Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A plea for three!

Lilacs are almost done blooming, but still smell yummy.

A few roses have opened recently.

A rare white without a bug in it!

I think this is a Chrysler... Not a Buick, for sure!

I really don't know how to word this, so I'll just jump right in.  I agreed to send out 3 gifts - one to each of the first 3 who comment and will honor this "Pay It Forward".  Its a way for quilters to thank other quilters - for the inspiration and care they bring into the world and share with us all... I guess. Anyway,  Sheila from  Sew Cook Travel will be sending me something, and all I need from you, Dear Reader, is for you to say you want to do this, too. 

Here are the easy rules:

~ three people that would like a gift from me should leave a comment to that effect.

~ each of them will get a gift sometime in the next year.

~ in turn, each of the three will send three other people gifts.

Should be fun!  Everybody likes to get mail that isn't a bill.  We have a whole year, so I don't think this is too hard a task.  No need to be big and fancy, just kind and considerate
What do you say.... Leave me a comment today!
Love you all,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm a winner!!! and I have Boobs to send off!

You will never guess that I'm a winner!!!  I won the prize on Online Quilting, a rotary cutter holder - it came in the mail today... check out the picture below to see it. (I'm going to use it for my sunglasses in my purse.)

She also sent a lovely  flower pin that she'd made, a bag of buttons (I put on some dark fabric so you could see them better), a card of hand sewing needles and one of her fabulous quilted post cards!!!! So much more than I expected when I left a comment.  Thank you so much Lis!!!!!

Found these while cleaning last week. ( I guess there is some value in cleaning.)  They got lost because of cleaning, so I guess they were meant to be found that way, too.  They are paper pieced and I simplified the pattern from the book 365 Foundation Quilt Blocks  by Linda Causee.  I don't know what I'll do with them.  Maybe I can cut one down far enough to use it for Victoria's signature block donation.  We'll see.

Here is the latest batch of Boobs to be sent off.  They are coming your way, Nina.
One is a star from the wall hanging that isn't quite going anywhere.  One is a  paper pieced cardinal leftover from Christmas cards that I never took pictures of. One is a pink flower from the quilt I am working on now. Three of them are  leftover Drunkard's Path blocks used to make a vest - either the one for my Mom, or the one I made for me. Three are quilted. Most are made with scraps from my snippet bags. They are fun to make especially when I don't know what else to do with myself. I use leftover batting and the backs are from larger pieces... mostly from a skirt I got tired of before I finished it. (I have never sewn many of my own clothes, and the things I did make for myself I really never liked to wear.  What is that?)
Anyway, thanks for tuning in... Going to have a giveaway later this week... I just don't know what yet.
So come on back!
Love you all,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Now I can show you the carrots I learned to make from reading blogs, and made some innovations to them. But first the picture! (Added later: the link for the pattern is
without my innovation.)

(Each has 3 different colored "leaves" on top. But that''s not the innovative part.)

Mine are lumpy - just like the ones I grow in my garden. These are filled with Jelly Bellies (tiny jelly beans) and foil wrapped chocolate eggs - thus the lumpiness.  I made them the same way everybody else did, but when making the pattern I put a larger top on the orange parts so I could make a draw string tube. (You can see the orange strings on the ones on the left.) They close up and reopen .  Now they are reusable.  That's the innovation.
(You can probably find them in the archives of  One Pretty Thing.)
Love to you all,

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Currently working on...

You may have seen this quilt before, but now I have it basted....ooooo, ahhhhhhh!  I know it's a bit underwhelming, but I had to put it up on the wall today.  Having company tomorrow, and I'm cleaning up the place. (This is where there should be an oooo, and ahhhhh!)  Anyway, here is the quilt I'm working on, and a few blocks that have been done for a while, and I want to make more, but have to finish the baby quilt for the Project Linus Open House before May 7.

I made the flowers from a paper pieced pattern I drew myself, then got tired of it all and made some other blocks. When I came back to the project because it was pastel and using white (as per the challenge from the local PL Open House committee,) I had to make another row to make the quilt the right shape, and got the wrong pattern... without a center.  After I made the row, and was adding into the quilt, thaaaaaaaats when I noticed - no centers!  Well, what is quilting but a lot ofchances to problem solve?   I found a few premade yoyos and sewed them down as centers.  Problem solved!  They may cause another problem when I try to quilt it, but we can handle that!

The other blocks I made were from Harry Potter, see the picture below.  You can find the free patterns at and at 
They are copyrighted patterns, so you can make them, but you may not sell the products that you make them into.  I'd like to make a quilt of all the patterns some day... It'd be too special to give to any one in my family, so I'd have to keep it - is probably why it's not getting made. Maybe I should make one for everybody in my family that likes HP.... (I don't think I'll live that long! We are a HP kind of family... readers!)  That's a cauldron at the top left... darker purple background and black pot makes it hard to photograph.  The plant on the right is from QuiltMaker Magazine a few months ago.  My sister used to call me "flowerpot" - why? don't ask. No, really, don't ask cause I don't know, and I don't think she does either.  Anyway, that pattern speaks to me because of the little Halloween plants. (See previous posts for pictures) (Do you think my sis is a witch and she knew way back when we were wee tykes that I'd be starting little starts to give away with the candy?)

Oh, the star is from QuiltMaker, too.
Well, I guess I rambled on enough.  Hope you can pick up the picture you want DGD#1.
Love you all,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lady Ginkgo, Smallest Mountain Range in the world, and new fabric - all in the same day!!!

Dear Friends,
I thought it was probably my last day on earth yesterday... so wonderful!
We started out early - he made scrambled eggs for breakfast and off to Colusa we went to hunt Elm Tree seeds. (You don't hear of that very often, do you?) We had seen an Elm across the street from a little quilt shop - now out of business - on a shop hop and had scooped up some seeds to try. I left them go too long, and they didn't work, so we were going back to get some more. (A thing I learned about tree seeds is that they don't stay good for years and years. Some trees have a mechanism to keep competition at a minimum, I guess, and the seeds are only good for a week or so... learned from Wikipedia, I think. Anyway, Elm is one of those kinds of trees.)  All the way there we could see the Smallest Mountain Range in the world... one of my favorite places on earth because it is quiet and  remote - off the beaten freeway and very few houses (although that is changing). We've been there a number of times... well, here, cut to the pictures
First off - early in the morning (well, not that early - maybe 10ish) the mist hides the mountains.  If you look low on the horizon right in the middle you'll see them.  If I remember right, they are from one of our California volcanoes, probably Lassen, spitting some lava and it landed 200 miles away to form this mountain range! Incredible, isn't it?

The mist is burning off - really it was a sunny warm day!  You can see the range just left of that tree and about 20 miles in the distance.

We're getting closer!  Aren't they interesting?

When we got to Colusa we stopped to get us some seeds, and found this Curly Barked Live Oak.  I'm not sure that is the accepted name, but it is descriptive. They are quite rare. The leaf looks like a holly leaf, and the tree is green year round (that's why the Live Oak part).  We found the Elm and picked the seeds, but the best part of the trip -a couple of hundred miles - was the Lady Ginkgo!!!!  I have been wanting Ginkgo seeds - well technically they are pits, but I didn't know that until yesterday.  Since I first learned about the tree being prehistoric, and having male and female trees (not like most trees which are male and female on one tree and usually within one flower!) I have wanted seeds.  The female trees are very rare. I heard about one that is supposed to be in the next town over, but where?  I heard that a certain ethnic group likes to find female trees and takes the fruit for some kind of special dish that they make... The reason the female trees are rare is that the fruit they drop - and judging by the pits we picked yesterday they are like a plum - the fruit of the Gingko is stinky... or so they say.  I've never had the privilege. People find them very offensive, and will cut them down. Finding a female just tickled me pink, and I still am pleased beyond pleased with the find. (I planted 5 Elm as soon as I got home, and 1 Ginkgo, so far.) (Elm are also rare here since the 70s when there was a huge outbreak of Dutch Elm disease and millions died.)

This is a path on top of the levy (across the street from the Ginkgo and Oak) on a stretch of the Sacramento River. It makes a nice little walkway in Colusa, and a park on either side. There was a little old Model T driving on it, but I just couldn't get it to show. Maybe if you click on the pic you can see it down at the end.

A view of the Sacramento River  You can see that it was quite high from the rains, and has calmed down again.  We still have the runoff from mountain snow melt to come... never know when that will happen. It's later and later every year for the past 8 years or so. Weather has cycles.  If the planet were warming wouldn't the snow melt sooner rather than later?

A view of the Sacramento going the other way, towards the little mountains. (These are snowless - just not that tall, and located right in the center of the central valley where the land all around is low elevation, (varies slightly from below 0 at Death Valley! and around there maybe 80 feet above sea level.) and flat like a pancake.)  Central Valley of California used to be an inland sea is why it's so flat!

