Some Littles by Susan

Susan also sent these little treasures. Along with her big one from yesterday…..they are all made from civil war reproductions and they are all pieced beautifully, of course.

020 021They are so charming and sweet. I love any quilts with house blocks. It’s something so charming & cozy about a house. I quilted shingles, stipple, continuous curves and little details to make the house stand out.

019 018A feather to frame in all of these tiny court house blocks.Just simple straight lines to bring it all together.

017 016So sweet. There is applique and lots of tine piecing. So I added leaves, feathers and just worked around all of the little details in the quilt.


Thanks Susan! It’s always a pleasure to work with you! I hope you have a great holiday season!


Star Sampler

Susan sent this quilt…it’s a BOM sampler from a designer…I have seen it a few times but can’t think of the name. It’s a beautiful quilt and the pictures just don’t do it justice.

023I love the colors fabrics and Susan always does a nice job with her construction.

030I used 2 layers of batting because they wanted it to be real warm & heavy.

025 024I quilted leaves in the background and lots of continuous curves. I framed it all in with a feather. As you can see the center of each star is diffrent…so I quilted them each different to add a little sparkle.

026 027 028 029It turned out so lovely. She is gifting this to her children. :)

031The back and she is also making pillow shams. That I quilted:

022Thanks Susan! always a pleasure working with you!



Winter Wonderland

Gail sent this ….I really wish I could have gotten better pictures. The lighting here has been few & far between…and this day happened to be a lot of light. :)



This is a Crab apple hill pattern and so beautiful. Gail chose a light blue for all of the hand embroidery work. I have seen this quilt in many color ways and I just love this pattern. I have min traced out & ready to work on. :)

006 007


I quilted wind & snowflakes.



She made this quilt as a Christmas gift for her granddaughter and I just know it will be loved & cherished. :)

011Thanks Gail! It was a pleasure working with you! I hope you love your quilt! You did a beautiful job!

Weight Loss Thoughts….& journey

Hi friends,

Well I thought I would give a bit of an update ….I have about 2 weeks before it’s my official monthly update. But I have had some things come up and I just want to share them because well…..I need to get them out.

I have been overweight and sedentary for so long and I had made accommodations with a personal matter that many women deal with after they have given birth. I have bladder issues. I have actually always had bladder issues but of course, having children made it worse…and having so many children so close together …well that was hard on my system. So for 20 years I have been having to accommodate that buy wearing pads on a regular basis and just dealing with it anytime I laughed, sneezed  or coughed. I think it’s a running joke for the moms out there that know what I am talking about on the surface. But it’s not a joke for me anymore.

I have had accidents through out my life and it’s just one of those things. But now that I have adopted a more active lifestyle it’s not going to work for me anymore. I am going through the process of getting it fixed. I met with my primary Doctor yesterday and I am going to see a urologist to start the process.

Here’s the struggles I am having…..and why I am going to go about making the journey.

  1. I have bladder issues and IBS. I can avoid eating anything that will trigger a BM and I have a pretty good grasp on that and I can control it (somewhat). However, the drinking thing while you are exercising is kind of crucial. YOu have to keep hydrated. I was struggling the day of my race and I had a major accident during my race. It’s embarrassing to admit but it’s because I knew I had to be hydrated and I didn’t drink enough the day before…so the night before and morning of my race I was downing water to get myself in a good place. But because I was so nervous and trying to calm my mind I couldn’t go to the bathroom.
  2. I struggle with going to the bathroom anytime I am in a new environment. That is unless I eat something that will set off my IBS. So that has been a trick I have had to use to go…..I have told this story lots of times…but I went on a mission one time and I didn’t have a BM for 9 days. It was brutal. I didn’t go until I had eaten some bad salad from the locals. The other people who had eaten the salad were is misery. Painful cramps ect. I was excited & happy that I had eaten bad salad..just because I could actually go!
  3. In my current situation I can’t just drink a quart of water when I need it. I have to drink all through out the day. It is very easy for WLS patients to get dehydrated. So if I avoid drinking for a race..just to get through the event it could cause harm for me in the long run.


So if I am going to pursue my goals of running any lengthy races I will have to get this issue fixed. So I can stay hydrated and not have any accidents on the course. So I am actually pursuing surgery…I am going to practice my exercises and go through all of the testing with probes and exercising as well to see exactly how bad it all is. But given the lengthy history of bladder issues extending most of my life.  I think it’s just something that needs to be delt with.

Do you know what bothers me most about all of this?

The fact that I wont be able to exercise while I am healing. Who would have thought that? I am wanting to get it done as soon as possible because I don’t want to be training for my 10 mile race and have to stop. I think that will be difficult for me. I don’t like to be thwarted that way. LOL.

It is just amazing how much this journey is making me tie up loose ends. I am fixing lots of things that need to be fixed…in all ways. I am learning so much about myself and it isn’t without struggles…for sure.

Things I put up with for so long and learned to live with just because?? It’s funny how we do that. But now my lifestyle can’t live that wya any longer.

So I have heard from several of you about where to start?

Honestly, going through this process has helped me….I am not sure when one is ready or what the determining factors are? I am just in the beginning of my journey…..because I think the true test isn’t losing the weight. Its maintaining it. Honestly, I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t scared. I can’t predict the future. If I were to predict the future based on passed behavior …well than I think we all know that I will put the weight back on. All I can really do is take it one day at a time and not look to far ahead. I think that’s the best advice I have. Take it one day at a time.

I think making small changes over a period of time is the best way to go. If you look at how overwhelming it is to change everything at once…’s easy to just not try  or even do it at all. At least that’s how I was.

