Today was the third day of beautiful, glorious, blessed sunshine!
Gordon caught these quick photos of the Westies sunbathing this afternoon.
was so bright that even the appropriate camera adjustments could not
adjust. But then, little white Westies are not easy to photograph in
planted basil and bell pepper seed in the cold frame this afternoon. He
has a nice little garden started in spite of the rain. That is for
another post with different photos.
Gordon and I are working
steadily at our various projects. Plus the dogs. Plus Rosalie (who is
missing at the moment...not unusual of her, but it still gives me
anxiety until we find her.) Unc is great help with housekeeping and
I put my cutting mat on Mama's old rolling hospital bedside table. It turns 360 degrees. It adjusts in height. It worked wonderfully with my new 24 inch cutting ruler. Even the tiny lip of the table helped in my cutting project.
There I was in the lap of cutting luxury, in my padded, rolling office chair, cutting quilt pieces in total comfort. I will designate this little hospital table to be my small cutting surface for ever and ever.
No, we did not lift it from a hospital. We ordered after Mama's stroke in 2004 from a Sears Medical Supply catalog. It makes a great laptop table or hand-sewing surface for when one melts into a recliner and needs a rolling table to roll under one's extended feet.
Now for my questions of you:
I need to designate one of our 6 foot folding tables to be a cutting table for larger stuff. I've seen some pretty large self-healing cutting mats on eBay. If you know of a source with good prices, please let me know.
What are the recommendations for the height of such a cutting table?
I'd like to cover the boring brown fake grain with something pretty and colorful. Oilcloth? Fabric with a top layer of thick clear vinyl? What would be durable?
Alicia Paulson (Posy Gets Cozy Blog) used concrete blocks to raise the height of her cutting table.
Another question: Not all self-healing mats are made equal, apparently. My cutting mat, above, was a bargain from eBay. Maybe I have left it in the hot car to bake...it started life as my cutting mat to take to quilting classes. It does not "self heal" as well as I expected. Is there a brand of self-healing cutting mat that you would recommend?
My eyes, ears and brain are all open to learn from your experience! Thanks, in advance!
Silly Typepad would not let me add to my post, so here is another one.
I forgot to add a picture of what the finished quilt would look like if I finished it like the kit indicates.
Some suggestions from my Facebook friends: a) add borders to increase this to a king size quilt b) add six more blocks and a border to make this a king size quilt.
I could find a coordinating aqua batik to make the additional six blocks, and another aqua batik for the border. Maybe a black batik to make a small border between the blocks and the aqua border? Would you add any more of the tan batik?
Then I need to find 10 yards of an aqua batik for the backing, or I could make the backing in different strips of aqua.
OH HAPPY FABRIC SEARCHING AHEAD!!!!
Join me at these social networking sites (I always "friend" or "follow" back.)
Yesterday was a rough day. So was today. Prayers and rest and turning to some creativity helped last night. Do you recognize the yellow fabric? Hint: It was not curtain fabric, but that is a close guess!
Sitting across the room from me last night was a box I was too distracted to notice. If I had opened it last night, I would have been completely distracted from those pesky distractions! I opened it this afternoon and was dreamily distracted from the aforementioned distractions!
Just look at all the delicious aquas and turquoise batiks in this kit. It is the BQ Turquoise Quilt Kit, using a pattern from Maple Quilts. The pattern is titled just "BQ", and I have not figured out what "BQ" stands for.
The concept for the pattern is using six blocks in multiples to create a quilt of varying sizes. "Build the Big Quilt in sets of six blocks....", so maybe "BQ" stands for Big Quilt?
At any rate, Stitchin' Heaven put this kit together using dreamy aquas and turquoise.
I like pretty packages. Look at the pretty basket and pretty arrangement of the fabric under the shrink wrap.
Then they planned for distracted people like me...with an inventory of what is in the package! LOL
Hey, that is a real concern for me. By the time the daily distractions distract me from happy distractions like this, I forget what was included in the kit! Even though this looks fast and easy to sew together, those distractions can be dastardly distracting, ya know?
This kit is for a queen sized quilt (Yes, I knew that when I ordered the kit).
Now I get to decide whether to hunt for beautiful fabrics to enlarge this to a king size quilt with borders. I still get to look for fabric to make the backing of this quilt. You know me...the hunt for fabric gets my juices going!
I might make another set of six blocks to add width to the quilt. What would you suggest?
Then to top it all off, there was a free fat quarter and a nice little thank you note. Purr.
So to recap: pretty packaging, escape from dastardly distractions, refreshing kits and block of the month quilts, dreamy fabrics, checklist for my overloaded memory, free fat quarter and a thank you note. I'll be back, Stitchin' Heaven!
I've had these photos edited and waiting to be blogged for several months. I don't know why I just could not get in the mood to blog them.
Mama would have been especially proud of the Legislative thing. Many thanks to our State Representative Bobby Howell of Kilmichael, MS. He has been a rare breed of state lawmaker!
The highlight of today: waking up from a nap to see Unc with a LIVE weed-eater, walking through the den, weed-eater held high, on his way to the front to trim around the flower beds in the front.
All I could think of was the furniture in the hall. I could see the stately old hall tree and wardrobe-turned glass curio cabinet scarred from a weed-eater's hungry twine.
It seems the grass trimmer is difficult to start, so, rather than walk around the house to the front walk, he decided to take a short-cut through the house.
I'm sorry to admit that I don't take such things in stride as well as I once did. The event erased all thoughts of what I had planned to do Sunday afternoon...like folding clothes and particular sewing tasks and which dog to wash when I took a shower this evening....
So, I've accomplished nothing today. It is almost midnight and I still have not quite relaxed enough to seek sleep. These little "episodes" just don't roll off of me like they once did.
Several folks over on Facebook suggested being thankful it was not a chainsaw! We have several chainsaw stories of similar shock value.
Another suggested being thankful it was not a lawnmower. Yep, we have lawnmower and tractor stories that still haunt my dreams.
There is a book begging to be written from this journey Gordon and I have been traveling the last five plus years! I'm not sure whether it belongs in the humor section or the horror section!!!
Somehow I have the sense that Mama is saying, "Oh, Penny, I understand!" Then she turns aside and tries to hide her laughter.
Oh, dear. The flood gates opened a little while ago.
All day I have been thinking about our rescue Westie Annie who died two months and two days ago. I miss her so much, and at the same time, it seems like she died years ago.
Little Jenny B has brought so much life into this house.She is indeed my little girl, and she cries when I leave the room without her. Lillibeth is so loving. So is Mackie and Charlotte and the big girls. Annie was just very very special.
Then I realized this was the first Mother's Day spent without my mother, who died January 5th of this year. No red corsage for me this year. I cannot believe it has been four months since she died. It also feels like she died years ago. Why is that?
Does your family still observe that old tradition? If your mother is alive, you wear a red flower or corsage to church? If she is not alive, you wear a white flower or corsage.
I remember feeling sad for Daddy who always wore a white flower in his lapel. (My grandmother Julia Swinney Sanford died when I was six months old.)
Then it was my Grandmother Hamer who wore a white coursage. Then my mother wore a white corsage. Now me.
Time marches on.
Once Grandma grew red and white roses specifically for the families on the farm to all have white or red roses to wear to church on Mother's Day. Years ago, Mama and Unc sat down and talked about the specific rose varieties Grandma grew for that purpose. I took notes frantically while they talked and shared family stories. Those notes are somewhere.
I'm a little glad I cannot find those notes tonight. It would be too sad to realize how far things have changed here....from growing roses to give all the people relying on this farm for sustenance...to today when just three people live on the family farm.
And there will be no family members to follow us.
Many of you have told me these "I miss Mama" moments will hit out of the blue...for years to come, maybe for the rest of my life.
Help us identify this antique rose. One planted area here on the farm has grown over 15 feet tall. The thorns are wicked. It blooms profusely once a year and provides a haven for hundreds of birds the rest of the year.
The deer don't seem to care for it. We have naturalized it in numerous places, and we will continue to use this hardy antique rose in even more places around the farm.
We finished a pesky project that has been lurking around for 14 months. It was not fun, but it is over. I'm so thankful for that!
So tonight, we celebrated with some of that delicious pizza from our local Independent grocery store. I drooled about it here. It is the first time we have savored this pizza in months!
We've been enjoying some wonderful food from the freezers as we try to eat all the home grown vegetables and such before gardening season hits full tilt. We are also trying to cut down on our grocery expenses.
I doubt I will ever get tired of yellow squash and corn on the cob. SO delicious. The beautiful corn we froze in the shuck and put it in two pillowcases late last summer. We did cut off the ends of each ear of corn.
We had never before frozen corn on the cob like this, but our friend Dot Ward recommended it, and it is the only way we will ever freeze sweet corn again!
Regardless of the delicious food we have been eating from the freezers this year, there was no fresh pizza among the frozen treasure.
That simple pizza was such a boost to our spirits that together, the three of us have washed dogs, cleaned floors, washed and folded clothes...several very productive hours. There is a sense of peace from seeing routine household jobs completed.
Tomorrow is a new day. A clean slate. I will choose to face it with expectation that God will sprinkle the day with blessings as large as bringing a big project to a close, or as small as a piece of pizza or a piece of home-grown corn, still fresh after months in the freezer.
Considering all the suffering in this world, we have so much for which to be thankful!