Archive for February, 2010

Nina’s Turn

Just because she doesn’t get much blog time.


You know we have this issue of Nina wanting to sleep on the carpet.  Sometimes she stands totally on the carpet and plops down.  A great place for a snooze.  >insert eye roll here<

But sometimes if we don’t close the basement door T I G H T, she sleeps on the cold, hard cement next to Molly, the collie.

So really it isn’t the comfort, I think.

But EVERYONE really thought I should make her a bed.


  • I bought the foam.
  • I bought the fabric.
  • It cured in the bag for 3 weeks.
  • Did I say I finished quilting the tshirt quilt? 😉

And then…..

I made a dog bed!


with a removable cover for washing…

with 5 recycled buttons across the back flap.

And twice Nina has chosen to lay down …




Twice in 7 days!

Now who’s laughing????

Today I wrapped 2 more batches of soap.

She came down to the basement to keep me company and cozy up to that oh. so. comfy CEMENT!  With her head wedged under the table legs.

Hopefully, she won’t be startled and try to jump up quickly!

(She has a very hard head…)

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Sore Shoulder…

I’ve had an issue with my (mostly) right shoulder since the end of January.  It didn’t help that my massage therapist (MT) had ruptured a disc in her neck  and was out for a while.

After about 2 1/2 weeks, it dawned on me… that I didn’t injure it, nothing makes it worse, not much made it better.  I couldn’t place the root of the problem.. until…. I finally remembered if I can’t find a source, no rhyme or reason, how about fibro?  At that point, I remembered that the support group I read via email has said that the neck & shoulders clear last and are painful!  Maybe I’m in a bad fibro cycle!  It feels a lot like the summer & fall of ’05 before I started on guai.  Just not as bad as then.

Well, I sure felt the painful part!  I can’t really remember the last painful cycle as I just don’t have them much anymore.   To blame the pain on a cycle and to have a glimmer of hope of this ending, really helped.

{I speak of a cycle of clearing out the phosphates that led to my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.    I follow the guaifenesin protocol for reversing my fibromyalgia.  I have been reversing for 4 yrs and 3 months.  Going by the general estimates, I should be clear in 7 1/2 yrs.  (A little over 3 more years!)  However, I have been ahead of the clearing schedule many times and I take extra guai to help clear faster.  So… in reality, I could be nearing the end!! 🙂 }

Finally, I was able to see my MT on Tuesday.  She spent most of my hour doing some stretches for my myofascial layer and helping level out my hips & shoulders.  I’m wonky!

But I didn’t feel better on Wednesday or Thursday so I called my MT to ask for a 30 min session to work on my shoulders.  I went for that this afternoon.

At one point she worked at slowly lining up my shoulders so my left one isn’t so high and my right one isn’t so very low.  I felt all wonky…. and by then I was nearing level.  :\   Funny how ones body adjusts to wonky.  *sigh*

And then it hit me.  My drumming days in high school.  I could be reversed back that far at this point.  And I injured my right shoulder carrying my snare drum back in the day.

{I did the math…  I could be cleared back to age 16 1/2 if I am on the general schedule. }

My sophomore year of band, we got new drums.  The new ones had steel frames and were much heavier than the ancient wooden framed drums we had been using.   It didn’t take too many weeks before my shoulder was injured so much I couldn’t carry a drum anymore.  The strap was only on the right side.  The drum hung diagonally and rode on our left leg.  Oh those thigh bruises… 😦  I ended up finishing out my marching band years by playing a glockenspiel.

And so, there I am.  A little less soaping, quilting, blogging, and fun.  A lot more resting.

I’m thankful that I hardly ever have pain in my clearing anymore.  This last month has reminded me of how good the days have been.  I’m glad I’m getting beyond most of this.  And I’m anxious for this cycle to end.  I work slower and with less energy as this works out of my body.  I was so used to the fast pace!  🙂

But even though this shoulder has been bothering me, I have kept up with working out with my Jillian Michaels’ Shred DVD nearly everyday.  I’m at level 2.  If this shoulder hadn’t flared up this week again, I was going to move to level 3.  And I still go to swim 2x a week.  I’m enjoying going during free swim instead of during class time for a few weeks and have avoided a lot of crowd that way!

I have added in some e-cises.  I did these before I started guai when my shoulder was so very painful.  They really help with aligning my body and putting it back in the position it needs.

I’m going to rest on the couch with an ice pack now.  I hate ice!! 😦  And later, after Phil comes in, I’ll look for a band picture to share with you.  I sure wish we would have taken more candid pictures when I was a kid like we do now.

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Fixing the Bare Wall

Since the kitchen redo of October 2008, I’ve had a bare space of wall in the kitchen.

In November when I found the new quilt shop in the town an hour away, I picked up this charm pack and a pattern I could use with it.

I love the fabrics and thought they’d be a great burst of color in the kitchen.

The store was expecting the coordinating bolts of fabric to arrive in December.  However, when I made it back to the shop in January, the owner said they weren’t getting the fabric bolts in afterall.  *sigh*

To the rescue, another quilt shop near that town announced in their February newsletter that they had this fabric line arriving!! 🙂  So I bought the border & binding fabrics I wanted last week.

So far I have the center of the quilt done and just before I cut the borders I thought I’d see how it was going to fit!



So if I continue as the pattern directs, the quilt will

cover up the light switch!

In the kitchen!!

And I live with 2 men!!!


That’s right, I have no brains!! :p



Here is the quilt center —

Still needs 4″ borders of this fabric:

Do I continue on and use the quilt some place else?
Do I not add any borders, use as it is, just the 5 x 5 blocks shown above?
Do I take off one row & one side to make it 4 blocks x 4 blocks and then add the borders?

Please vote early & often 😉 and no, there is no prize connected with this post!!   🙂

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Sleepover + Craft Days

Makes for one happy blogger!  Me! 🙂

Friday night I packed and headed to Lori’s.   We moved in and when most had arrived (about 6:30 p.m.) we had supper.  Lori had 4 large pizzas and a yummy salad and the rest of us had brought snacks.  There was a ton of food!!

Along with Lori,  there was Shelly, Lucinda, Ami, Stephanie, Becky, and me.   After supper we popped in The Proposal to start our night of chick-flicks.  Shelly was working on a wreath… paper circles cut w/ a scalloped edge, hot glued onto a foam wreath (pipe insulation).  She’ll add bright butterflies when it is done.  Stephanie worked on crafts for Kidz Link and Lori worked on photo editing.  I had the binding to sew around the tshirt quilt.

After the movie, a few headed home and Lori, Ami, Shelly, and I headed to our own rooms (!!!) to spend the night.   :yawn:  it was 11:45!

I was thankful to sleep great on the granddaughter’s airbed. 🙂

In the morning, the house started to fill up as Sue, Stephanie, Becky, Marsha, Pam, and Amy joined the 4 of us.  After a yummy breakfast that Lori made, we started crafting.  Shelly was our leader and we started with metal punching for necklaces.

There were 2 stations.  At the kitchen island, we’d get the center marked on our disc and put our pearl on the metal wire.  Of course, Shelly made that part look oh.so.easy. but we fiddled and managed to get ours acceptable.

The other work area was in the garage/man cave.  🙂  Here Shelly helped us with our chosen word or phrase to hammer into the metal.  This is my piece getting set up.

The black sticks are the letter punches.  We lined them up from our center dot and hammered to punch/dent the metal.

{Dad, I was given bonus points for holding the hammer correctly! 😉 }

This is my finished necklace.  I laid them out like this but the 3 pieces all move around on the chain.   I’m quite pleased!! 🙂

Our next project was a mixed media wall hanging using a stretch canvas frame for our base.   Shelly had given us suggestions for lettering at small group on Wednesday so there was a large variety of verses or words that we used.  We brought our own scrapbook papers and paints.

This is my board with just the papers mod podged onto the canvas.  And my pile of leftover pieces on the floor. 🙂

I gave it a layer of pink (everyone said blech! pepto bismol), a layer of burnt sienna (everyone said blech!#$*&), and then a wash of a titan buff Golden fluid acrylic (I love them!) (everyone gasped with bliss!)  Ha!!  They just needed to be patient and trust my layering process! 🙂   Here I also added a bit of a tan wash (really cheap craft paint that doesn’t cover) and added some additional texture with bubble wrap.  🙂

Above, Stephanie is holding one of Shelly’s previous paintings she brought as an example while I am painting my lettering.  (nice necklace!)

My canvas so far is in the front and Sue is transferring her lettering in the back.

I love Sue’s background!

Ami is adding her paint layers.

Lori transfers her lettering.