I think the biggest fear that we all have or have experienced is being hungry all of the time. When you are “dieting.” Honestly, that is so uncomfortable and it’s a real fear because that’s such a natural survival instinct.

I can tell you from my experience…before surgery & after. If you stay away from sugar and simple carbs…..the Hunger goes away. It takes about 3 days to get it out of your system…and it’s difficult to kick the habit. Trust me. But once I get it out of my system and eat my protein and whatnot I am never hungry and I can focus on the goal. It’s a complete lifestyle change to get rid of carbs. But I promise you …you won’t feel hungry. I eat complex carbs. Fruit and healthy things like quinoa and brown very small amounts.

I can tell if I have had any bad carbs right away…I am always hungry and it’s unjustifiable hunger. So that is my number one tip. As far as diet.

The most important thing beyond those 2 tips is just make small changes. You don’t have a time limit on your health (in most cases) so what is the rush? If you kick the sugar & carb habit. Just focus on that for a few weeks or months until you master it. Once you feel you have a handle on that focus on another habit such as getting the water/fluid intake everyday. If that is something you need to focus on. Once you master it…by mastering it I mean you have implemented it into your daily life so well that you don’t even have to think about it. It’s just a habit. I use an app to measure my protein and calorie intake. It’s my habit to input it & plan out my meals. But for my fluid intake I use a water bottle and I know if I drink 2-3 of those a day I have gotten everything in. So that’s my system. But everyone has to find what works for them.

After you have mastered those two things….try adding in a walk. Walking is free. It doesn’t cost anything. There are no excuses. If you have knee issues ect…then do some work outs with your arms. If you have a computer or a smart phone there are no excuses. There are work outs on 1000’s of sites for free. You can get a customized work out that will work for you. In the grand scheme of things you can take 20-30 minutes a day to make yourself feel better. I had to do that when I started this process as well. In August when I started walking I would say….I don’t have time I just need to get this done. Then I said ….”Charisma , You have been saying that to yourself for years…change the dialogue….you are worth 30 minutes a day!”

So that is what I do.

I have made exercise a natural part of my day. Rain, snow or shine. It just is. No matter how cold it is ..I just pack on the layers. In fact it’s funny because I have gotten clothes from several friends and at this point I don’t really care about fashion or styles. I just wear whatever gets me through thankful that I don’t have to spend a tone of money buying stuff that I can only wear for a short time. But there is this fleece vest that I have been wearing out …’s really comfy. It’s teal green & black plaid. It doesn’t match anything I have. It’s probably 15-20 years old? I don’t know? I don’t fits, it serves the purpose and it’s comfortable. My kids all make fun of that vest. They are embarrassed when I wear it out in public and they like cringe when they see me put it on. LOL.    They make fun of it …even when I am not wearing it. I honestly didn’t think it was that bad…seriously? How can one little vest cause so much reaction.

So while I was out Christmas shopping a few days ago I picked up a cream colored (plain) Columbia fleece vest to appease my children. It’s actually very comfortable as well….and my kids won’t cringe when they see me. It was on sale..thank goodness.

If exercise is what will hang up up…make that the last thing you master. Don’t choose options that you will fail at in the beginning. Choose options that you think you can have success with. The reason I say that is because the more success we have ..the more we want to keep going. Nobody knows you, better than you do. If you can’t kick the sugar-carb habit…well than focus on not snacking at night. Focus on not eating fast food or eating out at all. There are little things you can do to make changes and it’s not going to be dramatic changes until they all start to add up. Soda-pop is such a huge deal. Diet or not. Give it up. That’s so bad for you and I know how difficult it is. Before I started this journey I would give up soda for lent or as a fast ect. Just because it’s every where. You can’t get away from it. If I go out with my family it’s very difficult to find something to drink that is healthy for you. It’s water or tea, usually. I am always so happy if there is another option. I don’t drink anything carbonated or with sugar.

I am always here if you need to ask me questions or talk about it. I am a judgement free zone. there is nothing I haven’t done from hoarding food, hiding food or binge eating. I haven’t in the last 6 months…but i did for years before that. I have come up with every excuse and reason……I know how it is. I can’t tell you that I have mastered anything. The proof will be in the pudding years down the road. I can only tell you about now.


So I will have some major updates with my next follow up because I am getting all of my lab work and some testing done this week. I should have the  results by the time i type up my next update. I am excited to see the changes in my results from the last time I was checked. :)

I can tell you that I am going to start training for a 10K before my next update and if all goes well I have already gotten a plan in place as to where I am going to run a half marathon at the end of 2016. I am going to schedule a run in Disneyland. I think it’s just a fabulous way to end my year of training and to accomplish that goal. In all reality I will probably run a half before then just to make sure I can accomplish the goal…we shall see. But as a reward to myself I am going to try my best to make that trip happen. It’s the happiest place on earth..I love it there and I just want to experience it. It will give me enough time to train and heal from a possible surgery and it will be way to go into the following year training for a full marathon.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Many blessings





Christmas Trees & flowers

001Donna brought these quits to me and she always does a nice job. I don’t even know how often we have worked together. :) But this tree pattern is actually in a magazine….and it’s special because it’s designed by my local quilt shop owner. The Fabric Patch was published as one of the top ten shops to visit in the fall issue of Quilt Sampler magazine. Isn’t that awesome? Donna bought the magazine & made the quilt.

002 003 004So I got to quilt it for her and I added the snowflakes, swirls, continuous curves & ribbons. Fun stuff for a fun quilt. :)

I think Donna is pretty much going to be the Rock Star of Christmas. She has made many gifts this year. :)

She also made this purple floral quilt….she always finds beautiful fabrics.

012 013 014 015  I quilted all over flowers & vines to bring it all together.

Thanks Donna! It’s always a pleasure to work with you!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday!