Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Almost 2009!

Just a quick post to everyone out there.....Happy New Year!

Oh and a quick creative update.....bought some Kona solids to incorporate into the Amy Butler/Ginger Blossoms.....solid colors....hmmm....uncharted territory. And, big pause, I'm trying to learn to knit. Stay tuned, I haven't thrown the yarn out the window yet.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas hangover...Day 3

Yes, it's Day 3 of Christmas hangover. I think we all hit rock bottom today. The girls are sugar-gift crashing. I'm done with "you people". "You People" is the title I give my family when we've spent entirely too much family time together under one roof. I feel masses of guilt for saying this. I should be writing about how I wish I could spend every waking moment with my children and husband and how fleeting these moments are, but I can't. This happens toward the end of every extended vacation. It is customary for me to say,"You people, can go where ever you want. I'm going to go to 'somewhere' (this can be the grocery store, my sewing studio, my room, basically wherever I can be alone)." No one takes it personally, it's just I need my space.

First let me post a picture to wrap up the crazed frog, quilt, pajama making frenzy that I started in November...
In case you're not aware, Frog 1 went to my niece, Frog 2 my oldest Munchkin, and the one that wouldn't stop talking, to my youngest. The girls loved their PJs and their frogs.

Christmas day was a mixed bag of emotions for me.

It was wonderful watching my two girls unwrap their presents from Santa, Mommy and Daddy, and each other and smile with delight. It made me smile as they both squealed with glee over each package. And I enjoyed possibly the last Christmas my oldest will believe in Santa. She's 9 and is still buying into the myth. I'm trying to perpetuate it as long as I can. I remember when I found out that Santa wasn't was very disappointing.

On the flip side of watching my children, was everything that happened this summer and losing my Dad. The ache of almost losing my children has lessened, but it still lurks around. But the absence of my Father was almost unbearable. I cried several times on Christmas day and the days that led up to it. I tried to mask my sadness with all the traditions and rituals that my family has created for the holiday. On Christmas day, my Mother showed us some home movies that a cousin found of my Mother and Father, young and starting life with their new baby, me. Movies of my young Father in his undershirt, feeding his infant daughter in her infant seat, tickling her tummy and feet, making her smile and giggle. I miss him. He loved my Christmas cookies, he loved Christmas dinner, he ALWAYS made me coffee after dinner and made sure that there was half n half for me, and he always loved on the little girls and gave them too many M&Ms. His absence this Christmas was painful.

On a different note, I saw WALL-E on Christmas. I LOVED it! LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it! Hubbie got me an IPOD.....I LOVE it!

I did get some sewing in today. Worked on my Amy Butler/Ginger Blossom Log Cabin. Almost ready to put the top together. I still have some Christmas gifts to to follow.

My Hubbie loves me lots! He's been working feverishly on the Photo CD from my Guild's Quilt Show in September most of the day. He doesn't get paid for his time (well, not monetarily) and doesn't volunteer (I do that). But he's devoted several hours of his Sunday to producing a lovely photo CD for me. Big SMACK to Hubbie for all he does.

Well, I'm going to roll myself off the sofa now to go searching for one more glass of wine, check on Hubbie and see if he needs anything from me, and to see what movies are on tv (in that order)!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house....the Munchkins were going crazy and I finished all my Christmas gifts and cookies and Hubbie wrapped presents like a fiend.....

Three frogs ready to go...Frog 1 is still making his demands, Frog 2 has turned out to be very soft spoken and undemanding, and Frog 3 won't shut up....keeps ribbitting like crazy.

Three Sugar Plum Fairy Quilts done! I started these November 1st! I can't wait to get back to my Amy Butler/Ginger Blossoms Log Cabin.

Pictures of models wearing PJs to follow after unwrapping tomorrow.

And finally as if I didn't have enough to do, I whipped up these ornaments/gift tags for my Mom and Sis.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night! I hope tomorrow finds you and yours happy, safe, and together!

Monday, December 22, 2008

What we're up to

We're having lots of Christmas fun. Today Hubbie took the Munchkins to the Super Target for some last minute shopping. Nugget finally purchased the items from the $1 section she's been wanting.....

A miniature cocktail shaker, martini glasses, and light up shot glasses. Betty Crocker makes an Easy Bake Oven, Nugget has assembled the Easy Make Bar Set. She's been making us "cocktails" of diet Coke and Fresca. Should I be worried?

Speaking of Betty Crocker, I pulled out one of favorite cookbooks to make my famous Sugar Cookies for the Season. Betty Crocker, circa 1973.
I love this cookbook. This is before all recipes had to have a "light" version. In the Cakes chapter, they refer to Cake Mixes as something new and innovative. There is whole chapter on table settings, menus for different occasions (did you know Apple Pie is the appropriate dessert for "Dinner for the Boss." There are recipes for all kinds of 70s appetizers and entrees, and a few beverage recipes. And there are some recipes and explanations for things like Stollen, Lebkuchen, Challah, and other international type things.

Lovely table settings that could be set today.I love the coffee pot in the picture above.

And don't you love the oven mitt!? So cute.

Flipping through this cookbook has inspired me to have a '70s Dinner Party sometime after the 1st of the year. People will have to come in 70s inspired clothing....I think it would be fun.

I've also been sewing like a fiend....I PROMISE pictures soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just found this....I've going to do it!

I just found this while reading my daily blogs. I've decided that I can whip up a couple of birdies to leave around my neighborhood. I think this a fabulous idea! If you can carve out alittle extra sewing or crafting time, make one or two, it will definitely make someone's day!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

100th Post! Who'd a thought.....

I started to post tonight just to let everyone know that I'm still alive and finally feeling better. I'm still alittle stuffy and have a box of tissues wherever I go, but I'm back on the side of the living.

Then I realized that this is my 100th post! Whoo Hoo, that's right, you know it, uh huh! I wish I had something cool to giveaway, but right now I'm just swamped with getting Christmas here and done.

On the topic of Christmas presents, specifically the girls presents, here's the latest status:
- Frogs - 2 completed, one ready to stuff just need more Poly Pellets (Michaels was out of stock Saturday). Just as an aside, I stood in the middle of the aisle with the Michaels employee who had just verified that there was not a bag of Poly Pellets to be had in the store, and basically I stared at the empty shelf, hoping if I stared hard and long enough some Pellets would materialize. I think I frightened the Michaels employee.
- PJs - 3 pairs of pants complete, 2 tshirt designs complete, left to do - print designs on transfer paper and use heat press to apply transfers to tshirts
- Quilts - 3 quilts QUILTED, miles of binding made, left to do - print labels on transfer paper and use heat press, bind quilts
- Pillowcases - still possible, but I'm not as motivated
- Frog for my sister - in design stages only

I also whipped up at small drawstring jewelry bag using this pattern for my oldest Munchkin's tutor. I'll have pictures of pouch and quilts later. Just ran out daylight for pictures.

Also, tis the season for peace on earth. Number One, Hubby's cat Snickers, just crawled up in my lap while I was sitting here on my laptop. This is a once a year kind of thing. Snickers thinks I'm the maid and she's the lady of the house. She's mellowed a bit in old age, but for the most part everyone outside of Hubby is just noise. So I enjoyed my moment of love from my old fat cat.

Here's a picture of the Petits from this year's Christmas Party. Unfortunately, we waited too long and several other Petits had headed home. All but one of these hooligans I've known since birth. In fact, one of these beautiful things was my first baby...meaning that she was the first baby that any of my friends had ever had. And a group of these kids all went to my company's daycare together. So to say that one day, they'll all be sitting under a tree all grown up talking about their crazy old Mamas is a pretty good prediction.
Ok next topic...can you tell I'm feeling better.....I've been thinking about all kinds of things.

Recently, I finally saw Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Loved it! I've now watched it several times. My favorite song and sequence it "By the Sea". And Johnny Depp as a murderous sexy, I can't help it.

Well, that's about it for now. I'm sure as the season progresses I'll have more to talk about!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Have I mentioned how much I hate sinus infections?!

Ok, sorry if you are tuning in to read about my creative exploits, but I have to whine. Today was a "laying on the floor of the bathroom because it's so cool" kinda of day. A "may God have mercy on my soul" kind of day. A "I didn't know my body could produce so much snot in one day" kind of day. I hate being sick. I hate feeling like crap. I HATE sinus infections!

Now that that is out of my system, tomorrow is another day (to quote Scarlett) and I hope I'll be feeling better.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho....I've got to blow...

my nose, that is. Yes Virgina, Melissa has her annual sinus infection. But enough said about that...on to more fun things.

As promised here are a few shots of my Christmas decorations.....

The view from the kitchen/eating are into the family room....

A macrame Christmas tree that Mom commissioned probably 25 years ago. She was going to throw it out....

The mantel and new tv.....I think I'm going to make some stockings after Christmas this year.
My study is decorated in's the piano....
Paw's Paw's desk....
The snowman tree that lives in the front window....
Over the arches into the study and dining room I hang this garland and decorate it with red and silver balls, snowflakes, and icicles.
My Christmas village, it even has a quilt shop.
My pride and joy, my 14 foot Christmas tree.....I LOVE it! It needs a tree skirt...another after Christmas project.
And my stairs...lights, garland, snowflakes (5 types), icicles, and bows.
It has taken years of shopping the day after Christmas to accumulate all these decorations (at bargain prices)! And no, I'm not done, there's always room for more!

Then in the process of tweaking the PJ pant pattern, I whipped up a couple of test pairs with matching tshirts.

Rose mugging for the camera.
Lily, smiling. She was very pleased with her dino pjs.

And yesterday I was reading my blogs, and noticed that Spool Sewing had a post about this bird pattern. Well, Kate is obsessed with birds in a good way (not like squirrels). So I whipped this little guy up and took him over to her. It was a good break from making frogs, quilts, and pjs. BTW, Frog 2 is finished. She's not as demanding as Frog 1. In fact, she's quite shy....I wonder who Frog 3 will be?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And away we go.....

This week the accelerating downward spiral into Christmas and New Years began. Naturally, I've been working on the gifts for the girls and frantically decorating my house, but this week things really got kicked off.

Tuesday the company my husband and I work for rented a bus and a bunch of us and our families toured one of the local holiday lights displays. This is one of their annual traditions at this company. I'm not sure when it started, but they've been doing since I first started working there in 1994. It's fun and the Munchkins always enjoy it.

Wednesday started my other annual December tradition, getting sick the week before my Christmas party. Wednesday night me, Hubby, and the Munchkins all started with the sniffles and coughs. I, of course, was desperately trying to convince myself that it was all the dust coming off the artificial Christmas tree (I'm real good at deluding myself). I managed to get my house transformed into the annual Christmas wonderland (I promise pictures later).

Friday night I went to a traditional ornament exchange. Saturday night was a party I have had every year for the last 10 years!? It started when all my friends and I started having our babies. We dress the Petits up and take their picture in front of the Christmas tree. I have some great ones of screaming babies. I had a great time I hope everyone else did too.

Today started out as a day I was going to spend sewing, but after pressing through my pounding sinus headache and cough yesterday, Hubbie gave me a wonderful gift.....a day in bed resting. Tomorrow I'm "back on my head" and back to the grind.

Y'all take care.....and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 1, 2008

It ain't easy being green....and pink....and purple

First off, Happy Belated Thanksgiving! We had a good one, all things considered. Hope you and yours had a happy holiday.

Now on to some fun stuff. I actually got some sewing in this weekend. Among scrubbing pans, eating leftovers, and putting up the Christmas decorations, I had to find time to work on the girls'(Lily, Rose, and Emma's) Christmas gifts. Well, I've completed my first frog! I love him. And thanks to Kate and Kathy insisting on me finding Poly Pellets to fill him with, he's perfect! I think the girls will love their frogs. My sister has already put her order in for one, and I think I'm going to make a frog for myself at some point.
Froggie wanted to see the snow flurries for himself.
He's quite a vain frog. He insisted that I get a full body shot from his good side.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Snoopy Thanksgiving and Christmas Eves

Last Friday, I hosted the third Snoopy Thanksgiving. For the third year in a row, my dear friends Kate and Christy brought their families and yummy food to celebrate a friends Thanksgiving. This started three years ago when we decided that Thanksgiving was not just for our families but also for us. All of us have large families in town that have their elaborate holiday traditions. We also decided that we would eat the things that we didn't get to have at the family gatherings (ham, mac & cheese, etc). It also would allow us to kick off our holiday seasons. It became Snoopy Thanksgiving last year. We haven't served toast, pretzels, jelly beans or popcorn, yet. Here's a picture of my dining room all dressed up.
And here's a reason not to leave your camera unattended....

And onto my sewing. I finished the third Sugar Plum Fairies top (Three Cousin's Quilts) today. Now to quilt. I still need to make quilted frogs and pjs for each of the girls. And my friend Barb told me I HAD to make pillowcases....we'll see.
Stay tuned....

Friday, November 21, 2008

A "funny" from my Nine Year Old

Just had to 4th grader is studying the 13 original colonies in Social Studies. Last night we had to study and memorize them. Here's her list,"Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, New Hamster, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia." And I did not make a you didn't know New Hamster is a state in the union!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Fasten your seatbelts..."

Ok, I know technically I named "All About Eve" in my previous post about my favorite movies, but I just had to use that line. Thanks to everyone who left me their favorite movies. There were some I had seen and a few that I'll have to watch. And some of your posts reminded me of other oldie favorites, "The Philadelphia Story" and "Bells of St Mary"to name a couple. But I digress. I promised a post about more "modern" movie favorites. Alright I'll admit some of these are even before my time, but I count them in the "mostly" modern category.
  • The Great Race - If you're a Jack Lemmon fan this is a must. My sister and I count this in one of our all time favorites. The bit on the iceberg with Peter Falk and Jack's mustache, CLASSIC!
  • The Godfather Part 1 and Part 2 - I will admit I have a constant battle with myself over which movie I like best.
  • Urban Cowboy - Bud and Sissy, a love story for the ages.
  • Forrest Gump - I can watch this movie, laugh and get choked up every time.
  • Steel Magnolias - Can't help it.
  • Superman - Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a Superman freak. I truly believe that airlines should play that soundtrack as the plane takes off.
  • Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark - This defines a summer blockbuster to me. Everytime I watch it I'm immediately taken back to seeing it the first time in the dark theater.
  • Sense and Sensibility - Wonderful movie and a fine Kate Winslet performance.
  • Titanic - Great storytelling.
  • The Departed - Leo Di Caprio and Irish Mafia violence. Great performances from Leo, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, and Martin Sheen. Oh and Jack being Jack, not too shabby.
Well that's the "short" list. I know, I know, not really that short, but I could entertain myself for hours and hours listing movies I love to watch...again if anyone has any movies they'd like to add....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another great giveaway

Check out this great giveaway! Basically she's make you a quilt with one of her patterns!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"...and those wonderful people out there in the dark!... "

How I love being one of those "wonderful people out there in the dark." I was reminded today after talking to Kate about how much I love movies. There are so many that I love it's hard for me to list them all. Early in my life, my Mother showed me the old movies. Movie from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Movies that were in black and white and have iconic stars. Those are some that I have fallen in love with and that I can watch over and over.....

There are the classics:
Basically, this is my "go to" list. When I'm sick in bed, or Sunday afternoon tv has failed me, or I'm hand quilting on a Monday midmorning and I refuse to watch daytime tv, or I'm at Kate's on a sewing Sunday, or I'm wrapping Santa gifts at 11:30 Christmas eve...these are some of the movies I rely on. During this time of snuggling in warm quilts infront of a fire and long dark early nights, think about checking out these films. They haven't ever failed me.

There are other movies that I consider classics...movies from my generation and the generation before me. That's for another post....

What are your favorite movies....I'm interested to hear?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Old Red Barn Co Quilt Giveaway

Okay seriously I would love to win any/all of the these quilts. She always does such beautiful stuff. So pretty! They inspire me to get off my duff and go do some sewing!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I may be an oinker, but at least I am a productive oinker

Here's what I've been working on this weekend. It still needs two more borders. But first I have to start working on it's two companions. This quilt and it two friends will be called The Three Cousins' Quilts. I'm making three similar quilts with the same fabrics for my niece and my two Munchkins. I'm not a kit person but this was a kit I've now enlarged. This kit started the gluttony fabric visit of last week. I will be making each Munchkin one of these quilts, a matching patchwork frog, and pj bottoms. So I've been a sewing fool. Now that I've made this one quilt top I've figured out some short cuts. So I'll be assembly lining the other two. As an aside, I would have been much further with this one, except I had to tear it apart and resew some rows. The seams were not lining up exactly. Oh well...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oh, the gluttony!

Quilting Goddesses of the Universe I have a confession to make....I'm a fabric glutton.

Last night, I went to a friend's home to look at fabric. Sadly, she has decided to end her online fabric business and is offering some fabulous deals on top quality fabric. I just so happened to have purchased a kit from her in September at my Guild's show and decided I needed more fabric to make it bigger and to make a total of three quilts (that story later). So off Kate, the sewing Munchkins, and I went to shop her stash. Honestly, I had already admitted to myself that I would more than likely be purchasing more than just the fabric I needed. And the Munchkins even got in on the act. They turned down going outside to play to look through fabric....they've been infected early.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mary Kate Dannaher and Nugget

Sunday, I went over to Kate's and spent half a day quilting. I finished my Mom's quilt and I named it Mary Kate Dannaher. It gets it's name from "The Quiet Man" starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. They made five movies together. As characters and real people, they always seemed like equals. One of my Dad's favorite movies was True Grit and that's what I named the quilt that I made for him while he was in ICU at the hospital. He never got to see the quilt in really life, just a picture. I always intended to make its companion for my mother, and now it's finally finished. It only seemed appropriate to name it something related to the Duke. The label reads:

"Mary Kate Dannaher - "Come a-runnin'? I'm no woman to be honked at and come a-runnin'!" This is the companion quilt to True Grit. Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne were always equal partners in all the movies they made together, just like my Mom and Dad."

This quilt will now live at my Mom's house with True Grit, side by side. I even included a patch of the blue fabric I used in True Grit.

These two quilts represent so much of what has happened to me in the last 4 months. They began as a way for me to cope with the stress of the fragility of the lives of my children and niece and the mortality of my father. Brown bag after brown bag of 5" squares from a fabric exchange a couple of years ago in my quilt guild provided the material to make countless half square triangles. I'll be honest, I didn't square anything up, so when I started putting the squares together some of the points don't line up(and I don't care). But it was the process of marking all those squares on the diagonal and feeding them one after another through my machine that would often run through my head as I tried to fall to asleep at night during those months. And then having the "job" of putting them all together to make a quilt for my Dad, I was doing something even as I stood by helplessly day after day watching his ups and downs in ICU. Then after he passed away, having that quilt as a memorial for him and making something for my Mom. Something that represents them as a pair. Now to quote Forrest Gump,"That's all I have to say about that."

Now to close this post with a smile. Nugget made her first quilt today. She's been bit by the Quilting Bug like her sister and I. I forsee another Hello Kitty sewing machine under the Christmas tree this year since Santa's budget for my Bernina has been cut and the trickle down plan effected. Here's Nugget and her quilt:
I've been told it's for Kit, Kit's cousin from China (Mushu), and Kit's sister(Snowball). She's so proud of herself. In fact, she just came and told me, she can't wait to sew some more and "would you please stop blogging about me and my quilt and come sew!"
The batiks were easy for her to work with. She didn't have to worry about right sides and wrong sides.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall has FINALLY arrived in the ATL

As many of the peeps around me have heard over and over recently,"When will the leaves change? When will it be fall?" You would think after nearly 40 years of growing up and living in the South I would know how this works. But this year I've been reading blog after blog of people living in places where they have actual autumns. I've been looking at all the beautiful photographs of leaves, apples, and children in jackets. Now finally, I have it.

