Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Catching Up

At Wheeler Farm where I work (for one more week), we got a call from a guy (sorry I don`t know enough to give proper credit) who bought the largest pumpkin grown in Utah this year.  That would be the bottom pumpkin in the photo below.  He also bought two other huge ones, and made this pumpkin snowman in front of his house.  Pretty cool, eh?  Well, he is donating it to Wheeler Farm, and they were setting it up today (think cranes, bobcat loaders). I hope to get some more pictures of it in situ at the Farm. 

If the bales of straw don`t help you appreciate the scale, notice the can of coke sitting near the stem of the middle pumpkin. The snowman is over 10 feet tall!  It will be placed inside our pumpkin patch and hay maze compound where people who come to enjoy the fall festivities there can have a photo opportunity!

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Late flowers from my garden. The leaves are falling quickly now, and we had our first COLD north wind today. Hang on, autumn, HANG ON!!

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My Facebook page has a couple photos on it of Bruce and I with our new granddaughter Remi (short for Remington).   Bruce`s daughter Stacy and her husband now have a boy (Hunter, age 2 ½) and Remi.  His other daughter Emily and her hubby are in town visiting for about 10 days. Their children are Deacon (3 ½) and Abbie (turning 2 this week).  We will see everyone at a birthday party this weekend for Abbie, so we will get lots of updated Grandkid pictures. Fair warning!  LOL

In the meantime, we still tend DGD London every Tuesday. My son Shane had a “challenging” morning with her before he dropped her off.  Not unlike a typical 2-year-old, she first got some maple syrup in her clean hair, then INSISTED on dressing herself.

She looked like a little waif when she arrived:

Fugitive from the Fashion Police

So, I plopped her into the bathtub, which is easy-peasy if you say the word “Bubbles”.  We washed her and her hair, played with bubbles and gave each other Bubble Kisses, and just generally had a fun time.

Dressed with a new outfit from Grammy, plus a hair bow. Things are looking up! 

 A clean new “mommy”, London tucks her “baby” into its crib.

The next couple pictures are blurry (she never holds still), but I wanted you to see how darling and curly her hair is when it dries.

She will probably hate those natural curls as a teenager, but at least for now, she`s my darling little Babycakes!

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And finally, check out my Etsy (link on sidebar).  I have added some new Christmas-themed venice lace appliques.  I am having trouble keeping the shop stocked, which is a good thing.  Sales are good, and I am grateful. Thank you to those of you who stop by!  :-)

And in my next photo session (as soon as I clear up the lace mess, LOL), I will get pictures of some of my current CQ projects and estate sale finds.  Must make room in the studio, which I THINK is still there, buried under piles of fabric, lace, holiday decorations, supplies.  *sigh*.  I need a maid!

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crazy Quilts for the Cure

In celebration of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Crazy Quilting International has listed three quilts for sale on Ebay.  Ninety percent (90%) of the proceeds will to to the Susan G. Komen Foundation; the rest is just to cover administrative and material costs.

These quilts were assembled from blocks stitched with love by the members of CQI (an online Yahoo group for crazy quilters; see link on my sidebar).   Leslie Ehrlich did the assembly, binding and backing.

Golden Crazy Quilt for the Cure:

Crazy Quilt for the Cure:

Another Crazy Quilt for the Cure:

A Tribute to Mother Breast Cancer Wall Hanging:
At this point, they all have at least one bid on them, so they will all sell.  But I would like to challenge you all to dig deep and if you can afford to, make a bid on one of these lovely pieces!  (I have, and I have my fingers crossed!).


Cathy maroon

Monday, October 17, 2011

And the Winner is . . .

Thanks to everyone who entered my celebratory drawing for a $25 gift certificate to my Etsy Shop!  After submitting the 128 entrant numbers to Mr. Random Number Generator, he spit back this:

Min: 1
Max: 128

Powered by RANDOM.ORG

And then counting down the entries, the winner is………. DOLORES from Canada!   Congratulations, Dolores!  I have sent you a private email so that we can “take care of business”, LOL.

Again, thank you to everyone for participating.  I would love to be able to gift every single one of you, but that would about break the bank!  ;-)

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One of our daughter’s (Bruce’s daughter Stacy) had a baby girl last night!  After only 3 hours of labor, Stacy gave birth to Remington (she will be called Remi).  They already have a little boy named Hunter who is 2 ½.  Tonight we get to go visit them in the hospital!  From the only picture we’ve received (by cell phone), I can tell she is a cutie.

I have some goodies that I unearthed at an Estate Sale last weekend.  I’ll show pictures of that later this week, along with a cool vintage brooch I found on Etsy.

And autumn (Indian Summer) has arrived here in the Salt Lake Valley. I’m trying to get some good  pictures of our yard, the Farm, and the mountains to share. We had the chimney swept, the furnace got its yearly exam, and Bruce is off to get wood tomorrow.  Hopefully it will be soon be cold enough to have a fire in the fireplace during the evening!


Cathy maroon

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It’s time for a quarterly review of my artistic goals for this year.  I am finding that a lot of my goals have changed over time, and am now questioning the wisdom of yearly goals.  Maybe quarterly is better to allow flexibility?  Quilters, sewers, embroiderers, actually any crafter in general, knows that eventually some things will end up as UFOs. We lose interest or momentum, and the desire to see it finished.  Into a drawer it goes. I’ve read in several blogs that people are realizing that the reason some projects become UFOs is because interests and tastes change.  If they didn’t, I guess we’d all still be wearing poodle skirts!

So let’s quickly review:

1.  Goal:  Participate in 3-4 CQ round robins.   100% complete.

2.  Goal:  Piece my “CQ by 2012” quilt and have half of seamwork done.
Progress:  Nada.  I will still call it 10%, since I have my ideas and color schemes in mind.

3.  Goal:  Enter at least 2 CQ or quilting competitions.
Progress: 50%  (CQI annual handbag contest, entered and won first place).

4.  Teach a CQ class locally.
Progress:  0%.  And it will not happen this year; too many other irons in the fire. One of the things I'm thinking of is teaching basic sewing classes to girls in the neighborhood, next year.

Sandy and Cathy at CQI Retreat
5.  Goal:  Attend 3 CQ retreats or gatherings.
Progress:  I have attended two of three retreats, and will be attending the third, Val Bothell’s Pink Bunny in Wichita, next month.  67%.

6.  Goal:  Take a class with Carole Samples
Progress: I’m enrolled to take this at the retreat next month (Oh Happy Day!) and will soon be 100%. But for now, let’s say 50%.

7.  Goal:  Finish or give away at least 3 UFO’s.
Progress:  100%. This was done at mid-year.

8.  Goal:  Finish Seascape Valance. 
Progress:  Seriously? I HAVE been working on it. My first step is to stitch seam treatments over all the fused seams, and I worked on it at the CQI retreat, getting quite a bit done. I will be doing a post later this month to re-introduce this project to my readers and show my progress.   20%.

9.  Goal:  De-stash.
Progress: 100%.  I took several garbage bagsful to the CQI retreat in Colorado for the Stash Dash, and donated more stuff to the fire relief effort for Texas stitchers being coordinated by Shari at the Yahoo StitchMap group. I have even dug into my tubs of fancy fabrics to sell assortments on my Etsy.

10.  Goal:  Sew a quilt for granddaughter London.
Progress:  Well… I am getting antsy to do it, does that count?  LOL.  It’s getting colder here, and London loves to nap with blankies.  One of these days I may just whip out fabrics and have at it.  Everything is gathered, though.  25%

Need to get this listed!
11.  Goal:  Ramp up Etsy presence.
Progress:  My sales have been going great, and I have rearranged my schedule (have quit my bookkeeping job at the Farm) to accommodate more time with Etsy. I have over 100 listings at any given time, and I still have so much more to do.  But my goal (ramping up) is met 100%, even though I plan to keep growing. Especially with the Holiday crafting and gifting season coming!

