Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

One of the most challenging things to deal with while growing up was having a birthday just two days after Christmas! It's not a great time to be having a birthday party or to be getting really cool birthday presents. I remember MANY Christmas mornings being told "That's an extra special gift Cathy, it is partially a birthday present". I was blessed with having to learn how to be gracious and thankful on my special day!
I do have some great memories! My father would always deliver a birthday spanking and it was great fun with a great production! He would catch us, lay us over his knee and count out a whomp to the rear for however many years old we were! With three brothers, two sisters, and Mom looking on, there was much merriment.  One year, I decided I was going to be prepared for that spanking! I padded my pants with kitchen towels (because they were just the right size) and when Dad came looking for me, I ran up the stairs, to my bedroom and headed for the cubbyhole. I was pretty surprised when Dad came into the cubbyhole after me, pulled me out, and dragged me downstairs for my very public birthday spanking. HE was surprised when he realized I had padded my pants. There was lots of laughter that year.  Oh, and when I was 10 years old, I got a teddy bear for my birthday. I still have him:

Here he is! He looks like a baby but this bear is 44 years old!! (hehehe, Thanks Mom and Dad)
When I was a teenager, I remember telling my friend Ann-Marie Caron that if I wanted a birthday cake on my birthday, I would have to make it (because there was usually lots of pie left over from Christmas so we would eat that). So, Ann-Marie showed up at my house one year with a white cake with strawberry frosting, and strawberry perfume (I was really into strawberry that year!!)
Oh, What fun memories!
My friend Kim and I have been swapping birthday gifts for many years. It has become great fun to try and come up with something fun and challenging for her (August 24th). The last several years she has given me quilt or sewing related gifts for my birthday.  This year, I got a package in the mail a few days before Christmas and it was wrapped in birthday paper. I was a good girl. I put it under the tree and waited until my birthday to open it.  This is what I found:

A quilt kit called Blitzen. The fabric is Blitzen for Moda by Basic Grey.  Oh what wonderful deliciousness!  So, I looked at it for a couple of days and decided I would make all those half square triangles easy. I bought some foundation paper, drew a 5-inch square with a diagonal line down the middle and sewing lines 1/4 inch to either side. I printed them off on the computer and laid them on the squares while I sewed merrily away   :)

The pattern calls for 72 half square triangles. Sew them up, cut them up, square them off.

Here's my stack of squares - (144 total) and the pile of trimmings. I think that pile is pretty small so I would venture to say my sewing abilities are spot on!

I am VERY thankful for rotary cutters, mats, and the Tucker Trimmer!  Made this job easy!
If you want to see more, you will have to stay tuned!!!!
Until next time!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Projects

With a family my size I have finally learned to plan projects in small bites! I have told my kids that I plan to make each of THEIR families new Christmas Stockings. They get to pick the style and the type of fabric, colors, etc. So, we started with Diane's family. She liked the crazy patch and thought whimsical fabric would be cute. Here is what we came up with:

                                                      First we did Grandson #6- Gabe
                                                       (Diane and Isaac's first baby!!)
                                                                    The Back side
                                                                      Then Isaac's

                                         Last, we did Diane's. Kimera picked out this fabric!

                                                           The back of hers is green!

                                                        I love my embroidery machine!

Kathryn has chosen a very clever idea for her family.  They will get them for next year, as will Victoria and Ben!  With a whole year to get them done, everyone should have new stockings! So, when those are done, I will post those photos (next December!)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Catching Up

Wow! I can hardly believe three months have gone by since my last post!
A lot has happened since then.  Louie and I took a trip to Germany to visit Grandson #6 - who was born October 14th.  We were there from October 24th through November 3rd. I thought I would share some photos with you.

This is Neuschwanstein Castle. The home of King Ludwig II. He died (at a young age) before he could finish it but what was done was beautiful! The throne room has a mosaic tile floor like none I could ever imagine! The chandeliers throughout the castle are unbelievable!
Louie and I walked uphill for 20 minutes to get there. Imagine how we felt when the tour guide informed us we would climb 63 stairs before the tour began!  I counted them to see if they were right. Guess what? They were!!!

This is Hohenschwangau, King Ludwig II's parents "summer" home. This castle is located about two miles from Neuschwanstein (down the hill). It was beautiful but not nearly as beautiful as Neuschwanstein. We saw this one first!

My Dear Sweet Husband, Louie. He looks a bit cold, doesn't he? This is hardly the kind of weather an Arizona boy expects in October!!

This is a small lake located between the two castles. The view all around was absolutely breath taking!

This is another view of the lake later that same day, at dusk. You can see the base of the Alps in the background.

This was our first trip overseas and we had a great time. Of course the highlight was seeing baby Gabe, Diane, and Isaac!

                                                                       What a cutie!

Well, that's all for now. My next post will be show and tell Christmas stockings!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year!  In just a few weeks, the leaves in New England will be turning into beautiful colors - reds, oranges, yellow, different shades of green! Last year I was in Vermont during the peak of the foliage season!
As a kid, I remember raking up the leaves, jumping in the piles we made, raking them back up again, then eventually having to burn them.  YES, we really did burn the leaves. That was WAY Back a LONG TIME AGO!
Fall in Phoenix tends to be only colorful when we bring it into our homes. We decorate with wreaths:

And Wall hangings:

My wonderful friend Kim, made and gave this to me as a gift many years ago!
I was so excited to put it up yesterday! (I bring it out every year!)
I hope to be adding to my collection soon!!!!!
Lately I have been busy working on getting ready for more GRANDSONS! Yippee!
I came across a youtube video on making baby receiving blankets with self-binding. They are so incredibly easy to whip up! Here are some photos:

 A close-up of the self-binding corners

 I think the pink one is my favorite
Unfortunately, I will have to be giving it to someone
other than my own kids
We are expecting only grandsons this year!
If you want to learn how to make these, go to YouTube and do a search for the Missouri Quilt company - they have a video on the self-binding receiving blanket.
Until next time, happy sewing! Happy Fall!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

I sincerely apologize for taking so long to write again! I have had some technical difficulties - my computer had a virus and needed to be nursed back to health. Heaven only knows what I did to cause it!!!!
My wonderful husband and I are coming up on our 32nd wedding anniversary! Where did the years go? In a lot of ways it feels like yesterday when we were married. Then I look at the HUGE family we have and KNOW that it was not just yesterday! Nine children, four kids-in-law, and four grandsons with two more on the way!!! How wonderful the Lord has been to us!
We started out on August 16, 1980:

In 1980, I believe that was a normal sized diamond!!!! The rocks girls get today . . .
I have been so sentimental about this ring! After all, Louie and I chose them in May of 1980! Well, Louie asked if I would like a new Diamond . . . .

                                                            AND I SAID YES!!!!!!

                                   Here it is, the Husqvarna Viking Designer DIAMOND Deluxe!!!

OK, so here's the story:
On June 30th, my sister, Diane (who lives in Vermont) went to a quilt show at the fairgrounds in Essex Junction (where we grew up).  I had literally been out of bed for 5 minutes when Louie brought me the phone and said "I just bought you a XXXX thousand dollar sewing machine". I laughed and said "you did not!".  Apparently my sister had already been talking Louie's ear off, telling him how I needed to take advantage of this great offer and trade in the Viking ROSE I'd had for 15 years.  I informed my sister that yes, I had been getting emails and flyers about this deal they were having but there was no way I was going to buy a new sewing machine! Besides, I had brought my sewing machine in to have it repaired a week earlier and was waiting to get it back.  WELL, we made several phone calls back and forth and I ended up trading in my ROSE and purchasing a DIAMOND!!!!
Not only that, but DIANE bought one too!  I bet those ladies in Essex Junction had to grab a piece of fabric and tie it around their head (from top to chin) to keep their jaws closed! TWO DIAMONDS in one sale!
It took about a week and a half to arrive in Phoenix and I called the repair shop and told them to pull my machine off the line because I was trading it in. I brought my machine to the Viking Sew Gallery in Glendale to be repaired (I think the timing was finally off after hundreds of hours of sewing) and they were so kind and gracious. They helped facilitate the whole transaction and I have returned there to learn how to use this new machine.
My sister bought the software (5D) with hers and I did not. I figured it will be a while before I am digitizing savvy like she is so she can be the designer for now!
The classes have been great and today is the last one. This is where I will be using my computer with the embroidery unit.  Unfortunately, the last few weeks have been crazy with getting used to my new job, traveling, and doing on-line education, that I have not had a whole lot of time using the machine. Besides, I really am a little bit scared still  :)
Well, I will be posting more as I learn more!
Have a happy day!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Oh My! Oh My! Oh My!

June ended with quite a BANG!!! Having returned from a business trip on Friday evening (the 29th), I was looking forward to a low-key Saturday. . .  putzing around the house, errands with the hubby. . . you know, just taking it easy. I was up 5 minutes when my husband answered my cell phone and it was my sister calling from a quilt show in Vermont. WELL, you know that could not be good (financially) for my sister! When I listened to all of her excitement, I knew it was going to be very difficult to get her to SLOW DOWN, think about what she was planning, and have a conversation that would include THINKING THIS THROUGH!!!!!
To leave you with just a taste, after several phone calls back and forth, credit cards being whipped about, WE BOTH ended up making a VERY LARGE PURCHASE!! 
And that is all I am going to say  -  until I can post a photo!
Be Back soon.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Visit to Vermont

As a young girl, I remember thinking how nice it would be to travel and see the rest of the country. It seemed like Vermont never did anything "great". We didn't have a Vermonter win Miss America (that I remember), TV shows, movies, and books never took place in Vermont, and the nightly news had more information about life outside of Vermont than inside! It just felt like I lived in an isolated piece of the United States. Our family would ride into up-state New York to visit relatives, go to New Hampshire to camp, visit relatives in Massachusettes and Connecticut, but that was the extent of our exploring. When I was in High School, I used to babysit for a wonderful family that had 4 children. They moved to North Carolina and one summer they returned to Vermont and took me to North Carolina with them. What fun that was! It was so beautiful that I believed if I lived anywhere outside of Vermont, it would be North Carolina.
Once I finished nursing school, I had the opportunity to go on a GREAT ADVENTURE with my brother Paul. We left Vermont in February, 1979 and DROVE across the country to California! I was 20 years old and my brother was 19. I still can't believe our parents let us do that! It took us 5 days to drive across the country because we had to go south to miss the rocky mountains.
We arrived in San Jose and then life changed for both of us! I met my husband, Paul met his wife, and we since have both lived in the western part of the country!
Returning to Vermont is like visiting a small piece of heaven. Everything is lush green, country roads, old barns and houses, ponds, farms, covered bridges, and beautiful lakes! The days go by more slowly as there are no cities in which to hustle and bustle about! The clouds are either giant white fluffy looking things, or gray low-hanging, and full of water!!!  My two sisters, my Mother, and I drove hundreds of miles through Vermont visiting quilt shops and at one point I had to pull over to the side of the road, roll down my car window, and LISTEN to WATER rushing through the brook! It was so melodic and just tickled my heart. As I get older, I find myself longing more for my "roots" and a slower life! I now appreciate much more, all the beauty God bestowed on my homestate. As much as I would love to once again live in Vermont, the Lord brought to mind my wedding vows taken from the book of Ruth : "Wither thou goest, I will go. . .your people will be my people. ."
My wonderful husband is an Arizonan and this is home for him. This is home for our children too. So, I am ever so thankful for those visits I get to make to Vermont!!!
In just over a week, I was able to do many things in Vermont! First and foremost was spending time with Mom! I also spent some time with both my sisters and visited with my youngest brother and his family.
Mom and I spent time sewing and I was able to finish a diaper bag (experiment) I was working on. I am hoping to write a pattern for this but need to do some tweaking first! Here are some photos:

                                          Outside of the bag. It has front and back pockets,
                                           and a pocket on each side. I don't have a got shot
                                          of the quilting details but the light fabric is all lines
                                          that criss-cross, the bottom is meander, and the top
                                          band is swirls.
                                          The inside of the bag has 6 pockets and a covered
                                          cardboard bottom.
                                           These are three matching burp cloths and a matching

I left these with my sister Diane. She is going to see if they might sell. Meanwhile, I need to put all my notes about this bag together to make a pattern. Then we will make a couple more with more tweaking.