Of course Nugget had to get in the act. "Mom what are you doing outside on the deck?" "Can you take my picture with the tree?"
And since my last post we celebrated Halloween. The Munchkins started in August with ideas of being a fruit bat (yes fruit bat specific) and a lemur. A trip down the costume aisle at Target saved Mommy alot of time....
Nugget naturally fell in love with the kimono (she's China obsessed and I didn't have the heart to tell her that kimonos are from Japan). And a huge surprise to me, the oldest Munchkin picked this pirate costume. I think it was the "boots" that came with coins sewed to them that jingled when she walked. They both complained about having to wear long sleeve shirts under their costumes until the sun went down.
Lately, I've been thinking alot about how lucky I am to have my Munchkins. I've been revisiting the events of my summer and how quickly it can all change. So the girls and I have been sharing lots and lots of snuggles and hugs. October 17th would have been my Dad's 68th birthday.

And finally, I haven't shared a picture of my favorite feline model lately. Here she is enjoying some sun and a pillow Saturday morning.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Happy 100BlogPost Giveaway Celebration

No, it's not my 100th post yet. But my blogging universe friend Doris is having a giveaway to celebrate her 100th post. So go take a look. (And if you read the comments, please ignore all my typing errors, I'm getting too fast for my own good!)

Creative Blog Designs

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another political post

Kate, before you say anything, just file this under the "I'll never use stickers while scrapbooking," and "I'll never hand quilt," statements. Just attribute it to the mystery that is me.

I voted today. And as usual I have a mouthful of comments to make, so pull up the soapbox, I'm ready to put in my two cents and then some.

The thing that sent me over the edge today was the large number of unopposed races. I mean really people. Seriously, reading all the ranting and ravings of people on all sides of this political season, I couldn't believe so many races in my state, district, county, etc had only one choice. Now I'll be the first to admit that I don't think I would be qualified to run for Coroner, and I certainly don't have the necessary experience and training to be Sheriff, but really, come on. So you say, why wasn't your name on the ballot Miss Mouthy-Mouth. I readily will admit that I've looked the other way year after year, election after election and refused to take my responsibility to heart. However, those who are close to me, know that I am the type of person who believes that if you don't agree with how something is being done, you should get involved.

Now this newest anger is definitely based in my recent experience with the Board of Education of the County in which I live. And in truth, three positions were up for election this time, two unopposed, and I didn't have the foresight to investigate this before this week. But "as God as my witness," I will make a change in my local representation ("and I'll never be hungry again!") Oh yes, Melissa is pissed off, riled up, all in a dither, so watch out world here I come.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Political Post

Ok, I promised myself that I wasn't going to post about the election, but I just saw this.

Opie, Sheriff Taylor, Richie, and the Fonz comment on the 2008 election

Good stuff!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My creative exploits

So I've finished my Mom's quilt top. It's very similar to the one I made my Dad. I think I'm going to name it Mary Kate Danaher. That was Maureen OHara's character in The Quiet Man. And since my Dad's quilt is named True Grit a John Wayne movie, I thought it appropriate. I'll baste it and quilt it this weekend. I'm planning on giving it to her on her birthday in November.
Since I finished that quilt top I decided to reward myself by working on my Amy Butler/Ginger Blossoms quilt. Here's where I am so far....
Even Hubby commented on the above squares. He thought the fabric was very pretty. Although he felt moved to make some further comments on how he thought it needed sashing, and if he was making it.....

And finally, I'm a hand quilting fool (reminds me of Forrest Gump,"That boy is a running fool!"). I'm really enjoying it. Last weekend and Monday, I spent time quietly on the sofa watching some of my most favorite old movies, Gone With the Wind, Sunset Boulevard, and All About Eve, while I hand quilted. I've even decided to hand quilt the quilt top that my great-grandmother hand pieced back in the 1940s! Who knew....(ok, Kate, you can quit clucking your tongue and shaking your head) hee hee!