Archive for December, 2010

December LaPetité

The December pattern for the LaPetité group is a free pattern available from the Moda Bake Shop!  Yippee!!  What a great idea.  I was glad they used an online pattern.

Here is a link to the pattern:  Prairie Point Christmas

I used the Moda Three Sisters fabric line called Park Avenue.  I loved that the fabric line is Christmas and featured the pale blue instead of traditional Christmas colors.  🙂   As usual, I got my fabrics from Fat Quarter Shop and as usual was thrilled with the speedy shipping.   They didn’t have yardage in the fabric line that I wanted for the outside border so that is from the LQS.  I was glad for their help in finding a good background and coordinating border fabric.

JP said I could have it up all year since it doesn’t scream Christmas to him.  >beaming<   🙂

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Piecing Classes

I was asked by a guild friend to teach some classes at the quilt shop where she is manager.  I love teaching and am looking forward to these classes.   The store sells Babylock & Viking sewing machines and are expanding their quilting department.  If you were at the old store, you’ll appreciate all the new quilt fabrics, tools, and books they’ve added!

The Charming Pinwheels Table Runner class is a 4 hour class designed for new quilters.  Using a charm pack, we’ll piece the half-square triangles for pinwheels, set them on point with an extra background fabric, and frame them with a scrappy border.

The finished size is 15″ x 38″.   I did some freeform quilting on the pinwheels and used a modified fan (also freeform) on the background.

Here it is in another colorway —

The second class is Cabins in Pinwheels and we’ll learn the traditional paper piecing method here.  (Some of you that know me well, know I also teach another method.  The store asked for traditional so we are using that method for this class.  I’m sure there will be other classes here or there using my new method in the new year.)  🙂
I’m not so happy with my fabric choices OR the way the photos came out.  Trust me… I like the pattern!!!  😀

This wallhanging or table topper finishes to 21″ square.
For more information about the classes, Rhonda suggests you call the store at 563/242-6135 and ask to be put on the mailing list for the newsletter.
Sew Many Things!
1015 13th Avenue N
Clinton IA
There will be a Meet the Teacher’s Night on Thursday, January 6 from 6 – 8 p.m.   You’ll get a chance to see the class samples and sign up for classes.  Of course there is shopping available, too!   (I’ll be there if it isn’t snowing!)   As of this writing I don’t have dates for my classes.   I asked for March and/or April so we still have time to learn!  I’ll update here when I know.

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Bye, Bye, Bubbles

At the end of 2010, Mrs. So & So is getting out of the soap & lotion business.  I’ll be focusing my work time on quilting instead.  Here is your chance to get any products that you like to use.

Send me an email with your order and I’ll fill them in the order received.  I’ll try to check in often and keep this inventory status updated.

I ship via priority mail.   If I know you or you’ve ordered before, I’ll include an invoice in your box in the good faith that you’ll send payment upon receipt.  Otherwise, please let me know your paypal email and I’ll send an invoice for you.  If you are local, you are welcome to come out. Give me a call first.

Current inventory – updated 10 a.m. 1/13/11

Soaps – $4 each

Almond, Milk, & Honey – 7

Blackberry Vanilla Musk – 5

Black Orchid – 1

Cherry Blossom – 12

Fairy Flowers – 7

Mystic Morning – 1

Red Clover Tea – 3

Waterfall Mist – 7

Waterlily – 9

Goat Milk Lotion – 8 oz pump – Regular $10, now $7

Beach Boys – 3

Crisp Breeze – 3

Mystic Morning – 2

Red Clover Tea – 2

Waterfall Mist – 1

MSM Cream 3 oz – regular $14, now $10

Studio Rose fragrance – 5

Muscle Relief Essential Oil Blend – 3

Butterlicious Body Cream – 7 oz – regular $13, now $9

Fairy Flowers – 2

Crisp Breeze – 1

Blackberry Vanilla Musk – 2

Red Clover Tea – 1

Whipped Shea Butter – 2.5 oz – regular $9, now $6

Blackberry Vanilla Musk – 1

Evening Mocha – 1


Thank you for your support of my business over the years.   I’ve lost the joy of soaping so it is time to move on.  I am excited for the new year and the new adventures in store for us.

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Phil’s uncle raises orchids.  In a mad-scientist type of obsessive way!  It is amazing!!!

On his small city lot, he has built a greenhouse that is accessible by crossing a small bridge over the koi pond.  Darling!  (can I say that about a man’s yard???)