Here they are again.

I just wasn't happy with any of the pictures as we took them. (I deleted about 5 other pictures as duplicates.) Even the zoom on my camera can't capture the mountains as we were seeing them.  There are lots of greens and maybe if you click on the picture you'll see what we saw.  They are just beautiful.

Some Gentian, I think... wild flowers and see our grasses have already matured and are starting to go brown. It's mostly because they started in December to sprout, (when the rainy season started) and have fulfilled their growing season already.

We are close in to the mountains now. No one is allowed to go hiking, well, maybe the residents.  The park service allows only guided hikes 2 times a year... otherwise people here would have ruined them by now.

Here is the only unusual feature that can be seen from the road.

The locals, and some cattle live here and a few humans... that's what I like best, I guess, few humans.

On the other side of the street, rocks. There are lots of those.

And did I mention there was a fabric shop in Colusa?  A new one that had just opened!  Here's what I bought. Love the red on the right!

What a day!  I haven't had this much (Old Lady) fun in years.  What floats your boat?  What makes you smile?  It does seem strange the things that make one happy.  I've found that even a forced smile - even one shared with a stranger you'll never see again - can make you feel happy... (this is a bit of advise for a certain GD#1). Try to make someone else happy and you'll find it backfires, or boomerangs back to you!  There is an old song - Jimmy Durante sang  it, I think. "Maaaaake someone happy, make just one person happy, and you will be happy, too."  Wisdom in old music. (Read the suggestions from Mother Theresa in my margin.  She was a very loving person who dedicated her life to other people.)  (I have her there because I admire her... and because my name is Theresa and I am a mother, too... so we had something in common. Also, my father-in-law (who is a great grandfather to my grandkids) he believed  he was her twin... he looked like her, and they were born on the same day, so he  jokingly claimed her as his twin.)
I am rambling on today, and I usually don't like that in a blog.  Sorry!  I'll try to have a wordless one next time to make up for this one.
Happy Sunday to you all!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Finally a card! and more flowers

Hello again friends,
I finally made a card and took a picture of it before I sent it off!!!!!!!  It's one of my stars made for that wall hanging I started a while ago. I used double sided tape to attach it to the back of the window that I cut on my Fiskars cutting tool...(I don't know how else to discribe it.) Anyway, I then attach the whole thing to the front of the card.

I linked this one up to Cas-ual Fridays

Here is how I did the inside.  It was done with my computer word program... word works, I think.  Lots of fun to do.

And now some more bloom'n plants from my yard.

This is my fabulous Japanese (or Chinese) Maple tree that we bought about 10 years ago for $1.49.  It was only about 2 inches tall then.  Now I'd say 10 foot.  Anyway, it is blooming - aren't they lovely blossoms. I sure hope I can get some seeds from it.  Wouldn't they be marvelous to share with the Trick or Treaters?

This is a Vinca... lots more flowers, but I wanted to show you a close up.  The leaves are shiny and it is a wonderful viney ground cover. I've got some started for Halloween, too.

Here is the last of the China Berry Bush flowers. It liked to bloom during the rains, so I never got a really nice picture when there were lots of blooms. Here, too, I'm hoping for seeds.

I know I've shown my Golden Delicious Apple blooming before, but I just couldn't help it.  It is covered with flowers and I had to be slow and careful while taking pictures under it - violets are coming up below - the bees are bussssssay!  Last year we only had a few apple runs for the deer... This year we will be bringing all the fruit that starts to rot to them.  Saves putting it into the landfill, and here the summer is so dry that our grasses in the woods have already started to go brown. (It has already grown to maturity since it starts to grow in December when the rains start up.) So when the deer have little to eat we bring them our yucky apples and they love them! 
I wish I had smell o'vision on his computer so I could send you a whiff of blooms!  Heaven on earth!

This is my shamrock.

Don't you just love the unexpected flowers that come up in the grass. Here are some little purple ones... don't know what they are, and that is some of the beauty of wildflowers. 

These are the Violets that live under my apple tree. I did get my hair caught in a branch as I stood up from taking this picture.  Lucky I didn't anger any bees.

Our Lilacs are on the verge of blooming, just not all the way at once!

And last but not least, the Lavender - blooms all year long here.  We have it  taking a big piece of our veggie garden... I'm thinking of just planting the whole thing in lavender and not having to pick beans all summer. Nothing else appeals to either of us.  Beets don't do to badly in this plot, but the carrots are gnarly because of the roots from nearby trees and all the rocks.  We have had tomatoes, but only a few on a bush that cost more than a few fruit - so why not just buy them from the store.  What do you grow in your gardens?

Well, we've come to the end of the pictures for today.  I do want to let you all know that my Dear Daughter made it through her double mastectomy surgery and is resting (Ya sure!) at home. Thank you for all your prayers and your concern. She has been remarkable through all her ordeals... we are so happy for her, and so proud of the way she has handled this all!  
So, on that happy note... have a fabulous weekend!
Love to all of you, and to yours,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New blooms!

Hello Friends!
I've been taking pictures of the blooms in my yard and house.  I do have something to share today!
First up is a little oak I started from an acorn. I put the seed in the ground last fall after Halloween.  Hey, if the squirrel can do it in all my potted plants, well, I'm just following suit. (I'm really proud of this little one.  I hope it stays good for Halloween, and becomes a mighty oak in some one's yard.) You might have to click on the picture to make it large enough to see the little sprout. I was surprised to see it there.  Just a few days ago it was nothing more than an acorn with his head in the dirt.

Shown here are the Golden Delicious Apple on the left.  A Bing Cherry in the center and my Bartlett Pear on the right. (They do look happy don't they? It's a sunny day, what else do they need to be happy?) 
Here is our larger cherry. It is grafted with 3 kinds of cherries, and newly pruned, so I didn't show you the ugly top.  Poor thing insists on growing up into our power lines. It's been blooming for weeks now, and some of the blooms have gone brown now.  I didn't look to see if the miniature cherries are already forming.  I hope we had bees enough.  The bees don't like to work on rainy days... and there are a few of those coming up soon, again. I hope the bees have had enough time to make cherries this past week.

Here is a plant given to me by my neighbor.  We call it Pig's Ears, but I really don't know what it's called. This is it's first year here in my garden.  Transplanted really easily, and it's right against the house which will probably save it from any frosts we will have here.  I'm really pleased to see blooms on it.  I'll be starting a couple for Halloween just after the blooming stops. Plants that need little care are the first to go to the Trick or Treaters, and if it blooms, so much the better!

These came up all over our yard on the birch side.  They need for you not to mow the grass in early spring.  That was right up our alley this year.  We didn't have a mower... ours bit the dust last fall. Good timing, and we just had to wait til we could afford one this spring. Hubby is well pleased with his new toy, and accommodated our Snow Drops by mowing around them... this year.

We have a few gobs of Wind Flower - I think.

This bush is home to lots of little birds.  In the fall they get red berries that by Christmas make a great cutting for decorating the house. The blooms are heavy scented, the leaves are oval and large, and I have no idea what it is, but it grows like a weed, and makes some great little plants for H. I pluck them out of the ground like weeds, and put them into little yogurt containers for the kids. It is an evergreen plant here in CA, and some of the older leaves turn bright red and fall off  during the spring. Weird, but we like  it. 

This is one of my orchids... that bloom. I have been able to get 3 of my orchids to bloom.  (There is a white that is similar to this one, and one that has little tiny blue flowers that are very heavily scented - but it hasn't bloomed in a couple of years now.) This one has bloomed for maybe four years now.  This time it has 3 blossoms!

Here's another angle.

So that is the end of my plant portrait's for today. Hope you enjoyed my selections. I forgot to get a picture of the China Berry bush... or the Vinca that is blooming now, too, and I thought I saw a rose out front.  Those will have to be another time.
Thanks for tuning in.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A giveaway at...

Hi Friends,
Just a quick notice... the giveaway is at

I was just there.  She has fabric that you might like to win, and it won't be long - tomorrow (Tues.) at 7 a.m. Central time - when she decides who wins... so hop on over there!
Heart you all!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Welcome new follower!

I'm always surprised when I get another new follower!  Thanks for the vote of confidence you all have shown me.  I'm really surprised nobody has struck me off their list yet, especially after the previous post.  I just had to do something for April Fools Day.
On the quilting subject, I have the little flowers basted, and will quilt tomorrow.  Best to have the best eye-sight to do that.  I'm thinking that I'll just follow along the edge of the petals and use white, so it'll look like the petals are frilly? maybe, and then straight stitch around each of the "piano keys". I would really like to just let loose and try free motion, but even on charity quilts I like to do my best. I've gotta practice first, and I just don't want to waste fabric for a practice.  Anyone else have that problem?
Until next time,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Something special...

I wanted to post something special for today...

April Fool's!

Love you all,