Sunday, February 27, 2011

She's One "Happy Baby"...

Quote for the Day:

“A thunderstorm is God's way of saying you spend 

too much time in front of the computer”

~author unknown

I had the good fortune of getting a new computer this past week!  I am so happy with it for several reasons...first one being that the old computer was 7 years old and limped along SLOWLY!  (Picture an old man with a cane walking VERY VERY slowly.  Yep.  That's what using my old computer was like!)   This new one FLIES!  In fact, sometimes I have trouble keeping up with it!  LOL


The other thing I like about this new computer is that it is an "all-in-one" so there is no tower.  All of the "innards" (highly professional term there, doncha know) are in the back of the monitor.  Do you know how much real estate this clears up on the desk?  There is only 1 cord attached to the computer...the power cord.  Everything else is WIRELESS!  YAY!   


Oh...and the monitor is 23" and has touch technology!  Am I screaming hot or what?  You know you want it!  LOL



All of this...thanks to my daughter who works at Dell and let me use her employee discount...coupled with the President's Day sale...and I'm now a technologically, up-to-date Happy Camper!


Yes, Folks...this is where all the "brilliance" desk...for all the world to see!


I still need to hook up the new wireless printer that was "free" with the purchase of the new computer, so that will take up the free space in front of the window to the right of the computer.  


I am still "learning" Windows 7 since my old 'puter had XP.  Windows 7 is actually pretty easy to "use"'s just trying to find things once you've downloaded them...  

It's a learning curve...but slowly I'm getting it!  :)  


As for decluttering...I've already given the tower to my daughter-in-law.  She's gonna see if she can get it up and running better either for her use or for little Andrew to use.  (Yes, Folks, kids that young are learning to use computers!)

Here is the old monitor and printer that I will be getting rid of...



And, yes...even though she is old, I will be keeping the dog!  LOL  She loves to lay near me, where ever I might be.  She's like my shadow...only smaller!  :)


And then there is this bulletin board that I've decided I don't need anymore.  It sat on top of the old computer tower in the corner.  It really was not handy to use, so basically, it was useless because it was too hard to reach/use.   


So since I haven't used it in over a year, it's time to "release it into the wild".  I'll put it on the yard sale this summer.  :)

BTW...did you notice the picture above the desk?  



I got it at a Goodwill in Georgia about 2 years ago for $8.48...already matted and framed!  It is a print titled "Christmas Angels" by John Malnic.  Even though it's a "Christmas" print, I leave it up all year because it is a beautiful piece of art.

The brass lamp with glass shade on top of the desk to the right of the picture was also a Goodwill find...$2.50, I believe.  The silver (and VERY HEAVY) picture frame to the left of the hanging picture was also a Goodwill find...$1.00.   I have a picture of my grandchildren in it.  :)


Yes, my home is decorated with many, many thrift store, yard sale and auction finds!   You would be amazed at what you can find used in good shape for a fraction of it's original cost if you just keep your eyes opened.  Saving $$$ is always a good thing!  :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and tell me what you have "released into the wild" recently.


Friday, February 25, 2011

More Goodwill Finds...

Quote for the Day:
"Frugality without creativity is deprivation." 
~Amy Dacyczyn

Yesterday I had my routine 6 month dental appointment before work.  When it was over I still had about 1/2 hour before I had to head over to the hospital for work, so since I was in the area I decided to drop into the Goodwill for a quick run-through.

It was my lucky day!  :)

I found these two stretch bracelets in the "junk jewelry" bin on the counter...59 cents each!  They are both quite beautiful in person and the beads alone are worth WAY more than that!    The silver beads on the silver and black bracelet just sparkle and the beads on the earth tone bracelet have the most amazing, beautiful designs and detail!  :)

You are going to have to trust me that they are both very beautiful in person.  I am using Picassa photo editor until I get my new computer (should be arriving today) and I can't get the photos edited right.  I lightened these photos to show the details better but the edit didn't "save".  Let's just say that I HATE HATE HATE Picassa photo editor!  :(

The white background I used to photograph the bracelets was my second find of the day at Goodwill...a HUGE, vintage, perfect-condition linen table cloth!  I didn't have a tablecloth big enough to cover my dining room table when all the leaves were in it....but now I do!  *big smile*  And it only set me back $3!  Now that kind of price I can handle!  :)

This picture only shows 1/4 of it!  And of course it is wrinkled from being in the bag after purchase...but you get the idea!   

I love it when I can find neat things like this for CHEAP!   I heart thrifting!  :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!  Please come and visit again soon!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What a GREAT Weekend!!!

Quote for the Day:
“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family”
~ Anthony Brandt

Whew!  What a weekend!  :)

Since we live so far apart from our children and their families, we only get to see each other a couple times a year.  So this weekend they all came for a visit to help Andy celebrate his 60th birthday!  

We had so much fun!  It was a very relaxed, laid-back visit with few "plans".  We basically went with the flow...whatever was blowing in the wind, we went with it.  Because of the lack of pressure to do things and be places, we were able to really relax and enjoy each others company.  

Poor Sera, my 4 year old granddaughter was suffering with a sinus infection when she arrived, but over the course of the days she was here you could see a definite improvement.  She has learned so much over the last six months since we saw her last, and she loved to impress us with her new knowledge and abilities!  She knows all of her ABC's and can count to 30!   She loves to help you do things and she especially liked to help me up in my sewing room when I had to hem up a pair of pants.  (I handed the straight pins to her as I took them out of the hem and she put them in the pincushion for me while she informed me what color the little balls on the end of the pins were and counted the numbers on the ruler!)  :)

Andrew is 2 1/2 years old and LOVES his Grandpa!  He pretty much attached himself to Grandpa when he got here and we had to surgically remove him so that he could leave with his parents Monday evening!  LOL   He is ALL boy and doesn't stop except to eat, sleep and watch "Kipper" videos!  :)  Otherwise, he is on the go all day!  

 Watching a video with Grandpa...

The kids love being outside and we had a couple days with good weather so we were able to take them outside!  

This is my daughter-in-law, Trinity, holding her son, our grandson, Andrew, III. 

Our daughter, Erin, and her boyfriend, Dale, walked along the railroad tracks that run behind our property.  I LOVE these photos of them!   (Erin is a budding photographer and was using the tracks as a photo shoot.)

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that I didn't have a good "up close" picture of them.  :(   So you'll just have to settle for this one...

And this is my son, Paul, with his son, Andrew...

Andrew found a wooden "hammer" somewhere and carried it around the house with our backgammon game briefcase...
I thought he looked like a judge headed to work with his briefcase and gavel!  LOL

See what I mean about "on the go"?  It was difficult to get a decent picture of him with it!  LOL

The next couple of days will be spent getting the house back in order, but I miss them all already!  :(  The house is just too quiet after the sounds of laughter and chatter the last few days.  I can't wait till we get to see them again in May when we will congregate in Georgia for Andrew's third birthday.  I'm counting the days!  

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  Blessings to you and your family from mine!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Goodwill Find...

Quote for the Day:
Design flaws travel in groups. 
- Fifth Law of Design

I love love love it when people feel the need to change their housewares and decor just because it's a new season, fad, etc.   Said people then donate their "old" items to a thrift store like Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc., where frugal people such as myself pick them up for a "song" to use in my home!  

Thus, the "circle of life" continues for perfectly good household items!

That's how this shower curtain came into my life for a mere $2.50...

Pretty, huh?  It has a design around the sides and bottom that look like a trellis with little flowers on it.

So pretty!  :)  And the curtain is in excellent shape!  :)

HOWEVER...there is a serious design flaw with the flowers.  They are only sewn onto the curtain via the middle of the flower.  Therefore, when I washed and dried the curtain, all the little flowers folded up into little "balls" and needed to be ironed flat.

Now...if I have EVER given you ANY reason to think for one moment that I am the kind of little "Suzy Homemaker" that actually IRONS her shower curtains...I am truly sorry for misleading you!  :(

Alas, I did iron it THIS TIME because I wanted to hang it up after cleaning the shower in prep for upcoming company this week.  However, the wheels in my head are whirring away trying to think about how I can fix it so it won't need ironing in the future.  

The flowers are very pretty and go with the trellis theme so I don't really want to just remove them.  I'm thinking about removing them and adding some embroidered flowers with my embroidery machine, but I'm not sure how my embroidery machine will handle the raised "trellis" cording.   Well...I suppose if it doesn't embroider well I'm only "out" $2.50!  :)

Anyway...for now it is hanging in the upstairs bathroom looking very pretty with it's cute, little  ironed flowers!  :)

Paul & Trinity & little Andrew are due to arrive tomorrow (Wednesday) and Erin, Dale, and Sera are due to arrive on Thursday!  They are all coming home to help Andy celebrate the big "Six-Oh"!  (We're all hoping the kidney stone saga will be over by then!  At this point we are still waiting for him to give birth to that 3 mm baby!)

Even though my cleaning schedule was blown to smithereens by the 7-8 hour Emergency Room visit on Saturday, I can assure you that eventually the house did get cleaned!  I didn't think it would happen, but we made it through and got it done!

Some things got "released into the wild" during the frantic house cleaning, but I was just too busy to stop and take pictures to share.  So you'll just have to use your imagination! 
For the next several days I will be busy hugging grandchildren, playing Wii & Scattagories with my family, fixing and enjoying family meals, enjoying my children, celebrating Andy's birthday, and, in general, having a blast!

Thanks for stopping by.  Pl.ease leave a comment to let me know you were here and tell me what you have "released into the wild" recently.  :)


Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Emergency Room...

Quote for the Day:
“This too shall pass - just like a kidney stone”
~Hunter Madsen

Please go watch THIS !!  (I couldn't figure out how to embed it in the post.)

We had the joyful experience today of spending 7 hours in the emergency room today....Andy decided to see what all this talk about kidney stones is about!  :(

He is feeling better now...thanks to better living through chemistry!  He's currently drugged to within an inch of his life.  We are hoping he will give birth to the little son-of-a-gun very soon!  We've been told the stone measures 3-4 mm, though I'm sure it feels more like 3-4" and 10 pounds!  LOL

Andy doesn't like to take medicines, but he changed his mind on that one REAL fast today! 

I'm exhausted now and really feel like I could lay down and take a nap...but unfortunately, unless I just "fall asleep" watching TV or something, I can't nap.  So I'll prob. just tough it out and stay awake till bedtime tonight.

Today was supposed to be spent cleaning the house for the kids coming home in a few days...but I think it's gonna have to wait till tomorrow...and then we'll see how things go...

Or maybe the kids will just have to accept the house a little more "lived in"...clean enough to keep the health department at bay!  LOL

Thanks for stopping by....please leave a comment letting me know you were here!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Cleaning the Sewing Room...

Quote for the Day:
"Don't cook.  Don't clean.  No man will ever make love to a woman 
because she waxed the linoleum.   
'My God, the floor's immaculate.  Lie down, you hot bitch.' "  
~Joan Rivers

Our kids and grandkids are coming in next week for a visit, so I figured it was time to clean the sewing room...which doubles as a guest bedroom for the grandkids when they are here!   I've been working on a lot of projects in 2010, so the place was quite a mess.  

In "theory" I clean the room well between projects, putting away everything from the last one to get ready for the next one.  Nice theory, huh?  LOL

Well...let's just say that maybe I've been in too much of a hurry to start the next project to bother straightening the sewing room and put things away.

I don't have a picture of the "before" room, but here's a hint...
When I'm in the process of making a quilt, I keep my cut pieces, blocks, leftover fabric, etc., in baskets to "corral" them...usually one basket for the pieces and blocks, and one basket for the scraps, etc.

Well...I emptied these baskets today and put the stuff in them away...

That's a lot of quilts/projects that didn't get cleaned up after as they were finished.  *hangs head in shame*  LOL

While cleaning, I found some more things to "release into the wild"...
A friend said she'd like the quilt blocks and fabric that I showed in yesterday's post that I was going to offer on the yard sale, so today when cleaning I found some more to add to it.  :)

I hope she can put them to good use!  :)

I also found some more vintage linens to be "released" to my niece, Kristin...

Now for a tour of the cleaned sewing room!  :)

As you enter the room, immediately to your left is the east wall which has my TV and stereo sitting on top of a shelving unit.   To the left of the bookcase/shelving unit is my "design wall" that extends completely behind the door.  

As you can see there is nothing on the design wall, because like I said, I'm getting ready for company and I'm not starting any projects before then.  I also store the "big board" for my ironing board behind the door when I'm not working on a quilt, and the ironing board beside it when not in use.  The picnic baskets hold my Christmas and other seasonal fabrics.

As you continue to your right around the room, you will see the south wall that contains my cutting table, a storage shelf, and the door to my stash closet! 

Here's a look inside my stash closet...

As you continue around the room, to the right is the west wall.  Along this wall is another bookshelf and 2 storage units with doors.  On top of the white storage units you can see my stash of batting.  The door with the stained glass window goes out to a storage room.  (I don't keep any sewing stuff in the storage's full with non-sewing stuff.)

Continuing to the right is the north wall.  This is my sewing area.  

I have 2 sewing machines sitting on the is an embroidery/sewing machine and the other is just a sewing machine.  Behind the embroidery machine (on the left) is my serger pushed back against the wall (covered with a blue cloth as a dust protector).  When I want to use it, I slide the embroidery machine out of the way and pull the serger forward for use.

To the right of the sewing table is the door leading out of the room back into the hallway.

Since I like to look at other people's sewing rooms to get ideas about storage, etc., I thought I'd share some of my storage ideas...

Thread storage cabinet...found at a yard sale for 25 cents! 

I store the bobbin with the spool of thread it matches by setting the bobbin on top and inserting a screw down the middle of both the bobbin and the spool to keep them together.

Ruler storage...actually a metal Christmas card holder...found at Goodwill for $2!

WIP (works in progress) boxes I buy from the local pizza restaurant for 50 cents each...

Scraps are cut and stored by size using Bonnie Hunter's hints.

Quilting templates are on the side of the tall storage shelf...

Finished tops are hung on hangers and stored on the back of the entry door....

Hope you enjoyed the tour!  Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave me a comment to let me know you were here and to let me know what you "released into the wild" recently!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Patching the Patchwork...

Quote for the Day:
"A stitch in time saves nine."
~Dr. Thomas Fuller

Hmmmm...I was always under the impression that Ben Franklin was the originator of that phrase...but when I researched it I found out that it was first recorded in Thomas Fuller's Gnomologia, Adagies and Proverbs, Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British, 1732.  

Wow!  I guess you really DO learn something new everyday!  LOL

Today I did a combination of decluttering and a "fix-it" project that has been on my "to do" list for several months now.

Here is a picture of the rocking chair that is in the office space (our office is in the upstairs landing...which is an area of about 9' X  9' at the top of the stairs.)  

This rocking chair is the one we bought when I was pregnant with Paul, my oldest child.  I really don't have a place for it anymore, but for obvious sentimental reasons I just can't get myself to part with it.  :)  Know what I mean, Jellybean?  But as Peter Walsh would say, I'm obviously not treating it the way I feel about it.  If I treasure the chair for it's sentimental reasons, then I need to take care of it properly.  (It's not just it's sentimental reasons, either.  I'm in LOVE with rocking chairs!  I think they are the best invention since sliced bread!  I own 3 rockers and one glider!)

But as you can see, it is loaded down with a stack of "stuff" that I need to deal with.  There are "pilers" and "filers"...and unfortunately, I'm a "piler".  BUT...("everyone always has a great big but" as PeeWee Herman said in one of his movies...LOL)...I come from a LOOONNNGGGG line of "pilers".  It's in our genes.  There!  I have an excuse!  :D

So today I tackled "the chair"!  

The pictures that were on top are getting hung in the sewing room where they came down from (when I painted last August!  LOL)  And this bag of vintage quilting scraps will be "released into the wild" by going intp the yardsale box.

"WHAT"???  Loretta is getting rid of something having to do with QUILTING?????  I know, I know...but these are some things that I picked up at an auction and they turned out to be of poor quality fabric so there is nothing I can do with them.  But there may be someone out there who knows what to do with them to make them usable and can use them.  If they don't sell at the yardsale, then I'll donate them or pitch them.

The other item that was on the chair was a vintage quilt that I've had for several years.  It's a beauty!

Then it got some tears in the binding...but just in certain areas.  I'm pretty sure I know how they got there...and I'm pretty sure one of my children knows, too...but he's not talking!  :P  

There's actually 4 different areas on the binding that needed repaired.   So today I decided to tackle them so that we can put the quilt back into use.  (Yes, I do use my vintage quilts.)

I have a box of leftover bindings from the quilts I make...

