Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas with the parents and other fun stuff!

We had a really nice, stress-free holiday this year, again.  My parents came over for a dinner of prime rib, roasted potatoes, broccoli, warm rolls and spiced peaches.  Key lime pie for dessert with real whipped cream made by my husband.  He also cooked the meat to perfection in our convection oven, that convection feature really sears the juices into the meat.  And he was so helpful around the house, too, getting ready for company, he dusted and cleaned the chandelier and did dishes for me.  I have such a wonderful husband and I know it.  After we ate, we played a game called "Fact or Crap" and it was fun and informative.  We all had a great time.  Sent half the leftovers home with the parents so they were set for dinners for a couple of nights.

We were also dealing with a sick kitty- Gravey stopped eating around Tuesday and we took her to the vet where it was discovered that she had a fever and was sick to her tummy AND she had round worms. A shot, some antibiotics and a topical de-wormer, along with 3 days of us force-feeding her watered down baby food, and she finally started eating on her own late on Christmas day, which was a huge relief for us, we were very worried about her.  She's still getting her antibiotic, but is obviously feeling back to her sweet, rascally self!  Yay for that.  She found a folded up, unfinished quilt to rest on as she recovered. 

I finally put together one of the mini quilts made from swapped bitty blocks.  These blocks finish up at 3" square.  This is the circus set, I only made the one in the bottom left corner, the guy falling off the trapeze.  :)  The other 8 were made by friends.  I did a simple quilting on it and I really like how it turned out.  Currently we're swapping birds, that's going to make a really cute quilt. 

You can see the quilting better on the back.

I also made a couple of special order sewing caddies for a friend to give her moms for Christmas.  She sent me the fabrics and this is what I came up with.  Almost identical so the moms won't fight over them.  :) 


I finished up one of my 2 hexagon quilts and gave this one to my mother for her 90th birthday that she celebrated last week!  She likes it, she's all about color, too.  That is obviously where I get it from! 

I hope everyone had lovely holidays, too, I know we did.  Have a great New Year's Eve, too!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

All Presents and Accounted For... Mug Rug!

This is what I sent to my partner in the mug rug swap- A stack of presents with labels that spelled out her daughter's name- her daughter was born last year right before Christmas and Angela (Tweedledee Designs) says she was the best present ever.  So the little red present on the left hand side-

is actually a cover for a window that holds a photograph of said adorable child!  Here she is in her Halloween costume, but I'm sure Angela will get a more Christmasy photo to put here.  :) Making this was fun but I darn near melted that plastic a half-dozen times.  Phew.  I sure didn't want to have to pick that part out and re-do it, in my experience it's never as nice if it's fixed.

Bad enough that the stripes of words on the back got off-kilter and looks like crap!  I sent it anyway and Angela is nice enough to say that she loves the wonk.  

As a consolation, I sent her these 2 mug rugs also.  Myrtle and Myron, decorating the tree.  She also got an ornament for the tree that will hold another photo, a couple of drink mixes and a crap caddy pattern.  :)

                                   Parker and Gravey playing in the messy desk.  Got yer tail!

And some bird blocks I did for our itty bitty block swap group- these are 3.5" square.  

And the same for our rainbow blocks- 3.5", I traced off 7 circles on fusible backing paper, fused them to 7 different fabrics, cut them into 7 wedges and then fused the little wedges into a circle shape to make 7 blocks of rainbow wedges.  (I did this twice to get 14 blocks.  Actually, I did it 4 times to make 28 because I screwed up and sewed the first 14 with black thread, as you can see on the bottom row and my husband gave me a big thumbs down on that, so I redid them all.)  This was the idea of my friend Ruthie, to make my block like my Flickr icon, which is a mini photo of the ticker tape color wheel that I made.  I think these came out super cute, once redone.

Now I'm busy working on another set of different birds for the other group and then I have some special order sewing caddies to make for someone.  That's next on my list of things to do.  Busy, busy!  Hope everyone is staying busy, too, but aren't stressing out! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Scrappy Mug Rug Swap- The Holiday Edition- Completed!

I got the most wonderful package in the mail from my friend, Friedazzzzz, in TX. She not only made me one mug rug, she made me 2! And one of them has Nosey Parker on it, isn't it adorable? She's under a tree, with a mouse and some presents, I just love it. AND she included a coordinating mug and a hanging, twisty penguin, such a wonderful and cute set!

