Archive for June, 2010

Little Visitors

On Monday my friend, Sarah, came to visit bringing her 5 little munchkins to the farm. They had been here a few years ago but it was cold & windy that day.  Monday was a much better day for seeing the sights!

Of course, Sarah & I love to see each other for IRL visits!  A12 didn’t bring his monkey back for repairs this time so it was just a fun visit – no sewing.   😉

After lunch, we visited the pigs as her 3 y/o had talked all the way here about seeing pigs.  We saw some of the big ones and then Farmer Phil showed us the baby ones.  She loved looking at all the pens of baby pigs.

M3 had petted this pig and was OK but not overly eager.  Thankfully, this was a quiet one and never squealed at us.   Is she not just super cute?!?!?

(I was just super excited when the littles let me hold them and help out!)

Then we walked down to see the pigs behind the barn and crossed the creek to walk out a waterway, closer to the fields.  First we saw the wheat field up close.  (it is behind us, we didn’t want to go IN it and hurt the crop)

The older 3 headed back to the house to play and I showed the littles how tall the corn really is!

M3 liked walking in there (back about 4 rows) and I’m surprised her mom could see her for this picture.

On the way back we took the long way around the bins and when we got to the shed, I was surprised that both of them were so interested in the tractors!  The first time, I had to help M3 into the tractor and up on the seat.  Then A8 came and tried out the combine seat with D1 so M3 wanted to change seats as well.

Then back to the tractor and this time everyone climbed in on their own – happy to be up high!

Little D1 reallyreally liked the tractors and let us know he did NOT want to leave!

Sarah was so sweet in bringing me an early birthday gift – 2 summer candles.  🙂  Very fun & they smell great!

All too soon, they headed back to the ‘burbs but it was a wonderful visit!

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K’s Day Off

At the beginning of June, I took the train downtown to spend K’s day off with her.    I miss her & doing girly things together!

Since she has her car there, we haven’t done the train much, either riding or picking her up, and she was able to pick me up!   But the road we take from here to there is UNDER CONSTRUCTION and I just wasn’t going to deal with that.  Taking the train is a bit longer than driving it all but I probably would have sat in backed up traffic longer.

She made a second trip around the block as I called so that was an easy pick-up!  First we headed out of town to Vogue Fabrics.   What a cute town it is in, Evanston.

I finally chose fabric for a coat for me after loving lots & lots of quite expensive choices.  I think the one I ended up buying will still be a beautiful coat!  We both chose some silk pieces and I got a few $1 remnants for art quilts/play.  Sometime.

We found some super-fantastic buttons…. for super-fantastic prices… so left them there.  $8 each!!  Yikes!!

As we were heading out, I wondered about K taking my picture midst the fabric.  I got out my camera…. and the battery was DEAD!  😦  I suppose when I put it in my purse the night before, it bumped on and stayed on all night.  Bummer!!

We went to lunch in the downtown of Evanston and they still use parking meters there.  I haven’t been in a town with parking meters in eons!  For our hour… $0.75.

After lunch, we stopped at a grocery and I bought a disposable camera.  So embarrassing to use, but I wanted to have something!  Then we drove to her workplace.  Her bosses were excited she’d bring me and I was anxious to see where she spends her workdays.

They were so happy to finally meet me and gave lavish compliments on K and how impressed they are with her work… AND that she was homeschooled!  Gasp!!  🙂  Imagine turning out quality!   🙂   After quite a bit of visiting, the boss wanted to give me a tour.  At every work area, she’d introduce me as K’s Mom, Joyce, and the workers BEAMED with pride in meeting me.  It was wonderful!  Everyone knew K in the whole plant but she said she is in the back areas with them throughout the day checking on the status of various gowns.

One of their smaller delivery vans

It was quite fascinating to see all the behind the scenes and hear the boss’ requirements for the business.  I was impressed and pleased that even in the back with all the garments & machines, there was not one iota of smell that the rest of us think goes hand-in-hand with a dry cleaning establishment.   Later I read in the literature that if your dry cleaning has any chemical scent on it, you need to find a new dry cleaner!  I have one to suggest.  🙂

{I had previously asked K if the place smelled and she didn’t know why I’d ask that.  I don’t have things professionally cleaned so she had probably never gone to a place with me.  🙂  }

After our tour, the boss asked the receptionist to help her pack a bag for me.   I got this HUGE bag with goodies to bring home.

