Saturday, October 10, 2015


            As many of you know, Chip, one of the founders of Chip and Dale Designs, recently had to undergo emergency spinal surgery. The surgery was performed at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. We are pleased to report that the surgery was a complete success and our little buddy is well on the road to recovery.

Chip with hot compress on his incision
            Due to the location and complexity of the surgery, the incision was made in the front of his neck, rather than in the back. This was done to limit muscle damage and to provide a more direct access to the areas of the herniated discs.

Chip the day after surgery
            Chip was confined to his kennel for the first six weeks following his surgery. During this time we searched and researched various harnesses that he could wear that would not put pressure on his neck and back, and at the same time could be positioned so as not to irritate the site of his incision. Most of the commercially available harnesses would simply not work.
            One day I happened to learn of a website for custom made doggie harnesses. I immediately found this wonderful company called Weenie in the Window. It is a small, mother-daughter business that custom designs and creates dog harnesses for dachshunds and other small (and sometimes large) dogs.


            I precisely followed the measuring instructions on the website and measured Chip taking into account the location of his incision. I received an email shortly after placing my order that I would get my harnesses shortly. Whoo hoo!
            You know how sometimes when you meet someone, either in person or through social media, and something just clicks? You know almost immediately that this is a cool person and is someone that you would like to know better. That was how I felt after the first email I received from Dana. Something just clicked.
            Our experiences with Dana and Weenie in the Window has been nothing but marvelous. We highly recommend them if you are in need of a harness for your critter. Their website is:

There is also a link to their web site located on the right side of this page. Simply scroll down to the link and click on the picture. You can also like them on Facebook.

LAST MINUTE UPDATE: We received Chip’s harness in the mail today. We also ordered one for Dale so she wouldn’t feel left out. Here are Chip and Dale in their new Weenie in the Window harnesses. (I have Dale's harness a tad low on her neck in this pic- new operator error LOL). Please ignore the potatoes in the bottom picture- do you know how hard it is to get a good picture of 2 wiener dogs at the same time? Bob was bribing them with pepperoni in the kitchen.


Friday, October 2, 2015

                                I survived another one- but barely
   Hello all!  I made it back from retreat all safe and sound. And I am happy to report I found a wine that when the whole bottle was consumed by one person it did not give me   her  a hangover. Whoo Hoo!
   Anyway, of course I did not get as much done as planned, and it wasn’t necessarily the drinking that caused that. I just took my time and enjoyed the process, as well as the beautiful scenery and wonderful company.


On to the show-
  I got these Packer bandanas finished for my bro- the Packer freak. It is also his birthday at the end of the week- how he got that old I will never know. Seems like we were just riding on the back of that mini bike just last week-


  I finished this little table topper from This and That- I still have to trim the edges and quilt it but since I didn’t have the backing with me I figured I would do this at home- a/k/a  next retreat.

I finished this cute little iron caddy to use with my little Rowenta- I love this fabric!


 The last thing I worked on was these cute little Farm House blocks. I had to raid Susie’s trash bin for the beak for the chicken, and I raided Roxanne’s extra fabrics for the spoon fabric. I love how these are coming out, but I do need to do a little more fabric shopping for jar lids, etc. Oh bummer-NOT!

 We did a gift exchange this time- which worked out beautifully. I got this wonderful Christmas quilt from Jan- she put so much work into it. I will treasure it always-

   My pals, on the other hand, kicked some quilting ass working on stuff.
  Judy and Rae worked on these Bargellos from Hell. I guess the directions weren’t too hot, but they emailed the designer and she did respond that same day and they were able to finish their tops. I do not think I will be making one soon. All they need to do is trim them up and add borders. I love their fabric selections! Rae’s looks like something tropical- beautiful! Terry went with some great bat fabric- both were stunning!

   Here is a close up of Terrys- notice the bats!

   Eileen got this cute bag pieced the first night we were there- isn’t it great?


 Terry got her funky tree all appliqued down- I might have heard a curse word or 2 but I just gave her more wine. Love that background!


 Susie was working on this quilt- she has such great color sense-


 Val was piecing this gorgeous Blooming 9 Patch- bet ya can’t guess what her favorite color is???

 Susie got the binding put on this beauty- she just got it back from the talented Eileen that quilted it for her. It was stunning-and from what I have seen she already has it hanging in the perfect spot in her house.

 Rae was our resident night owl- she was coming to bed just as some of us were getting up! She worked on this scrappy stained glass beauty while we were all dreaming of Channing Tatum- well some of us, anyway-


 The lovely Roxanne got this top done as well as a matching pillow case- it was a pattern she designed- such a smarty pants. But I did hear her say there is a need for an accounting network on cable.  Stay tuned about that-

 Lexie got this top all finished- I love the borders on Mr. Chiilingsworth! I had purchased one of these panels and now I have an idea of how I would like to finish it-


 Judy was working furiously all weekend and produced much more than this, but here is a sampling of what she was working on-

  Eileen also made this darling pillowcase for her grandson- I think he might be a fan of Minions-


  Michele was working on a beautiful quilt from the Missouri Star Block book- and I got this great picture of her ass, too. This may have may have happened after ½ of the bottle of wine I drank during our quilt show discussion idea- more on that below.

Her ass:

  Rae was a doll and brought me 2 of these bags after I begged her on the internet (it really didn’t take much begging- she has a heart the size of Oklahoma)- she is such a  dear. I will love them forever.

  It might have been the wine/beer/mead, but there was talk of a new show coming on cable- and it will not be for your average quilter. It might involve cussing, topless men, and even some quilting. Think of the movies Serial Mom, Magic Mike and then some quilting all combined into one show. It is still in the works, but we have a marketing person and a place to film it, so you never know. Now we just need sponsors- hmmm- ANYONE???
Thanks for reading about my retreat- only 6 more months before the next one- better get packing!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

                               Another retreat around the corner-

   Here it is, another 6 months has gone by in the blink of an eye. And that means that I better get packing for quilt retreat on Thursday! Just call me Last Minute Nellie!

   I have about a billion projects I want to work on, but I guess I better whittle that down a bit. I am hitching a ride and Terry won’t have room for her booze if I bring everything!
  One thing I am going to work on is the Farm Girl Vintage Quilt by Bee in My Bonnet.

This is not in my usual realm on something I would do as I am not a country gal, but for some reason I freakin love this quilt. I grabbed a fat quarter stack of similar fabrics a few weeks ago, then found a great background at Hobby Lobby for 30% off. Such a deal!
  Then, Lori Holt also publishes this pattern-
My daughter loves pigs, so of course I had to add this sweet boy to my massive pattern library. I also started to collect pink fabrics as I do not have many in my stash. Then, I see this pattern that she made out of the pigs-

OMG! I love how she broke up the pigs with the flowers. And, of course the flowers are yet another pattern. Is this designer smart, or what? Guess what else came into my pattern library?? Good god I need to call Pattern-a-holics Anonymous- STAT!


  Another project I am taking is a little quilt from Berties BOM by Bonnie Sullivan. I bought the kit a few years ago, as it was all flannel and I do not have many of those in my stash, either. When I decided to get stuff cut and ready for retreat, I found out the dumbasses that kitted it didn’t give me enough of the applique fabrics. Oh well- after a bunch of swearing and a call out to my homie Terry I went through the 20 pound bag of flannels she brought me I was able to get all of my pieces.

I am only doing the month with the squirrel- one of my very favorite critters.  I hope to finish this if not anything else.

  I also have my fabric cut for my snowball quilt. I have loved this Kaffe Fassett fabric and bit the bullet several months ago and bought yardage at a favorite shop of mine in Lyons, Colorado. Here are my parts all ready to go-

    I have also cut a half dozen more blocks out of scraps so I can test my seam allowance first. For once I am going to do something right.  But we shall see what happens as once I get up to retreat and start drinking all bets are off- right girls???


   I am also taking a few hand projects- including my Crabapple Hill Gardeners Alphabet embroidery. NO-I AM NOT DONE WITH THIS DAMN THING YET SO QUIT ASKING ME!!!

        I will be sharing retreat pics with you all when I get back. And please do not laugh when I tell you I didn’t get anything done.  Or at least don’t tell me you did!

   See you next week!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

                             THE GROW-A -FROG ESCAPADE


   So, I promised you a grow- a – frog story and here it is.
   As some of you know, when you have  young ones at home, all sorts of critters come and get to reside at your home for a while.  And some are not very cute- sorry, iguana lovers. I need fur on my pets.
   We had 2 guinea pigs for a while, which when we bought them  we were assured that we had 2 females. While on vacation, my friend that was babysitting the house called to ask how many guinea pigs we had. My gut reaction was “Crap, one got out”. Instead, it became “How in the Hell did one guinea pig turn into a male?” We now had 3- LOL.

  After the guinea pigs left us,  I then  got the phone call- “Dad wants to buy us lizards- can we keep them at your house?”.  So, how could I say no to 2 little lizards. We had the glass cage from the guinea pigs. What I did not know is that they were actually freakin iguana’s- WTH?  So, of course after the first week the kids didn’t touch them, they got mean and they kept growing and growing and got meaner and meaner. Back to the reptile store they went. I was not sorry to see them go. Again, sorry all of you amphibian lovers. I am just not a lizard type of gal.
   Then, we had to get a turtle. He was a great turtle, for the week while he lasted. Poor guy- I am not sure what happened there.
   And, finally, we get our son a grow- a –frog. For those of you that are not familiar with these creatures, you purchase a tiny, tiny tadpole  via the mail. It gets shipped to you in a Styrofoam container. Then, you put it in a habitat and watch him grow.
   Well, the frog in the store was approximately a 3 inch diameter little guy- not too big. We figured this would be a great, small pet for Sean. We bought a small terrarium that was tall and round. He loved that frog and fed him well. He changed the water as directed, and the damn thing would NOT STOP GROWING. That thing was HUGE! His legs alone could have fed a family of 4! At night we would sometimes hear the frog jumping up to hit the lid in an attempt to escape from his habitat. Sean finally put a large rock on top of the kid so he could not escape. EXCEPT, one night he forgot to put the rock on it.
     Now- picture this- it was the middle of the night, I heard Cramer, our one cat, playing with something out in the hall. I had absolutely no clothes  on at all as the kids were at their dads. I went out into the hall- and lo and behold Cramer had the grow-a -frog trapped behind the little table that was by our bedroom door. I start screaming to Bob- “THE FROGS’ OUT-THE FROGS’ OUT” and I start chasing the fucking thing down the hall, along with Cramer. As I was jumping up and down and grabbing him, the damn thing was oozing some kind of liquid from his whole body (a defense mechanism I am sure) and he kept slipping out of my hands. Good god- I could have made millions if a certain someone was video-taping this instead of laughing his ass off!  Damn you Bob- I could be driving that new Mustang if you had just grabbed the video camera! After what seemed like hours, I finally managed to trap the little bastard and put him back in his tank. I then de-contaminated myself and took a  good, long, hot shower. ALONE.
   When Sean got home that Sunday we told him about the adventure (leaving out details that would horrify his little mind of course) and so he decided to put him in the giant old guinea pig aquarium. I must say that tank got a lot of use!  It took him hours to get the aquarium ready- he scrubbed it, cleaned it, got rocks to put in it, and then filled it all up with new water for his little buddy.  He put his frog in his new environment, and said good night.
   Sean then got up the next morning- and the damn frog was DEAD! After all that! We think he was just so happy with his new large space he just died from happiness! Ungrateful bastard!
  After that, we were done with exotic petsJ. We stuck to dogs and cats- and so far I have not had to chase any of them down the hall in nothing but my birthday suit. Whew! And for that, I am grateful as I am sure Bob is as well. But there goes my millions-
   Happy Thursday, my friends!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

                                                              A long break-

   I bet you all thought I got lost!  I am so sorry for the lack of blog posts. Life the last few months has most certainly gotten in the way.
   It started in June when we got notified by our rental company that our rent would increase by almost $300/month. What a crock. The housing market here has been out of this world a/k/a bullshit and the apartment companies have jumped on board. We looked around and our complex is still hundreds less than others so we had to suck it up, and I went out and found a part time job. In addition to my real 45 hour a week job and my dog collar sewing I now work part time at World Market- a fun little place. I have worked many, many years in the retail industry so this was an easy transition. My co-workers are very sweet and so far I have enjoyed it. Of course, the holidays are coming up and we all know what that means but I am ready!
Chip gets a hot compress on his incision
   Then as some of you know, our dachshund, Chip has had neck issues. It started on the 4th of July. He would cry out in pain at various times- you just never knew what would cause him to cry. After a few weeks of laser treatments and bunches of meds he seemed to be improving, but then seemed to re-injure himself. It was heartbreaking. And stressful- did I say thank god marijuana is legal here now? HAHA. Anyway, after a few acupuncture treatments that we were hoping would help but did not, we decided to go bankrupt and get Chip the surgery he needed. We ended up taking him to Colorado State University Veterinary Hospital in Fort Collins. He went in on a Thursday and came home the following Monday. He is over a week into post-op and is doing well. He ended up having emergency surgery on a major herniated disc and several other ruptured discs in his neck- and they went in through his neck instead of his back as they cut through less muscle going in that way. After the surgery he had a bad limp on his front foot, which was not there before the surgery. They said this was to be expected. Bob did let me know this morning that the limping was much better today. Chip is totally confined to the kennel, and the past 2 days we are thinking he has been feeling better as the whining to get out has started. It is going to be a long month LOL. Thank god I work 3 jobs- poor BOB! We also have a friend that is loaning us another kennel so we can put Chip in the bedroom with us at night as the large one he is in during the day is too big to move back and forth. Why in the hell we ever got a crate that big to begin with is beyond me- it’s not like we have a mastiff.  It will be nice to sleep with the hubby again- not a lot of that has been happening since the 4th of July. Bob is usually the one on couch duty.  I hope I remember how to share the covers- I have gotten awful greedy with the quilts J. And the pillows- good luck honey!
Chip in his Hospital Crate. Note the IV line.
    Our friend, Lexie has set up a Go Fund Me account to help pay Chip’s vet bills- I really don’t want to get a 4th job hooking on East Colfax so God love her. If you know of anyone that may be able to donate even $5 it would go a long way to help us out. We are truly humbled by the generosity we have already been shown. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
Our Little Buddy
  This past month I have also sewn almost 1,000 dog collars for my other job, so unfortunately I don’t have a darn thing quilty to show you. I am headed out at the end of this month for my twice a year quilt retreat and am looking very forward to sewing my fingers to the bone on projects I want to get done- for me. No dog collars, no presents, etc. I CAN’T WAIT! Just playing, sewing, eating, and of course, DRINKING!
A solemn moment at the last quilt retreat
    I did manage to get all of my fall quilts hanging up and draped over the couches, chairs, tables, etc. It now looks like fall threw up in the apartment, but I love it. And if you are ever visiting, know that you will never be cold! And if you are it is your own damn fault.
     Hugs to you all! I will try to get some fun blog stories up soon- there is one that needs to be told regarding a grow-a-frog and the night it escaped. Stay tuned- you won’t want to miss this one!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