The other mug rug is also exquisite, the ornaments on it are pieced and just so perfectly, too! I just love this whole set and my husband was marveling at it, "Even the tissue paper matches" he said, a few times. lol Her quilting and all the little touches she added just make this mug rug a piece of art!

Even the backs are stunning! I love these fabrics she used!

Thank you, Frieda, for making our 2nd mug rug swap such a huge success for me! I just love everything you made for me and sent to me, you are a peach!
I'll have to do another blog post to show you what I sent, I have more trouble using IE with Blogger.... and my computer guy doesn't want me to download Mozilla, which I LOVE. Grrr. This has taken me twice as long as it should have and I got only half of what I wanted to post, to show. lol

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Furze Castle Kite Festival- the mini house quilt I made...

Furze Castle Kite Festival-

My partner has received the mini house quilt that I made for her, so now I can show it to you. It is so funny- she and I were both working on castles at the same time, but neither one of us knew it! How's that for being in-tune with each other?

Hedgehogs are also known as Furze-pigs, hence the name of the castle. A small moat surrounds the castle and it's guarded by man-eating, venomous manatees. OK, not really- but that sounded really tough, didn't it? There is a kite festival going on all the time and you can catch glimpses of the kites in and amongst the mushroom trees in Flyagaric Forest.

This quilt is 12" wide and 13" tall. I know, I can't quite seem to stay in the guidelines, but I needed that extra inch at the top. :)

The door flips down to expose the interior of the hedgies' living room. There's a fireplace, a comfy chair, a floor lamp and a clock. The door itself is held closed by hidden magnets and a metal piece inside the door. Chains, of course. :) A spiderweb in the upper window.

Close up of Mr. Manatee, one of my favorite features in the entire quilt. His face turned out even better than I had hoped since I botched it up initially. By making that 3D piece, it not only saved his face, it made it! His eyes and nostrils are 2 different sizes of seed beads. And blush always brings life to a critter, I've found.

I had a helper when I was working on the label. Nosey Parker doesn't seem too thrilled with it, does she?

The label. I was kind of stumped as to how to make a fun label for this. So I drew a little map of the area and tacked it down at the top. When you flip it up, you can see the personal info of who it was made for and by whom, where, when, etc.

Did you know that Nottingham was really known as Snottingham, originally? They eventually dropped the "S". And Flyagaric is another name for Amanita mushrooms. Hence the Flyagaric Forest. Hedgies love watermelon, so I gave them their own patch. And what castle doesn't have its own maze?

I added a festive bunting to the castle at the last minute, but I'm not sure I would keep it on there if this was mine. Karen is welcome to remove it if she'd like. It's almost too cluttery for me and you know how I love color! It spells out "go fly a kite". :)

Thanks for looking at my mini quilt.

And this is the mug rug I'm making for my swap partner in the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap 2, Holiday Version. I'll be putting letters on the tags to spell something out, but can't show you that until later. I couldn't think of a good way to quilt the white parts, so I stitched gold snowflakes all over it, by machine.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mini quilt swap- Fabulous House Mini Received!

I got the nicest, cleverest mini quilt in a swap the other day! The theme was "house" and my friend Karen, Fun & Comfort Quilts, made me a super-cool POP-UP sand castle, is this neat or what? May I present "The Cat Pirates' Sand Castle"?! If you click on her name, you'll be able to read about the process of making this little delight.

This is the back, the fabric and the label are just wonderful! Oh, did I mention the dimensions? It's a mere 6.5" square when folded up! Amazingly small and precious! Making small things is much harder than making large things, if you weren't aware of that fact. Your own fingers can get in your way so much, it's very challenging.

And she included ALL this booty! Flannel skull fabric, which I love, a cute card, a rubber stamp set of a bird house and 2 sweet birds, CHOCOLATE, and some lovely fabric scraps and borders. I love it all! See the little sand castle there in the middle, folded up? NEAT!

When you open it, it's like magic! Oh, see the rock path? I've used that same fabric in the mini I made, too. In fact, Karen asked me for a tiny piece to use in this, I had no idea how she'd use it, but it's perfect here!

In each window is a different cat in some kind of swashbuckling, pirate-y pose. This one is my favorite- he's swilling grog, man. lol My kind of cat.

They're all super-cute though and one is in a dress, that's Nosey Parker! She looks like a pirate's wench, too. :) If you look at my Flickr photostream, you'll find photos of all the wonderful cats in the windows. Karen printed them out onto fabric and sewed them in, she's just a wonderfully creative lady!

Here it is again, for your viewing and drooling pleasure! I just love this, it incorporates everything I love so much- castles, 3D, cleverness, cats, the beach, pirates, I swear I almost hyperventilated when I opened it! I can't believe that people take all this time to make me the most wonderful of things! Thank you so much, Karen! I will treasure this forever!

And since it's a swap, I've made a little quilt for her, too. I can't show you yet, but I will soon, it's on the way to her now. Here's a little peek, though, of one thing that's in it.

I couldn't be happier with what I got from Karen, she put a lot of thought, time and effort into this, thank you so much, sweetie!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Placemat swap is over- again!

The placemat quilt swap is over, again. This time, my partner was Julie and she made me TWO fabulous placemats and a set of matching coasters! They are just wonderful and so colorful. We decided to both make wonky, liberated placemats out of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Here are the two she sent me- I wasn't expecting two, that was a shocker! How generous of her!

And this is the back of them-

I'm really pleased with these, they suit our kitchen/dining area just beautifully! Thanks so much to Julie! I love 'em!

And this in the ONE I sent her- I feel like a cheapskate! I did send her 2 fat quarters of KF fabric, I hope that counts for a little something! This is the front-

And this is the back- the leaves are the label and they snap off so when you lay it on the table with the other side up, there won't be 2 lumpy spots. The funky birds are taken from an image I found online.
Edit- I was just informed that the bird image is from the work of http://mrsmoenpatterns.blogspot.com/2010/02/funky-fowl-pattern.html 

I need to go check her stuff out, I like her quirky style!

The solid color is a shot cotton and it's soooo pretty! Made by weaving hot pink and turquoise threads together, it changes color and it's just too cool.

I had fun making this, and making it reversible MAYBE makes up for it not being 2 placemats. That sneaky Julie! lol Another successful swap, yay!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween, shriek! Don't look, Lynz! CSI-Stairwell, again....

Trick! or Treat?
I'm out of yellow crime scene tape, thank goodness we still had chalk. ;) It was a busy night for those boy cats, apparently. Thankfully, dragging these in through one cat door and up a half of flight of stairs wore them out before they actually got them into the house. 2 dead rats and a shrew on the garage steps. Dang. Busy, busy. And so lovely to wake up to on Halloween morning! I know the girl cats are innocent because they are locked in the bedroom with us at night, they are not allowed out after dark. So this is a boy thing.

I wouldn't really say that it's becoming a habit, but it has happened before. Last time it was just mice. The boys have expanded their horizons, I guess.

Sammie, Beeswax and Murphy are very good hunters and would-be providers. Ugh. lol It's that time of year, though, when the rodent population seems very large, but I think it's dwindling as we speak. :)

I had a little helper this week, as I was making little quilt sandwiches.

The best place to play is where Mom is trying to get something done.

And she can't mind when you're THIS adorable. Gravey can go from zero to 60 in 2 seconds! I did get 2 of these sandwiches made, though, now I just need to quilt and bind them so I can give one to my Mum and keep the other on the sofa for me to use when I'm cold, which is pretty much always.

But that does tend to take it out of a girl. Plays hard, sleeps hard. She's a really good girl, though, stays close to the house and doesn't think that being outside is really all that exciting. That might have something to do with being abandoned at that cemetery when she was about 4 months old, bless her little heart.

She and Nosey Parker are really good sleeping/grooming buddies, now. They groom and tussle on the bed for about 30 minutes every night and then sleep together there, smashed up against me and try to cook me and then shove me right out. I love it. lol They're good little buddies for me, too.

Happy Halloween, people! Hope your morning isn't as gruesome as ours!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ready for Breakfast! ....and now I can show you....

Parker woke up hungry. Note to self- bleach the towels, geeze. lol You wouldn't want to lie on the countertop without a towel, though, it's COLD. I'm actually going to quilt a small cover for that island, I have some Folklorica fabric just for that purpose!

Anyhoo, these 2 mug rugs were just delivered to 2 girlfriends, so now I can show you! One side is "normal" and the back refers to funny things that happened during our week together. I drove down to visit Jennifer and help her arrange her newly remodeled kitchen and Lisa drove up from Louisiana, we had a marvelous time and so many laughs!

