post a link for those who wish to be added as the year progresses. Please click on the Snowman 2009 BOM on my sidebar to be taken to the post where you must leave your comment with e-mail address in order to be added to the BOM E-mail list from this point on.......... Thanks so much for your patience with all of this!!!


Please note......I was not able to send files to the names listed below because there was no e-mail or blog to link to. Please send me an e-mail - click on my profile and you can click on the e-mail link - if you are still interested in receiving the PDF blocks via e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be made public as I do a "blind send" of the e-mail files.
Ginny, Sharleen, Carrie, Eleanor, Barb, Raglady, Evelyne, Heather, Kris B, Jan, Jersey Stitcher, Bonnieb, Quilt Garden, Pam, and Gloria.

Sunday, February 15

President's Day!

I cannot tell a lie. I will be going to JoAnn Fabrics today to shop at their President's Day Sale. Yes, I have fallen victim to commercialism or you could look at it that I am "stepping up to the bar" to do my part to help the economy by spending a little money on fabric. LOL!

So, did you all have a nice Valentine's Day? I sure did. Knowing we were going out to dinner that night put me in a good mood for the entire week!! I told my husband he should remember this and just how easy it is to make me happy!! Before we went to dinner, though, there was laundry and all that usual Saturday stuff to do. Just the same old stuff to do but then I received an unexpected package from Pat who is in my Wooly Buddies group. She sent me a little package of goodies to say Thank You for all the Wooly fun, etc. :-) She thought I might be looking forward to Spring so sent along seeds and gardening gloves. Purrrrfect, as I wore out last years gloves and had to toss them. I have the perfect spot along the edge of the woods where I am starting a little wildflower garden so I will plant the seeds there. Just before her package arrived, I was looking for post-its and couldn't find any and as if in answer, I find some with my initial in the package. That cute red felted triangle is a needle case that Pat crocheted in wool and then felted. Cute, isn't it? Much appreciated as I do not know how to crochet!! Pat recently agreed to be a moderator on my Wooly Buddies Yahoo group so I really appreciate her help and enthusiastic, positive personality!! Thank you, Pat!!

I made sure I was hungry on Saturday night as I was really looking forward to that Jumbo Shrimp Dinner at the Arlington Haus. I was not disappointed!! It was delicious! Steve had the buffet and he was pleased to. It was too dark to take a photo of the exterior so the waitress let me have the evenings menu. When the weather warms up and it's a pretty day, I'll take a drive over to Arlington, give you a tour and tell you my story about designing while eating at Arlington Haus. :-)

Kaiser also had a good weekend. I couldn't resist taking a picture of him sleeping in my sewing chair. He's too big for the chair but he loves it. It's meant to be a "boudoir" chair so it's just the right size for me since I'm short. Kaiser likes it because he can curl up in and it's warmer than sleeping on the floor. :-)

I'll be very busy this week working on details for a Crazy Quilting exhibit at the Scott County Historical Society. And then I am going to go one by one and review the BOM e-mail list. I know some of you did not get the files so I need to see if I left you out or if the e-mail is bouncing. I'll begin that task on Monday evening CST and files will go out to those who have requested them in the past week to ten days. Thanks for your interest and patience. That's all for this evening.
Have a really good Monday!!

A little change in plans............Sometimes things don't go like you think they will and that's what happened this morning. Won't be running those errands after all so won't be celebrating at JoAnn's today. It's okay as everything is just rescheduled to Wednesday. And, Sharon, if you're checking, I have to report that I am not a loser this week. I enjoyed every morsel of that Valentine dinner and lots of Hershey's kisses. Since they are almost all gone, I should be a loser by next Monday. :-)

Saturday, February 14

A little Valentine "eye candy".........

At Christmas, I shared my miniature Christmas tree and now with Valentines Day on my doorstep, I wanted to share photos of some of my favorite miniature Valentine scenes. For almost twenty-five years I was an active member of the Midwest Miniature Guild. The group is an upper Midwest organization that meets three times a year for an all-day meeting with lunch and workshops. I taught numerous projects during my years in the group and one of my favorite times to teach was at the February meeting. Many of us had dollhouses (I have a large one that my dad made me) and miniature room boxes and lots of mini scenes were created in acrylic boxes like those in the photos below. Each one of these begins with an acrylic box and then a "false" gift box top and bottom are created to make it look as if you are "looking into a scene in a gift box". Prepare to take a little tour..............

This is one of the first "Gift Boxes" that I made. I had this little tricycle and thought how cute it would look with a tiny teddy bear on it and so I drew a little pattern and stitched one up. :-)
You can see that he has a tiny valentine for his lady love, a tiny gift and a basket of flowers. This box and the one below stand about 8" tall. Items in these boxes are scaled 1" = 1'.

This box is probably my favorite "Gift Box" of all the ones that I have ever made (I used to take orders and sell them, don't do that anymore). I took pictures of all four sides of this box.............

In the photo above there is an extraordinarily large box of miniature chocolates! Each one is individually made from Fimo clay and look just like real chocolate! The lid of the box actually fits if you were to close the box of chocolates. Sitting atop the table is a tiny box for miniature valentines, a little brass candleholder (about the only thing I didn't make in this box), and a box of candy hearts. I drew the valentines and candy heart box and then colored them with colored pencils. The tiny candy hearts were made from pastel Fimo clay. The table is made from a 2 1/2" portion of a gift wrap tube with a cardboard circle glued on top. Then I sewed up the tiny tablecloth and glued it at evenly spaced spots along the base of the table.

No Valentines Day is complete without roses and these are made from red florist tape that I wrapped and turned to form the roses (now you know why I made that fabric bouquet of roses). There's a silk bow and a card for that special valentine. :-)

And on this side there is a tiny wrapped gift and another Valentine..............

and the final view has one of those bitty bears you can buy in a craft shop and another valentine.

This box is about 6" tall and holds a little fur bear that I bought at a craft shop. I cut the little hearts and strung them together, then glued fine gold cord to spell out "I Love You". There's another tiny gift and also a book of "Love Poems" for that someone special!

Remember to just double-click on most of these photos to get a close-up view of the miniatures.

This box is only about 4" tall and contains another bouquet of roses, more candy and another Valentine, a very fancy one, in fact.

This next photo is not very clear................

for these are the tiniest boxes of all. To give you an idea of how tiny they are, the little bunny Valentine measures only about 1/2" tall!

This photo above shows how the boxes compare in size. In 1991, I entered these five boxes in our Scott County Fair. They earned a Blue Ribbon. :-) That same year, I made five boxes for Easter, five for Halloween and five for Christmas. Each set earned a Blue Ribbon and the Christmas boxes also earned a Purple Grand Champion Ribbon all at the county fair. I could choose one set to take to the Minnesota State Fair and chose the Christmas set which earned a Blue Ribbon at the State Fair. These boxes are kind of like getting an "Oscar" as far as I am concerned. Why make so many? Well, I had made so many for other people that I was determined to make some for me that I could leave to my own kids. After I finished these, I quit making them for sale as they were simply too time-consuming for the amount of money that people were willing to pay. I still enjoy all my miniatures but in the late 90's with the kids grown and gone, I could turn back to quilting and handwork projects. I'll share all the other boxes on each appropriate holiday. :-)

Here are two final photos of Valentine greetings that decorate my house. I made the velvet frames and then designed the cross stitch that is in each frame. This was in the '80's during my brief Cross Stitch period. :-) The little bears are available at Michael's and I just glued some of my little Valentines in their paws. The velvet hearts came from Target.
When I drew the little Valentines and created all the "Gift Boxes", I was thinking of grade school days and how much fun Valentines Day always was!!! I loved picking just the right Valentine, then delivering them to the boxes or bags that we would decorate and place on our school desks. One always hoped there would be one from that certain boy!! :-) I had so much fun drawing the Valentines for these mini scenes that I enlarged the five or six little designs I drew to full scale and then drew 20 more Valentines that could be colored and cut. I began teaching it as a class in Community Ed in Prior Lake in 1998 and kids loved the opportunity to color, then cut and then "GLITTER"!!!! A couple of years ago, I realized the designs would be perfect for Redwork and embroidery projects. So, if all goes well, this year, I will stitch up the designs and you'll see them next year a few weeks before Valentines Day!
Hope you have enjoyed this little "eye candy" tour.
Have a wonderful Valentines Day!!!!
See you next on Sunday evening!!

Thursday, February 12

There's a new bear in my life............

Yes, a new bear, though, not a new man!!! I found him sitting on a shelf of Valentine items at the Home to Home Thrift Shop up in Belle Plaine yesterday. You may remember I went to the dentist and I promised myself I would make it worthwhile with a stop at the Thrift Shop. And it was! All Valentine items were 35% off so I picked up this little guy to see what that would be .......his tag read $2.00 so in the basket he went!! I found a couple other items but I'll post them next week. They don't fit the Valentine theme. :-)

When I got Mr. Bear home, I tossed him in the washing machine and if he survived he was a keeper. I buy lots of stuffed toys at garage sales and thrift shops but they must withstand a washing to come to live with me. As I put him in the machine I noticed a tag by his tail that said Helzeberg Diamonds. I'm thinking somebody got something sparkly with this guy in his previous life!!! And now his life is going to be one of posing with my craft and sewing projects! :-)
And today's project is a set of dishtowels. Last week I found these black and red cotton dishtowels at my favorite Dollar Tree store and picked up several red ones and the only black one to make up some decorative towels for my kitchen. The hearts on the towels are extras from a Valentine panel that I bought for another project. I used the same heart but stitched around it in different colors and added rick rack. This project was my "creative treat" after I did more sorting and cleaning in my sewing room and finally located some needed items to finish off a couple of other projects. If it sounds like I am cleaning and sorting and unpacking a lot perhaps I should let you know - and some do - that we've only lived here two years and in that time, my parents had health problems and then my dad passed away. Prior to that, if you've ever prepared a house to sell, you know that things have to go into storage. And prior to that our son had moved home and many things went in boxes so we could make room for his stuff. Soooooo, I am opening boxes, sorting and finding things that I have not seen in more than five years!! It has been interesting, to say the least!!
It's Friday the 13th today! That's great in my book......only one more day til Valentines Day!!!
Have a great day! Valentine memories coming up next post.

Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln.....

Today is the birth date of President Abraham Lincoln. When I was a kid, we observed this day in honor of him. Then when February 22nd came around we honored George Washington. Now as most of you know, the celebration of our President's has been combined into one day that is now a National Holiday. Or National Have a Sale day if you are a business owner. Don't get me wrong, I've shopped JoAnn's President's Day sale more than once, but how is it that the day has become so commercialized? Okay, so I'll get off my soapbox and right here and now, I'm not selling a thing and I just want to share a couple of my favorite old quilts. I think most of my close friends would agree that I am not really a "quilter". I mean, I don't make lots of big quilts but I do make quite a few small ones. I make lots of blocks and one day they'll become quilt tops. I have a few finished quilt tops but they await machine quilting and that's not in my budget right now. I think some of those quilts are going to end up being tied so that they can be used. Kind of like the one in this picture.............

I love this old quilt. It was made my Great Aunt Marian. She gave it to my mother several years ago when my mother admired it as it hung on the clothesline. I love the Log Cabin blocks and just the vibrant color of the whole quilt. And instead of the traditional red square in the center, Aunt Marian used green. Wouldn't it be interesting to know why? The quilt is tied and a couple of blocks are really worn but I still love it. There's another simple lavender nine-patch that she made that is also a favorite. My mother and dad had an auction several years ago and she sold the older worn quilts. I jumped at the chance to buy them. I love the untold stories that old quilts hold.

And since it's only two days til Valentines Day, I thought I'd share this old red and white quilt. It was a gift from my friend, Judith. It was one of two quilts that she purchased at a garage sale in Minneapolis. The other one is a pale green and white quilt. Both are very worn but exquisitely hand-quilted. A young woman was selling many of her grandmothers things and these quilts were among them. She hoped that the quilts would go to someone that would appreciate them and my friend, Judith, knew just who that would be - me!! Even though both quilts are extremely worn, you can still see the beautiful hand quilting on each and so they are both still beautiful to me. It's kind of like us. When we're young, our skin glows, we have more energy, and we spend a lot of time making sure we look good. When we get older, our skin shows the wrinkles, energy is harder to come by, we still try to look good and to those who love us........well, we are still beautiful. I think it's time that I shared another poem, one I wrote several years ago.
It's called..............
The Tapestry of Life

When I was young, I learned to sew
and through the years, I grew to know
that love is sewn in all we do . . .
some days are bright, some days are blue.
Yes, our lives are like a tapestry. We know not what the scene will be.
Some days the stitches seem so fine and other days, they all unwind.
But as we stitch, we realize we weave a cloth,
that in God’s eyes is beautiful and true and soft.
And though we see the knots and tears, God sees the work, the love.
He cares.
He looks beyond our faults and knows,
that if not for thorns there would be no rose.

© 1997 - 2009 Sandra E. Andersen

I was inspired to write the poem during some challenging times in my life. It was also a time of blessings as so often happens in life. We had been to England, one of those business trips for my husband and while he worked, I got to go visit museums and such. I always picked places where I could view textiles - clothing, quilts, tapestries. The tapestries really intrigued me for the amount of work in them is incredible and some were very, very old. And yet there they were, still telling a story though they were worn and faded. I thought how much we are like tapestries and then I just wrote what I felt. I hadn't planned for my post to be so sort of "melancholy" but to be honest, I was having a hard time figuring out what to post. Perhaps a little writer's block? My trip to the dentist today didn't seem worthy of a post. I hope you have found this much more interesting.

Wednesday, February 11

Keeping the Post Office Solvent

I think that's a fitting title for this post. I used to go out to lunch, bought a lot more fabric and then I started blogging and there were giveaways and swaps so lunch and fabric went by the wayside so I could mail packages. :-) I got lucky and won one of the first giveaways I signed up for over at Mr. Monkeysuit. I was hooked on giveaways and couldn't wait to host my own. SO, in August I hosted my first giveaway. Connie, our Postlady was new (via transfer) and we got to know each other better every time I mailed off a swap or giveaway package. Then there were Christmas cards to send and now Valentines!!! Wow! I have seen her a lot the past week just trying to get all my goodies mailed. First package I sent off last week was one to my son and his girlfriend. I called it the "Good Humor" package as I crammed a $10.35 flat rate box full of everything from Spam to Monkey snack plates and all sorts of stuff. They loved it. :-) Then last Friday, I mailed off the package that contained my swap items for a "Choose 3" pincushion swap.

Here's what I sent off (my partner has received it so I think it'll be okay to share)....... a little cupcake pincushion (that plastic cupcake comes in a two-pack at JoAnn's), a little bundle of spring fat-eighths and in the drawstring bag are about two dozen buttons from my vintage button collection.
I received from Carol, my partner, two fat quarters and those beautiful pieces of tatting that I will either use on a pincushion or in my crazy quilt blocks. That's Propbear doing the "show and tell". :-)
Last weekend, I got serious about sending out Valentines. Here's the result............
On Monday I took these 14 pink envelopes to Connie to mail. Can't tell you what is in them as then the folks they are going to would know what they are getting..............

Monday afternoon I cut fat quarters and then filled 24 envelopes with the fabrics you see in the photo below. Can't give you a clue where these are going either but I can tell you that with Connie's advice, I put them in #10 business envelopes to keep the cost down. I stuffed the envelopes full and took them off to the post office along with............

another $10.35 flat rate Valentine box for my mother. She doesn't read my blog so I can share these things.............

I found a cool puzzle of a covered bridge because my folks lived in southern Iowa for a couple of years, not all that far from some of those old covered bridges. She loves the work of Thomas Kincade so this fat little picture book is perfect. There's a vanilla sachet and in the gold box is a pretty ceramic heart. And I stuffed candy and jam and all sorts of stuff in the box for her to enjoy, too. I'm betting she'll like it just like my son and his girlfriend did. :-)

With all that stuff in the mail, you'd think I'd be done sending off packages but not so. I just finished stuffing seven more little envelopes, some with fat quarters I cut from the fabric in the photo above and on the right, plus wool and other gifties. Then on Thursday, I'll mail a couple wintery themed packages, some patterns and I will have done my part to keep the post office solvent and support the economy. Not bad, huh?

I have one more "show and tell"........Denny from my "Wooly Buddies" group sent me this fabric postcard and the cute coasters and heart. I wasn't expecting anything so it was really fun to see the package in my mailbox.

I have shared a lot of fun with you and now I have a serious note to share with you. Last Friday when I took some of those packages to my Postlady Connie, she had sad news to share. Her little grandaughter, Emma, who is just seven years old has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. I am so sad for her and so, if you wish, please send comforting thoughts or say a little prayer for Emma and her family, too. I'll see Connie often and she will keep me updated. She's working on a quilt for grandaughter, Abby and when it's finished, she's going to bring it in so I can take a photo and post it here. She has to be the coolest Postlady ever!!
End of a long day.........almost tomorrow........

Monday, February 9

It's okay to lose sometimes.......

especially if it's extra pounds. Sharon over at RedGeraniumCottage recently challenged fellow bloggers to join her as she loses a few pounds. I signed up to join her. I was supposed to post on Mondays. I didn't. I'm like Gabby on Desperate Housewives........signed up but didn't stay committed. I wasn't losing so I had no reason to post either. But Sharon gave us all "what for" on her blog tonight because she went around to check up on us. Oh, dear..........So I popped over to her blog and left her a message ....... "I'm here. Yes, I know I didn't post. I forgot I was supposed to post. The dog ate my keyboard. No I ate the keyboard cause I thought it was chocolate!! To be honest, I hadn't posted because I hadn't lost. I will go and post right now. I wouldn't want to get in trouble with General Geranium. I have found that I am so busy with my blog, my BOM and my Yahoo group that I forget about raiding the kitchen cupboards. This is good!!" And that's the truth, I find I am so busy these days that I don't snack nearly so much. I didn't say I'm not snacking at all. Those cookies I made for TeaAndStitches this past week were sort of good for you because I cut the sugar in half. They were also hard as a rock so could really only be eaten if dunked in tea or coffee. And it's Valentines Day soon and I can't pass a Hershey's Kiss without having one, oops, two......... but, I cut out the colas, upped the carrots and apples, nixed the potato chips, and made my grilled cheese with one of those "good for you butter substitutes". It didn't brown up like the one I cooked for my husband which was made with real butter, but it tasted just fine. And bottom line, I can report this week that I have lost three pounds. Took me three weeks to do it but it's gone. I will be good this week so that I can enjoy Saturday night's dinner at Arlington Haus. There will be no thought of dieting that night. :-)
Okay, Sharon, did I do my homework well enough to keep my place on your list?
Back to working on Valentines.

"Connecting Hearts"

I'm here! Took a couple days off to just focus on family things, cleaning, laundry - you know all the stuff that just repeats, and then some fun stuff - Valentines!! Can't really show you anything at the moment as it will spoil the surprise for some of my stitching friends.
Hearts have been on my mind all weekend. The local paper was full of ads for restaurants that are hosting special Valentines Day dinners. And get this - we are going out to dinner on Saturday night for Valentines Day, there is even a reservation and in 40 years that has never happened!!!! I mean, we've gone out to dinner but to know a week ahead of time that we're going is unheard of in our household. I hope we don't get a blizzard next Saturday.
With hearts on my mind, I thought I would share one of my favorite penny rug designs. I designed this one in 2004 and it's called "Connecting Hearts" (© 2004-2009 Sandra E. Andersen) and that's because all our hearts "connect", from family to friends to mom to dad to kids, etc. etc. :-)
I love hearts. After I drew my design, the first penny rug I made was in red and blue for Valentine's Day.
Then I wanted one for my pink bedroom so I chose mauve and teal colors. Both of these penny rugs are made with woolfelt.

I found some lovely wool and created this one which actually looks better in my pink bedroom. I embellished each of the little heart "pennies" with embroidered flowers.
I still wasn't tired of hearts and when I saw this wool plaid, I knew I had to make another one. This is my favorite. It earned a Blue ribbon and a Reserve Grand Champion ribbon at the Scott County Fair. :-)

My daughter, Collette, wanted one and she likes hearts, too, so I had this gorgeous plaid and she got this one for Christmas in 2007. It's reversible. When you flip it over the backside oval is green with plaid hearts all around.

And since I made one for Collette in Christmas colors, I made another one for me that is just a bit different. It's actually finished now, but I had taken a picture of it just prior to stitching the hearts in place so thought you might like to see how I attach the "pennies". Whether it's traditional penny shapes, hearts, or whatever shape that surrounds the main piece, I like to really secure them with pins so that I get them sewn on evenly. You can see in the picture that I pin at the top and then connect each of the hearts with a pin, too. I take needle and thread and stitch in and out between the layers and secure with a couple of stitches at each connecting point. If you'd like to know more about penny rugs or wool applique, check out my Wooly Buddies group. It's a Yahoo group and so if you click here you can find out how to join.
It's a late one tonight so I best get off to bed.

Friday, February 6

Block of the month files sent..........

Just a quick post to let you all know that I have sent out the files to the e-mail list. If you have not received the files, please e-mail me again. I may have missed your name when I created the "group" to e-mail to. Also, I still have a couple of people that I am not able to send to because there is no e-mail or blog link to post to. If you left a comment that you want the files sent via e-mail and you have not received them, please check the comment you left and you will see if you have a link back to your e-mail/blog link. I think I have this all set now but I know there may be someone I missed so please send me that e-mail and I will get you added to the list.
I was able to sneak in a little vacuuming and some laundry today and made it to the church women's guild meeting. Had an nice speaker, Katie Phillips from our local clinic who spoke of the "free pill" that we all have available to us that will improve our over-all health ............ it's "Walking"!!! Made feel like I wanted to get right up and take a quick walk around the block! It was a message I needed to hear as I really need to get up from this desk or my sewing chair and get more real exercise!!! After the program, that was when I came home and decided to exercise with the vacuum cleaner. :-)
That's all for now. Sleep calls.........

Wednesday, February 4

Snowman BOM 2009 UPDATE!!

First, I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has signed up to receive my BOM via e-mail and to all of you who downloaded from the posted images. The interest in my little BOM has just overwhelmed me and I am thrilled!! Now, I need to give you a little info - some background and plans for future posts. As I said before, I designed this BOM for friends who came to a group called Hearthside Quilters at my church. There were only about 20 of us and someday soon, I am going to introduce them all one by one here on my blog. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be offering it to you now!! Due to family health issues, I drew the blocks but never had time to finish them til this past year. They are the blocks that are done in the cotton fabrics. I also am working on the blocks in woolfelt. This BOM was to be the original 12 blocks shared with my friends. Then some of you thought it was going to be all snowmen. And so, as I've said before, I decided to take it as a challenge and share a block each month from the original series called "Seasons of the Heart" and to make a new snowman design for each month, too. With that in mind, I realized, too, that the designs can be done in many ways - cotton with fusible applique or woolfelt, plaids with woolfelt, an all wool version, stitched in Redwork, traced on muslin and colored with crayons or colored pencils (heat-set with an iron) then highlighted with outline embroidery stitches. The possibilities are endless!! Here, then, is a slightly revised January Snowman block and the February Snowman block.

