Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween WIP

Call me a witch, but Halloween holds as much appeal for me as going to the vet does for the dog.  Perhaps it's the crush of whining little ones every. where. we. go or maybe it's the obviously frazzled parents accompanying them, each wearing an expression that says they'd rather eat ground glass than be trolling for candy.  Or perhaps it's just the thought of a quirky holiday in which we celebrate children begging for candy (much like mine do every time we're at the grocery).  Whatever...The Diva's terribly excited about all that free candy and I'm looking forward to soaking my sore foot when the whole thing's over and done with. 

I successfully managed not to fall down all day and got my 10 year cross stitch WIP almost done.

I'm turning it into a wallhanging.  All that's left is to stitch down the binding.  I briefly thought of doing that by machine, but oddly enough, I really like stitching it down by hand.

Well, I must hop on my broom as we scour the countryside for treats.  Happy Halloween, y'all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Make a List Monday: The Tuesday Edition

I must've smacked my head in Sunday morning's shower debacle because it slipped my mind that YESTERDAY was Monday.  Sigh.  Smile.  Carry on.

Actually, yesterday I was too busy sucking down painkillers to get my schmit together to even type, but it's amazing what a day of work i.e. no painkillers will do for your psyche.  Big whoo (twirling finger).

So, here's my 'to do' list for this week:

* Don't fall.  Anywhere.

* Get the label stitched onto Captain Studly's Albatross quilt.  YES, IT IS FINALLY QUILTED!!

* Finish 10-year WIP cross-stitch sampler

* Don't fall.  Anytime.

* Get The Diva's costume ready for Halloween.  I AM cutting it a tad close, aren't I?

* Come up with a Christmas gift for my Happy Stitchers quilting bee pal.  Any suggestions?

* Don't fall.  Under any circumstances.

With luck, I'll be able to accomplish the not falling thing.  Then again, I tend to be gifted in the klutz department.

Check out Confessions of a Fabric Addict for more Make a List Monday fun! 

Just pretend it's not Tuesday ;)

Happy quilting, y'all!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Taking Sympathy to an All New Level

Dear Etty,

I wanted you to know how sympathetic I've felt about your bum foot.  It's gotta stink having a hard time getting around, not to mention how it interferes with your sewing.  With that in mind, I managed to slip, twist and crash in my all-time favorite place this morning...the bathtub.  No wonder my kids hate bathing...the place is dangerous!

Anyway, one bone's broken (the doctor 'thinks'...can't you tell for certain from an x-ray?!) and it's turning a lovely shade of mauve.  Crikey, I need a pedicure!  I got this nifty boot and classy pair of crutches.  Yay me!

I'd try and milk this for some sympathy from Himself, but I swear the man's not got a sympathetic bone in his body.  Unless of course he's the one that's ill/injured.  Anyhoo...

Glad yours is on the mend and in a couple of weeks, mine'll be as good as new, too!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

I Care

I've wanted to write this post for a long time, but haven't had the words and frankly, just didn't know how to go about writing it so that it sounded thoughtful and intelligent and heartfelt.  Apparently, today's the day and I hope I get it right.  If not, feel free to tell me...just be nice about it.


I'm frequently asked 'Are you Jewish?' a question no doubt prompted by the fact that I wear a Star of David.  The short answer is 'No'.  Less curious folks let it drop.  Occasionally, someone will press me to elaborate and I'm happy to accomodate them.  Here's my extended version answer...

I wear a Star of David because I want the world to know that I support Israel and her people.  Period.  The fact that these people have been under attack from all sides for thousands of years and still manage to survive and thrive proves to me that God is truly for them.  Not to mention the fact that my Bible says the exact same thing.  No, I don't think that by supporting Israel or Jews that I'll earn my stars in heaven.  The Bible clearly says that anything I do to try and earn my way to heaven just won't cut it.  Yes, I'm one of those dinosaurs that reads and believes what the Bible says. You're free to think differently.