Since I have been home, I spent a day with Daughter-in-law - Victoria, teaching her to sew. Her baby is due any day now and we made a new mattress for the cradle my father made for my babies over 30 years ago! It now belongs to Ben and Victoria. I asked that they have more than one baby and be sure to pass it down making it known that Pepere Bushey made it!
Here's photos of Victoria and the finished project (sorry, I don't have a picture of the cradle):

Victoria learned how to thread the machine, wind a bobbin, change presser feet, she sewed on a zipper, piping, and learned how to "stuff" foam into the finished project!!! She was awesome! Little baby boy Rayes has a nice new mattress to lay on!
Well, back to the sewing machine . . . . .

Saturday, May 12, 2012

UFQ #1

WooHoo! I have one unfinished project (quilt) done! I will call this UFQ  #1. For those who are reading this post, you might notice my UFQs are not in order (sorry, yours is coming!).
Last year I was blog hopping and found a bunch of bloggers who were in a virtual quilting bee. They would send fabric and directions to their friends and they had to complete the block and send them back within a certain amount of time. Sooo, knowing I had a stash that needed to be used up, I decided to put my feelers out among my friends and see who was interested. Kim, Sally, and Diane, these photos are for you! I finished the tablecloth with the blocks you sent me. The blocks are beautiful and I am so appreciative of all the work you did on them! I have to apologize for not putting forth the absolute best stitching on this project - each time I sat down to work on it, I kept thinking of all the other things I should be working on!  I still think the virtual  quilting bee is a great idea and would love to get another one going. We can make it simple and the more people that are involved, the better! Let me know what you think.
 The flower block is called Aster. It was fun and a little bit of a challenge to put the block together but so worth it!
                                          I just had to add the beautiful flowers Nick, Kathryn
                                         and the boys sent for Mother's Day!!!

                                           A closer look. There are 9 Aster blocks in all.

                                          The bowl in the middle is a fabric bowl Diane
                                          made out of the rest of what I sent her.

                                           My photo take on how the Amish display their
                                           gorgeous quilts     :)

Well, I am able to cross this off my to do list! Now on to the next. Hmmm, dare I tell what unfinished project I will work on next?  Maybe if I do, it will actually get done!
OK, here goes, I am going to take out and work on . . . . .  (Drum roll please). . . . Nick and Kathryn's quilt!!!!!  There, I said it, now I have to do it!
Til next time!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hello again

I haven't posted since last week as I was waylaid by 4 days of dizziness (thanks to having Meniere's Disease)! I was pretty much limited to sitting in my chair and not moving a whole lot. These times - while quite bothersome - also are beneficial in helping me realize how thankful I need to be for those days that I feel great! I need to get myself in gear and really take advantage of those feel good days and get a lot done. Yesterday I managed to clean out a significant pile in my bedroom, clean out a kitchen drawer and cupboard, get all the ironing done and all the clothes folded and put away! While I had wanted to get some sewing done, I felt the need to work on household things first. Today, I spent 2 hours cleaning the pool and managed to get a load of laundry washed, dried, and folded and it is only 10am! I hope to have a photo within the next couple of days of what I have been working on. We will call it a UFP  - Unfinished project!!  Talk to you soon!

Monday, April 30, 2012


I spend time every week reading the blogs of quilters. Many of them have cats and share photos of their precious felines. I tend to smile when I see those photos of sweet cuddly furballs and think - "In my dreams. . ."  You see, when we got our cat, he was about 8 weeks old. He was from the litter of some family friends and the kids were thrilled to have another cat. (We had a cat named Simba and we all felt it would be great for Simba to have a playmate). We got him during the Lord of The Rings movie trilogy and thought the name "Frodo" was cute. Well, as time went by, we decided a better name for him would have been "Gollum".  I think Frodo was jealous of Simba. Simba was (at that time) the Lion King of the neighborhood (yes, our cats are outdoor cats - we live in Phoenix, after all!). Simba was quite Kingly in letting others know what his turf was. There were many mornings we would go out front and see giant tufts of fur and know Simba had been in a fight. But, I digress. This is about Frodo.
Gollum would have fit him better as a name because - Frodo is Evil!!! This cat thinks about what he does and how he can show his superiority. One time he had a stare down with our dog (Penny) in the kitchen. Penny peed the floor! Penny is a 50 pound mutt!!!!  Frodo became more bold as time went by. He would come into the house, eat his food, taunt the dog, then disappear. We soon learned those disappearances resulted in unpleasant arromatic incidences throughout the house. So we threw him out of the house. Oh, we would give him attention outside and feed and water him, BUT, he was no longer allowed to come inside.
One morning I opened the front door to let Simba out and made eye contact with Frodo. It was 7am. At 7:15am, I went out the door to get into my car to go to work. As I got closer to the car, I saw something on the top of my sunroof. It was cat POOP!!!! I ran into the house and hollered at Louie to come outside and see this spectacle on my car. (I needed a witness!). It was so fresh it was still WARM! What cat does that? Don't they usually bury their duty? He was sending me a message - let me in the house OR ELSE!!!
My resolve to keep him outside was even stronger after that. UNTIL, one night we had a terrible storm. Pelting rain, cold wind and I felt sooooo sorry for evil kitty who was outside. I opened the door and called for him. He was close by and darted into the house to safety. Since then, we have a love/hate relationship.  Here's "My Precious". . . .

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Gift

My youngest had the opportunity to visit Germany for almost a month! She did a fair amount of sightseeing around Germany and was able to spend a weekend in Paris. She missed us all - BUT - I think we missed her more! No Kimera to come home at 9pm from working, No walking into Kimera's room and finding her "plugged in" to her ipod standing in her closet, no quiet snarkey Kimera comments "She punches Lucky in the head on a daily basis" ( referring to how her sister treats her dog).
She had been making comments about wanting to repaint her room so Hubby and I decided to re-do her room while she was gone and surprise her. It just so happened her brother was on spring break the first week she was gone. Kimera left on a Saturday, Jared took all her stuff out of her room on Monday and started to scrape the popcorn off the ceiling in her room. On Tuesday morning, she called home and asked me to go in to her room to find a certain folder that was located right next to her bed.WHAT?!!!! I couldn't believe her timing! Sooo, I reminded her what a mess her roon was and how I most likely would not be able to find the folder. "Mom, it's right beside my bed in a magazine holder and it is a yellow pocket folder". Well, with such specific instructions, how could I get out of looking for it? I put the phone down and immediately ran down stairs to ask Jared which box he had put her folders in.  We managed to find what she needed without letting on that all her stuff was no longer in her room.
Jared did a beautiful job on the ceiling. He scraped it, floated it, and then painted it. We picked out two shades of gray then painted her walls. We pulled out the carpet and arranged to have a laminate floor installed. Unfortunately, the floor was not completed until the day before she arrived home!
My plan was to have her room completed and all her belongings put neatly back before she came home. I was getting quite nervous when I realized we were not going to be able to get her stuff back in her room in time. We were still putting the baseboards in an hour before I needed to go to the airport to get her!
When Kimera arrived on American soil, she started calling her family members. I had spoken with her a couple of times, and her sister Megan came into the house while talking to her on the phone. Megan proceeded to tell Kimera she had gone into her room to look for something to wear and did not see the cat follow her into the room. Thinking she needed to  close the door when she left her room, she inadvertantly locked Frodo (our nasty cat) in Kimera's bedroom. Megan continued to tell Kimera that a day later her Dad heard a strange noise and opened Kimera's door to find Frodo scared out of his mind. Megan told her sister the cat had pooped, peed, and sprayed in Kimera's room.
Of course none of this was true and Louie and I listened in as Megan proceeded to convince her sister it was true and she felt so badly about how her room was incredibly stinky!
Kimera arrived in Phoenix at 5:40pm on April 7th and Jared, Megan, and I met her at the airport. It was awesome to have her home again!
Once we had her luggage and were in the car, Kimera asked about her room. Megan went over the story again and I finally broke down and told Kimera all her stuff was in the living room. I told her we were pretty sure her room didn't smell anymore. Kimera didn't want to believe us but finally figured it must be true. To top it off, when we got to the front door, Louie had taped a note to the front door that said Welcome Home in German, and then he added, he was sorry about her room.
Priceless!!! Sure enough, when we walked in the front door, Kimera saw all her stuff in the living room and gave a little groan. It really was true!
After hugs and kisses all around, I encouraged Kimera to go see that maybe her room was not as bad as she might think. She went up the stairs and we heard a delightful squeal when she saw what had REALLY taken place in her room.
She has been home for 2 weeks now and a lot of her stuff is still in the living room. She is slowly sorting through her things and getting organized.
So, the title of this post is "The Gift". The gift was not her bedroom re-do, but what Kimera brought home for me. Here is a photo:

I collect tea cups and Kimera found this one in Germany. It is so pretty! It has been a couple of years since I have received a tea cup and this was a wonderful surprise!  Thank you so much, my Kimera!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday, Monday

The beginning of another week means . . . more projects to work on, more house cleaning, more meals to plan. It is already after noon and I seem to be having problems with procrastination. Well, maybe not. I talked with my wonderful friend on the phone for quite a while, then I skyped daughter in Germany, then I checked my email to find two responses to potential jobs. I cleaned part of my bathroom and now am writing. Sooo, maybe I haven't really been procrastinating.
Last week I was experimenting with more baby stuff. Here are some photos of baby pants and "soakers". Daughter Diane is thinking about using cloth instead of disposable diapers and I had some PUL fabric that I was experimenting with. I sent her the brown one so she can decide if she likes it.
When my children were babies, I used cloth diapers with "rubber pants". I had a neighbor who told me she enjoyed looking out of her window and seeing all my diapers hanging on the clothesline. I used to bleach the heck out of those things - AND many were accidentally flushed down the toilet. By the time number 8 & 9 came, I told my husband my time was too valuable to be washing diapers and sticking my babies with diaper pins. We certainly have come a long way since then!!!

The PUL fabric shown is from Babyville Boutique by Prym. Riley Blake Fabrics also have a fair amount of cute PUL fabric. I really like the Babyville Boutique Fold Over Elastic. It was sooo easy to put these together!

In between playing with baby stuff, I made Hannah an apron. Her kitchen colors are yellow and black.

 Well, I must get to my housework and sewing. Just want to leave you with this little smile:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fun Projects

In June 2004, my husband, several of my children, and I, joined the Phoenix United Reformed Church. It was only a week or so after my firstborn was married - what a time in our lives that was! My husband was out of work, I was getting ready to embark on a new journey in my career as a nurse, Mom had recently moved from Vermont to Phoenix, we had kids in college, high school, and junior high school, and Nick and Kathryn moved their wedding plans from January 2005 to June 2004 because he was headed off to Iraq! We had less than 2 weeks to get ready for this wedding - and I was only the mother of the groom!!! Kathryn's mother and family are the ones who really pulled it off.  BUT, I got side-tracked.

We joined a wonderful church family and have been blessed with great preaching and good friends! There are many young couples in the church and it seems there are usually a baby (or two, or three) on the way. I decided several years ago to acknowledge those wonderful little blessings with a small gift. I started out making simple little baby blankets and after making approximately 20 of those, I have moved on to adorable baby bibs. I came across this cute pattern in  Better Homes and Gardens Quilts and More Magazine (Summer 2011). It is so adorable and is nothing but pure joy to make! I have also decided to make "cuddle cloths" to go with them (Bunny Hill Designs). Here are some photos:

                                               This is from a charm pack - Lily and Will
                                                        Lily and Will - Pink
                                                               Lily and Will green
                                                            Lily and Will brown prints
                                 I decided to experiment with fabrics from a Moda Candy Bar
                                         that was sent to me by my wonderful friend Kim!

                                             Cuddle cloth using Bunny Hill waffle fabric. It is
                                                 sooooo soft!

Enough for today! I have 6 more bibs waiting to be completed! These next ones I am making are from a charm pack by Joanna Figueroa called Fig and Plum.  More Pictures to come!  I Sew love to share :)