Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End

Of 2009, that is.

It was an interesting year, to say the least; and a challenging one in many ways.  But there seems to be a slight glimmer at the end of that proverbial tunnel.  So let’s lift a glass and toast in the new year with all the hope and anticipation and optimism that we Americans are known for.

Okay, enough of the serious stuff.  I need to show you my most recent completed projects, and pictures from Rome….

For Christie in our A Dozen Quilters group, a “Swanky” Jumping Jack block:


For the coworker whose name I drew for our office Christmas party, a cute junior legal pad folio:

102_5307  102_5309


What was so fun about this drawing is that we each had to make our gifts, and they couldn’t cost more than $5.  Originally the cost was to be less than $1, which would have been really challenging (for me anyway), but there were some funny ideas being tossed around.  Maybe next Christmas.

Since I am rather limited in creative talents, I resorted to what I know best: sewing.  And because my coworker is all about recycling, repurposing and economizing, I thought using selvages to make the exterior of the cover would be perfect for her. 

The good news is she loved it, and that makes me happy.  Problem is, I had fun making this folio and am so thrilled with how it turned out that I now want to make more, along with some journal covers.  But who would I give them to?! 

Hmmm….I’ll come up with someone – several someones – because they are just too darned cute to stop at one.  Hey… maybe a future giveaway???

The gift I received is still at the office.  As soon as I return, I’m taking a picture of it to share with you.  Absolutely priceless!  I can’t wait for you to see it.

Aside from cutting and glue sticking a million petals for my Jacob’s Coat blocks (with only a gazillion more to go – I’m just a tad bit behind the rest of the group!), I don’t think I have done any other quilt-related or knitting projects.  Bummer!  I need to do something about that, and soon!!

So, why don’t we return to Rome?  How about a tour of the Colosseum???



Interior (just a few):


Looking out from the Colosseum:


Our next excursion will be to see a few of the fountains of Rome.  Everyone stay together now.

Sunday, December 13, 2009



The Quilt Shoppe is hosting a fabulous holiday bingo on their blog.  Rush on over there now to get signed up and join in on the fun.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

This, That, and the Other

Okay.  Time to get caught up, again, on the happenings in the Plain and Fancy household.  And as a result of my lack of dedication to this blog lately, you will have to suffer through many pictures.

First of all, yes, I have taken on yet another project.  Kellie of Don't Look Now fame is hosting a Jacob’s Coat Quilt Along, and when I saw her first beautiful block of pink petals I knew I just had to join in and make this one.   Even though I’ve never appliqued anything in my life!

6a00e54fd5365588340120a6578477970c-400wi[1] This is the layout; however, I’ll save the pink for another time.  For now, these are the prints that will go into my quilt…

102_5186I can’t wait to get started, but I’m waiting for the arrival of one very crucial item.  Some over-achieving better organized individuals have already posted their first block on the flickr page, so you will want to head on over to Don't Look Now and check out those beauties.

In other news, my Red and Aqua Disappearing 9 Patch blocks are now in the possession of Jane who is frantically sorting and redistributing to all of her 88 participants.


And for my November A Dozen Quilters project, these two blocks were mailed to Carmen who wanted roses and shabby chic.  (She received two because these were just too darned easy :D)

102_5185In the midst of all of this, Adorable Granddaughter had a milestone birthday.  She is now the ripe old age of 5!  So Mimi had to bring her home with us after the party so that we could have a Girls’ Shopping Trip (renamed to Shopping Girls by that adorable little munchkin).

102_5128We bought clothes and shoes and glittery hair clips and a princess “umbella” and a few other odds and ends.

We also did lots of coloring in our princess coloring book, chasing the kitty, playing at the park and with the neighbor children, and playing….. “swimming balls.”  :D !!!

102_5135 It took me a minute or two to figure out what she was wanting to do the first time she asked, “Mimi, can we play swimming balls again”?  Huh. Wha…ummm.  Okay?

We had great fun, but she was definitely glad to see her mama when we took her back home.

I also received my Friendship Bag… great job, Kathleen!  I love it!

102_5144 Whipped out this selvage skirt for Adorable Granddaughter…

102_5166… and dropped it in the mail on Friday.

Plus made up 12 pints of Salsa Verde from all those green tomatoes left on the vines.