No, I'm not out to convert any Jews to Christianity.  I find that charge fairly amusing considering I have a hard enough time trying to do what Jesus wants me to do without going to the trouble of mucking up anyone else's chance at eternity.  Nonetheless, I have been accused of trying.  Frankly, I'm flattered that anyone would think I have that much ambition.   
The other day, I came across this blog post from Arsen Ostrovsky who was discussing the numerous rockets falling on southern Israel and he asked if anyone cared that his country was under attack.  Yes, Arsen, I care.  I'm no media or political muckety-muck; I'm an average suburban American mom.  And I care.  That declaration won't get you anywhere, but there it is.

My open support for Israel and her people has opened my eyes to what other people think of the issue.  And it isn't pretty.  I've been forced to reevaluate how I see and interact with certain people, many of whom I called friend.  No, supporting Israel hasn't made me popular and I certainly never thought it would.  I'd get more high fives for hugging trees or polar bears than I ever will for supporting Israel.  But it's what I feel is right and I'm not now, nor will I ever be, ashamed to call myself a friend of Israel.

I Flunked FNSI

I hang my head in shame at this confession.

I flunked my first ever Friday Night Sew In.

Handmade by Heidi

Having participated in one virtual sew along, I thought it'd be fun to be part of a virtual quilting bee.  No one's gonna see me so there's no makeup involved and I can sew in my jammies.  It's like a quilt retreat, only you don't have to pack up the sewing room and drive anywhere.  And you can go braless.  Whoever thought the whole concept up, should be given a medal!  Plus, I'd taken the Co-Defendants to the Fall Festival at school; that candy-fueled, toddler scream-filled fun fest that makes all my (and apparently every other parent's) nerves get jiggy with it and my last nerve shout 'Holy schmit, enough already!' so I figured I'd earned an evening with my new boy toy.  My mistake was in settling down to watch Amy and Steve on 'The Dead Files'.  That was all she wrote y'all and next thing I knew, it was morning.

So this is my mea culpa and my most heartfelt apology.  As penance, I've forced myself to dedicate my entire Saturday to sewing the binding on Captain Studly's Albatross quilt.  Forced, I tell you!  And such a hardship it has been.

My hope is that if I promise and swear to do better next time, those nice ladies will let have another shot.  If not, it'll be me and The Dead Files crew again.  Then again, that New York accent is starting to sound a tad appealing.  Hmmm......

Happy quilting, y'all!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Froggy Flannel Finish

I honestly hate Texas weather.  Only in this great state of ours can temperatures range in the 80s to 90s in October.  It's just unnatural.  Thankfully, we're experiencing cooler weather since a front's blown in.  That ought to crank the mercury down to, oh I don't know, the 70s maybe.  Whoop-dee-do!

I'm finishing up the last of the flannel squares I'd cut up for rag quilts.  Oh, the joy of sewing flannel with these crazy temperatures AND hot flashes.  It's almost too much fun to be legal.  I wonder if this is what hell is like. 

Here's what I finished this week...

I keep hoping a quilt fairy (or a Co-Defendant) will happen along and offer to do all the clipping on these babies for me.  Luckily I'm not holding my breath.  I've discovered that nothing makes clipping go faster than having to sit through a movie of the Co-Defendant's choosing (think Balto or Snow Buddies).  That or baseball, take your pick.  After running this one through the old wash and dry, I discovered an entire row that missed getting the snip, so it was snip some more and back through the wash and dry again.  And voila!  It's done.

Still in progress:
* the cross-stitch kit that's been a WIP for ten years (no, I'm not joking) that lacks just a few more lines of alphabet to move from WIP to finished

* Captain Studly's Albatross quilt has been quilted and is waiting for me to get the binding cut.  Do I have any volunteers?  *crickets chirping*  I'll take that as a 'no'. 

On that note, it's back to the grind sewing machine for me.  I can honestly. never. die...there's too much still to sew!

I'm linking to Richard and Tanya QuiltsConfessions of a Fabric Addict and crazymomquilts :)

TGIF, y'all!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ragtime Friday

Friday is finally upon us...unfortunately, I will be working the weekend.  On the other hand, Captain Studly will be home from his school sojourn to the south of Texas by this evening and chaos will once again reign supreme!  And I can (temporarily) quit worrying about stranger abductions, lost in the big city children and random acts of road rage.  I know, I'm odd.  Sue me.

