Baby Pink Elephants

Gayle made this beauty.

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It’s difficult to see but the focus fabric has many cute pink elephants in the print along with the word “BABY.”

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So I decided in that center block I would quilt in the word BABY to go with the theme of the quilt. The rest got curls, flowers, vines, and loopies. It all finished up beautifully and lovely. A perfect baby girl quilt. :)IMG_0186

 

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Needle turn applique. Beautiful. :)

Thanks Gayle. I know this will be treasured.

Blessings on the new bundle of joy. :)

 


Trips Around the World

Kathy and her mom stopped by for a visit to drop off these quilts.

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Kathy found me on FB and we became friends. Her grandmother & mother made many quilt tops in the 60’s -70’s and they have not yet been quilted. Slowly but surely they bring me one every now and again to get finished up. It’s been  great. I love seeing all of the fabrics and being part of the process to finish them.

Kathy says sometimes when they pull them out they still smell like her grandma….I love that. It’s funny how our brains can remember those smells so vividly and take us back to those lovely memories.

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The fabrics aren’t cotton. They used leftovers from clothing they made..so it’s all polyester.  I quilted flowers on both quilts…but they each have a different focus flower to give them some variety.

This next one I adore…all of the colors are modern colors…See how everything always comes back around? Peach is making quite a comeback lately. That was popular in the 80’s.  :)

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They have a baby coming soon…so I also quilted a few baby quilts for them. The first one is from Grandma:

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The second one is one Kathy made….flannel back of course. SO comfy!

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I enjoyed working on these quilts. Thanks SO much!

Blessings on the new arrivals!

 

 


Monday Morning in Fall

Hi friends,

Just wanted to touch base it’s been awhile.

I have been out of routine again. My machine broke down last week. It took a few days to get everything back in working order. UGH! I could have used my second machine except I took parts from her frame to keep Venus going and I was waiting for those parts to arrive. Just to find the wrong thing had been ordered. I have an old style frame..and I guess they don’t sell the new parts. So thankfully I found the parts I need on Amazon….Good Ol Amazon…how I love thee! They were so cheap I ordered 8 sets to make sure I never have this problem with either frame again. Yes! While I was shopping around I also found cheaper bobbin cases and a few other parts that I need to have regularly. So I bought those as well.

So you can imagine how my days went when I couldn’t work. I should’ve curled up on the couch, watched TV and ate bon-bons …but I didn’t. I decided to do a few other things..and it seems I didn’t complete one of anything …which made me feel even worse. I hate those days. But I think I will be back on track this week, hopefully.

I also started a pottery class at my local community college. It’s been fun. I am learning a lot and I can apply many quilt skills to pottery….who would’ve thunk? It’s mainly math concepts…cause you know…math is a part of everything. We were working from slabs last week….and math seemed to be important. You know what else I realized?

As we were making our vases last week…( we had a choice to make a box or a vase from a slab…both if we had time..however I was late…soooo). When we rolled out our slab we could decorate it ……this is going to seem so silly to all of you. But I was so focused on what I was learning and the new medium I was working with that I lost sight of myself. Do you ever do that? So what I mean is that I work with my hands all day. I make beautiful designs by guiding a machine. Yet when I first rolled out my slab…I took a cookie cutter roller to make impressions in my clay. Seriously? After I did that I was like….wait a minute, Charisma? What are you doing? You can totally draw a great design by yourself…you don’t need a cookie cutter design.  So I scratched that idea and made a swirly type feather. It turned out beautiful. But how easily I forget myself and revert to whatever is sitting there. right? I think I was out of sorts.  Anyway they don’t have enough to fire yet…so we haven’t been able to bring anything home yet. We are learning all of the basics before we can go to the wheel. The wheel is what I really want to get to. I love working with my hands…and I have to honestly say the 2 hours that I am there I forget about everything else. It’s a great feeling.

Over the weekend we started our scrap wood pumpkin project. They are about halfway finished. It wasn’t actually a cheap project if you have to buy so much stuff. LOL  We didn’t have the right saw. SO we bought that. I am sure we will use it for other projects. Then after the first day of the guys cutting out stuff in the back of the pick up we bought saw horses. I had to buy varnish, sandpaper, and a few other things. I will really have to come up with a few more projects to make all of those purchases worth it…but I am sure that won’t be an issue …for me anyway.

It was also bountiful basket week and my turn to pick up. Clarissa is just itching to make a pomegranate smoothie. :) I am always happy when they offer the Italian pack…all of the mushrooms, peppers, garlic and spice. YUMMY!

Clarissa and I are almost finished with Season 5 of the Gilmore Girls. We have been getting them on DVD from Netflix. As of October they will start streaming them. This is the story of my life. I just have to say. LOL But That’s OK. It was worth it. Love that series.

I didn’t get as much quilting done over the weekend and I probably should have since I was down….but while my family was home..I was going to take the time off. Now that they are older….I don’t get all of that time. So quilts can wait sometimes. I will just work more this week. :)

Our oven is going out. We will need to buy a whole new range. Rob has repaired our oven so many times…and we really need to upgrade. It’s just a weird thing because we have an oven in the wall and a stove top on the other side of the counter. We are going to change that. But we can’t update our whole kitchen at this time. So we are going to have to change a few things to make everything work until we can. But I am really excited to have a new range. We are for sure going to get a double oven. Which we greatly need around here. Looking forward to that.

It’s just everyday life around here. Getting letters from my sister in prison. I was getting them from my brother but now he has stopped because he knows I don’t believe him and I won’t enable him. So it’s  waste of time to hear what I have to say because it’s not what he wants to hear. My sister is the same way …she thinks I am mean. LOL When people don’t tell you what you want to hear all of the time..than they are mean? I told her that I don’t care if we have a relationship or not….so I don’t live in fear of her leaving me or being mad at me..so I can say what I feel and be honest. Everyone in her life is afraid of her because she is crazy and immature. She has been on drugs more years of her life than not. I live far away and I am not going to compromise my truth to make her feel good. simple as that.

I have lots of outdoor projects that I need to be working on…however I am just having an issue with tearing down my garden. Does anyone else feel this? After all of that nurturing?? I have to tear it all away? Rob keeps telling me to get with the program…….I can’t. I will need help. LOL We are also going to frame in our extension to the current garden. That way next year all we will need to add is soil and an irrigation system. We are in our planning stages now. I can’t wait to see what we come up with next year. :)

All of this work…..and the feeling of accomplishment. The feeling of working with nature. That feeling of getting back to our roots. I really like it. I think maybe I had to replace nurturing babies with nurturing a garden. It takes consistency and planning. I don’t get to do that so much anymore with all of my older kids. So the garden really helped me with that. Maybe that is the secret to having teens? All parents of teens need to start a garden? I could be on to something?

Also I was having some health issues. I was thinking that I had a hormone imbalance. I went to my Dr a few times. All of my symptoms and such were presenting as early menopause. I was a bit irritated by that because I am still in my 30’s. But I was happy to do anything to get myself in better working order. I have gained a ton of weight. I am not a skinny girl anyway but I had maintained the same weight for several years and I hadn’t changed anything.   My sleep patterns were off. My internal temperatures were out of whack. My cycle was irregular. After taking every hormone test known to man guess what it was? I was extremely low on Vitamin D. Even after working in the yard every day ect. Apparently many Americans are low on VitD. Guess what else happens if you are low on VitD? You can’t lose weight…so that’s why I was gaining. There are tons of bad side effects of low VitD. So I had to take a mega dose for several weeks..and now I am on a daily supplement. I can tell if I have skipped a dose. That’s how important it is to my system.  I will have zero energy and be moody. I share this for several of you who may be suffering from the same thing. It’s a cheap test and your Dr can run it for you.  So I am very thankful that I don’t have to do hormone therapy and everything is intact that way…but I do have to take a pill everyday.

Well I hope you all have a fantastic week! I know this week will be better than last…so Life is good!

 

 

 

 


Easter Bunnies & Hearts a Flutter

Vicki is an avid needle turn appliquer.

Her work is always beautiful. These are her latest two smaller projects.

The Easter Bunnies…..( lighting isn’t that great on gloomy days)

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I quilted swirls, flowers, leaves ect.

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These have a cozy flannel backing

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The Hearts A flutter is a fancy table topper..so beautiful!

IMG_0147IMG_0148 Beautiful work! Thanks Vicki! Always a pleasure working with you!

Have a great Saturday!

blessings

C


Debt Snowball Update

I thought I would update you all on our progress. Remember at the beginning of the year when I was talking about getting on the Dave Ramsey plan? I was thinking of eating better and cutting back on grocery budget? No more boxed meals. Making things from Scratch?

-We make all of our laundry & cleaning supplies now

– we buy 90% of our meat from Zaycon

-we buy 90% of our produce from bountiful baskets, trade with others or grew our own over summer. In winter we get frozen veggies from Rob’s work.

– I have taught the kids to make pancakes and whatnot from scratch. So everything has been trial & error…but it’s been a great success.(thank You pinterest)

Due to the help of all of you I learned about Zaycon foods & Bountiful Baskets. I also grew my own garden. I also did some trading for canned goods. I have been really working at whittling our debt down with the Dave Ramsey snowball plan.

We used to spend about 1200-1300$ a month at the grocery store. I have gotten that down to about half. Which was my goal. I have been able to maintain that goal all year…on average.

Rob and I have not done a “Perfect” job of staying on the plan. In all actuality Rob doesn’t like the plan. He doesn’t like giving up his creature comforts…like at all. We have been eating out less. We have been looking at buying quality rather than quantity. I have to confess that we did charge a few things….but I did pay them off right away. One of the things I promised Rob was that he could get new wheels for the Mustang…..so he did get those…we weren’t charged interest and I paid them off within a few months.  I am constantly in a battle to keep him happy and stick with our plan.

But now I have my ER fund. We have paid off many of the smaller debts and there will be no more charging. :) I keep looking to see what I can focus on next…and I love that! I am a star chart kid….so I like seeing progress. Our house is our biggest debt and I think by the end of next year it will be the last debt we have….(if we stay on track) and I will be able to start making at least double payments on the house to get that debt whittled down. I think we will also be able to refinance and get a lower interest rate.

But the difference between our debt now from the beginning of the year is like a night & day difference. I can see so much progress being made even when we have faltered. I think that we didn’t have as much debt as many people out there…but it was enough to cause me undue stress each month. I hear about people who have 50 grand in credit card debt and I would keel over of anxiety.  I think I live in a constant state of anxiety because we have so many kids..and there is always something they need or something happens. We can’t live like normal people when we have this many kids in the house. Just going to the dentist every 6 months is at least a 1000$ bill by the time we are done. We always have someone going to the Dr. A surgery happens at least once a year…and by the time that is always done our bills are a couple grand. So I always need to be prepared..and living paycheck to paycheck is just not anyway to live.    I really wanted to start being mindful of everything in my life. This has been eye opening and a great part of my journey.

I have turned it all into a game for myself. I think I have also decided to continue with my Fabric Fast for another year. My spending money doesn’t go to clothes & shoes anymore. It goes to fabric. I have spent less than 100$ this year on fabric. I did buy a few patterns and a few classes…which were not cheap all together. But I am going to still allow those things because I still need to have my outlets. I will need to allow for a few fabric purchases to make myself successful….I just haven’t decided how to handle that yet. So I am formulating a plan. But I know that I have enough fabric to last another year and I need to use what I have. Part of my journey has been to realize that I don’t need a 1000 yards of fabric in my stash. I can live with a lot less. I can work on projects as they come along? I don’t know what my future looks like….but I do want to simplify a few of these things.  Being bogged down with material possessions..isn’t as great as it seems.

I like rewarding myself with an accomplishment. I like the feeling of working through this. It’s not happening over night. It’s little by little realizing things. All of it happened little by little..so I guess the healthy way for it to change is little by little.   One of the things that has also happened through the course of this is that I take more time off. I am not so stress that I must make ends meet that I am no longer working 20 hour days. Always trying to get ahead. I stop every night and I get out of the studio. It’s been such a great thing. I take most weekends off. I am working on other crafts and getting back to finding new loves. Scrapbooking, crafting, painting, cooking & now pottery. Yes….when you clean “house” and start living mindfully you realize many things you forgot along the way. It’s been a great process. Even though we have faltered once or twice we just got back up and dusted ourselves off.

That’s just the process.