12.  Goal:  Begin reselling vintage fabrics, linens and collectibles.  Progress: Rolled into #11.

13.  Goal:  Conduct a local sew-for-charity event.  100%.

14.  Goal:  400 blog posts. Nope, I just don’t talk that much, LOL!
       Goal:  3 Giveaways and 2 Tutorials:  100% (counting current giveaway)
       Goal:  Reach 250 followers.  100%.   Thank you, dear friends!

Overall progress:  roughly 62-65%, about where I should be. And it probably won’t get better than that, considering my abandoned goals.  But I am happy,  especially as I recapped it all, because it represents a lot of work.

Next year: no formal goals.  Maybe some quarterly targets to shoot for, but that’s it!

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Don’t forget to enter my 250 Follower Giveaway!   You just need to leave a comment on yesterday’s post (link here) and you will be entered to win $25 of merchandise of your choosing from my Etsy shop.  And I add new things every day!  Deadline is Sunday the 16th and the drawing will be on Monday the 17th.  Good luck!

Cathy maroon

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Giveaway Time Again!

Better late than never (which seems to be the story of my life, LOL), it’s time for the long-promised Crazy by Design Giveaway, which I promised to have when I reached 250 subscribers. So let’s get to it!

Golden Dyed Venice and Tulle Butterfly

The Prize:   A $25.00 e-gift certificate to my Etsy Shop.    The winner will get a special coupon code to enable them to select $25.00 worth of free merchandise from my Etsy Shop (see link in sidebar). You will be able to select from my hand-dyed golden venice laces and appliques, DMC perle cotton threads, zippers, twill tape, or other sewing supplies; other laces and trims,  fancy fabric assortments; vintage sewing patterns, and whatever else I can get listed between now and the deadline!  :-)

How to enter?  Just leave a comment on this post.  Make sure that you leave an email address if your comment does not link back to your blog or email address. I must have a way to contact you!  Entries without a means of contact will not be considered.  

Deadline:  All comments must be made on THIS POST and THIS POST ONLY by Sunday evening, October 16, 2011.  Midnight my time (Mountain Daylight) or as long as blogger time stamps it before midnight of the 16th.

On Monday afternoon (can’t get to it before then), each post will be assigned a number in chronological order.  Then our old friend, Mr. Random Generator, will select the winner.  I will post that name and number on Monday evening.

That`s all there is to it.  No extra entries for being a subscriber (although if you’d like to subscribe, we would love to have you!) and no other hoops to jump through. Easy is Good.  :-)

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Next post:  My 3rd Quarter Goals Assessment for this year.

Until next time!

Cathy maroon

Free E-Book of Sewing Tips

I subscribe to a fun newsletter and monthly e-magazine called Bustle & Sew.   Helen, the proprietress, has the most wonderful embroidery patterns, along with knitting patterns, applique, and so much more. Everything is so cheery and whimsical. Purely delightful!

This past summer she put out a call for readers to submit a sewing tip or hint to be included in an e-book.  It was published last week, and my tip is included, so I am happy about that.  I see that my friend Shari Jensen also has a tip in it.  The book is entitled Top Tips for Stitchers.

The book is free to download, and Helen gave us permission to promote it on our blogs.  The link to the Bustle and Sew blog is here.   You can read the book here, or download a pdf copy here.

My guess is that you will become a fan of Bustle and Sew too!

Cathy maroon

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Heart for Betty

One of the icons of Crazy Quilting, Betty Pillsbury, suffered a lot of damage to her home and business herb gardens this past summer. Hurricane Irene caused unprecedented high waters, spreading destruction in her path. Cheryl Anderson, a member of Crazy Quilting International and a general good hearted person, is organizing a “Hearts for Betty” campaign.  We were just asked to make a 6-8” heart for Betty, to give her good cheer. This was one of the projects I worked on at the recent CQI Retreat in Colorado.

