Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!!!

Okay...I should have spent the bucks to get wi-fi years ago!  The pictures were downloading faster than I could choose them tonight!  On dial-up, I used to open four or five tabs and click back and forth between them hoping for something to download.  Invariably they all timed out, so I never got to see pictures and definitely not even the shortest video.  Now I turn on the computer, turn on the wi-fi, hit a few buttons and I am done!  It is such a time-saver!  Yahoooooooo!

Okay, enough of that frivolity.  Here's a pic of the socks I made my mom this fall.  She likes shorter tops, which I do in a K3 P1 pattern.  A Deborah Norville sock yarn.

Prepare yourselves...I found sixteen (16) bags of Christmas M&Ms on sale last week.  So guess what colors your M&Ms will be for quite some time?  Yep, red and green!  Just giving you a heads up.

This is a mutant M&M.  No, it is not a peanut one.  Just a regular M&M with multiple problems.  Coating missing in places, enlarged pores, slurred writing.

And this is the other side!  A giant divot!  I wonder what happened along that assembly line?

Thank you to one and all for the friendship, laughs and good cheer in 2013.  Let's make 2014 our best year yet.

I am praying for good health, good friends, and supportive families for each one of you.  You are truly special and I value each one of you.

Happy New Year Hugs,

Monday, December 30, 2013

For Your Amusement

While reviewing some photo files recently, I've been amazed at the places I've been and the things I've seen.  Here are three pics I thought would bring a smile to your face.  So creative with metal--who knew?

Talk about having your knickers in a bunch!  Happy new year's eve eve!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Mystery by Jonathan Kellerman and just finished reading Something Borrowed, Someone Dead by M.C. Beaton (an Agatha Raisin mystery).

Friday, December 27, 2013

Can You Feel It?

The days are getting longer!  I know I feel perkier with every minute we are gaining in daylight.  Of course, with the clouds and snow/rain/sleet, it's hard to know if it's day or night!  I don't care.  Soon the year will change and great new adventures await.  What are you hoping for in 2014?  You can share your thoughts in the comment section below.  

And, can I just say--YAHOO to wi-fi!  I am doing more on the internet in a shorter amount of time than ever before.  I've even been able to watch short videos on blogs and all the pictures actually download without timing out!  It truly is a Christmas Miracle!  Worth every penny!

Blissful hugs til next time,

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Dickens is keeping an eye out for intruders--or the birds and chipmunks who are
brave enough to stand just on the other side of the glass.
And he wants to tell everyone Happy Holidays.
He's been in the Stroud household a year now.
It seems like he's always been here.

More soon!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry, Merry

It's been a day spent with family and friends.  Good times, lots of laughs, and food--lots and lots of food!  It's not quite as bad as the turkey coma, but it's definitely a feel-good time!

Cold, blustery--who ordered this stuff?  Those few days into the 50s sure spoiled us!

Okay, it's time to get a bit of sewing done before bed.  [Shhhhh, it's a secret...NEVER tell anyone that you are making them something for Christmas.  Then, when it's not done in time, you finish it after the holiday and hold it for the next Christmas (or birthday).  Stops all that rushing and frustration and usually a few bad words.  And NEVER give something unfinished as a gift.  Then the pressure is on--when will you have it done, can I see it, when will it be done, you're not done yet?  You get the drift.  Remember, mum's the word!  This, of course, does not work if you are crafting for children--they will not be the same size next year--just sayin'.]

Enjoy the remainder of this holy day and remember the reason for the season.

Blissful holiday hugs,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Travel safely--Mother Nature is being quite contrary this year!

Holiday hugs,

Monday, December 23, 2013

At Long Last

It's been so long since I posted that I had almost forgotten the sequence!  The good news?  I finally have a wi-fi hotspot!  I just couldn't face another second wasted on posting on dial-up.  I have already saved so much time!  

It's been a mixed bag around the Stroud household.  Let's just chalk it up to being behind me and I, for one, cannot wait to see the rear end of 2013.  I'm not usually one to wish any time away but....

I have the long-awaited blog contest prizes ready to mail on Thursday!  Then I can reveal what the prizes actually are.  I hope everyone loves them!  (Two have already been delivered in person--they had forgotten they won!)

So, if the wi-fi works out, you can count on seeing more of me, more pics, and dare I say it in writing?  Perhaps some short videos--okay, okay, don't get too excited.  I think it's the fumes from the hotspot device!

Emily, hope you are doing better than okay.  Cindy, how was the surgery?  And to all my friends and loyal readers--thank you for being patient.  

And as a lovely finish to this post, please enjoy this stunning Mariner's Compass made by Cindy O.  Hand pieced, of course!

Special holiday hugs to all,

P.S.  This picture loaded in just seconds...I'm almost giddy!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Quilt Show Alert!

This weekend, October 5 and 6, the Tompkins County Quilt Guild is holding their spectacular show. Here's the scoop!   (Click on the "postcard" and it will enlarge!)

