Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve

It is definitely not snowing here in South Texas! We've had some rain this week, but I think it got up to the mid 70s yesterday. Not really wintry weather. We may be in for some real winter next week, I understand. It's very rare here to get anything too cold. I have one winter coat which I sometimes go a year without wearing. I miss snow. I went to college in Lubbock, where we could count on several snow events each winter - often five or more inches at a time. We lived in Birmingham, Alabama, for three years and I was surprised at how much snow we saw there. The first year we lived there it even snowed on Halloween! Even in the Dallas area where we have lived most of our marriage we typically had a much colder winter than here, just 300 miles south. It was mostly ice and sleet, though, not so much snow.

It's New Year's Eve. I'm thinking about resolutions for 2011. I generally make a few New Year's resolutions. Some I keep, some (most?) I don't. I have heard that when making resolutions you should not make general statements like "lose weight" or "get organized." You should be specific and have an action plan - like "join Weight Watchers" or "lose five lbs. per month by cutting carbs." Or, "spend one hour every Friday morning cleaning desk."

This year I'm thinking about changing up my resolution routine a bit. I'm thinking instead of year-long resolutions, I'm going to set monthly goals. That way, I won't overload myself with a lot of impossible-to-achieve plans, most of which I'll forget in a few weeks. I'm going to take a short-range approach to self-improvement and I'm hopeful I'll see some long-term results.

So...for January, 2011, I want to work on these goals:

1. Finish the restoration of our friend's antique Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. I'm embarrassed to think about how long I've procrastinated on this project, but, can I say, it's boring! I need to finish it and I plan to this month. I can spend an hour every morning before work (the benefit of being an early riser) and several hours on each weekend. I should be able to knock it out if I do that and then I can work on my own projects guilt-free.

2. Lose 10 lbs. by limiting carbs and not eating between meals. Of course, I have many more than 10 lbs. to lose! But I'm thinking seeing 10 lbs. fall off will be a great motivator for the rest of the year. This is going to be tough. I work in an office where breakfast tacos, doughnuts, candy and cakes are plentiful, not to mention the numerous luncheons and receptions that are my job to plan and organize which involve lots of food!

3. Be faithful to a daily devotional time. Since I'm not teaching or taking a formal Bible study right now, it's so easy to let myself fall away from the Word. I have so many good resources right at my fingertips (I have a pastor husband, for goodness sake!), I have no excuse not to. Even if it's just the Upper Room devotional for the day, at least I can center my day around what my day is supposed to be centered around!

Okay - three specific goals are a good start. After all, I have a full-time (and then some) job, husband, house, child (mostly grown, but still), dog, cats, laundry, cooking, cleaning (not too much of that thanks to Juliette and Sylvester every other Monday - something I'm soooo thankful for), church, choir, prayer life, etc. If I can achieve these three, I'll be quite satisfied and ready to add a few more in February!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More cookies to share

Tomorrow is the last day - the Twelve Days of Cookies are history for another year. I've been thinking about making this an annual event. People have certainly enjoyed them at the college. People I haven't seen all year just "happen" to drop by. I've seen a lot of smiles. One of our deans told me he's just heard of a new tradition - the Twelve Days of Martin Luther King's Birthday, followed by the Twelve Days of Valentine's Day. It's been really fun. These are raspberry cake bars and the ones above are turtle graham bars. I haven't taken pictures of all of them.

I haven't done any sewing in forever. I developed optic neuritis last year. It went away after a few months, but recently I developed it in the other eye, which is my much stronger eye. Oy. I've gotten to the age where something is either falling apart on me, my house, or my spouse!

Anyway, I hope to get back to the machine soon. Although it's in my stronger eye, it's a much milder case than last year. That's a blessing.

Glad to be nearly out for the holiday. We've had a rough semester and will enjoy the time off.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Twelve Days of Cookies

It's December! Blessed Advent to all. I love the season. I think I like preparing for Christmas just as much (maybe more) than Christmas itself.

I always try to make some sort of gift for each member of our church staff. One year, when Dave served a medium-sized church with a staff of about 12, I made each person a cute cross-stitched small tote bag, like a gift bag size. For that same staff, the next year I assigned a different month in the next year to each staff member and on the first staff meeting of that month made a batch of muffins in their honor to share at the meeting.

