Saturday, May 7, 2016

Flower Season has Begun!

What a day.
I'm so glad the weather held off
so I could get a good start on my flowers.

I love country life.
I love old things you can turn into something cute.
I love flowers.
Oh heck...I just love life.

I have decided to do more container gardening,
since that's easier to manage, which then leads to more time sewing.
(There's always an ulterior motive, right?)

 Searching around home, I found some old buckets, the boys old Radio Flyer
they had taken apart to use the wheels for one of they 'inventions' when
they were younger, an old chicken feeder, and all kinds of goodies.

I ripped out the old day lilies and gave them to good homes.
I put landscaping fabric down and then red lava rock,
and followed up with all my cool 'old' stuff.
I have to add a note to let you know I told my hubby I needed 20 bags of rock.
He thought I was a little off my rocker 
and only brought home 15.
Um...yeah....we'll be making a trip to get 5 more bags once he's done working
crazy hours.

I adore how it turned out.

I'll share a few close ups.

The bench makes a great place for the kitties to take their afternoon cat nap.
See Tom poking out there?
The action figure is one I found last year when I was digging up flowers.
My boys left behind all kinds of treasures.
He now makes sure my flowers are safe.

An old tool box filled with three terracotta pots makes for a great display.

The old roaster has housed my chives for the last four years.
They keep coming back, so they  must like it there.
A nice little garnish that also has beautiful flowers.
Win win I would say.

I have always love Spirea bushes.  We bought two of them last year
and planted them in honor of our 30th wedding anniversary.

This old basket didn't have a bottom.
So....I put it in the ground and planed zinnia seeds.
I'll keep you posted on the progress, but I think it's going to look pretty neat.

An old wheel barrel and rake that were going to be discarded.
I'll take those please.

This was a columbine the birds so nicely planted for me a few years ago.  
It comes back every year and has spread.
I LOVE it.

The old waterer (I think I've shared this before),
but it's one of my all time favorites out here. 
I just planted sunflower seeds behind it,
so I'll share those once they are
ready to show off their beauty.

The good 'ol coal bucket.
I believe Santa used it to deliver coal
to the naughty ones.
But now it can be all kinds of pretty housing flowers.

I was able to get out the furniture for the porch.
My favorite past time is sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee, 
or a glass of lemonade,
and do embroidery or read a book.

And the lilacs are in full bloom right now.
The fragrance is heavenly.

What are your gardening plans?
Let me know as I would love to hear about them!

Until next time,
here's to dirty hands, fragrant blooms, and beautiful landscaping.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A New Bag

I've been in need of a new bag to carry.
One of the perks of having a sewing room with a great 
fabric stash is that you can whip up little items like this on a whim.

I knew the kind of bag I wanted.
One that would easily allow me to find things
without having to dig to China.
One that was able to showcase some of my favorite fabrics.
One that was stylin'.

One of my blogging heros/friends is Melissa Peda
I've mentioned her a few times on my blog.
She has been such an inspiration to me through the years.
If you don't follow her, I highly suggest you start.

She blogged about a bag she had just designed,
and when I saw it,
I knew that was exactly the bag I was looking for.

Let me introduce you to Melissa's pattern, the Happy Handbag.

Melissa is such a huge fan of bold, fun print such as Amy Butler and Jane Sassaman,
She works her magic with creating designs and projects showcasing the focal points of the fabric.

I don't have a lot of those types of prints in my stash, but I knew
if I looked in my collection of Kate Spain I would find a perfect mix for this bag.
For the exterior print I used Serenade and for the interior, I used Verna.
It was a marriage made in heaven.

This bag is the perfect size to hold all that you want,
but not more than you need.

I can get carried away putting everything but the kitchen sink in my bags,
so I knew I needed to have a size limit.

This holds the perfect amount of zippy pouches.
(all received from my sewing friends, so I can carry them with me wherever I go and look slightly organized)

The pocket is just the right size to hold my cell phone and checkbook.

I've already had two request from my mom and sister to make them each one.
I have some fun ideas for them which include some paper piecing.

What I love about Melissa's patterns is they are great 'as is', or you can
use them as a foundation to build your own creative spin.
Melissa is truly inspiring and is all about helping us bring out that
creative spirit that lies dormant in a lot of us.
(speaking of myself here)

I hope you go over to Melissa's blog for a dose of inspiration,
not only with fabric, but also with yarn.  You won't be disappointed!

And just for a fun shot,
my dogs, Sam & Sadie.
These girls had to pose while I was taking pictures of my bag.

Enjoy your day and happy bag making!

Thursday, April 7, 2016


I was thinking I had a few years before I would write about this,
but God had other plans.
I'm so glad He knows what's best for my family.

The moment was perfect.
My family tells me I don't always keep them informed.
(OK folks....I honestly think they tune me out and forget what I tell them)
So a couple months ago, I let them all know to plan for family pictures in October.
We had family game day at Justin and Amanda's.
The day was perfect.
Right before we ate, Amanda asked if I knew what we would be wearing
for family pictures.  I said I thought we could just keep it casual, since none of us
dress to the nine's.  LOL  She said she found the perfect shirt and asked if I wanted to see it.
Sure!'s February, and pictures are in October, but my sweet Amanda is a planner
and an organizer (which I love), so I truly was not surprised at all that she was thinking ahead.
She went back to get the shirt and came out with a bag.
Look what I pulled out.

We are going to be grandparents!!
Can I just tell you that when they told us,
I stared at the shirt and felt my heart just open up as wide as it could go.
I looked at my son and his face was beaming.
Poor Amanda...she was crying because I was crying.
My husband was smiling from ear to ear.
Jesse and Savannah we sitting on the couch in shock.
It was such a beautiful moment.
It was then I knew I could make up for all the mistakes I made as a parent.
Something overtook my soul when I pulled out this little shirt.
All I need to do is love this little baby and be there to support Justin and Amanda whenever they need it.  I will never overstep my boundaries, but I will offer unconditional love and support to help
my grandchild grow up to be the amazing person God intends it be.  My family is growing.  Each of my sons have found a great partner.   Both girls have added so much to my family.  We are blessed!  And now we get to celebrate with a baby!

All I have ever wanted was for my sons to be happy.  
That they be contributing members of society.
That they have a foundation of faith.
That they realize money is not what brings happiness.
It's not things that give a person stature.
It's what's in your heart and how you give back.
I may have failed in a few of these areas teaching them as children.
But I've let them know where I've failed and where I wish I would have done things differently.
Hopefully, as adults, they've listened to those failures.
I thought there was no greater love than when I held my sons in my arms.....
until I learned I was going to be a grandma.

Of course, I had to buy a little something right away, and what better thing than this.

Just a little something else to make it more 'real'. 
And being the quilter I am, I've already picked out the quilt I'll be making.

I've been dying to make this since I saw it! 
I have 2 t-shirt quilts to finish up for family members, and once I'm done, my sewing machine
is booked for my new grand baby!

May your day be filled with love & blessings!
Until next time!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Gotta Get Away Retreat

Do you have a favorite spot to go with your sewing sisters
to get away for a little sewing time?

We have a place that we LOVE.  The entire house is set up for
quilters & crafters and the name is perfect.

I cannot say enough good about it.  
The price is amazing.  
The location is perfect.
The set up is a quilters dream.
Linda makes sure you have everything you need.

Please don't mind the mess in the photos below.  We were in the middle of creating.
But I will tell you that this amazing place is immaculate.

I didn't get a photo of the bedrooms,
but they are perfect!

You can view the Facebook page HERE to see pictures prior to our messiness arriving.

Here are some things we made while away.

I worked on a t-shirt quilt I'm making for my niece, but needed a quick
'mojo' starter to get me going, so I made a pixie basket from the tutorial

My sister, Sarah, made a boat load of things, but I only got a picture of this 
ADORABLE baby quilt.  She drew the appliqued giraffe free hand.
How cute is this?  She never ceases to impress me.

The sewing set up is perfect. Each station has it's own design wall.
Look at what Tara has on her wall.
She is incredible!!

Here's a close up of some of Tara's yummy makes.

So that's our latest adventure.
It was a much needed, relaxing, fun, creative time
spent with two of my most favorite people,
We were missing our 4th sister (whom I kindly refer to as 'my sister from another mister')
Julie, you were greatly missed!!

If you are in the Iowa area, and need a nice retreat place,
make sure to check out Gotta Get Away
You will not be disappointed!

Until next time,
keep the creative juices flowing!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Sewing Update

Happy Monday!

Thought I would do a quick post to share what I've been up to.

A did some pattern testing for Angela Bullard
(aka Sewing with Squeak)

The pattern is great.
And also very big.
The block is 18.5 unfinished.

I loved this pattern.
Easy to read.
Easy to put together for an advanced paper piecing beginner.
It's now for sale on Craftsy.
You can find it HERE.

I'm also working on a mystery BOM by Pat Sloan.

These are also rather large blocks.
They measure 16.5" unfinished.
By the end of the year I will have a nice sized quilt.
I'm using a fabric bundle I won at a retreat last year.  It's 
Fresh Cut by Basic Grey for Moda.
I have to say I wish I would have switched the pink and the orange around for the second block.
It would have created more 'pop'.  Lesson learned!

My favorite project of the month though is this adorable little pixie basket by Heidi Staples of
Fabric Mutt.

I can easily whip one of these up in the morning before work.
I'm thinking it would make a fun Easter gift for some friends and family,
filled with little pieces of their favorite chocolates.
You can find the tutorial for this HERE

I hope you have been busy creating!
Let me know what you've been up to!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Bird Watching

Yesterday, in the frigid weather, I went bird watching 
with a friend of mine.  It was so cold, but the sun was shining,
and the birds were happy.

We counted 27 eagles.
They are so majestic.

Out of all the ducks swimming around,
there was one lonely wood duck, who we believe, thought he was a mallard.
He found the love of his life and did nothing but follow her all around the watering hole.

I hope you enjoy the photo's below as much as I enjoyed taking them.