Sunday, September 30, 2012

So Much Fun!

My firm's mystery event this year was such a fun time!  We started out at the office at 9 a.m., where we had quiche, coffee cake, and fruit juices; then just about everyone boarded a bus for parts unknown.  But because Hubby uses a wheelchair, we simply hopped into his car with directions, and off we drove to board the Sacramento River Train in West Sacramento.

There were a couple of open air, covered cars, and several standard closed train cars.  The train cars were old ones, though, and the aisles were too narrow to accommodate hubby's wheelchair, so he stayed in the open cars--but it was a beautiful day for it, and he certainly had plenty of company.  I moved back and forth between the various cars, visiting with my coworkers.

I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the scenery we passed.

It took us a little over an hour, I think, to ride to the end of the line; then we reversed back to a park right on the Sacramento River and unloaded for lunch.

Before that, though, on the way to the park, we ran into a little trouble.

There was a band of train robbers looking for a strong box.  They boarded our train with guns drawn . . .

And removed the strong box.

Eventually, the Sheriff and his deputy shot all of them and recovered the valuables.

After we got safely away and arrived at the park, I was too busy eating a wonderful BBQ lunch under the shade of the trees to remember to take photos.  Somewhat miraculously, the dead train robbers reappeared and acted out a couple more little skits for our entertainment.  They also talked about the history of gold in the area.

By the time we reboarded the train, it was starting to get hot out, so I made my way to a quiet, air conditioned train car and peacefully watched the scenery passing by until we reached the station a half hour later.

Again, most of us boarded the bus to travel to the next destination, but Hubby and I took the car and met everyone in Elk Grove at a bowling alley named Strikes.  They had reserved the "back alley" for us--a separate "VIP" bowling space with very cool lighting, sofas, music, and food.  We all bowled on teams of 7 or 8 and each team used two alleys.  The first game was a serious one.  THIS time I didn't pull a hamstring either!

I used to bowl in a league back in the day, and my average was somewhere around 160; in the "serious" game today, I bowled a 101.  Hey, at least I broke 100 and didn't break anything else doing it!  The second game was a "crazy" game where we all bowled with different handicaps each frame--for instance, on the first frame, we all had to bowl with our opposite hand.  There were other challenges, like bowling blindfolded, bowling on our knees, and bowling while a companion linked arms with us.  For that game, I bowled a 97.  Between the two games, we had some dancing and a little dance competition.

One of the really nice things was that they arranged for Hubby to bowl from his wheelchair.  For the serious game, he bowled something around a 35, but by the time he warmed up and bowled the crazy game--where he admittedly had a bit of an advantage--he bowled over 90!  Not too bad!  And the most important thing is that he had a lot of fun doing it.

When all was said and done, it turned out that I was on the winning team for the serious game, and Hubby was on the winning team for the crazy game, so we both came home with a prize--a bottle of jelly beans and a $50 Visa gift card!  Woo-hooo!

Tonight I'm tired.  It was a very eventful day, but it was also a blast!  Hubby and I got home around 6:30 p.m. and we've just been vegging in front of the TV since.  Oh, and I've also taken a nice, cool bath and washed the day off me and out of my hair.  Now I'm ready for bed--and I bet I'll sleep well, too!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

If You Came Looking . . .

for a little Comfort & Joy (the posting of the next section of the BOM quilt, that is), well it's not exactly done yet.

But I'm working on it!  Can you come back in a couple days?  I should have it done soon.

But if you came looking to see what the T-shirt "clue" is for my firm's annual mystery event, you came to the right place!

We think we'll be spending time bowling and doing something that involves a train.  There are lots of trains in the area, from tiny kids' train rides to large, passenger (and freight) trains.  My friend Missy, who does much of the planning and arranging of these things, told me they're loading all of us onto the nearest light rail transit.  I'm pretty sure she was joking.

By the way, do you remember the last time I went bowling?  It was last December.  It was girls' night out, and I thought I'd torn a hamstring or something, and it was a few days before I could walk fairly normally again.  (And then I came down with the flu.  Good times.)  I just need to remember to limber up a bit this time.  Heavy drinking might help--after all, don't they say that drunks often don't get injured in accidents because they're so relaxed?

In preparation, I spent some quality time tonight with my scissors and ribbons, doing a little T-shirt surgery.  (Probably why I didn't get a little further on Comfort & Joy.)  I'm planning to wear a camisole/tank top under it, so there shouldn't be any wardrobe malfunctions while I'm bending over and tossing out the bowling ball.

Can you stand another wedding photo?

Soccer Son came by today with the photos taken by one of the photographers.  By the way, they made a really cool decision when it came to wedding photographers.  Soccer Son knew a soccer mom/sports photographer whose kid he's trained before, so he bartered some training for photography.  Then they found another photographer who also came and took photos.  Neither photographer had experience taking wedding photos, but then they didn't really want that kind of formal photography anyway.  In addition, they placed disposable cameras at each table.  For a fraction of the cost of a "real" wedding photographer,  I think they're going to end up with some terrific photos!  I just love this one, don't you?

Anyway, barring any type of injury, drunkenness, incarceration, or downright exhaustion, I'll be back tomorrow night to tell you how the mystery event went.  Wish me luck, and I'll "see" you then!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Stuff That's Happened

Talking about my firm's mystery event and the comments a few of you left got me thinking about prior events over the years.  I'll have been with the firm for 20 years in October, and when I began, it had been in existence for about three and a half years.  Before I started, I was working a temp job at another law firm and I remember transcribing dictation summarizing the deposition testimony of a local legal secretary who had been at a social gathering with her office when the hot air balloon she was riding in came down and got tangled in some power lines before releasing and crashing down onto a fence.  As a result, she injured her knee when she was thrown against the propane tank.

Yep, that was one of my firm's mystery events, and a few months later, I was working there.

At another event before I started with the firm, everyone was picked up by helicopters and whisked away to a winery.

For whatever reason, the events seemed to become a bit more tame after I came to work there.  (Seriously, though, I'm really not at all disappointed to have missed out on the hot air balloon ride and the helicopter ride since I don't like to fly much.)  Probably the coolest event was a couple years after I started when we all stayed at a small Art Deco hotel on the delta with a nine-hole golf course.  When we arrived that Saturday, we had a few drinks and continued drinking on the golf course, playing golf in teams of four.  Each team was given only one club.  Did we care?  Heck no!  We were having too much fun!  Later we changed into formal attire for dinner, ballroom dancing, and photographs.  The next morning we gathered for brunch and then said goodbye before going home.

There were several years when I didn't attend due to other commitments.  Quite often the events were scheduled for the same weekend as my guild's quilt show, and I'd already agreed to work at the shows.  One of those years they had a safari-style drive through a wild animal preserve and then had lunch, games, and glider rides.  Another time there was a trip to San Francisco for a scavenger hunt and a dinner cruise on the Bay.  In fact, scavenger hunts have been the main activity a couple times--there was another one a few years ago in a historic foothill gold town about an hour outside of Sacramento.  Then there was one year when they all did white water rafting.

Now that I think about it, although it seems like the events have become more and more tame each year, I guess that's not really true.  Fairly recently, two employees got into a brawl and the firm had to let both of them go.  Sometimes there's a very fine line between drinking and having fun and drinking and not having fun.

But aside from what's happened at the annual mystery events, there have been other noteworthy occurrences.  Early on, one of our attorneys had chartered a small plane for an out of town legal appearance and the plane went down in a field.  Luckily no one was badly hurt, and someone snapped a photo of our attorney walking out of the field, carrying his briefcase.  Now we can laugh at that photo, but how frightening it must have been!

On another occasion, one of the attorneys I worked for, during his first month with the firm, had to drive to San Francisco for a legal appearance.  About half way into his two-hour drive, a crane being used to repair a freeway overpass swung around the wrong way and crashed through the attorney's windshield.  I still have a copy of the photo that appeared in a local newspaper of him strapped onto a gurney and being carried away from his car--you can clearly see the large hole in the shattered windshield.

Then there was the time we were having a problem with feral cats.  We put out humane traps, and when we came to work the next morning, we found we'd caught two of them.  Except they weren't cats--they were skunks!  And we'd placed the traps right near the building's air intake vents.  Boy, the office, us, and everything IN the office smelled bad for days!

I guess over the course of nearly 25 years, there are bound to be things that happen at any company, right?  I fully expect that this Saturday's mystery event will be tons of fun and not overly dramatic.  Tomorrow we'll get our T-shirts and possibly find out what we'll be doing this year--and I'll let you know, of course.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fun to Come

I don't have very much to talk about tonight.  After coming home from the office tonight, I worked on prepping the applique for the next Comfort & Joy section, but I can't show it to you yet because the group will do the "big reveal" in a couple days.  I'm sure I won't have it done by then, but I can show you what I DO have, so I'll hold off for now.

Soccer Son and Mrs. Soccer are back in town after taking a couple days to relax and enjoy newly wedded bliss at Lake Tahoe, where they had a small house with lake views.  In fact, Soccer Son told me that they could watch the sun rise and set and all the changes that take place on the lake throughout an autumn day from their bedroom.  When I suggested it sounded as if they never got out of bed, he laughed and said no, they had the same views from the kitchen and living room; he just meant to say that probably the only time he's enjoyed being up early enough to watch the sun rise was when he could watch it from bed.  I think he makes a good point!  Hubby and I are taking them out to dinner tomorrow night, so we'll probably hear more about their thoughts on the wedding and their short "honeymoon" trip.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you'll probably remember that every year, usually in the fall, my firm has a "mystery event."  In other words, we're told we're doing something on a particular Saturday, but we don't find out what we're doing until just before--either on the day before (Friday) or the day of.  On that Friday, we're given T-Shirts that usually have some kind of clues on them.  So this year, the mystery event is scheduled for this coming Saturday.  So far, we've heard nothing that would give anyone a clue to what we're doing, except I know we're meeting at the office at 9 a.m., a bus ride was mentioned, and we're supposed to get back around dinner time, I think--if I remember correctly.  It's still pretty hot here in the afternoon with temperatures in the mid-90s, so whatever we do, I'm sure we'll be hot, sweaty, and tired out by the end of the day.  But I'm equally sure that whatever it is, we'll have fun doing it.  Last year we made beer, drank beer, had appetizers for lunch, and later had an Oktoberfest dinner and polka dancing lessons.

You see why I don't expect to have finished the Comfort & Joy section by the time we're supposed to post them on Saturday?  And then I wonder why I'm falling behind on the block of the month projects!  But, of course, I wouldn't have it any other way.  As I've said before, there's just not enough play time, is there?!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blocks of the Month(s)

It's been about a month since I left for vacation, taking with me several prepared applique blocks that I never did show you completed.  I'm also now behind on a couple of the BOM projects--how did that happen?!  So let's catch up a little, at least as far as the completed blocks go.

While I was away, I got the two Sew Spooky blocks done, but I didn't take a photo of them--I'll have to do that later, when I get the "stuff" out to work on the next block.  I did finish the Comfort and Joy block for August though--and I just took a photo to show you tonight.

This is one of the projects I've now fallen behind on.  The next block is due to be posted this week, and I haven't even started, so it's not looking very promising at this point.

I also took the next Autumn House block with me--but I think this was one I didn't finish until I got back home again.  Remember how I got side tracked on vacation with all of those cute Halloween projects?  Yep.

Tonight I finished the Autumn House block that came next.  This is the last of the center blocks, but I still have to applique the top border; and, of course, everything still needs to be put together too.  But at least I'm not really behind on THIS one!

Harrington & Hannah.  This is the August block.  The September block has now been posted, but I don't think I'm actually BEHIND just yet--not as long as I get going on it soon!

And the Country Cottages block for August.  Of course, the September block has been posted and I printed a copy of it but I haven't made it yet.

