Friday, April 21, 2017

A Day Late Posting - Sorry!!

Hello Everyone!

Sorry for being a day late, and I guess a dollar short is how the saying goes, but it's Friday and I've had a busy week again!

The weekend was a wonderful time.  Bryan and Jess came to our home for Easter Dinner on Saturday and we also celebrated his 38th birthday with presents and cake.  We had our traditional ham dinner with homemade potato salad, green beans and rolls.  We had a really nice visit with them and then they headed home.

Every year since Bryan was a little boy, I have hid both his and Bernie's Easter Baskets, or bags, or boxes, whatever the year brings.  So now I hide three of them, one for Jess too!  Here they are searching the house for their Easter goodies.  I have so much fun watching them.

Jess found hers second in the living room in the coffee table.

Bryan was first to find his Easter treats!!

Don't know how Bernie knew where his was?????????  He did find it behind one of the Easter cards.

The rest of the week has been a blur for me. I've been working on quilts all this week and also lamps.
I didn't have quilting this Wednesday, they were having an event day at Allegheny College in Meadville.  I chose not to participate as the very first thing on the agenda was to listen to a lengthy talk given by the Provost.  I've been in more meetings in my working career to last me a lifetime, so I refrained from attending.

I have two finishes quilt wise this month already.  I strive for one quilt finish a month, so with having at least one each month and two months of having two, I figure I'm good now through June!!  Ha Ha!!  No, I'll try to have a finish still each month.  Here are my finishes for this month.

This first quilt measures 48" x 68" and I named it "Pretty as a Peacock."  I love naming each of my quilts.  Front and back side below.  This particular design is called Attic Window.

This second quilt also measures the same at 48" x 68" and is once again an Attic Window design.  This one I'm calling Hawaiian Delight!!  Front and backsides.

I like to stitch the binding on by hand so that takes me a long time to do, but I think they came out very lovely.

My next endeavor will be for the May Baer's Corvette Annual Car Cruise in Linesville.  It is a mixed brand car cruise, we've taken the AMX there a few times when it hasn't rained, but anyway the majority of the cars are Corvettes.  I will be making one or two of these Attic Windows for the senior center using car material.  These will be raffled off during the cruise.  The senior center hosts a spaghetti dinner the same day as the cruise, so both the dinner and raffles will be a big money raiser for us.  I'll take pictures along the way for these when I begin.  We are waiting on the fabric to arrive, so I'm going to have a short window to get these done.

I'll be working on some table runners primarily from now on.  I want to make some to put under our lamps at the Shakerwoods show in October, and I plan on ramping up my lamp making skills from now on.  We have 26 lamps made and would like to do at least another 25 or more.  I'd hate to run out of them at the show.

Bernie's sister Joann is on the mend with her wrist.  Stitches out already and therapy to follow.
Eileen is preparing for her chemo upcoming the beginning of May.  Please keep both of these gals in your prayers!!

Til next week,


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Snow, Quilting, Craft Show, this and that!!

Hi Everyone,

Another blog from me, my week in review.

We started out with snow on the Friday, April 7th, only got about an inch and a half.  Not too bad.  Hopefully our last one til next winter.  You can see my Easter Eggs hanging from the bushes underneath the snow.

 and my poor daffodils, hanging in there, actually they made it through the snow.

The weekend was a lamp making weekend.  We started out going to the lumber yard to purchase more wood.  Then it was time to begin.  Bernie taught me more about the production of lamps.  I was formerly just the stone placer, but now I've graduated to official hand sander and then I learned how to assemble the lighting assembly.  I'm learning the lamp making business by leaps and bounds! :)

To tell you more about the show we are doing it is two weekends in October, 14 & 15 and 21 & 22.
It is in Columbiana, OH which is about an hour from us.  It is called "Christmas In the Woods" at Shaker Woods!  I've been going to this show as a customer for many years, but this will be our first time as a vendor.  The larger fairs, like this one, are generally juried. The jurying process involved my sending in a portfolio that included photos of our lamps, and a resume, along with a jurying fee. I also had to tell them what I'd be wearing to fit in with the Old-Fashioned Christmas Theme while manning our booth.  

A selection committee looks over your photos and makes their choice based on originality, creativity, marketability, general appeal, and quality of craft and booth design.
I'm told that it is a very rewarding experience when you are selected as an exhibitor for a major show. It shows that you are now ready to compete with "the big boys."  The selection committee is made up of craft professionals and if they pick you, they think you are ready. 
This show is advertised all over the country and in "Country Living" magazine as well as some others.  So yes, we are excited and will be kept busy all summer long preparing for this show.  

This week was our Easter Lunch at the center on Tuesday, ham with mustard sauce, scalloped potatoes, carrots, roll and butter, Easter cupcake, milk and coffee.  They once again sang Karaoke.  I'm still a spectator!  

Yesterday was quilting and I'm working on the border for the civil war quilt.  It's a queen size so it will need to be large.  Will show you more on that later on. I now have this lap size quilt ready to be border is on.

My next one, same size has peacocks on it, it is now ready to be quilted as well.

Today was Square Dancing again at the center.  Lots of fun and great exercise.  My legs hurt!!!!!  And finally.............................................

It is beginning to look like spring finally here, 
 Wild Violets in the yard!
 My daffodils survived the snow!!

And our home is decorated for Easter..............

 Avon Mr. & Mrs. Bunny
Mr. Primitive Burlap Bunny 
Mr. Fuzzy Bunny
 Mr. Fiber Optic Bunny
 My Pussy Willow and Forsynthia Design in Porcelain Coffee Pot
 Mr. Chenille Bunny that I made several years ago.
Fabric Easter Eggs made by Bernie's Sister, Donna.

Easter Plate made by me several years ago.

So with that, I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy, Blessed Easter!!

Please pray for my girlfriend Eileen as she will be beginning chemo in a few weeks and also for my sister-in-law, Bernie's sister, Joann who fell a week ago Sunday and fractured her wrist and had to have surgery last Friday!  Wishing them both well and a speedy recovery!!!!!  Love ya both!!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

One Last Blast of Winter coming up Tomorrow

Hi Everyone!

Well the forecast says that NW PA is in for one, hopefully, last blast of winter coming in after 1 am tomorrow morning.  So far I've heard 2-4" another said only 1".  Anyway you look at it, it's snow and more than I care to see in April.  I moved into our home ten years ago on April 4th!  Can't believe it was that long ago already.  That day we got about 6" of snow!  The movers weren't happy with that at all.  Last year, on April 5th, we had 5", so I guess I should be happy with a 2-4" snow forecast.  Of course, the meteorologists are never right.  It's the only profession where you can be wrong all year long and still keep your job!!  Ha Ha!!

So with that out of the way, let's move on to more fun things.

Last Thursday, was my second square dancing lesson.  I have a new respect for those dancers!  It's not easy to listen to a caller flinging out your dancing orders and eight people trying to understand what he said over the music and remember what dance steps to do.  All in all we are all doing pretty well.  We had a few no-show people and had to fill in with others who missed the week before, but we got it all together and we left happy, sore, but well accomplished.  The next lesson is next Thursday!!

It's been a rainy week this week, so not much done outside at all.  The only really nice day we had was Monday.  I got out there to walk and did 13,662 steps, 5.97 miles in 69 minutes.  Granted, I should have racked up more steps for the length of time, but I'm not a fast walker.  I like to take a look around and bask in the sunshine and admire nature and it's creatures.  The rest of the week has been a bust due to inclement weather.

I went to quilting yesterday.  Great lunch!  We had Chicken Cordon Bleu, with peas, baked sweet potato, slice of wheat bread, and a banana for desert, milk and coffee.  Was well worth the $2.00 spent!!

Yesterday, I was to work on some bistro chair pads for a woman at the center, but she found some online so she cancelled her order.  I was actually glad to hear it because others at the center told me that she was a real stickler and really fussy about her stuff and if it wasn't absolutely what she wanted she'd be nasty.  I prayed, and he answered, the order cancelled.  That will teach me to volunteer.  Well, actually no one else stepped up to say they'd do it, guess because they knew her, so I said sure.
Anyway, I dodged that bullet.

Luckily, I took something else to work on.  By the way, I did finish the patriotic quilt, but will save pictures of that for a later, in the summer, post when I can take some nice pictures of it flying in the breeze outside.

What I worked on is a new lap size or back of the sofa type quilt called Attic Window.  I saw this one and really liked it and thought I'd give it a try.  I cut out the 10" square and 2-1/2" strips at home before going to the center and then just sewed the entire 3-1/2 hours putting it together.  I still need to put a border on it, layer the backing with the batting and quilt it, then bind it and finished.  It was a fairly easy one to do, but I really love the look.  I should have this completed by next post.

I'm not sure why I am gravitating to the brighter colors, perhaps it's because of spring and summer being upon us, or my wishful thinking that they are coming.  I love all green fabric, so of course I'd use that, but this blue is just so vibrant and with the green underside of the flowers and dragonflies, it just spoke to me!!  I love the swirls in this crisp, white fabric as well.  I think this will be just beautiful when completed.  What do you think?

I have another one of these in the works and it is peacocks, same color of blue with some peach, and of course, more green this time a sage color green.  No pictures of that one yet, I just finished cutting the pieces out and it doesn't look like much yet.

It was funny, while I was typing this a person from Active Aging called me to ask me my thoughts on the Lakeland Valley Senior Center where I go.  It was like a survey.  Of course, I had nothing bad to say except that they can stop serving us liver and onions!  Ugh!!  Gross!!

Just want to mention that Bernie and I got into a huge, craft show in Ohio with our lamps in the fall!  I'll blog about that, next week!  We need to get busy on that.  Bernie is back to work this week and Eileen is still on the mend so please keep her in your prayers.

That's all folks!!  Til next week, have a wonderful weekend.  Heard we may be in the 70's next week!!  Yippee!!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Happy Birthday - Bedroom Remodel - Fire - No Quilting this Week!!

Hi everyone,

I want to welcome everyone back today, on the 38th Birthday of our son, Bryan!!   Here he is at our home on Christmas with his wife, Jess.  

Happy Birthday to You....................
Happy Birthday to You......................
Happy Birthday, Dear Bryan..............
Happy Birthday to Yoooooouuuuuuuuu!!!

Here is what has been happening here at Pymatuning Lake this past week.

Bernie has been home this week, company closed, lack of work, lay off!!   So we have taken advantage of his time off to do some work around the house.

We had wanted to do this remodel of our bedroom wall for quite a while and now that the boards have been made to look like reclaimed barnwood, we got to work on it this past weekend.

The walls were originally eggshell since the house was built ten years ago.  So, I wanted a more calming effect and since we both love green, I painted the walls a sage green.  

Bernie began putting up the wood.  The wood was fencing planks that were tea stained and then coated with a mixture of steel wool and vinegar that I left sit for several days so the steel wool would disintegrate.  This caused the wood to take on the barnwood effect.  Very rustic.

Here is the completed wall with our headboard put back, we were going to eliminate it, but would miss the lighting inside of it as well as the space for the TV remote, etc.  So we kept it.  I'll be making other curtains soon to match the quilt.

We each have one of these dressers that we use as bedside tables, so I just changed the hardware to reflect a more rustic look.  It had just plain wooden knobs on it before.  I was going to paint the chests, but with the oak trim in the room they pull it all together against the darkened wood wall.

Next we put up the two shelves that were cut by Bernie out of wood from one of our trees that was cut down.  I have nine coats of polyurethane on them.

I already filled my shelf up!!

.We had a more than 40 year old solid oak dresser that was outdated and so heavy that we couldn't move it easily, so we opted to get two separate dressers and this is a picture of them above.

This mirror was part of the old dresser, so Bernie made a rustic-looking wood frame and I did my barnwood process on it and it came out great.

This is the finished room.  We are both happy with how it turned out.  I don't think the pictures do it justice.

Tuesday was a rainy day, so we decided today was a good day to burn brush.  The tree guys left us all this brush last fall and we left it all winter long so the birds would have a place to hide.   Here is a great picture of the arsonist, Bernie, and the raging fire.

It really wasn't that big of a fire, it's just because I zoomed in on the above picture.

This is more of what it looked like.

And this is what it ended up like when it was just about finished and you just can't let those glowing embers just fade away and burn out when there are these to be had...........................

Baked potatoes in the hot coals of the fire.  Oh, Bryan, you would have loved these.  We had them for lunch and they were so good!  

Wednesday was quilting day and I worked on my spare bedroom civil war quilt there, but really nothing to show you.  With a clear blue sky and temps in the 50's, I took to walking a bit to get some steps on that Fitbit, and I came across some of these that I couldn't resist picking................

These ones came from my walk down the road.

And these small baby ones were from a plant that Bryan and Jess brought me last year for Easter, little mini-daffodils.  They finally bloomed so I had to pick a few of these.

Looks like Spring has finally arrived.

Today is Thursday and I'll be heading back to the senior center at 12:30, for lesson two of square dancing.  So I'll see how that goes!!

Thanks again for all the prayers for my friend, Eileen.  She is feeling a little better each day.  Please keep those prayers coming.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Talk to you next Thursday!!!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Has Flung! Well, at least date wise..............

Hello everyone,

Still having cold weather here, yesterday we were only 22 degrees for a high.  Ugh!!  At least the sun was shining.  We are rebounding a bit today with the temp now at 44 degrees at 1:10 pm and the sun is shining beautifully.  Bring on spring!!!  Looking forward to the days of seeing this................

And since it is now spring, how about a cake I made for the occasion today to go along with those hoagies I ordered at the senior center for dinner tonight!!  Yummy!!

This week there wasn't a whole lot going on in my neck of the woods!!

Well, Saturday we lost Chuck Berry.  What a fabulous musician he was.  I remember listening to him as my brother, Bill, liked listening to his music in the 60's.  I think my favorite tune was, "Sweet Little Sixteen."  I think it was because he mentioned Pittsburgh!!

Monday and Tuesday was spent working around the house indoors of course, still was too cold to go outside.  We lost another one of my favorite entertainers, Chuck Barris.  Wow, both Chuck's, just realized that.  He was funny on the stupid "Gong Show" and did you know that he was a song writer as well.  One of my favorite tunes was written by him and sang by Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon, "Palisades Park."

Wednesday which would have been quilting day became a trip to the Erie Presque Isle Downs Casino with a group from the senior center.  The one lady I quilt with, Sally, has been after me to go on one of the excursions to the casino since last fall, so I decided to make the trip.  The day began at 8:30 am on a bus ride to the casino.  We went via CATA, which is Crawford County Transportation Authority, bus and it held 20 people I think, yep, it was a short bus!!  Ha Ha!!  It was very nice and cost only $6 roundtrip to Erie.  We took the scenic route through Conneautville, Albion, then onto I-79 from Edinboro to Erie.  There were two buses.

Walked around playing some machines and losing some money,  Ugh!! before I knew it, it was lunch time.  I met a woman, Bonnie, who I knew from the post office in Andover as she owns a business over there, and we had a nice lunch together at The Brew Brothers upstairs of the casino as Sally didn't tell me that she brings a lunch.  I liked it better though sitting down with a nice lady and some lovely conversation while we waited for our meals.  She had fish tacos, which she said were delicious and I had a club sandwich and fries.  We both had lemon water, I'm learning from these gals that you never purchase a drink because that is what makes your bill go up and besides, down on the casino floor you can have all the coffee, pop, iced tea and water that you want and it's free!!  Duh!  That's a no-brainer to me.  So the lemon water was delicious as well as my meal.  When we finished around 1:30 pm, we still had about 2 hours to gamble before the bus came to pick us up.

I always wanted to try my luck at the black jack table, but they started at $10 a hand, a little bit too pricey for my blood, so I stuck to the slots trying to win what I had lost before lunch.  I played 1, 2, 5 cent slots, even tried the 25 cents and $1.00, no good, then I came upon another lady from our group who was sitting at a Wheel of Fortune machine, it was a 1 cent machine, but I sat down beside her and we both began playing.  The next thing I knew we were both winning!  I loved seeing Vanna White telling me to spin the wheel and getting those Jackpot Bonuses!  Only wish I could have done better, but I played down and ended up ahead of the game and stopped playing and waited for the bus home.  So, it was a good day after all.

I did work some more on the spare bedroom reproduction Civil War quilt, and I will probably stop working on that so I can get the patriotic quilt finished since I need to have a March finish and I'm down to only 8 days left to the month.

I want to thank everyone for praying for my girlfriend, Eileen, she had her surgery on Tuesday and is recuperating at home.  I haven't spoken with her yet, but hopefully I will hear from her soon when she is able to talk.

That's it for now, the mail lady just came and as a former USPS employee, I have to run out and get the mail which is something I look forward to every day.  I used to have a couple of pen pals, but they don't write anymore, just email or Facebook.   I don't like that!  There is nothing better than getting a card or handwritten letter in the mail.  I think we should all send a card, handwritten note card or letter to someone today just to say hello and I'm thinking of you!!!  That would make someone's day happy.

Take care and see ya next week!!


Friday, March 17, 2017

Top O' The Mornin to you!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone,

What a beautiful day in NW PA.  The snow is still on the ground, melting though, and the sun is shining on this beautiful St. Patty's Day!!!  This week was a snowy one from Sunday through Wednesday, but yesterday the skies cleared and the sun shone brightly!!  Great day to go out and about.

Didn't really do much except quilt and watch Price is Right!!  

Oh yeah, I baked a dutch apple pie one day and today I made a St. Patrick's Day white cake with green icing!! 

 oh yeah, and green jello with pineapple tidbits in it.  All yummy!!!  Since today is a Friday in Lent, Bernie will be picking up fish dinner's from the Fish Fry at St. Philip's Catholic Church in Linesville for supper.

All week, I've been working on the Civil War Quilt and it really looks like something now that I have thrown it on the bed that it was intended for.  I still need to add more length to it with more strips that are in the process of being made, but here it is.  

You can see here that I need to add maybe 5 or 6 more rows because I want to be able to throw it over the bed pillows and tuck in.  I'll put a border around it and then get the batting and backing on and ready to quilt. The patriotic quilt is ready to be quilted too and both will be done back to back.

These pictures just don't do it justice, in the room it looks so nice.  I think I'm going to make the same design for our bedroom in a king size.  This is a queen.

Yesterday, Thursday, was the St. Patrick's Day lunch at the senior center.  This is a special day lunch so it cost us $6.00 to attend the party.  People bring in lots of appetizers, and then there are raffles, games, 50/50, etc.  Lunch was corned beef and cabbage, carrots, boiled potatoes, Irish soda bread and green poke cake, milk and coffee. Very good lunch.

When I got there they were singing Karaoke.  It was interesting to watch, I've never sung Karaoke and I felt it was best not to make my debut in this venue!!  '

This gal sang "I Wrote the Songs."  First time singing and she did really well.  She is also the Tai Chi teacher there at the center.  Never tried that!!

This one the DJ was singing to one of my quilting lady friends, Verne.  She hates the color green and refuses to wear it or even make a green quilt.  So red it is!!!

After this party was finished, I went to WATCH something they were doing, but ended up having my exercise for the day and had fun learning something new.  There will be a total of four classes and here is a hint............  do the words do si do, promenade, grand circle, bow to your corner mean anything?????  Well, they meant absolutely nothing until yesterday!  We were learning square dancing.  They needed groups of 8, since they were short a person and I was watching, I was elected to join in.  It was fun, it was a workout in itself, and I learned so much.  I learned that heeled boots were not the foot attire for this, but I made it through and learned that flat boots are in order for next class.  No, I won't be buying a cowgirl hat or cowgirl boots anytime soon!!!

Well, that was the extent of my week and I hope that you had a nice one.  

Please continue your prayers for my friend, Eileen, Tuesday is her surgery at Magee!  Thanks everyone for your prayers.

Take care and I'll see y'all next Thursday!  Hopefully, with springs arrival it will begin to warm up here.


Friday, March 10, 2017

March is still a Lion - March 10, 2017

Hello Everyone!

As the title of this post says, yep, old man winter just won't let up.  My day lilies are up more than an inch and this morning it is cold, windy, and snowed overnight.  More snow to come in the day ahead.  I'm so very ready for Spring.  That touch of Spring in February spoiled us all for sure.  Oh well, good day to tell you what was going on this week here in NW PA!

Monday was the day that I got the backing and batting put on the patriotic quilt top.  It turned out to be about 70" square.  Nice size!  I got it all ready to be quilted so it is rolled and sitting on my table as the next project to do.

Tuesday was a trip to Meadville, the "big city" round these parts!! It's funny, it is 18 miles from our house and when you go there, you make a day of it!  You hit every store and have a list for what you need at each store and of course, I go with coupons in hand!!  I love a great bargain.

It began with a trip to Vernon Center a beautiful new two-story facility which houses Meadville Medical Center doctors, YMCA, specialists for everything, and the reason I go, therapeutic massage!  Ah...........  After that appointment I was ready to conquer whatever else Meadville had to offer, oh but first I had to get a small cup of Green Mountain Coffee at the little eatery there at the center.  Then I was off down the hill into the city, stopped at the Meadville Mall, which is a sad excuse for what they call a mall here.  Not very nice stores, Big Lots is the big draw, ha ha!!  Anyway, our eye doctor is in the mall and I had to get my new glasses adjusted.  After that, the only fantastic store in that mall is Foxes Sew and Vac.  Yep, my favorite quilt shop here!  I stopped by and found that they were having a special on machine needles by two packs, get a third pack free!!  Yippee!!

Next on to, Joann Fabrics, as I needed transparent thread for the patriotic quilt.  You use this thread on the top of the machine and then use thread that matches the back of the quilt in the bobbin.  Your sewing tip of the day!!  Just so happened that Joann had thread on sale, buy one, get one free.  Also, had some nice 100% cotton fabric on sale for 50% off!!  With two coupons to use, I came out of there very happy.

Next was a stop at Giant Eagle for some real groceries, since the trucks for GE come from Pittsburgh, it is the best place to get fresh bread, deli, meats, and produce.

Then onto the Humane Society to donate the 16 pads for the dogs and cats housed there.  Made me feel good doing this for them.  Everyone knows how I love animals, especially dogs!!

Now onto Wednesday, Quilting at the center day.  I began working again on the Civil War Reproduction Quilt.  It was basically in small strips and they needed to be made into longer strips and then put together to begin the quilt top called Martin's Pennies.  Here is what is looking like thus far...

Smaller strips not pressed yet!

Looking much better after being pressed.  This strips are Blues, Reds, and Browns

Here is nine of the strips put together, it will become a queen-size quilt for our spare bedroom.

It is coming together nicely.  I'll be working on this a bit later today.  At the center I met two new people who are going to quilt, a husband and wife duo and guess what?  They are from West Mifflin originally and now live in Espyville.  Nice couple I can relate with!!

Thursday I had lunch with my old clerk, Viv.  Nice to get together once a month.  So I missed my Thursday post yesterday, but I'm making up for it today, Friday, snow day and I've already been to the beauty salon for a haircut, etc.  Glad to be home as it is really cold out.

Macy has been helping me sew this past week.  She kinda just hangs out wherever I am, follows me everywhere until Bernie gets home from work then, I'm mud.........oh, or at least until I give her some food, then she's all mine again!!  Ha Ha!!!

She is so stinking cute!!!

Another project I've been working on every evening for an hour or two is the Civil War Cross-Stitch that I've been making for Bryan for umpteen years, it's coming along nicely.  This is a counted cross-stitch meaning it has no pattern on the backing.  You have to count every stitch that you do following the paper pattern for those that have never tried this, it is very time-consuming, but beautiful when completed.  I took this picture of the Union Soldier's pants just so you can see the detail.

Hey Bryan, I'm working on it, SEE............................

So that has been my week in review. Seems that I had a lot to write about this week.

 If I may ask all of you for one favor this week, would you  please pray for one of my best girlfriends, Eileen, who is going to have surgery on March 21st for cancer.  I just found out yesterday and talked to her last night and she sounds fantastic and is very optimistic about the surgery and we are praying for a complete and speedy recovery.   She reads my blog, so I'm sure she won't mind me asking for prayers.   Love ya, Ei!!

Everyone have a fantastic weekend and I hope it gets warmer soon.  Take care and see ya all next week.