Saturday, August 30, 2008

Very sad post

Just a quick post to all my blogging friends, my father passed away last night. His heart finally just gave out.

Thank you to everyone whose been so supportive through this summer's trama.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Promised Pics from Nashville

The lovely bags Kathy made for us. Naturally, the Boss Lady got her Georgia Bulldogs bag (remember she's been sleeping with it), Lily got a horse themed bag, and I got ladies whose backsides look like large fruit. Is there a hidden meaning there? :)If you've never been to the Gaylord at Opryland then you've missed their lovely inside atriums and indoor "Delta" river. Here's Lily on the river cruise in front of the indoor waterfall. If you're a sucker for Disney-worthy recreations, this river is pretty cool. And did I mention the fish as big as Lily swimming in it? Our "river guide" told us when the river was built they ran a marketing campaign for people fill up empty Jack Daniels bottles with water from where they live and send them to them to help fill up the Delta. They received water from all 50 states and 30 countries. Purrty Cool if you ask me.

Here's our littlest quilter standing at the entrance of a bridge walkway over to the island in the middle of the river. This picture begins to give you some idea of scale of this atrium. There are other large atriums in the hotel, but this is the "crown jewel". Plus one year when Kate, Kathy, and I stayed at this hotel, we got lost trying to find our way back to our room. Bread crumbs for trails are required!
Here we are, Mommy and Lily posing on the stairs of the grand entrance of the Gaylord. You can't see the headband I'm wearing that I made out of Jane Sassaman fabric. There are definitely more headbands in my future!
And finally, not at all Nashville related, before I left on our adventure, I got a wild hair up my butt to do something with these fabrics that have been laying around for years. And I saw a piecing technique that I want to try, so here's the result (and yes I've decided it will be named Wild Hair). I need to finish it to move on to pj pants, my Ginger Blossom/pink Amy Butler, turquoise Amy Butler, and finish my mom's quilt.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nashville, oh how I'll miss you!

First off let me say this "work" thing is really getting in the way of my blogging!

Next, let me recap my weekend at the Nashville AQS show. This year I brought along my oldest Munchkin. Remember she's the one with the Hello Kitty Janome sewing machine. She was so excited. We woke up early Saturday morning, 4:30ish, and got picked up on our front step in the dark. Then 4 1/2 hours later we were pulling up to the Gaylord at the Grand Ole Opry to start our day's adventure. She wanted to look at quilts off we headed quilted bags, stuffed wallets, and cameras in tow. I would show you pictures of some of my favorite quilts, but Kate reminded me that was not allowed (boo, Kate). Lily, the oldest Munchkin, had such a good time. She took pictures of her favorite quilts and shopped for more horse fabric. At lunch, when "the crew"(Kate, Kathy, Jan, and I) was reviewing our favorite purchases, Lily joined in and discussed her sewing plans for her fabrics. Of course, being the only little girl with "the crew" has its advantages too. She was treated to several giftys from all of us. The afternoon concluded with throbbing feet, tired legs, glazed eyes, and bursting bags. Since this was the last AQS show to be in Nashville, old Mom here sprung for the boat ride on the indoor river. We saw fish as big as Lily swimming in those waters, and heard a tale of a 85 lb catfish that lives in the boat house! Who knew?! Our day was capped with room service. Grammy Kathy gave us both custom made to follow...with one even made for the youngest Munchkin aka The Boss Lady. And Lily (who started her day barely looking at Aunt Jan), climbed up in bed with her to review the Hancock's of Paducah catalog and discuss fabric and projects.

So all in all, it was a fantastic weekend, and Lily is already planning our trip for the Houston Quilt Show in 2009. I promise to post pictures later....we're already running late for our 9 and 7 year old check ups!

Y'all have a good day!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where did the week go?

So sorry it's been almost a week since my last post. I've been a busy, busy girl. Here we go....

First, I was busily making eyeglass cases for my sister and mother. Got the sewing done. When I did the Shrinky Dink buttons, they shrunk all wonky. Boo! :( So naturally I need to redo and I'm out of frosted Shrinky Dink material.

Second, getting ready for the Nashville AQS weekend extravaganza! The oldest Munchkin is chomping at the bit ready to roll with the big dogs and go see quilts and shop. I finished her backpack last weekend....
We've been talking about our shopping list for goodies to take on our trip. While the quiltin' ladies will be drowning our sore feet and buyer's remorse with vodka tonics, Munchkin will be sipping on sparkling apple cider. We're all so excited! Then the youngest Munchkin is rarin' to go stay with her older alter self, Miss Kristin. Two single gals out and about (one in her 20s and one 7 going on 30!)

Speaking of the youngest Munchkin, we've hit a 2nd grade milestone. She came home from school today terrified out of her mind about Bloody Mary. "It's true Mommy! It's true! You say her name at midnight and she comes and cuts your head off!" After I calmed her down and told her that it was just a ghost story to scare little kids, and tried to give her some historical background on the tale, she has become obsessed with educating everyone around her. Her older sister (who by the way didn't go to the restroom at school for a whole year after she heard that Bloody Mary would rise out of the toilet to take her murderous revenge) scoffed at her little sister. Oh the joys of friends at school....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ta Da! Thank you, thank like me, you really like me

Thank you to Doris for nominating my blog for this very prestigious award--it's an honor to be nominated. You should visit her blog, Threads of Conversation, to see her quilting work and life adventures. She's also a participant in the "This is..." meme that Kate and I started. And I would nominate her blog but I don't think that is how this works.

Here are the rules:

1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated.
6. Write an acceptance speech in the style of the Academy Awards, thanking every body’s mother, father, sister, brother, aunties and uncles and the kitchen staff at your favorite restaurant!
7. List seven random facts about yourself. (I added this one, 'cause I thought there should be seven rules since you nominate seven bloggers and everyone knows seven is a great number, right?)

"You like me, you really like me!" I never imagined the fabulous world of bloggers out there, when I started blogging last year. It really has been fun. It's like having a whole bunch of pen pals all over the world. So I'd like to thank Kate who told me,"You can do it Melissa," has helped introduce me to the blogging world, and inspired me to use my blog as an online show and tell and soapbox for my various opinions. I'd also like to thank Hubbie for providing material for my blog. My beautiful Munchkins, without who I would not be nearly as sassy as I am. My parents for being my parents. All my dear friends for reading my blog and commenting so I don't feel alone out in the cyberworld. (I'm now blowing kisses all around!) Oh and I can't forget my dear felines without whom I would be living in a cat hairless world!

Seven random, but true, Melissa facts:
1. Seven is my lucky number--really it is!
2. I love PANDAs--several people will claim I'm obsessed, but don't listen to them.
3. I was very painfully shy as a child.
4. Until I was six years old I thought the fireworks on the fourth of July were in celebration of my birthday.
5. I love decorating for Christmas. I have a 14ft Christmas tree that everyone always teases me about how many decorations I have on it. My house is a Christmas wonderland!
6. I am excited about turning 40 next year! Fabulous at 40!
7. I was a Girl Scout through the 3rd grade.

I would like to nominate:

Kate of Freemotion. My friend and partner in quilting and creative crime.
Christy of Partial Virtue. My friend and partner in all other crime.
Jacquie at Tall Grass Prairie Studio, love her freeform quilts. Yes, I know Doris nominated her, but I love her blog and quilting philosophy.
Shannon at The Quilted Word by Freckles. My blog friend who introduced me to the Twilight series.
Jenny at Quiltin' Jenny. My quilt guild friend who almost shares my birthday and cracks me up on a regular basis.
Dana at Old Red Barn. Cause I always find something on her blog that I love.
AmandaJean at Crazy Mom Quilts. She is always up to something.

"Who do I email?" and "AH HA!" moments

It's been awhile since I've shared my "spirited" insights (or rants as Hubbie calls them) and two nights ago I had a "Who do I email?" moment that felt I needed to share.

"Who do I email?" - While watching Olympic Women's Synchronized Diving two nights ago, I was marveling at how amazing it was that two athletes could dive off a platform and manage to twist and flip their bodies in such beautiful synchronization without bellyflopping or losing their bathing suits as they entered the water. First off, if it were me, I wouldn't even be up on the platform. I'm unreasonably afraid of heights and if by some miracle were able to conquer that fear, after my partner counted to 3 and said go, I would probably stop short of jumping and say,"Wait a sec, I'm not ready, can we start over?" Anyways, the Chinese ladies were dominating the event. These very lithe and slim women, who as Hubbie commented looked like 10 year old boys, were amazing divers to watch. Then the Canadian women got ready to dive. These women appeared athletic and shall we say "more womanly" and curvier than the Chinese. I was just about to remark at the difference in the body types when the FEMALE announcer commented, "Here's the Canadian team. Well, obviously they are not as streamline as the Chinese." Color me shocked! I was like, "What?! Did she just call the Canadians chunky?!" Even Hubbie made a remark about the announcer's comment. I mean the Canadians were "thicker" through their bodies than the abnormally thin Chinese, but they were not fat by any stretch of the imagination. Then on the Canadian's final dive, one hit the water less than vertical so her entry created a splash. The female announcer exclaimed,"Oh my, what a tidal wave!" SERIOUSLY?! I mean I want to know who do I email at NBC. Women struggle so much with body image, do we really need this?

Now onto my "AH HA" moment - Wednesday I went for my physical exam. The first true physical I had had in years. Like most women I rationalized that the annual OBGYN visit was good enough health maintenance. Well due to recent events and Hubbie's harassment, I made an appointment to see my primary care physician. Yesterday I got the happy news that there is a medical reason why I'm fat (yes, I realize that this doesn't erase the reckless abandon eating and drinking) and that a few months ago when I started counting calories religiously and exercising every day why the weight was not coming off like it had in the past. I have hypothyroidism! One of the major symptoms is weight gain and fatigue. In fact, the doctor commented that my levels were so out of whack she was surprised that I wasn't so tired that I wasn't sleeping all day. But WEIGHT GAIN! The good news is that this is not dangerous and fairly easy to fix. The bad news is that I'll still have to count calories and exercise, but at least now I'll start to see some results!

So there are my nuggets of insanity for today. Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This is something I love that someone made for me

I can't show a picture of what was made for me that I love because it is a DVD. Three years ago Hubbie made for my birthday a DVD of my most favorite pictures of my Munchkins and set it to my favorite music. And he also had the Munchkins create artwork for the credits.

And then naturally, I love any artwork the Munchkins create, but I have my favorites like the Matisse inspired colored pencil drawing that the oldest made and a goldfish painting I have at work that the youngest created. (I'll post a picture of the goldfish later.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend sewing exploits

After finishing my Dad's quilt this week I looked around for other projects to start AND finish this weekend. First came the insane obsession with making headbands....

The Boss Lady now has a stack of 6 or 7 fabrics that she would like whipped up into headbands, pronto!

My next adventure entailed a promise that needed fulfilling. In a couple of weeks, I will be making the annual pilgrimage north to Nashville for the AQS show. This year my 9 year old Munchkin will be going for the first time. Remember, she's my artist, sewer(one who sews not where the poop goes, i looked it up), and quilter. She's been so excited to take a trip with Mommy and Mommy's friends. She's been saving her money. We've been discussing all the quilts we will see and all the shopping we will do! Well, when I finished my beaded backpack a few months ago she requested one to take to the show. I had procrastinated starting, but realized I needed to get started. Friday I had all the construction of the backpack completed, even after having to tear out the bottom of the quilted portion and lining due to my own hubris. I've been working on the embellishment part the rest of the weekend. And I'm just so happy with the result so far I couldn't wait to share it.....

There's more beading to come and a customized Shrinky Dink button stayed tuned. I'm just so pleased with myself right now....and the Munchkin loves it!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic Opening Ceremony-Beijing

I just finished watching the Opening Ceremony in Beijing.

Yes, I'm a sucker for happy endings, assuming the best in people, and believing Infomericals-unfortunately, my oldest Munchkin has inherited that quality. I cried as each country's athletes entered the stadium, the hardest for the countries whose populations and total annual income equated to either the population of the state I live or less than what I spend a week at Publix on groceries.

Anyhoo, I watched all 5 hours of the opening ceremonies. I've found several networks that are broadcasting most of all the events--I will be watching and cheering. Remember, I'm a generation of ABC's Wide World of Sports, full of white water kayaking, ski jumping (yes, that is my FAVORITE Wii Fit game), and weight lifting. I remember watching athletes (non Americans) compete to be the best.

Aside from the artistic beauty of the dancers, the overall humanity (15,000 performers), and precision with which it was executed, it was spectacular.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wild Kingdom and True Grit

I bet you didn't know that Dinosaurs are still alive living in my study in Cumming, GA.....

I came home yesterday to find my study had been transformed into a Dinosaur habitat. These are only a few of the "scenes" that had been assembled. We also had a herd of long necks, two T-Rexs fighting over another human leg, and various other dinos milling about the room.

This is my Dad's quilt. I finished it a few days ago. I "stitched in the ditch" quilted it. I much prefer freemotion stippling or quilting of any kind. It turned out lovely. I'm planning to take it to the hospital this weekend to show him. He won't be able to keep it in the ICU (and I wouldn't trust to leave it there), but at least he'll see it.

Thanks to everyone for the name suggestions, I almost went with True North. But a few nights ago "The Searchers" with John Wayne was on television. One of my favorite movies. My Dad has always been a fan of "The Duke." In fact, he's received various John Wayne DVDs over various Father's Days and birthdays. Watching "The Searchers" reminded me of one of the other faves, "True Grit". My family has a favorite line out of that movie, where after being told that he was an old, one eyed, fat man and had no chance against the multiple younger outlaws, Rooster Cogburn replies,"Fill your hands, you sonofabitch!" and then charges full speed across a clearing with guns blazing. It spoke to me as having the courage and strength to face the insurmountable odds. And a bit of my personal history, it was the first movie I attended in a movie theater in my Mother's arms as a newborn infant. So that's the name of my Dad's new quilt, "True Grit."

So y'all have a great weekend, and I'm off to do more sewing!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

This is....

This is my favorite refrigerator magnet. Kate and I found this magnet last August at the AQS Nashville show and actually first thought of Christy. But after a millisecond of reflection realized that it applied to me as well. First off, love my coffee. Second, I inevitably do "Stupid Things." It should go without notice that this magnet holds up the pool code notice for my neighborhood, and I swear it was upside down before I even decided on this magnet. Typical!

Post links to your blogs with the pictures in the Comments to this post!

So far our participants for the This Is meme are:
Kate (she's already posted her magnet and tagged the next person to pick the topic)
Quiltin' Jenny

Friday, August 1, 2008

Your invited to play

I would like to invite everyone to join in on my first meme. Don't ask me exactly what a "meme" is. Kate read me the Wikipedia page with the definition and I still don't completely understand, but I want to sound hip and cool.

This is how it works!

Every Friday a theme is given for finishing the sentence 'this is...' And by the following Wednesday everyone posts a photo of that theme and leave a comment on the original Friday post with a link to your post. We'll rotate the responsibility of choosing the theme by tagging the next person in our group. Kate got the idea, from this blog. If you look at some of the later posts, the participants have a brief description, explanation, or story to go along with their picture.

Some examples of themes are:
This is my front door.
This is my newest pair of shoes.
This is the view out of my kitchen window.
This is what I did yesterday.

The thing is you can be as creative as you want with the themes or pick out something very everyday.

I'm going to start this week with.....

This is my favorite refrigerator magnet.

I hope you can all play!! I'm formally (this means you're obligated to play--you know you love me) inviting Kate (obviously), Christy, and Shannon, but if you are a frequent visitor to any of our blogs and want to play too, just leave me a comment and we'll include you in the fun.

And Kate your tagged for next week's theme. To clarify---Kate will choose next week's theme, but everyone posts pictures.