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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reunion....of sorts.....

I have missed absolutely ALL of my high school reunions for one reason or another.  I truly have tried to make it to some of the mini-reunions, and it has just never worked out.  Facebook is a wonderful thing, in that you can catch up with old friends and out-of-town relatives.  I'm completely addicted.  While catching up with some old friends, we decided to meet for dinner. 

After cruising around some of my favorite stores at the mall while waiting for them, and spending waaaay to much money, we went to dinner at Cheesecake Factory. 

 

We asked some ladies to take our picture, and I just pictured one of those scenes from the movies where the people take your picture, then run off with your camera.  This was taken with a camera phone, so it is a little blurry. 

We had an incredible time and a phenomenal time visiting and catching up on each other's lives. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Finishes!

One of my goals for my 'hiatus' is to finally get some of these UFOs completed so I don't feel so dang guilty for starting something new.  Alas, it is starting to happen.  Trying to work around the holidays wasn't part of the original plan.  :)

I got all of these quilts bound over the last few weeks.....

This first pic is from the book Star Crossing by Buggy Barn.  This was the sample used to demonstrate the Buggy Barn method of cutting and piecing.  It is super simple to do, but if done in a class situation....well, you just get re-assured that "Yes, it is supposed to look like that".  The table topper below it is also a Buggy Barn pattern (No, it isn't quilted yet...I'm pacing myself!).  It is from the book Stir Crazy.  I had this top one quilted while it was hanging in the shop, but I just got it all bound.  P.S.  I have no idea where the bottom pic was taken.  I just found it while I was uploading this pic.  I can't say we have ever had pink carpet!  LOL


This next quilt was also already quilted.  It is from the book Mad About Plaid by Atkinson Designs.  The quilt is supposed to look like plaid and is another that goes together very quickly.  The squares were 9", making this quilt a twin.  This is also one of my favorite allover quilting designs.  It is called "Classy Curls" and can be re-sized larger or smaller.  I like it because it gives a consistent amount of quilting.  The "peeking quilt" behind it is coming up next!

This next quilt was also already quilted and hanging in the shop.  It is called Cherry Blossoms.  This is a great pattern to use those large prints that you just can't make yourself cut up.  In person, you can more visibly see the stars made with the sashing.


So you see....you should be quite proud.  Three things off the ever-growing list and feeling like I accomplished a little something.

Blessings,
Cynthia

Monday, December 27, 2010

Three Things

There are three things that I do to 'nourish my soul'.  They are cooking, gardening and quilting.  Cooking is a passion that evolved primarily due to my step-dad's encouragement...and summers spent with my Grandma.  Grandma is the one factor in the other two.  While the cooking and quilting gene seemed to skip my Mom, she loves to be outside and garden.  Stepping out and looking at it....that is the biggest thing we have in common.
(Let me first acknowledge that I pulled all of these pics from Renee's Garden blog....)

I remember being very small and dancing around my Grandma's yard on the "creek rock" that was just encased on either side by flowers and pretending like I was in the jungle.  There were so many colors and textures, and I just loved it!  Creek rock is similar to flagstone...they are 2-3 feet side-to-side and were literally pulled from the creek to create walkways around her house.  They are very slick and smooth and moss just loves to grow on it.  I'm going to attribute my first 'calling' to the gardening bug to this memory.

I can't even begin to remember all of the different flowers she had growing in her yard, but I do remember that there were so many that Grandpa didn't have to mow much.  A sweep around the house one or two times with a mower, and he was done!  I do remember she had the biggest Siberian iris growing by the creek.  For a long time as a teen, I thought they were a bush!


Her vegetable garden was around 3 acres.  She 'put up' (canned to the non-Appalachian farmer) everything she would need to last through the winter and to give to family and friends.  When I would stay with her in the summer, we would pail water from the creek to water everything and it was quite the job.  We had to watch for snakes....which she would slap upside the head with hoe if she found.  Eeewwwwww....I still hate snakes!


Nevertheless, there is just something about planting a seed, nurturing...and enjoying God's blessings as it becomes something.  I love to pull weeds....I know, I am a freak.  I love playing in the dirt....and I love playing with earthworms!

I am also the Queen of Planning.  I am quite OCD and most of what I do must be planned.  So, this morning, while the snow was flying, I went to my favorite heirloom seed website and placed my order. http://www.reneesgarden.com/  Before these seeds even get here, I will have planned where I will place each and every one.  Much like I do in my quilting, I will plan color, texture and value so that this year will be better than last.  My many sheets of graph paper will have an overall planting...individual bed planting....and time schedule for when it all needs to be planted and when they bloom, thus creating a visual 'schedule' for eye-candy all season.  (Now, it is out there...just how OCD I really am....)


As a treat to myself for cleaning up the Christmas bomb that went off in my house....at least it felt that way....I am going to spend some quality time in the quilting studio.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will have pictures of the incredible *ahem* things I have accomplished.  And, hopefully, this summer, I will have pics of my own garden and the wonderful things I have accomplished!

Blessings,
Cynthia

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Dinner #1

Having all these kids....all these schedules....well, it is just plain hard to get everyone together at the same time for a holiday.  We usually end up having to spread it out over 2 or 3 different get-togethers just to get to see them.  Last night, we were invited to dinner at oldest daughter's house.  It was quite a treat and I really enjoyed myself.  Blended families are tough and I am happy to say that things get better with time.  She set an absolutely beautiful table.....

She is the one in the black shirt in the back...her hubs is to the left.  I point this out because she somehow eluded most of my other pics!  Shame on her....but I will get her later!

This pic is the newlyweds.  Do we all look tired?  Well, dinner was at 8.  Had to wait for my hubs to get home from work....then made the over an hour trek into their world....then had to wait for daughter #3 to get off work at 8....so, we had all worked all day, scarfed tons of appetizers waiting for daughter #3 and no one really wanted their picture taken.  We were starving and wanted to eat!
This is daughter #3 with daughter #2's hubs. 

So, this is hubs' half of the Brady bunch.  Beautiful girls, talented and successful.  We are proud.  And, I do mean "We".  It is awesome to be a step-parent.  Your blessings are multiplied (and it doesn't hurt that your chances for being a Nana are also multiplied!).


Daughter #2 with Daughter #1's hubs....a lot of sharing going on in these pics!  Daughter #1 and her hubs have to go to India for a wedding the day after Christmas, so we were glad to get to spend the evening with them.  They were gracious hosts and did I mention what a great job she did with dinner??
Daughter #1 gave us a tour of her home.  She's been doing some remodeling (wonder where she got that from??) and was showing us the bedrooms.  Started off with "this is a spare bedroom"...."this will probably be the office"....."this is our room"....OK, so secretly hubs and I are wondering where in the heck is the nursery.  Aahhhh....finally, she shows us the room that will be the nursery.  So, there is hope!  Come on sister....your clock is ticking....we want grandchildren!  Well, it is hubs and my desire that when you look at these pics next year, there will be a couple of baby bumps on the oldest 2 daughters.....afterall, they aren't getting any younger!  ROFL

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let the gift wrapping commence!

As the big day gets closer, it truly is time to start wrapping.  With 6 kids and 5 significant others....well, you can imagine how much wrapping needs to happen here.  I was really trying to be productive, really I was.....  However, we have a spoiled dog.  There, I have said it.  Now that I am home all day, his thoughts are that I have nothing better to do than to 1) Pet him, 2) Take him outside so he can play, 3) Pet him some more or 4) Throw his ball.  Guess what he wants to do instead of wrapping???

He's becoming a little high maintenance, if you know what I mean.  LOL  So, we had to stop and play ball for a while.  He has even gone so far as to open the shower door....while I am in....and drop his ball at my feet.  Ever seen the movie Psycho?  Remember the shower scene?  Well, a girl has 'worst fears', and mine is that someone will come in on me while I am in the shower.  Not that I am afraid of an intruder, but that someone will see this body NAKED!  I'm sure that once in, they would take a good look and run screaming the other direction, but I'm just sayin....  So, when the shower door opened, ball fell, I scream....well, poor Bammie didn't know what to do!  He thought he was in trouble.  Nope....not spoiled at all!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Are you serious?

Sure, it is almost winter....but really?  I have Christmas shopping to do.  How can I do my Christmas shopping when my car and driveway look like this.....

So, let's look out at the back terrace, shall we?  Looks like we will be staying home today.  I do love to sit out here when it is a tad warmer and enjoy the trees.  It is so peaceful.  Prodigal Son says it is like living in a lodge.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ready for Christmas?

Ever get a call from your Mother to the effect of...."I really need you to come over today"?  Usually, this is not good news.  My Mother lives over an hour away and she never wants to 'impose' by asking me to drive all the way in, unless it is an emergency.  So, I load up and run in.  I get there...she acts surprised to see me.  Are you kidding????  I just drove over an hour and you are surprised???  Okkkkkkkk.....  The next thing I know, we are loading Christmas China into the trunk of my car!  She bought a house at a sheriff's sale, and since I am more the holiday decorator than she....I end up with the china!  Well, woo hoo!

I take the china home...throw it all in the dishwasher (yes, I checked, it is dishwasher safe) and run to the mall to grab a new tablecloth, placemats, napkins and candles to match.  A few hundred dollars later...my free china cost the hubs a tad more than *FREE*.  LOL

Now, my table is all ready for the holidays!  Thanks, Momma!

I collect Santas.  Every year I happen to stumble on one that just calls my name and wants to come home with me.  This year was no exception.  His name is wine-tasting Santa, and when I saw him, well, I just knew.....