Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winding Down...

Christmas has been wonderful this year, as usual - happy and crazy. Brooke, Ben and the babies have been here for 2 weeks and are heading out tomorrow, we will miss them terribly! Jeff & Vanessa were here for a few days and it was great to see them and everyone got to meet Vanessa (and the votes are in - everyone loves her). My entire sewing studio is covered with toys, books & games from Santa's visit - but I still managed to sew a few blocks together for my "scrappy around the world" quilt. We also had a baby shower for Miss Amanda:
It was very well attended and she is pretty much ready for the big event in a few short weeks.
Her sister-in-law made her this totally cool love-y taggy thing-y:
We all examined it very carefully and want to make some on the next family quilt night.
We've been to a few movies - always fun. Family Christmas Parties, BINGO night, Tamale Making, - oh yeah and most of us got the flu - blech!
Here is Mr. Handsome with the "big" grandkids, with our little scrawny tree in the background:
It went out the day after Christmas because I am the grinch. One more event tomorrow - Shane & Becca are blessing baby Brian - so one more party and then back to "normal" life - whatever that is. Hopefully after Brooke and her family get home safely we can get some snow around here - it is pretty dry and barren - very unusual, it was in the 50's yesterday! Of course, after reading the weather report, I decided to polish my toenails and wear sandals and short sleeves- I froze and had to add socks and a jacket for the movies. Apparently even though the 50's are quite warm for December in Utah - it still isn't quite toasty - go figure. Hope your holidays were wonderful!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Brooke and her family have officially left Missouri this morning (at 3 a.m.!) and are coming this way! They will be to our house by Sunday, so, guess what I'm doing today? That's right, cleaning! So, why am I posting instead? (You really have to ask?)
We are going to have a houseful for Christmas, Jeff & Vanessa are coming and even my Mom is coming - that is a Christmas Miracle all by itself! (Dad is staying home with all of the dogs) I am so excited to see everyone and feel very, very blessed.
All of my shopping and wrapping is done and Mr. Handsome made himself VERY useful, as usual, and made our neighbor gifts:
Sugared Pecans - delicious! I made them cute with leftover charm pack squares. That is outside his area of expertise...
I have a whole pile of fun stuff to do with the "big" grandchildren when they get here. We haven't seen them in 6 months, which is WAY too long. We have lots of things on our list to do when they get here, you know, things like "Going to the Nicklecade and shooting the giant spiders", pillow wars with the uncles, dates with Grandpa, and all of those wonderful grandchildren things.
Well, I'm off to clean...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

White Elephants...

We had a fun "White Elephant" gift exchange party last night. It made me reflect on the many years we've attended and had a great time at White Elephant parties over the years. I came home with these babies last night:
(yes, price tags still attached) Mr. Handsome got a fabulously ugly (women's) sweater and the funny thing is, that I don't even have it to take a picture of this morning, because 2 of our sons have figured out that they want to wear it to their work parties - they are having ugly sweater parties and they think that sweater is perfect! After they are done with it, I am going to felt it and make a cupcake pincushion, etc. with it. So - you can get some pretty fun stuff at these shindigs. We have so many fun memories of these parties - Doug bringing a live mouse in a hamster ball and wrapping it up - quite a surprise for my neice, who opened it. One year, Brooke bought a 1 pound box of See's candies and we all carefully opened it and took a bite of each candy, then she re-wrapped it and took it the party - it was a hotly contested item, but at the end, when the final recipient opened it up - we all laughed uproariously, they did not - such is the luck at the white elephant parties...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Will December ever arrive???

A few more peeks at what I've been up to in the studio:
Cute snowman fabric on the back:
These were already given to my sisters for Christmas when I was in California last weekend.
And, I finished my first, ever, Christmas Tree Skirt! I am debating putting ties on it, we will see if they are necessary.
A VERY scrappy backing:
(This was sort of a bear to bind, so I'm glad you can't really see it up close).
And here is sweet little Brian, who came to play at Grandma's:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Holidays are Here...

I can't believe November zipped by so fast! The holidays are officially here. I must say I am quite excited about them - all of my children will be here with their families for Christmas this year!
I am cooking Thanksgiving, with a little help from the close-by kids, and Mr. Handsome, of course. Yesterday, I went out and bought a turkey breast, since I don't always have great luck with whole turkeys (I only like the white meat anyway - and of course, it's all about me). One year, the turkey didn't quite finish cooking and we had to get it done on trays in the microwave, once I managed to cook it upside down and couldn't figure out why it looked funny - you get the idea.
Anyway, this turkey breast cost a fortune! More than an actual whole turkey! It's either super expensive or we are going to have enough meat for the whole neighborhood. I am also mentally gearing up for the once-a-year gravy making nightmare/I mean experience. Let me just tell you, there is a lot of standing over a hot stove, and stirring going on and it always takes way longer than I think it should. I think I'm going to run back to the store and buy some jars of gravy and add little of my own gravy fixings and call it good. (Shh, don't tell)
I am excited about a fantastic looking peanut butter, cream cheese chocolate pie that I found the recipe for - that will be delicious, no matter what happens to the turkey and gravy - it's "no-bake" - doesn't that mean "can't fail"?
I always love seeing everyone enjoying themselves, even if Amanda is a wee bit cranky about having to say "what she's thankful for" at the table. I love to see the kids spread out on the family room floor, with all of the sale ads spread around, plotting their course for the Black Friday. Mr. Handsome is putting up the Christmas lights on Thursday and the weather should be fine for that - I LOVE to see the house all lit up!
Well, off to finish up my Christmas Tree skirt...
P.S. Just got back from a super quick, super fun trip to California (Saturday night to Monday morning) and the only picture I took was of this great (giant) potato masher that my mom gave me - it will be put to good use on Thursday (Shane can't wait)!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We headed down to the condo this past weekend and although no Christmas sewing got done, it was nice to get away. On Saturday, we did a fun hike out on the backside of St. George:
Beautiful scenery, fantastic rocks to jump around on:
I am very sad to report, that when I was here 10-15 years ago, I did a lot more jumping around - I guess getting old is kind of stinky.
The dog didn't think much of the hike -she kind of dragged her feet all the way up, she was much friskier on the way home. We only hiked a little over 4 miles - and I always wonder when I do something like that, "If I did this every day, could I eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight?"
We saw two movies this weekend - "In Time" with Amanda Seyfreid, it was a good movie, but that gal has the boniest knees I've ever seen on someone older that 11! We also saw "Tower Heist" - also enjoyable, but be warned, Eddie Murphy is a little on the crude side (no surprise, actually - but lately I'm just used to him as "Donkey" on the Shrek movies).
Now back to work and sewing and shopping - but first a nice soak in the jacuzzi...

Sunday, November 6, 2011


It's turning into a regular Santa's Workshop over here (or so I like to think): I got this quilt out of the dryer this morning - I had washed it to remove the blue grid lines (for placing the flowers/circles). I usually don't wash quilts before gifting them, because, heaven forbid some color runs (I am not a pre-washer of fabric) or it doesn't look so new - BUT - this quilt is so nice and soft, I think I am changing my mind and am going to wash up all the gift-y quilts I'm giving this Christmas.
Just got back from the annual Quilt Retreat - it was in Park City this year and it was fabulous, as usual! We quilted and ate and slept and quilted some more and we laughed like nobody's business. (Pretty much ate junk food like nobody's business too) There were about 70 ladies having a great time and making beautiful quilty items. We stayed at the Marriott - very nice. It was so amazing to wake up each morning (4 days!) and not have to worry about anything but maybe how many pieces of bacon to take from the breakfast buffet or which project to work on first. No dishes, bed-making, going to work, etc. - just fun! Got lots of projects finished, now on to quilting them!
Here's Kathy as the "Beverly Hill Billies Quilter" ready to take off - she actually got ALL of her stuff onto this bottom rolling cart - we can only assume she made it all the way to her car, intact. Earlier she had shared how she was performing this trick at another retreat, and coming out of the elevator EVERYTHING spilled all over.
We all had a great time, but it's good to be home too. Now, onto the holidays...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Household Happenings

I've finished another Christmas Quilting project: (Yay, me!)
And we got back from a great birthday party/family reunion in Arizona:
My Mamal (a southern word for grandmother) turned 90, so we had a party! Here she is with her 4 children - all in one place! Left to right: Janet (my mom), Linda, Richard & Dottie. Richard came in from North Carolina, Dottie came from Florida. My mom came from California . We had lots of cousins in attendance - it was wonderful. We had a great time visiting and catching up. My cousin, Mark was even there - from California and I hadn't seen him in at least 10 years! Since my Aunt Linda and Uncle Nick are semi- retired caterers, the food was wonderful! And, my Aunt Linda is, as always a superb hostess! (I am sad I didn't get more pictures, my camera setting was off and they mostly turned out really blurry!) They did have some serious scorpions down that way and when we first got there, my Uncle had a blow torch and I am thinking - "Yippee, Creme Brulee for dessert - just in time", but no, they burn up scorpions with it!!
Brooke - this picture is for you!
And - guess what we picked up on the way home? Here are a few hints:
Yes, it's a DOG!! We picked up a 6 year old "Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier" on the way home. She has a really bad hair cut, so Mr. Handsome won't take her picture yet. She is pretty cute, but still a little nervous to be away from the home she's always known (with 12! other dogs). She's a retired "champion", so she needed a home. It's pretty quiet around here. Her name is Jenny - but we can't help but call her "Jen-nay" - think "Forest Gump".
I must say it is so nice to be home here in Utah, where the fall colors are in full array and the weather is in the 60's instead of in the 90's like Arizona - I don't think I would be my normal pleasant self if I lived there... (hahahaha)
So, I'm off to sew and watch all of the fabulous/addicting shows they've just added to Netflix (like Sister Wives)...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Birthday Party!

Mr. Handsome decided to have a birthday party celebrating his dad's life. Larry passed away 8 years ago and most of the young married in-laws never met him, so they don't get some of the family humor.
We had a great turnout and lots of fun!
I didn't get a picture of the food, but Stacy smoked a couple of briskets & some pork roasts - delicious! We also had cornbread, sweet potato casserole and plenty of desserts!
The weather was perfect. Everyone who knew Larry shared a memory of him. Most of them were pretty dang funny! People shared about the nickname that Grandpa had for them and funny things he did and said. Bruce did a great job videoing everyone's memories. Stacy had blown up pictures of him and old family pictures (I really am a terrible photographer, I missed lots of pictures). Denise did a game with "Grandpa's Rules", which pretty much meant, they weren't fair and changed a lot. You could also trade your prize for "whatever I have in my hand". There was also a killer "money grab".
Brandon won a "swig of my pop" Beckham decided he couldn't win against Doug, so he gave up:
Brian was there, looking adorable (even if Shane REFUSES to smile for pictures for me! Shane, when you are old, people are going to see all of your pictures and think what a mean man you were!)
Beckham loved the balloons (and the candy, and the cornbread, etc.)
All in all a great day - thanks everyone for coming and making it fun!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Finish...

Okay, I figured I'd better post a quilt or I would have to stop calling this a quilting blog! This is a "medallion" style quilt, where you start in the middle and work your way out, and well, let's just say I should have squared up better as I went along, it was pretty skewampas by the time I got to the last borders! (Pattern and fabric from "Crazy Old Ladies Quilts")
This is for Mr. Shane, so, of course, there is Minkey on the back:
I just have to keep it hidden until Christmas, because every time that boy comes over here, he tries to snuggle in it, even before it was finished!
Mr. Handsome and I made another fun trip to the condo and he finally collected on my promise to go golfing with him (from February!!). It was pretty windy, but it's always fun to tear around the golf course in the cart - he drives like "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" at Disneyland. He hit a ball into the desert part of the course and it was so funny that it was stuck in this bush!
Well that's the news from over here, hope you're having fun quilting or doing whatever makes you laugh! (I will be madly sewing Christmas Gift projects for the next few weeks...)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another Beautiful Baby...

So exciting, Shane and Becca had their sweet baby boy on Sunday:
He is, of course, perfect:
His name is Brian Douglas (after his proud Uncle Doug). We can't believe all of his precious hair! It is beautiful and soft. We are so proud and happy for Shane & Becca!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quilt Festival, Shoe Carnivals, etc.

This week is the Utah Quilt Guild's Annual "Quilt Festival" - doesn't that sound so grand and fabulous??? Well, it is! I woke up on Wednesday morning and couldn't stop smiling! I had such a hard time sleeping the night before, it was like Christmas when I was a kid (okay, as an adult too). I kept waking up and looking at the clock, waiting for morning to come.
This is my 5th year of attendance and I plan on going every year until I die!
There are all sorts of classes offered, fabulous lunches with National Quilt-y Speakers (David Taylor, George & Virginia Siciliano, Sally Collins) - 2 of my favorite things - eating and absorbing quilty-ness!
There are lots of vendors at the vendor mall, just waiting for me to stroll in and buy their wonderful items that I NEED. I am basically a lazy shopper, I don't like to go from store to store, getting sweaty, etc. So I love it when they all come together in one place!
This year, I took a scrap class - we learned how to organize our stash, and USE it, we got several patterns and I got started on a "Around the World" scrap quilt. What is that you say?- several hours in class and you got 4 (!) blocks finished? Yes - that is me. I took a lecture class with a fun batik quilt show. This morning I took a "Short Cuts" class with great ideas on ways to make flying geese, square in a square blocks, prairie points and more. I loved this class (taught by Bonnie Miles) because I love efficiency and she is very efficient and her brain works WAY better than mine at figuring out the most efficient/easy way to make blocks - and she shares her ideas with us! Tonight I am taking a hand quilting class and am looking forward to that. Tomorrow and Saturday - no classes, just volunteering at the mini quilt raffle/display booth and working on handwork + two more fabulous lunches!!!
Yes, I am aware that my quilt blocks look pretty skewampas, but I'm hoping when I make more blocks, I can arrange them in a way where they will play nicely together...
P.S. Did I mention there is a quilt show too??
P.S. S. Whenever I see the "Shoe Carnival" store, I keep thinking I'll go in and there will be high-heeled shoes riding a merry-go-round or something like that - I am always vaguely disappointed when it's just a regular shoe store.

Monday, September 19, 2011


You can see from my pics, that my projects are getting bigger and my design wall isn't! I guess it's more crawling around on the floor for me. I shouldn't complain, I am grateful I am physically able to get down on the floor, etc. But - in case you haven't noticed, I am a chronic complainer. (I think Mr. Handsome may have noticed a wee bit.) Here is my latest project from "Crazy Ladies Quilts":
I have 4 more "rounds" to go:
It's a Christmas Gift, it should be finished in plenty of time, which is great, except it is not even close to the amount of quilt-y gifts I am planning on giving this year. It is for my baby boy, Shane. He doesn't follow the blog (I try not to be insulted that he doesn't hang on my every word, now that he is married and expecting a baby of his own, etc.), so he won't see it, although he has gotten glimpses of it already.
Well -it's after 11 and I guess at some point I should shower and get out of my walking clothes...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I need a bigger design wall!

And somewhere to put it...
I have been spoiled with my design walls (flannel backed plastic table cloths), this quilt just wouldn't fit, so I had to crawl around on the floor. It was hard to get the perspective right too, I moved a couple of blocks around and numbered and stacked them, so we'll see. I can't wait to get this all sewn up and quilted!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Birthday Month...

Yes, it's my favorite time of year, September! I love that it's my birthday, fall is close, I'm anticipating the fun holidays, there are quilt retreats galore, the weather gets nice and cool, etc. This morning, it was nice and crisp when I went walking, which makes me think happy thoughts and want to quilt!
I just got back from a great visit to my family in Southern California. It was wonderful to see them all, it is so nice to be with a bunch of people that you love and they love you back! We celebrated my birthday (a little early) with "Death by Chocolate Cake" from Costco, always a favorite. Looking forward to a fun family reunion next month in Arizona for my Mamal's (grandmother's) 90th birthday.
Life is good and I am grateful.
P.S. Got a little folding & sorting in at the studio:

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Narrows

We went down to the condo this past weekend, and, since we hadn't been there in 3 months, it was great to get back there. We went to Zion National Park (as usual) and this time we hiked "The Narrows", a hike that is perfectly suited for the killer hot days of late August. It was 104 degrees in Hurricane, but we figured maybe 85 on the water and we were wet the whole time, so it was fabulous!
Even though we have been to Zion Park many, many times, we have never gone this far up the Virgin River, through the Narrows. Most of the hike is through the water, sometimes it was chest deep, a little less on some taller people. Where the canyon walls get super narrow, the only way up is through the water, it is beautiful!
We hiked about 3 1/2 hours up, but it took way less time to get down, not quite 2 hours, or so it seemed, we didn't have a watch or phone with us. (The camera was double zip-lock bagged.) Because for a lot of the way down, we swam, or really floated down the deep parts.
The only problem with that was, my light yellow/very large t-shirt got a little see-through-y, so there will be no close up photos...
And thank goodness, even though there were lots of people there, we saw no one we knew. There were lots of bikini clad Europeans in all shapes and sizes, so I'm thinking no one even noticed any sort of immodesty on my part (that's what I keep telling myself, anyway). We had so much fun, we are going back in a couple of weeks for my birthday! (Wearing something else, of course)
Happily we also got my "American Dreamin'" quilt hung up in the eating area at the condo... and I'm nearly finished with a new quilt for the double bed in the 2nd bedroom, the plan is to be finished for next time we head down there. (It is totally crooked-y, but that is the beauty of quilting, as I see it - homemade goodness - right?)