For today's finishes I have two rag quilts.  YAY, I actually finished something!

Baby-sized rag quilt

Baby doll-sized rag quilt
The Diva got the bottom one for her doll.  For some reason she thinks she's getting the top one, too (it's going to charity).  If it's one thing both the Co-Defendants are rich in, it's quilts.  I don't think she'll miss it.

So, any quilty projects or neuroses you're working on?

I'm linking to Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric AddictRichard and Tanya Quilts and Crazy Mom Quilts

Happy quilting, y'all!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Totally Tearful Thursday...Pass The Kleenex

This morning, Captain Studly and class left for two days of adventure in south Texas, including a trip to tour NASA.  'Excited' does not begin to cover how enthusiastic he's been for WEEKS about this trip and getting away, even for just two days, from the old Ball and Chain (that would be me and Himself).  I can say with total honesty that The Diva does not miss him.  The dog will park her furry white hiney by the door until he's home.

Y'all, it is horribly quiet around here.  Although, at thirteen, he's become a functional mute (unless you count the grunts he now employs in lieu of actual verbalizing), at least I know he's still in the house.  As much as I grouse about all the crap he pulls and his eyeball rolling and his snarky teenage comments, I miss my Beanie.  If this is a precursor of what's to come when he leaves for college, I fear I'll have to knock over a convenience store or two..or ten.. to pay for all that Xanax.  Then again, I get that same feeling when I think he may never leave home.  It's true what men say...women are never satisfied.

He'll be back tomorrow night and I'll be back to bitching about everything Captain Studly, but in the meantime I am a sad sack.  And no, I haven't had my Xanax.  I'm saving it for college.

Y'all, I CLEANED OUT MY CLOSET TODAY AS A DISTRACTION.  Do you know there's actual carpet in there?  Is that a sign of a sick mind or what?!  I stopped myself before I snatched up the mop but it was a battle of epic proportion.

Okay, enough of're some things currently in progress from my sewing corner.

That's me, before Captain Studly left, quilting the Albatross.  It's about 90% quilted and I cannot wait for it to be OH-VER!

I chose to quilt it with straight lines (I believe the modern quilters call them 'organic lines', however, I just call 'em straight...whatever works, right?) mainly because I can't free-motion quilt on my new boy-toy there in the picture.  Captain Studly's just grateful it's almost done.

I also have another rag quilt to snip and then it too will be finished.  Rag quilts are very forgiving and go together very 'em!

Well, now that I've snivelled and whined a bit, I feel better. 

Happy Thursday, y'all!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Dirty House Equals Quilting Fun

Although the castle is in desperate need of a good swabbing, a girl must have her priorities.  So in lieu of doing the whole dust/mop/vacuum routine, I did what any good housewife would've done.  I quilted.  Lucky for me, I married a man who cleaned his various college apartments one time each...when he moved out.

I finished a couple of rag quilts (photos to come once I get all that clipping done) and have blocks ready for another.  I had a few leftover blocks of the flannel to make The Diva a doll quilt for one of her Beanie Babies.  You'd've thought it was made of gold the way she carried on about it.  It's nice to know I still got it enough to impress at least one Co-Defendant.

The boy-toy (I'm really gonna have to come up with a good name for him) and I spent quite a bit of time together yesterday and in the wee hours of the morning working on Captain Studly's Albatross quilt.  No pictures of this one yet as Himself stole my camera so he could take pictures of his car engine.  Don't they all look alike?  Whatever... 
Charming, isn't he?
It's about 90% quilted and I am continually reminded of why I loathe quilting anything of significant size on a home sewing machine.  Geez, I hate rolling and scrunching all that fabric to get the darn thing finished!  But, as Captain Studly is so quick to remind me, it's for a worthy cause.  What a guy!

Happy quilting, y'all!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It'll Be Our Secret

Shhh...don't tell Lennie the Featherweight...but I'm having an affair.

