Thursday, May 13, 2021

I Like Thursday #33

This is my 33rd I Like Thursday post and that makes me smile. I like the number 3 so this one is twice as happy for me!

Moving right along from the last I Like Thursday post put us on our way to North Carolina from Maryland. On our way we stopped at Oxford NC to see how that town might work out for us should we ever actually decide that we will move. It was very nice and there were some small, outlying towns nearby with some very pretty houses. It's also close to Kerr Lake (or Bugs Island as some call it) which would be very convenient for my fishing hubby.

On to my brother's house for a grand Cinco de Mayo celebration. He started me off with a homemade margarita, chips & salsa, and homemade spicy (from his last year's homegrown chili peppers) cheese dip. Happy Hour was followed up with steak tacos with all the fixings including lettuce from his garden, Spanish rice, and the most delicious black beans I've EVER tasted. I know he had his homegrown cilantro in there but I can't tell you what else. So good and I appreciated that meal very much. I should have taken a picture but my hands were obviously too busy shoving all that deliciousness into my face! Ha!

I toured his garden the next day and, if he ever moves, I know he'll miss all the work he has put into it and will have to start over. I did remember my camera this time!

Tall plants are cilantro he's letting flower & go to seed for fresh coriander.
There is squash growing against the side of the house.
Looking the other way is lettuce, green beans, jalapeno peppers,
poblano peppers, one chili pepper, okra, and tomatoes.

The main focus of our visit was to celebrate my niece's graduation from the University of North Carolina - Wilmington. She got her degree in Business Administration in Finance and accomplished this in only three years! Jennifer starts an internship later this month at a bank. We're so proud of all she's done in such a short time. I like how she was able to apply some of her high school credits towards her degree PLUS she was able to knock out a few credits attending the junior college while still in high school.

To celebrate, let us eat cake! I like cake, by the way!
Jennifer with her Grandma, Uncle Fred, and Aunt Sue

Cake with the twins!
Even though we were there for only a couple of days, on the recommendation of Joy from The Joyful Quilter, I made a little time (like a couple of hours) to visit a quilt store in the very town my brother lives, Pineapple Fabrics! My purchase was small because I was so overwhelmed with all the goodies inside and I didn't get any pictures but I did get a bag!
We got home on Sunday. Do I really need to tell you that I like getting home again, no matter how much fun we've had on vacation? While we were gone, Spring arrived. If you're tired of garden pictures just scroll on down. I liked coming home to everything blooming.
Rose bush all filled in and ready to explode with flowers.
Chairs in the background were picked up for garbage in Mom's subdivision.
I like chairs in the garden for potted plants to sit on and rickety, junky chairs are perfect!

Salvia but no bees yet

Weigela Wine & Roses
This poor plant was smashed and laying into the road
a couple of winters ago from the snow plow.
Last Fall I trimmed and staked it up, started watering & feeding it, and look at it this year!
I like using long selvage strips for tying plants up in the garden.

Allium blooms against a blue sky.

Dusty purple iris blooms outside my basement sewing space window.

Bird patio iris bed. One purple iris going strong and tons of yellow buds.

I cleaned up this corner of the house a little and set up this
handy hose holder, which is connected to my rain barrel for easy use.
I like it! It was a Christmas present from my son & daughter-in-law.

I finished my book "When the Stars Go Dark" Monday. I enjoyed it although sometimes I felt like it was more a YA book. There was also some spiritualism in it that I found fun but some may not like that aspect. The characters were likable and there was enough twists & turns that will keep you wondering exactly whodunnit!

I downloaded a short book ("Sex, Lies & Serious Money) knowing that a novel on my Hold List was going to be available in 19 days. Besides the length, my mother had already read this book so we could get it off our list. It started off quickly with a guy winning a super, duper large Powerball lottery.

Of course on Tuesday my Hold book became available. I like how I can Save books on a list to read later and I can put a book on Hold to be in the queue for reading it next. However, sometimes the approximate date available is a bit off. I waited several months for "The Dry" so I'll be downloading it today (Thursday) to start as soon as I finish "Sex, Lies & Serious Money". Oh brother! Good thing I like to read! Ha!

"The Dry" has had good reviews from several of my fellow bloggers so I'm very excited to start it ... later!

I like Laundry Basket Quilts by Edyta Sitar. I saw she was starting a mystery QAL on our first day back from vacation. I talked it over with my sister and we have both jumped on. My sister will be doing hers in blues & lights while I have decided to use browns & lights. Today is Day #4 and I'm still working on clue #2. That's OK. I like the process and it is not a race. Linda just started yesterday so she's a little behind also. Here's a picture of my progress so far.
Clue #1 on the left and partial Clue #2 on the right
If you've made it this far, congratulations!  I like my readers and I like my fellow bloggers! I also like LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color for gathering us all up weekly to share our Likes. Sometimes, in the midst of life, we forget to be grateful for all the things we like! Hop on over to LeeAnna's blog to see some other fun posts!

Have a GREAT week!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

FNwF & a Brief Catch Up

Hello! I've  been offline lately because I've been out of town. First stop was to visit my sweet Brody, of course! Look at that big boy eating his yogurt with his spoon!

We always enjoy seeing the grown up kids too. Sarah managed to set us up to visit a winery - Running Hare Winery. The weather was beautiful, Brody enjoyed stretching his legs because kids were allowed, and we enjoyed leftover pizza with wine & beer. Unfortunately I had so much fun that I forgot to take any pictures except of the grounds when we first got there. Thank you, Sarah, for a wonderful day!

My son & DIL also have another new addition to their family -- Gus!

Gus is currently their foster bull terrier but it looks like he'll become a member of the family. He gets along with Brody and their other dog Sadie. He's still learning a few manners but he is the funniest thing! He literally bounces along and can leap along like a gazelle. I've never seen a dog this size move like Gus can AND he's a very sweet boy. He's also made himself quite at home. Pretty sure he likes his new home! Ha!

I'd also like to give a bit thank you to Cheryll for rounding up all the friends to stitch for Friday Night with Friends. While traveling, I've been working on #2 of the OSewPersonal UFO Challenge, Sew Spooky BOM. This BOM was started years ago and a lot of blocks are done. I discovered sashing that needs to be added and then some fun borders. Oh yeah! There's a Candy Cane border which scared the beejeebers out of me which was why this project was put aside. It's time to "man up" and get this one done. I prepped the 14 scrappy blocks with the wool bats as my project to work on in the car. The blocks are approximately 15" x 6" to give you a sense of size.

These 8 blocks are finished. I've got another that I've been working on today with my virtual friends. That makes five to go after that. It's a long trip home so whatever is left after tonight should keep me busy enough for the ride home.
As you can see, my favorite prep is using staples to hold everything in place. Would you like a closer look?

We'll be heading for home tomorrow and there will be stitching in my lap. I'll be back on the blog next week for sure!

Saturday, April 24, 2021

RSC End of Light/Bright Blues?

Oh wow! We are getting close to the end of the light/bright blues and I guess I didn't get much sewing time this week. Seems like ra lot of time spent on doctor's appointments with hubby's upcoming surgery. Now we're planning a couple of trips so not much time for May either probably. Oh well, that doesn't stop me from life.

On the RSC front, I did manage to sew this sweet block. I knew when I made it that the background fabric would go wonky but I didn't mind. I thought it went beautifully with the light blue fabric I had already chosen.

I didn't finish my table mat (yet) this month. My inspiration came from the book "Returning to Temecula" by Sheryl Johnson. I figured the Nine Patch Posey would use up a lot of my 1-1/4" scraps.


Here's my version. As you can see I didn't get the appliqued center done nor the quilting. Oh well. Currently it measures approximately 16" x 20". Maybe I'll spend a little time finishing this one up but too late for the Table Scrap Challenge. Boo! Hoo!

I'll be preparing for our trip and packing this week. Probably not much going to happen next week in the sewing room. In the meantime, I'm linking with Angela and friends at SoScrappy!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

I Like Thursday #32

 I like winter but not in April. We received a couple of inches of snow on Tuesday. Our area hasn't received snow this late in April since WAY back.

Our drive to Hubby's doctor appointment yesterday

A couple of errands after the appointment

Poor redbud tree

Our back deck yesterday evening

The deck first thing this morning
I like that the sun came up and melted all the snow. I also like that the streets were dry as well as the bike trail. No slipping on (black) ice while taking Gracie for her walk yesterday morning. No falls to report and I really like that.

I like that, even after the snow and the below freezing temperatures, the sun came out and the trees looked happy on our walk. I like that the sky is a beautiful light, bright blue just like our color of the month for Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Speaking of the RSC blues, I made progress on Brody's hoodie this week. Here's a sleeve in progress. I'm getting back into a little of the blue!

At my last retreat, a friend brought in my favorite black licorice. You can buy this nice-sized bag for only $1 at Dollar Tree. Yum! I like black licorice. I also picked up a bag of the red licorice, same brand, same price, same place. It was delicious too. No picture to show.

I finished the book I was reading the other morning, "A Stash of One's Own" by Clara Parkes. I enjoyed all the short stories about a knitter's yarn stash. I totally understand this concept on two levels: 1) as a knitter with a yarn stash; and 2) as a quilter with a fabric stash. Some were quite zealous in explaining why they "collect" yarn while others were almost apologetic and there were even some that didn't have any yarn except what they were currently knitting. I found that weird! Ha!

So now I've picked up another book from my library. I like that I could find this book online and have the library hold it for me. They will hold it for a week so that gave me plenty of time to pick it up.

The book is "When the Stars Go Dark" by  Paula McLain. Goodreads puts it in the categories of Mystery, Crime, Thriller. My kind of book! *wink* I checked this book out because Paula McLain has apparently written several books but I've not read any. I think I'll start now!

My quilt guild has a smaller meeting that meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month called Quilt Club. Every month our fearless leader Katie comes up with a topic and then enlists other guild members to share tips & techniques for that topic. This month's topic was wool applique and Katie asked me and three others to share our experience with wool applique. I think we did a good job sharing some of our projects and discussing what were our favorite methods, supply shops, threads. We also discussed whether to fuse or not to fuse and, if we fused, what our favorite fusibles were. We also shared embroidery on our projects and Katie followed it all up with a demo of how she does wool applique. Yes, sir, jolly good show!

Because wool applique was on my brain for about a week before Quilt Club, I thought I'd start another wool project. Sorry you can't see my project but, rest assured, it is Polly Approved!

What's been going on in the kitchen lately? Sunday I cooked a boneless pork loin (not to be confused with a tenderloin). I followed THIS recipe by The Spruce Eats and it was delicious! Sorry, no pictures. While I had to use dried thyme, I was able to use some of my fresh sage & rosemary. Good thing I made this before the snow!

I also made some Cinnamon Scones. They are so delicious! And EASY! I found the recipe on the back of a bag of Hershey's Cinnamon Chips. They are hard to find around here. Maybe you can find them in your area. Here, it's usually during the holidays. However, you can also find the recipe HERE online and the chips are available on Amazon, but they seemed expensive to me. Anyway, it's by Taste of Home so you know it's a goodie!

My box of scones

And last but not least, I made these Cheesy Ham & Egg Hand Pies. Mom & I saw Pioneer Woman make them on her show on Saturday morning so I thought I'd give them a try Sunday morning. The ham I used was lunch meat but I also added 2 slices of bacon that I had cooked up extra a few mornings before. I also didn't use the poppy seeds that she used but I used Everything Bagel seasoning on the tops instead. Mom & I pigged out on these.
Looks good, eh?

Tasted even better with a little salsa!

And that, my friends, will do it for this week. I'll be linking up with Not Afraid of Color and then catching up what likes others have to share.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Friday Night Sewing!

Actually I started my "night" during the afternoon. It was OK because I was sewing virtually with my friends on the other side of the world where it was already night, right? I was also keeping in mind the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month: light & bright blues! It didn't take long to get a pile of 1.25" short strips (about 4" long).

So many little blue strips. Hmmmmm, let's add some white ones, same size, half the number of the blue strips.
Yes, I have something in mind. Next I sewed the little strips together, a blue strip on either side of a white strip. After sub-cutting, I have this.
This was as far as I got when it was time to cook dinner. Bet you can see where this is going. A peek at how I left my sewing space ...
After dinner it was time to settle in for Magnum, P.I. and then Blue Bloods on TV. New episodes this week of both made hubby, Mom, & me so very happy! So I picked up my knitting needles to enjoy the shows. Here's a picture of what I picked up. I'm knitting my little grandbaby a hoodie. That's the pouch you're looking at. Every child needs a place to keep his hands warm or to store rocks picked up on a walk or a place to keep his cars  safe while he's walking along collecting those rocks! Ha!
The yarn I'm using gradates from bright green through gray to gray-blue to navy. Can you see the blue behind the pouch? That's the body of the sweater where it is getting into the blue. Anyway, this is a very cool pattern called "The Wonderful Wallaby: A Hooded Sweater for All Ages". This pattern goes from Children Size 2 all the way to Adult Super Size. I even made one for me without the hood. I love it and I wear it during winter sewing in the basement. Sometimes it's very cold down there!

Special thank you goes to Wendy at Sugarlane Designs. Every month she gets so many of us from around the world for Friday Night Sew-In. We really do come from all around: Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, United States, Brazil, and more. So many sewing folks, so many fun projects to look at and admire. I'll be linking up with the gang HERE.

Weekly I try to link up with Angela at So Scrappy. She is gathering all of us HERE to share what we have created this week using light & bright blues. Thank you, Angela! 

So that's it from around here. Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

I Like Thursday #31

I have to start this post with how much I like a finished (finally) quilt. Shark Bite has been completed and presented to my local quilt shop's UFO Challenge group. There will be an official photo shoot but in the meantime I'd like you to see that it is Polly-approved.
Next step was to lay it out on the bed to see what exactly I have created.
I like it!
You may remember my picture last Thursday of the beautiful red bud tree outside our bedroom window. I noticed yesterday that on the tips of the branches there were tiny leaf buds. Boo! Hoo! That means the flowers will soon blow away and then all that will remain is a pretty tree.

With this in mind, I decided to take a walk around the garden to see what I could find of Spring again.
A lonely red tulip coming up in the middle of the hosta bed. Weird since I did not plant any bulbs here but I accept!
A shadowy glimpse of my pulmonaria or lungwort. There are also hollyhocks leaves surrounding it.

My azalea is just gorgeous this year. I've never trimmed it and I love the shape that it has developed all on its own. The day I bought this bush I was in search of a rhododendron. At the nursery I noticed this small azalea by the name of Olga. I had to buy it since Olga was my grandmother's name (on my father's side). She's a beauty! Did you also notice another patch of hostas growing to the left of her?

I'm still reading "A Stash of One's Own" by Clara Parkes. That didn't stop me from picking up a book from the library that I had requested. One of my blogging friends mentioned it and it definitely interested me. "Classic to Contemporary String Quilts" by Mary M. Hogan. On my goodness! Full of fabulous ideas! I will definitely be enjoying all the ideas in this book.

 The other day I got a package in the mail.

The Applique Society (TAS) is having its annual meeting at the end of this month and Dawn Heese from Linen Closet Designs will be giving a trunk show and teaching two applique classes. One class is a cotton applique project and the other is this Antique Urn wool class. The wools in this package are gorgeous and I'm looking forward to the meeting and this class. There are also other quilters doing presentations. It's not too late to join TAS. Just go to their website HERE and register. Annual dues are only $25 and the monthly meetings are jam packed with interesting artists, tips, and fun. This month's meeting is featuring Helen Stubbings all the way from Australia! Can you tell I really like TAS? Haha!

I think that'll cover my "likes" for this week. I think I'll pop on over to Not Afraid of Color to see what "likes" the others are sharing. Until next I see you, have a great week!