Here are all of them together so far--I love to see them laid out this way.  It's going to be a great quilt when it's completed!  What color should I make the next house?  I'm thinking it should be predominantly white.  Or pink.  Green would work, but December's house will go right below it, and maybe THAT one will need to be green.  October will start the last row, and that one will certainly be orange!  Blue for November?  Stranger things have been seen.

This pattern reminds me, though:  You know what else I'm behind in?  Sweetheart Houses, also designed by Shabby Fabrics.  I made the first block and I know I have the second kit here somewhere . . . untouched.  And the third kit should arrive in the next few days.  Yikes!

And?  Merry Merry Snowmen.  The last block I made was two months ago, so I suspect I'm two months behind on that one.  Darn!  Will I ever catch up?  Now that the wedding is behind us, I might have more time to devote to sewing, but probably not for long--Christmas is just around the corner, and the holidays in general are always a busy time of the year.  I wish there was more play time in each day, don't you?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Wedding Quilt

A month or two before the wedding, my daughter-in-law-to-be emailed me and said she'd seen an idea on the internet where the wedding guests are asked to sign fabric squares instead of a guest book, and she wondered if I might be able to help her do whatever needed to be done.  Of course I would, but when she first brought the idea up, I was getting ready to leave for vacation, so it was a couple weeks before I was able to get back to her to find out what she had in mind.  "Sarah," I asked in an email to her, "what were you thinking of for colors?"  You see, I knew she hadn't picked a color theme for the wedding, so I had no idea where to start.  In response, she sent me three photos of succulents--I've included two here; the third was so similar to the other two that I didn't upload it.

That evening, I was at the quilt shop for Thimbleberries Club, so I took a little time to search for "succulent fabric."  Several people asked me what colors I was looking for, and that was my reply:  "Succulents."  Well, needless to say, it was worth a good laugh or two; the newlyweds are certainly original thinkers, aren't they?!  Eventually, though, I pulled together fabrics in a few shades of green, a couple grays, a couple yellows, a purplish pink, and a lavender.  Oh, and I think I threw in a few pieces of grunge white too.

Altogether, I cut about 80 pieces of fabric, 6-1/2" by 4-1/2" (because I think maybe a "modern quilt" with rectangular squares might appeal to the couple more than a more traditional design) and I backed each with freezer paper.  As a surprise, I made a memory box in which the signed squares could be collected during the reception and then later used by the couple to hold mementos

At the wedding, I handed out fabric squares and invited the guests to write a personal message for the bride and groom or, if they suffered writer's block, to at least sign and date the squares.  I explained seam allowances and why they shouldn't write too close to the edge of the fabric.  I handed out permanent ink pens.  I told the guests where they could find the box so they could leave their messages in it, and I also went around to each table later in the evening and collected up all of the squares that were left on the tables.

There were a few guests--mostly family members--who opted to sign a square later, so I left everything at the bride's mom's house for the time being.  Once I get the squares in the next couple weeks, I'll see how many squares we have and plan a quilt design.  That first photo of succulents looks like it could provide some inspiration as a quilt concept since the succulents are arranged in groups resembling squares.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Succulents.  Sheesh!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Wedding

It's done, and it was truly lovely.  Before the ceremony, I took a few photos to show you a little bit of the layout and table settings.  The bride and the wedding attendants entered from a side yard cement staircase and then along the upper edge of this first photo, so those tables have been set but not yet placed into position--that was done following the ceremony and just before the reception began.

The smaller table at the bottom of the photo above, the wedding table, was made by Soccer Son for his bride and himself--there's another photo at the end.  The other tables were rented for the occasion--aren't they cool?!

The parents (us) and the grandparents sat at this table on the patio.

Here another view--in this photo, you can see some of the chairs lined up for viewing the ceremony.

The Wild Child was one of the bridesmaids.  Here she is with Manager Man.  (She ended the evening singing a cappella at the microphone for her brother and new sister.  I'll have to find out from her what the song was, but it was really a great performance--the crowd was on their feet cheering by the time she finished.)

Here's Soccer Son, awaiting his first glimpse of his bride; behind him is the bride's stepdad, who officiated at the ceremony; the bride walked in, flanked by her mom and dad.  (Soccer Son also built the arch and the wood bridge/deck.  He, his bride, and her parents worked for weeks getting everything ready.)

His Lovely Bride in a pensive moment, listening to Soccer Son's wedding vows.  (This probably wasn't the part where he promised to stay by her side even when he really wanted to play soccer instead.)

The happy couple.

The even happier couple--Mr. and Mrs. Soccer Son.

While the wedding party was off having their photos taken, the sun went down and the candles were lit--here their table awaits their arrival.

There were a lot of areas I didn't photograph.  The house sits at the end of a court, on a slope, with three floors; the middle floor houses the living areas and is level with the front of the house; the property slopes down so the backyard is level with the bottom floor, where there is a bedroom/bath suite.  The bottom level of the garage is also on that bottom level; the garage has an upper level, accessible from a deck off the living area of the house, and that's where the bride's stepdad has a music studio.  Finally, the house has an upper level which houses the master bedroom/bath suite and a home office.

The garage is built on the right side of the house; to the right of THAT is a graveled area, and that's where the food tables were set up; Mexican food was served to the guests and it was delicious!  From that area, at the back there is a double gate that leads to a yard behind the garage; there were random tables and chairs set up in that area, where guests could get away from the noise of the party if they wished.  There's also another gate from the area in front of the garage that led to a covered patio area under one of the decks, and that's where a full bar was set up.  (The bartender was a soccer friend of Soccer Son who was also a fantastic break dancer--as he demonstrated a couple times later in the evening.)  My friend Lisa's husband Terry and Soccer Son brewed "wedding beer" a few months ago, and although I didn't have any, I understand it was very good!

The bride and groom chose to forego the traditional wedding cake in favor of gourmet ice cream sandwiched between cookies.  The flavor choices SOUNDED odd--for instance, I had one that was brown sugar cookie with vanilla and goat cheese ice cream and Hubby had one with coconut, lime, and avocado--but they TASTED really yummy.  (Hearing the choices kind of reminded me of the dessert round on Chopped because they all had one weird ingredient!)

In fact, the bride and groom made several unconventional choices for their wedding, music selections being one of them.  The wedding party walked in to a Ziggy Marley song, and once the couple were pronounced man and wife, Wouldn't it be Nice by the Beach Boys began playing.  A DJ was set up on a deck between the middle and lower levels of the house, and that deck was also the dance floor later during the reception.

Everyone we've talked to said they had a great time.  There were a total of just about 70 guests and it seemed like a perfect number for the space available.  The newly weds are off now to spend a couple days at Lake Tahoe in a small house they rented for the occasion.  We'll see them for dinner later this week when they return.  Tomorrow I'll tell you a little about something I was asked to do for the occasion.  "See" you then!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

One More Sleep

It's Friday night, and tomorrow's the big day--the day Soccer Son is wedding his Lovely Wife to Be.  Have I told you the wedding and reception are being held in the Lovely Wife to Be's mom's home/backyard?  I spent a chunk of the day there today, rolling and tying 80 napkins, only to find out later from the Wild Child that she, being a trained food service professional, could have done the same job in 20 minutes.  Which just goes to show that we never truly appreciate all of our children's talents, do we?

The garden venue is very lovely with a dry creek bed and large trees providing shade.  Wood farm house tables and chairs are scattered throughout the shaded lawn area.  The decorating theme for the wedding is shabby chic, old wood, dark and/or rusty metal, succulents, and vintage mementos.  Creams, beiges, and browns are probably the most predominent colors, with the attendants wearing several shades, such as lavender and pink.  It's going to be beautiful.

Tonight we were there for the rehersal.  I don't have a very big part to play--for the most part, I'm just led in by my son and seated.  If my shoes don't fall off, I'll do okay.

By the way, thanks for the heads up on shoes.  I had looked at Zappos that night before I wrote the post and didn't find much I liked that they had in stock.  When someone mentioned, I looked there that next day and DID find a couple pair I wanted to order, but as I was checking out, I learned I was about an hour too late to get next day shipping, and they don't deliver on Saturdays, so I was back to square one.  Earlier today, I went to a local shoe store and found a simple pair I liked well enough, and they seemed comforable--kind of a ballet slipper style but with a little bit of a wedge.  I wore them to the rehersal and found my heel kept slipping out or my pant leg would get caught inside the shoe.  So I don't know if I'll wear them or not.  Going barefoot is sounding better and better.

I suspect I won't write a post tomorrow night since the wedding's in the evening, but I'll write and post photos when I can.  Thanks for the well wishes!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Scrappy Stars Quilt--A Little Eye Candy

Quite some time ago--May 2011, in fact--Helen, a reader of this blog, wrote to ask if she could use my Scrappy Stars Quilt pattern as a mystery quilt for her guild, the Sarnia Quilt Guild in Ontario, Canada.  Of course I was happy to give my permission to Helen.  Since then, Helen has sent me photos of the quilts her guild members have completed, and I thought I'd share them with you--they're wonderful, aren't they?!

The first quilt was made by Carleen using Halloween fabrics.  Very cool!  It appears again in the last photo on the far right.

These photos show the other quilts that were made--it looks like there were four more made, in addition to Carleen's quilt.  One of them, the one that's sagging a bit, second from the left, was the one made by Helen.

If this quilt pattern appeals to you, the instructions are accessible through my sidebar tutorials, Scrappy Stars Tutorials.  I think it would look terrific made up as a Christmas quilt!

Here's mine--the original--I made using leftover scraps of various Thimbleberries fabrics.  When I later decided to write the tutorial, I used the four demo blocks I made for pillow shams.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Too Busy!

The wedding's only a couple days away now and I feel like I've been going nonstop.  Today I spent my lunch hour (and a half) getting a mani/pedi.  Normally I get a pedicure as a relaxing treat every few months, but today, with so much to do on my list, it was hard to relax.  I don't usually get manicures at all because with all I do with my hands, the manicures don't last.  Do you find that to be true for you too?  Today they talked me into a gel manicure--it's supposed to last a lot longer.  Good thing, too, because there are still a lot of wedding decorations to work on, and I'd hate to get to Saturday and find my lovely nails didn't arrive with me.

I'm off work now for the rest of the week.  Tomorrow, Thursday, I'll be running some errands and getting a few things put together here.   Tonight I was out running errands too, including looking for shoes and something to wear to the wedding.  Of course, you may wonder why I didn't do that a long time ago, and it's kind of a long story, but the short version is that I understood this backyard/garden wedding was going to be relatively casual until I found out last weekend that several other close family members are dressing pretty formally, so I felt I needed to rethink my earlier plan.  On the day of the wedding, outdoor temperatures are expected to be around 85 degrees, and I'm not much for formal attire anyway, so my aim was to find a happy medium between formality and comfort, and I think I found it.  I'm still having trouble with shoes, though.  I have wide feet and shoes are hard to find.  People have been steering me toward Nordstroms for years, but guess what I learned tonight?  They don't really carry wide shoes anymore.  Darn!  The young man who waited on me recommended I try ordering online, but there's no time for that now, so tomorrow I'll try a couple other possible sources.  If nothing else, I can go barefoot and wear a wreath of flowers in my hair, right?  (I told a couple of my friends earlier today, at a time when I was doubtful about my chances of finding something to wear, that if I struck out, I was going to get a Bedazzler tool and Bedazzle my rear end to read "GROOM'S MOM."  Lucky for my son (and probably everyone else too), I don't think I'll need to do that.)

Yesterday I placed the order for the food for the rehersal dinner.  Have I told you about that before now?  After throwing around various rehersal dinner venues for the past several months, the "kids" finally decided they'd much prefer pizza and beer in the backyard where the wedding's taking place.  So, on the one hand, the cost will be less than it would have been had we gone out to a nice restaurant, but on the other hand, the work and preparation will be greater--and I still need to pick up sodas, other bottled beverages, ice, coolers, etc.  Lucky for me, my good friend Lisa and her husband offered to pick up the pizzas and salads and bring them to the rehersal for us; otherwise, there'd have been at least one mom whose rehersing was cut short by the need to gather food to feed the masses.

