Friday, August 25, 2017

Isn't Enough

Sometimes thinking and dreaming of what to create next isn’t enough.

Sewing for the children attending Marty Indian School in Marty, South Dakota
Creating Veteran’s quilts
Creating Memory Quilts for a friend
Making walker bags
Making aprons
Preparing for an upcoming Christmas Bazaar

One would think it’s enough.

But it isn’t.

My mind races while thinking of all those things going on around me in which I have no control.

I must STOP fretting and worrying about other’s problems along with all the hatred in this world. It’s not doing me any good. In fact, it’s causing me to have issues I certainly don’t need!

Like…

I catch myself clenching my teeth together ~ hard! I have to consciously tell myself to relax.

I catch myself holding my breath. I must tell myself to just breathe. Over and Over.

I have recently discovered a very relaxing thing to ponder. It seems to be working!!! It is…

Keeping Chickens!

Yes!

I’ve subscribed to numerous contributors and watched BUNCHES of youtube videos while in Dallas over the past couple of weeks. I’ve pinned on Pinterest a lot of ideas on this and that. I found & joined two Facebook groups about Keeping Chickens. And, I have read many blog articles on Keeping Chickens.

BUT, the BIGGEST plus of all – Bud (DH) is on board with the idea of us Keeping Chickens!!!

We’ve selected the area for the permanent coop and run! Making plans. Studying what/when to do this and that. Preparing!

Come next spring…

No matter what I’m doing, what I’m sewing on, this is what I now turn my mind to focus upon when the negative tries to enter! It seems to be working things out much better for me!

I’ve created another blog site about our Journey in the Yolk Yard – so I won’t bore you here!


Sunday, August 6, 2017

National Doll Day - 2017



The first Sunday in August of 2017 is already here! Goodness gracious! For over six decades, the love of dolls has been a huge part of my life. If you are reading this, I would imagine you have also found joy and comfort through dolls!
https://nationaldollday.blogspot.com/2017/08/national-doll-day-2017.html
I recently discovered, and am thrilled to share with everyone, the “Doll Project” for our Native Americans living on reservations in South Dakota!

Although the article is from 2011, Give a Doll for Christmas it is an ongoing project! This article provides lots and lots of fabulous information and links. Actually, the entire blog is a worthwhile read! Also, I would encourage you to join the Facebook group: Sew For Kids Volunteers and you’ll find a bunch more information about the 2017 Doll Project – among other focuses for our Native Americans!

Will you donate a doll? An outfit for the doll to wear would also be a great thing!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What was I thinking?

I consider myself a “smart” person, one with a bit of common sense. On extremely rare occasions, however, I have slipped up, telling myself, “Oh, just one more.”

Again.

And, again.

Then yet again.

Too much of anything is not good. Change it up. Mix it up.

When friends post on Facebook how they’ve racked up their hands or shoulders or this and that while doing what they love, I’ve commented my suggestion: change it up.

Yes. Continuous repetition will come back and bite you! Sometimes Big Time!

How many have heard the saying:

“Do as I say. Not as I do.”

A couple of days ago I really messed up. I spent HOURS off/on cutting 1.5” fabric strips to make more Scrappy Heart Blocks (I need a total of 20 for a small lap quilt).

A total of 6 are now done - 14 left to do!
What was I thinking?

Oh, yes. I kept telling myself, “Just One More!”

The pressure applied to the ruler, lining up to rotary cut a straight edge, has torn up my left hand, shooting pains up my arm. OTC meds (oral and topical) are not helping this time. This morning I’ve put on my hand brace. Something I should have done when I first felt the pain.

Yesterday I did very little cutting as I had a few items ready just to stitch. I took my time. I managed to finish two placemats, the embroidery work on another, and finished the forth amulet bag.   

And, I changed it up.

 - read a bit of The Lakota Way,


 - colored some on the 2017-2018 day planner I found at Walmart (similar to this one at Amazon)

- simply sat with my hands in my lap while watching television – rather than crocheting on an afghan.

Yet still. This morning I know I will probably stay out of the sewing room all together. I need to keep the door closed. I keep pushing myself. I cannot do that.

I need to practice what I preach!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Beyond Excited



I’m so excited! I’ve never been a “Classroom Mom” before!

Although I know better to be the Mom because life will get in the way and I don’t want to disappoint, but I can ~ and did ~ volunteer to be the “assistant” mom!

This is the second year the “Room Parent Program” has been done for grades K – 5th at the Marty Indian School in South Dakota. Because it is long distance, actual hugs can’t be given. According to Google Maps from my ranch to there is about 970 miles – one way! Rather it is a snail mail experience, sending goodies and handmade items all wrapped in loving prayers and hugs.

The Facebook group Sew for Kids Volunteers led me to this opportunity of a lifetime. I am humbled to now be the Assistant Classroom Mom for the Second Grade!

Never having a second grader and not knowing what kids are like at that age (and what that “age” might be as it’s been a long time since my nieces were in 2nd grade!) I put this news out on my Facebook wall, asking for clues! I received some great input! Thanks to all!

My sister reminded me, everything I create can have an educational foundation… like words embroidered on items to reinforce what they are learning…

But what will they be learning in 2nd grade?

I took my laptop into town and downloaded the Content Standards for South Dakota (like the Texas TEKS). Something within their list caught my eye ~ the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards.

What a wealth of information! I will re-read several times, to learn more truths about our Native Americans.

I came back home and ordered two books listed within the resources (oh, I wish I could buy them all….)

The Lakota Way: Stories & Lessons for Living by Joseph Marshall III

The Great Race of the Birds and Animals by Paul Goble

From what I’ve read so far, I truly believe everyone, every child in the U.S.A., should read Mr. Marshall’s book, The Lakota Way: Stories & Lessons for Living.

It’s beyond Powerful.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Tub Full



Here lately I’ve been doing quite a bit of sewing. It all started on Sunday, May 8th and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment! A few days before I had discovered the closed Facebook group Sew for Kids Volunteers. After reading through their blog, I knew it was a mission I wanted to support.

It’s not just for kids! The woman’s shelter, the Elder Center, and the Veterans are also in need for things I can create and send!

It’s like I’m obsessed with getting things done and mailed off to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation!

I’ve sent two boxes already in the USPS large mailers that “if it fits, it ships” for a bit less than $19.00 (the USPS taking my money said they would have cost over $40 EACH had I not used that special box!). They were filled with children’s books, several fun pillowcases I had made a while back, and a little dress freshly created: 



Anyway, for me, it’s the perfect cause to use up my stash of fabric I’ve had for years!

Although I have a “door full” of items ready to mail, it’s not enough to fill up a box!


Once we got back from Dallas yesterday, I pulled out a tub full of fabric and will work through it this week… 


I just found this list of ways to help provided by the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation! So many ideas!

Now… off to get busy!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Time



During the recent time spent on the “Denver Road Trip” with my 88 year young mother, I created so many blessed memories that will last a lifetime. I am thankful we both agreed on taking her car rather than flying.

Yes.

We could have arrived there and home much quicker had we flown. But, I couldn’t see how I could manage all our “stuff” and her wheelchair and her walker and her!

Even after driving almost 1800 miles over the past week, I would do it again in a heartbeat – for her. I am beyond thrilled she was physically and mentally capable to see her FOURTH Great Grandchild graduate from High School!


She’s made them all… either in St. Louis for the twins and now twice in Denver.

Before, she had flown with my sister and Sarah.

It worked out that this final graduation trip she & I would go together.

I am blessed.

The time driving up there
The time while there
The time driving home
Has filled me with an even greater admiration and appreciation of the woman I call Momma.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Sunday



Sunday ~ yesterday ~ I got the urge to create a dress for a little girl. So I did. Although it’s for a little girl I don’t know, one I’ll never meet, I prayed for her the entire time.

It felt right. It was what I needed to do.

I absolutely love making things.

I love sewing for others.





Sewing for charity is a great way to spend a Sunday, and everyday!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's Time

It’s heart wrenching to “de-stash” my stash of
fabric
and trims
and lace
and notions
and all the goodies forwarded to me over the years.

While going through it all, I dream ~ a lot ~ of what I could make with this and that.

But then I ask myself, why?

Why do I make things?

I remind myself how much I love to sew
to quilt
to cross-stitch
to crochet
to spin

So through the tears of letting go and sorting into stacks for this person or this group or this project for whatever reason or cause, I’ve made some life-changing decisions.

Really, it’s a re-focus.

It’s time to move on.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

National Quilting Month

I know, March is almost half over and I’m just now realizing it is National Quilting Month! And, this Saturday (3/18/2017) is National Quilting Day!

Maybe I can find a bit of time to work on a quilt! I haven’t had the opportunity in a couple of months and I’m struggling with sewing/quilting withdrawals! But, all for good reasons…

 Anyway, a day late and a dollar short, I discovered this morning Missouri Star Quilt Co. was hosting a contest (deadline was YESTERDAY!) for your quilting story. Maybe next year…

While searching around the Internet this morning, I discovered The Kentucky Quilt Project ~

Why Quilts Matter

[You can see snippets of their series on YouTube, and follow their link to purchase the complete set.] 




For the time being I plan,
dream,
and wait
until I get back to sewing/quilting!

Happy National Quilting Month!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Week Later

My goodness. This week has flown by much too quickly! This afternoon I head back to Dallas, to again help my mother during her rehab period after breaking her right wrist on January 13th. Yes. It was a “Friday the 13th” freak episode of tripping over her feet.

I got a week respite after spending 29 days there (three days during this time I had two special visitors)! For a blessed 7 days I came home ~ to regroup, to spend time here at home with my family, and get some remodeling done on the dedicated sewing room! Thank the Lord for my sister!!!

Back to the renovation update ~ I had to basically empty the room first, before we could install the new flooring, which took a couple of days while DH had a few projects to do outside. You can see the absolute mess I faced in my previous post.

The Allen & Roth laminate flooring was a BUGGER to install. Last year we installed the same principled type flooring in our living room, but a different brand. It was a room three times bigger and it went down beautifully with hardly any issues. But, not this stuff.

Anyway. It’s done.


We put the bookcases back in the room and I reloaded the shelves with most of my collection. I’m selling the knitting books. I know I will never learn to knit.





Did you happen to notice the tv trays leaning against the wall next to the bookcases?



These are older than me! They also still work! I have precious memories of using them at my grandparents when they lived behind us, and then at the farm. They will NEVER get painted, nor thrown away.

We then moved the new HEAVY SUCKER quilting frame and machine boxes from the living room! (Yes. They’ve been there since arrival in November 2016)!


I’ve order wall cabinets – white Shaker style – for this wall. I will pick up from Lowe’s and we will get them installed once I get back.


If I can find oil-based paint, I may eventually paint the remaining walls white. I know from lessons learned latex paint will peel off the paneling.

To the right of the door was once a window. It’s been filled in, and will have a wall cabinet, but it won’t totally cover the ‘pieced’ section. I’m still thinking about how to cover it as my Plan A didn’t work. I saw on Fixer Upper where Chip used a “peel and stick” type of flooring on a wall. Well, it wouldn’t stick to the varnished paneling like I’d hoped. I am NOT ABOUT to strip the varnish, so am back to the drawing board on this one! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!



I cleaned out a closet. I should have taken a “before picture”…
But, I didn’t.


It’s cool to clean out a closet after having stuff buried for 15-20 years! It’s amazing the things that are rediscovered!  

Now it’s time to de-clutter!

While going through the all stuff taken out of the room, I set up two boxes…
1)    donation to the local Senior Center
2)    donation for the American Legion Post #116’s annual “garage sale” at the Diamondback Jubilee (Rattlesnake Roundup) in Lometa Regional Park on 3/25/17
I also have a HUGE trash bag.

It’s a start.
It’s only been a week.

Until the next time I’m back home…





Friday, February 17, 2017

Dedicated Sewing Room - Progress Report

It's been a long time coming, one of the last rooms to renovate in this 1918 house. What I've lovingly referred to as my "walk-in closet" is now changing!

What it looked like in November 2014:





Trust me. It only got worse.

I know.
I have too much "stuff" !!!
But, but, I have so many things I want to do.
Eventually.

Over the years, there have been many passions, wants, desires to create various projects.

When taking everything possible out of the room, I know there will be a few items totally tossed. Some will donated.
Some will be put up for sale... like all my knitting books because I know my brain doesn't work that way, and my hands can't take it. No. I'll simply crochet.

I haven't yet gone through the "stuff" as I had to clear the room for the new flooring:



Anna had never been able to look out this window!

The fun begins this afternoon!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Creating Your Own Organizer - Free Printables Found!

Just before Christmas a friend called my attention to a 2017 quilt planner she’d come across on the internet. I took a look and decided it wasn’t for me, not just because of the hefty price (even when multiples were ordered together), it was because I knew I wouldn’t use all the various pages included. It would be a waste.

I decided to create a planner myself, to customize it to fit my needs and wants. That’s when I went searching for ideas and free printables on the internet.

I came across Just a Girl and Her Blog. Abby has wonderful ideas and I signed up on her website for additional printables exclusive to her newsletter subscribers! Trust me! Worth it!

In addition to printable pages readily available, she provides a tutorial how create one in MS Word from scratch! Totally custom! Totally me!

Oh, and also, she shares “Plan to Achieve Your Goals this Year!” asking some great SMART questions:



In January I saw the original planner in person. I’m so thankful I didn’t get it because it would be much too heavy for me. Also, I realized it had a spiral binding. I hadn’t noticed that back in December. And, is another reason I wouldn’t want it as it’s too limiting. I’m thinking a one inch three ring binder will be perfect. When September comes, would I really need to be carrying around March stuff?

Anyway…

At No Side Bar, they have a few printables, like the Weekly Planner – perfect for my custom planner!

Blooming Homestead not only offers numerous brightly colored printables, but also shares her method of getting organized! You’ll find a 28 page .pdf download – pick and chose!!!

Oh. My. Goodness. If I can’t find everything I need on Organized Home, I don’t need a planner! They even have a “Fabric Organizer Page” !!!!

Life Your Way has a Home Management Notebook system with sheets for Birthday Organizer and Basic Medical Information among many others!

I also found many printables at Organizing Home Life

Fab n Free created lovely printables for Home-Family organization like Meal Planner and Cleaning Planner. I especially like her “Daily Planner” as it has check boxes for water and exercise (a reminder I need on a daily basis)!

I happened across a website that had a YouTube video about creating planners so got me to thinking…

Who would have thought? Oh, Yes! Check out the variety!!!

I guess everything you ever wanted to know can be found on YouTube!!!

This is not for a binder, but for the sewing room! How fun is this one I found on Crafterhours!



I so appreciate all the talented and good-hearted folks for creating a multitude of free printables!

Now to get started printing…

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Top 7 Articles of 2016



#7 – The Gift to Give

....Instead of asking her [my sister] last Christmas, I simply prepared and gave her “Blessing Bags” for her to pass along to those in need. I don’t think I’ve ever given her anything she liked and appreciated better – ever!



#6 - Introducing the Wings Quilt Block!
...Have you ever created a quilt block and didn’t like the way it looked? Maybe the color scheme used or the size of individual pieces within the block just didn’t look like the way you envisioned?



#5 – Just Shy of a full blown addiction

…finding free “Block of the Month” (or bi-weekly) (BOM) websites and the Facebook support groups that go along with them! I’m a happy camper that they are out there by the droves!


#4 – Crumb Quilts

...Those itty bitty tiny scraps are not just for stuffing pillows or pet beds any longer!



#3 – When Sisters Work Together

…a story I want to share…



#2 – Whispers in the Wind
 …each time I feel the wind on my face, I will be absorbing the prayer from a Prayer Flag someone, somewhere in this world, has made. Because, now I know about the whispers in the wind!



And, the Number One article for 2016:

#1 - Labor Day - Labor of Love
 …There are a multitude of those giving from the heart ~ a labor of love ~ their creativeness, expertise, and devotion through making quilts, dresses, shorts, pillowcases, bags, and on and on for whatever the need may be! 


Read the complete article.

Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It’s Official – I AM addicted to BOM's

Last February I wrote about finding a couple of FREE “Block of the Month” (BOM) challenges that were available online. In March, I shared a bit of my progress. Yesterday, I made/shared a to-do list.

Because I am using basically the same fabrics/color themes throughout the BOM's – of course Red White and Blue, they will be for our local Veterans once done.

1.     One BOM is still going. I think she’s on Block #90 (out of 100). Last year I shared a bit of my progress here. I'm not doing all 100... many are not appropriate for Veterans.

2.     One has all 12 blocks available for download, I’ve made 4. Photos of the first 3 are here.

3.     The third one I signed up for, I think I have 2 blocks made. I got frustrated with the website because it would take ages for the .pdf printable instructions to become available. I now have all the block patterns downloaded and am ready to finish it up.


I know. I know. I am addicted because just this week I discovered two more recently released Block of the Month challenges! Both are by the talented designer and quilter and writer Pat Sloan! I love her 2017 themes:

Children’s Library” (this is monthly)



and




Yes! I’ve downloaded the few block patterns she’s already shared for both BOM’s.

TIP:  I’m getting organized by downloading all the patterns for the different BOM’s on my laptop. I created separate file folders for each BOM challenge. I also created basically a blank Word document and saved it with only the link to the specific website.

I’ve promised myself, however, not to start on these two until the other three are FINISHED!

Have you ever done a Block of the Month challenge?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How do you work?

Recently, “How do you work?” was asked on the Lone Star of Texas Quilts for Others Facebook group. Michelle asked if we have several work-in-progress (WIP) going at once, or do we totally start to finish before going to the next project. The discussion had mixed results. Some do several at a time – like me! Others must complete before starting something new!



Bottom line, it is whatever works! Either way, you are not alone!

I decided to share my WIP list before the world, get it out into the universe. I need to set goals and get them done! There are so many more projects I want to do!

Besides the following major WIP, there are “minor” projects I want to do, like Blessing Bags, Action Quilts (aka Fidget Quilts), Kennel Quilts, more Prayer Flags, and any Pocket Prayer Quilts when the need arises.

It will be interesting to see at the end of the year what I’ve accomplished…

Carry Over from 2016 WIP:

1.     Camp Quilt – top is ready, need to quilt and bind and label.

2.     Butterflies and Dragonflies Quilt – ordered fabric arrived, need to finish border, then quilt, bind and label.


3.     Nancy’s Quilts – design and create at least 3 more
4.     Charm (Beggar) Quilt – two rows pieced, need total of 6 rows. Cut more 2” squares and stitch together, join rows, quilt, bind, and label. Will be a *Veteran’s Quilt



Block of the Month (BOM):

5.     Secret Garden – catch up on the bi-weekly blocks, add sashing, stitch together, quilt, bind, and label – Will be a *Veteran’s Quilt
6.     Splendid Sampler – half way through creating the blocks. Add sashing, stitch together, quilt, bind, label – Will be a *Veteran’s Quilt
7.     Starry Night – bunches of blocks to make, join together, quilt, bind, label – Will be a *Veteran’s Quilt
  
*DEADLINE on the Veteran’s Quilts – July 1, 2017

Totally NEW Must-Do projects:

THEN: Create at least 6 more Veteran’s quilts by July – to cover veterans that attend the American Legion Post’s Cowboy Breakfast!!!
THEN: replace those quilts for the September’s Cowboy Breakfast
THEN replace those for the Veteran’s Day program at the local school!!!

Projects I want to start for Me, our Home:

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt




And, two wall hangings for my NEW dedicated sewing room!

Yes. I have various projects going at one time. I love it! I don’t get bored for a lack of something to do!

How do you work?
One project at a time?
or
Several on-going?



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