As many of you may know, our little buddy Chip -one of the co-founders of Chip and Dale Designs - had to undergo emergency surgery on Friday. Chip's good friend Lexie has established a Gofundme account to help him with his medical bills. Here is the link to the site. Please share this with your friends.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Courtenay's new Luminous Lone Star quilt has been awarded the BEST OF SHOW ribbon at the 2015 Adams County, Colorado, Fair quilt show.
To celebrate, Courtenay and Craftsy are offering the on line Luminous Lone Star class at a Best of Show Special!!





Thursday, July 23, 2015


Before we were married, I was living in Colorado and my soon to be husband was living on a farm in Missouri. One of his responsibilities on the farm was to help with herding around the cattle and hogs. To do this he occasionally used what is called a cattle whip. It is basically a stick with a piece of rope attached to the end.

When we were getting ready for him to move to Colorado, several of his friends volunteered to help him pack. In the process of packing, one of his friends stashed the cattle whip in a large box marked MASTER BEDROOM. Ha Ha. The box was sealed and loaded onto the truck.

Arriving in Colorado, the truck was unloaded and the various boxes were hauled into their designated rooms. I chuckled a little bit when I found the cattle whip stashed in one of the boxes in our bedroom. I tried to guess which one of my husband’s friends would have done this, but they would all be suspects. I guess that was why they were my soon to be husband’s friends in the first place. God love ‘em! Being in a hurry to unpack, I just stashed the cattle whip in the corner of our bedroom behind the door and forgot about it.

Cattle Whip
Fast forward about three months. My son Sean was in second grade. He was selected by his teachers and principal to be one of the lead characters in a school play about a circus. He was to be the ring master in the second grade’s circus scene!! We were very proud of him.

Now the year before, Sean had come home from school and informed me that I had to make him a snake costume for the school play. Snake costume? No problem. I asked Sean when he needed it, already knowing what the answer would probably be. Tomorrow. Just what I figured. So I quickly threw together some fabric and scales and slithers and made him a snake costume. Remember now, it was late and I was tired. And several glasses of wine can adjust your perspective. The next night at the school play, I burst out laughing when Sean the Snake came bouncing on stage. Parents all around me were staring at me and slowly moving away as I sat there roaring with laughter, tears streaming down my face. Instead of a fearsome snake, all I could see was this giant ribbed condom bouncing and weaving on stage. I called Sean Trojan for several months after that. But, anyway.

Trojan the Snake
As the date for this year's school play approached, we helped Sean rehearse his ring master lines and worked with him to get his character just right. Things were going very well, or so we thought. Sean came home from school one day and had the costume list of things that he needed for the school play. Pretty basic ringmaster stuff: a dove tailed coat, a top hat and a crop. There was also a hand written note from his teacher at the bottom of the list that said “Call me ASAP.”

Sean the Ringmaster
When I called the next morning, the teacher proceeded to tell me how she had gone over the costume lists with each of the kids. She asked the kiddos if anyone had any questions. Of course, Sean raised his little hand.

“What’s a crop?” Sean asked.

“It’s like a small whip.” The teacher explained.

“Oh, okay,” Sean answered. “My mom keeps one of those behind her bedroom door.”

The next parent/teacher conference was very interesting.