I love Lennie...really I do.  It's just that we've been together for years now and I'm tired of the. same. old. stitch. day in and day out.  Faithful, like a good dog or that geyser...that's my Lennie.

My new man?  Oh, the things I've made him do for me today!  Zig-zag stitch, anyone?  And the way he zips through fabric?  Like butta.  It's tawdry and meaningless and probably won't go anywhere.  After all, he still lives with his mother.  But, oh the thrill of it all!

He's good looking and plastic like Barbie's boy-toy Ken, but, mercy, does he have himself some muscle.  Not at all like that lightweight, Lennie.  I don't even know his name; he's just somebody's Brother.

Have a stitchin' Saturday, y'all!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blog Construction Ahead

Please bear with me as I make minor major needless adjustments to my blog's appearance.  You see, I'm bored and when I'm bored I tend to make tons of work for myself and wind up with a headache.  And yes, the kids are out of school today.  All that to say, what you see right now may change again...and again...and again in the near future. 

Happy Monday, y'all!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Diva Will See You Now

Or maybe it's more accurate to say The Diva CAN see you now.

Last week I had a curbside conference with The Diva's teacher who expressed concern that perhaps an eye exam was in order.  I smiled, thanked her and pulled away, chuckling under my breath that my kid surely had enough sense to say 'Hey, like, you know I can't see...right?'

So, not being a parental slouch, I scheduled an eye exam, still chuckling that her blurry vision would turn out to be the result of seasonal allergies.  This is Texas, after all. 

After being put through the equivalent of the Eye Olympics and spending enough dough to make a dent in my fabric budget, I give you...

The Diva


She couldn't stop reading billboards as we drove around town.  'I can see tree branches!' she exclaimed.

Maybe now she'll be able to see to pick up her room.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Soup's On: A Recipe for the Domestically Challenged

I freely confess that I am no Bobby Flay.  (And thank goodness, 'cause that man is just plain obnoxious!  Sure, he can cook but geez, who'd wanna live with that right?!  Or Emeril...BAM!  Oh, wow I'm having nightmares and I'm awake!)  I have managed through toil, tears and countless tossed out dishes, to become a halfway decent cook and have told Himself that by the time he passes on to his reward, I will finally have become the cook he thought he'd married.  He eyes me suspiciously and gives me that shit-eating smirk of his.  I also cook by smoke alarm.  If there's smoke in the air, you can bet dinner's ready.  I'll never be a 'from scratch' kind of girl.  God bless Sandra Lee from Semi-Homemade. 

I also confess to being supremely jealous of anyone who can throw a little of this and a little of that together and call it a meal.  I love you, Alton Brown! 

So, for all of you out there (surely to the Lord I am not the only one) who tend toward being culinarily handicapped, I give you...

The Lazy Mom's Recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.

* I start with three bell peppers diced up kind of red, one yellow and one orange (I'm a quilter and love color!)   If I so much as see a green bell pepper, it'll be all over but poppin' the Pepto.  You could do a green one, but it's your funeral.  Or heartburn.  Whatever. 

* Add in 1/2 (or more if you're so inclined) of a large sweet onion, also diced and about a teaspoon of minced garlic (mine comes from a jar--Spice World, if I'm not mistaken because if I buy it fresh, I'll find it two years later in the back of a cabinet.  Ask me how I know).  I also threw in a handful of diced bacon.  Hey, everything's better with bacon! 

Himself was amazed to learn that a dish I'd recently prepared had, horrors!, onions in it.  'I don't like onion' he snivelled.  'I do' I retorted.  He ate it.  Smart man.  Fifteen years of marriage with nary an onion in any dish?  It was time to go postal or let 'em eat onion, y'all. 

* Dump everything is a large pot and cook until just tender but with still enough body that you can tell it's a veggie.  If you have to fool the children (or the spouse), you can put the cooked veggies through the blender, but I don't know any mother who would stoop to that all-time low (whistling softly here).  As a side note, you can puree cooked carrots and mix them in with your taco meat.  At least that's the rumor I heard.  (Still whistling.)  Or put beets in your spaghetti sauce.  (Still whistling.)