The one on the left is adding a verse about the forest and the one on the right has added in a big font “Sing” in the middle space.

Sue already finished her lettering at home and posted this on Facebook.  I just love this too!

Mine isn’t done yet.  I want to add a vintage image (have to decide on the method), some buttons, and maybe a used zipper for embellishments.  I’ll keep you posted!  🙂

I headed home about 4 p.m. so I could get changed and Phil & I headed to early service.  The sleepover + craft day was a super mid-winter retreat!!  We hope to do this again even if just for a day of crafting.

Thanks to Lori for her terrific hostessing, Shelly for the great projects, and the others for being great companions!

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I showed you here about the slipper boots I wanted to make.   Well, with the quilt quilted and the binding on and the sleepover fast approaching… I crammed in slipper making!

This is with my feet propped up at Lori’s during the sleepover/craft weekend!

The slippers are warm & comfy and my feet did fine not being in shoes for Friday night & Saturday.  🙂

While I was working on them, I was sure I’d never make another pair!  What a pain!  However, the cuteness & comfy factors may make me change my mind.  🙂

They are not convenient for slipping on for the mid-night trip down the hallway…. FYI.  😉

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Well, I have no idea what happened to the previous post!  I had written up over half the story.  I didn’t mean to only give you those few snippets.

So back up to the program…

Lizz Ploppet was our speaker. She is a great speaker – and funny! – and it was so fascinating to have a peek into her thoughts and how she works out her quilting.

She started out making dolls and moved on to this advanced version!

This is a beautifully dressed lady riding on her grassphopper!

And she added a guy friend riding on a house fly!  Too funny!  We were enthralled with the detail including  iridescent wings.

She also makes regular quilts but she sure adds a fun twist!

A fractured tiger quilt!

The tiger fabric looked like velour but is regular cotton.

Tiger footprints walk across the back but then at the very top was a set of human footprints!

Next came 2 boxes that she opened for us….

Inside the picnic basket:

Some of the fabrics had bugs and the peeled apples were quite cute!  She added an inebriated ant that has just finished out the last of the cold mug!

Inside the treasure chest was a mariner’s compass block with lots of treasure embellishments.

She made this for a guild challenge and it opens to this:

Don’t you think I need this?  😉

I’m not one to decorate with bird houses but to see this opened up….

Stunning!  The roof triangles fold flat against the middle quilt.  A rainbow of birds and one cat!

This all reminded me of the 5-sided box I made for my mom’s birthday back in 2006.  I’ll post that for you in a few days as I think I have the pictures on the computer already.

Lizz found an unusual way to keep her boxes sturdy.  She gets shower liner plastic (not shower curtain liner) at the hardware big box store in 4′ x 8′ sheets.  It is easy to cut with scissors.  (This would be what one could line the shower with in a re-do project.)  It can’t be sewed on like the timtex I had used but she explained about making the pocket for the plastic support and then sewing along the side to hold it in place.

She also had a little box that unfolded.  She had made them to hold grandchildren pictures but also had one with the birth announcement information inside!

Wow!  The ideas were churning!! 🙂

Here is a cute wallhanging Deb showed during show & tell.  A great way to highlight some special fabric.

I was nearly done with the quilting on the t-shirt quilt so that was my show & tell.  Pictures of that will be coming soon as I finished the quilting, have the binding on, and am hand stitching it down to the back.

When we headed out, it wasn’t snowing but all the snow that had come after we arrived had frozen to our warm windshields.   As I was scraping the ice off my windshield, the VP called me over.  Her key wasn’t working to lock up the church.  I struggled.  I tried it on another door.  It didn’t work there and it seemed like it just wasn’t made right.   Thankfully Judy was waiting for her defrost to warm up was still there with her key!  She really saved us from bothering the pastor at 9 at night!

The VP was able to lock-up while I scraped ice off Judy’s window.   I can’t remember the last time I’d had ice on my windshield to scrape so not everyone has a scraper.  Mostly we just have snow!  We’ll have new keys made from the one that does work and try them at the next meeting.

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Feb Quilt Guild

Wow – was Monday night’s meeting super-duper!!  🙂

The first thrill was when my secret sister from 2008 brought in her finished quilt!

I made the blocks and gave her the fabrics to complete it.

Lizz Ploppet was our speaker. She is a great speaker – and funny! – and it was so fascinating to have a peak into her thoughts and how she works out her quilting.

She started out making dolls and moved on to this advanced version!

And a friend for the girl on the grasshopper… a boy on a fly!

ETA 2/20: This is all you got???? I had about 8 pictures here when I thought it posted!! Argh!!  I’ll be back to post more tomorrow.

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First thing for this morning…

The winner of the Amy Butler Software is number 15…

Melissa/Yada Yada Yada!!

Congratulations Melissa!! 🙂

Send me your mailing address and await your package from The Electric Quilt Company!

The whole random number generator at random.org is so fascinating!! Who would have thought.


Last night’s quilt guild program was so fun & fascinating!  I can’t wait to tell you about it.  I have pictures.  🙂  But… today is uber-busy!  Fix lunch, exercise with Jillian, and head out to get a spool of thread on my way to aqua aerobics!  (Sort of like taking the long way to swim!)  I need the thread for the tshirt quilt and it is nearing completion.  So if I’ve used a whole spool in the bobbin for the quilting already… how much quilting is there????

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Phil brought home a new orchid plant yesterday!

He made a very good choice as I love orchid plants and it will last much longer than fresh flowers.   Several blooms are open and there are many more to come.   This one has a lot of leaves.  My current one of this same variety of orchid (different colored blooms) refuses to support more than 3 leaves….

I made the men a Peach Berry Pie and there are no leftovers they can share.  😉

Today Phil & I went to the city an hour away for lunch out and shopping.  Just 2 1/2 miles from home, Phil wondered if he saw an eagle in the field.  We turned around and sure enough, YES!!  {And to think I had considered bringing my camera and changed my mind.}

The eagle was snacking on some meat in the field surrounded by crows who knew better than to mess with a eagle that is eating! As we stopped, the eagle decided he didn’t like us there so took off.  How amazing to see the wing span as he soared to the far side of the field and the row of trees.  Beautiful!

At the biggest town between here & there, we slowly swerved around something in the road.  Valentine cupcakes and the cookie sheet they were on!!  :O   And then our imagined stories flowed… I really think that someone got to Sunday School this morning without the cupcakes for the party!!  😦  I think that because the pan was still in the MIDDLE of the road, that the driver didn’t know the cupcakes were not inside the card.  Oh my!!!

We arrived for lunch before a crowd, which was our goal.  We did some shopping for odds & ends we needed here at home.  Since the day was still young, we stopped to walk through the antique mall.  We always enjoy that!

I found this cross-stitched tablecloth for $5!  🙂 It is in wonderful condition.  I received the book, Wholecloth Linen Quilts, for Christmas and had read through it last week.  I’ve watched the author on The Quilt Show and knew I’d love the book.  So this will be my first quilted linen.

I’m not too sure the “lace” edging will stay as it doesn’t seem to go with the embroidery or time period. All the embroidery looks beautiful still!

I also found this sewing chick/duck!  If the scissors didn’t have such a big nut on them, they’d slide through for the beak/bill!

It has a little drawer on one side with goodies inside!

I think I’ll give it a new pin cushion in time but just had to show you first!  🙂

On the way home, Phil slowed at the eagle corner and we were surprised one was still there eating… along with 2 other friends!!  Phil pulled to the side of the road and all 3 Bald Eagles took off.  Soaring… A beautiful sight!!

I saw my first eagles in the fall of 08 on our trip to Prairie du Chien, WI.  I saw one on my way to my parents’ in January.  Now these 3… amazing!  Phil has noticed an eagle down this road before.  Thrilling to see 3!

I’ll top off the evening by watching The Olympics.

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Snow Dyeing in IL

(plus a bonus at the end to make you smile some more! 🙂 )

On Tuesday – Wednesday we got more snow and I decided it was time.

Time to drop the current job/project and PLAY!! Tuesday evening I started.

I had dug out my issue of Quilting Arts magazine for reference the day before.  I googled “snow dyeing” to hunt up a blog I read in the recent past on her snow dyeing.  Plus I read a few others!  I took all the posts and sort of combined them for my process.  Plus a bit of picking of my daughter’s brain.  😉

I cut my fabric (Kona white cotton) into generous 1 yard and 1/2 yard pieces.  Ah… why not use all I had?  🙂

My biggest hurdle (in my head) was what to use for a container with a rack!  Wandering around the basement, I found the onions drying in my coke trays!  I decided the plastic coke trays I have would be great to let the fabric drain and I could just put them in the basement shower to drip.  🙂

I put the soda ash & water in a plastic drawer and soaked all the cotton (and added in a remnant of upholstery fabric with unknown content, only marked “dry clean only” {LOL!} that is cream colored with some embroidery stitching on it).

After supper and clean-up, I suppose the fabric had been soaking about 1 1/2 hours.  I lightly squeezed out each piece and put each one in a tray (3 pieces per tray or so) in a crumpled up fashion.  🙂  I loaded all 5 trays into the freezer.  (because one blogger thought that by freezing the fabrics first, she got brighter colors.)

Yes, right there along with JP’s chocolate ice cream and some Farmer Phil brats.  🙂

I put the other 2 trays in the garage freezer.  Then it dawned on me that I could have just put them outside!! LOL!  Duh!

In the morning (Weds), I carried them all outside.  Nice sunny day!! 🙂

(in case you wanted to see me! 😉 )

You can sort of see that I have the fabric in sections either horizontally or vertically in the tray. The second one from the bottom is the upholstery type fabric.  I also tucked a bit of cheesecloth in that tray.

My view to the east.

My view to the north.

Time to pile on the snow!  I shoveled it onto each tray and packed it down as best I could.  I drew lines in the snow to remind me how I had the fabric in the tray.

And just in time to carry these full trays back to the basement… my helpers arrived! 🙂

Here is my work area in the furnace room:

I used Procion MX powdered dye.  I mixed a rounded plastic spoonful with a touch of hot water in the styrofoam cup.  (very scientific, and no I can’t repeat this!) I labeled the cups w/ each color before starting so I could reuse them.  Then I added more water to fill the cup.  I poured one cup on each ‘section’ knowing that the colors would migrate to the other fabrics.

This is taking longer than expected and now it is time for lunch.  After lunch, I finished the other trays.  The snow hadn’t melted much.

I ran a little heater in this room to help the process along. It didn’t help much…

Eight hours later, there is still plenty of snow! *sigh*  I decide that me sleeping would help this the most.  😉  Phil says ‘a watched tray of snow doesn’t thaw.’  :p

Finally, Thursday morning arrives….

The tray with upholstery fabric (and some snow-dirt :\ ).

Lovely!! 🙂 The snow is gone! 🙂

I pulled out a few of the dripping fabrics and LOVED LOVED LOVED this one!  JP was just heading out for chores so I made him take this picture.

I hung some of the fabrics on the shower and let them drip while I did errands.  The rest sat in the trays.

After lunch, I hung the other ones.

The partially dried ones:

On Thursday, I washed them in the washer on a long cycle with hot water and 1-2 tsp of Synthapol.  It helps remove the excess dye and set the colors.  Then I dried them in the dryer for 20 mins on high.  I even saved the unraveled threads as they will get put in a project as well.

Here are the finished fabrics.  I’m not sure pictures of every piece are here but you’ll get the flavor.  🙂

The whole pile!

I used the following dyes: brown rose, olive green, lemon yellow, fuchsia, carmine red, medium blue, bronze, and raspberry.

I washed & dried the upholstery fabric on Friday.  I have thought of using this (since I bought it) for either a bag or a jacket.  Not sure I have enough for a jacket or that the color is OK with me yet.  I refer to it as upholstery because that is how it was labeled.  It is quilted and embroidered.

The embroidery threads didn’t take the dye: It is much lighter than I expected.  I know I used brown rose, fuchsia, and yellow on this tray.  I’m open to other suggestions for it!

I feel like this whole process was a lot of work but K thinks because I’m a newbie to dyeing.  🙂  I love the results!!! I don’t have immediate plans for the fabric (haha!).



While I was doing this so was my K!! 🙂  She didn’t freeze her fabric but just soaked it in soda ash water and laid it out on oven racks in her bathtub!! LOL!! 🙂  She did this after work on Tuesday with the fresh snow and the timing was perfect since she had Wednesday off.  🙂

She brought the snow up to her apartment in her trash cans and hoped no one noticed! 🙂

Isn’t this yummy? 🙂

Her pieces have more texture to the dyes.  At least different texture than mine.  🙂

And there you have it… the best use of snow  EVER!! 🙂

I’m so happy so many of you have found my blog and entered the giveaway.  There is still time to enter if you have just arrived.  Go to the next post.

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