I think I’m caught up on all the news now.  If not, you can expect to see whatever I’ve missed in the next post.  Aren’t you lucky?!

Until then, just a few pictures of Rome….



More later….. Oh yes, there are a lot more ;)


Friday, October 23, 2009

This is the day the Lord has made,

let us rejoice and be glad in it!! (Psalm 118:24)

There is always a noticeable difference in my attitude and my day when I start off with this scripture.  Even though we have had lots of gray and gloomy days lately, just saying this verse energizes me.  Does anyone else have one that really sets the mood for your whole day?  I would be interested to know.

For the past five weeks, I have been enjoying Beth Moore’s "Stepping Up" Bible study which takes an in-depth look at the Psalms of Ascension.  It has been a fascinating journey as we ascend to closer relationship with our Lord, and one that I will miss when we climb that last step next week.

In my opinion,  last week’s session was one of the best in the series.  Beth talked about (and read some excerpts from books authored by others) how with all our opportunities for instant socializing (email, IMs, texting, etc.) many of us are still very lonely and starved for some depth. 

Can you relate?  I know I can.  I thoroughly miss the deep relationships and the face-to-face, sit-down-let’s-chat socializing that we used to engage in before we were inundated with so much technology.

So, although not completely surprising, but still eye opening, these authors went on to suggest that because we have ceased to practice deep relationship building, more and more of us are dealing with loneliness, depression, stress, and untimely health-related deaths.  Whoa!

One author stated (and none of this is verbatim) that having strong social support is a great stress buster.  The other suggested that if you have never engaged in a social group, by joining one you will have increased your chance of living another year by 50%.  50%, ladies!

We were made to be social creatures, and we were commanded to encourage and build up one another.  So might I suggest you grab your best friend or someone you would like to know better and go have a cup of coffee.  Then you can feel good that you just extended two lives :D

You never know when someone else needs this.  Your encouragement and support may be just what a weary sister traveler needs to get back up and get back on the road.  (This may be a quote; so just in case I’ll give credit to Beth Moore!)

Have a great weekend, ladies; and don't forget:

"Encourage one another and build up one another..." (1 Thessalonians 5:11)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Happened?!

Before leaving on my oh-so-wonderful vacation to Rome (will definitely share pictures later), the weather here in Doo-dah was lovely:  sunny and warm days followed by fairly brisk nights.  It was enough to give me encouragement that cold weather was possibly several weeks away.  I was even a little concerned the tomatoes still on the vine might ripen while I was away.

Ahhhh, and then the weather in Italy was just as spectacular – for 7 glorious days the temperatures ranged from the upper 70s, to low 80s.  Yes, pictures… will absolutely be sharing pictures.

But when we landed in Kansas and walked down the ramp to cross the tarmac, we were greeted by cold wind.  C.O.L.D.  

The next couple of days weren’t any better.  It was cold and rainy; and the forecast for Saturday included a freeze for that night.  Why??!!!  This isn’t supposed to happen yet!  I’M NOT READY!  (lots of drama, huh?)

So I spent Saturday morning (before it “warmed up” to 45 degrees) attempting to save my “crops.”  By the time I had finished gathering all the remaining tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and parsley, my hands were almost numb from the cold.

The good news though is I turned all of this (and there was much more parsley than this pictures shows):

102_5043 into 8 lovely pints of parsley pesto (should have taken the picture though before putting them in the freezer) using Pam’s recipe that you can find here


We now also have 8 quart-size freezer bags of chopped, home-grown, heirloom bell peppers; and all that is left to do is turn all those green tomatoes into salsa verde.  Yum!

I know we are going to enjoy the pesto and veggies for months to come.  But I can’t help feeling bummed that we seem to be jumping straight from summer into winter.  I like autumn.  I would really like to experience autumn before having to endure the winter cold. 

But all my whining isn’t going to change anything, so…

I want to share with you two great contests that have lifted my spirits a bit, in case you need a lift too. 

The first is here at Mrs Schmenkman’s.  Scoot on over there now because you too will want to win those luscious fabrics she is giving away!

And the other is here :

ugg boots for women

In the winter, I practically live in my Uggs.  So I’m hoping to win a pair, ‘cuz it’s nice to have options, and a girl can’t have too many pairs of Uggs!  Especially when it’s looking like it could be a very long winter.

Good luck!