Tuesday, March 19, 2019


This isn't a great photo technique-wise but I love it all the same because this is Bowdee waiting and watching for his favorite human to arrive home. I just love the shadow of him in the light. He adores his papa and gets on high alert when his 'it's time to come home' timer goes off.

Received two little travel pillows recently and had to make them their own pillow cases. It was a fast and fun project and the best thing is that I had everything in my stash. Goodness knows how old that tree fabric is, but I was happy to have enough for the two pillows. The naked pillows measured 12"x18". Couldn't resist adding the little cuff and flange. I think they are so cute and usable now that the covers can be easily removed and washed.
Speaking of Waiting....
This was me last week doing my duty. Sat through several hours of listening to attorneys and being asked questions. I wasn't one of the 9 chosen to stay for the trial so my duty is finished for at least two years.

The wind is howling something fierce but the sun is shining and the temperature is not bad. The wind is so strong that I cannot stand to be out in it though so here I wait with my nose pressed up against the window waiting for the wind to calm.

Did anyone else participate in the online Taste and See Bible Study? It was so good (good for the soul, spirit, and belly!). I never fully recognized how important food was in the Bible, but if you think about it -- we all have really great memories and many of them started around a table with friends and family. Jesus has invited us all to His table and what a wonderful, bountiful table He has for all of us who love Him; makes me smile just thinking of reaching out to His outstretched hands as I accept food from His table. Figs, bread, fish, wine and more. Can we say Amen and Bon Appetit!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Small accomplishments

Finished my little sewing kit today. It was an enjoyable slow stitching project. I think it's good to do small projects that have new to me techniques because then I can see if it is something that I enjoy and even if I don't like it, the project gets finished because it is small. Crazy patch and hand embroidery will be something that I will continue. It was fun and meditative to do.

So what did you play with this week?

Here's a couple more pics of my sewing kit.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Puppy Teeth & Happenings

Bowdee's big boy teeth have started coming in which means that his baby teeth are being pushed out. He's been a little moody because it hurts having teeth shoved out and new ones coming in. Did you know that puppies have 28 teeth and that when they start to lose them, they are replaced with 42 adult canine teeth! That's a lot of teeth to squeeze into a space where only 28 had been previously. I'm sure I have either vacuumed up or he has swallowed many of them but occasionally he actually gives them to me. I'm sure you are wondering just how he 'gives' me a baby tooth. Well, it goes like this. Bowdee comes up and sits in front of mommy. He is twisting his face and asking me to pick him up. I bend down and pick him up and he looks me in the face and starts sucking on his lip. I'm like what are you doing and he gets more enthusiastic about the process. I then open his mouth and right on his little tongue is a baby tooth which I promptly snatch out and then tell him what a good boy he is and then he gets a cookie. I have a collection of 5 so far. They are interesting looking, aren't they.

Here he is looking all cool and showing me he has decided to confiscate papa's chair. Papa is at work so no one can object! LOL He's grown so much and is quite the 'little tank.' I love the feel of his body. Nothing wimpy about this boy!
I finished putting all of the embroidery stitches in on my future sewing kit. Just waiting for the instructions for sewing it together. I will definitely keep up stitching because I had such a wonderful time making this. It feels so wonderful.
Homemade vanilla was made using my Instant Pot. Here it is with vanilla beans and vodka.
Here's the result after completing the cycle in the Instant Pot. This would be the equivalent of it sitting for several months and all it took was 30 minutes.
Here it is a week later. It will continue to deepen in color and flavor. I will wait a month and then transfer it into individual bottles. There is nothing like homemade vanilla in your recipes. Try it even if you don't have an Instant Pot. You will be a convert forever.
Thought I would leave you with some sunshine. This is a picture I took at the Tulip Festival last summer. It was a beautiful day and it was our first time visiting.

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.