My friend Jennifer is eating a lot of apples lately, so she got a cute apple fabric for her mug rug. She is normally a very lady-like person. She sneezed one day, while she driving. Unfortunately, she had a mouthful of chocolate/toffee popcorn at the time and her hands were occupied and she spewed bits of popcorn all over her dash. Sounds gross but her reaction to it was priceless. A whole lot of "OMG, OMG! I can't believe I did that, I couldn't help it!!" And with 2 witnesses, no less! So the back of her mug rug says "Achooo" with a spray coming out. I wish now I'd spelled it "Ach...ewwww, but I wanted to use the popcorn shaped "ooo's", to tie it all together.

On the apple, the little reflection thing is actually a silver tag that says "made with love". Awww! I do love her, she's like the sister I never had and just a beautiful person, inside and out, even when she spews bits of masticated, ground up food all over the inside of her car. Into the sun. Where it really showed up great! lol Bwahahaha. We'll never let her forget that, will we, Lisa?

Lisa is a big coffee addict, so she got a coffee theme fabric and I just had to use skulls and ladybugs together because it makes me laugh, just like Lisa makes me laugh all the time. She has the funniest, drollest sense of humor and acts out her little stories and makes funny faces and is just so fun to be around. Even when she's mad, she's funny. And sarcastic. I just love her. She's a Cajun girl and has the great accent to prove it. Her little tag is in the saucer. I'd like for her to be my other sister. :)

She was telling us about her very comfy relationship with her hubby. How they are soooo casual and that they don't even bother to take their socks off anymore when they ... you know, have sex! Well, we had more fun with that! And then she told us she wears dark socks! AND, they have no curtains, the bedroom faces the bayou. So we're ribbing her about her sock-clad feet waving around in the air and how fishermen in the bayou are probably laughing their butts off while watching this from the snake-infested swamp. So the back of her mug rug is red with a hot tub on it, 2 sock-clad legs sticking up in the air and a tiny bit of a head with a snorkel sticking out of the water. They just bought a hot tub and I thought that would make it easier to explain the legs than if I had made a bed! SEE how nice I am?

But what's REALLY funny is- her mother was visiting when she received the mug rug in the mail. Her hubby carried it in and she opened it in front of them both and then had to explain the back. ROFLMAO

Lisa and Jennifer. This was last year when we went on a girls-only road trip to FL, had the best time ever! If I had known about mug rugs then, there's no telling what I could have blackmailed them with!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New swaps to sneak a peek at, kitter cats and poached eggs, too!

I haven't shown you too much of Gravey, she's not as photogenic as Nosey Parker and I never seem to have a camera handy when she's doing something cute. ! They are getting along really well, though, playing, sleeping, exploring, all together but separately sometimes, too.

I love these kind of shots, where she's puzzling over something, it's such a cute look!

We are very pleased at how NP has accepted her. They sleep slammed up against me and try to cook me every night. It's great when I'm first in bed and cold, but dang, they're hot little heaters! I wake up around 2 AM just melting.

I'm in the Mini QT swap again and this time the theme is "houses". I have a really fun partner, Fun and Comfort Quilts, a really talented lady named Karen, and she and I like the same kind of whimsical, fun stuff, fortunately! I can't show you much, but here is a peek at part of what will be in it. The whole thing is only 12" square, max. This is just a tiny part of that.

And I'm in the last placemat swap that Sarah is going to run. I did the last one, too, remember the beach houses on stilts? Well, this time, my partner, Julie, and I are doing liberated (wonky) placemats using Kaffe Fassett fabrics, which are the colored fabrics in this photo.

This is just a sneak of one side, I'm making the other side today.
It's going to be appliqued, I think.

I've done a few other things this last week, too, but I can't show you just yet. Mysterious, huh? Not a really big deal, though, it's nothing major, just a couple of surprises in the mail.

And I don't think I showed my new egg poachers- little silicon cups that float in boiling water, you cover it so they steam from the top, too and then you pop them out and voila! Poached eggs, aren't they cute?

Blurry shot, sorry, it's not your eyes! I like the little dome of egg that you get. I found the cups at Bed, Bath and Beyond, on sale for $6 for the set of 2. What a great price! We love poached eggs.