Wednesday, September 17, 2014

 
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                                                            CREEPY CRAWLIES

   How many of you are snake fans? Spider fans??  Not me- and now it seems the older I get the worse it gets. When I was a kid, I played outside- A LOT. I remember one time finding strings and strings of what looked like yarn with slimy little balls in them in a pond. I went home, found a bucket and went back to the pond. I scooped up as much of the crap as I could and took it home. Days later, I looked in the bucket and lo and behold- tadpoles! Millions of ‘em!  I watched them grow for a few more days, sprout some legs, then eventually  released them back into the pond. Boy was that cool! So see- I used to not be bothered by slimy things!
   My mother, on the other hand, was a different story. On our way to my uncles’ home in New York we would drive through the Poconos. On this particular trip I was probably 10 years old or so. There was a snake farm that I begged to go into every. fricking .time. Finally my dad stopped. He probably was sick of my whining. As we are getting out of the car, my mother tells us she is staying in the car, rolls up her car window and locks the doors. This killed us- are the damn snakes smart enough to unlock car doors?  (This was long before Snakes on a Plane- boy that would have freaked her ass right out! ) We gave that poor woman grief about that forever. Well, the snake farm was as cool as I thought it would be- and I loved it.
 

   Back in the day my mother did all of our laundry. Washed it, hung it out on the line then actually put it away for us. Yes, we were spoiled. My brother had a little habit of putting his plastic snakes in various drawers so my mother would find a surprise when she put his clothes away. What a bastard. Why my mother did not proceed to tell him to put his own damn clothes away I have no idea. I would have tossed his clothes into the room and shut the door. And never did his laundry again.
   My dad, on the other hand was terrified of spiders.  My Saturday afternoons would often be spent  watching Creature Feature on tv- which sometimes involved giant creatures- and occasionally huge spiders took over little towns. This did not thrill my dad. When the spiders made an appearance he would make some lame excuse to leave the room- if he was lucky someone came in the barbershop to have their hair cut, or he needed to get a beer, make us dagwood sandwiches, etc. I never really noticed this was what he was doing- dads are not supposed to be afraid of anything, right?



   Fast forward a few years later. He was working construction and felt something on his shoulder. He brushed it off and kept working. A half an hour later he was violently ill and ended up going to the hospital. As the doctor was working on him, he said “I didn’t know there were poisonous spiders in the area”. He said it was a good damn thing he was laying down cause he would have passed out.  Poor guy.
 
   I was at a dear friends’ house several years ago and she told me one of her hubbys’ pet snakes had gotten out of its’ cage. How she could calmly sit there and not be totally freaking out amazed me. And it had been missing for days! There is no way I could have slept knowing that snake was on the loose.  She went downstairs into her sons’ room to put away laundry-(he is not an ass like my brother and did not hide fake snakes for her to find)and guess what was in there? The missing  snake! She went upstairs, grabbed a broom and a pillowcase and off she went. In utter amazement, I watched as she picked up the snake with the broom handle, then carefully placed the snake in the pillowcase. She then took the bag upstairs and dumped the snake back into its’ happy home. She was so brave- there is no way in hell I could have ever done that. You rock Di!

 

    A few years ago, a housing development was being built to the north of our house. This seemed to piss off the local snake population, and they started to migrate south. I really do not remember having an ALL SNAKES ARE WELCOME HERE sign up but the bastards came over anyway. One nice, fall day we decided to clean up the grape arbor to the south of our house and do some back yard maintenance.  We found several snakes in the backyard- off with their heads! Every time I saw one I would scream- which led me to be made fun of by my dorky teenage son. As we worked our way to the arbor, our son joined in the fun. And guess who screamed and ran like a 6 year old girl when he spotted his first snake?  Yep-Mr. “ I am too cool to yell at a snake like my dorky mother”.  He ran so fast he looked like the Flash! We found 4 more that day –which is now known in our home as the great snake massacre on Franklin Street.

 
   This leads me to yesterdays’ story from hubby. He said he was in the bathroom and guess what crawled out of a roll of toilet paper? A spider! I had just opened a new pack of paper, so this little guy must have had quite the trip. Bob said there was even a web inside the roll! I am glad it was Bob that saw him and not me!
 

