Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Word for a New Year

Do you choose a word for the year? I've never done it before, but decided it would be a good exercise. So, after analyzing some excellent words... 

 I have chosen the word Embrace!

As a verb - a word that calls for action - it means to take or receive gladly or eagerly, to accept willingly.

It is my intention to do exactly that with each day of 2014.

Not only to "take what comes,"
 but more importantly to seek out new things to embrace!
As I open the door to 2014 and travel this path, I will share with you the things learned,
          the projects completed,
                    the places visited
                            and the people encountered along the way.
And I would really love it if you would share back with me in the 'comments' section below. Two way conversations are the best!
Let's have a great year!

Till next time...
New Year Blessings,


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Stitching Up a Merry Christmas

As a parent, it is always fun to watch your kids open their Christmas gifts, and I was especially anxious this year. However, I'm not talking about the little people (although they were fun to watch too). Over the past year I made quilts for my two girls and their fellas, and I think I succeeded in both surprising and delighting them.

The pattern I used was Yellow Brick Road and it is designed for fat quarters and was great fun to put together. I actually made one for myself last year, so I have now made three quilts using this pattern - I think somebody needs to take it away from me! The first one I made last spring, and used a group of coffee-themed fabrics. 

Since Kerri & Jeremy both enjoy coffee, I knew it would be perfect for them. This quilt needed a border to bring it up to the right size. The quilting is done in a coffee mug & steam pattern - so appropriate. 
For the quilt I put together this fall for Heidi and Jeff I chose a group of flannels in colors that I knew reflected their casual lifestyle. (Sorry that the quality of these pictures is so poor. They were taken later in the day and the lighting wasn't good)
The quilting is done in a 'flame' pattern to represent a fireplace or campfire. A flannel quilt and a crackling fire - perfect for this time of year.
It was really fun to work on these projects this past year, but I found it difficult not to let it slip when talking with them. Now I have a couple of grandkids that have been waiting patiently for their long-ago promised quilts! I think I better come up with a different pattern though.
Till next time...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Silent Night...

The Christmas message is evident year round at my friend, Linda M's house. She has been collecting nativity set for many years, and they are artfully displayed throughout her home. Some of them come out just during the Christmas season, but many serve as reminders of the birth of Jesus throughout the year. These pictures were taken with my cell phone on a whim one evening, so the lighting and the quality may not be the best, but I hope you enjoy this tour of Linda's nativities - my Christmas card to you...

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
'Round yon virgin, mother and child
 Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, Holy night

Shepherds quake, at the sight

Glories stream from heaven afar

Heavenly hosts sing Hallelujah

Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, Holy night

Son of God, love's pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord at thy birth
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

Until next time...
Christmas blessings,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A "Wicked" Weekend

Finally, I'm getting around to telling you about my getaway weekend with my daughters. We had such a grand time! Last year when I invited them to go with me on a bus trip to Galena, IL I know they thought "bus trip - old ladies", but they agreed to come along and keep me company. They were very pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was and were packed and ready to go on our adventure to Minneapolis this year. Now we are wondering what 2014 will hold.

An important part of any getaway is the food - no disappointment here!
After leaving Lennox at 6 am, we were served walking tacos at a rest stop late morning (we had already had flavored coffee, mimosas, coffee cake, and yogurt fruit parfait). Once we got going again they came around with a 'heavenly bar.' Oh, yes, we ate well!
There were lots of shopping opportunities on this trip. We visited the Albertville Outlet Mall, Ikea and the Mall of America.
There was also a shopping mall right next to our motel and we slipped over there just long enough to investigate Charming Charlies where we discovered all kinds of accessories - jewelry, purses, scarves and anything else you can think of to accessorize your outfit. This is where we found items to deck out our witches hats!
And speaking of witches hats... on to the main event! We attended the production of "Wicked" at the Orpheum Theatre.
IT. WAS. WONDERFUL! The music, the costumes, the venue - WONDERFUL! Our group was encouraged to dress for the occasion, so there were quite a few witches in attendance. We chose to modify the witch theme a bit with these fun witch hat headbands - we added the foo foo. I think we were quite lovely!
I have to tell you about these three witches. They are sisters that live in Spearfish, Omaha and Lennox, and they often travel with the 2 Sisters Off and Running bus trips to help with all the preparations and serving of food. They also help out with games and any other way they can. The fun they have together adds to the experience for everyone. My girls decided they want to be just like these three sisters when they grow up!
It was a great memory-making weekend. Thanks so much to Linda and Vicki - 2sistersoffandrunning.com - for all they did to make sure that each of their guests had a marvelous time.
Till next time...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fabric... One of My Favorite Things

As far back as I can remember I have loved fabric. I love the way it looks, feels and I love the smell of it as you walk into a fabric store. A piece of fabric holds so many possibilities, and several pieces put together... well there is no end to what you might create, and it's often called a quilt!

You cut strips, sew some together, cut again and you're on your way! These lovely flannels will make a warm and cozy quilt for the cold weather that is on its way.
But sometimes the buying of fabric gets way ahead of the sewing of fabric, so what to do with it while it waits its turn? If it's a yard or more it gets wrapped around these boards - it's like a library of fabric!
Smaller pieces get to live together in totes - some of these are fat quarters that I've purchased, but a lot of them are left over from an earlier project or pieces that were intended for a project that never quite got done (you know how that goes).
And the lucky ones will get pulled out, and paired with other pieces as they audition for an upcoming project. These are hoping to be used for a small wristlet bag. I tried downloading a pattern I wanted to use, but am having difficulty - guess they might have to wait till tomorrow.

It's probably a good thing that I don't have much room to store fabric, or the purchasing could get totally out of hand! There are so many wonderful choices out there.
Till next time...


Monday, September 30, 2013

Random Thoughts for October!

September is gasping its last, and October is preparing to burst through the door - How can it be? Ninety-two days left of 2013, and we won't even talk about how quickly the holidays will be upon us. Yikes!

So, for me it's time to stop thinking about the things I need to do and just do them. However, I work better with a list, so a cup of coffee is in order while I sit back and write out all the things I want to accomplish in the next month. As the weeks go by I will plug them into the days chosen for their completion; and when November shows up, I will have all of them crossed off... hopefully... maybe.

I wanted to write about my dolls today. The picture in my dolly's lap is of me on the Christmas I received her. I'm guessing I was five or six.

But then I decided I also needed to include the clothes I have for them that have been packed away. As you can see, they aren't ready for a photo shoot - so that will be put off for another day after they have been pressed. And that isn't even on my October list!

I'm anxious to start cutting into these beautiful, soft 'fat quarter'* flannels (that is on my list), but there is one other sewing project that needs to be finished up first. Then, let me at 'em!

Wish me luck on that list !!
PS: If you want to follow me on Instagram, look for gailswee.
Scroll waaay to the bottom to see what books I'm currently reading. Have you read something you've really enjoyed? I'd love to hear about it - always looking for the next good book!
*If you're not a quilter and don't know what a fat quarter is, Google it!
Until next time...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Autumn 2013

Even though it is my favorite season, I don't mentally feel ready for it this year... Autumn.


Till next time...
Autumn Blessings,