* In a separate pot, I start 8 cups of water to boil and then break out the secret weapon.  No, it's not Paula Deen.

The people at Bear Creek have my undying loyalty.  I have done up their potato soup like a redneck mama decking out her toddler for a beauty pageant and, yummyyummyyummy, is it ever so good.  I have it on good authority, however, that the broccoli cheese sucks road grit, so I think that one shall get a pass from me. 

* Once the water's boiling, you dump the pouch in, give it a stir and go on to phase three.  Come back every once in a while for a stir and in 10 minutes, the liquid part of the soup's done.

* Yes, phase three is a bag of pre-cooked, marinated cluckers.  Dice these up like the veggies and then dump them and the veggies into the soup mixture.  Stir again and simmer 'til you're happy (10-15 minutes) and eat it.  Top it with crushed tortilla chips or sour cream or cheese...or hair gel for all I care.  Whatever floats your boat...

* If you find the mixture a little too chunky for your liking, pour in a cup or two more water.

* I also dumped in a can of rinsed black beans Rotel's good, too.  If I'm feeling spunky, I add in a can of drained corn and if I'm feeling all Giada-ish, I'll cut kernals from a real live ear of corn and dump those in.  I figure if it involves knives, I must be a cook.  Hannibal would be proud.  I bet this soup would be great with a nice Chianti, too.

As luck would have it, Himself went out for the evening to a car cruise, leaving Captain Studly and The Diva home with moi.  Do you think they'd eat it?  That's a negative, Ghost Rider.  I had two bowls...heaven!  I pawned half of the stuff on my parents who are always grateful for a meal they don't have to prepare even if I was the one cooking it.  I can't wait 'til I'm their age, but the Co-Defendants will probably bring me a bag from McDonald's.

Enjoy...and remember, if it's made with love, that's what counts! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm BAAACK, Part 2

By now, I'm firmly convinced I should've taken the rest of the week off to recover from quilt retreat overload.  For those who think quilting is populated by blue haired lil old ladies sitting quietly and participating in conversational topics of the dignified variety, I say NOT!  It's also a seriously strenuous physical activity.  I hurt from my neck down to my fingers and my stomach hurts from laughing so much.  Do you think I could claim workers' comp for quilt related strain?  Eh, probably not.

I managed, in a leap of intellectual genius, to leave integral parts of my BOM kit at home so those didn't get done.  I am now four months behind.  Sigh.

I did a bit of embroidery and some cross stitch which I haven't done in an age.

This needle case is made from wool scraps that magically appeared in my stash.  Seriously, I've no idea from whence they came.  The pansy is crocheted (?).  (Sorry, I don't know knitting from crocheting.  Obviously, I don't do either one.)  My mom and aunt think my great-grandmother may have made it. 

Everybody wins a door prize at Nancy's retreats.  Thank you, Nancy!  What quilter doesn't like free fiber gifts?  I got to pick a King of the Ranch charm pack from Moda and made this baby-sized rag quilt.  After it's popped through the wash/dry cycle, it'll look way more raggedy.  Is that a word?  The brown border I cut a bit longer so it looks like leather fringe.  This was another one of those at the ass-crack of dawn finishes.

My aunt worked on this top over the's made entirely of individually cut 2 1/2 inch squares.  No strip piecing on this baby!

I'm a huge fan of black and white quilts.  It took me two days to pick out the secondary pattern.  That's me...sharpest tool in the shed.

The last thing I started was a Moda Bake Shop kit that had one Honey Bun and three stacks of 2 1/2 inch squares.  I've quite possibly lost whatever's left of my ever lovin' mind with this one...

Oh, goodie, another WIP!

Poor Lennie the Featherweight...she worked like a dawg all weekend and didn't give me a bit of lip.  Do you think she could share that talent with the Co-Defendants?

Well, it's back to the real world for me now.  No one to cook my lunch and dinner today...boohoo.  I'm off to the grocery.  Or maybe I'm just off...

Happy quilting, y'all!