Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Moving Along...


My Santa Swell is progressing nicely. I made the other blocks. And then I sewed them all together. Boom.


Then I laid the BIG santa in place on top. The directions call for Santa to be fused to the background around the outside edges. BUT I didn't bring any fusible web to the lake.  I rarely use fusible anymore anyway. So I'm in the process of hand appliquéing Santa onto the top. Do you see where the quilt top is shadowing through the beard? No worries, that'll be cut out from under Santa.

This kit has you sew enough blocks to also make a table runner AND a pillow - so I'll have a couple of more little projects to finish, too.

I had my MRI yesterday...at 6 am...2 hours away. We hit the road at 4 am and were back home around 9:30 am for breakfast and a nap. The results were good!

Next step - one more doctor appt before I make my decision as to which surgery option.  Over the weekend I wrote a detailed pros and cons document on each of my surgery options. It made me feel so much better to get all this out of my head and onto my computer. Making progress...

Today is day 30 of my Whole30 eating plan! I did it! Okay, not quite...I did eat peanuts for the first part of the 30 days and later learned that peanuts are not allowed. I've switched to raw cashews since. Starting tomorrow I can slowly add more foods back in my diet, but I don't think I'll do that yet. I want to eat this way for at least another couple of weeks. Whole30 has made me feel energized. And since I know that I'll be having surgery in the near future it makes sense to me to keep eating as healthy as possible.

Today I plan to baste my Christmas Row quilt. I want to machine quilt it in the ditch and then add some touches of hand quilting with perle cotton.

A big thank you to all of you for the sweet comments, emails, and messages I've received. A special thanks to JM - a blog reader from Australia - she has been sending me a funny email every day and I adore them! Laughing is the best medicine!

Friday, September 28, 2018

I Wore an Orange Dress


Do you remember this dress I made a couple of years ago? I decided to wear it to my appointments at the hospital in Birmingham. I wanted to be dressed in orange and be 'put together' and show some of my personality. (Unfortunately I was always in a hospital robe (not the dress) when I met every single doctor - haha!)


Somehow receiving this tote of goodies made this all real for me. It's not a bad dream.

I liked all the doctors - that is good. But they want one more test - an MRI - before I can make a decision on what type of surgery to have. Hopefully that will be scheduled soon. I do like that the decision in totally mine on which surgery. This helps me feel a bit in control of this out-of-control situation.


Still eating healthy - last night's dinner was lean steaks with capers and ghee, baked sweet potato wedges, and a lovely salad. I was weighed at UAB Wednesday and I've lost 12 pounds since Sept. 2 - and I'm never hungry. I really love Whole30 - it's retrained my brain on what I now want to eat. I don't think I'll be falling off the wagon.


Yes, I'm staying busy. I've finished half the blocks for my Santa Swell quilt. I'll start on the other half today.

Happy Friday to you...

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Staying Busy


Hubby is doing his best to keep me busy and distracted. Yesterday he took me on a morning boat ride - not our norm - it was peaceful...


Our doggies love a boat ride!

Next he took me to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant - I've figured out I can get Chili Rellenos  (my favorite!) without the cheese and stay on Whole30. So good.

Then it was back home for a nap for both of us - neither of us had slept well the night before.

I then spent the afternoon finishing the cutting of my Santa Swell quilt - ready to sew!


I've been thinking I need a project on which to focus in doctors' waiting rooms. My hand sewing won't work because I won't have the proper lighting - I really need good lighting with my bad eyes! I thought punch needle might work, but there are too many thread changes needed, and again...I need good lighting. I saw a really beautiful needlepoint canvas of a yellow lab - nope, again we have thread changes and not enough lighting.

This scarf jumped out at me yesterday. It's double knitted (I think that's the term) so each side is the opposite of the other. I'm not a knitter. But if I can get this started and figure out the pattern, I think this might be a good waiting room project.  You can find it at Purlsoho.

I ordered the yarn and knitting needles last night. You KNOW I'm not a pink girl....so I selected a gray and white color scheme - I figure it will match anything I wear.

So I guess I will become a knitter - haha!

Happy day to you...


Monday, September 24, 2018

Cutting Out Another Quilt



Our girls and one SIL were able to get away and come to the lake for a few hours Saturday. It was a much need fun distraction for me. Hubby grilled out burgers, we went on a fun boat ride, and the girls helped me with some little projects. One redid the quote on my felt board - I'll share it soon. And the other opened and set up a clock that arrived while they were there. The UPS and FedEx truck come here daily it seems to bring things I order online for the house.


Yesterday afternoon I wanted to do something quilty, but I didn't want to sew. I had brought this Santa Swell kit to the lake and started cutting it out. I'll probably finish the cutting today.


I'm still following Whole30. Officially I'm on day 23 of 30. However, I realized halfway through that I had been eating peanuts and they are not allowed - peanuts are a legume - well, darn! When you mess up on Whole30, you are supposed to start over. So I'll add another couple of weeks onto my 30 days. Yes, you do this for 30 days and then you can start adding foods back. 

I truly don't miss any of the forbidden foods and I do love how I feel when eating so 'clean.' Last night we had spicy tilapia with cauliflower rice (with sautéed celery and peppers) topped with jalepeno relish. It was a big plateful of food! I've now bought raw cashews for snacks to replace those peanuts. This morning I tried coconut milk (no dairy allowed!) in my coffee and I love it! Were it not for Whole30, I'd be stress eating chips, cheeseburgers, french fries, cookies, etc. I'm so thankful for Whole30.

I'm actually dreading adding foods back - I've so totally adjusted to my new normal. Though a small glass of red wine will be nice...

I hope you don't mind, but I'll be sharing about my cancer journey here at times. I hope to look back on these entries in a year or two and remember my feelings and thoughts. 

Diagnosis day was hard. Such a shock. And it was so hard to tell loved ones. I let Hubby tell most family members. But I woke up the next day with a determined positive attitude. It would be okay. But, I have to admit that the last couple of days have been hard. I'm not sleeping as well and seem to be on the verge of tears at times. I know this will pass and I'll get back up again. I'm looking forward to meeting with my surgery team this week and knowing my options. I'm ready to make whatever decisions are necessary and move forward. Meanwhile I'll try to keep busy. I want to watch a funny movie today - something that makes me laugh out loud. Any suggestions from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime?

I will say that I've learned so much about my my friends and family who love me. Every single message, text, email, call have helped lift me up. I more determined than ever to keep surrounding myself with positive, supportive people and move the negative ones to the side. Yes, there are negative ones, too, and that has added to my stress as of late. Today will be a good day - if I have anything to do with it!

Make your day happy!

Friday, September 21, 2018

A Sew Day!


Yesterday was a new day. I sewed! And I finished my Christmas row quilt top. This will be one of my favorite quilts because most of the rows were made by dear friends. I almost ran out of fabric for the border, but with some piecing I was able to make it work, barely!


I wish the colors showed up better in these photos - they are much more vibrant than it looks. I have the batting and backing here at the lake so I might just get this quilted myself - we'll see if I get it done before Christmas....

TV Report -

We watched The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society movie on Netflix - SO GOOD! I had read the book years ago and the movie did not disappoint.

We binge watched Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime - again so good!

Weird thought of the day-

I am a Cancer (astrology) and I have Cancer - haha!

I need a few things from the store today - Hubby wants to take me. No, I'm fine, I said. I feel great. I can drive. I can go by myself. He really wants to take me - he wants to take care of me, I get it. And it's so sweet. It's not like getting the diagnosis has made me into a weak and sick person - I feel just like I've always felt - healthy and well. So I will go shopping (by myself!) and he will wait for a contractor to come to fix one of our punch list items.

In late August I decided to begin Whole30. It's an eating plan - not a diet, though most people do lose lots of weight. Basically you can eat meats and vegetables (as much as you want) and some fruit. No bread, flour, sugar, alcohol, legumes. There's more to it, so go to the site if you are interested in learning more about it.

When I found out I needed a biopsy, I almost gave up Whole30 before I started. But I didn't. I started on September 2. I'm so glad I did! Without Whole30 I would have been doing lots of stress eating this month. I'm eating good, whole foods and loving it. I don't miss the things I can't eat. This has given me lots of energy and I know this good fuel will be something that helps me heal more quickly and continue to feel strong.


Last night's dinner: Spice-Crusted Salmon with Carrot 'Fries' and Avocado-Kale Salad with Chipotle Dipping Sauce. (With a little help from Blue Apron.) Blue Apron has Whole30 options during September and I'm really enjoying preparing them. Good, clean eating!

Have a good day!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I Have Breast Cancer



I was going to keep this quiet for now. I've told family and close friends not to tell anyone. I had to let it sink in. But today I felt compelled to share with my dear readers and friends across the world. Family and friends...you can share now if you'd like.

If you have to have breast cancer, I'm told I have the best kind. Wonderful prognosis! Very treatable! Caught very early! (Ladies, stay on top of your mammograms - that's how mine was found.) 

Please don't feel sorry for me! I actually feel much better since the diagnosis than I did during the weeks of multiple mammograms, a biopsy, and lots of waiting. The waiting is the WORST! (Well, the biopsy was no fun either...)

There are so many good things: I have a wonderful husband and two fabulous daughters who are supporting me. And I can't forget my mother and brother who are calling to check on me. I have a fabulous network of quilting friends who are basically my backbone - two of whom are breast cancer survivors. 

We'll meet with my surgery team next week to develop a plan of action - I look forward to having a plan!

If you know me personally, PLEASE DON'T CALL. I'm on the phone more than enough right now talking with family, close friends, and doctors. You may email or text if you'd like. Those who already knew this news - my closest bosom (ha!) buddies and family members - you may keep calling!



I truly don't want sympathy - this is a common issue amongst women and it's my turn to take the bullet. I'm really okay! And ready to attack! 

Though I haven't felt like sewing in weeks, today I do - I plan to sew today! Yay!

Enjoy your day - I will!









Monday, September 17, 2018

More Lake House Before/Afters


I did sew a bit one day, but have not gotten back into my groove yet. So here are couple more lake photos - I LOVE before and afters - don't you?

Above is the entryway to the house BEFORE! The walls were covered with grasscloth wallpaper which had been painted over. I really hate it when people paint over wallpaper! Strip it first! I know it's hard because I've personal stripped plenty of wallpaper. But it's so worth it!



And there is the AFTER.  The wall are shiplapped and white. There is a new ceiling fixture that you cannot see in the picture.  And my vintage treadle base makes a wonderful and airy entry piece. The map is of Lake Martin - it's vintage and has been in the house for the last 28 years. The sign above is personalized and given to me by one of our daughter. And yes, the floors are new, too.



And here is the BEFORE of the downstairs bathroom. Dark! This room also has wallpaper that has been painted over. What's more, they never painted behind the toilet! Hubby really wanted a walk in shower in here because we sleep in the adjacent bedroom.



TA-DAH! LOVE this bathroom now! It's bright and light! So much better!


Here's a close up of the shower tile - two rows of subway tiles and then a row a gray penny tiles.


And that cool, round pillow I made for the living room? Yeah, well it didn't work there so it is living on the screened porch.


I've been enamored with punch needle on Pinterest lately. I had brought some punch needle supplies with me here and pulled them out yesterday for a bit of screened porch play. It's something. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Back to Sewing



I finally started sewing again; it's been weeks! I'm working on borders for my Christmas row quilt.


I'm also getting back into the swing of cooking - a healthy meal last night! Yes, it was as good as it looks, served with salmon.


Here's another peak at our bunk room. This used to be a large closet. It may seem crazy to get rid of a big closet, but we find that our guests usually only stay a few days at most and don't need a lot of closet space. I found this idea on Pinterest: I hung (with Hubby's help) an Ikea shelf rack upside down. Now guests have a handy spot to hang their clothes.

As for the stained sofa.... I decided the sofa is just too big. I don't want to keep it even if I could get the stains out. So Thursday we went furniture shopping. We have ordered a new sofa and love seat. It was fun picking out the fabric. The new furniture will be delivered in 6-8 weeks.

And that's it for today!










Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Popping in from the Lake!


