Sunday, May 25, 2008

This is how my garden grows...

My 200th post is coming this week. I do love to sew and do hate to have things sitting around the house. What does this mean to you? It means a give away! I'll tell you it will probably have to do with left over triangles, quilting and Crazy Mom Quilts. Keep checking back for the give away and how you can enter. Speaking of give-aways....

Marcia at Blue Bobbin is having a 100th post give-away. I was tempted not to tell you since I'd really like to win, but then again, I think you should check out her blog and see what she can do (she even went to a quilting am I jealous!!). Now, on to my garden. I am the granddaughter of farmers. Both of my parents grew up in the country and farmed throughout their childhood. They know how to make things grow! I, however, grew up in the suburbs and did not learn how to make things grow. I know how to shell piles and piles of beans and peas, how to pull up onions out of the garden but that's about it.I love to dig. I love to talk to the worms. Speaking of worms, check out this post from A Number of Things. I love color (as you can see from my quilts) and so I love colorful flowers in my yard. Our old house had a little yard and I experimented with a few flowers. Now we have this yard that goes all around the house and has some nice plantings but I'd like to do more.

Below is a picture of the back of the yard. You can see quite a bit of ivy. Apparently there area few tree stumps hidden in that mess. I spend the last several days pulling the ivy out of a small section of the yard (see next picture) and decided that I wasn't going to be able to do it to the back of the yard. I'm going to get rid of what is spreading as much as I can. Ollie's had these big pots on sale this week so I bought three and will plant some really colorful flowers in them to break up the green. I'm open to suggestions.
This next picture is the area that was covered with ivy. It took me about two days to pull it out. The tree stump roots are really decaying so I was able to take out a lot of that wood. I love Foxglove. I mean, I REALLY LOVE FOXGLOVE. I am envisioning this whole area just filled with foxglove and snapdragon. I'm not sure if this vision will come to fruition or not but I'm going with it. Behind these flowers is a little area for my tomatoes. I haven't gotten to them yet. I need to stake the foxglove, too. I just think these flowers are amazing. And how that spotting is only on one side of the trumpet. Gorgeous!Next is poor St. Francis. He's lost his head. I did find it but I think the ivy ate it again. Do you think they make cement glue? My Rhododendron are in full bloom. These are some gorgeous flowers as well. Here the coloring is only on one leaf as well. Why is that???? Is it so the bees have something to focus in on? I must find out.If anyone can tell me what this plant is I'd be very appreciative. I guess it is some kind of succulent but beyond that I'm stumped (which isn't hard in the garden). This plant is hidden under the lilac and among more ivy (aren't I Iucky??).And I leave you with Nathan and Nolan's favorite flower: The dandelion. They call the dandelion in seed "wishies". So I hope all your wishes for this beautiful weekend come true.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Goodbye, Cinderella

My prayers go out to Steven Curtis Chapman and his family on the loss of their daughter, Maria. I heard his song, Cinderella, on the radio a few months ago for the first time and was really touched by it.

Last night I was so tired and just fell into bed with my boys. They will soon say they are too old for bedtime snuggles so I try to get them in as much as possible. I think everyone who hears of this tragedy will hold tight to their children a little this week. My heart goes out to Maria's brother who will have to carry the pain of killing his sister for the rest of his life. I pray that God will give them all comfort during this comfortless time.

Mike's dad's cancer is pretty bad. It makes us realize that spending time with loved ones is terribly important. My sister-in-law and I were discussing the difficulty in going about our daily business when something so monumental is going on in our lives. We will make room for what is important and eschew the rest.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I think I like Red...

Time is a funny thing. Some people pay a lot of money for it. Others say they don't have enough of it. The elderly often say there is too much of it. I was pondering time yesterday as I made these curtains. They could have taken a lot less time to make if I had just machine sewn the sides. However, I knew it would bother me to see that seem every day at breakfast lunch and dinner. AND since I paid a TON of money for this material, I wanted them to be perfect. Obviously curtains are simple to make BUT they took me hours and hours. The only seam that was done on the machine is the rod pocket. Everything else was hand sewn. Of course, I had to make sure the pattern stayed strait. This takes a lot of attention to detail.
All in all I had an incredibly enjoyable day sewing. I've been listening to my sons Focus on the Family Radio Theater version of the Narnia books. They are fabulous. I recommend them for children and adults alike. Speaking of Narnia, has anyone seen Prince Caspian the movie yet? We are going on Saturday with Nolan's school. His class read the book when they were studying fantasy and his teacher arranged a section of the theater for the whole school! I love that woman. So does Nolan, by the way.Back to the curtains. If you've never used Amy Butler's fabric (this is Lotus Flower) I highly recommend it. It costs more than going to Joanne's but it is of a much higher quality and the difference is immeasurable.

I'm off to my Wed. morning groups to hand out the strawberry needle books. I'll let you know how the girls liked them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Strawberries and Cherries

I wanted to share with you a little red with you today. Wednesday is my last day of groups with my elementary children. I have four third-grade girls that I helped embroider and sew a pillow. They just loved sewing and wanted to do more. I wish I had time to really teach them how to be little seamstresses! I decided to give them a special present on the last day of group. I made them each a strawberry needle book using this pattern. I used craft felt (since my budget is thin) and didn't blanket stitch around each piece. I gave the girls each five needles, four colors of embroidery floss, a small hoop and some fabric. The other red I'm going to share is from Mrs. Woods recipe box. Nolan has really been out of sorts lately with all the changes in our lives. I've been trying to give him a little extra attention and so he and I made this cherry crumb dessert yesterday. It matches our cherry wallpaper. It is very sweet and if I made it again I'd use regular crumbs instead of making them with cake mix. This was super easy though.