So, all in all, everything is pretty much on track, but there's still a lot of track left to cover before this train gets into the station.  And I think probably the best thing I could do at this point is take a Tylenol PM and get a good night's sleep.  I'll "see" you tomorrow . . . probably.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Block Swap

Our little group got together just before the quilt guild meeting tonight to swap blocks, and although we ran into a problem or two, in the end we ended up with a good mix of blue and white "winter" blocks.

What problems did we run into? Well, the main one was that one of the swappers didn't show up--at least she didn't show up by the time I left, which was admittedly fairly early, because I had a few "wedding errands" to run, and so I didn't stay for the guild meeting itself. Sandy, our swap organizer, collected a block from each of us for the missing swapper and agreed to trade them out if the quilter showed up; if she didn't, it certainly wasn't the end of the world.

Let me tell you about Peggy, one of the swappers. Peggy has a blog, Beehive Quilts. I saw on her blog a week or so ago that she'd made first one block and then another, and she wasn't sure which she was going to swap. Well, in the end, Peggy was very generous and gave all of us two blocks, one of each. In the photo above, Peggy's blocks are the snowman and sled blocks--aren't they cute?

So, even though one of swappers may have decided not to participate, Peggy's generosity means we each went home with eight blocks. I think several of us thought that we'd make a ninth block to add to these eight and end up with a nine-patch type of setting for our swap quilts.

Besides the three appliqued blocks, there are five sampler-type blocks that showcase a variety of blue and white fabrics that just about make me shiver with thoughts of a frosty winter day. I think this will grow into a lovely winter quilt someday!

Not quite in the mood for winter just yet? Click on the link to Peggy's blog above and check out the blocks she exchanged in a Halloween block swap. Wouldn't those be fun to play with?!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gotta Fly!

Do you remember the winter themed blocks I was making to swap with a small group from my quilt guild? Tonight (Monday) I finished the eight blocks I needed.

Good thing, too, since our group is meeting to swap blocks just before Tuesday's guild meeting. Given my last minute finish, maybe this post would be better titled "Flying by the Seat of my Pants."

Still, done is done. And now that I think about it, I'm pretty much done too, so off to bed I go. See you tomorrow (when I may have a photo of all of the blocks I come home with).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Never Long Enough!

The weekends just go by too darn fast, don't they? Although I got a lot done this weekend, I was hoping to get a few more things done. Of course, Speck wasn't really on the list, but I just didn't want to pack it away, with all the separate little parts. So I finished the top.

I initially tried a different border fabric--an orange pumpkin--but it didn't look right, so I took it back off. I think this cream border is pretty boring, but I'm hoping that if I add something fun like a striped binding, it will dress it up a little.

On Friday night, I mentioned a Martha Stewart Halloween magazine I'd grabbed at JoAnn's and said that it looked a lot like the Halloween magazines of the last two years. Well, guess what? That's pretty much what it was! As it turned out, it was a special "best of" Halloween publication. It must have contained ideas from magazines I didn't have, though, because some of the ideas were new to me. I can hardly wait to decorate for Halloween, but it will have to wait until after the wedding.

I also said I'd show you the beans I bought at the farmers' market in hopes that someone would know what they are and how to cook them. Here's a photo of a pile of them . . .

And then a bit of a closer view . . .

And finally, I thought you might want to see what they look like inside . . .

I thought I'd open one and try them raw, and I didn't think they tasted that great. If I don't cook them, though, I'm only out 82 cents, but I'm curious. Does anyone know what they are and how to cook them?

I've heard from some of you who have been struggling to leave comments because of that darn word verification thing. I'm sorry I have to have that on, but everytime I try taking it off, I get a bunch of spam. Why do advertisers think that method of advertising is of any benefit whatsoever? It just makes it difficult for everyone. If ever you want to contact me, please just click on my profile and then click on the email link and email me directly.

Sadly the weekend is over and it's back to work tomorrow. Sometimes I wish I worked just two days and had five days off!