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 :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Catching Up

It has been quite a while since my last post. Of course I have been quite busy - working, sewing, working, working ,had a daughter get married, working. . .
Well, now I am not working (yay!!!) and I have been having lots of fun spending time with my sewing machine.
In December I made the Juliet bag by Me and My Sisters Design - for all the girls. What a fun and addicting pattern that was! Kimera wants another one, and I still want to make one for myself!
Making Megan's was the biggest challenge of all! Every time I headed for my sewing machine, she would walk in the door! Hers got finished the day before Christmas!!!!! Here are the photos: