Friday, July 31, 2020

Dollar store JOY

When my kids were young and money was super tight, Christmas was stressful.  And then a friend introduced me to dollar stores.  Oh, what a find!!!
I could take my kids Christmas shopping for their siblings without breaking the bank.

Fast forward to my youngest child in high school and beyond.  She loves exploring the inner nooks of dollar stores more than most people.  She LOVES to decorate for every holiday imaginable but she's careful with money.  

Enter dollar stores.  To be specific, Dollar Tree.

It's a beautiful thing because everything is exactly $1.  So if you have $5 and change, you can buy 5 items.  (Don't forget some change or you can only buy 4 items and still pay tax.

The addiction is real.  I dropped in for posterboard today.  A big sheet of white posterboard is only 50 cents.  That's right.  50 pennies!  If that's what you've got, they'll take the pennies.  (Be kind to the cashier though and don't bring $5 of pennies!!! Take that to your bank.)

And today, you even get to feel like you helped the economy even more by putting coins back into circulation!

So what kinds of things can you buy?  Everything!  Here's what I picked up:

Lay's Stax. Because I have a canker sore in the back of my throat and Lay's helps clear those up.  I picked up Barbecue ones for other family members because they like them!  $1

Posterboard, but I found a package of 4 that were already cut down to the right size. I could have saved a bit by cutting it myself, but why?  We'll use these in record our ideas of things to do rather than a white board right now. It will be messier, but we'll see what has been crossed off instead of erased!  I already have markers!

A notebook for keeping my lists of things that I still need to get done.  My to-do list, if you will.  Arrow tabs to bookmark to-do, journal, or ideas that I record for easy referencing. Crepe streamers in pink, yellow, and purple to decorate our house as needed.

A pack of 3 small notebooks that will fit in a small pocket on my purse so I can record ideas and impressions whenever they come.  Dollar Tree excels at keeping an excellent variety of stationery items!

Closeup of the designs:

Lined pages inside: 

Finally a cute little bucket to hold pens and pencils!

I love Dollar Tree!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

It's DONE!

Today it's a balmy 77 degrees outside with 70 percent humidity, and I took my dog for a walk.  I had grand designs of going and walking the Rocky Ridge Reservation later today, but THAT's not going to happen now!  It's far too muggy.  I'm beat!

Last night I put the finishing touches on the quilt I started 7 months ago.  It's a throw quilt designed by Angela Walters for a virtual quilt along, Help! How Do I Quilt It?  that she did late 2019. 

The border is not part of Angela's panel.

 I started this in January.  After quilting ferociously for a few months, my hands started yelling at me with arthritis pain so I backed off.  Life intervened, COVID19 happened, and I went to help my parents in another state.  

Coming home, I didn't even want to touch my sewing machine, let along free motion quilt!

After several weeks, I decided I needed to finish the project.  After all, I was almost finished already.  That said, I didn't want to do much intensive free motion quilting so I snapped on my walking foot and broke into it with straight lines.  Ultimately I moved back into the curvier designs that need my FMQ foot, but I kept it to short spurts.

Seven months after beginning this, it's done.

The back is quite colorful and I love the colors!

Close up: 

Full length:

It's happy and colorful!

I ran out of the ombre fabric so I ran by a local quilt shop and found this:

Back and front at once:

Monday, May 4, 2020

A day out--another creative outlet

Last Saturday, my husband, son, and I went for a drive to see some covered bridges, specifically the two longest and shortest (18 feet) in the United States within about 1 1/2 hours of our home.  I hope you enjoy some of these pictures.

The shortest!  Travelers had to pay a toll to use it!

Why do you keep taking pictures of me, Mom?

Go see Aerial Blend on Instagram for some of my husband's photography!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Creativity is multi-faceted

Once again, I've been so much better at posting on Instagram but I resolve to do better!  In fact, I'm resolving to study better and write more in the coming months mostly because I think we all have a need to pay much more attention to the blessings of God during this time of the COVID19 pandemic.  Personally, I think this is only a beginning of more challenges but I believe there are many, many blessings to reap during challenges.  I've also known it is important to pay attention to blessings and to learn when things are good, but the hard times define us by what we decide to focus on.

As a result, I am tweaking this blog a bit to help me and hopefully you find the good and great things in our lives.

Another reason for my change is because I've found the strain on my wrists and thumbs has been too great for me to continue quilting.  After thinking through my options, I decided to pivot to sewing and joyful creation.

So I took up bagmaking to use up some of my fabric stash!

Most recently I made a carry-on bag for my daughter to use when she flies home. Since it was a small project, I did very simple stitching and quilting to make the sides and bottom a bit more firm.

I exploited the capabilities of my sewing machine by stitching my daughter's name, the mission where she is serving, and uplifting thoughts onto the sides of the bag.  The striped fabric is a pocket, and there is a matching pocket on the inside of the bag.  I didn't put a crossbody handle on, and chose to add matching handbag-style straps.

The front:

Third verse of The Lord Is My Light:

Other uplifting messages:

I am truly grateful for my ability to create.  There are so many ways to create however, and not all of them have anything to do with textiles.  Tapping into that creative side is a great way to calm the anxiety and depressive demon that can bedevil all of us.  My husband shoots aerial photography and organizes projects at work as well as coaches others to improve their abilities.  My son writes.  

Please share in the comments what you do.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Saturday, November 2, 2019

2019 in pictures (March through October anyway)

Wow!  My Instagram followers have a better idea of what I've been doing this year!  I've really slacked off writing!  My journal and personal history has suffered too.

On the sewing front, did I show the clothing I made?  I don't think so.

This turned into a skirt but no picture?!

Comfy dress!

My son bought an SUV.

My daughter chatting with us.

Emergency surgery on this dinosaur's arm.

Love this picture of my husband!

Daughter with a missionary companion.

Love this shot of the Kirtland Ohio Temple!

I bought this kit in May.  My house was going on the real estate market.  What was I thinking?!  I'm hoping to start it sometime this year.  Maybe next.

Farewell gift from dear friends in my quilt group!

My quilting buddies.

A few of the helpers loading our moving van. That guy behind and to the side?  A miracle worker!

Driving north in rain.  That's our moving van in front.  NOBODY could believe we got everything inside.  Russ Webb plays tetris in his spare time, I think!  It took THREE storage units when we arrived--oh how we missed Russ on that end!  Two trips to move it from storage into our house.

My baby boys.  Not so baby-ish anymore.  My sons grew into men.

Made this while living in the hotel.

Fourth of July

Look at that sky!

I had never done any latch hook before so I bought a kit on impulse when a store posted a going-out-of-business sale. (It's bound now.)

My son James leaving for Utah.

After a last trip to the beach, that is!

And Mitchell's!!!

I have a snowball bush like my Dad!

I finally have front loader machines, but they weren't hooked up right.  Water everywhere!

Squires Castle in Ohio

James picked me up at the Salt Lake airport.

Loved my time with him!!!

Got a picture of this quilt I made my sister.

With James at BYU-I.

Visiting friends in Rexburg! 

James with my parents.

Quilting inspiration in front of the Logan LDS Temple.

Some things change a LOT.  My mother never used to watch sports but now she usually joins my dad watching the evening sports.

At the Bingham Copper Mine.

My parents and I.

Steven took me to see the Haserot Angel in the Cleveland cemetery.

Exploring the Cleveland Zoo with my good buddy and son Steven.

Homemade bread!

Baby blanket for my nephew's baby.

My daughter

I realized I was stunningly short on Halloween/Thanksgiving/fall decorations so I whipped this up from some 2 1/2" strip sets I had.  The back is totally pieced with brown strips.

While I was at it, I found some orphan squares so I turned them into a table centerpiece/runner.

Initially I put this on the front porch but then the hurricane-force winds started.  It came inside by the front door!!!

Another artistic pursuit.  I would love to start painting fabrics!!!

Another baby blanket completed.  I found a back I liked (peach) and now need to quilt it together.

Christmas wall hanging that I couldn't resist.

Lots of quilting.

Family togetherness now happens on Hangouts!

After the trick or treaters were gone, I brought Miss Scarecrow in from the freezing cold galestorm outside!

That's my year.  Almost. I have the kit to participate in Angela Walter's latest fmq challenge and a course is starting up for bag making with Crafty Gemini.