Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of School

Wow! I'm beat! The middle school I'm in is new, and the floors are cement. I stood or walked all day, only sitting for a few minutes at lunch, and my legs are killing me! Besides that, I didn't sleep well last night. I'm looking forward to establishing a routine. Whew!

Other than that, everybody had a very good day. Most of the teachers were very reassuring to the new 5th graders, and Kyle's home room teacher is a wonderful man. We're going to like being in his room! We haven't met with the reading and English specialists yet. Today was spent getting acclimated and getting everyone put in the right classroom.

I'm off to get an aspirin and some dinner.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to Work

Today was my first day back to work. No kids yet (they start on Wed). Just a full day of meetings. Because I'm at a new school, I met lots of new co-workers and got "the lay of the land." The middle school has 5th through 8th graders, and each grade has their own hallway. They aren't usually together, except maybe assemblies. So now I know: where to clock in, where to eat, secretaries, principal and vice principal, insurance info, etc.

And surprise ---- I don't have to go to school tomorrow because I don't have a room or area to set up! So I'll be sewing again! And Monday is Labor Day, another day off. And the Monday after that is a teacher-only day! Whoo-hoo! I like this easing-back into work mode. :-)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Farm Girls' Meeting

Today was the first official Farm Girls meeting for the Yellowstone Prairie Flowers. We met in Pioneer Park and hung quilts and wore aprons. Lunch was: egg salad sandwiches, chips, fruit, and cookies. We had a new prospective member. I wore my new apron, which I stitched on till 3:00 this AM. It is cute - red with white pokey-dots, pleats at the waist and looooonnnng ties. I'm gonna enjoy wearing this one! And now I'm on a quest for more vintage apron patterns. There are some really adorable ones out there! Have to wait for a 99 cent sale at Joann's.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A new job - sewing related

Recently, I applied for a position at Patchwork Interactive as one of their 12 experts - and I was accepted! Whoo-hoo! I don't have all the details on my new duties yet, but I expect to be writing articles and answering questions. The site is for quilters and needleworkers; it's Australian-based, and is very user-friendly, with clean, bright images. Go check it out!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

There I Go Dreaming Again...

My dream farm will have:

dogs (maybe Australian Shephards, definitely Labradors)
chickens for eggs and meat
goats for milk and meat
bees for honey
barn cats
a big garden
lots of room for storing my home-grown foods and for making beautiful and useful things
snow in the winter
a clothes line
a basement
wood floors
bedrooms upstairs
Blue Willow dishes
a treadle sewing machine

If I don't dream about it, how will I know when my dreams come true?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My New Kitchen

Denny went out for a couple of hours recently, and he came home to a very different kitchen! I wanted it to be a surprise, so the paint and supplies were stored in Debbie and John's garage (and nobody let it slip!).

He was quite alarmed when he saw what I had done, but when I reassured him it was ok with Debbie (it was actually her idea!), he suggested we paint a wall in the living/dining room, and a wall in our bedroom, and the whole bathroom! "We" is actually me because Denny's not allowed NEAR anything as messy as paint, and he knows it!

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the color is Sage Green, so very soothing... I am tremendously happy with the results!!

Light off

Light on.

Light and fish plate over my sink. The sharp glare from this light was so intense when the wall was white that I never turned the light on. Now it's perfect!

I love the soft color behind the white cabinets and appliances.

My tea pot collection looks good with a sage green background, too!

I've painted a wall in the dining/living room, but no pictures just yet; soon, I promise. The color is... A SURPRISE!

Coffee Cuff

Here are my two original versions of the Coffee Cuff (also called Latte Cozies).

This one fits any size to-go cup. Talk about a win-win-win situation... It keeps your hand cool while drinking hot liquids, and it absorbs the condensation on cold drinks. And it's a fashion statement, too!

Pink pokey-dots with a bright pink fleur button! Just right for a modern girl.

I sell Coffee Cuffs, my original pattern, and kits. There are three fabrics to choose from: the pink fabric above, a blue and brown fabric, and the coffee-theme fabric on the jar below.
Coffee Cuff: $6. Pattern: $5. Kits: $7.

Farm girls drink from mason jars. Ask me how I know!

Here's my recipe for my favorite summer-time drink. It takes just a minute or two to blend and clean up, and the taste is soooo smooth!

6 large ice cubes
2-3 Tbsp instant coffee
2-3 Tbsp hot water
2-3 Tbsp chocolate syrup
2 cups cold milk

Place ice cubes and milk in blender. In a mug, mix together instant coffee and hot water; add chocolate syrup to coffee and stir. Pour coffee-chocolate mixture into blender and whir 20-30 seconds. Pour frappe into mason jar and sip with a straw. Enjoy! Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

Other Projects

Here are some other projects that I haven't posted yet.

Quilt for Allyson Robertus (the 4th grade teacher whose class I interpreted in last year). It's about 70" x 70". This is also a picture of my "design wall" - 2 hangers on a closet! Necessity really IS the mother of invention! I can hang my white flannel and "audition" blocks here. The center block is a Little Red School House (blue for Allyson!) with star points around it. Flying Geese blocks in the corners.

I traced all the kids' hands (and the adult aids) with their names in the yellow border, and I'll include all their first and last names on the label on the back.

I liked this design so much, I decided to do one for me, too. My Little Red School House is RED, of course.

My favorite pin cushion. About 6 inches across. Mandi arranged the pins for me - more fleurs!

Detail of the embroidered fleurs.

I read an article about these yo-yo pin cushions, and had to try it!

Pot holders / handle mitts for my cast iron skillets - I LOVE these!

Stitchin' in the Park

I went to a local park a couple of weeks ago with Michelle, Terry, Mia and Tabby for a free performance of Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well put on by MSU Billings. Naturally, I brought a handwork project to work on (my Bible verses quilt), and before I knew it, all four of the little kids from the blanket next to me were in my lap!

The little girl in the dark pink dress (I’m guessing she’s about 3 or 4 years old) kept trying to touch the sharp, pointy end of my needle as I stitched and she finally told me, "I know how to do that. Wanna see?" They were really sweet, curious kids. I wished I'd had small samples they could stitch on!

Preparations for Montana State Fair

The Montana State Fair ( begins this Friday, and I'm busy getting ready to demonstrate embroidery, crazy quilting, and hand quilting in the Heritage Arts building. I have 6 items entered.

This is my first time ever to enter the fair, and I'm excited that I'm going to demo my favorite heritage arts! I can't wait to see ALL the items entered in the Heritage Arts category.

Here are 3 of the 6 items I've entered in the fair.

crazy quilt pillow (all "fancy" fabrics - silks and velvet)

Autumn pillow in cottons (the pattern was a gift from Julie and Mandi; pattern by Crab Apple Hill)

my Mandi doll (my own design; completely hand stitched; tea dyed muslin)

She doesn't really look like Mandi, but she's still cute!