There is another quilt show in Dryden on Saturday, October 5th. The Dryden Thimble Therapy Quilters will have over 100 quilts on display at the First Presbyterian Church on 6 North Street in Dryden from 10 am to 3 pm. They'll be serving tea and cookies!

Monday, September 30, 2013

More Student Beauties

Joanne L. not only hand pieced all eighteen blocks of this beauty--she has set the blocks by hand as well!  Do you think she enjoys hand piecing? ;-)  There was a fair amount of discussion about the color of the sashing.  Some thought the red made this look too Christmas-y, so Joanne hedged her bets and got a brown "just in case".  I think the red is just right!  Great job, Joanne!  

Karen H's quilt makes me think of the Caribbean.  Bright, beautiful colors tied together beautifully by the border fabric.  Can't you just imagine this on a white wicker chaise in a sunroom?  

Thank you for sharing, ladies!  

Can you believe it is the end of September?  I, for one, will not be sad to see this month end.  Hope you are all well and that you remember how special you are.  It's been a while since I've reminded you.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I listened to Second Honeymoon by James Patterson, and am listening to The Zero Game by Brad Meltzer.  And I am reading The Whole Enchilada by Diane Mott Davidson.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Check This Out!

In the on-the-newsstands-now issue of Quilt Sampler, O'Susannah's Quilts and Gifts is featured as one of the top ten shops!  The article is filled with beautiful pictures and...guess who's mentioned on page 56.  Yep, you guessed it...me!  It's so exciting!  Sue, the owner, has a major event planned for this Friday, September 13, starting at 10:00 am.  For more information, go to her website osusannahsquiltshop.com.  You can get your copy of the magazine there, as well as other goodies good for quilters.

My long absence from blogging has been in part because of a new quilt I was working on--in every spare moment and into the wee hours of the morning.  Twenty hexies--ten hand pieced, ten hand appliqued and the whole thing set by hand, except the border.  Here are a couple blocks for your enjoyment.

Now I'm working on another new top--using the P&B Suedes.  Also hand pieced.  Can we say that I can hand piece in my sleep?  

That's it for now.  I have a block to finish before I can even think about bed. 

Blissful hugs,

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Truly Bliss

I can't imagine a greater thrill for a teacher than seeing tops finished--and these just a couple months after the end of the class!

Both of these beauties are from Monthly Bliss 3.  The blocks are hand pieced and the tops are set by machine.  Check them out!

First, Pat B. from central New York, with her blocks floating on a blue background.  Just stunning!  (Pat is vertically challenged enough that she could not show her smiling face and get all the quilt in the picture.  She didn't even try for the Kilroy look.)

And you remember Penny--this is such a different color scheme for her.  She's usually all about purple!  Black, white, red and gray--and simply fabulous.

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your magnificent works with us.  Who knows what they will be up to next!

Blissful hugs,

Monday, August 26, 2013

We Interrupt...

It was a dark and stormy night, August 8.  And that storm finished the ash tree.  I think I had posted about one of the branches coming down in the previous storm.  

The view from the house.  

And the pipe containing the electrical service was at an angle from the house.  Definitely not good!

When the tree was taken down, it also brought down both the telephone line and the electrical pole.  The good news?  The electricity was not interrupted--truly a miracle, and the next day a very nice electrician put the wires back on the house and the pipe is gone.  The not so good news?  It took almost ten days for the phone company to fix the line.  As much as I'm disenchanted with dial-up, having absolutely nothing for almost ten days was even worse.  Even I found that hard to believe.

I've been working on a new sample for the fall.  Half the blocks are done and pressed (it's hand piecing).  I also have some great student quilts to share in the next couple posts.  Don't give up on me; it's been a rough August around here!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Silken Prey by John Sandford.  Excellent!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More Awe-Inspiring Artwork

Last Sunday, eight ladies started the labeling class with no confidence in being able to be artistic.  These photos prove they were wrong.

Linda's beauty.

Nancy D's not-quite-finished piece--no worries, she was finishing it at home.

Nancy L's beauty.
Great job, ladies!  Oh, Stephanie had to leave early, so I didn't get a pic of hers.  A fun time was had by all!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  A mini rant:  On Master Chef, Bri was given a second chance to get back into the competition.  She showed up wearing high-heeled, open toe shoes.  Really?  Against two guys in--yes, you guessed it--sensible shoes.  Okay, she did win the challenge, but even she admitted that her feet were cramping.  No kidding.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Last week I had the pleasure of teaching six delightful women how to make quilt labels.  Jane, Pat, Elsie, Carol, Vickie, and Kathleen did a great job on their final projects.  (Names are not in the order of the pictures.)  Take a look!

Isn't it amazing what they learned?  No tracing here, just good, old-fashioned art work.  They all used the same basic components to make their own unique label.  Great job, ladies!  

I'm enjoying the cooler weather, how about you?

