Tuesday, December 18, 2018

31 days of posts... fabric condolence card

If I'm writing about Joy this month, I have to include sorrow. It's the flip side. My friend Mary and her husband lost their beloved cat this holiday.
I show you this in case you also want to make a momento for a loved one...

This 11" X 12" fabric card was made to comfort her in loss.
I used two of her images from her blog printed onto fabric to piece into the little quilt.
It is made onto peltex instead of batting.
The three hearts stand for Mary, her husband and son. I wrote on the card with a fabric marker
Fetcher was a very social cat, visited school children and neighbors. There is a story here for sure. The cat who visited everyone.
The dragon at the bottom, Spikey also passed away this year, and they were good friends.
I stitched on some loose yarn, to represent play time, and used metallic gold to quilt and zig-zag the edge treatment. I also couched down some coral colored yarn to accent the center image and bottom statement.
If you  click on the next image, you might be able to see the little gold heart stitched in thread on his chest. He gave his family lots of love.
The Wander medallion represented how Fetcher's need to explore.
Loss is so hard, and the only thing that helps is "tincture of time" as my old vet used to say.
Her post on Fetcher is HERE

Linking to
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays    

Monday, December 17, 2018

31 days of posts the week ahead #14

Welcome to Monday's Happy homemaker post

The Weather in Aurora CO this week
 Out for a walk last week, I was surprised to see it was 60F with cloudy skies...
We live in Colorado now, not Montana's big sky country, however, the cloud show here is breathtaking. It can be clear blue, then an hour later this.
I think I'd like to do an art quilt with this photo, what do you think? Lots of sky...

For breakfast
Let's see... what's leftover... I'm of the cold leftover pizza makes a great breakfast personality type.

stretch chords and a sweater from Khols with the softest waffle weave fabric
I like comfort... I seldom put on make up or even brush my hair any more as I'm home a lot.

out the window
Well, that poodle puppy has artfully placed his toys all over the yard. The grass is a crispy brown now, and breaks off sticking in Milo's hair if he sits outside. NO SITTING!

Why does the list never go away? I mean why do I have a list if I can't cross it all off and start with a clean slate each day?
Work in studio one... which means create don't organize studio 2.
Last week my friend Mary visited from Boulder and insisted on helping me move some bins to studio 2 in order to help me get set up. It was heavy work and I appreciated her help but this job seems overwhelming.
call to see Chiro again, early, as she left me with screaming nerve pain last visit. I just wanted to be okay for the holidays when DH will be off work. Was that too much to ask of the universe?

to do... find peace with this move, and find ways to like it more here. Find peace, yep, that should be on the list. (I suspect I'll have to keep putting it at the top of each day's list, sigh)

Next, figure out something to get dh to wrap for Christmas morning opening... he's hard to buy for.
Quick like, finish the chapters for my book study group meeting this week.

I'm having fun working on the bargello in Christmas fabrics/colors. I might put the finished hexie runner onto a striped fabric just for fun. I have some holiday stamps to play with maybe doing some little 6 inch fabric trading cards. Anyone want to do an exchange with me?

Mrs Maisel is back! Yea! Binge watching on Prime
Finishing up the Irish drama Striking Out
Survivor is really fun this year

I am enjoying the discipline of writing each day, and coming up with fictional stories that can be read in 5 minutes. It's been good for my creativity.The post a day for December was a good challenge.
link to a lot of the stories (click here and start reading)

still on the teahouse book, it's so good but I read a chapter and fall asleep
(read the quilting art book of course)

> dh got his car back finally from the latest accident (not his fault)
> My friend Mary who drove an hour to visit with me
> How pretty the tree looks all lit up, and it might just stay up through January since it has no Christmas ornaments on it.

> Most of all surprise gifts in the mail from two friends!

Shannon sent me a hand made fiber ornament star, and her personalized cards with her pups on it! Shannon blogs at http://imworkingonaproject.blogspot.com/

And Sara who sent me flamingo fabric and a book! yea! and a pretty card saying the fabric can fly into my flamingo stash! Sara blogs at  http://mysewingroomsara.blogspot.com/

Much love to both of you, and wishes for a great new year full of friendship and creativity!

That's it for now...
I think it's plenty.

can I eat these?
Linking to


Sunday, December 16, 2018

31 days of posts another story

The words from Sunday's whirligig prompt are:
 cold, dome, valley, bones, keep, play, stars, find, end, limber, winter, love

                           Renewed Joy on Ice
It sure was cold today! Especially out here on the ice. She said she would meet him here, but she was questioning her sanity now!

She should have known if the sky was this clear, the stars sparkling this much in the evening sky, that it would be Winter with a capital W. The lake had frozen over, the dome of the little ice house was shining with a spotlight on it, inviting people in for hot chocolate.

She had her own skates, from years ago, and put them on but the first bump in the lake ice made her hope there would be no broken bones tonight!

He was so nice on the phone. She hadn't been on a blind date for 40 years! Her husband died two years ago, and now her friend Sal insisted she get back in the game. She felt so uncomfortable with the new online dating sites, but that's how it's done these days. And the man who called to ask her out seemed so nice on the phone.

Music was playing over a loudspeaker, people were laughing, someone was spinning in a circle. She'd be glad to keep upright! She wasn't as limber as she once was, and her bones were older as well, but the man said he really liked her voice and would find her on the ice. Risky...

He asked her to wear a cap with a flower on it, so she chose her favorite, pink roses, and pinned one to her knitted cap.

She should be sitting in a cozy chair knitting and watching movies in front of a fire. But she had realized that life was a little lonely this holiday season.Risk...

She was tired of endings, and wanted a new beginning. She asked her husband if he'd mind, and she swore she heard him say that she was the sweetest woman alive, and needed to share love with others. He wanted her to be happy, just as she would have wanted for him. He always took care of her, and she felt finding love again would be his way of continuing that.

Maybe she should leave, just skate to the edge, just to the little bench there and take off these skates. Who did she think she was at her age to skate, and to be on a date! Then she heard a voice behind her, gently saying "Pink roses... are you my dream date?" and she turned around to see the nicest pair of brown eyes crinkling behind a pair of handsome glasses.

"I guess so!" she took a breath and skated toward her new life.



Saturday, December 15, 2018

31 days of posts outside ornaments

There are people who decorate inside their house, and people who decorate the yard with tasteful small one candle-per-window displays, but... it's the people who go all out with lights and crazy funny decorations that give me joy!

A lot of people in our neighborhood have inflatables, from grinches to nativity scenes, hissing and puffing all night, melted during the day.

There are a lot of people putting cute ornaments on outside threes too, that I just love to see.
It's so doggone windy here on the edge of the plains, I don't know why they don't blow away, but I sure love seeing them glinting in the sunlight. Or glistening in the lamps at night.

pretty ornaments too. Some are big, some small, but they dance in the breeze, and sparkle in the sun.
I like them
Every time I see them, and there are lots here. Also, in MD people wound lights on each branch of trees, but here they go around and around the tree, and it looks so pretty at night, the lights swirling in a spiral upwards. They also wind around trunks with a different color light.

I think Milo is unsure about all the new yard decorations... what must a dog think???
I think it's weird. For instance these guys... they look like dogs but are see through and very very still.
I mean, who told them STAY! and they did? There is no Mama to yell, I SAID STAY!

I give all the stuff a good sniff test. These smell like nothing much. poo

It's the ones mama calls Santa that really spook me though

I'm not gonna lie... this guy really scared me one night. Sitting there staring at me. First I growled. No response. Then I slowly step by step, approached him, keeping my back feet way back to pull me to safety should he spring into action. I mean, it ain't natural the way he sat. Then when I was brave I went right up to him, and sniffed, and slowly backed away.
Humans... who can figure them out?

This is the real hero, guarding his stuff while they slept...
on guard!
linking to
https://comedy-plus.com/ Awe Mondays

Friday, December 14, 2018

31 days of posts story of a young man

Joy at an airport

This was a lot harder than he thought it would be. I mean, I'm a strong independent man, right? I got a business degree from Penn State, and a good job. Why am I suddenly so lonely?

the young man
he was always a home boy... he liked being home. He liked his parents while other teenager friends had nothing but derision for theirs. He enjoyed family life, he liked holiday rituals, and summers off from school, trips with his mom to museums even.

Now he was officially an adult. When you graduate from University, get a real job, and move across the country that makes life very real. Very adult. When did he first feel like an adult? He thought, maybe the first time he drank coffee to stay awake in an 8 AM statistics course... or the time he had to change his own tire in the middle of the night on the way home from a frat party.

For sure when he signed the work agreement, and a lease on an apt. This was real, having to pay all the bills on time, buy groceries and cook his own dinners, making sure the doors were locked when he went to bed at night.

The mom
I miss my baaaaaaby! Why did he go so far from home... oh I know my job was to raise an independent functioning human being, but still, I miss hearing him coming home. I miss the feeling that there was another person in the house who might need me.

I love my husband, and we share life, and it's good to be the two of us again.
It's so hard not to call my son every day, just to hear his voice and know he's okay.

The young man
He remembered holding his mom's hand while crossing the street. The way she made life fun, making up stories on car rides, laughing at funny things while shopping, the comforting way it felt to open the house door and know she was there.

He remembered the nights he was sick with ear infections and she put a cool hand on his forehead. The way she screamed for him when he hit a homer in baseball. The look she gave him when he did something he was ashamed of, and how she helped him make it right.

Now he was on his own, happy to be on his own but missing his mom and Dad.
Time to go to the airport...

Onlookers smiled when they saw the young man and his mother run toward each other and hug. That was nice to see! The mom cried a little, and held the young man's face in her hands before squeezing him again.

" You are my FAVORITE son!!!" she said for the millionth time in his life
He laughed, and said, "Mom! I'm your only son!" but he felt happy to hear the familiar words again.

"Well, that doesn't make it any different! " she replied, the same words they always exchanged were comforting.

He was proud to show her his apt and how well he was doing. He was lonely still, it was a big city and he didn't know anyone yet. He wasn't a bar type of guy, but he had joined a ski club recently and hoped to meet people there. Still... he was grown up enough to know he would always love his Mom.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

I Like Thursday #119

Welcome to this week's list of likes! Happy Thursday Y'all

I'm really enjoying sewing with Christmas fabrics in the season....

I like having the new Christmas tree up in the Family room.

It's 9 feet tall, and now that it's fluffed out, it looks really pretty. I made an executive decision to just have white lights, a simple metallic star garland, and any icicle ornaments I can find. It shimmers like a tree in the forest after an ice storm. Of course I can't find the box with the majority of icicle ornaments... I've been collecting them for years. Still, it's pretty and I can leave it up into January this way.

Pretty sparkles!
 I am having a great time listening to my holiday CD's

. Our old stereo is now set up to play through two of the four wall speakers in the family room. It's not equipped to handle all four, but I can put in 5 cd's at a time, push shuffle, and hear a nice mix. Our tiny cottage in MD had the stereo down at floor level, and it was hard to load.

I like this salsa from Target... who knew?

Image result for christmas cake great american baking show
I'm enjoying the Great American Baking show on Thursdays (ABC) which is based on the Great British Baking show but with American contestants, and all holiday themed challenges. I'm also enjoying the return of Brokenwood (NZ show) and continuing the show 800 words (NZ)
I found the Netflix show Kominsky Method with Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas, along with a cast of stars. It's fun and quirky and real. Alan Arkin is just hilarious to me, and at age 84 he is remembering lines, delivering them with great timing, and an inspiration!

For some reason our less than 4 month old coffee maker is leaking coffee all over the place
Don't they come potty trained? We bought another one at Target luckily on sale, but Target only takes them back within 60 days. Is this the lifespan of a coffee maker?

I'm enjoying writing almost a story a day here for the month of December. It's funny, I think about different ways to find joy, as I'm walking, then come home and let the story write itself. I like the discipline of writing daily. Some of the stories pour out, and I start crying while writing. It's been a very interesting experience.

rosy cheeks!
I love shopping this time of year! All the displays are pretty! There are a lot of sequins on clothing this year... look at this seen at Macy's
I whisptered to my husband it was kind of tacky, and a woman walked by loudly telling her husband it was "beautiful!"
I also loved this bedding display
and did you know the color of the year according to Pannetone is Living Coral. LOVE coral!

My friend Colette (her link is https://whataboutrheema.blogspot.com/) told us on the Thursday likes about the Hallmark Christmas Movie bingo cards available. Hilarious! So much fun

I printed mine free here https://www.sisterssuitcaseblog.com/hallmark-christmas-movie-bingo/

right now, my husband is ahead...
for some Music...my favorite Cowboy group Riders in the sky play a fun medley, al la Cowboy
Milo's Moments
They don't smell like dogs
Hi y'all
I have to first tell you what happened!!
When mama leaves the house without me, and I've told her not to do that! she has me go to my safe place and she closes the door. When Daddy leaves for work, if Mama is upstairs still, he has me go to the  crate and closes but doesn't lock the door. I can leave if I want but after I run up and see if Mama's still here, I usually go back and nap.
This time Mama left for PT, I was in my crate, the door was pushed closed, but not locked!
Mama drove off, I realized she didn't lock the door!
The. Door. Was. Not. Locked! I could go out! Outside the crate! By MYSELF. Alone in the big house!
I am not trustworthy, they all know that! I should not be allowed to roam! I hardly knew what to do!

While they are here, I like to cause trouble by relocating shoes, and tearing up paper, and eating random stuff on the floor. But while they were gone?

Mama came back and I was at the back door when she came in and I was so happy I jumped all over her and told her I had been out of the crate by myself, and I licked her (she didn't have any food at all) and I wound around her, and wagged my tail and was so happy we all made it through this disaster! Whew!

She cooed at me, I love it when she does that! and said, what a big boy to handle the whole house on your own!
I said, what! I shouldn't be allowed to handle the house on my own! I'm just a little boy, not two yet!
Mama said, yes, you can do it! Now we might let you more often... you can look out a window, you can eat or drink, you can lay on the carpet or walk around!
She seemed happy, so I tried to be. I don't know about this. Again, I am not trustworthy!

Otherwise,, I like the new kibble they are trying, and someone named Santa gave me a toy this week which is mostly already chewed up. It krinkled which is really fun!

I played with my doodle friend Gracie twice as her Daddy is gone for work trip and she has a babysitter what wants her to get tired. Mama doesn't enjoy the way I return with spit all over my head though.

I'm not sure about the tree, inside the house. Is this indoor plumbing?



might post later in the day 
Minou's Minute 

Linking to parties
ruby tuesdays
Thankful Thursdays pet parade


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

31 days of Posts... Fabric as comfort back to quilt making!

The song puts "tidings of comfort and Joy" together for a reason. Comfort leads to joy at times...

I love collecting and using fabric. I like to use my collections when I can in the same quilt.

I enjoy working on the colors in the current season, so I start a Christmas quilt in December. This time I'm trying Bonnie Hunter's block bargello pattern (free on her site)

I started with scraps of Christmas fabrics but there were very few 2.5" strips so I culled what I could, then moved into my red, then green, then tan scrap boxes for that size.

I thought I'd make one block to try, but figured I needed more to see a pattern emerge. Right. I made 6  12" blocks

Now I need more.

Next stop, the Christmas collection... I keep all of them in one place (two drawers that include scraps and projects started, and printed whole quilts) I chose small scale prints, or colors I wanted, or small quantities to use up. I got a grand mix of them.

When I start a project in general, I go to my enormous collection of cloth... my Magnum of material, my fabulous fountain of Fabric. Why not? I like all of it and it's here!

When I decided to do more blocks I went back and repeated the process to cull out 38 more strips.
6 strips make a block.

To enjoy this you have to give up some control. The colors fall where they may. I put strips next to each other to please me but when it's all made, the block is quite different when the print is cut up..

Sewing gives me comfort. I know how to cut (I don't know where to put things in a new house)
I can lift the scrap boxes but not heavy bins of fabric. I know how to piece accurately. I get to see colors that make me happy, and visit a collection I don't see every day.
so if you need me, I'll be in studio 1, happily sewing and cutting up and sewing more fabric!

Linking to

oh Scrap Sundays 
sewcanshe Saturdays
myquiltinfatuation Thursdays
Let's be social Wednesdays 
Midweek makers wednesdays

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

31 days of posts another story

Joy in a new family

Maddie was so happy. She couldn't remember when she had been so happy!
This new family that adopted her was so joyous and loving, and a total surprise.

When you were alone, you didn't always have much choice about who took care of your needs. Not all caretakers were kind either. She tried not to envy other people with families to love them, and to look forward to seeing, but she was lonely and a little sad especially at Christmas.

That was over now that she had a home to go to. She had settled in very quickly, getting to know the routine and the parents, the new room, the type of food prepared and schedules. She loved it all.

Somehow, they all made her feel like part of the family, like she fit in, like she belonged there. Not just a charity case, but she was now a part of the whole. What a gift! She had given up hope!

At the age of 89, she finally felt comfortable! She loved her first floor room, and space to use her walking frame. She ate well, and slept well and the young mom took her to doctor's appts. The young Dad was kind and gentle, helping her up from chairs.

Yes this new program was a good one, letting families adopt a grandparent. She loved their kids, her new grand kids. She was teaching the older one to knit, and she liked baking cookies with the other one. Love. It has no boundaries and no limits. It's a joy to belong!

Monday, December 10, 2018

the week ahead #13

The weather in Aurora CO
warmer, and sunny this week til Thur when it may snow again. Glad to see the sun!
Good Poodle Grooming weather!

I know I should stop eating fat, and carbs and only eat vegan food, but I can't do it without a lot of sacrifice and the holidays with all their demands to be jolly and hap-hap-happiest are not the time for me to feel deprived. I'm having what tastes good, what is easy to make, what feels comfortable.
And cookies.

DH got me the Jacquie Lawson Advent calendar on line, and it's an interactive daily fun romp.
I can decorate trees, cookies, cut snowflakes online, play games, watch videos, read about traditions in Scotland... Love going there each day.

The great American Baking show is  on Thursdays for the month and it's as good as the British version with one of the British judges.

I am fully into Survivor but I am a bit tired of Hallmark Christmas movies. It didn't help that they were on in July, then again before Halloween. It's just overdone. I looked forward to them more when they were once a week.

We found out Brokenwood's new season is available on ACORN so we are enjoying those. We finished the recent season of Murdoch, and no new Midsomer Murders yet, but we are in the recent season still of Striking Out (Female Lawyer in Dublin) and 800 words (Journalist moves to quirky island in NZ)

Enjoying the latest Teahouse mystery now. Glad it's in paperback so it's lighter to hold at night.

Achieved a goal... all Christmas cards mailed around the globe! I survived the Post Office! Yea! 
There was only one meltdown... one woman wanted the package she got notice of... rightly so. She started loudly complaining that the first employee was rude to her. 

The second one handled himself wonderfully... just stayed to the facts, that she needed authorization to pick up mail (she was renting and didn't have it) but she escalated and unfortunately the first "rude" employee was loudly being passive aggressive, saying to the whole room how she was in the right and she had witnesses and yadda yadda. 

I say, if she was in the right, she should have said nothing to make the customer more upset... just let the second employee handle it. The defensive posture and loud nasty comments kind of proved she was indeed rude. 

As another customer, I didn't need or want to hear the argument and the first employee's unnecessary loud comments, right as she may have been, served to make every one of 50 onlookers uncomfortable. 

Sheesh! as if the Post office wasn't tense enough! 
Writing Fiction
I'm writing a lot more fiction for the 31 days of posts in December. I hope you like them, they are all about Joy. If you have an idea/prompt for a story please let me know. It's my job as a writer to come up with the stories but I love a collaboration. Thanks to those of you reading them, I love reading the words as my fingers type them out! 

Listening to
I found my CD's with unusual Christmas songs and am jollying along my old stereo (with space for 5 cd/s to randomly play). I think I enjoy the cowboy (not country) group the most! Next the jazzy one. I like them all though, the more unique the better.

To Do
finish decorating the tree and the poodle. We started the arduous task of grooming Milo, who sees the whole exercise as a waste of time! I did a lot yesterday but there are always touch up scissor snips needed, and nail trimming, etc. It takes a few days. 
I'd love to make some soup this week. And find some supplies so my friend Mary and I can make icicle ornaments with beads, and fabric stars on Friday. Got to go to the chiro on Tues... 
Try to get the snowman banner to stick in the frozen ground and put new lights around the old burnt out tree for the back yard. This time... no unwrapping, just putting new ones over the whole kaboodle.

I am slowly hand stitching my hexies, look how cute this section is (top of post)! And I'm using some holiday fabrics in 2.5" strips and Bonnie Hunter's scrappy Bargello pattern to make something. I want to try the technique.

I've been collecting the paper piecing patterns (free each day only) from https://quiltartdesigns.blogspot.com/
Haven't made them yet, but I've made others from her and they are fun!

What I learned this week
From putting up the new artificial tree, I learned there are "no bit players"

I am in process of fluffing out the branches, to fill in gaps and look fuller. I learned I need to also fluff the ones sort of behind the tree in the back corner, because you may not notice them, but they cause the whole tree to look fuller.

When I did musical theater in Florida, I was always in the chorus. I sang and danced, a "filler" sort of to support the stars. I would have a few lines, a few solos, but was mainly support staff.

When I make quilts, fabrics are the same way. There are "stars" the fabrics you notice, and support staff to make the stars shine.

When I cook, I almost always use onions and garlic in some amount, to fill in flavor profiles. Salt is like that.

It occurred to me it's the same with people... in real life there are moments when you are the star, and more times when you're the support player. We are quite important either way. Each of us plays a part in the moment. Isn't it difficult to be around people who always, ALWAYS expect to be the star? It's tiring to have to constantly tell them they're the "greatest".  We all play a part.
In each moment.

Support staff is VERY important, maybe more important than the stars although we don't get as much attention.

I want to be aware of these supporting elements in life, to respect and thank them for their support.


Linking to
all seasons
ruby tuesdays
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays   
Our World Tuesday
happy Homemaker
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts

Sunday, December 9, 2018

31 days of post a day challenge #9

today's fictional story comes from the prompt at Sunday's Whirligig

the words are :

scruffy, thin, paws, dizzy, mounts, hold applause, keep, cat, grace, mice, busy

Digging through the garbage wasn't getting him anywhere. It was cold, and he was dizzy from hunger and his paws hurt from the edge of the garbage can. He was thin, and you could see his hair was falling out just now when it was so cold and he needed all of it. 


"Omg that dog is so scruffy, right? and thin? must be sick, stay away" said a passing girl. 


Most of the people who walked by were too busy to even see him, and he kept to himself since that cat chased him two nights ago. As if he'd eat their mice, well, he might if it came to that. 

Oh he was so tired, so hungry and so cold and so sad that he was alone. He was not meant to be alone, he was meant to sit in some lap and be petted. 

Oh no! Who was that coming toward him... a big person, scary with a uniform. All dogs know a uniform is scary and not to be trusted... hey! hey stop reaching for me he thought as he tried to shrink into the back of the can. 

"come on little fellow... aren't you cold and tired and hungry? You're certainly dirty! But you are a good fellow, and deserve to be taken care of right? Right! Come with me, that's right, see lick my hand, see that I won't hurt you... come on buddy. I'll fix you up. No more garbage for you... how long have you been out here anyway? Did you see a mean cat around here? you did?" 


He was too tired to fight, and the man tasted okay, nice even. Like biscuits. And he felt safe when the man picked him up so he snuggled closer, and omg he was falling asleep. 

Sam thought this pup was too cute to take to the station house, he'd take him to his vet, then maybe keep him. He'd been out here a long time from the looks of him. They drove to the vet, who checked him out, gave him a quick flea bath and some shots, said he was about 3 months old and probably a retriever. 

Home it is then buddy! 


Buddy said, okay Sam, that will be what you call me, and I'll be your best ever buddy. I can't remember a time when I felt full, and warm at the same time. And safe. With you. It's a miracle! Sam looked down at the little brown eyes, and the tiny pink tongue that wouldn't stop licking his hand. Spit. Puppy spit. Yep, let's go home now buddy! 

This was joy. Sam had been so alone since his wife left, and joy was finding a friend.  

Linking to