...I know, I's a disease!  LOL   But I blame it on my genes again...having been raised in a poor household by two parents who grew up during The Great Depression.   I can't bring myself to throw out any piece of fabric that may prove useful in the future.  :)

Anyway...see that cream-colored muslin in the lower right-hand corner?  Well, it blended perfectly with the muslin in the vintage quilt so I put it to good use!  

I'm very happy with how the repairs turned out!   And I'm glad that I can now put it back into use because it really is a nice quilt and in great condition everywhere else.

BTW...I have a "quilting buddy"!   Lady, our Boston terrier, has a bed under my sewing table and LOVES to lay in it when I'm in my sewing room.  

She used to lay on the rug by the wheels of my sewing chair, but that proved to be too dangerous.  So I bought her this bed, put her favorite blankie in it and now she loves to lay there to keep me company!  :)  Sometimes she'll even go in there and sleep in it when I'm not in there.

Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and to let me know what you have "released into the wild" recently!  


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Next Quilt Project...

Quote for the Day:
A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars.
~author unknown

Happy February to everyone!  Welcome to the second month of 2011!  

Tomorrow is Groundhog's Day and if the groundhog sees his shadow, thus predicting 6 more weeks of winter...I will have to find a gun and shoot the poor creature to put him out of my misery!!!  LOL  I just don't know how much more winter I can take!  "They" are predicting an ice/snow storm to come through tonight but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that "they"wrong and it will pass just north of us.  

Anyway...onto much pleasanter things...  :)   (Is "pleasanter" a word?  It didn't trigger the either or it is a word...or I've just confused the poor computer all to heck!)

This past weekend I put the binding on the Bug Jar quilt.  Now all I have to do is make a label for it and sew it on.  I plan on doing that this Thursday or Friday.

So now I'm putting my brain cells toward the next quilt...a Disney Princess quilt for my darling granddaughter's 5th birthday...which is in September!  (When making home made gifts, planning ahead is a MUST!)    This is a picture of the beautiful Sera after having 14" of her hair cut and donated to Locks of Love.  

She LOVES Disney Princesses!  And she LOVES "sparkly pretty" things!  :)   So when we were in Nashville last September and I found some "sparkly pretty" Disney Princess fabric at Goodwill, I grabbed it up before you could say "Disney Princess"!  LOL  

Since then, I've found some fabrics that will go nicely with the Disney Princess fabric, but was flummoxed by what pattern to make with them.  I needed something to showcase the princesses so I needed to leave that fabric in fairly large blocks.  

These are the fabrics I found:

That dark fabric on the top right is a dark purple that contrasts nicely with the lighter purple of the Disney Princess fabric.  The sparkles in the DP fabric don't show up well in this picture, but then none of the fabrics look as good in this picture as they do in real life.  :(

Today I decided to look through a new pattern book that I have and found this pattern in it that will be PERFECT for this quilt!  :)

The blank blocks will be "fussy-cut" DP fabric so each block shows a princess.  The striped blocks will be the four fabrics on the right side in the upper picture...cream, yellow, light purple/blue, and the dark purple.  I will make my quilt bigger than this pattern, so there will be more pictures of the princesses than just the 6 they show here.  

Here is the picture of the completed quilt they show in the pattern book.  For the solid blocks they used fussy-cut pictures of flowers.  

I've been contemplating what pattern I was going to use for this quilt for months, so I'm glad that I finally found a suitable pattern and I think it will be GREAT!

When I am creating/sewing I don't do much cleaning in my sewing room.  But between projects I do a very thorough cleaning.  Once I get the label done for the Bug Jar quilt, I'll do a thorough cleaning of my sewing room before starting on this DP quilt.  

Since the kids and grandkids are coming home in a couple weeks for Andy's birthday, I'll put off starting this project till after they leave so I don't mess the room back up again!  This is the room where the grandkids sleep, so I'll keep it all neat and clean for them!  :)

BTW...funny story...I've been working diligently on handquilting my whole-cloth quilt...

The other night Andy came into the quilting room and looked at it while I was stitching and said, "That's just too much stitching, my Dear...who is this for anyway?"  (He was asking because I give 90% of my quilts away and the stitching lines on this 90 X 98" quilt are no more than 1" there is a LOT of stitches going into this one!)  When I told him this one was for US he said, "oh well, then...stitch on!"  LOL  We both had a good laugh over that one!  

Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave a comment to let me know you were here!  :)