   Now, all these years later, I hate all slimy creepy crawlies. Yes, I know they have their purpose, and that snakes are not slimy, spiders are good(mostly), blah , blah, blah. So. I guess not only have I turned into my mother but my father as well. In some ways this is not a bad thing-

   Party on my friends! And you are welcome for the nightmares :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014




                                          Quilt Retreat Here I Come----

Have any of you ever been on a quilt retreat? If not, I highly recommend it! I come back refreshed, sewed out (almost) and usually a tad hungover.

 
It all started about 8 years ago. I kept hearing about quilters who would go on these weekend sewing benders at retreat centers.  A whole weekend of quilting, eating and drinking??? How do I get involved? So, after being rejected by several respectable retreat groups,  I started to look for places to hold one of my own. This was not an easy task. After a bit of searching, I sounded out my old job.
In between my sophomore and what would have been my junior year at college I found a job at a dude ranch south of Denver. Now, as you may recall I grew up in coal country, not in the country. I showed up at the ranch with my sister’s old cowboy boots and a great attitude. Thank god for the attitude! I had the most wonderful summer- met some amazing people and I have never worked harder.




 
 So, I got a hold of my ex boss, and lo and behold she would host all of us! I did not have to have a minimum number of participants, we all got our very own rooms and they cooked for us all weekend.


 

  We were in! So, I gathered up 15 friends and off we went. Now, the main lodge where we sew is not ideal for sewing- bad chairs, not so great lighting, etc. but we got used to it. After a few gallons of wine we didn’t really give a crap anyway. This has gone on for 8 years. We go in the fall, and if you have ever seen the beautiful aspens in the fall here in Colorado you know what a great time of year it is. The lodge sits on the river- and it could not be a more beautiful setting.  For a mere 7.7 million bucks it could be yours-
http://www.farmandranch.com/property/north-fork-ranch

Well, the owners decided last year to sell the ranch so they are not going to be able to host us any longer. Darn! So one of the other quilters took over the “finding of a new venue” role.  Thank you Roxanne! And boy did she do good!!! I blogged about this location in the spring-


By some miracle there was a cancellation this fall so we grabbed that weekend, too! So, now we can go 2 times a year for what we paid for once a year!  Of course here we each have to cook a meal- no big deal - and we have to share rooms-no big deal there, either. 


 

These weekends mean the world to me- these ladies are like my family. We laugh together, sometimes cry together (that weekend kind of sucked for me but margaritas at 10am didn’t hurt) and of course sew together.  I will post pictures of all of us and our projects after I get back- if I am not too drunk to work my camera/phone. Boy, this post makes me sound like a I need a weekend at AA instead of a retreat- J

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, September 4, 2014




PACADOODLES

Recently, a number of my husband’s Facebook friends had engaged in a lively discussion on the pros and cons of breeding designer dogs. Now while I don’t want to get into a big discussion or debate on the ethics or science of the breeding of designer dogs in particular, I must say that these discussions have caused me to wonder.

 

Several months ago, while visiting our friends Laurie and Fred at their G-Spot Ranch in Southern Colorado, I brought up the subject of designer dogs. This led into a discussion on designer animals in general. After many beers hours of discussion, we came to several conclusions on the subject.

First, the designer animal needed to be self-supporting. For example, a cow or goat gives milk, a chicken lays eggs, and a person can get wool from a llama, alpaca or sheep. In other words, the animal should produce something that can be sold or exchanged in order for the animal to be self-sustaining.

Second, the breeding process should be natural, not something contrived in a test tube or laboratory. Therefore, the two designer parents must be somewhat compatible in order for this to happen au natural, so to speak. For the sake of the children, if nothing else.

Fred pointed out that he had a female alpaca right there on the G-Spot Ranch. Her friend and mate had passed away several years ago and she hasn’t been laid ever since. So Fred thought she might be up to some non-species lovin’. This would be a good place to start.

Laurie recalled a little boy, upon seeing the alpaca, had said that it was the biggest poodle that he had ever seen.   We all agreed that poodles do look somewhat like alpacas and as anyone who has ever been around a poodle knows, they will hump anything. So with that in mind, we formulated a plan for the first pairing of a totally natural designer animal.
 