Cherry Crumb Dessert
from "the box"

1 yellow cake mix
21 oz cherry pie filling
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cut the butter into the cake mix until crumbs form. Reserve 1 cup. Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a 13x9 inch pan. Pour cherry pie filling over crust. Mix walnuts with reserved crumbs and sprinkle over cherries. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Eat warm with cool whip or ice cream (or both....what the heck!)

Thanks again to everyone who sent out the lovely comments. Keep praying for Mike's dad as he has a difficult road ahead of him.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


First and foremost I want to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes. My father-in-law came through surgery with flying colors. He is coming home today. There is still radiation and chemotherapy to deal with but we are thankful that he is feeling so good and is able to be back at home.
Secondly, I finished this quilt, which I call Love Beam, just in time to wrap it for the wedding today. I was feeling really stressed about getting it done. Mike plays (in a band) with the groom. At one point during a gig, Dave, the singer, said, "I was afraid to walk between the drummer and his (then) girlfriend (in the audience) because I didn't want to break the love beam." Ever since then Mike and I (and several other people) have just referred to them as The Love Beams. So I have been calling this quilt Love Beam since day one. Obviously, it has nothing to do with the pattern.Well, we have a busy day. Thanks again for all your prayers and positive messages. It is so nice to see them in the inbox. I hope to be posting a bit more often in the coming weeks as I have a few projects in mind.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Saturday afternoon I was planning a little Mother's Day dessert for my mom and mother-in-law. As I called around the invitations I found out that my father-in-law had been having migraine headaches all week and that he was taken to the doctor. Later that night we discovered he was admitted to the hospital for tests only to find out he has a tumor on his cerebellum.

This is so hard to believe. We visited with him yesterday and he is in such good spirits, walking around and joking with the nurses. We await news from the doctor about if/when they will operate.

Yesterday morning I asked the boys if they remembered what a sacrifice was (they were in the middle of playing before church). Nolan replied, "giving up something for someone else." I then asked them if they would give up some time to say the Rosary for their DadDad (our name for their grandfather). They hopped up, grabbed their rosaries and sat with me without one complaint. What good boys.

It is difficult to believe how serious this is after seeing him in the hospital. It is very serious. Please pray for our beloved DadDad and all of our family as events unfold this week. God is good, even when we don't understand the ways of this world.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cafe on Main

I had a lovely surprise in my inbox the other day. A friend of mine from high school emailed and asked if I'd like to display my sewing (although I think she called it fiber art!) at her coffee shop in June. Wow! I don't have too much sewn but I think the spot she has for me is small so that will work well. The shop is called Cafe' on Main. Check it out if you live nearby. May is turning out to be a busy month.

Thank you all for the lovely comments about our home. I had wanted to blog sooner but just couldn't get the gumption to do it. Aside from moving and repainting the first floor of our house, I have taken on some extra work for the month of May. Since moving always costs more than you expect, and the work was limited to one month, I thought I'd do it. I'm teaching four week classes on Transitions and Tobacco awareness. I'm at three different schools and teaching a total of 11 classes each week. That is in addition to the Wed. morning groups I lead.

As if that wasn't enough....last night I started what hopefully will be a bit of work for the summer doing tobacco compliance checks. Basically I have a list of stores that sell tobacco. An underage teen and myself go in to the store and the teen attempts to purchase tobacco. I am there to observe the entire transaction. If the teen is denied the purchase I give the store clerk a certificate and congratulate them on their compliance with the law. If the clerk sells the teen tobacco I have to call the police and the clerk and the store receive a citation (which includes a hefty fine). Last night we had to cite one store out of five. Clearly this clerk was selling tobacco to any minor that came in the store (we saw several in and out). I think she'll think twice before breaking that law again!

Well, I'm off to start another day. Nathan has horse riding lessons today and I have carpet to rip up. I hope you all have a good one. Be blessed.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Home and Busy

It has been a whirlwind here the past few weeks. We are all moved in our new home and we love it! Most of the boxes are unpacked but not exactly in their proper places. We don't want to repaint the whole house in a month but we did want to rip out the carpeting that is in the house. Of course it makes sense to paint before ripping the carpet just to preserve the floors underneath. So I spent time last week ripping down wallpaper and scrubbing off wallpaper paste. Did I mention scrubbing? This word is an understatement. That wallpaper paste is nasty stuff! Wow, what a job. I think it took longer to get the walls prepped than it did to paint them. Of course, my fantastic hubby did most of the painting. He is a much neater painter than I am. Then again, I spent the hours yesterday in the yard fighting with the ivy. I have quite a pile of yard waste to get rid of. It is a lovely yard and I'll try to get some pictures for you soon. We have many birds, a bunny and about 6 cats that wander through.

This first shot is of the dinning room. The color inspiration comes from this post. I ordered Amy Butler's Lotus Flower Cherry fabric for the curtains. We pulled up the carpet yesterday (ok, I pulled up the carpet and padding and took out the carpet tack, swept and washed the floor....Mike was painting the living room). The floors are in decent shape but not super. They are beautiful though. I don't know that we'll refinish them right away. We're tired.
Mike spent the afternoon painting the living room. I love a yellow living room. This is our third house and the third time we've painted the LR yellow. I am so thankful that Mike is such a non-complaining work horse. He lets me pick the colors, too. He should be done with the second coat of paint today and we'll peel back the rest of the carpet this week. We have our piano in storage during this process. I think the kids are enjoying their hiatus from piano practice just a little too much!
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