Monday, April 20, 2015

Puzzle Time

One of my happiest memories of childhood was putting together jigsaw puzzles. Don't feel sorry for me, and I won't feel sorry for you if you don't enjoy them. It may be generational, remember we didn't have as many ways to entertain ourselves. Books and Puzzles were fun not chores, and our family generally worked on a 1000 piece puzzle on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. After church on those two days, there was still lots of time to devote to finishing a puzzle.

While my sister was here in February, we put together most of a puzzle(1000 pieces) from a painting by Charles Wysocki. He called it, "Maggie, the mess maker" and the puzzle looks like my sewing room on a good day.
  •  First turn over all pieces
  • find the edges and assemble them
  • sort by colors or items you can see in the puzzle picture
  • fill in the blanks, :)

 We didn't have time to finish the puzzle, but had a great time working on it while she was here. In the hours while she was traveling, the puzzle gave me something to do so I wouldn't worry about her while she was flying home. The last time we were together was at our daughter's wedding. So another 10 year anniversary and a lot of long overdue hugs. We'll hopefully see each other again this fall or next year. I owe her a return visit. Fall seems like a great time for that. We've lived in TX for 30+ years, and fall days here are often not that thrilling, and occur in December. One of the funny things was that I'm wearing the same shirt in 2 pics taken over 10 years apart. I do love that shirt, it has wonderful colors and holographic film dots all over it!

No longer will I have a feline assistant, biting the thread as it rolls off the spool, or pushing pieces of cut fabric at me as I chain piece... KirbyKat truly did that while I was working on the Double Wedding ring quilt I made for our daughter and her husband. That quilt, and they will have their 10th anniversary this summer. :) Buddy another furbaby we have lost to the Rainbow Bridge. Liked to sit and watch and occasionally bat the chain piecing coming out on his side. BobKat is not my kat, his heart belongs to my husband. Plain and simple.

We have two wonderful grandchildren who have slept on and under that quilt. And it is currently "home base" for grandson who is just about to switch over to full fledged walking. A year passes quickly as you watch a baby growing and changing. I looked on this drive and that, trying to find a picture of their quilt, or one of the baby on the quilt... Maybe on some future post.
This picture was taken of me, the year I made the quilt. I'm cheesing it up in front of my 60 red carnation bouquet that my husband sent. I love the smell and longevity of carnations. He sends me a birthday bouquet every 10 years. It is a wonderful bouquet and of course, gets bigger each time. When I was 50, my principal at that time, delivered the bouquet  to me, and was clearly impressed. Because less than a month later she received a bouquet of 50 red roses. I wouldn't have swapped mine for roses, carnations last and so has our marriage! We are coming up on 50 years of marriage.

Time keeps on slipping into the Future... Why I believe People do the work of Angels

I keep saying things like "How is it already, almost the end of April?" This year has been such a series of contrasts. It began in, to be honest chaos. I had pulled everything out, over the year of destashing, would work until my brain was overwhelmed from making decisions. Some days I left a bigger mess than I started with. Honestly, my husband earned sainthood over the last year. Most of the men I've known would have "at least had words with me over the mess".

Instead, he helped me clean out the storage unit that had at one point been infested,
ACTUAL visual count of black widow spiders, 2 + an egg case 1st fall, and another egg case near the door the following fall. By then even without spying even one spider, I was certain there were thousands of black widows throughout the unit. Maybe millions. Every bad sci-fi movie that included spiders, led me to jumping every time something brushed against an uncovered area of skin... Of course there wasn't much of that, if I could have worn a Haz - Mat suit into the unit, I would have cleaned it out myself. Add in my second hip replacement during the third year, to understand I wasn't just being lazy or crazy.

I did get started a few times, but could never get much past the trash at the opening of the unit. I'd cleaned out my car over there, mostly drink cups, but once the widows appeared, no way was I putting any trash bags into my car. Where could I begin?

ENTER THE ANGELS while remembering, my husband is a saint!

January 2015 there was a new manager at the storage unit. She ALSO made it possible for me to get started on this enormous task. Some people are roadblocks, while others open doors for us. Tina Marie had the key that opened the door to me getting started. She encouraged me, and made some suggestions that got me started talking to my husband about how to accomplish the goal of sorting trash from what I'd need to rescue from THE Unit.  She and the Assistant Manager Tim, helped me several times, in normal ways, such as helping with a lock that wouldn't open... for good reason, it was the wrong unit. We all laughed together the next week about that, and guess what, once I was at the right unit, my key did work.

In February, my sister came for a visit, just a few days, I wish it could have been much longer. For those of you with a sibling, I hope you are as lucky as I have been. We were always close in age, which meant, as the older sister, my bossy nature ran wild. In fact, I believe one of the reasons I first liked Supernatural(tv series) was because I so identified with Dean's feelings of protecting Sammy.

Not that I ever rescued her from a Werewolf or anything nearly as scary. We did watch scary movies together on Friday or Saturday nights. Gregore, was the host of an Omaha, creature feature when we were 10 and older. The old classic, Dracula, Frankenstein, etc. Nothing Like Count Floyd on Saturday Night Live years later.

I may be allowed to "take care" of a doll she loved very much as a kid. She can't throw it away, I'm supposed to keep the solution to myself, and have a nice idea. Can't share it here. May not work, but how could I not love a sister so loyal to her favorite doll? Her heart is of purest gold.

Her visit included a teaparty, to enjoy an extended visit with our grandkids in a semi play setting. We had a mixture of plastic plates and real cups and saucers filled with iced tea, which they could add sugar cubes to. I watched, but again, not telling how many cubes went into anybodies tea! The grownups all sipped hot tea, some with sugar cubes some without, and lots of savory and sweet treats.
Cucumber sandwiches made by my sis, Tuscan skewers, fruit salad, and as many variations as possible out of one yellow cake mix. We even had herrings on the Savory snacks plate. I hope Livvie, remembers the tea party, Luke's a baby so he won't, and my husband sat down and enjoyed the good food with us too.

After she left it was time to finalize all the facts and figures for income taxes. Last year, I created a simple spreadsheet that helped me track Texas sales, sales tax collected, and total sales of the day. It also kept track of postage for the day, taking out personal purchases, identifying office supplies purchased at the post office, and postage collected or paid for with a free shipping purchase.

That really helped with book keeping this year. State Sales Taxes were a breeze, and able to be finalized before the deadline was even looming!

So by the time we finished with other receipts, and all the other time consuming paper work for itemizing it was April!

This post is finished, for now. I'm going to put in a picture or two, and of course, this was a bare bones retelling for me...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

When Worlds Collide

Just this last weekend, my husband and I went to the Houston Convention for Supernatural. My all time favorite show. We entered the costume contest with a nod to Madge and Edward who were the villains of the episode "A Very Supernatural Christmas" The two heros, boys raised on the road who
save people, kill monsters... a family business.    kill Madge and Edward (really nasty couple who are bad Santa and spouse) PS for those at the convention, did you notice who walks with a cane? Not my DH although he can be a bit of a curmudgeon like any old person, he is pure of heart. Nope, I'm the one who would be cosplaying Santa and up the chimney we'd go... Not really, but definitely the one who causes more trouble than I solve.

Back to the colliding Worlds. Facebook, even though I've posted about Supernatural many times, and had several rather doubtful comments (fangirling about Dean for the most part) from TVTAG which I could not shut off. .  . arrrgggh! but I digress. Monday I announced our contest results and then put up a link to the tv article, and finally a pic taken of us at the Con. Changed my profile picture, and was generally in the after Con glow. My friends already know me for the most part, and I could for sure tell who really is a friend from reactions! LOL

My dh and I may be too old for such nonsense, but we'll be back again. I'm already figuring out my costume for the "Fairy Lady" and have a great dress at the back of my closet.... I know she dressed in denim on the show... this dress is white denim, and rather retro TX. :)

If you are a rug hooker, look at my earlier posts from a year or two ago. If you are one of my Winchester Family friends, I'll be writing about what I think of various Supernatural episodes or cons now and again...   I loved "There's No Place like Home" although it is interesting to see how differently I interpreted it's meaning during the scene where Dean whaled on Dark Charlie. This was not a time for talking, Although he didn't consider and had been warned that whatever happened to one would happen to the other. Bottom line, to me was that he stopped short of being controlled by the MOC (Mark of Cain).

Highlight of the Con, aside from the obvious, Moose and Squirrel/Rocket and Groot, was actually meeting Dr. Lynn, author of Fangasm and although I missed her when I went for a visit, will hopefully get to sit down and talk to her at length about her adventures sometime!

Adios, Bitches! (A Charlie Bradbury-ism)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Too much of a good thing isn't great!

With all respect to Mary Engelbreit, too much is just plain simply rather overwhelming. But as I've heard others say it does get easier to deal with the excess.

Several months later, some sales on ebay, some fabric shared with bee friends, and I'm still struggling with the hard truth that while I will not call myself a hoarder, I have way too much fabric for someone living in a patio home.

I think I mentioned at one time, making my crafting bucket list... so amongst the other things I'll share some other time here are 3 top priority items.

  1. Making a couple of small quilts for our daughter, and each of the grand kids. Now these are meant to be made from their baby clothes, and so since she is 6 and he is only a few months old,  hers at least should be well under way. All excuses aside, this last year hasn't found much time for actual sewing, except at quilt retreats. The last one I attended in October,  was a total disaster, as my sewing machine had needed a tuneup after June retreat. Because I wasn't sewing I forgot. I arrived with way more than several projects, and the sewing machine, went from bad to worse... 
  2.  A wedding quilt for both granddaughter and grandson. I'll be doing the 54 40 star variations (my favorite block), although the finished quilts will be quite different. I'll start posting some pics once, I can sew a few mega chunks together, big enough to get an idea. I have plenty of left over pieces from other quilts of blues and bluebonnets, so he'll get a reprise of the TX Two Step quilt, I first made almost 10 years ago. The very one that suggested my business name to me. Cotton Eyed Jo was a true statement... and if you could see the piles of this and that kind of fabric, you'd wonder why most of my more recent posts were about rug hooking.
  3. Livvie's quilt will have the same 54 40 block with a different 2nd block... a couple of possibilities, but the blocks will need to be the same on both sides to take care of quilting...
    Okay, well I finally gave up looking for the picture I wanted to add. This is a picture of Jenni and me on a hike up Cottonwood Pass in the last century. Around 1980  DH and I were camping with friends, and one of them took this picture. ©Dan Todden  Jenni in the backpack, me in my always wearing them Tevas...probably  a miracle we didn't tumble down the mountain side.
What things would you like to really craft before your untimely end? Considering my age, no one is likely to say, "so young to die" :) Which is a good thing... None of us know the number of our days.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I'm still about, and working my Bucket List!

This summer and the last year in fact have flown by! We now have Two grandchildren. Just yesterday, our granddaughter passed her test for a yellow belt in Tai Kwando, and our grandson is nearly four months old.

I've been working hard at clearing out my sewing room, and instead of being finished it is a lot like a cross between eminent avalanche, and a discovery of lost treasures, or head scratchers! Not everything is a treasure, but it has made me happy to find things not really forgotten or lost in the traditional sense of the word. Simply beyond my reach....

After my second hip replacement, and the first two years of recovery, I am still older, but able to move better than I have in several years. Thus, the removing of fabric, notions, quilt patterns, magazines, squirreled away over the last 30 years, has begun. :)

But grandpa and I are busy, so the progress hasn't been rapid.  A year or so ago, I made a bucket list of quilting, etc(smocking, rug hooking, cross stitching, and so much more) It isn't because of news of my approaching last days. But in my later 60s, I do have the big picture more or less.

I'm putting a link to my Ebay store, Cottoneyedjo right  here  In addition to fabrics, old quilting magazines, individual patterns, and eventually wools, there are all kinds of other "treasures" my husband and I have purchased over the years.

It would be great to share some of the things I have to part with, with other quilters or hookers. My prices may be too high, but the things that are expensive, are also not available easily in other stores. Do search Ebay for the items that are similar, but perhaps you could use me for a jumping off point. :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I have been busy trying to do too many things. :) my list is still long, and I have several projects nearly finished, partly finished, already gifted. Next year, I hope to start fewer projects, but finish more. Not calling that a resolution exactly, but will give it a good try.

Was going to post a picture of the rug I'm currently working on, but no luck. So will hopefully add it before year's end. Till then will keep pulling loops...

An American Primitive Group has had an ongoing challenge for the last year. Blush, a year and still not finished? Well, my year started off with a hip replacement and recuperation until April, more or less. The theme was "Tree Sale"  my rug was a bit ambitious at nearly a square yard.  It contains a few features that really make me happy. This will be a family rug, and it has my husband's old truck, my birth sign constellation as Comet Ison was making it's way toward our Sun. The design melded together childhood memories and those as a mom and grandma too. So not really one memory.

Christmas trees are really more of a scent memory to me.  The crisp cold walk through trees outside the grocery store, a longer walk around the local tree lot, or an out and out treasure hunt on a tree farm. Dark or daytime, with mingled scents of branches, sap from fresh cut trees, a slight breeze, or wind in your face. Snow gently falling, or a sunny day...

I wish all of you dear readers the happiest of Decembers, from buying a tree through decorating it. Memories of bye gone years, with parents and grandparents. The sounds of giggling children, chairs scraping on the kitchen floor, the doorbell as others arrive, carols of the season...

Hark the Herald Angels Sing!

Celebrate the season where the days are shorter until Mid December, then slowly the light returns. Yule Log or Christmas tree,  Festival of Lights, Kwanza, or just the joy of family.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

There is NOTHING more certain than CHANGE~

Today I am going to show you some WONDERFUL handmade items I received from Ginger Jackson, back in May. They are lovely, and she deserved to be thanked much more quickly, but like everyone else, life has been hectic around here.

Ginger and I have been in more than one group, this swap was for An American Primitive Gathering.
One of our members suggested having a swap in May, and I got spoiled ROTTEN! Ginger blogs at and our swap was going on the week of the two ginormous tornadoes in Oklahoma.

My picture taking skills aren't the best, so let me give you a guided tour of the photo. Surrounding most of the picture is a lovely handmade scarf, in creams, taupes, and browns. Starting in the upper left corner are some handcut wool pennies, the lovely card got buried at the bottom of the bounty, but its sentiment is one I fully believe in, that friends are the flowers of our life. Then there is a gorgeous needlepunch prim flower, just right for hanging on a cabinet, or even a wrist! :) Next to that are what you might think is a blue bird appliqued on a sunflower. The sunflower is a mug rug, although I'm mostly drinking iced tea this summer! The bluebird is a pin which our granddaughter has been eyeing in a rather wishful way... there is also a pincushion or mugmat with hearts, stuffed with allspice mixture, which I will use this fall when HOT tea or coffee sounds good again. Last and certainly not least is a handmade Penny Rug. If you click into the picture you may be able to see the perfection of her stitches, and how perfect the foundation wool was as a choice.

Pati Jane and Ginger offer lovely items for sale in their Etsy shop Called PrairieMoonPrimitives.

I am out of my running in circles mode, and getting back to a regular life. That is fabulous news for me, and as a result I've been able to finish and list a rug I recently finished at Ebay. If it doesn't sell on that listing, it will move on over to my Etsy shop. But this blog is about my life, not a blog for selling things.
The design is one I got from Linda Smith who gave me permission to sell her design, and I truly do appreciate it! I had lots of fun hooking this rug. It isn't truly primitive, because I used some fancy fibers to add some POP to the fireworks.  When I was working on it, at hooking circle, it got some great comments from friends, as the fireworks really do catch your eye.