Instead of crazy quilting it, I cut out two hearts from muslin. On the one designated as the front, I added a crocheted (by me) basket and flowers I made with silk ribbon and organdy. One flower is from a vintage trim, some are from lace overstitched with silk perle, and some are tatted. Then with the help of a small vintage crocheted circle, vintage millinery leaves and vintage buttons, all the little nooks and crannies were filled.

Between the front and back I sandwiched a small piece of batting, then machine stitched it closed. On top of that, I stem stitched the border by hand and trimmed the edges with pinking shears.  The dangly things are just bits of vintage rayon, scrunched. The hanger is a piece of vintage green trim.

The picture of the back didn’t turn out, but it's plain except for my initials embroidered in white and a small lace heart attached.  I will be sending it off to Cheryl this week.  It was a sweet, quick project that I thoroughly enjoyed.

WE HAD SNOW TODAY!!!  Snow on October 6?!?  It’s not unheard of, but still…  Luckily, it didn’t stick, but it sure ruined the day for our Halloween Hay Maze at Wheeler Farm…

What are you working on?  I have pictures to share of my stuff in the next post or two.  I haven’t even decorated my house for autumn yet, and it’s my favorite season.  Perhaps tomorrow, but definitely by the weekend.

And finally, I have NOT forgotten the prize giveaway I talked about.  I will get that together and announce the details this weekend.  Stay tuned!

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back from the Retreat

I actually started this post several days ago but got interrupted or sidetracked, or something.  :-)    In the meantime, several ladies have posted pictures of the Crazy Quilting International Retreat, so I will include a link later so you can see theirs, since my pictures are incomplete.

We kicked things off with a Meet and Greet on Wednesday evening, and got to see the quilts that are being put together by Leslie from the blocks donated for Hearts & Hands for Sendai.  They are gorgeous, and you can see some of them here.

On Thursday morning, The Fabric Fairy visited us, filling many tables with fabric, lace, buttons (with the help of several friends).  She was shaking in her boots as she looked at the starting lineup of all those ladies with scissors in their hands, about to run for the stash.  And wouldn’t you know it, they were eyeing her lovely brocade getup costume ensemble, drooling over the fabric!  It was a good thing she had wings on to help her get away….

ahem.  HYDRAULIC wings….
The cabin we stayed in was beautiful, spacious, light and airy, and had everything we needed.  And even with all these ladies, we didn’t come close to running out of toilet paper.  Don’t laugh…. it happened last year.  :-(        So, below are the ladies enjoying the Stash Dash.

L-R: Juli, Sharon, Josie, Connie, Michelle, Martha, Helen, Sandy and Heidi

L-R:  Sarah (my sistah from another mother), Gerry K, Diane, Janet and Laurie

Claudina (in back) and Holly.  Such fun ladies!  and troublemakers

Helen T (in rear).  On the couch:  Heidi and her mother, CQI member Pam Watson, all the way from England!!

L-R: Holly, Leslie, Colleen, Juli, Sharon, Josie

Hazel, Colleen and Josie
Lovely Rick-Rack flowers made by Sandy.  Aren’t they to die for?

The above picture was taken from one of the patios outside the cabin. Isn’t it gorgeous??

When Diane and I drove to Colorado from Utah on Wednesday, Sept. 21, there were no signs of fall colors.  But when I returned home the following Sunday, September 25, these are what the hills around Park City, Utah looked like:

Sorry I don’t have much to say about the Retreat.  I was just tired and happy to get home. But Janet gave a great account of the activities and had some great pictures (and thanks, Janet, for letting me use the picture of the Fabric Fairy).  Visit Janet’s Blog  for a complete recap.

Cathy maroon