Monday, January 14, 2019

Savoring the Process


Now those pictures are sure to get your mouth watering. I made some things that hardly ever are made here, which was homemade cinnamon rolls and caramel candies both hard and chewy...some with sea salt and others without. It was a delicacy to enjoy them and even more so to share them with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. I also made homemade fudge (the one that gives your arms a workout), but it didn't get into the pictures. I had to get it out of the house as quickly as possible because fudge is something I simply cannot keep my fingers out of. It was soooooooo good.

Next Monday, January 21, I'm participating in a free online Bible Study called Taste and See. Psalms 34:8 "Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!" is one of my favorite verses in the Bible and I love being in the kitchen and making meals for family and friends so how can anyone resist savoring time with the Lord and learning how much God and Jesus loves food too. I hope you will join in with me on the study. I think we will all come away from the table filled and happy.

I love the process of creating. My hands have a difficult time not being in perpetual motion. This equates to having many projects in differing stages of progression. Some things complete faster than others and then there are the long-term projects that spread through years. Many times it is because what I need to do is not currently in my skill toolbox so they wait patiently for me to catch up. The end of 2018 and our Christmas Holiday enabled me to finish one of those long-term projects and I am so pleased to have finally completed her. Her name is The Lady and she has been a decade long project. I'm not sharing a full picture yet because I hope to enter her into a few shows and don't want to disqualify myself just in case they have a policy of not showing the completed piece online.

She is faced to not distract from the front and this stopped me from finishing her for quite some time. A big shout out and thank you to Terry Knott for her help and on-going patience in repeating herself over and over again as I asked for clarification for the umpteen time. Thank you Terry! Love you to pieces!


And then I also finished a a tablecloth that I've been working on for about a year. Sewing all those houses with windows and doors and trees with leaves (Yoko Saito house pattern) took much longer than I anticipated. Of course I made up the tablecloth pattern and got almost a little too creative for myself with the linen insert, fancy joining stitches and cording. Although I do love the linen insert and I am keeping up with my pledge of using as many as possible of all those pretty stitches that are available on my sewing machine.

Here it is with two sides of the 'ground' added.

All done and on the table.

I sure do love it!
And I've had some really wonderful logos to digitize at work too. I had to do a lot of online research to get the cow and tractor details correct since all I had was a shadow. Oh and for those observant ones (you know who you are), I did go back in and add the brand mark on the cow. Sometimes, I can get lost in the trees when digitizing and don't see something until I've stitched it. Of course, then it's blaring in my face and I wonder how I missed it!
This one was fun too. Love it when customers want to GO BIG!
Quick little project for a company. I love making pillows.
And I started working on a small project that Valerie Bothell started last week. There is still time to join in on the fun if you'd like to play too. I'm having a blast hand embroidering the stitches.
Still quilting this Shabby Fabrics Forever My Valentine quilt. I have three more background blocks to quilt and then I can start quilting the hearts. This has been a very enjoyable project and one that just makes me smile every time I look at the hearts. 
Can't end the post without a picture of the 'Bowdee man' all comfy in mama's chair. Enjoy your day wherever you are and know that God loves you.










Thursday, January 10, 2019

Excitable Puppy Peeing

Happy New Year! I introduced you to Bowdee last month. He is growing like a weed and just celebrated his five-month birthday on the 3rd of January!

He is such a lover and greets everyone with licks and kisses and a wiggle that starts at the head and runs down to the end of his tail. He is learning so many things and finally barks at me when needing to go 'out' to do his business. There is just one thing that he does that is a first for us and that is he gets so darn excited to greet us and others that he will tinkle on the floor. We've read everything. He's very healthy, we keep our greetings calm, no eye contact, no bending over to pat his head, exercise him, many potty breaks, yada, yada, yada. He's getting better but when papa comes home, there is nothing I can do to stop the leaking. He just loves him to pieces and the flood will flow. LOL  It's not funny, but he can't help it so you can't get mad at him.

I decided to make him a belly band that he can wear whenever we are going somewhere where people might make a fuss over him. I've found it is easier to teach Bowdee tricks than to stop a person from  baby talking him when we are out. Baby talking to him will cause a puddle every time.

At first I thought I'd just buy one but trying to fit him proved to be impossible. He's too big for a small and too small for a medium and the material they make them out of is not soft and not very nice. Well, since I quilt and sew, I thought how hard can it be to make one? It wasn't hard but did take me longer than I anticipated to get the kinks out for my pattern. All in all I am happy with it. I will need to make another one sooner than I anticipated because I should have added more length for growing.

If you or someone you know has a puppy with leaky issues, you can easily make one. I cut 2 fabrics 5 inches wide by 19 inches long (next time I will make it 21 inches long). I also cut one piece of cotton batting 4-3/4" wide by 18-3/4 inches long. Placing right sides of fabric together and batting on top (which is the wrong side), I sewed around the rectangle using a 3/8" seam. Leave an opening for turning. Turn fabric right side out being careful not to pull out batting. Once turned, sew around perimeter using a 1/8" seam. This will also close up your opening. I added additional sewing lines to keep the cotton fabric from migrating around inside the belly band. I added a 3-1/2 inch by 2 inch piece of velcro (soft side on left as fabric is facing you and the rough side on the right on opposite side) at the narrow edges of band.

Now the only additional thing I made was a mini pad that I could toss in the washer. I didn't have any PUL fabric to add to the backside of it so I'll make more later. For this one, I used leftover terry cloth fabric I had and two layers of cotton batting. Basically a little pillow. I insert it inside the belly band when I put it on him. It stays put. I'll report back how it works.

If you are a picture person like me, I hope these help you.

 2 pieces of fabric (I used prewashed flannel).
 1 layer of cotton batting.
Right sides of fabric together and batting on top. Sew around leaving an opening for turning.
Mini pad for inside band. Easy to wash and keep clean.
Bowdee seems to like it.
Yep. He's okay wearing it. Went right to sleep with his chew toy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2018 - The Year of the Blur

Mama loves you Dilly boy
2018 began with a bang. I came down with a horrible flu that knocked me for a loop. I was in bed for a week and it kept hanging around for what seemed like months. By the time I recovered, it was tax time which takes mounds of time to finish.

Our boy, Dilly, was just getting ready to celebrate his 12th birthday when our lives took a turn for the worse and he unexpectedly passed on. He so wanted to stay with us but his little body just gave out on him. We were so blessed to have him for as long as we did. He survived a liver shunt birth defect and encephalitis at aged 3. We sure loved that little man and decided to not pursue getting another animal. In fact, we even gave away our chickens and chicken coop to allow us time to come and go unimpeded. It had been many years since we were able to travel so we made the most of it and traveled to Alabama to see family. Flying isn't quiet as fun as it used to be and I forgot how tired you get from the whole process. However, once we arrived, our excitement about the adventure gave us a burst of happy energy. It was my first time visiting New Orleans, Alabama, and Mississippi. We also visited parts of Florida. Alabama is beautiful and the people even more so. I cannot express sufficiently how refreshing it was to hear people wish you a blessed day and see how much pride people have for our country and veterans. I still have a tender spot for the Foley area and the people living there.

 I know there is no merit to bad things happening in threes, but it was definitely a tester of me when I was called for a federal jury duty a week before we were to travel to Alabama. I was told when I called that I could not request a date change. In Multnomah county it is never a problem to make a change, but apparently Federal courts are not as accommodating. Because the trial could be extended past the day I needed to fly out, it was a stressful time wondering whether I would be called.  Thankfully, the night before when I called my juror number was not needed. Whew....our trip could proceed with me in it!

The other thing that happened is that I was rear ended by a guy driving a Maserati. Okay, that's a first in a couple of ways. I've never seen one in person and definitely never have been hit by one. The thing is...I was sitting at a dead stop waiting in line to get into a quilt show. The line was long and everyone was waiting. How do things like this happen. He wanted to brush it off as no damage but when the estimate came in, the damage to my car was over $1200. So much for no damage. It was a pain getting his insurance to step up but thankfully the shop I went to (Mackin's Auto Body in Gresham, Oregon) really did above and beyond their job and got it done. Mackin's Auto Body has secured any future business from me, but I hope I never have to visit them again!

I've not visited my travel adventure projects at all this year, but I gave myself the okay to keep going or call it the end. I believe I must finish at least one more since I have it all designed and the fabric pulled. We'll see how 2019 goes.

Remember how I said we were not going to be puppy parents again. Well, our stamina sure is strong! We succumbed in September and welcomed Bowdee (pic below) to our home. He is a Maltese/Shih-Tzu mix. I believe he looks more Shih-Tzu than Maltese and is definitely much different in body than Dilly which was a Maltese/Poodle mix. We forgot how much work it is having a puppy but all in all, he is the most loving, kind boy we've ever had. That's saying something because Dilly was Top Dog all the way. I wish the two of them could have known each other and played. We know it would have been a hoot watching them play.

Introducing Bowdee Jak
Terry Knott finished one of her souvenirs and I promised to showcase it because it is beautiful. This is her souvenir for Canada, and I love her extra detail she added. Terry's souvenir is larger than mine which I really like too. Check out her handmade Schatzi (definition: little treasure) at the bottom of it. Is that just awesome or what! I'm wanting to make one for myself!




I wish you peace and love and good health through the Holy-days and throughout 2019!

And here's a sign I took a picture of in Florida. Great reminder to myself to enjoy 'today' for there is no tomorrow guaranteed.




Friday, December 29, 2017

Ornament Exchange Reveal

This year I participated in an online ornament exchange. I received the name and address of my person as well as additional information she chose to provide and then I got to go to work on getting her ornament made and sent out. I elected to have a person outside the U.S. so had to run about as quickly as possible in order to assure she would receive it by Christmas.

Marina in Canada, if you are reading this, I hope you loved your ornament and goodies. I imagined your house all busy with Christmas celebrations and loved thinking of your black lab and rescue bird partaking in the celebrations as well. I really enjoyed stitching the bell and once it was done, I had to run back out and buy a bell for the inside so it would jingle!

The ornament I received traveled all the way from Williamsburg, Ohio! Shannon, I love the ornament you made me. Thank you so very much for it and for giving me a glimpse of your life, your family, and the starting up of your "farm." I don't have your email, but I hope to have a little something in the mail to you next week! 

Here's a picture of how perfectly your ornament looks on our little tree. Shannon also sent me hot chocolate but it didn't last long enough for a photo and some fun stickers. Thank you again!
I took some action shots of how the 3-D Bell was made in case others with an embroidery machine wanted to give it a try. I hand sewed the individual sections together once the embroidery part was done. I also decided to use ribbons for the insert instead of a white organza that the instructions requested. I think it gave the ornaments a stained-glass effect. Depending on your ribbon, you can get lots of different looks. I made Marina's ornament with a red and silver ribbon and this next one is red and gold.

Because I run an embroidery business, I rarely embroider for fun. These bells were really a lot of fun and something I think I will do each year.

Red and gold ribbon
 Cut into sections (each section had two pieces of ribbon sandwiched)
 Ribbon fussy cut to fit my shape
 Stitching down two sections of ribbon on washaway stablizer
Now I can let go of the ribbon and let the machine finish the rest of the stitching. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

I finished my nativity scene this morning! It was the perfect way for me to keep my mind on Jesus during the weeks leading to His birth.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

He's the Reason for the Season

jojohall.blogspot.com
It's been a while so this post is a tad bit long so grab yourself a cup of tea, and I'll wait right here for your return.

I'm so excited that I was able to finish the hand embroidery yesterday on my newest design. I'm calling it my forced handwork day because we lost power in the morning yesterday and it didn't come back on until later in the evening and even then it was off/on, off/on, off/on so much that it threw our furnace into a fault code and we lost heat until today at 11 a.m. Needless to say waking up at 4 a.m. to a 55 degree house was brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Now that I've warmed up, it has been sandwiched and is ready to be pinned for some light machine quilting. I can't wait to hang it on the wall. Creating and stitching the nativity scene gave me quiet time to reflect on the birth of Christ and His sacrifice of leaving His throne in heaven to become flesh on earth. He did this for all of us everywhere and for every generation. I want to hold onto that kind of love every day of my life. I try to imagine the angels shouting praises at His birth and telling the shepherds out in the fields. Oh how my heart soars contemplating how the shepherds must have felt seeing and hearing an angel telling them about their Savior being born and then going to see Him lying in the manger.