Dave now serves a really enormous church with an equally enormous staff. In fact, I couldn't tell you the names of half his coworkers and that really bothers me. Any way, a couple of years ago I did those cute crisscross coasters Jenny B. Harris has on her blog and made a cute bag with a coaster, Christmasy mug and a couple of packets of hot chocolate mix or cider. I made an number more of them for the UMW craft sale and they sold really well. Another year we did cookie cutter fudge for everyone.

So this year, I was trying to think of what to do and at about that time the Food Network website started their Twelve Days of Cookies e-mails. I get those every year (you get a different cookie recipe every day for 12 days) but I don't think I've ever actually made any of the cookies! We decided that every night we would make a double batch of that day's recipe and each take half to work the next day as our co-worker Christmas gift. We are on day four. Day one was a Paula Deen recipe for Gooey Chocolate Butter Cookies. Didn't think to take a picture. Day two was Garam Masala Chocolate Gingerbread.

Today we took Coconut Macaroons (my favorite so far) and tonight we made Biscotti with toasted almonds and dried cherries. Also really delicious.

It's been a big hit at both workplaces so far. I work at a big college and we have a lot of people through our office everyday so a lot of people have gotten to share in the cookie-eating. Dave said when he got to work the second day there was a group of people in the breakroom just standing there waiting for him.

It's been a fun activity to do together, as well and Dave is learning all kinds of new skills! Yesterday he learned how to fold beaten egg whites into the other part of the recipe. And every night when we're cleaning up we try to guess what the next day's recipe is going to be. Doesn't take much to entertain us, I guess.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Voting Day

It's voting day! Go out and vote if you've got a local election. We voted last week in early voting. My candidate for governor doesn't have a big chance of winning, but I'm still hopeful.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


It has certainly been a long time since I last posted - about as long as it's been since I last sewed!

We had a crazy summer at work as we transitioned to a new software system for registration of our 24,000 students. It was a nightmare! Nothing seemed to work correctly. Three full weeks of daily screaming ensued. Mostly, it was students and parents screaming at all of us in the administration building, but there was plenty to share around the whole campus. It was physically and emotionally exhausting. We've worked most of the bugs out, but I'm a little worried about spring semester registration which starts next month.

So while we dealt with a million emergencies, my regular stuff fell off the map and now I'm in eternal catch-up mode. Can't wait for Christmas break!

Speaking of holidays, Halloween is around the corner!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Thank you, Home and Heart! My thoughts exactly!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I love it!

Isn't it adorable! My daughter did it - she's learning to do digital art. I think it's too cute. I'm going to put it on my side bar.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Graduation!

What a week we had! Our beautiful daughter graduated from high school a week ago yesterday. It was quite an adventure. I took most of the week off from work, and it was a good thing. Our good friend came in from Phoenix and from Wednesday morning on it was go, go, go. Actually, from Tuesday evening on it was crazy, because after picking Grace up on the last day of classes, we got in a wreck on the way home! We were just about to turn into our neighborhood when we were hit by someone who wanted to be in the same lane we were in! We didn't need the extra stress, believe me. No one was hurt, though.

Wednesday was graduation rehearsal and fetching our friend from the airport. We spent all day Thursday at a theme park! I'm not a roller coaster girl by any means, but our friend and our daughter are big time roller coaster-ers. My husband was out of town for the week at denominational meetings, but the bishop let him leave early on Friday for dinner here,

followed by graduation.

We're so proud!

As far as quilting goes, I'm hand-quilting my redwork santas. I've entered it in the New Braunfels guild's show in July! Yikes! I have to hurry! Good thing we're on four-day work week for the summer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Design wall Monday

Here's what's on my design wall today - a gazillion sister's choice blocks. I'm trying so hard to use up scraps and stash. It's a slow process. It's also a good thing I like scrappy quilts.I had this basket with a bunch of miscellaneous repro fat quarters and six or eight small (like 4 1/2 inch) 9-patches. Using the fat quarters, I made a bunch more 9-patches, but they were so small I decided to raid the beige and brown stash and scraps and turn the 9-patches into sister's choice blocks.

I think I like it. It's definitely going to be machine quilted - too many seams for hand-quilting.

Check out other design walls at Judy's place.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A lovely Mother's Day

I've had a very nice Mother's Day and I hope you have, too. First, these tulips and irises arrived Thursday night. How nice to get an early start on the holiday!

This morning began with worship. Every woman present in worship this morning got a carnation. Pastor Mike explained that even women who have never given birth can be "spiritual mothers" to others they come in contact with. I agree. After worship, Grace and I took my carnation to a special place. Mom never got to meet her namesake, which makes me sad.

Then, I was treated to a wonderful lunch at a nice restaurant and the two nice people below gave me the beautiful bangle above. I've been wanting a bracelet with the fruit of the
Spirit (from Galatians 5) for years. Grace remembered and told Dave, "I've got the perfect gift for Mom this year, don't give it a second thought." Isn't that great! I love it and plan to wear it as often as possible to remind myself that the Holy Spirit inspires all those wonderful attributes in us - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I confess I do not exhibit all of those at all times! I wish I did. Sometimes I don't exhibit any of them.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Here comes the ring-bearer

My oldest sister's oldest granddaughter is getting married this year - the first wedding among my sister's grandkids. My sister and brother-in-law celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. (That makes me sound old. Let me hasten to add that my sister was 18 when I was born).

Anyway, a few weeks ago she called me with a project idea. She wanted me to make a ring-bearer pillow for Randi's wedding - and she wanted me to make it out of her 50-year-old wedding dress!

I had some grandiose ideas of box pleats and set in piping at the beginning of the project but lucky for me she had a much simpler design in mind. She did want me to embroider the bride's and groom's names on the back. On my "draft copy" I tried that, but the chiffon top layer was too thin to embroider on and when I tried embroidering on the ribbon it made huge holes. So I used a gold fabric pen, which looks fine. When the next granddaughter gets married (there are 4 so far) I can add their names and dates if they want to use the pillow.

I hope she likes it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Great quilting minds think alike

Two quilters whose blogs I follow posted about the same pattern on the same day:This Schnibble is from Quiet Quilter.

And this belongs to Carol of Carol's Crafty Creations. Do you ladies know each other?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The sew-in was berry fun

Last night, after feasting on some delicious vegetarian fajitas prepared by my clergyman spouse, I headed upstairs to the sewing room for some strawberries! I found the pattern a few weeks ago at Moda Bake Shop and knew I had to make some. I changed the recipe a little bit. I really don't care for sewing tiny, fussy little shapes, (and besides, I couldn't find my pinking sheers), so I used wool for the leaves. I'm going to put the berries on this little plate for a Valentine's Day decoration and then get them back out in a few months and put them in a green ceramic basket I have for just a summer display in the kitchen. I'm thinking of making a bunch for my sister for Valentine's Day. I have some red fabric with little swirly white hearts that I think will make some really nice berries.

I can't wait to travel around and see what everyone else did at the sew-in. Thanks to Heidi and Bobbi for gathering everyone together.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

Ok - I've decided to participate in the Friday Night Sew In sponsored by Handmade by Heidi. I usually don't sew much at night - early morning is my best time. But after a visit to my fave LQS during lunch yesterday, I have the cutest project from the Moda Bake Shop all ready to go. My clergyman spouse is off today, so he can be in charge of dinner and we have a 100 percent chance of rain today (we've already had two inches overnight!) so it's going to be the perfect sew-listen-to-Frank-Sinatra-and-Doris-Day-and-sip-hot-tea evening.

Pics tomorrow.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I really need a better place to take pictures of quilts. A better camera wouldn't hurt, either.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

On my design wall (bed)

Here's what I'm working on today. Christmas is not over at my house, apparently, because these redwork Santas just won't go back to the North Pole! I finished stitching the last one about a week ago. I bought a stack of Sturbridge Village fat quarters at the same time I bought the fabric for the Santas, which was about a year ago. The Santas were a bom program, but I changed up the setting because I wanted a bigger quilt. I can't decide if I'm going to put another border on it or not. What do you think?

It's back to work on Monday. It's been a great two weeks to be off. One of the reasons I like working in education is the time off at the holidays. It's better than vacation because everyone else at work is off, too, so nothing is piling up on my desk while I'm gone.

Have to run to the post office to mail a book I sold on Amazon. I ordered Flat Belly Diet in paperback back in October. I got it last week, read through it once and realized it was waaaayy to restrictive for me to stick to long term, so I listed it for sale and it sold in one day. I hope the person who bought it will like it.