Life is beginning to be a bit more 'normal' - whatever that means - haha! We moved into the lake house a week and a half ago. We are almost done unpacking and are beginning to hang pictures and artwork. Hubby is spending lots of time in the yard, getting it back in shape.

Above is the 'before' and 'after' of the kitchen. It was 'L' shaped before and now it is 'U' shaped - much bigger! The island is the same except it's been painted and topped with quartz. The vent hood is hammered copper and all countertops are quartz. Note that the soffit above the cabinets is gone - much more storage now. LOVE this transformation!


I talked here about getting some porch furniture sand blasted and powder coated. Here it is in all it's fresh oil-rubbed-bronze finish with newly reupholstered cushions. Looks great for 26 year old furniture, doesn't it?


Morning traffic...



Evening grilling...


Cooper LOVES it here! He swims every single day.

We have worked so hard over the last few weeks and are so glad we are slowing down now.

The best news? We went to Auburn yesterday and I brought back a sewing machine and supplies! I think I'll be sewing again this week - so happy about this!

My biggest dilemma in the house is the sofa. We were hoping to save it. It's a sleeper sofa with removable slipcovers. I spent two solid days washing the slipcover using Oxyclean, bleach, detergent, and anything else you could think of. But there are weird stains that are huge and are not coming out. Any suggestions? I've even thought of dying them to see if that helps - they are ivory in color.

We may just have to buy a new sofa - and that's okay, too.

I'll be sharing a few more pictures of the remodeled house soon. We have a few more 'punch list' items that are being done here and there - the design/remodel group we hired to take on this project has been the BEST! Such a pleasant experience!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, August 17, 2018

I'm Fine!!!


Thanks so much for all the emails to make sure I'm okay. I'm fine! I've heard from sweet readers from all over the world. Just been busy with home life and lake stuff. Since I last showed you the dark brown beams, I should show you the new color. I like this much better!!!! It's a pretty gray and looks great with the floors. I'm happy! No more beam dreams!

I haven't been sewing - almost nothing done on that front! But that's okay - sometimes life gets in the way!

We'll be moving into the lake house in several days. Yay! Yes, we will still keep our cottage in the Auburn area. This is why we downsized a couple of years ago - we knew the lake house would be ours and didn't want a big house in Auburn. Now we own two small homes and will go back and forth between the two on a whim. Someone will be living in our cottage while we are at the lake home for a couple of months. But we will still be back and forth often and as needed. There will always be a free bedroom for us at the cottage. I'm still trying to decide what sewing projects to take with me to the lake. I want to take them all!

That's it from here - just wanted to check in and let you know I'm fine!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Obsessed with Beams...


No sewing here. I was incapacitated one day due to lack of sleep the night before and a huge allergy attack. And I've been having beam paint thought overload.

This is the lake house living room ceiling. It used to be a popcorn ceiling. The designers have covered it with wood and added beams. I like the ceiling and beams, but I don't like the brown paint. I especially don't like the brown paint on the trim and around the windows. Everything else in the house is more gray. I'm in discussions with the designers - will meet with them next week to decide what to do. I know - in this big world of problems this is a small thing.


On a positive note, I love the new mirror in one of the bathrooms.

Because we have recently asked them to replace the toilets we are having a bit of a delay. When the toilets arrive, the plumber will come and do all the plumbing - connect dishwasher, sinks, refrigerator, bathrooms, hot water heater, etc.

The plan for today is to attend the Waverly Tomato Festival (and grab a yummy BLT!) and to sew!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Plugging Away!


I'm still a bit off my quilting schedule, but I'm doing what I can. Monday I made binding for two quilts - stay tuned! - and did a bit of machine quilting. I'm hoping to sew this binding on the quilts today, maybe??? hopefully???


And I did make the latest Splendid Sampler block. These are challenging little blocks! I did not do EPP as instructed; I hand pieced this and then appliquéd it in place. I know - I like to make it even harder don't I? Haha!

Things are hectic around here! We have lots to do in preparation for moving in to the lake house. We will probably go there today to check on progress (if the rain lets up).

Here in Alabama, Books A Million had an amazing sale yesterday. All books except children's were on sale with coupon for a penny per page. Yes, we went. We bought 6 books - there was no limit! The lines were long, but we moved through pretty quickly. I heard the line was two and half hours long later in the day! Whew!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Splendid Sampler 2- Row 1


I realized yesterday that I have enough blocks made to make the first row of my Splendid Sampler 2 quilt. I'm using a dark gray grunge and a white-ish grunge to make the alternate blocks. My Accuquilt 2.5 inch strip die made quick work of cutting the fabric.

I had the afternoon free and decided to get to work on this. Now that I have this row complete, I plan to work on these alternate blocks as a leader/ender project.

The lake house is nearing completion. Yay! This week will be the final big push, I hear. Next week will be for small finishes and clean up. We plan to get the TV's and Internet hooked up late next week. Move in will probably be the following week. Getting excited!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Christmas in July


I made the last row of pinwheels and stitched it in place. I also added white strips on either side so it has an inner border now. The idea I'd had for an outer border didn't work - the colors of the fabric I was going to use were right for this project. So now I need a Plan B. Maybe next week I'll figure out what exactly Plan B is! Ha!

Today I think I'll make the next BOM block for guild and maybe I'll work on the next SS2 block.  It's too hot to get out - sweltering....

Thursday, July 26, 2018

My Birthday Present...


Among other wonderful things (a new purse, and new springform pans) I received an embroidery module for my Bernina.  It came Saturday, but I didn't open the box until yesterday. Was it hard to figure out? Not really. I had a few things to learn, but overall it wasn't too difficult.


My first project - my initial. Okay, I know it's not much, but it was my first try. I can see that now I'll need to collect stabilizers and rayon thread! This will be fun with which to play!

Yesterday was also a car day. My car had to go to the shop for a broken rear blinker. Hubby's car wouldn't start. By afternoon all was fixed. And the UHaul shop paid to get my blinker fixed because it turns out they messed it up when they installed my trailer hitch earlier this year. All is well now!

Today I do hope to get back on my schedule and work on my Christmas row quilt!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Rose and Dot


I'm totally whackadoodle on my schedule at the moment. Yesterday I made the latest SS2 block - Rose and Dot. I really like the applique blocks ...except that elephant - haha! But I did save the elephant pattern, so you never know, I might still make it.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Drunkard's Path


This is all the sewing I have to show for the last few days. It's a sample for the next Accuquilt Club meeting. We'll be learning to cut and sew curves.

Friday was spent at the lake getting the damaged Seadoo to the marina - this took much longer than expected because we discovered the engine was also damaged in the storm (not just the hull). But we did it and next time we see it...we hope it will run and look good again!

Saturday we were busy with family - always fun!

Yesterday I sewed just a bit. I've also been working on a presentation on my computer. I'll be speaking to a large group of women (mostly non-quilters) on the subject of Quilting in Alabama in a couple of weeks. I'm almost done with my presentation - yay!!!




Friday, July 20, 2018

Hexie Pillow


Yesterday was Christmas quilts day, but I made a pillow instead. Haha - I had gone to bed the night before thinking about the pillow and just had to get up and make it. I used my Bullseye Nested dies for my Accuquilt Studio cutter.



I picked out the size I wanted to cut - 2" per side...


...and then selected the appropriate 'blank' to go in the middle.


Yes indeed, more denim! It's a fun little pillow, I think.

We have to go to the lake this morning to get the Seadoo out of the water and take it to the marina for repair estimates. I'm not sure if I'll find time to sew today, but we'll see.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

SS2 Block




I finished another Splendid Sampler 2 block - not too happy with my work. It's puckered and wonky. These tiny pieces slay me! I'll try pressing it better and maybe that will help? I skipped the circus elephant - just not my style...


And here is this week's midcentury modern house. Done!


I always bring a snack to Accuquilt Club meeting - we were talking about fusible dies on Saturday - such as the owl - aren't these the cutest crackers ever??? Hubby found them for me at Walmart. Next month we'll be talking about curves - hmmm, any snack ideas?

Yesterday was a whirlwind. Morning sewing. Laundry - 2 loads. Bathrooms scrubbed. A quick trip to the lake house. A trip to a fireplace store. And in the evening I cut up some jeans and worked on Bring Me Flowers. 

Enjoy your day!