My inspiration to design this scene was from a Facebook picture of a Santa Claus scene that had chalkboard fabric in the corner where you could write how many days it was before Christmas. I wanted to make something similar that reflected the reason for Christmas. Initially, I included a chalkboard area at the top, but it just didn't work design wise no matter how much I fiddled with the layout so I eliminated it and went with the Joy heart ornament instead. I also added the three wise men where the tree is but again it just didn't work. The size was off and it just felt wrong. Once I added the tree and changed the animals from side facing to front facing, it was perfect.

If you like hand embroidery using simple stitches (back stitch and stem stitch), you will love making this for yourself. Once I drew the design on the fabric, I painted in the areas and then went back and did the hand embroidery. You could just as easily add in some applique if you wanted to. I have not written up specific instructions, but if you are comfortable transferring designs to fabric and want to get a start on making your own nativity, post a comment below and make sure to leave your email address so I can email you the pattern. I am offering the design for free until the end of December at which time it will available to purchase with instructions.

Now onto gifts completed so far.

First one is a pillow. The design for the embroidery is one of Jenny of Elefantz. She is a wonderful prolific hand embroidery designer. If you don't know of her and her wonderful patterns, you are in for a treat. Head over there and be ready to be wowed.
Next is one of several ornaments that I've been making this month. I joined an ornament exchange this year and made this for my recipient that lives in Canada. I mailed it on December 1 with some other goodies that I'll share later. I sure hope it arrives safely and on time to her.

I plan to add another post on how I made it with the red insert you see so stay tuned. I had a childlike moment of wonder and discover while playing with it. Of course, I had to add a bell to it too. This particular one's insert is red and silver. I made another one with gold and red and it turned out beautifully too but I forgot to take a picture of it.

Next was a homemade food item --- Cream Cheese! How fun is that. I must admit that my first attempt failed but I'm pretty sure it was because my lemons had lost too much of their acidity. For the next batch, I used white vinegar. It worked perfectly! I'm adding the recipe link here because you know you want to make some too. An added benefit is that she has a video showing you how to do it. I love listening to her accent too!
Couldn't resist showing Mr. B being all pouty because I made him take a bath. This is right after him getting blow dried and he was none too happy with me.
I also attended such a fun get-together at a friend's house. Everyone brought such wonderful food and we each brought a wrapped ornament. We had a game where each person got a wrapped package and then each person got to roll a dice. I've included a picture below so you can see what had to be done based on how the dice rolled. It was such a blast. I had more fun watching others try to hold onto the ornaments they wanted only to see another person steal it away and then have it stolen from them. Once the last ornament was unwrapped, whatever ornament was on your lap was the one you went home with you. I had such a great time.
I have to ask if you've ever had a brain lapse? You don't have to really answer me, but I recently went blank on a subject that I shouldn't have and then later wonder what the heck happened to myself. Humor me because this particular post is for myself. During the get-together, we broke out on a conversation of broken bones. I know that sounds like a topic that wouldn't necessarily be spoken about at a Christmas get-together, but our hostess's hubby had just recently broken a bone in his leg. I couldn't stop thinking about the bones in my leg and how much that had to have hurt when I said I was glad I had not broken any of my bones. Well, I'm one crazy lady because I have broken bones; albeit none of the bigger arm or leg bones, but I've broken fingers (worst one was slamming my dad's old pickup door on my own hand), toes (many of them and some multiple times and one so bad that I won't even paint you a picture of it), and I broke my tail bone falling off a bicycle when I was young. So.....yeah, I think that means I've broken some bones. Now with that said, I may have broken something else that is escaping me but I figure I'd better write this down so I have it in print for myself later just in case I need to remind myself! LOL Oh, the joy of my brain getting older. Maybe it's time for some of that ginkgo pill. What's it called?  {OH NO!}

Enjoy your weekend no matter where you are and don't forget to let me know if you would like the nativity scene pattern in the comment section. Please don't forget to let me know your email. The majority of posters have a no-reply which means I can't see your email and will not be able to email you the pattern.






Friday, November 17, 2017

Another Oregon Souvenir finished!

Terry Knott's Mt. Hood View -- Oregon Finished!
I just had to pop in and do a quick share of Terry's finished Mt. Hood -- My View, which was Oregon's souvenir. Isn't it just perfect? For detailed, up-close and personal pictures of it and her marvelous quilting, click HERE. You really don't want to miss seeing them.

The world quilting travel adventure has been such a wonderful journey. I must get back to the itinerary soon so we can continue traveling the globe.