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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Headed out!

A few pictures from our Christmas Eve......Hard to believe the weather was so nice we took pics outside on the deck!  It was in the mid to high 50's and the sun was can see Bob's glasses turned!  The white you see at the bottom is our white fence!  No snow!!

Darrin and Kris have a great family...and we're so lucky the kids live only 21 miles away.  (Jeff and Dawn are in the sub next to Darrin and Kris!  So they are close by as well!)

I love this picture of Amber!  She photographs so well to begin with and just has fun all the time!  Even Nick had a smile on him!

And another couple who smile and laugh all the time!!  My daughter with her hubby!  Love these two as well!

We had such a fun evening and as usual it was so hard to leave Amber!  We always cry and that gets the rest of the family crying...well, except for Bob.  He can't understand why we cry saying goodbye for four months!  HA

Saturday was our packing up day!  Whew!  But once again we were finished by 2 p.m.  I kept adding and rearranging and by the time I made dinner for us, finished up laundry, pack sandwiches for our lunch for Sunday...I was ready for a shower.  So here I sit in my jammies thinking of what else i should stash in the car!  Guess I need to stop!  I suspect my next post will be our arrival in Florida!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care.....

 Last weekend I told Amber and Nick that I'm didn't put up their stockings.  Personally, I thought they were 'over' that...but Amber said "grandma you have to put our stockings up", grandma did and I filled them.  They are hung downstairs on the stockings on the fireplace upstairs!  The beige one is Grandpa's and the red checked one is for the dogs...well, it does say 'dogs'!

Well, Christmas Eve is here and this grandma is ready!   I got most of my dishes ready yesterday (after I packed the back seat of the SUV with my art/sewing supplies).

Kids will be here around 4 today and I can't wait!!  I love this night except for saying goodbye to them for four months!  Amber and I always cry!!  We even cried last weekend just talking about it!
 I feel like we just got back from Florida and, now, here we are getting ready to leave on Sunday!   But the time will go by fast in Florida...usually January is the slow month then it's BAM! Time to come home!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Eve with family and/or friends or just quiet time to reflect on the year and what Christmas really means!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Grandma Day!

Saturday was my last 'alone' grandma day with the kids for 2015!  What a fun day we had! Darrin and Kris are away for the weekend so Auntie has been spending the nights with the kids. It started out meeting Auntie at the Lacrosse center for Nick's 10 a.m. clinic.  He's learning to play Lacrosse too and the clinic is a good way for him to learn all the rules.  Amber didn't have a game until noon so after Nick's clinic the kids and I had some talk to sit and talk.

After Amber's game, in which she did a good job!, we headed off to Panera's for some lunch; then home to let Brody out and play.

 This was Brody resting after his playtime!  Yea, it was grandma playtime I think!

 Darrin and Kris were having their annual Christmas party on Sunday (yes, they still elected to go away for a few nights!) so I asked Kris if there were any chores kids and I could do to help them out.  Kids and I only worked for about an hour and got everything done!  Nick put on Christmas music while we cleaned!  It was so funny.  As soon as we got in the car,  he would have the radio on Christmas music!
Next up was playing games on the xbox!  We elected bowling which was fun (Nick checked the local bowling alley to see if we could play but open bowling was over...too bad!).   Amber did pretty good but every time Nick went to bowl, Brody would get in his way!  It was funny....just not funny to Nick!

We decided to go to Red Knapp's for pizza and it was delicious!!  YUM!!!  We ordered it "well done" so the pepperoni was really crispy...I'm a 'cheese' only pizza person until the pepperoni is burnt...glad the kids feel the same way!  Anyway, we laughed a lot at dinner and Amber was so sweet...she wanted to pay for the pizza herself!!!  She is such a kind soul!!  Love that girl so much!
So on the way home we drove around the subs to look at the Christmas lights!  Of course, the Christmas music was playing!!! Kids teased me about getting lost in the subs but grandma found her way out!!
Back home again and Nick wanted me to sew lights on a Christmas sweater he had so he can wear it for their Christmas party.  He is so cute!!!  I think his idea turned out pretty good!
I love my special time(s) with these kids.  I've always felt bad that Ian and Kayla have lived so far away from us.  We all have missed out on grand parent times....but we have some good memories on the times we have had with them.
So all the presents are wrapped and under the tree.  This week is busy with dog grooming appointments; meeting up with friends for the last 2015 time(s) and preparing for Christmas Eve and Christmas day with the kids.  I have started to pack some of my summer clothes for Florida and bedding.  So much we can't do until the day before we leave but we usually have the car all packed by early afternoon on the 26th!

Friday, December 18, 2015


Yep, it's my hubby's BD today!  HAPPY BD, BOB!! 

Not sure exactly of our plans so I have a back up dinner plan to make Bob's favorite, Bang Bang shrimp!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Little surprises mean the most!

I am so lucky to have such great friends and acquaintances!  I met up with my bud, Alice, yesterday for lunch at Panera's then off we went to PetSmart and Kohl's for a little shopping.  While at lunch, Alice gave me this present! How Sweet!!!!

I've always commented how nice Alice's smells!  I know that sounds weird...especially when you put that in a sentence!  Anyway, she gifted me with the same lotion she uses!!!  How special is that!

AND check out the container (that's really cool too!) of candy!  It's dark chocolate with sea salt and cashews!  YUM!!!  Yes, I've already eaten one piece!  THANKS again, Alice!!!

And this past summer, a few of us had a sew in weekend at Tommy's, I got to meet one of the ladies who has participated in our block exchanges and group quilt(s) in the past.  Her name is Mary Ann VanSoest.  Some of you may already be familiar with Mary Ann's work, which is stunning.  For our show and tell that weekend, Mary Ann didn't have quilts with her as they were on exhibit but we did get to see a book Mary Ann had with pics of some of her pieces.  Her work is spectacular!  Lots of landscapes, have to check out her blog to see her work.

Anyway, Mary Ann sent me this card for Christmas...isn't it beautiful!!  The center is a piece of quilted art she created.  Now I have a small piece of her artwork which is wonderful!  Thanks again, Mary Ann.  This is one card that will be kept with my fiber cards or on display!  It's actually coming to Florida with me so I can share with some of my art friends there too!

As I've often said...I'm one lucky lady!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Here we go again! It's "hex" time!'s hex time again!!  Shades of blue hex's are in my head and hand!   I'm thinking of creating my Blue Dog art quilt for our exhibit (based on the art work of George Rodrique) using hex's and applique!  This is one of the Blue Dog pics that I'm using for my inspiration.  Heck, if I can make a 'hex horse' or two, why not a dog!
So while I was doing some online Christmas shopping the last few weeks, I happened upon two web sites that caught my eye.  I don't even know how I found them.  First off was, Busy Fingers Patchwork and of course the hexagons had me at hello!

I started to watch the first video and I was intrigued by Sue (Daley) using a glue pen vs. basting those paper hex's onto the fabric.  Well, who knew!  Not me!  Nor did I ever think about using a glue pen!   Plus, Sue used an acrylic template to cut her hexagons.  I make cardboard hexagons to cut out my shapes but end up making a few of them as they do get wore out.

I proceeded to look at the online catalog on the site to order some supplies...but then I realized their company was in Australia!  I emailed to ask if they shipped to the U.S. and received a reply back quickly that they do.  I decided the shipping charges might add too much to my order so I started to search just for the glue pen and found another web site, Paper Pieces!  And they are located in  Paducah, KY and their products are made in the U.S.!

 Using the old "PayPal" account I ordered some precut 5/8" hex papers, a 5/8" acrylic template and a glue pen!  I received my order yesterday and today I played.  It certainly was nice to not have to cut out all those paper hex's!!  Talk about time saver!

This is the glue pen I bought.  You just use the edge and apply glue on your paper hex shape, making sure you don't have any glue on the edge of the paper.  That was a great tip from Sue D.  When you sew the hex's together, if you have glue on the edge, it could be hard to sew your hex's together.  You don't need much of the glue either...something else Sue mentioned.  "Less is more!"

It's hard to see where I placed the glue...but it's just inside the edge.  I was a little concerned on how the paper would be removed once the hex's were sewn together but I was able to remove the paper easily when the glue dried.  We'll see once I have several hundred sewn together!

 I thought for quite sometime that my hex's were 1"...well, they're not...they are 5/8" and I wanted to keep using that particular size since I have quite a few already basted and ready to use. I actually measured my old paper hex's again before I ordered them...good thing!

I love using this acrylic template!  I just cut several 2" strips of fabric and before I knew it I had lots of hex's ready to glue!  There is one item I would like to find...or make...Sue Daley uses a 'rotating cutting matt'...I can see how that would make cutting the hex's even easier.

Now there's another web site for you hexie lovers!  It's called 'The Hexie Blog' by Julie!   This is one busy Hexie Lady!  She creates a Hex BOM; produces a Hexie Love online/digital magazine (yes, I have purchased!) and other cool things!  One of her newest adventures is a hexie curved ruler and water soluble hex papers!  These items will be coming out in January so I'm excited about those new 'toys' too!
You really should stop by Julie's blog.  It's always fun to see her latest project(s) as well as hear about her life and her work.  You'll get some new ideas and inspiration from seeing Julie's hex quilts/blocks.   And we always need new ideas!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

First Christmas Party of the Season!

Yesterday, I attended the Christmas party for our day quilt guild.  I really think these ladies are so women, as quilters and just nice folks!   Several of the 'older' members were so instrumental in teaching me so much of what I know today!  They are so generous with their time and knowledge and love sharing what they know!

Anyway, the meeting started around 11 with our show and tell..a little business....little gabbing!

...then some great food!  The party was held at an Italian restaurant, Ruggeros,  The menu was chicken Caesar salad (which was delicious!) and baked mostaccioli!  (yum!).  Dessert was your choice of vanilla ice cream or carrot cake...yea, I went for the cake!  Anyway, it was a nice time visiting and eating!

I used to belong to two quilt guilds (one day and one night), and two art/fiber groups (one day and one night).  I decided several, several years ago to give up the night guild as well as the art group that met at night.  I don't like leaving for a meeting in the late afternoon and being out at night when you have to drive home in the dark (when you're leaving a meeting at 9 or 10 p.m. to head home!)

I still attend the day quilt guild meeting a few times in the spring/summer as well as attend our monthly fiber art group...that's the next 'party time'.  We meet next Monday and it is our last get together for the year!  I enjoy our small group of five as each member is so talented and we inspire each other plus we meet during the day!  Yep, I'm getting old!!!

Friday, December 11, 2015


Well, no sewing being  done on this end...well, I did hem a pair of pants today!  Does that count!?  It should as I do NOT like mending of any kind...including hemming my own pants!  Seems like such a waste of time.  I did find the pants I wanted but they were a tad too long,  soooo...I had to 'sew'!  And then I started packing.

 I just never know for sure what I'm going to work on the four months we are gone.  This winter my one project will be creating an art quilt for our Master's exhibit representing the work of George Rodrique/Blue Dog.  So I'm only taking some fabric to dye/blue beads and no threads!  I figure once I decide how I'm creating the piece, I'll just buy threads or beads I need.  I hate having to drag all the supplies with me.  I don't want to spend $$'s on extra supplies either but...guess I could have worse problems, right!  Most of my sewing/art supplies are packed up and waiting to be loaded in the car.  I am taking way  less than normal.

This is all I have packed so far...along with my machine.  I don't think I will be adding much more, if any!

This is what our back seat area of my car usually looks like. The next two pics are from last spring when we left Florida.  I'm hoping for lots of empty space this year!

All of my supplies fit on the floor in the back seat.  The far back is reserved for Bob's golf gear/clubs, our suitcases and of course our printer and coffee maker!  Bob is fussier than I am about his coffee so we take our own coffee maker with us.

This year I'll have to do some additional calculations to fit two dog crates on top of the space saver bags/back seats (bedding/pillows/etc.).  In the past we had Kalee's crate and Gracie sat next to her in a crate.  I'll figure it out but it will take some 'maneuvering'!  HA  I'm up to the challenge!!  I think!

Monday, December 7, 2015

How nice!

So look what I received in the mail on Saturday!!  It's a needle holder book made by the talented "Miss" Sherry from Createology!  Isn't it adorable!!!

You know how much I love hand work so I certainly will use this to hold my needles!!!  THANK you so much, Sherry!  You are such a sweet, kind soul!!!

The book was wrapped and placed inside this card!

And look how nicely she even packaged the little book!  So very thoughtful!

Do check out Sherry's Createology blog.  She is so talented at making the most unusual, thoughtful and usable gifts for folks!!!

Thank you again, my friend!!

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Yesterday, I headed down to see Amber play Lacrosse!  Nick was also in a Lacrosse clinic, as he is also learning to play.  This is Amber's 2nd year playing and she does love it.

It's hard to see Amber, but I know where she is in these pictures...and let's face it...this blog is for me!  She's in the middle 'row' in the black shirt.

In this picture, she was doing the face off or whatever they call it to start the game again.  No I didn't learn any of the calls or rules (yet!).

It was my first at watching a Lacrosse game and the 1st time I got to see Amber play.  And play they do!  Wow...30 min. of running...then a 5 min. break and back to another 30 minutes of play!  Talk about exhausting!  This  league is not part of the high school Lacrosse team.  They don't start until March but Amber has been attending clinics in the summer and now in the fall and winter she'll continue to play with this group.  It's great experience for the kids and I'm glad to see her enjoy a sport.
 Let's be honest...her grandma wasn't good at any sport.  Well, raising and showing horses was something I grew up with so that's not a real sport.  I was lucky I could play badminton and not very good at that even!  But I can chew gum and walk...does that count for anything!

Friday, December 4, 2015

The past week.....

Yea, it's been a bit busy around here the past week...and I've been busy making more 3D snowflakes!  I have one or two more to go!  Hopefully, I'll finish those up tomorrow or on Sunday.  These are so addicting!

I'm off to pick up kids from school Friday...missed last week and then on Saturday I'm going to Amber's Lacrosse game!  She and Nick are both involved in Lacrosse but I've not seen her play yet!  

Just wanted to show some pics of the kids visit last week!  I didn't get any family pics of all the family, although, I don't think Nate minded!  HA  We did have such a nice visit with the kids.  Wish we could see them more often but hubby isn't big on traveling…too bad 

Ian is in the red shirt!  He is so tall and really a good looking young man.  He’s a sophomore at Purdue U.  And such a nice kid.  Nate (Kayla’s fiance’) in dark shirt and he’s a great young man as well.   We spent most of our time (unless we were eating!) downstairs in the family room.  The guys always like to play pool..even Nick & Amber do when they visit.

Hard to believe but this was Gigi on Nate's lap!  She did nip at Ian and Ron..ugh...

Mary Jo and Kayla relaxing...along with least I think it's Kalee...hard to tell!!!  We watched a lot of football on Saturday!

Bob in his usual spot along with Ron...

Can't believe time is going by so fast before we head south...I always have mixed feelings about leaving home......but once I get south I'm fine...just the leaving is hard.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Free Shipping and then some!

If you're looking for some unique and wonderful art work as Christmas gifts for family, friends or even for yourself, check out Mary Stori's gallery shop!  She has free shipping and 10% off if you order more than one piece.  Mary's work is fabulous and this a great excuse to shop online in your P.J.'s!!  Now get over there and check out some eye popping work!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Texture Challenge Reveal

This is my 'texture' piece for the online blog challenge for Art Quilts Around the World!  I don't know for the life of me why my quilts look so crooked in pictures!  It honestly is not crooked! Maybe because I take the picture from 'above' instead of hanging them up!  Hmmmmm  Anyway, the piece measures 11.5" x 16.5".

It's always interesting when I show my art quilts that have beads or hand embroidery on them...folks want to touch the piece!  Which, is fine with me! I think it's because the beads or threads appear to add texture!  And texture is tactile, right!

I don't mind folks handling or touching my quilts.  Let's face it...I don't plan on being here 50 or 100 years from now so if they fall be it!  You can see some of the french knots I embroidered here in this pic as well as some of the stab stitching and beading.

I think there's enough 'texture' in this piece!

Sure hope so!

Beads are around the inside of the circle and each of the larger fused squares

The gold pieces of fabric are leftovers from one of my 3D snowflakes I made, which I had cut before I had fused them together!  Oops. So, having two pieces of fused cut squares I just took some red fabric (yep, leftover from the snowflake) and wove it in and out of the square, fused them together then laid on another leftover piece of fabric.

This was a fun piece to work on and I actually finished it the weekend before Thanksgiving!   Hope you head over to check out the other 'texture' pieces from these talented artists!  It's always interesting to see how we each interrupt the theme!  Next up is 'song'...hmmmmmmm

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours!  We have so much to be thankful for!!  Our family...our friends...our health...and our fur babies!

We are looking forward to the 'southern' kids (they live in Indiana!) coming for a visit this weekend!  I'm cooking for Bob and I on thanksgiving day as well as prepping some food for their visit!  I love to cook and it will be fun to visit with the kids!!!  
Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nothing but snow! Still!

Yep, we still have snow and cold!  It was 25 at 9:30 last night and just felt bitter cold!  But it's suppose to be warmer later this week so the snow will melt.  I'm sure!  Or, I'm hoping!  Today is Kalee's 'spa' day and my day to finish up grocery shopping for Thanksgiving and the weekend with kids.

Now that I'm winding down to get ready to be a snow bird, I don't have much to show in artwork!  But I do have an old piece I did from November of 2009!   I was playing around with bleaching fabric and this is what I wrote:

After rinsing and washing here's the bleached piece. I really liked the colors in this piece and thought I should do something with it.

So now for my 'project' part of this blog. I know..the colors are different but that just depends on whether I've used the flash or not! Sorry about that.. I think this is more the true color of the piece. I had a piece of hand dyed fabric in a similar color so I cut up the bleached piece and added a small strip just to break up the piece. I thought this would make a nice Art of Nature journal piece for November.

I wanted to add some other color to the piece so I made a stencil from a Dover book of a flowers and used Oil Pastel crayons to add the color.
I sandwiched the piece and started stitching away. Here's the stencil part just outlined with stitching.And here's the finished stitched piece. I just did free motion stitching to fill in areas. I didn't care much for the green I used on the leaves and wanted to change that. So I found some old painted fusible webbing I had on hand and I ironed that on top of the green leaves. I think it looks much better. I really liked how this turned out and I decided I'm not cutting it down to the 8 1/2" x 11" journal size. It's 10" x 12 1/2" and I think I'm keeping it this size. I'll just have to make another AON journal for November. So guess that's what I better get moving to do, right!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter Wonderland!

It's a winter wonderland!  Well, it is Michigan after all!!  Yesterday it was snowing when we got up a little after 7 a.m. and continued through the day and night! was beautiful and the dogs loved it!  Go figure!

These were our girls footprints around 9 Saturday morning.  Gigi loved the snow!  Who knew!

This was taken around 9 Saturday morning too.

Later in the afternoon.....

And this was around 5:30-6 p.m.  You can barely see our container on the deck!

We had to keep shoveling snow just so Kalee and Gigi could play!

It was beautiful out but I also missed Amber's Lacrosse game on Saturday.  I've yet to see her play since we were in Florida last spring when she first played. She's now participating in another Lacrosse group, outside of the school team.  It will be good experience for her and so far she seems to really enjoy playing.  Maybe in two weeks I'll get to see her play.  Until's shoveling snow, watching football (Sunday) and preparing my menu for the kids visit next weekend!  We're really looking forward to seeing all the kids.  Snow should be gone by then...let's hope!