Here is the happy couple:





Now, several months later, The G-Spot Ranch is the home of the first successful natural attempt to interbreed species and create a new designer animal – the Pacadoodle!
 
 
The wool of this lovely little creature makes it self- sustaining. It has the friendliness and hunting capabilities of a poodle. And Bob says that it has all the functionality of a sheep, whatever that means.

All in all, I would say our first attempt at creating a designer animal was a huge success.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


                                                    MRS. JOE NAMATH

So- if someone had told me 40 years ago that I would be friends with Joe Namath I would have told them to go jump in the lake! (I would say something different now but I was not a potty mouth yet). Yes indeed, somehow I found Joe Namath’s Facebook page and I am now his friend! Broadway Joe and I go back a long, long way. Settle in kids- it is a long story.

Back in the day there was not much on tv, so football was on every Sunday- all day long. There was something about that tall, confident quarterback walking up and down the sidelines in a full length fur coat! Oh my- and he was handsome to boot! Big dimples, long hair, etc.  I was only in third grade-I must have been born a boy crazy fool! The episode in which he appears on the Brady Bunch I must have watched 8,000 times. My brother made total fun of me because Joe wore pantyhose in that infamous commercial- who cares??? He could wear my pantyhose all day long! I was obsessed!

 
I started to sign all of my school papers that I handed in “Joe Namath”. Finally my teacher had to send a note home to my parents stating that there was no Joe Namath in her class and I had to stop signing all of my papers Joe Namath. She probably thought I needed mental assistance at that point. However, several months later, this same teacher brought her brand new Joe Namath popcorn popper in and let me be the first one to use it! I will never forget that!
 

I was so sad when he retired- but I moved on. Next in the queue were baseball guys-Bucky Dent of the Yankees, Lee Mazilli of the Mets, and let’s not forget Jim Palmer of the Orioles in all of his fineness in his Jockey underwear ads!
 
God love my mother- she even ordered me the full size poster of him in his undies- they were yellow I believe. These days she would be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor! Then, back to football boys I went- Vince Ferragamo of the Rams, Richard Todd of the Jets and most recently Brett Favre.  Seems like I go for the quarterbacks- must be the in charge thing I guess LOL. And honey- don’t even try to yell out calls to me at home and expect me to follow orders -  haha.
 
 
Oh- and let’s not forget the cuties on the USA Hockey team that won the Olympics! Ooh la la! Oh look a squirrel----
 
 

The next important part of this story is about a wonderful post man named Louie. We got a brand new post office in town- a brand new trailer! Single wide, no less. And it landed almost in our back yard. It was very convenient for the one who had to get the mail every day after school a/k/a me.  So- Louie (who I swear was Avery Schreiber’s twin) somehow found out about my athlete obsession. He told me to get him names of the guys I wanted pictures of and he would take care of the rest. And God love him- within the next few months I had great stuff coming to me- a big packet of loot from the Jets, a signed picture of Lee Mazilli and an autographed picture of Vince Ferragamo (which I still have). I never heard from the Yankees- have not been a fan since. Bastards.  I have no idea how he got this stuff- and how he got addresses for the teams. Of course this was way before the internet. He had no idea how happy that stuff made me- or maybe he did when he got to see my face when I opened the box and saw I had mail! And mail from hottie men, no less. I wonder what that poor man thought about me. Oh well. Once a perv, always a perv.
Well, my dreams of marrying Joe eventually went down the tubes. In addition to never meeting him and being able to dazzle him with my wit, I am happily married to a most wonderful guy- a tad shorter than Joe but much more handsome and he spoils me rotten. Can’t beat that!
So that is my Joe Namath story-we have a lot of history-even though he doesn’t know it!
Enjoy your day my friends!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


         Works in Progress Wednesday-

I have been trying to work on some older projects, while throwing a few new ones into the mix.
I did some more machine applique on my Not Really Jo Morton quilt. Boy do these take time when you do them right. I could probably hand applique them faster than this!
 

Here are the 2 blocks I have done so far from a Block of the Month High Prairie Quilts is doing. I promised myself I would keep up- so far so good. Of course it is only month 2! I am hoping to visit this weekend and get my 3rd block, then I will piece it this weekend.


 

I also made another Sew Together bag. I used my $200/yard Chip and Dale fabric I bought online. It is from overseas- the selvage was even written in Chinese. It really wasn’t $200 a yard- but it cost me $18 for a half yard. I must be insane. I was paranoid to cut it-and actually I figured I would cut it wrong because that is just the way stuff goes for me. But I actually did not mis-cut it, and even though the fabric is blue and orange I will use this bag. Yes- I am one of the few people that live in Colorado that is not a Bronco freak.

 


 
Now that the baby shower is over I can share the following quilt. Yes, it is funny that I had to work with orange and blue again- and Broncos fabric none the less! But it was for a dear friend that is a huge Bronco fan and is expecting a boy. 9 of us each made a block (some made more), then I sashed them, tilted them, pieced the top and quilted it. It was actually fun to do. I just told the gals I needed blue and orange blocks, pieced or appliqued. I got a wonderful assortment of both. The quilt came out larger than expected- 60 x 60. So mom can use the quilt even though it was made for baby “K”. We won’t tell baby “K”.

 
While waiting to get picked up to go the shower, I made this Boxy Pouch. It went together very quickly. From piecing to finishing it up it took less than 2 hours.

 

Now I have to move on to other projects. I have some quilt tops to quilt for a friend and of course I have my gazillion other works in progress to work on in between. I have a quilt retreat coming up at the end of next month with my quilting buds- I hope to work on some fun stuff then. I am already trying to decide what to take- though I don’t know why. I end up changing my mind a hundred times before I actually leave. Oh well!

Happy sewing all!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


       Evidently I need to drink coffee-
   So, this morning started off well - kind of. I should have known something was amiss when I could not find my cute Wonder Bread sandwich case. I always bring it home from work, it gets rinsed then waits patiently for me to fill it the next morning. Oh well- I grab a dog poop bag/ baggie out of the cabinet and throw my sandwich in there. No- I do not recycle that much- the bag had not been used before.


 
  I headed out the door to work. When I got to work, I put my sandwich in the fridge and lo and behold- there was my container! I forgot that I ate a late breakfast yesterday and never ate my sandwich. Oh well- I won’t have to pack one tomorrow.

   I needed to run a few errands and my lovely boss let me do that, so off I went.  I had to run and take pants back that I did not try on before I bought them. They did not look like skin tight crop pants while on the hanger. Once I got them on at home, however, I looked like a polish sausage that had been boiled in a gallon of water ready to burst. This over-weight 48 year old has no business wearing skinny jeans so back they went. I tried to think I looked cute in them, but mirrors don’t lie. Even if you beg-
 
 

   Now comes the dumbass move of the day. I had a few checks to cash so I headed to the bank. The parking lot looked quite full so I went to the drive through. I pulled up and noticed the canister was in its’ proper place.
 

As I gathered the checks and my ID, a sweet voice came on the speaker, told me her name and told me to let her know if I have any questions. As I went to put my checks and ID in the canister I noticed the canister was not in its’ spot anymore. I used the call button, and chatted with the gal. She told me just to back up and come over to the commercial window and she would help me there. So, I did as I was told. She extended the drawer out so I can put my items in the drawer and I looked down- the fricking canister was in my lap!! I have no absolute recollection of taking the canister out of the holder. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. Now here is the dilemma- do I admit to my mistake and give her the canister back, or just go home with a souvenir? Then I figure I am probably on camera putting the canister in my car so I better give it back, as embarrassing as that may be. I just don’t want to wear striped jumpsuits. Those are so 70’s.
   So, I admitted to her I had the canister. To her credit, she laughed with me (and probably at me) and said it happens all the time. I am sure it doesn’t, she was just being kind but I appreciated the effort. As we finished up our transaction, she told me maybe I should go get some coffee. This was not done in a malicious manner- we had been bantering back and forth about the whole episode.
   I made it back to the office in one piece and with all of my parts. I even managed to remember to pick up the blue prints for the office. WOW!
 

   I am sure none have you have done anything like this??? I hope tomorrow is a better day!

Friday, August 1, 2014


                                                                         Shop Hop Fever

        What is shop hop you ask? It is a little like Saturday Night Fever, but without a  hotty in a white pant suit. Well, now that I think about it a shop hop is not even close to that- unless you are listening to the Bee Gees on your car stereo in between stops, which is a grand idea if you ask me. 

 
    A quilt shop hop takes place when local- and some not so local- quilt shops get together and plan an event that usually has to do with shopping at their stores within a certain time frame.  Once you get done hopping, there are usually prizes to be given out to those that shopped at all of the shops in the time frame allowed. Some shops give out prizes if you get to so many shops- I know there are a few states that have state wide hops- that is on my bucket list- Bob are you reading this???
    Our local shop hop is this weekend. Being the insane person that I am, I have volunteered to help out one of my very favorite shops. So, in addition to my full time job I am working there Fri night and the weekend. I am a glutton for punishment, but I love running into previous students and friends I have made along my quilting journey. Plus my shop is so good to me it is the least I can do for them. Please say hello- I will be in the orange shirt. Well, we will all be decked out in orange shirts but I won’t be hard to find!
  This year’s theme is post cards. Every store has a Colorado- themed fabric postcard for sale. The shop I am working at has sunflowers on it. I have designed a quilt pattern for the shop- here it is-


 
      The quilt is only 12” x 18” and hangs on the little display metal frames you see all over. My talented friend Lexie re-drew the pattern for me. The drawing I first made looked like Stevie Wonder drew it. (If you are blind and reading this blog, please do not be offended. I am sure you can draw better than I can. Trust me.) Once Lexie got ahold of it she turned it into something a person could actually stitch! Thank you Lexie! My sketch looked like this:



      I love hand embroidery- it relaxes me when I can sit still long enough to do it. This one I stitched on our porch one lazy Sunday with a wiener dog in my lap the whole time. I am sure if you look closely at the finished quilt there will be dog hair on it!
     My goal is to have many more of these patterns available soon. I am in the process of converting 3 others to pdf’s and then I will put them for sale on the Craftsy web site. I will keep you all posted when that happens.  In the mean time, run by B Right On in Brighton and purchase a sunflower pattern-it will help support my crack addiction.  THANKS!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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STOLEN QUILTS

 
I am re-posting this article on a number of quilts that were stolen from the Nancy Rink collection from her studio in California. Please keep an eye out for them.
 
                                                            Courtenay

Reposted from www. quiltsville.blogspot.com.
 


Urgent!! Nancy Rink’s Stolen Quilts!!

nancyrink2
As someone who travels with quilts for a living, this just makes me sick and livid.

I received word yesterday that Nancy Rink’s studio was broken into for the second time in approximately 10 days ---and this time the perpetrators made off with 16 or more quilts.

WHAT is with this?

Are they selling them for drug money? Are they giving them to others as Christmas gifts?

Who knows..but my heart hurts for Nancy and what she is going through right now.  I want you to help me get the word out to be on the look out for these quilts.  Those in the Bakersfield, California area…PLEASE be watching for these quilts.  They may show up on Craigslist locally.

When I think about the number of hours, labor of love, time, sweat, tears, and the cost of the fabric involved….I just can’t fathom this.

She writes:
I am MAD as Hell! Thieves broke into my studio over the weekend and stole virtually every quilt (see the album What the Thieves Stole). This is an oh so wonderful follow-up to the break in a week and a half ago in which one quilt was stolen.
We had beefed up security but the thieves paid no attention. They just ripped the alarm from the door and busted the security lights. Am I paranoid or am I just being targeted?!
I have posted images of the main quilts stolen (there are probably more) just in case you see or hear of anything. Please call the BPD 661-327-7111 or 661-852-7850 if you see or hear anything suspicious. I have trunk shows booked at guilds and it makes it very difficult to give a trunk show without my quilts.
You will find Nancy’s missing quilts below.

Bring These Quilts Home!
My heart is deeply saddened, as we all are.

If you have any info please contact Nancy HERE.

Please help spread the word by sharing this post through all of your social media channels, flickr groups, email lists,  message boards, twitter, facebook, and instagram.  Let’s see if we can bring these quilts home.