Friday, July 25, 2014


                 A trip to Stitcher’s Garden –
    


   My sweet hubby took me on a small trip out of town a few weekends ago. As always, he asked if there were any quilt shops along the way that we needed to visit.  I missed one shop, but thank goodness that I didn’t miss the shop in Pueblo, Colorado.
   The last time I was in Pueblo was many moons ago when I got to go see John Denver ( I still cry when I hear some of his stuff) in concert at the State Fair. Let me just say it is a lot different now!
  There were beautiful hanging baskets lining the main drag, and all sorts of lovely different shops. I did spy a candy shop and am still kicking myself in the ass for not stopping there. I am sure it was filled with wonderful treats! And I must say everyone we met there was wonderful- from the sweet kid that had to tell me that the cinnamon pull aparts were only available at breakfast and tried to get me to buy ice cream to the young gentleman that was working in the Loaf and Jug . I left Pueblo smiling- which I thought was great. For such a short visit it really made a wonderful impression on me.

 
    There was also a lovely RiverWalk area. There were fountains, places to sit, restaurants, etc.   I wish we had more time as I would have loved to have had a closer look around.
     We found the quilt shop without any problems at all. Of course when we approached the front door  Bob said- Oh no- they are closed! Smartass- Good thing I didn’t believe him and we went on in.

 
  I was greeted as soon as I stepped foot in the door- I love it when that happens!  There were wonderful quilts on the walls- and the shop has wonderfully high ceilings that lend themselves to display nice, large quilts! Some of them had a modern feel-


    There were plenty of notions to peruse-thread, rulers, etc. Samples of quilts and accessories were everywhere. They had plenty of patterns to choose from- some for pot holders, wallets, etc.

 

   The fabric was displayed so nicely- they had 4 or 5 coordinating bolts of fabric placed on the ends of the shelves, then they draped part of the fabric over the end of the shelf. I spotted some dog fabric I loved-it is going to make a great pillowcase!

 

 
 

     I strongly encourage anyone who is in their neck of the woods to stop by and say hello. 
     Here is their website- they do offer classes and have several block of the months going!
     Thank you for the wonderful visit ladies!

                                                                      Stitcher's Garden
                                                                     308 South Union Avenue
                                                                     Pueblo, CO 81003
                                                                       719-545-3320

Store Hours


Tuesday-Friday
10:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday
10:00am - 4:00pm
CLOSED
Sunday & Monday
 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


                                                Trip to the West
 
      A few weekends ago hubby and I were lucky enough to get away for a few days.  A friend of mine and her hubby have a farm in Southwestern Colorado.  So far south, as a matter of fact, that they are not far from the New Mexico border. We had never been to that end of our beautiful state so off we went.  We left important notes to our son who was keeping an eye on things for us- don’t kill the animals, don’t burn the place down and there is usually some porn on the Starz channel after 10. (He’s 23- it isn’t like he hasn’t seen that stuff before).
        After getting through the awful Denver traffic- at noon no less- we headed south.  We stopped for a quick lunch, then headed into Pueblo to the quilt shop. Shocker, I know.  The shop was lovely-I will blog more about the shop soon. However, when we were walking to the shop, I noticed this-

 It was In the middle of the sidewalk-right next to the shop! How weird is that! The grave is not very old by my standards. Remember I am from Pennsylvania- old houses and graves there are from the 1800’s.  My hubby said it was probably some poor guy who knew that the only way to ever get his wife to visit his grave was to be buried next to a quilt shop.




The city of Pueblo was lovely- beautiful hanging baskets of flowers everywhere, a new RiverWalk along the historic Arkansas River that looked like a lot of fun and there was even a candy shop! I tried to purchase those new cinnamon things from Carls Jr after we left downtown but they told me it was only a breakfast item. WTH?  I can eat cinnamon thingies all day long- surely I am not the only one? I knew I should have stopped at the candy shop!

 
      We got into Alamosa around dinner time, had a few margaritas with Fred and Laurie and then headed south to the farm. Boy was this city girl/animal lover in heaven! Peacocks, chickens, a rooster, a reindeer (No- this one did not have a red nose), turkeys, a llama and 4 dogs.  And it was quiet- yes even with the birds chirping, the occasional peacock making noise and the rooster crowing around 5 am- I loved it. No sirens, no traffic, no gunshots, etc.



 
       Saturday we headed to the Amish auction. I had no idea we had Amish in Colorado! They were having the auction as a fundraiser for their school. There was an outside auction where they were selling all sorts of tools, etc. I really wanted to bid on the bunnies but figured Chip and Dale would think they were at the dog track and chase them. They also had an inside auction where they were auctioning crafts and quilts!  The quilts were beautiful- some sold for over $900. I was so happy for the quilters. We did not stay too long, but it was sure fun! I wanted to get pictures of the Amish children- they are so adorable in their outfits and bare feet! But hubby warned me that their souls would go to hell if I did, so I refrained. ( I don’t think that is in the Amish bible but who am I to say that it isn’t? But I didn’t want to take any chances with their sweet faces looking and smiling at me.)  I am sure some of you know that the Amish do not want their picture taken- it is against their beliefs to have graven images of themselves. You can watch the movie Witness to get some more info on them-Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis- early 80’s- you will love it. I am sure there are many great publications on the subject but if you get to watch Harrison Ford for a few hours why not do that instead?  Hubby suggested also watching the movie Kingpin with Woody Harrelson.


 
Food wise, among the home made cinnamon rolls and cake and pies, they had a most tasty treat called fry pies- yummy fruit filled pies that were like a glazed doughnut with filling. Good lord- I could have eaten a dozen by myself!  I was not familiar with this tasty concoction as the Pennsylvania Amish did not sell these when I lived back there. Hubby said it would be OK to take a picture of the Amish fry pies because he was pretty sure fry pies didn't have souls.




        After our journey hanging out with the Amish, we went to the Jack Dempsey museum in Manassa.  It was very interesting with a statue outside that was dedicated to his mother. I think all sons should have a 10’ statue dedicated to their mother. HELLO SEAN?? Are you reading this?????



         After viewing the statue of the Manassa Mauler we proceeded home via the sights in Alamosa. We were going to rescue a deer that had its’ head stuck in a tree, but after further investigation he didn’t really have his head stuck, it just looked like it. Yes, this was before the beer party started! After we got back to the farm we nibbled on elk sausage with jalapeno in it that Fred made- goodness was that great! I tried not to think what I was actually eating- and after tasting it I really didn’t care LOL. I stuffed my face- yes it is a beautiful animal but it tasted awesome!!!  We also had cheese, chips and beer.  A perfect  afternoon snack if you ask me!
        Sunday we headed home- it was sure hard to leave. Fred and Laurie were such gracious hosts-I told her she was in trouble since we had so much fun we would certainly be back! And this is where I had my dumbass moment of the trip. On Saturday, I reached into my purse and noticed my makeup bag was all wet. WTH? I went through all of the items in the bag and none of the items seemed to be leaking. Laurie and I smelled the bag- this was after beers for lunch- and it didn’t smell like anything we could place. I just figured I dumped water in my purse and went on with my day. When we were getting ready to head out on Sunday, I reached into my purse for a tissue. Yes, I was a bit teary. I absolutely HATE saying goodbye after trips/long distance visits, etc.-whether I am leaving or others are leaving me. When I was a kid and we had relatives visit from out of state I would hide in my room until they left. And cry the whole time as they drove off. What a sap!!! Anyhoo,  as  I reached into my purse I grabbed something mushy. I pulled my hand out and I had brown stuff on my hand. I knew none of the chickens had access to my purse so I proceeded to dig. AND- lo and behold- there was my pear that I had thrown in my purse on Friday to eat for breakfast! I could have made wine- but I just threw it into the field and some happy critters got to snack on it! Good lord- I am glad I didn’t throw any meat in there or we would have dead carcass smell all the way home! No wonder my husband hangs around- I am a constant source of amusement- and not in a good way!

 
  I hope you all have a chance to get away for a day or 2 and explore your state-

Courtenay

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


                                                            I lived at JoAnn’s Fabrics this weekend-

Well, I was planning on a very productive weekend of sewing.  We really didn’t have much planned- then it all hit the fan.
I needed to run to a quilt shop at the south end of town for some Aurafil thread. I was going to start quilting a class sample and I love using this thread for that. And- lo and behold they were open on the 4th for a bit! So, after we took sweet daughter to work we headed south. I got my thread, and ended up signing up for a block of the month, which I swore I would never do. That Jeannie is a great salesperson! But, the quilt is a king size, which I have never done and the colors are outstanding!




 On the way home, we had several other errands to run, plus a trip to JoAnn’s for some zippers, and by the time we got home it was after 2 already.  WTH?? There goes ½ of my day! I also planned on making a few Sew Together bags from Sew Demented. I started to cut out all of my pieces and then realized I needed more interfacing.  Really?? So, I ended up back at Joann’s for interfacing and more zippers as I changed my mind regarding the binding on the bags half way through. I was trying to make it scrappy and I ran out of fabric for binding. DORK. My hubby waited patiently in the car while I shopped.



 
Then, Saturday morning, as I was getting ready for a full day of sewing as I was reaching for my cell phone that was on the back of the couch my back spasmed - and boy did it spasm.  It brought me to my knees- and all I could think of is- dang it there goes my day of sewing!!!! Dear hubby and the wiener dogs took good care of me,  brought me a heating pad, and then I realized I had some meds in the cabinet from a previous injury. Thank god for drugs!!! I put the patches on and a few hours later I could at least sew without too much pain. I got all the way to the binding and then changed my mind on the binding for the 3rd time.



 
Sunday morning found me back at JoAnn’s getting yet another damn zipper.  And finally- here is the finished bag-



 

You can find the pattern here-
There is also a Sew Together Bag sew- a- long on The Quilt Barn blog. I found this very helpful as I was struggling with a few parts of the instructions. Though the pattern has a ton of directions and great pictures I am an idiot and needed further guidance. This blog helped me through!
I am going to make several more- and though the bag looks complicated it really wasn’t. But I do know now that I really need a very large, extensive zipper collection in my stash!
Happy sewing everyone!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


                                                There is this airline named _________-

Hello all! Well, I made it to and from the most wonderful wedding in New Orleans. But barely- more on that soon.
The beautiful bride and her father-check out the rainbow!

 

She looked like a princess! The wedding took place on a rooftop close to the Riverfront. It was raining up until ½ hour before the ceremony, then the clouds broke loose and the sun came out bringing the rainbow with it! PERFECT!
The trip did not come without excitement. The brides’ mother almost ran into Nicholas Cage getting out of the elevator. Too bad she didn’t see him until it was too late. He was also spotted by the pool at her hotel. I did refrain from my stalker instincts as much as I could. I never did see him, though. We were also told Brad Pitt was in town, and again I refrained from trying to find him and struck out there as well.
My “sister” and her hubby and grandson, the ring bearer- great job Jax!


I had a great time at the wedding. I actually danced- but it was because of the bottle of wine I drank.
My dance partner- thanks Brian!

I also got to visit with my sisters from another mother along with my other mother. I couldn’t even begin to count the hours I spent at their house growing up, along with the bad perms I got- thank God I do not have pictures of those disasters!

The bride loved her quilt- now I can show a pic now that she has it. I cannot take credit for the quilting. My friend Eileen quilted it for me. She is so amazing. She has a longarm and does all of her quilting freehand. No computers for her!

 
I got to spend Sunday visiting with the family until it was time to go to the airport. Everything was going along swell until I got to the airport to come home. One damn flight-from point A to point B. No connections, nothing . Easy, right?? WELL-
I received my boarding pass and noticed the time of departure was the same that was on my itinerary. Great- I will be home in time for the season premier of True Blood! Is Eric still alive? Will Alcide cut his hair?  This was something that was not to be messed with. Once I got out on the concourse, however the status of our departure said “DELAYED”. I kept calling hubby to check online to see what the airline was listing as  the departure time- as the poor contracted labor that was working the gate had no clue. So, I am using up precious phone battery as I packed my charger. I will NEVER do that again.
Well, they ended up cancelling the flight at 10pm. We were told to go back to the ticket counter to get hotel vouchers, and by that time there was about 30 of us left in line around 11:45pm, there were no hotel vouchers left. None. Zip. Nada. Now, being over 40 I have no interest in spending the night at the airport. I am too old for that shit. They also told us they would not pay for transportation from the airport to the hotel. WTH. So, one awesome passenger called one hotel located .4 miles from the airport. They told her they had plenty of rooms and to come on over. They were sending a shuttle-which a few of us did not know. About 10 of us hoofed it over to the hotel. We had to cross a big ass street- thank god no one is out at midnight. Once we got to the hotel, they couldn’t have been sweeter. They opened up the bar for us, checked us in very quickly and had us comfy in record time. God love them. Too bad the rooms were an advertisement for ORKIN. And CSI.
Dead bugs in the bathroom-


Blood on the door jamb going into the bathroom- I kept trying to convince myself it was from a shaving accident as it was by the sink-

 
And in the morning I found little black bugs crawling in the trash can- thankfully after I had slept-


Now, I am no snob. I used to camp when I was in the girl scouts and we went a lot! But as I mentioned earlier, I am too old for this shit. And we did get a hell of a rate on our hotel-$55. Now I know why.
Anyhoo, our flight got out at the appointed time the following day. The Jaguar finally got me home- good job buddy! I really can’t complain- I felt so sorry for the families traveling with little ones- and there were a lot- and people whose employers are not as understanding as mine. Plus it isn’t like I am a brain surgeon and peoples’ lives depended on me being at work. Doors and trim just aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things. Also, there were so many people that missed connecting flights-I cannot imagine that nightmare. Bob told me the dogs kept pooping by my make up table the whole time I was gone, so I really needed to get home so they would knock that crap off. LOL
I have been lucky- this was the first time that this has happened to me. Well, there was the snow storm one Christmas but that story is for another day. And that was not near the fun that this was!
I did get a lot of reading done. I read Joyland by Stephen King- a good read but not as creepy as I like.

I also read The Invention of Wings- that one was very good.


All in all the trip was wonderful. Spending time with people you love cannot take the place of anything else. Thank you Pen for all you have done for me and letting me spend this special time with you and your family.
Now that I am back I have sewing to do. I am designing an embroidery for shop hop in August, so I better start stitching!
Thanks for reading-
Court

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014




Our good friend, internationally renowned photographer Chris Grey, has a new online class available through Craftsy!

My husband says that Chris has been working on consuming and photographing liquids since they were in high school together.

Seriously, this is an amazing class. You can view and enroll in this class at:

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/CourtenayHughes_4248_CP

Tuesday, June 17, 2014




Welcome new blog readers from Finland, Lithuania and Switzerland!! Our blog is now read throughout the United States and in 30 foreign countries!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


                                                Ok, so maybe I am a crack whore-

The 3 things you need to know before this gets started are as follows-
1.       My son can imitate Cartman, one of the little kid characters on South Park, perfectly.



2.       Cartman is a catcher on the South Park Cow's baseball team, as was Sean on his high school  baseball team.

3.       In one episode, Cartman’s mother is on the cover of Crack Whore magazine.

 
Now, on with the story.
  Several years ago we were able to spend the Christmas holiday in Pennsylvania with my family. It was the first time I had been able to do that since I left in ‘85- and it was wonderful! We were headed to NYC for a day of fun, and of course when I got up that morning I was starting to get sick. WTH?? My lovely niece then explained to me the magic of Sudafed. I was convinced I needed this magic elixir. On the way out of her small town we stopped at the local pharmacy. I proceeded to the counter to ask for “some of that there Sudafed” and handed the pharmacist my valid Colorado ID. I was excited- this was no ordinary medicine- I actually had to show my ID to get it- this was serious!



She typed something into her trusty computer, and then slowly starts looking me up and down. Did I put make up on today? Is there egg mcmuffin in my teeth?  She proceeded to hand me back my license, looked down her nose at me and told me she cannot sell me Sudafed as I had already purchased my allotment. Allotment??? I have never had the shit before!!! In Pennsylvania or Colorado! I was not amused, but since I am no longer able to carry a gun I left.  Bob also tried to purchase some and she told him the same thing. So, we had to go back to my niece’s house and get her drivers’ license so she could go in and get me my drugs. We laughed about it - A LOT-- and we decided right then I guess I really was Cartman’s mother and, without knowing it, I was the one on the cover on Crack Whore magazine!
  Fast forward to last week. I ended up with early stage shingles. I got put on a few meds, one of which was a steroid.  Now, growing up I never tried drugs. So help me, I didn’t. Hard to imagine, I know. I liked my hooch, but not drugs. I was always too chicken to try them. I am enough of an idiot without the help of enhancements. So the past few days I am noticing things. While I don’t think I am a total lazy ass, more things got done- faster! And with less sleep!  When I went in to the doctor for a follow up, I asked her which of the drugs was making me so productive. When she told me it was the steroid, I asked her how to get more. She did not think it was funny. I have no idea how I ended up with a doctor with no sense of humor.

 So, now as I am weaning off the damn steroids,  my ass ended up on the couch last night at 8pm and I proceeded to fall asleep by  9 pm. Dammit-guess I better call my contacts at the magazine and see if they could hook me up- my doctor is of no use at all!
Here are a few of the things I got done while on steroids-
Got this top done- using the Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful-

 
Made 2 pillowcases to match-

 
Got this runner done for a wedding present-pattern by Bunny Hill Designs

 
And I machine stitched binding to the front of this wedding quilt-


I also managed a quick trip to the mountains with Amber-we ate our whole way there and back. Gotta love Freddy’s Custard.  She needed a picture taken of her in the mountains- this is what I came up with-

 

Please Crack Whore Magazine- come through for me! I have many more projects lined up that need to be finished soon!

 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014



                               Ears, oh my ears

    Isn’t it funny how certain things transport us back in time immediately? For example, I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. One of the things they did was flush my ears. I automatically started to panic when I heard what they were going to do. When I was a kid, I had many ear infections, and they hurt. So, I ended up at the doctor's office for frequent flushes. My doctor back then seemed to be 150 years old, and no bedside manner that I can recall. It was all business. When I closed my eyes in the office yesterday I could smell his office and also picture the glass jars he had filled with various torture instruments. I had to talk myself down during the whole process yesterday- grow up, you big freak, this doesn’t even hurt, etc. It did help that the little gal who was flushing them was wonderful and we joked and chatted while she was roto rooting my ears.

How I remember the doctor's office and his instruments:

 
 How my brother remembers the doctor's office:

 
    It isn’t always experiences that take me back- it can also be a conversation with someone. I was talking to one of my brothers a few weeks ago, and a few things popped into my head that I had not thought about in a long time. We started reminiscing and even more things came up. We laughed until we cried- what a great way to end a phone call! One of things that I recalled like it was yesterday was the wild dogs/mini bike episode. I must have been about 6 or 7. He had a mini bike- which I never really got to ride. So, one day he asked me to go with him to my sisters’ apartment. (Hanging out with him was awesome- he was 7 years older than I and it made me feel so special when he wanted to hang out with me J ). Now, she lived about 7 or 8 miles from us if we were driving, but if we took the railroad tracks that ran behind our house it was probably only 3 or 4 miles and we ended up in her front yard. Convenient! So, off we went. Now, I do not remember the ride to her place, or the visit at all. It was the ride home that got interesting.
 How I remember my brothers mini-bike:
 
How my brother remembers what it looked like:


 

   Now, this mini bike did not go very fast. Plus, it had 2 riders, and even though back then I was the size of a toothpick it still added weight to the bike. We came around a bend in the tracks and all of a sudden 30 (ok, maybe 6) wild dogs started to chase us! Of course, they were closer to me than to him as I was on the back. I was screaming at him to go faster, and he was screaming that he was going as fast as he could. I am sure there were plenty of F* bombs thrown in when he yelled that but I blocked them out. The dogs finally gave up their pursuit. I am sure they figured if they ripped me off of the bike they would have to put up with a skinny little girl screaming bloody murder and I wasn’t much worth it since there was no meat to be had. We proceeded home. And to the best of my knowledge that ended my rides on the tracks. It did not, however, end my brothers’ love of his mini bike. It did, however, cause him hearing loss in his right ear. Just kidding- but I bet his ears rang for a few days.

How I remember the wild dog pack:



How my brother remembers the wild dog pack:

 

  Several months later, he promised me that when he got home from mini bike riding that he would come push me on my swings. I heard him come in to the house, and I ran out back and waited. And waited. And yelled to him- where are you?? This went on for days. (Ok. Maybe just an hour or so). Finally, my parents checked on him. He had taken a huge fall on his mini bike and had snuck upstairs past my parents so they wouldn’t know. Well, the dork ended up in the hospital for several days. I remember when he came home I actually gave up watching Mr. Rogers and the Brady Bunch so he could watch Gilligan’s Island-I was such a good little sister. Not really – I was a brat and the baby which is a lethal combination. This was a big sacrifice for me- Joe Namath was on the Brady Bunch once and what if it was that episode and I missed it? I was going to marry Broadway Joe someday- we would have matching fur coats when we wed- and I would have an endless supply of pantyhose. I could not miss seeing my future husband on tv! Yes, I was a pervert even back then. But I digress-that trip to the hospital ended the mini bike era at our house. So sad-

How I remember my brother after his mini-bike accident:


How my brother remembers his mini-bike accident:

 

   Smell is another powerful transporter of time. My mother could grow anything. Too bad she still isn’t around- she could set me up growing pot out here in Colorado- our batches would be awesome and I would be rich! Anyway, she grew the most beautiful gardenias. I have always loved that smell. About 10 years ago I was walking through a nursery and wanted a plant for mother’s day. Lo and behold- there were gardenia plants! I leaned over, took one whiff and BAM- started bawling in the middle of the damn place! I took the plant home as there was snot all over it and proceeded to kill it within the week. Now when I need a gardenia smell fix I just go candle shopping. I can’t kill anything there. Well, I could, but they won’t let me carry a gun anymore.

How I remember Mom's garden:


How my brother remembers Mom's gardenia garden:

 

      Here is hoping that by writing some of these things down my own kids will have some sort of idea why I am the way I am. Poor kids-they don’t have a chance!
    Have a good week everyone