Archive for December, 2007

Adjusting…

December 27, 2007

Ok, you were all right! πŸ™‚ Adjustment period is nearly over. I’m a quick adjuster.

Becky, I’m glad you liked your Prep Tool, I hope you get to use it soon. While you’re quilting, er I mean, cleaning. πŸ™‚

And there will be slices of warm homemade bread slathered in butter passed around, so stick around!

The new website for Cotton Spice has been designed. I’m waiting for one last little tweak and then I’m going to start changing over. I hope to have it done by tomorrow…. I hope you’ll like it. It’s pretty exciting to me to be getting the new site and opening it all up to the public. Free Cotton Spice…this will be a wonderful gift!

We received 2 Bed, Bath and Beyond Gift Cards for Christmas so today we shopped! This is really one of our favorite stores and we head right to the kitchen part. Our new favorite show is Good Eats with Alton Brown and he’s been using this really nifty little measuring gadget and we found it there! So, of course we got one of those, can’t wait to use it. A salad spinner, which we’ve been meaning to purchase for over a year, a gravy boat which we needed (we’ve been serving gravy from the Pyrex measuring cup) and a really nice tart/quiche pan. We also had a 20% off coupon for one item, and all in all we got some great deals. Thank you Traci and Riley πŸ™‚

I’ve got lots of new knitting projects going, just haven’t taken pictures yet, but I will!

Have a wonderful day!

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Christmas is past for one more year….

December 26, 2007

I always work better with a deadline. And it’s not like I have anything pressing to be done… but I’m kind of wandering around in a fog, wondering what to do. Yes, I have the list. It has things on it for me to do. I know everyone else has returned to work today. But I don’t feel like it.

I’m doing laundry and baking bread and I think that’s going to be it.

Merry Christmas

December 23, 2007

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A very warm and heartfelt Merry Christmas to all my blogger friends, quilty friends, knitting friends, friend friends, cotton spice friends…to ALL of you. Mike and I wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Wonderful New Year filled with possibilities, opportunities and open doors.

 

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”Β  Phil. 4:8

Phew! Finally more or less caught up

December 19, 2007

geraniums.jpgI’m caught up on mailing. What a relief! Prep Tools went out today, and Kate’s pattern library. I’m waiting for Pat’s address and then it will go out tomorrow! Doesn’t it feel good to get a mountain of mail out your way?

I’m working on the funnest project! I know, funnest isn’t a word and I wouldn’t let Riley get away with it. Oh well, it adequately describes what I’m doing. Have you seen the new silk fabric RJR is making? Oh my, it is GORGEOUS!!!!!Β  Brenda got some kits in to the store using these silks, and I begged her to let me make one for a store sample. She did, I think I might have frightened her though. πŸ™‚ Just kiddin’…. I’ll be taking a picture of the finished product to show you.

Even got caught up on my ironing. I know I’m probably the only woman left in North America who likes to iron, but I do. (i even iron our napkins) shhh…. don’t tell anyone, I don’t want to be laughed out of town.

Today, I’m trying to get the house back in order after our ‘experience’. We ended up keeping a lot of things on the table in the dining room because while it was cold, it was MUCH warmer than the kitchen. We’d venture into the kitchen to get a few things and then just keep them on the d.r. table. Really more things than I thought!Β  The sewing room was also freezer temperature, so I’d just run in here and get a few things and then run back into the living room and get under my blanket. I guess I did that a lot more than I realized cause I have LOTS of things to put away! I had kind of created a nest for myself, around my chair. Yarn, books, fabric, mail, you name it! Getting the Basket in place helped a lot but there are still quite a few things to put away.

Tomorrow, I’ll do a tiny bit of Christmas shopping and that’s about it for us! Oh… I see I just got an email from Pat, so I’ll get her packie in the mail today!

Enjoy your day!

Finally! The Basket Suggestion Winner!

December 17, 2007

Joanna commented about my electricity saga, and how she was wondering who’d won the Basket Suggestion Giveaway. I kind of lost sight of that while all this was going on, and I was trying to catch up and get things up to date here. Well, with the announcement of these winners, we will be up to date.

I am amazed at the different suggestions, and I’m keeping the list to use some of the different ideas later. But for now… the winner is, or should I say winners? The idea I picked was thought of by two of you, so I’m just sending them each a pattern library (their choice) Quilt, Stitchery or Penny Rug.

Ok… details!

  1. Pat on 07 Dec 2007 at 5:59 pm link comment

    I would use the basket for my current quilting or stitching project holder. I enjoy applique and embroidery. I can see those little cubbies filling up with scissors,floss,thread pencils needles and applique pieces. You could also use it as an organizer in you sewing room.You would have everything in one area that you can see without having to search through drawers. You have been given several good ideas. Good luck.

AND

  1. Kate on 08 Dec 2007 at 10:17 am link comment

    I’d put it on the craft table and keep tools in it: scissors, crochet hooks, knitting needles, paint brushes, rulers, colored pencils, quilt marking tools, needle holders, pincushion, etc.

Email me with your details – address, preference on patterns πŸ™‚ I still have to mail out the Prep Tools and will do that this week. Catching up on mail too!

So, here’s a Before Picture of my ‘desk area’ –

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and after implementing the Basket Solution suggested by Pat and Kate….

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I wish it would stay like this. But I’m a habitual ‘piler’. I put things in piles all over the place. I have to put things AWAY when I’m done using them. But, see how neat and lovely my desk is… today. πŸ™‚

Congrats Pat and Amy! Email me at editor at cottonspice dot com. I’m looking forward to hearing from you πŸ™‚

So, what to do with 8 days of no electricity?

December 17, 2007

Thank you all, for such kind messages. The compassion comes through, for those of you that have been through it – Amy! You know exactly what I’m talking about! In fact, when Mike went out to turn off the generator, the lamp and tv went off and I just about freaked! Then remembered they were powered by the generator. Like I need more things to freak me.

Dede – this experience is far better as a memory!Β  You hit that nail on the head.Β  Barbara, we didn’t have any freezing pipes. Thankfully the temp hovered right around freezing. What I don’t understand is how we can have freezing rain at 39 degrees. The roof is dripping, but it’s still freezing on the trees. I don’t know.

But, it left me with nothing but time. And I am, as Amy said, a modern girl who is connected at the hip to my computer, my tv, my dvr, my sewing machine, my iron, my lights placed in strategic places… so now what?

I started my second GAAA block –

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I got out my crochet hook and played with some stitches, finally landing on this one as fun and pretty –

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I worked on some tiny yoyo’s for a doll quilt –

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And I did some handpiecing that I can’t find right now 😦

I started another scarf with some Knit Picks yarn I’ve been wanting to knit up –

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Then, I was watching some Christmas decorating programs on HGTV and got inspired to “make” our own Christmas tree. This power outage has just about ruined our checkbook and the money we have left we want to spend on gifts, not tree’s that will be thrown away. I think I did a pretty good job here –

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I made it Christmas Garland, cut into lengths and stapled to the wall at the top, and then bent the wire to hook on to the round table underneath it. It took 3 lengths, and the rest of it I put underneath to make it look full. I put a string of lights on it, some Christmas balls and some ribbon…voila!

And of course, on Tuesday, our little Riah was here, so I got some pictures –

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She was just about smiling when I started this picture, but right as I ‘clicked’… she stopped and showed off her tongue πŸ™‚ Oh well, she’s cute everywhere.

That’s what I did with my time. It was lovely being ‘marooned’ with my honey. πŸ™‚ I was sad when he had to go back to work. And today, I’m catching up on laundry. And happy to be able to do it I might add. πŸ™‚

8 Days Without Power Makes One … Thankful

December 16, 2007

The ice storm hit last Saturday night. Our power went out Sunday morning about 10 am, and came back on this morning about the same time. I have never lived without electricity for that long of a time, at least not voluntarily. There is the occasional camping trip, but you prepare for those things. You expect to be roughing it for a few days and then happily return to your home filled with electrical appliances. There just isn’t any place in my mind that prepared me to live in my own home for 8 days without electricity. Who believes weathermen anyway? When they say Prepare for the major ice storm that rivals the one we had in January, do we believe them? Well, we should.

So, with the power going out Sunday morning, I was going to go to work with Mike. It would be warm there. Nope, his power was out too. We went over to his mom’s for a few hours and then her power went out. We finally went home and snuggled in, figuring it would be on soon. Not so fast there Hoss….

Monday morning we woke up to no power. And a third night with no sleep. Saturday night while the freezing rain fell, it thundered and lightninged all night long. Sunday night, the tree’s broke and fell. The branch would snap, sounding like a rifle shot and then the branch would crash to the ground, breaking and the ice shattering. The branches were falling in the yard, across the street, on the house, on the next block…everywhere. You could hear them. There was no sleep. Monday night, the ice started melting. You’d think that would be a good thing! It’d melt enough to fall off the trees and shatter on the ground. Sounded like glass breaking all night. It would melt enough to slide off the bowed branch, which would then become this catapult-like creature and it would fling ice at the house. It was like having a load of bricks and gravel thrown at your house all night. Yeah, there was no sleep.

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This was the first night and we still had power. See that light behind the tree? And those branches are normally UP! They are so loaded with Ice, they are covering the back gate.

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This ‘bush’ is probably about 20 ft tall, and it’s nearly touching the ground.

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This is the next day, on the opposite side of that 20 ft bush.

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So, Monday morning there was still no power at Mike’s work. We were going to go to Traci’s, she had power. Just as we were leaving for her house, they called. The power was out. I’m telling you, by this time it was downright scary.Β  We decided to go to Lowes and see what they had in the way of generators or any kind of heating device. Incidentally, the week before, the thermostat in my car had died and the plan was to get it fixed on Sunday… the day we lost power. So much for that! But it also meant we were driving a car with no heater. Well, you know what? It was Still warmer in the car in the it was outside!

We get to Lowes and just everybody in town is there. I have to hand it to the Lowe’s employee’s. Nicest people, kind, patient, helpful. They were pulling out pallet’s of propane heaters, gas cans, extension cords, ice melt… They were On The Job! We asked about generators. They were out, but they were getting in 240 of them in the afternoon. You had to put your name on a list. Which we did, right away. We were #72. They wrote down our cell #’s and told us, “We’ll call you when they arrive, but if you don’t answer, we call the next person.” Ok… we would be vigilant!

So… with nothing to do and it being too cold to go home, we went to the mall. It was open and warm. There are a lot of sitting area’s there, we staked out a couch and tried to act like we were having a good time. Mike had sucked it up and taken a shower before we left, but I just wasn’t that brave, so I felt awful and my hair was just all over the place. I realized I had on my Warm Sweatshirt… yes, Warm, but stained. So… I felt just wonderful. There were a lot of people at the mall, not shopping, just trying to stay warm.

On top of that, we were about crazed over our cell phones. You know all the times you’re holding your phone and a message pop’s up and says, “1 missed call” and it never made a peep? We left to drive around and survey damage. The pictures coming up are just in front of our house, but it was like this and worse, on every single street. Many streets were blocked because of downed tree’s or power lines. It was like driving through the widest tornado path ever.

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This is a tree directly in front of our house. There are more it’s branches on the ground, than on the tree. The branch would snap, and fall. When it hit the ground, it wouldn’t fall over, it just stood right where it fell. It was the weirdest thing.

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We finally decided to to Lowe’s and hang around until the truck got there. We just couldn’t miss out on getting the generator. With Traci’s power out, that meant we needed a warm place for not just us adults, but 3 kids and 1 two month old baby. After much investigation at Lowes we finally found out the truck would arrive within the hour. We got our generator and went home. And boy is that thing heavy! Before we picked up the generator, we’d gone to get 20 gallons of gas for it.

You think driving is expensive at $3 a gallon? Try driving your house on it! Holy Moly!

So begins, Life on a Generator. Got it home, Mike and Chris got it put together. On reading the directions, it cautions against putting it inside a building, close to anything flammable and out in the wet weather. Ok, genius, where are we supposed to put the darned thing? I wish I’d gotten a picture of this, but Mike and Chris rigged up the slip ‘n slide to be over the generator, secured on one side by the plastic turtle pool and on the other side by some barbell weights. Hey..it kept the weather off!

We have two space heaters, we close off all the house except for the living room and dining room. Get the heaters going and make room in the dining room for mattresses. Everybody gets here, unpacks their sleeping bags, pillows, coats and books and the baby’s stuff and oh my! We were a lot of people in a small space. But it didn’t matter, we were warm and dry and that’s all that counted. Everyone we knew had lost power. We plugged in our little TV for some local news and found that 56,000 people in our county were without power. Just in our county.

Mike didn’t go back to work until Friday, when they got power there. Traci got power back on Tuesday and so everyone went back there. But we stayed at home. They didn’t need two more bodies over there to find a sleeping place for. We were cozy here.

It’s quite interesting living on a generator. You learn a lot about the watts your electrical doo-dahs need to function. One watt over the alloted amount, and it all turns off! Downstairs we could run 1 lamp, 1 heater, and the TV. Every few hours we’d plug in the refriderator. At the beginning, we used the crock pot. We made some beef stew that was really good, but it gets old fast. Finally, the rest of the house became much too cold to do anything in, and we stayed in the living room. We’d take one extension cord upstairs and plug in the electric blanket about 20 minutes before we went to bed.Β  Then, we could turn on the TV up there and turn off everything down here. It was a whole ‘nuther story to take showers. Take a heater up to the bathroom about 20 minutes before desiring said shower. Turn downstairs heater to low.

We were very lucky, we still had water, and we still had hot water. Neither things seemed to be affected by the loss of electricity. We were also able to spend these days, at home, and not in a shelter. We could sleep in our own bed and not in a room full of strangers. If we’d had to go to a shelter, we would have been very thankful for that. There is no complaining here.

Electrical crews came from other counties and states and worked 24/7 to get power back on. There was a deadline. Friday we were expecting a snow storm for 2 days and then the temps were expected to drop drastically.

The snow storm was smaller than expected, thank you Lord. The temps did drop tho. This morning, we were in the living room, heater on, under all our layered clothing and wool blankets and we were still cold. We were both at about the end of our rope, tho thankful, really just sick to death of this. I just closed my eyes and went to another place. Just couldn’t take it anymore. Praying for the electricity to come back on.

I’m not sure what happened first… the living room light came on and my eyes flew open or the other way around. But oh boy, were we happy!!!!! I had already told Mike I was going to work with him so now he said, “I guess that means you’re not coming to work with me?” πŸ™‚ I said, “No, I’m going to stay here and wash clothes!” (we are just about out of clean clothes)

It was quite an experience, and I’m so glad it’s over.

Thank you for all the comments and suggestions, my goodness… you are all creative! I have the one I”m going to use, but the power went out before I could wrap it up.

Those of you who won the Prep Tools, I wasn’t able to mail anything last week, but I’ll be getting things out this week.

I’m back… πŸ™‚

I could use a suggestion…

December 7, 2007

geraniums.jpgAbout 3 yrs ago, I bought this basket at Pier 1. I love the basket, but I have no idea what to do with it. I tried hanging it on the wall, and rolling up my dishtowels to store in each little cubby, but they tended to fall out. Once the cat realized he could just reach them from the counter. (where he wasn’t supposed to be anyway)

So… We’re going to have a little contest!!!! Leave a comment, giving me your idea on how to use this basket and the one I like the best, and works the best, will win….. (I wish I had a drum) A complete pattern library of my past Idaho Quilt Company designs – their choice, quilt patterns, stitchery patterns or penny rug patterns. And the penny rug pattern library includes 1 kit!

Well, it’d probably help if you could take a peek at the basket huh?

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Couldn’t help but show off my snowmen at the same time πŸ™‚ The basket is 9 1/2 x 18. Each cubby is 4 1/2 x 3 3/4.Β  I don’t mind putting it on a table, or top of a cabinet, hanging it on a wall.. whatever!!!! I’m just tired of moving it around and never using it. So, bring on the bright ideas!

Now… Etsy news! I listed one item today, and hope to list one item every day until I’m out of new items! AND… I really want to get rid of the quilts I have on there, so I cut their prices in half.

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Here’s the finished pillow, it’s what came out of this picture…Ok, well that’s not entirely true, now that I see this ‘unfinished’ picture. But it’s a clue as to what’s coming! (same pillow in pink and lavender fabrics) I crocheted that edging! I think it’s the perfect little extra touch.

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Drum Roll please…

December 6, 2007

And the winners are!

Riley, my executive assistant, drew the names from our little basket, 55 names total!

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She mixed them up really well,

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And the first name….

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is JULIE! She didn’t leave a link, but she commented on Dec 2 and this is what she said, “Please put me in the draw as I am new to quilting any help I can get is great.” Julie, contact me with your mailing address. Email me editor (at) cottonspice (dot) com.

And the next name –

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is our Blurry Becky! from The Butlers Wife Becky, contact me at the email address I wrote out for Julie!

And last, but certainly not least is….

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our even Blurrier Marcie!!!! (is blurrier a word?) She didn’t leave a link either, but she commented on Nov. 30 and said, “Cool tool. I’ve never seen this before and would love to try it. Thanks for the chance!”

Ok, Marcie, you know the drill!

Congratulations Julie, Becky and Marcie!!!! Your Prep-Tool will be going out in the mail today or tomorrow. YIPPEE!!!!

Stay tuned for more giveaways. They are so much fun, I decided to do more!

A Neat Thing I found…

December 5, 2007

UPDATE: The December 2007 issue of Cotton Spice Quilting Magazine is now online, for subscribers. In approx. 2 weeks, it will be open to the public. Yippee! πŸ™‚

First…

Eileen commented on the Catching Up on Pictures Post “I wonder how many of us quilters also do other crafts–bet that is most of us. Although my quilt UFOs far outnumber any other, I do have knitting, crocheting, and beading UFOs to think about, as well as those stashes to maintain. Oh the guilt!!! (Well, not really.)”

We, here at Cotton Spice realize that! When you get a chance to read the last few issues of Cotton Spice, look up The Q Files and Beth Brubaker. She realizes that and is starting a column that explores all the other things we quilters do…like knit! She is an awesome writer and you will LOVE her columns. No one else, that I know of, has really explored The Quilt Police like she has. I’d imagine she’ll be living under the Witness Protection Program soon, for the safety of her sewing room.

Ok, on to the Neat Thing!

On Ravelry.com I host a group called Frugal Homemakers. We are looking for ways to cut our families expenses and make the most of what we already have. One of the ladies posted a link to this and it was so neat, I had to share it with you!

Quote…”Ms Yuriko Koike, Minister of the Environment, has created the “Mottainai Furoshiki” as a symbol of Japanese culture to reduce waste. Furoshiki is a Japanese traditional wrapping cloth which is used repeatedly in a stylish way.

The following is the message from Minister Koike;

I’ve created what you might call a “mottainai furoshiki“. The Japanese word mottainai means it’s a shame for something to go to waste without having made use of its potential in full. The furoshiki is made of a fiber manufactured from recycled PET bottles, and has a birds-and-flowers motif drawn by Itoh Jakuchu, a painter of the mid-Edo era.
The Japanese wrapping cloth known as the furoshiki is said to have been first used in the Muromachi Period(1392-1573), when people spread it out in place of a bath mat or wrapped one’s clothes with it.
The furoshiki is so handy that you can wrap almost anything in it regardless of size or shape with a little ingenuity by simply folding it in a right way. It’s much better than Plastic bags you receive at supermarkets or wrapping paper, since it’s highly resistant, reusable and multipurpose. In fact, it’s one of the symbols of traditional Japanese culture, and puts an accent on taking care of things and avoiding wastes.
It would be wonderful if the furoshiki, as a symbol of traditional Japanese culture, could provide an opportunity for us to reconsider the possibilities of a sound-material cycle society. As my sincere wish, I would like to disseminate the culture of the furoshiki to the entire world.”

And they also show you how to use your Furoshiki….

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You can read about yourself here Is that a fun idea or what?

OK… this is the last day of the Giveaway! Comments on this post will be entered into the Giveaway.