Inside was a large cloth tote bag,

a notepad with clothing care tips,

and a boatload of sweater storage “bags”.

She had showed me these bags on the tour and I loved them!  They are clear on the top so you can see what is there but a sort of fabric type bottom & sides that keep the bugs out and let the sweater breathe.  When one takes a sweater there to be cleaned, it is first measured, then cleaned, then blocked back to the original size as it came in.   The sweaters are then so nicely packed in these storage bags.  Impressive!  Too bad I don’t have any cashmere sweaters that need cleaned.

I snagged a quick picture of K at her desk —

On the way out, the boss offered to take our picture outside by the sign and we happily agreed!

The banner is from Chicago Style magazine — Best in the City.

K is in charge of all the wedding gowns and formal wear that comes in for cleaning, alterations, and preservation.  It is quite an impressive business.  The owners now are the second generation in the family to own it and their son works there now as well.  Such a darling part of town, too!

After the longer-than-we-planned visit there, we went downtown and after seeing the parking fee, went to K’s already paid for parking garage.  Then we took a bus to the Chicago History Museum.

It is across the street from Moody Church (back side here) —

I think it is so pretty!

We purposely went to the museum, even tho she & I had gone before, to see their special exhibit on wedding gowns.  Imagine that!  🙂   K’s bosses had already bought the guide book for her so she already knew the stories behind the gowns.

Photos aren’t allowed in the display area so all you get to see here is this photo transfered to the wall outside the display area (behind those glass doors).

It really was fun to see the older gowns but we both were perplexed that the museum hadn’t had them cleaned and pressed before the display.  I just thought it odd they’d display them with such dirt along the bottoms and various & obvious stains.   {I guess they tried but the curator didn’t want the gowns to leave the premises.  :\ }

After a full-bus ride back to K’s place, we just sat and relaxed a bit.  Then headed out to Five Guys for a quick supper.  Back at her car, we repacked my stuff so it would be easier to get on the train and she drove me back downtown.  It was 5 o’clock rush hour but really we did fine.  OK, fine AFTER we settled from  the dude that ran a red light in front of us but we found she has really good brakes.  I thought my toes were coming out of the front of my shoes, but inches of missing the guy were fine with us!  Argh!!

I found a seat on the train heading home and she drove back to her place.  It was such a fun day and I really needed girl time!

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Last Sunday (Father’s Day), we took JP to Worldview Academy.  There is one about 2 1/2 hrs from us.  K met us about 1/2 hr before we got to the university.  We left her car in a large store parking lot and got some extra time with her.

Phil & the kids

The staff at WVA is super and the college-aged staff met us as we drove into the parking lot with lots of enthusiasm!   Here they got us on the video driving into the lot.    🙂

They met us at the door of the truck and carried JP’s suitcase & sleeping bag to his room. Another staffer walked us inside for registration.  Once he had his room key, we headed upstairs (he was 3rd floor) and there were his things waiting outside the door.  His roommate hadn’t arrived yet.  We visited with another staffer and then headed back outside.

He was really ready for us to head out and K had shopping plans, so we left.  JP said his roommate arrived about 15 mins later.  They hit it off well and had a great week!  Tho he said not much time to chit-chat.

They had 9 guys about all the same age in their small group for the week with Caleb as their leader.

But we learned this all later.  We could email JP while at camp and the letters were printed out for the students.  They weren’t able to reply.  I think they were too busy to write anyway!

We headed back to the shopping area and looked in 3 stores for K’s wish list.  The few we found were too expensive so we went for supper.  After supper, we were back to K’s car and Phil gave it a listen so K would know what to tell the mechanics about the sound the fan makes.  (All is well with the car.)

We got home just before 9 p.m.

Early Friday morning, we returned to the WVA site.  We were there in enough time to sit in on about 1/2 hour of their last class.  While the students then met in small groups, they spoke to the parents a bit too.  The students came back in and they had a 20 min closing program with a DVD of the week in review and some time of worship.

Camp Director, Mike Tiland

Finally, then we could find JP.

We got some DVDs from the curriculum table and pre-registered him for next year.  He found Caleb and we got to meet him.  (pix above)

The staff we spoke with on Sunday said there were about 120 students and 90% of them are homeschooled.  A great group of kids and terrific leadership/mentors for them!!

They had about 25 hours of classes and JP loved it all!  The teachings are mainly on apologetics, but also leadership, servanthood, worldview.   One afternoon they went to a nearby town for street evangelism.  JP’s second ride on a school bus, the first being last year at WVA.   🙂

Most afternoons they had optional sports games but also had team events during the week.  JP was thrilled his team won over the 4 teams.

These are such great camps — we highly recommend them.  And the next time you see him, ask JP about some of the classes or his time there.

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I’m sure you’ve heard the old-timer’s phrase that the corn will be “knee-high by the 4th of July”.   That doesn’t hold true in these modern times with better seed and better farming practices.

With the early planting and warm temps in May, JP & I joked it would by knee-high by the 4th of June!   It doesn’t rhyme but I did get photo evidence for you!

This is June 6th since I was in Chicago on June 4th and then it rained (again) on June 5th.

Phil questioned why I chose a thin patch of field for the photo-op however he was on the other side of the camera.  ????   BigBrother also asked if this was a thin area.

Yes.  Sorry I am giving you a poor shot!  🙂

How’s this???

Same field (east of the house) but this is near the shed because Phil was working there.  Today – June 24.   More than my 5′ 2 1/2″ tall!

It is never as tall at the edge of the field but at least you can see a bit of me here.

I think we are over 8″ of rain for this month.  Plus lots of heat!

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Beginning Fabric Dyeing Workshop

Low-Water Immersion Technique

Friday, July 9, 2010

9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (or so)

$20 (payable ahead or at class) includes the dyes, fabric (PFD high-quality cotton), and various supplies including a dust mask.

Register by emailing me: jmquilts AT gmail.com

or register by sending me a Facebook message or by marking you’ll be attending the event.

Come learn some basics of fabric dyeing and go home with 4 different fat quarters of hand-dyed fabrics.  We will do a basic low-water immersion dyeing technique.  The dye will color our fabrics plus your clothing if it splashes or spills.  PLEASE wear old clothes & shoes!

This workshop will be held outside (in the shade) at my home.  Please make sure I have your contact information in case there is inclement weather.  The rain date is Saturday, July 10, 2010.

You need to bring:

  • Lawn chair
  • Bucket (for rinsing fabrics) – 2 or 3 gallon size is fine but 5 gal is fine, too
  • Plastic basin or storage box (for dyeing fabrics) – size range: 5 x 14” to 15 x 22”
  • Rubber gloves
  • Pen

This picture shows my bucket, my rubber gloves (to the side), and some of the plastic basins I’ve used.

You only need ONE basin in the size guidelines listed above, but this way you can see some of the options I’ve used.  I’m guessing you may already have one that you could bring.

Here I have fabrics & dye in the basins:

After the dyeing process, the fabrics are rinsed in warm water and then washed in hot water.

I love the surprise of seeing the finished fabric!



Leaf Green

I will have a wide selection of dyes for you to choose from at the class.

And they started resurfacing our highway yesterday!  I think they’ll be done by class time!! Yippee!!  🙂

I hope to hear from you soon – please email me to register and if you have any questions.  I’ll also answer your questions posted here.

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Fabric Dyeing Photos

I’ll get the fabric dyeing photos up here in a bit…. aiming for Tuesday so hold on!

If you’re local or want a road trip, I’m having a class here on beginning fabric dyeing so stay tuned for the photos!

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Happy Day!

Wishing my dad a super Father’s Day today!  I’m not there but I did deliver a little something when I was there last weekend.    🙂

My dad left his CA roots to come for college in OH and found mom.  The last time I was in CA (5 yrs ago or so) I loved seeing the beach that Dad loves and was thankful he stayed east for mom & us.

I love this picture (above) from our 1968 trip to California.

Dad & Mom with the 4 of us kids and our spouses …  about 3 or 4 yrs ago.  We are all blessed to have a father that honors God and loves all of us and our mates!

On our end of Father’s Day today —

We get to see K for a few hours today so are excited about that!

I’m thankful for a husband that has loved his kids through every section of their lives.  We are so thrilled to spend today with both of them.  🙂

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Visit to Ohio

I left home last Friday morning (6/11), to visit my parents.  These last trips have yielded a double visit since my brother & sister-in-law bought Mom & Dad’s house in January and live there with them.  What a beautiful blessing!!

Saturday morning (as usual), I was up in time to have breakfast with Mom & Dad and we took our plates/bowls to the deck.  A lovely morning!  Every morning for who knows how long, Mom & Dad have had devotions together before breakfast.

On Saturday afternoon, DearBrother and SIL took me shopping.  She got fabric for placemats and I only got innerlining for K’s coat.   On the way home, we stopped at a farm that has 2 large greenhouses as well as the normal farming operation.  This was their last day of being open with plants and they had JUST WHAT I WANTED AND NEEDED!

I bought 6 yellow tomato plants (2′ tall!), a cup of parsley with 2 plants, a cup of purple basil with 2 plants, and a cup of sage.  SIL had a cup of 2 basil plants, too so I put that on my tab.  I paid $5!!     My poor garden only had 1 yellow cherry tomato and 1 red grape tomato and they cost $5 EACH!!   I was thrilled with my bargain!!

Once home, Dad was outside working and I asked him if we could put the 6 tomato plants in a pot to travel home better.  He does nice planting work!  When I transfered the plants to the garden on Thursday they had already put out many new roots in the bigger space.  Yeah!!

Sunday I secretly hoped the organist (my mom!) wouldn’t play any hymns that would make me cry.  She didn’t but the worship team and small band started the service with “Great is Thy Faithfulness”.  As hard as I tried, I couldn’t sing it all.  Standing by Dad hearing him sing that was too hard on my tears.  They overflowed.

I went to the adult study class with Phil’s sister & her husband and met a new quilting friend.   heehee

Once home, we were greeted by 3 of DB’s grandchildren!  They were visiting for the day.  Fun!!   The youngest needed her pigtails fixed so I handed the ponytail holder to DB.  He raised 3 boys, I wondered if he could do this trick for his 1st granddaughter.  Nope.  I rescued them both and got to fix 2 tiny pigtails.  How fun!!

Soon after this, the littles and their grandparents went to a church class picnic while Mom & Dad and I had dinner with SIL’s parents.   (They come for Sunday dinner for their weekly outing.)

After dinner, while Mom & I did dishes, Dad headed outside to pull a few weeds.  That warmed him up and he was ready for short sleeves when he came back in.

Soon the children were done with naps at their own house and back to the grandparents’ house.  Before supper, Great-Grandpa played cars on the coffee table with Miss L for a bit.  Mr. S is peeking into the picture in the background while Mr. J took a pause in his farming to catch the weather.

After supper together, Grammy (SIL) had brought their swimsuits so the kids changed into their suits.  We drove down the road just a bit to a quiet place to play in a shallow creek! What fun!!

I didn’t know it would involve the short hike through the woods or I would have reconsidered my flip-flops.

Three were too busy to be bothered for a picture!  Sorry to their Mom!

Gr-Grandma was in charge of the towels and G-Gpa had his camera along for a few pictures. He also found a few rocks with fossils imprinted on them.

The whole area of creek where we were was just like this.  Just deep enough to get wet and throw rocks!  Grammy kept a close eye on Miss L as she found a few deeper places…. repeatedly!  🙂  The water was C~O~L~D!!

Three of us changed 3 of them once back at their van and the grandparents took the children home for thier own tub & jammies.  Soon after the parents arrived home so DB & SIL came back for the evening.

Mom asked if DB or I had drawn the short straw to go to their doctor appointments on Monday and we said we both did.  We double-teamed them!

Monday morning after a long enough wait to be too long and a too short of wait to start a project, we headed to the doctor.  Dad got more detailed results of the biopsy he had 2 weeks ago.  Stage 3 lung cancer and we got the measurements… about a golf ball size (but misshapen)  in his lung.  A bit smaller on 2 lymph nodes.  😦   This, their regular, doctor didn’t recommend treatment as his type of cancer cell doesn’t respond to treatment as well as his age & heart condition playing a part.

However, on Thursday they met with an oncologist who is repeating some scans & tests and will give a better answer this coming week.

Meanwhile, the difficult road we are on continues.

That evening Dad’s niece & her husband came over as well as Mom & Dad’s former pastor & his wife.  We had a small family anointing service for Dad.  It was very meaningful, beautiful, and difficult all rolled into one.

Mom & Dad really show they are at peace with all of this that has been thrown at them.  Their faith hasn’t wavered but they cling tighter to He who sustains!  What a tremendous testimony they are to us and those around them.

Cards have started to arrive for them and they so appreciate the thoughts and prayers behind them.  So many specially found them at church on Sunday as well.

Tuesday morning devotions before I headed home.

I had to head home to my men on Tuesday and left early in an effort to pass Chicago before the afternoon mess began.  I did.  I was thankful to arrive home just before 3.

Meanwhile, our emails & phone calls continue and our prayers are stepped up a bit for their continued peace, that they both continue to feel so good, and for help in the decisions ahead.  Thanks for joining us!!

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Lagging Behind

I planned to get a few more posts up to catch-up but I’m lagging behind.  Sorry about that!  (if it matters to you….)

JP built us a new computer and we were able to use some parts from his old computer so that helped us save some bucks.  It has also kept me away a bit from blogging while he has worked on it.  Now I have to get all my stuff loaded again and that can be a drag.  I do have need for some paper piecing patterns so at least need to get some of those here.  Priorities!!  🙂

You should see the fabric I dyed today!! Yummy!!

Meanwhile, I’d appreciate prayers as my family (of origin) has a hard road ahead of us.

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Mini Road Trip

Way back about 2 1/2 weeks ago (that day the computer crashed 😦  ), Lori & I had a little road trip planned.  Maybe (I wonder in hindsight) because of a crashed computer or who knows what, I felt the need to visit a quilt shop.  One was just calling to me!!  I really felt it best to answer the call.   🙂

So before we went to our 1st intended destination, we drove a bit farther to visit Tammy Tadd’s quilt shop.  (Happy to see they fixed the website directions after our unintended side loop through town.)

Don’t you just love the little pink chair?   I do!!

Inside is a modern bright warehouse type room!

We loved the big fabric selection!!  And the 30’s reproduction room was full!

The batik selection was great!!

And they happily accepted our plastic cards as payment.  {I found a bright bundle of FQs and a coordinating piece for a planned table runner for the kitchen. } We thought we should save our cash for the intended stop yet to come.

So we headed west again for just a bit to a “farm sale” that Lori had read about on a blog she follows.

So… we found a newer shed, on a hobby farm, with stuff for sale inside.  (Our men would have passed out cold!)

I lovedlovedloved this chandelier above the pastry department which was maned by someone’s cute daughter!

We passed on the champagne…..

There were several that contributed to the sale items …. but then I also started to notice about 4 themes through out the sale.   Painted burlap somethings.  Image transfers on metal somethings.  Casual new-in-the-vintage style clothes.

The side garden along the house (as we were heading out) has this CUTE glass window house.   Me & those old windows….   This was the best picture I got of it while driving out of the lane and not being obvious to the men on the deck nearby!!

We weren’t very impressed with the sale overall.   Some cute things, most were WAY over-priced, and …. it just wasn’t that impressive for the hour and a half drive.   Thankfully we like each other and time to chat is always good!!   🙂

So we were really glad we had added in the quilt shop to make the drive worthwhile!!

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