Wednesday, May 26, 2010

a slight room re-do

I’ve been wanting to re-do the curtains in my sewing room but hadn’t been able to find fabric that i liked.  The carpet is a light gray, three walls are a light-med gray and one wall is a deep burgundy.  We also now have a black futon in the room (thanks to Dan’s cousin) for the Grands to sleep on when they come.  Gone is the crib, changing table and air beds.   

My sewing room is also their room when they come so I wanted something nice but durable and definitely washable.

I found a nice black paisley at a local big box fabric store and when Joyce and I went to Sycamore on Friday, I found a great Michael Miller gray and white dandelion fabric that I fell in love with.  I only wish I would have bought more of it.


Here are the finished products.  Unfortunately, the pictures aren’t completely true to color.  I made two sets (1 set of each print) for the futon.  I think they look great together… a little traditional and a little more modern both with removable covers so they can be washed.

Then I made valances out of the black paisley which I really like. IMG_3570 IMG_3571  I’m not so sure about the black tier on the smaller window.  It may take a hike yet.  I have shades to pull anyway.  The jury is still out on that one. 

Below is why I really like my sewing room.  I sit right in front of this window, look out over our front flower bed and watch the world go by.  It’s such a cheery place to work.


Morning light

5:15 am and look how light it is!


I love waking up in a light bedroom compared to winter when it’s still dark as I leave for work at 6:45 most mornings.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It’s a BRIGHT world out there!

Friday, my friend, Joyce & I took an afternoon trip to a quilt shop in Sycamore, IL, Tammy Tadd Designs.   After going around the block(s) a few times and turning the truck around once or twice, we finally found it. 
Note: if you’re headed there, the directions off the website are a little bass-ackwards, but hey, we got a tour of Sycamore in the process.

I learned about Tammy Tadd at a quilt guild meeting I attended as a guest last fall.  I purchased a couple of her bag patterns that night which are unfortunately still in my UFO stack.  I love the patterns and even have fabric for one of them but haven’t quite gotten around to making them yet.IMG_3511The outside of the building was nice but kind of plain looking but once you step in the door, the whole world brightens up.


Her shop is amazing.  It has to be one of the nicest, cutest, BRIGHTEST quilt shops  I’ve ever been in and huge too.  I’m used to smaller quilt shops so I was extremely impressed.

IMG_3509Everything was displayed so cute right down to the last detail.


It would be a great place to find baby quilt fabric.   IMG_3508

I tend to lean towards more primitive, darker prints for my quilts so was surprised at how much I enjoyed her shop.  I will definitely be making a return trip.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I used to go to garage sales all the time when the boys were young.  What a great place to buy kids clothes.  Once they got older, I stopped going.  I still enjoy them but haven’t had the time to go in recent years.

A friend of ours from church posted on Facebook (what a great marketing deal that is!) that she was having one and had primitive type antique furniture and little girl clothes.

I’m always up for checking out the furniture even though I really don’t need anything and after talking with my daughter-in-law and hearing my granddaughter needed clothes for this winter, I thought I’d would stop by.  She lives about 40 miles from me but I was going to be in her area anyway plus she was kind enough to let me stop early so I didn’t have to wait around for it to start.

This is what I all ended up with…

Quite the haul for winter little girl clothes, some of it new with tags on.  I love those little green boots.  I wish they came in my size.  However, I doubt they would look as cute in a women's size 12!   After having three boys, it sure is fun to buy for a girl.
Twelve Christmas plates still in the boxes.  Very classic..white with a silver rim and a silver snowflake in the middle.  According to the box they came from Target so I’m hoping Target carries the same pattern this year so I can get a few more pieces that match.

A set of two hi-top deck chairs.  Love these!  Now, we just need to get the sealer on the deck so we can use them.  For now they’re on the front porch.


A church pew!   Finally!   I have wanted a church pew since I don’t know when.  This was a nice small (4 foot) one in really good shape.  I’m not real sure where I’m going to put it yet but love it just the same and the price was right!  But now I’m thinking of painting it black, then antiquing it to make it look worn.  What do you think?  Leave it alone or paint it black?

IMG_3527  and last but not least this great little table and chair set.  I’ve wanted something for in the guest room for folks to sit at to write or use a computer and this fits the bill perfectly.  Honestly, this is probably my favorite purchase from the day.  I just love this little table. 


The worst part was with the garage sale being a good drive  away,  I had, of course, driven the car because I really didn’t think I’d be coming  home with anything that wouldn’t fit in the car. 
DH was nice enough to go along back with the truck to help me load everything. 

Busy Saturday today

We’ve had a busy last couple of days and today was no exception.

I woke up early, really early, I couldn’t sleep so started on cleaning the house. 
DH was awake not very long after me and was out powerwashing the deck before the sun hit it to get it ready for sealing.
We (DH & I) drove 40 miles to a garage sale where I bought a few pieces of furniture( pictures coming soon) on Thursday but had the car so we had to go back after everything with the truck today and bought a little more.
Went to look at a toy hauler while we were over that way.
Went to our local motorcycle dealers open house to try out a few bikes.  We’re looking for one for me but can’t quite decide what to get yet.
Came home, finished cleaning and baked some cookies.
Made a little supper and DH left for a meeting at church.
I retreated to my sewing room to make new curtains for said room.  Love the way they turned out (pictures to come)
Folded laundry(lots of it).  Amazingly enough, baskets of laundry that have been sitting for two days don’t automatically fold themselves.  Wow, how I wish that was possible.
And now it’s midnight and I’m on the computer.  Why am I on the computer at midnight you may ask?  Not sure, I guess I haven’t quite wound down yet.

And what does tomorrow hold?

90 degrees, sunshine, church and a motorcycle ride.  Can’t wait!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday question of the day

Monday question of the day....

What household chore, if money was no object, would you hire out?  

After washing windows and mini-blinds most of the day on Saturday, I decided that would be what I would love to hire out.  

Anyone know of a good window washer?

Sunday, May 16, 2010


In over two years of blogging, I've never received a blogging award.  Until now that is. 

Carol from Hot Flashes from Hell (yes, you read it right) and Raise Your Hand If awarded me a "Sweet Blog" award.  Thanks Carol!

Before I get too far into the "requirements" of this award, I have to tell you a story.  

A number of years, my hubs & I, another couple(long-time friends of ours) and another man were taking a group of 8 teenage boys on a mission trip to the reservation in Cherokee, NC.  At the church we were attending then, before anyone went on a mission trip, the pastor and congregation would pray over the team the Sunday before they left.

All of us, adults & teens were called up front to be prayed for.  The wife from the other couple and myself were standing next to each other which was mistake number one.  Side note:  she & I have known each other and been friends for a long time and we both have a strange sense of humor.  

As the pastor is praying, he gets to she & I and says with all these males, that he knows God put us there to be the sweetness and tenderness that will be needed.  Disclaimer:  I have a tendency to get the giggles at the wrong time and so does she.  As he said this, with our heads bowed, we gave each other a nudge and a sideways glance (only momentarily of course, because we were praying don't ya know) and started to giggle.  Not just a little teehee but shoulder shaking, stifling an out loud laugh feeling like you're going to explode giggle.  

Why were we laughing you ask?  Neither one of us would be what anyone who knows us would call sweet or tender!  We're both outgoing, matter-of-fact individuals that are more of the "pull up your pants and deal with it" or the "are you bleeding?  no?  then get back to work" line of thought so to be called sweet and tender just about had us rolling on the floor.  So here we are in the front of church trying to control ourselves and keep from belly laughing.  Maybe you had to be there but it's one of those happenings that is on the loop that we talk about to this day, especially whenever the word sweet or tender comes up.

OK, enough old stories, on to what the award "requirements" are.  
I'm supposed to pick ten blogs to pass this award along to.  I have a big problem with this as there are way more than ten blogs that I read on a regular basis.  I debated on taking the easy way out and not naming ten but would really like to share some of these blogs with you so I am just going to select ten kind of sort of randomly.  Please don't feel slighted if your not on the list but I can only select ten.

Here are the exact rules:
-Make a post about the award, including the picture, and mention the person who gave it to you.
-Put the award on your blog.
-Let your nominated 10 know you've awarded them by leaving a comment.

1.  Shelly @ Surviving Munchkin Land keeps me entertained with stories of what her boys are up to and what she's up to.  She's one crafty lady!  If you need something made out of nothing.  Shelly's your girl!

2.  Janet from On the Road with Janet blogs about motorcycling, quilting and grandkids.   Ya think we have just a wee bit in common?

3.  Joyce of and sew on is like a quilting mentor to me.  She knows much and has (or thinks she has) the patience to explain it to me.  We'll see about that.  I have a paper piecing class with her in a couple of weeks.  Hopefully our friendship will still be in tact after the evening is through.

4.  Crazy for Primitive Quilts is a beautiful blog.  Her quilts are "my style" of quilt and I love her wool appliques which I want to learn how to do someday.  .

5.  Michelle from Life on Vine is the sweetest bloggy friend.  She contacted me a couple of years ago when she saw pictures on my blog of a weekend camping trip we took.  It was then we realized we don't live far from each other and have met three times now.  Michele and her husband Louie are also thrift store geniuses!

6.  Debbie @ Of His Pasture I met in person just a couple of weeks ago at a blogger get together.  Debbie is a gun toting transplanted Texan  sweet lady with a great perspective on life and what's important.  Have you ever met someone and instantly felt comfortable with them?  That's the way I felt with Debbie and her daughter, Miss A.  We're hoping to meet with them again in the future.

7.  From this Side of the Pond is a great blog read.  Joyce lived in England for six years and is now trying to get re-acclimated to life in the US.  

8.  Stop Staring and Start Sewing has given me much inspiration from the fabrics she uses to what she creates from those fabrics.  I have many of her posts starred in my reader for future reference.

9.  Jackie from Jackie's Stitches  does beautiful needlework and has a craft room to be envious of.  Wonderful storage cubbies, a flat screen tv and look at that cutting table!  I'm coveting!  It's a good thing she doesn't live closer or I might be visiting her a lot to borrow this room!

10.  I first read Covered Porches and Wooden Screen Doors because I liked the blog name.  Porches and wood screen doors are two of my favorite things in life but then got hooked on her blog because of her quilting.  This quilt is my favorite so far.  Ahhh, another pattern I'm just going to HAVE to purchase, I guess.

There you have it, ten of the blogs I read on a regular basis and by all means not an inclusive list.  Take some time if you can and check them out.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Random Dozen

1. Please share one memory of your high school graduation. Pics would be great!

Sorry, no pics. The memory I have is not so much graduation in itself but what we did the night before graduation. There was an old railroad viaduct north of town and spray painting it was the thing to do to. Two girlfriends and I decided if we didn’t do it then before we all scattered, we probably never would. This viaduct was over a state highway so every time a car would come, we would drop down into the weeds along the sides. We didn’t know it at the time because it was dark but one of us (not me, fortunately) was dropping down into a patch of poison ivy. Kinda made for an itchy graduation. ;)  Try explaining that one to your parents!

2. What is one "emergency use" item you keep in your vehicle at all times?
It must be the germa-phobe in me…I always had a bottle of hand sanitizer in the car with me. It’s the first thing I do when I leave a store.

3. In your region, do you celebrate graduation open houses? Addendum: (If so,) how many open houses/bridal showers/weddings are on your upcoming events calendar?
Most people have open houses for graduation now around here and they stretch from mid-May into June depending on when it works out to hold it. This year, I think we’re off the hook for graduations but we have two weddings and showers for those weddings coming up this summer.

4. Tell me one truth you believe about motherhood.
Time really does fly. When I was a young Mom and people would tell me to cherish those times because they grow up so fast. I don’t think I really believed them but wow, now my boys are all grown and I’m a grandma! It seems like just yesterday I was changing their diapers instead of the grandkids.

5. What was the last thing you broke?
It wasn’t anything that really broke but I was taking the crib we had that my grandson had outgrown to a cousin to use for her new grandson. It fell over from leaning against the dining room table and put a huge gouge in our plaster and woodwork. I was just sick.

6. On average, how many pieces of junk mail do you receive daily?
I don’t really know and like it that way. My husband works out of our home so he gets the mail and sorts through it. When I get home from work all that is left is what I need to deal with. Nice!

7. Do you like to shop by catalog?
Not so much by catalog anymore but by internet, most definitely. I’m a 6’ tall woman with a size 12 foot. I can’t just walk into a store and buy clothes or shoes off the rack so most of what I order is online. is my current favorite. They offer free shipping and free return shipping. Since I have a hard to fit foot, I take advantage of their free shipping a lot.

8. Is lawn maintenance at your house a "his job," a "her job" or "his/her job" or "that's why we have teenagers" job?
It used to be a “his/her” job because of the amount of lawn we had(about 2 acres) but once I started working away from home full-time, it’s turned into more of a “his” job. I do miss doing it though. That was the one time that my time was my time and no one bothered me.

9. Which room would you like to redecorate in your home?
Our bedroom, hands down.  Not for any real reason other than I'm tired of it.

10. Do you read a newspaper regularly, or do you read most of your news on line?
We get a newspaper at work and when I have time I read it but most of my news, I get online.

11. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
Absolutely. I believe everything is part of the Master’s plan. I don’t always understand some of the things that happen and may get angry about it but still know in my knower that they happen for a reason.

12. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Doing the right thing is much more important to me than doing things right, even though doing things wrong is incredibly frustrating. Can I pick both? How about doing the right things the right way?

Now that you've read my answers, why not hop on to over to Lid's blog and join in this week's random dozen.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

I apologize in advance to those of you have been reading my ramblings since the start of this blogging deal, but every year when I sit down to write a Mothers Day post, I end up going back to the first one I wrote on this blog.  It says exactly what I still want to write.  In a repeat performance from from May 2008 & May 2009, here you go.

Before I was a Mom...

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put him down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so overwhelmed and happy all at a the same time.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

For those of you who are moms - thank you for all you do.

For those of you whose moms are living - enjoy every minute spent and conversations spoke for you never know when the last one has just happened.

For those of you whose mom's have passed on - I feel for you especially today.
I know too well the pain it can bring when you can't make that phone call to wish a happy mothers day, ask for advice or just chat. Thankfully though a Mom's legacy and memory lives on long after they are gone. I see it in my sisters, children, grandchildren but mostly when I look in the mirror. There are times when I walk by a plate glass window or mirror, get a side-vision glimpse and see my mother in the glass. I often do a double-take.  The older I get, the more I see her in me. It could definitely be worse.  If I have to be like somebody, I couldn't think of anyone better to emulate than my mother. She was a good lady with a great sense of humor and then that damned cancer took her away from us.  I often think about how much she would be enjoying not just her kids and grandkids but her Great-grandkids.

I love you and miss you Mom.
Harriet Anna Gesin
October 29, 1929 -- November 4, 1983

Friday, May 7, 2010

Quilting Truckers

Click here to check out a Wall Street Journal article on Quilting Truckers.  Way to go guys!
It sure beats other activities they could be doing during their downtimes.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Because of..

Because of this little gem
I was greeted by this when I came home from work tonight.  ARGH!
I love hanging laundry outside but am usually selective as to what I hang out.  I never hang towels out.  They dry too hard and I never hang underwear and socks out, too many little pieces to deal with. 
However, this week I’ve not been able to pick and choose. The igniter went out on our dryer, so I’ve been loading this little baby up!  Two days ago, it extremely windy here so it picked up the whole thing loaded with clothes and took off with it.
Today, the shear weight of the laundry must have made it collapse.  Do you know how hard it is take clothes off the line when it’s all tangled up like this???
Our dryer part came today.  Hopefully DH can get it put in tomorrow and we’ll be back to laundry as normal at this household.

UPDATE:  Friday morning - our dryer is once again humming along and heating as it should just in time as it's a rainy day in good ol' northwest Illinois.  A big thanks to my handyman husband who can fix anything without calling a repairman.  Love you baby!

Life Means so Much

I heard this song on the radio on my way home today.  It’s an older Chris Rice song but still a favorite of mine.  This really hit home for me after the cancer diagnosis a few years ago. 

What a message!
Life Means So Much
by Chris Rice

Everyday is a journal page
Every man holds a quill and ink
And there’s plenty of room for writing in
All we do and believe and think

 So will you compose a curse
Or will today bring the blessings
Fill the page with rhyming verse
Or some random sketchings

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
Somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much

Everyday is a bank account
And time is our currency
So no one’s rich, nobody’s poor

We get twenty-four hours each
So how are you gonna spend
Will you invest or squander
Try to get ahead
Or help someone who’s under
Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
Somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Has anybody lived who knew the value of a life?
And don’t you think giving his own
Would prove the worth of yours and mine?

 Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
Somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Do you know what blessed is???

Do you know what blessed is????


making it home with the motorcycle FIVE minutes before this little lovely cut loose Sunday evening.

IMG_3473 The wind was just picking up as I took the picture.  Notice the tree is starting to list to the right just a tad.  Wind, lightning, rain and motorcycles are not a good mix.

so, yeah, that’s what blessed is!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blogger Breakfast

Have you ever wanted to meet other blog writers?  Maybe have a lunch together?

Well, we did just that Saturday morning.  A group of seven met at White Pines Lodge for breakfast.


Aren’t the trees beautiful?  

Some of us only had to travel 20 minutes
Joyce Shelly Me blogger brkfst Joyce, Shelly & I (photo courtesy of Angela) 
while others were on the road for over two hours.   We most definitely got the better end of that deal.

I was sort of the organizer and Saturday morning I woke up with the most awful thought…what if everybody just sat and looked at each other and didn’t say anything!?! 
Wouldn’t that be every party planners nightmare???

I don’t know what I was worried about.  We’re bloggers for pete’s sake so we have plenty to say!  We all chattered away for the entire two hours we were together.  What a wonderful group of ladies!

Joyce, Shelly & I had the home field advantage of living close by and going to the same church so already knew each other.

I also had previously met Michelle.  She & her husband, Louie met us for lunch a couple of years ago.


I was thrilled to finally be able to meet Suzanne, Debbie & Angela and spend a couple of hours getting to know them better.   It’ll be great to read their blogs now and hear their voices as I’m reading!

IMG_3456Around the table from the left are:

Shelly from Surviving Munchkin Land.  Her tales of her three boys remind me so much of when my three were young.  Boys will be boys!

Joyce from jmquilts is always busy quilting, crafting and making soaps and lotions.  She’s a “can  do" kind of lady.  Oh and they farm on the side too!

Suzanne of At Home with the Farmers Wife has great stories about old barns, travels, books, you name it.  She self proclaims that “she has a lot to say!”. 

Michelle from Life on Vine is a thrifter-extraordinaire!  She and her husband Louie are masters out of making thrifts finds into something great.  She also hosts a quilt “retreat” once a month in her basement.

Y’all know me or you wouldn’t be reading this so you already know what I ramble on about.

Debbie from Of His Pasture always has wonderful posts about family, faith & life in general.  I love her insight into subjects.  She and her daughter Angela get the reward for driving the farthest.  Debbie is also the one, probably without knowing it, that gave me the nudge to get off my duff and get this thing organized.   Thank you Debbie!

Angela’s blog is called The Return Home.  This beautiful young lady takes the most awesome photographs and has an incredible faith that comes out in her writing.

Please take some time and check these blogs out.  You’ll be glad you did.

All in all, it was a very nice way to spend a Saturday morning and I hope to do it again soon.