The first room of the greenhouse includes a workshop and his canaries.  He has the males in separate cages… about 10, I’d guess.   The other birds are in a large aviary (floor-to-ceiling) and had at least 20 birds.  Too cute!!  They are peach-colored, I don’t know the breed name.

The room to the south is his greenhouse.  It is FULL, I mean FULL of orchids!  I don’t know how many plants or varieties but I’d guess 100 pots.  Just full!!  It was rough enough to be manly but midst that was a bloom here and a bloom there.  Gorgeous!!  Deep purple, pink, yellow, and lime green blooms!

When we were eating dinner, I was near Uncle and asked him a few questions about an orchid plant I have.  He rattles the Latin names with ease and I’m still confused about which varieties I have!!  I asked if he had any for sale and he said he had some on special “for today”.  🙂

After dinner, I begged (it was easy) and we got to go see the greenhouse.  I had been out there several years ago as well.  But since then he got me started on growing them with a gifted orchid plant 3 or 4 years ago.

I loved the tour!

He had some plant clusters in wooden planters that he made.

I noticed one plant trailing across the ceiling.   That is a vanilla orchid.  He said it needs to be 30 FEET long before it will flower and THEN produce a vanilla bean.   Did you know vanilla beans come from orchids?  I had no idea!  No wonder they are expensive.   He doubted he’d ever see that one flower.

After I admired them all in the greenhouse, I asked if Phil could buy one.  He said, “No.”






And then he added, “but I have 2 or 3 Paphiopedilum {lady slippers} in the house you could have.”  I nearly hugged him but they are not the hugging kind of family.

We went back in the house and after a bit more visiting headed home after Uncle covered 3 plants with bags for our ride!  I was so very excited!!!

The three plants are sporting 12 flowers all together!  I have the smallest pot on the kitchen table and the others in the front window.  After the living room gets rearranged this week, I’ll move one to the coffee table.

Uncle has 2 of the flowers wired on the lady slippers so I want to find some coated wire for the other blooms.  Too bad I didn’t remember that when I was in the craft store yesterday!
Meanwhile, my Dendrobium has been in bloom since the end of October and is starting to wane.
My 2 Phalaenopsis plants have both just started to put out a flower shoot.   They are usually blooming by Valentine’s Day so right on schedule, I’d guess.

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Our Christmas

What a difference there is in Christmas morning when the kids are grown!  🙂

Once K was home on Christmas Eve, the kids talked about cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning so that was on the schedule for them to do!  I was out of bed first on Christmas morning so got them out of the oven to warm.   They made 2 different kinds… plain with frosting (added later) and caramel.

This picture makes me very hungry….

K & I got our showers in.  Phil finished chores.  We chatted.  Finally we gathered us around and opened presents.  Phil & I had already decided on getting a TV for each other and not other gifts.

JP is trying it out before the TV got in the cabinet.  Think he is close enough?  haha!

My parents finished and then printed a book on Dad’s life story for all of us kids and the grandkids.  Here are JP & K getting their books.  K read hers that day!

JP is happy with a GPS, new wipers, mud flaps,  and a car charger for his laptop.    K is happy with a down comforter & electric blanket and an in-frig water filter!

K worked her needle…. she made hats for both the guys and a fur scarf for me!  (more & clearer pictures will come later)


We all had fun sharing gifts.   About noon we headed to Phil’s uncle’s house for dinner.  More on that later….

That evening Phil finished putting the TV in the antique wardrobe where we keep the TV.  We sorted VHS videos that filled the bottom drawer, moved the old cassette/radio/CD player, sorted CDs, and DUSTED all those hidden areas, too!  Whew!!  (or should I say, KA-CHOO!!)  But I like the new set-up and would enjoy it more if I wasn’t so busy this week!  🙂

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Merry Christmas 2010!

We are blessed so much to spend another Christmas together.

K arrived home Friday morning midst ANOTHER snow storm!  She is used to her early rising so made good  use of it.  She had partially loaded her car the night before but still had to make 4 trips up & down her 2 flights of stairs!! Ack!!  Good thing she has her own washer & dryer and doesn’t bring home all her laundry anymore.  😉

She was here by 9:25 a.m.  I had NOT finished my to-do list yet. 🙂

She worked on another project while I worked on mine.  By lunchtime, we had a family conference that it would be safer to stay home from the Christmas Eve services.  To make the 1:00 service was in the midst of strong snow and the roads were NOT clean.  Roads?  Did we have a road?  (By bedtime, it seems as if there are 5 – 6″ of new snow outside.  I really didn’t need a fresh coat for Christmas… we’ve had so much already!)

After lunch, Phil helped us get ready for our weekend projects.  Oh yes, all the wrapping and Christmas preps were done… what next girls?  🙂

I shoveled out the garage of melted grossness, Phil brought up a heater and large pieces of cardboard for the garage, and K dismantled her frames.  It was painting time!!  Too bad it is so cold and nasty outside!

For the next several hours, K & I cleaned and applied primer to:

the top of a hutch

a buffet cabinet

2 night stands

lots of frames… 6 or 8?

The buffet has 4 drawers, the nightstands have 1 each, and the hutch has 2 doors.


We took a short break at 3 and had a quick snack. Back to work until 5:ish.  We had to stop to make supper.  We were starving!!!

Our Christmas Eve tradition is homemade egg rolls.  YUMMY!!  They are such a hassle, especially when your legs feel like lead and you are starving, but oh.so.good!!  This must have been our best batch yet.   🙂

After supper, which did not give us the miracle reviving that we needed…., I applied a bit more primer to the buffet and K cleared a space in the basement, hauled our supplies and finished (w/ primer) pieces to the basement.  Phil helped with the buffet & hutch.

Meanwhile, JP mixed up a batch of dough for cinnamon rolls!!  🙂   He bakes!!  Once we were done with furniture, K stole a cat nap and then they finished the rolls.

Of course, I’ll show you before & afters… when we have our afters to show!  🙂

Merry Christmas to all of you, dear friends & family!!

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I WAS on a roll…

and then someone added “catch a cold” to my to-do list.

But the weekend… oh look out!  I was a quilting machine.  And I don’t even have IT yet.

I pieced both class samples, then basted them and an additional table runner and quilted all of them.  It was so fun trying out some of the designs I learned at the November classes I attended.  It will be so much easier on my long-arm.  However, not yet.  😉  I just have to finish hand-stitching the binding down on one.  I also basted my Nov La Petité project but it isn’t quilted yet.

Then the bug tried to get me.  I’ve argued it for 2 days now.  As usual… it is settling into my throat as canker sores.  I’m used to that.  And really, it is OK.  I have 2 prescriptions to fight cankers in my throat as they were a common occurrence years ago (before guai).   So at least I have something to take once they hit the throat.

But the whole deal with my body fighting this has taken the pep out of my step.


h a v e

s l o w e d.

Today I started to make tags for gifts using a screen printing quick tutorial from Cloth, Paper, Scissors.  Love CPS… the project was a FAIL!  All that work for ONE tag?  Give me a break!

So I’m back to various stamps, some paper, some do-da.

Tomorrow  WILL be the wrapping day.  It will be done.  Will be.

And maybe, just maybe some ornaments will gather themselves on the tree.  JP mostly just likes the lights so I’m not getting any help.  Maybe on Friday afternoon, they’ll arrange themselves?  😀  One can wish…

Some misc pix —

Nina was born along with 7 siblings in a wooden box. She frequently sleeps with her head crammed against something.

The view out JP’s window this afternoon as we warmed to the low 30’s, the snow started to slide off the roof!


Meanwhile, I’m so very touched by those of you who have committed to sponsoring Phil & his mission project.  It is absolutely delightful to see envelopes addressed to him, he asks ‘why him?’ as he thinks they are Christmas letters and I open those.  😉  Yahoo!!  You rock!!

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Can’tThinkofA Title

How’s that for a beginning?

I have had this blog rummaging around my brain for a few WEEKS but without a catchy title so I haven’t posted.  I need to post it.  So here goes…

(have no fear, nothing is wrong!)

If you don’t know Phil well, I’ll give you a nugget about him.  His heart is for missions.  And his heart is towards giving.  He loves to serve and help others.   He has talked a few times of going on a mission trip but realistically it isn’t possible.  He can’t be gone.  Of course, spring & fall are out.   But he can’t be gone in the winter as his dad doesn’t do cold and he can’t be gone in the summer because there are crops to monitor & spray, catching up from planting, wheat to combine, straw to bale.  You get the picture.

{I think his last mission trip was to KY back in 1990… he finished off that trip by falling 20′ off a ladder and landing square on the top of his head.  Inches from a brick edging around a planter and inches the other way from cement steps.  After an ambulance ride & a visit in the local (??) ER, he was prounced “fine” and very bruised.

I unearthed this picture a few weeks ago…

we were just getting ready to leave for KY with the youth kids and K was just 4 1/2!)

So back to this year……

His heart jumped a bit when it was announced that our church was doing a short-term mission trip to the town where our church is!!  He asked some questions and long-story-short…. HE IS IN!!

The “powers that be” 😉  know our situation, understand farming, and know that if we have an emergency here at home or it snows very much (also an emergency here), he’ll need to come home, plow out or whatever, and then can return.  BUT because he won’t be 20 hrs of a car trip away or in another country, he CAN come home if necessary.

The “trip” is over JP’s Christmas break from classes so he will be able to handle chores while Phil is gone.

It is all working out so well.  Phil has gone to 2 meetings about the work and several of his friends are going too.

Would you like to know what he’ll be doing?

There is a ministry just 1/2 hr from here that serves pastors & their wives.  We have seen first-hand the weariness that happens to a pastor  & his family with all the demands on time and time and time.  There are statistics to make your hair curl of the sadness & stress that a pastor carries.  This place is like a SUPER-DUPER bed & breakfast where the couple can come and just rest & recharge and it is all free for them.  The ones that oversee this are a former pastor & wife and know the life.   And they have super caring spirits that are just balm to a soul.

The “house” is in need of an industrial kitchen and another bathroom to open up a 5th bedroom for guests.   So the work team has construction type jobs they’ll be working on.  There is also a possibility of helping with some local needs in the town & surrounding area.  Time at a food bank as well as flood repair from our July flooding are needed.

Phil has paid his way to go on the trip, covering his lodging & meals.  He is looking for supporters to sponsor him for $10 an hour as he works.  He is working 2 blocks of time for a total of 6 standard 8 hour workdays.   The sponsorship goes 100% to the cost of supplies for the building project.  As I said, his trip is already paid.

Phil really doesn’t have many of his group that read here. If you are his friend that reads here or his sister and are interested in sponsoring an hour or more,  you can send a check made out to Deer Ridge Ministry and mail it to Phil or contact me and I’ll give you the address to send it directly.   His circle is rather small so you two are it!   😉

Please pray for him as he serves in this way and for all the work here at home to go smoothly.  I’m so glad JP is able to do chores and put Nina in the barn at night for me!  🙂

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December Blizzard

Yesterday we had rain that quickly changed to the biggest snowflakes we have ever seen!  Totally a Charlie Brown snowfall….

The snowflakes were bigger than quarters!

This morning we have a full-blown blizzard!   JP was to play at our other campus this a.m. and the plan was Phil would drive him.  However, we don’t have a highway and it is a total white-out.

Chores are done @ 7:50 a.m.

We are in and cozy.  Staying here for awhile, I guess.

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Chicago Birthday Celebration!

We headed to Chicago Friday morning at 8:40.   The roads here were slushy, snowy, but good enough for us.   We got to K’s about 11:30 and after some parking space juggling got parked & unloaded!

This box holds a Jiffy Steamer… one a normal person would use for steaming clothes or one a hat maker uses for hat making.  😉   Gma M sent the little Christmas cactus in the front….

and Grma R sent the jade plant here in the middle.   I sent home the mini Christmas tree after Thanksgiving.   She has 3 sets of windows across her living room and the plants make a great window covering!

Out for lunch at Flat Top Grill in Evanston… our first time there and it was good.

Our next plan was to head downtown but K took her brother on a side-trip so we could stop at the new Tiger Direct store near K’s old neighborhood.

Our credit card could have been in DEEP trouble but the one thing JP hunted for is available $50 cheaper online  and would be shipped for free so he waited.   I was ready to bring home a 42″  TV but it wouldn’t fit in K’s car.    haha!

Next stop was her school neighborhood to see the German Christmas Market.  We had gone there 2 years ago for her birthday, too.  The temps were in the high 30’s, not too breezy, and sunny!  Imagine that!  I think we chose the best day of the month to be outside in Chicago.



We shared a plate of German battered fried apple rings.  OH MY GOODNESS!! Yummy & they melted in our mouths…. after we burned off the first layer of skin…. Delicious!!

While I waited with Phil for the apple rings, the kids were off to the side out of the way waiting.  I thought I’d snag a pix of them unaware.  K spied me… I love this picture!!  🙂



We headed back to K’s place by taking Lake Shore Drive north.  Just the beginning of rush hour…. but really it went all right.


peek at the Art Institute

Lake Michigan


Navy Pier

We spend just a few more minutes in her apt and then headed home about 4:20.   Our rush hour traffic was full but we kept moving.  We arrived home at 7:30 after having a short stop at a plaza for supper.

A fun-filled and tiring day!  Happy 25th birthday, dear K!

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