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Total Control by David Baldacci.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy Quilters

Last Saturday, seven ladies joined me for another Big Three class.  The Big Three, you ask?  Rotary cutting, machine piecing, and pressing.  All three go hand-in-hand to make beautiful blocks...and quilts!

This is Mrs. Keller's Nine-Patch, the third in a continuing series.  First up, Victoria (left) and Linda (right).  Check out the points on all these ladies' blocks!

Joann and Debbie.  

And Pat.  Brittany and Cheryl escaped before I could get their pictures.

We had a great day together!  As you can probably imagine after seeing these pictures, there was a whole lot of laughing going on!  Great job, ladies!

Blissful hugs,

Monday, July 22, 2013

An Unusual Sighting

Last night I was wandering among the butterfly bushes, when a flash of white caught my eye.  Upon closer inspection, this is what I found!

These will have to be Penny's favorite spiders--check out the purple stripes!  And the three "indents" look kind of like a scary face!  See the two eyes and the O mouth?

On the other side of the same bush, what should appear?  Another spider hanging out in the blossoms, with quite an impressive web.  And, yes, the spider was upside down in the flower.

Trust me when I tell you that I used a long lens so that I didn't have to be up close and personal with this pair.  White spiders with purple stripes--who knew?

Joann, I have your ruler from Saturday and will bring it on August 2.  Pics from class in the next post.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Heat Wave by Richard Castle.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Sneak Peek

My newest project.  I've started hand piecing it and like the way it looks.  This is just the start of a bigger project.  Picture this surrounded by dark navy....

Hot, but blissful, hugs,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Too Crabby and Hot for Dial-Up

Last night I tried for over an hour to post.  I finally gave up.  Tonight was headed that way when, miracle of miracles, the screen finally appeared.

On the riding lesson front, I learned to post the trot in 10 seconds!  I've still got a lot of fine tuning to do on it, but I can do it with my arms out straight and with my hands on my hips!  It's so exciting!  Still on Max; learning to do lots of leg yields to keep him on the rail!  I'm taking it all in in big gulps!

I drafted a new Mariner's Compass today and have washed the fabric and have almost all of it cut out!  When I have it a bit further I'll give you a peek.  I had to Retayne my background fabric--a dark, rich P&B Suede.  Ran the first time I washed it--thank you, Color Catchers!  After Retayne, the color catcher was still white!

That's it for tonight.  Wouldn't it be nice if it cooled down a bit more at night?  It would make sleeping (or trying to) so much easier.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to The Striker by Clive Cussler.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Student Finish

Traci L. does some amazing work!  Just take a look at her newest finish.  This is Monthly Bliss 3; the class technically ended in late June.  Today, Traci has the entire top, quilting, and binding done.  

Traci long-arm quilted this piece herself.  I love the designs she chose.

Black, gray and lime green--what a stunning combination.  Thanks, Traci, for sharing!

Stay cool if you can!

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, July 14, 2013

And the Winners Are:

Keep your pants on!  First, thank you to everyone who participated.  There were some intriguing answers.  Surprisingly, or not, I did dabble a bit in oil painting several years ago--let's just say I wasn't very good and leave it at that.  I am still practicing Reiki at level 2.  And, although it is a constant battle, I did clean up my areas and do my ironing before July 1.  Good guesses all!

Now...drum roll please...the first winner is:  Janet!  She was not totally correct, but came the closest with riding as her guess...just not Morgans on this one!  I started riding lessons on July 1.  I have had four lessons so far, two on a Quarter Horse mare named Emmie and two on this Clydesdale/Paint cross gelding named Max.  Yes, that's Max and me on Saturday at my fourth lesson.  This is at Strawberry Fields in Cortland.  Joan and her daughter Kate teach Centered Riding, which is the only way to learn in my estimation.  If you'd like more information about lessons, please call Kate at 607.423.4073.  I can't tell you how excited I am to be doing this!

Question 2:  The correct number of boxers?  3.  Sandy, Ginger, and Lynnie.  Karen and Susan were both correct, but only one prize could be given.  I put both names in a hat and drew out...Susan!

Question 3:  What's growing outside the kitchen window?  Penny was closest with "weeds"--it's a giant thistle!  (Penny, that's why your name wasn't in the hat for question 2.)

Here it is on the outside!  Almost 6 feet tall!  For me that is a record--usually I keep them mowed down.  With the heat, humidity, and rain this year, this one got away from me.  It will be leaving shortly now that the contest is over!

And, because you know I love to do things oddly, I put all the "non-winner" names in a hat and drew out--Kathleen C!  Amy, I did include you in this drawing--thanks for playing!  

Janet, Susan, Penny, and Kathleen C will each receive a gift made especially for them.  I will show you what they get before they are sent.  Janet and Kathleen, do you have a favorite color?  Penny, I already know yours, and, Susan, too bad, I'm choosing for you.  Kathleen, I will need your snail mail address.  Please email answers to all questions to sharon@sharonstroud.com.  This was so much fun!  Many thanks to all who played.  

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson.