Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Bit of Watercolor

Daughter 2 left yesterday afternoon - we had such a nice visit. Later in the afternoon I decided to get down to the nitty gritty on Mickey. I made a good start, I think, though there is much work left. I love the challenge of watercolor - it's so hard for me and I think that's one thing I like about it. Quilting now comes easily to me. But quilting is still my number 1 and I know I'll be making quilts for the rest of my life.

But sometimes it's good to challenge ourselves, don't you agree? Life would be rather boring if we always stick to things that are easy for us.

I'm finding that success with this comes with really looking at the photograph and seeing what is there. What color is that shadow? What colors should I mix to achieve that color? How light should it be?  I'm no expert - this is only my second pet portrait, after all. But I'm trying to train my eyes to see what is in front of them. Easier said than done! My focus and concentration are at an all time high when painting. (It's as if my mind is back in the days of Thermodynamics class at Auburn...)

I'm hoping to do a bit of machine sewing today - dresden plates! Sounds like a plan!

Quick reminder: today is the last day of the special I'm running to reimburse your $20 fee to become a preferred customer at juliacwood.myrandf.com - this will allow you to save 10% off every purchase and get free shipping.

Have a wonderful day!!!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sunday, Fun Day

Well, this is as far as I got on my painting yesterday - just the initial wash. And that's just fine. We spent our time enjoying having our daughter here.

Our late afternoon Cooper walk was especially nice - lots of deer around today.

They love the rye grass! (Cooper does, too... he grazes as we walk.)

Daughter 2 and I made Chicken Pad Thai for dinner with zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles) instead of rice noodles. Oh my.  OH MY! It was SO GOOD! Topped with chopped cilantro, peanuts, and a lime wedge.  Oh my. This recipe is definitely going on my 'make again' list. This was one of the best dishes I have made recently. We used this recipe. (We left out the shrimp...)

We ate our dinner beside the new fire pit Hubby and I bought last weekend.

Are you keeping up with April, the giraffe? She's due to deliver her baby at any moment and there is a live video feed on the Internet. I glanced at it a few days ago and now I'm a bit obsessed. I check in on her multiple times per day. Find the link HERE. I'm hoping that baby comes today!

I may not get to my machine quilting today - I'm putting my schedule on hold for a couple of days. Maybe some hand sewing though?

Can you believe this month is almost over?! It FLEW by! I'll have my February weight loss report in a couple of days. I'll give you hint - it's nothing to write home about. My skin made much more progress during February than did my weight. Ha! That okay! I'm so THRILLED with the improvements in my skin!

Okay, that's it for now. I'm going to sit and sip some coffee until our daughter wakes up. She's leaving this afternoon, so we'll soak up these last hours of her visit. Wishing you a happy Monday!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Happy Sunday - Watercolor in Progress...

I worked on this a bit yesterday am - Mickey! All I have so far is the initial sketch. I'm not pushing myself to do much while Daughter 2 is here. Maybe I'll paint a little today...and maybe I won't!

Our dinner out last night was great - we went with Mexican and I had smoked chicken fajitas - YUM! I was good and only ate half - brought the rest home for today.

We're planning a slow day - just what we need! The sun is shining, but it's a bit cooler than it has been. The dogs are sleeping in front of the fire. Breakfast will be ready soon - want some eggs and toast?

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Border Pieces

I spent my sewing time yesterday making the parts and pieces for the Autumn Garden border. I have many more to go, but I'm getting there!

As I'm trimming these bonus triangles, I am saving them...

...and I'm sewing them together.

I have quite a few of them now - I'll put them aside and make pot holders or something with them. I love having extra parts and pieces for odd little projects.

It was warm (79 degrees!) yesterday as Cooper and I hiked. We went further than usual - Hubby was disappointed that he missed the hike - he didn't get back from the golf course in time. That big blob I'm holding in my left hand is the plastic grocery bag I take along to pick up Cooper's poop. Actually, I don't have to pick it up. As soon as he squats I just put the bag 'in place' and he goes straight into the bag. Yes, the neighbors know Cooper as 'the dog who poops into a bag.' His reputation grows! Good boy, Cooper!

No more mousy, dirty gray! I'm highlighted and low lighted - yippee! I still do a double take every time I look in the mirror. My face! It's so much slimmer since I lost weight! And yes, the skin, THE SKIN! No make up here - I almost never wear it anymore. I'm no beauty queen, but it's not bad for knocking on 57 years old.

What's up today? Lots of FUN! Daughter 2 is arriving today - yippee! We're eating dinner out tonight with BOTH daughters and one DIL - yippee! And while we're waiting for D2 to arrive? Hmmm...thinking of starting another pet portrait with watercolors...

What's on tap for you today? I hope you have something fun to do! Have a wonderful day!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Schedule Switcheroo!

I know, I know...yesterday I had planned to work on Autumn Garden's border. But Hubby decided to go to the lake to get some work done and I decided to go along to do the inside Spring cleaning. While he pressured washed the sidewalk and spread weed killer, I dusted, vacuumed, and cleaned the bathrooms. The lake house is ready for Spring!

Luckily my chores took less time than his! I took along my hexies and proceeded to baste away.

So yesterday became hexie day and today will be Autumn Garden day - works for me!

It was warm and sunny at the lake - a beautiful day. We took the doggies along and they enjoyed their little trip, too.

When we got home I did my grocery shopping - BOOM - a busy day! But the pantry is stocked and my hexies are all basted - ready for sewing today.

I'm planning an early start on sewing this morning. I have to take a break later to get my hair done - can't wait for that! I'm overdue. I've haven't had my hair highlighted in almost a year - since just before the May wedding. I was letting it go natural to see what it looked like - I was hoping for a sophisticated silver gray. Nope. I'm getting dismal, dull, blah dirty blonde gray. With my weight loss and my much improved skin, and just can't handle this hair any longer. And so today...HIGHLIGHTS! Why not? I'll feel like a new woman this afternoon.

Okay, peeps...let's make it a great day! Go sew something!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sashing, Sashing, Sashing....

I calculated that I needed to make 3 more sashing pieces yesterday for En Provence. I also had to make some of the mini units before making those sashing units. I stitched them together and sewed them to one side of the quilt top. Oops. Then I realized I need one more sashing unit. It will have to wait...I was ready to put this away for the day.

I'm almost there though. Once I make and add the final sashing unit, I'll just have to stitch together and add the two final borders. The end is near!

In the afternoon I made two more little pouches. I added ribbon to one of them, but it covers some of the cute kitties - not sure which one I prefer. These are great to make with novelty prints.

Last night I basted some hexies. I'm hoping to be ready Friday to begin stitching the next star together.

Today is the day for Autumn Garden. I'll be working on the border.

Rodan and Fields

I thought I'd share another R and F regimen with you today. Redefine is the regimen I'm currently using - LOVE it! I'm going to be brave and share my before and after photos with you today - remember, I've only been using Redefine for approximately SIX WEEKS! Can you believe my results? I'm beyond thrilled!

I think my skin looks at least 10 years younger! Excuse my 'just woke up' hair - if only R and F would make hair products too! Haha!

We are all aging all the time, but what that looks like is up to you. Decide today how you are going to look tomorrow with our REDEFINE Regimen.
REDEFINE is a comprehensive skincare regimen that layers cosmetic ingredients and potent peptide technology to help defend against and reduce the visible signs of aging for noticeably firmer, smoother, flawless-looking skin. The REDEFINE Regimen features four full-size products: Daily Cleansing Mask 125 mL/4.2 fl. oz., Pore Minimizing Toner 125 mL/4.2 fl. oz., Triple Defense Treatment SPF 30 30 mL/1.0 fl. oz., and Overnight Restorative Cream 30 mL/1.0 fl. oz.
As for me, I can already see the changes in my skin. It feels and looks firmer and smoother and brighter. I assure you the before and after photos are all real and unedited. It is required by corporate. I'm feeling better in my own skin every single day. Yes, these products are not inexpensive - but trust me, they are worth every penny. juliacwood.myrandf.com

I'd love it if you'd like to join my team - become a consultant and get big discounts on the products. Just shoot me an email or pm me on Facebook if you have questions!

Have a great day, y'all!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fixed the Dresdens!

Yes, these are the dresdens I messed up last week. They are now fixed and done. I'll need more of these half dresdens for the Gardenvale quilt top.

And also during our rainy day, I pulled out the next bird and completed it. This is number 4.

We did go on our walk - in the rain - Cooper doesn't mind the rain. In fact he aims for the puddles - he loves the puddles!

Today is En Provence day - I hope to get LOTS done! I'd love to quilt this top next.

It's still raining today. That means two days in a row that Hubby has not been able to play golf. And that means more daytime TV for us. Hopefully we can find a good movie to watch. We might even go for a swim - remember the pool is indoors.

Make it a great day, y'all!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bliss is Almost Done!

I finished quilting the main part of Bliss yesterday! Yay! On to the border now - big loops are working fine for this part. I've quilted down one long side already - it's close to being ready to trim and bind, and that makes me very happy! I may have to fit in the final quilting here and there throughout the week - I'm ready to finish it.

I did a bit of straightening in my sewing room, too. I labeled bins for my daily schedule a few weeks ago - ahh, this is working well. But I moved them from one spot to another and reorganized a few things.

My Bliss quilt is too big to fit in the Monday bin, so something else is living in there for now.

And yes, six loaves of bread were baked. Let's just say it takes a bit longer to make bread when you have to stop to go to the grocery store for more flour before you even begin. Done and done!

Today is for dresdens. Last night I ripped out the parts I messed up last week. So these pieces are ready for their re-do. And maybe I'll work a bit on the border of Bliss, too. Rain is coming in this afternoon - a good time to get lots of sewing done! And maybe watch a movie?

Hubby and I finished Downton Abbey over the weekend - sorry to see it end, but we really enjoyed it and the final episode was good about summarizing all the storylines. Since then we've watched a mini series on Amazon Prime called The Escape Artist. Wow! Only 3 episodes, but very intense and a unique plot. I highly recommend it. We've also watched the movie Driving Lessons on Netflix - a sweet story - not the most riveting movie, but we enjoyed it.

Rodan and Fields

If you have ever considered becoming a Rodan and Fields consultant, today is the day! There's a phenomenal special that ends at midnight tonight - it includes approximately $600 worth of free samples and a complete regimen for FREE! Not to mention you'd receive you initial personal products for 50% off! Let me know if you'd like to be part of my team. It takes very little time and it's lots of fun to boot! Don't you want to get a monthly paycheck to spend on more fabric???

Have a sweet day!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Zippered Bags

I finished stitching up my first little zippered bag - once I figured out that pesky zipper problem, it was smooth sailing. I love these little bags and can think of so many uses for them.

The name of the Craftsy class where I learned this is:

Zippered Bags With a Twist: The One-Zip Way
with Joan Hawley

While I was feeling crafty, I tried my hand at making a bowl cozy. I'd seen these on Pinterest and they are simple to make. The purpose of these is for warming soup (etc.) in the microwave. With the little cozy around the bowl, you won't burn yourself when removing the hot bowl from the microwave. I used the instructions found HERE.

Here it is bottom up.

And then I made another type of zippered bag from the Craftsy class. Did you notice that the zipper pull doesn't match the zipper here? This technique allows the maker to swap out the zipper pull to combine colors in fun ways. I also add a bit of ribbon on the side to grab while zipping the pouch.

Later in the day I made another little pouch, like the first one. So three pouches and one bowl cozy. I'd like to make several of each of these items to have on hand for quick little gifts. I'll have fun picking out some fun fabrics from my stash to make these.

Last night I started another little bird. Just a bit more appliqué for me to do and then I'll be ready for the fun embellishment and embroidery.

So today is machine quilting day - let's see how far I can get working on Bliss. I also need to make bread - my supply went faster because I gave away one loaf. So cheers to baking and Bliss!

Thanks for all the sweet comments on my painting from yesterday's post! I'm anxious to start another one - I'm thinking that when I finish En Provence, Wednesday may become my painting day.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cooper, in Watercolor

Did you guess that I was going to try my hand at watercolor painting yesterday? I've been pinning dog portraits on Pinterest for years. I bought a Craftsy class on painting watercolor pet portraits over a year ago and never watched it. Friday I watched most of the class and purchased the supplies at Hobby Lobby. I picked out a photo of Cooper to work from.

Here Cooper was yesterday am helping me get started (and trying to steal my eraser). 

And here's a shot of my portrait under the original photograph. What do you think? I really had fun painting this. It took hours, but was still MUCH faster than making a quilted portrait. I'm still trying to decide whether to paint the background or just leave it.

I think I'll try more of these. I suppose Mickey will be next up! The moral of this story is: don't ever stop trying new things - life long learning!

I also worked on a zippered pouch. The sewing part was easy. The zippered part? Not so easy! The instructor made it look so simple, but I struggled with it for a couple of hours. Finally, late last night I realized what I was doing wrong. Yippee!!!! I had the zipper pull upside down - no wonder. I'll never make that mistake again, I assure you. Today I'll finish up that little zippered pouch and maybe make another one or two.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Winnings

Here's the wonderful door prize I won at Thursday's quilt guild meeting:

-Kaffe Fassett book
-Adorable (!) dish towel
-TWO patterns
-TWO charm packs
-Moda tin

What a haul! So many goodies for me to love and use!

Yesterday afternoon I packed up my fabric, hexie papers, thread, scissors, and thimble and off we went to the baseball game! We had great seats and the weather was perfect - warm and sunny. I pulled my sewing bag from my purse and realized I had forgotten a needle. Big oops!!!

No worries. I settled in and enjoyed the game. We had a great time.

Cooper decided to give Mickey a nice bath yesterday - you can see that Mickey is enjoying it.

So what's on tap for today? It's rainy here - a really good excuse to stay inside and sew. And that's exactly what I plan to do. I want to make a new-to-me zippered bag or two today. And also find some time to hexie.

Plus I'm going to delve into something different - a different form of art... It's something I tried years ago and haven't tried it in a long time. I bought some supplies yesterday. Do I have your curiosity up?  Well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to learn more about this.

Okay, peeps...bring on the coffee! Let's get this day going!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Border Dilemma...

Okay. I'd already cut a bunch of fabric for the border. So I started sewing it together. BUT, when I laid a small section beside the quilt I realized it was not matching. Do you see what I mean? The 'peak' of the border is not in the center of the block. At first glance it looks fine, but I knew it would drive me crazy.

I knew I needed another strip in each block section of the border. But how to do this when I already had a peak?

I tried this - I sewed a square diagonally to the top of the 'peak' strip. Then I added another strip sewn in the mirrored image.

Yes, I think I like this.

So I kept going. Yes, this symmetry appeals to my OCD self. And I've definitely never seen a border like this one. In the last picture I have two long strips of Grunge surrounding the border, like it will be in the quilt.

The only problem I'm having with this now is the color of the Grunge. Don't get me wrong, I do love it. But I want some of it within the quilt...not just dominating the border. Hmm....

I'm thinking of making Grunge yo-yo's to appliqué in all the cornerstones. What do you think? This quilt is becoming like the book, "If You Give a Moose a Muffin." It never ends...

Last night was our guild meeting. Guess who won the door prize ---- ME! I'll share my goodies tomorrow.

It's HEXIE day! I have a pile of fabric cut and ready to baste. AND we have tickets to the afternoon season opener baseball game! In my world, hexies and baseball games go together - it's easy for me to make hexies at a baseball game - or should I call it a 'baste'ball game? Ha!

En Provence....Slowly, But Surely

I made more sashing pieces yesterday and sewed them in between the remaining blocks. What you see here is in two big pieces. I was hoping I'd be able to finish the top next week, but I think it will take another week as well.  Getting there!

I also made two dresdens, but I left out the beginning step...ugh! I can't believe I forgot to make the pointed ends.  Didn't have my head on straight, I guess. They will have to be 'un-sewed' before I fix them. You know how it goes: one step forward and two back - it happens to us all sometimes!

Today hopefully I'll get going on the border for Autumn Garden. And maybe I'll rip out those dresden and have a do-over. And maybe I'll take a nap....ahhh, sounds like a good day!

Can it really be Thursday already? This week is flying by.

Have a good one, y'all!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What!? No Sewing Pictures!

Can you believe its? I didn't sew yesterday! What!?

It was Valentines Day, after all. Hubby and I spent most of the day together. This vehicle was on display in front of the restaurant where we ate lunch.

I think I'll pass on riding in this - I'll call it a piece of art instead of a vehicle though it did have a motor.

Here's our first bloom of the season - more to come I hope!

Okay, so here are the spiralized sweet potatoes 'fries' from our dinner last night. They tasted better than they look, thank goodness! I think I need a better spiralizer - haha! The burgers were delicious and I even had a half glass of wine. Even with all that I stayed within my calories. Let's just say I'm getting used to going to bed hungry - always hungry at bedtime...it's worth it though.

Since I didn't sew yesterday, today I plan to have a marathon day: dresdens and En Provence and who knows what else! Are you with me? Let's go sew!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Machine Quilting and Another Birdie

I machine quilted for two hours yesterday morning. Yay me! Bliss is looking so good - and I'm about 4/5 complete with quilting, except for the border. I'm thinking two more quilting sessions should do it - I hope to finish the quilt by the end of the month!

And last night - yes, I finished Bird 3. I'll take a break on birds for a few days to work on other hand sewing projects. One of my empty Rodan and Fields boxes is a perfect fit for these finished blocks - so I'm stacking them there for now.

How many pairs of scissors does it take to do hand sewing? Oh my - I have FIVE pairs of scissors beside my chair! It's probably overkill, but I do use them all for different things. And hubby has 14 golf clubs in his bag - so whatever! Haha!

Rodan and Fields

A bit of news to share - I got my first 'paycheck' yesterday! I wasn't even expecting a paycheck, much less such a big one - especially since I've spent so little time on this endeavor. But it sure was nice!

I've been thinking. I had planned to use any money I make from R and F as my quilting play money. But I've changed my mind. I don't really need quilting play money. We are so very fortunate to have been able to retire without financial worries. I've decided to donate all my profits (after paying for my own skincare) to charity. And that makes me happy! St. Jude Hospital will receive my first donation - a worthy cause.

And so in summary:
-I'm now using premium skincare products
-I feel so much better about my skin!
-I get a big discount on my own products.
-I can list my own products as a tax deduction
-I'm helping others by sharing the R and F products.
-I'm able to donate my profits to wonderful charities.
Lots of wins here!

Okay, enough of that. I thought I'd spend a bit of time telling about some of the products. Today I want to share the Reverse regimen. I've had my hubby using Reverse for about a month so far. He had some age/sun spots that were more and more obvious. Though I'm not sharing his before/after yet, here's one to show the results you can achieve. I will say that I can already see DRASTIC improvement in hubby's skin.

Exposure to the sun and environment can accelerate early signs of aging, including dullness, discoloration and uneven skin tone. Clean the slate and see a brighter future for your skin with the REVERSE Brightening Regimen.
Based on our Multi-Med® Therapy, REVERSE Brightening Regimen is a complete skincare system that combines cosmetic and OTC ingredients to visibly brighten and even discolored skin. The highly effective formulas contain Vitamin C and Retinol to provide a long-term solution for a more radiant, even complexion.
The REVERSE Brightening Regimen includes:
Should you ever have any questions for me, feel free to ask. Or go to juliacwood.myrandf.com to look around.
Happy Valentines Day to you all!

I hope you have a fun day! Hubby and I have plans - the weather is beautiful today so we're planning to go for a long walk on campus and then a walk to a restaurant for lunch. And tonight? With this all this healthy eating, what the one thing I really crave??? A cheeseburger and fries! Oh, how I miss this! So we're going to grill out burgers - I can make them healthier than a fast food joint. We'll have them on whole wheat buns. And I plan to spiralize a sweet potato to make baked 'fries.'

Have a heart filled day!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cutting Fabric

Yesterday I decided to cut the border pieces for Autumn Garden. First I had to figure out the measurements - I ended up cutting the Kaffe strips at 4.5" long and I cut the Grunge strips at 1.5" and 2.5". All of these strips are 2.5" wide. 

And here's what a small section looks like before stitching. I packed the pieces back up until I'm ready to stitch them - I believe that will be on Thursday. Can you tell I'm more organized about my quilting than I used to be? It's amazing how having a smaller sewing room helps me. I simply don't have room to leave things lying around.

I also did a bit of hand stitching last night - just a bit.

Last night was for the bugs... we got back from a long hike with Cooper. I sat down in my chair and began itching. I told Hubby I was going to put my nightgown on before supper because I felt like I had bugs crawling on my back. Before I made it all the way to the bedroom to change I reached up my shirt to scratch and came out with a lively tick pinched in my fingers! EEK! So glad I got him before he attached himself to me.

Then about an hour later we were watching a movie (London Has Fallen). Suddenly Cooper jumped up from his bed in the corner and was after something. It was hard to spot on the rug, but we finally saw it - a nice BIG spider! Hubby got it and we credited Cooper for finding it. Good boy! And now...time to spray for bugs! Hopefully Hubby will do that TODAY! By the way, the movie (on Netflix) was really good if you like action movies!

Today is for machine quilting! I've got Bliss out and ready to go. I'm hoping I make lots of progress!

Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Bit of This and That

I didn't stitch much yesterday, but I did finish Bird 2.

Lots of French knots and drizzle stitches...

I pulled out the Alabama Chanin top and stitched on it a bit, too.

Last night I began Bird 3 and I cut the fabric and papers for the six hexagons that will surround the hexagon I made on Friday.

So a bit of progress here and there and everywhere. And a nice relaxing day. What will today bring? Hmmm...we'll just have to see!

Have a nice day!