The revisions made to the Snowman block for January were done for those who might embroider the design in Redwork or traditional embroidery. The initial block you received is fine for cotton applique or wool/woolfelt applique. I just added some details to the scarf and the words "Welcome Winter" if you wish to add them.

I previewed the February block in a previous post and have enlarged it as above. It also has added detail for embroidery. I have provided the pattern sheet below for cotton fusible applique/wool or woolfelt applique.

I have the block for March "on the drawing board" and will have it ready for you and posted on March 1. All the future snowman blocks have been planned and each will feature a snowman and a saying/words appropriate to each month/theme. Additionally, in March, I will tell you what to do with the words that are included on the pattern pages for the original series. I will now refer to the original series as the Holiday Seasons of the Hearts blocks. The Holiday blocks can stand alone, but I will share my idea with you and you can use it or design your own setting for the blocks.
I want to add one last thing on the BOM. Over 175 of you signed up to receive it via e-mail. I know that many of you are downloading it. I learned last week that my blog has been listed on and this week I learned that it is listed on . And this afternoon, I discovered it's listed on a German site (I think the language is German)..........and what I want to say is "Hello - and thank you!" - and if you do one block or all of them........send me an e-mail and let me know. I've been quilting, stitching for so, so many years and working on my patterns. I am happy to share my designs with you and hope you enjoy creating something fun with them. I'd just really like your feedback! I share my designs and you share your thoughts. That helps me know where there are problems, whether to continue or change a design, etc. Again, thanks for stopping by!!
I think that's all I need to share on the BOM. Sorry I was late getting it posted today. Sometimes other things come up and that happened the last couple of days and, of course, I had tons of stuff to do! My trip to the dentist never happened, though, so I have no thrift shop finds to share and that's just fine. My dentist had a family medical emergency so it will be a week before I may get in again.
Time to unwind and stitch a bit before going off to bed. Night all!

Note: If you signed up to receive the blocks via e-mail, I will be sending out the files tomorrow to the entire mailing list. I have a number of new names to add to the list and will get that done and then send off the files.

News from the North Pole!

Well, not really. It just feels like the North Pole. My sewing room is very chilly this morn. Gotta warm up a bit and then I'll be back with the snowman patterns. Tea will be served up later this afternoon on TeaAndStitches . See you soon, here or there, gotta be warmer by then. :-)

Then again, maybe it'll be a little longer before it warms up in husband reprogrammed when the heat will come on and he must have entered something wrong. Like I think he hit the "away" setting or something because when I went to check the thermostat is said "63" and it should read 68. Soooo, it's warming up now, but will take a bit. My sewing room is over the garage and I have to use a little heater in here as the cold just seeps in. Not ideal but it works. I love the privacy of the room and that I can leave projects about as I wish so I will not complain.

Tuesday, February 3

Remembering Buddy Holly.......

There are those who say that this is "the day that the music died". And in a way, a part of the "heart" that was the music of the 1950's did die that day. Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens all passed away in that small plane headed off to another date to play for more music-loving teens. As I write this, it is nearing 1:00 a.m. which is about the time it crashed forty - oops, a little edit here - Mary L. caught my error - that was fifty years ago today. I grew up in Iowa and the plane crash made big news. Ever after, if you mentioned Clear Lake, almost everyone thought of Buddy Holly. I was just a kid when it all happened but my Uncle was in high school - another edit here - my head hit the pillow and I realized Gordie, my uncle, was a freshman in college that year - and he and his friends felt that loss.
The album in the photo above is one of two Buddy Holly albums that were given to me by a friend. I think my friend had a crush on me but he was several years older than I was and I was interested in guys my age (it was the mid 60's and I was in high school at the time). He knew I liked Buddy Holly, though, and gave the albums to me anyway. One of them didn't survive Hurricane Camille in 1969 but this one is in fine shape. It's got all the best songs on it and was released after his death. You can hear most of them because my music today is songs from Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper.
I think one of the most beautiful songs ever sung is Buddy Holly's "Raining in my Heart". Talk about a sad song. I practically cry every time I hear it. And it's not just the lyrics. It's that beautiful orchestra that is accompanying him. Listen to it carefully. Then there's "True Love Ways", a really beautiful love song. Both songs were recorded in 1958. He may be gone but his music still stands the test of time. Listen and enjoy.

I have an exciting afternoon ahead.........a visit to the dentist but I am going to make a stop at the local thrift shop so we shall see what fun things I find! I'll be back tomorrow with the snowman pattern for February and some tea and stitches and some Valentine fun and memories, too.


Note: If you are a Buddy Holly fan you might enjoy the following links:

Monday, February 2

Happy Groundhog Day!!

For those of us who live in Canada and the U.S., we are very familiar with the legend of the groundhog who peeks out the first part of February and looks for his shadow. If he can see his/her shadow, then winter will continue for six more weeks. This is an interesting legend because in most parts of the U.S. and Canada it is so cold that, of course, winter will continue for six more weeks! Finally, about the middle of March, the weather really warms up, the seed catalogs come out and serious thoughts of Spring begin!!!
Outside my window right now, the wind is blowing at a good clip, about 20 MPH and the temp is only about 7 degrees above zero (and I see now that we are under a Windchill Advisory!). Was it only yesterday that I was talking about a winter thaw? Oh, my, how old man winter does love to tease us!! So in the spirit of good humor, I got this idea for my version of the groundhog. Of course, she would be a lady groundhog. I looked into my backyard and there were swirls of snow and bare trees. The clothesline I tied between two trees is still there but frozen stiff. But what if in the middle of my backyard there was in "Goldie the Groundhog". Sure enough, here she is..................

I'm trying to stay warm in my sewing room today although the cold wind seems to be making it's way right through the windows and walls. Brrrr! Time for a hot cup of cocoa. Hope you are having a fine day and looking forward to spring. After all, the days are getting longer and the sun does shine, even if it is cold outside. Tomorrow's another day and it is to be even colder so I am going to warm it up a bit with some musical memories and Valentine tales. See you then!

Note: Please do not lift, copy, etc. my sketch of little Goldie. In real life, Goldie was my Grandma and she would think this was so cute - as long as the groundhog stayed out of her garden, that is!! Artwork copyright 2009 Sandra E. Andersen All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 1

A "Rosy" start to February!

Saturday's heat wave - about 42 above here in MN - was such a surprise!! The "January Thaw" came on the last day of the month!! Some thawing continued today as we were in the 30's but there was a bit of a stiff wind but lots of sun. I almost thought about opening a window but thought better of it. Yes, it was a rosy start to the month of February. Speaking of roses, be sure to register for my bouquet of roses. Just go here and you'll read all about how to enter.

Today was the Super Bowl and, of course, one team and many fans went home happy and the other team has to begin thinking how they will get there again next year. I wasn't watching as I was busy doing some super-bowl plays of my own by rearranging my sewing room. Wow, I am really liking it! I've watched enough HGTV organizing shows that it's about time I quit watching and got to "doing"!!! Perhaps by the weekend, I can post the "after" pics and then I won't be so embarrassed when I also post the "before" pics.

That's all for tonight. It's Groundhog Day on Monday. Have a great day!!

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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