Monday, December 31, 2012

An End...and a Beginning

It's hard to believe that 2012 is just over an hour from being done.  Like everyone, I look back at the last twelve months and wonder where the time went.  I can honestly say I have never been bored in my entire life--but now so much of life seems to speed by with little notice.  The good intentions for sending cards and notes, or making a quick call--well, seem to have mostly remained that--good intentions.  That does not mean that I have not thought about you, and I've tried to give hugs, kudos and cheering-on/cheering-up long distance at least through the blog.

One thing I have noticed is that when I think hard enough and frequently enough about someone, I either see them or hear from them!  So maybe my telepathic connections are working part of the time!  I care about each of you.  For 2013 my wishes are for health, happiness, and enough for all of us.  I am going to look for more good around me and be more grateful for the many blessings I know come my way each day.  Will you join me?  I invite you to add comments to my blog posts--something good that happened, a story, an update--anything at all that will help keep us in touch.  Remember you can comment anonymously, but unless you give me a clue in the body of the comment, I won't know who you are.  

Do I sound like Pollyanna?  Good!  Come on, let's get happy in 2013.

Blissfully happy hugs as 2012 ends and 2013 begins!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


 These pictures were taken a few days ago.  My yard and trees look very similar today!  And the snow keeps on coming!

And here's Liljimmydickens relaxing on his fleece blankie.  He's great friends with Lynnie, but still isn't quite sure about the Dyson!  Maybe that's a sign I should vacuum less?

Enjoy the last Sunday of this year!

Blissful hugs,

Friday, December 28, 2012

Signs of the Season

Winter is definitely here!  We have lots of snow, it's cold, and usually pretty windy.  Last night, though, something different happened.

Ice crystals formed on each and every surface.  (Making it a true joy to clean off the Jeep!)  Everything is sparkly and beautiful.  Now we just have to hope we don't get heavy winds that will break branches or, worse yet, topple the trees.

I am in a designing, quilting, appliqueing, hand piecing, machine piecing mood.  I have finished two new applique samples, one new machine piecing sample, have finished another hexagon sample, and am hand quilting Protecting Peewee!  Plus I made a few gifts and hand quilted ornaments along the way.  Some of these new classes could be coming to a shop near you!  Stay tuned!

I hope all your holiday celebrations were absolutely wonderful.  Feel free to share your stories!

Blissful almost-year-end hugs,

P.S.  I finished Victims by Jonathon Kellerman, The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver, and am listening to Courting Trouble by Lisa Scottoline.

P.P.S.  Liljimmydickens is doing just fine; thank you for asking!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Dickens Christmas

This is a Christmas miracle that spanned one year.  Last Christmas Eve, Dickens was rescued from a feral cat colony.  His eyes were swollen shut from entropion (the eyelid grows backward and ulcerates the eye).  He was neutered and his eyes were miraculously cured with surgery.  The kind rescuer fostered Dickens in hopes of finding his forever home.  Fast forward to December 2012:

Through a friend, I heard of Dickens and went to see him several times.  He's big--14.2 pounds!  And so gentle and sweet.  Before he could be adopted, he had to have four teeth extracted.  It looked like he had been kicked in the mouth before being rescued.  So off he went to the veterinary dentist.  He had his final checkup last Tuesday, and Friday, December 21, almost Christmas Eve this year,  he came to his forever home.  Lynnie and I are both thrilled.

Dickens is such a formal name that I have started calling him "liljimmydickens".  Broken down it is Little Jimmy Dickens, but you have to say it fast and run it together.  He's answering to it!  He's an indoor cat so I don't have to worry about shouting throughout the neighborhood for him!

The many moods of Liljimmydickens:  Thoughtful.


You talkin' to me?

So I am feeling especially blessed this Christmas to have wonderful friends and family, of both the two-and four-legged variety.  God bless you all this Christmas morning!

Blissful Christmas Hugs,

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cheryl and Sharon Quilting

 It's so hard to believe that Cheryl only learned to quilt a bit over a year ago.  She started hand piecing this beauty in a class that started last October.  And by December this year she had the top done!  She's going to hand quilt this--after the holidays, I believe!  She is so hard to get a picture of!  Great job, Cheryl!  (She's learning hand applique this year!)

While looking for something else, I found this top in a basket, lacking just the trunk.  Having nothing better to do (!!!!), I decided that after six or more years in this sorry state, it deserved to be finished--NOW!  So I added the trunk, sandwiched and turned it, and tied it with buttons and pearl cotton!  And I used a button and pearl cotton to fashion the hanger.

Here's a closer look.  The top was all hand pieced.  I had a chunk of the polar bear fabric that I used to fussy cut triangles.  Notice the larger triangle?  I decided to tie this piece with buttons, but only on the non-bear triangles.  I did add one star to the bigger triangle--just because I could.

Here's the back--a pretty piece with doves.  I like to put my ties to the back to keep the front looking crisper and more tidy, plus it gives the back a bit of interest.  (As I've been thinking about this, I think the top may be over 10 years old....)  But finished in an evening!  My first new Christmas piece in quite some time.

Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating that special event.  And for those getting ready for Christmas, how's that going?

Holiday hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to NYPD Red by James Patterson and Marshall Karp. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Another Finish...for Me!

Yesterday, while looking for something else, I found this almost finished piece.  All it lacked was three lines of quilting in the border.  So I sat down and finished the quilting.  This morning I added a sleeve and binding and hand sewed both of those to result in this:

Here's a detail.  This was appliqued in August, so it's another miracle--something else started and finished in the same year.  All batiks with a cotton batt.

In response to some recent comments:  Chefpa, you made a good case for the Jack Reacher movie, but I'm still voting no.  Can we say "wimpy, wimpy, wimpy"? Of those who have commented, it's a big thumbs down for this casting.  If you do go, Chefpa, please let us know what you think.

Thanks, Janet, for the kind words on the quilting!

Sandy R, I have your applique block from class tonight.  I'll keep it with me until next class unless you need it back before then.

Okay, enough for tonight.  

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Mourn Not Your Dead by Deborah Crombie.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


The Jack Reacher books by Lee Child are some of the best I've ever listened to.  When I heard there would be a movie based on one of the books, I was thrilled.  Then I heard that Tom Cruise would be the lead and I was puzzled.  Something felt not quite right.

This morning when I started Running Blind, the newest installment, I realized why.  Jack Reacher in the books is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 220 pounds.  Big, intimidating--does not easily blend into a crowd.  Can we just say so definitely NOT Tom Cruise?

Will I go see the movie?  No.  Will I continue to listen to every Jack Reacher book written?  Absolutely.

And in case you forgot, my masthead is truly truth in advertising--opinionated, indeed.

Blissful Sunday hugs,

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Quilting Miracle

This happens so rarely that I really do consider it at least a minor miracle.  In mid-October (this year) I hand pieced a Halloween Hexagon quilt top.  It went off to a guild for display and I got it back on November 10.  And the miracle part, you ask?  It is completely hand quilted and bound--finished in November (this year!).

Here's a pic of part of the quilting and a bit of the marking.

A bit more of the center.  I did almost all of the quilting in one day.

I used this marker and a ruler for the center.

And the same marker and my hexagon template to mark the border.

Ta Da!  It really is rectangularly-shaped--it was the angle of the shot that warped it ;-(  I just love it!

And here's a close-up of the border quilting from the back.  Love the spiders and webs on the backing.  And the spiders are all wearing hats and boots!  The quilting in the border doesn't show much on the front, but I don't care.  It's an unexpected surprise on the back.

So there you have the quilting miracle.  Totally done from concept to binding in two months!    I have done this feat before, but not for a long time.  Good to know I've not totally lost my touch.  

Did you recognize the pattern as the same one as Protecting Peewee?  Different fabrics, a bit different layout of the hexies and an in-your-face border turn this around big time.

Strange but true--I tried four times last night to post this and finally gave up.  I guess it wanted to be the first post in December--go figure!

Blissful hugs,