Monday, April 15, 2019

What a Difference A Day Makes!!!

Hello everyone,

Welcome to my first April blog post.  A little behind schedule, but life is busy as always.  Too much to do and so little time!

The title of this post is so true.  Yesterday we awoke to a temp of 43 degrees and raining.  Next thing we knew we were at 55 degrees on it's way up to 72 degrees and the rain had stopped.  It was just a really nice afternoon until the bottom fell out.  About 6 pm, the sky darkened to the west, which is where all our bad weather comes from generally, that's OH, and not much good comes from that direction in more ways than one!  The wind began to pick up measurably as the trees began to blow really hard and then the tornado siren went off.  I turned on the weather channel to find out that we were in a tornado warning.  None had been seen, but there was some rotation.  After a few minutes of watching the sky from the porch, it began raining.  For some reason I always head to the porch like I really want to see a tornado!  After a few minutes it was time to head to the basement, so with Macy in tow, off we went to the theater room which is the inner most room in the basement.  Turned on the TV and rode out the storm there in our recliners.  We could hear the wind howling, but thankfully nothing materialized and it passed by quickly.  By 7 PM we were already out of the line of thunderstorms that could have produced large hail and tornadoes.  North of us, in Edinboro, and also Conneautville weren't so lucky.  They had large hail, about half-dollar size and several houses were damaged by it.  Vinyl siding, where the hail pummeled it, had large, gaping holes.  Temps fell over night and this morning it was 35 degrees and snowing upon wake up.  We could get an inch of that white stuff today!  Go Away Old Man Winter!!!  Doesn't he know that it's spring!!!

So, hopefully my flowers will make it through today's cold snap.  They are so pretty.
Miniature Daffodils

The picture above is a tree-lined street in Crafton that was taken on Saturday when we visited Bernie's folks.  It was a beautifully, warm spring day there.  Where we live, 2-hours north of Pittsburgh is a different story.  We are about two weeks behind Pittsburgh in reference to the spring season.

What have I been up too!  So much!!
The two fairly nice days we had with so much sun and actual temps in the 60's I spent outdoors.  I cleaned out the leaves from the front bushes, make mental note, next year put up a little fence to keep them buggers out of there!  Bernie had blown out the leave before and they continue to blow in there.  There are so many trees here that even if you chop up the leaves, they come right back!  It looked beautiful after the cleaning, and then this storm came through, and yep! you guessed it, they are all back again today.  I'm surprised that none of my Easter eggs that I put on my bushes came off in the storm, but I bet I'll have to cut them off as they are probably twisted around the branches!

I also had signed up for a three-week course at the local quilt studio in Meadville to learn to do a different technique called One Block Wonders!  This is an interesting concept done two different ways.  One way is using repetitive fabric and the other is by using panels.  What I mean by panels, is a design in fabric.  That you could just cut out, quilt, and hang up as a wall hanging.  I decided to do the panel method.  I purchased 7 panels.  One stays as is, and the other are all layered exactly by pinning a certain area and going through the layers.  Once they are all perfectly together you cut 3-3/8" strips and then cut 60 degree triangles out of it.  Then you take the 6 triangles and you have three ways to make a kaleidoscope in whichever design you like best.  Next you take the panel put it on a design board, just a piece of felt or flannel that you hang on the wall, put your panel where you want it and then begin by putting half-hexagons around it to make a beautiful design.  The fabric sticks on the flannel good enough for you to be able to move things around.  We used the floor at the studio, and I'm trying to find a place to hang this up because it's a whole different perspective when it's hung up just as when you take a photo of it.  This is where I am after week two.  I'm still messing with the design trying different things, then I have to begin sewing the hexies together and have a few of those done before my last class.  Then I will be able to finish it on my own.  Here is how it looks right now.

You can see my panel is the tree between the brown bark and then building looking high-rise.  The rest are all the hexies!  I put a row to the right of the high-rise to frame it in.  I believe I'm going to put the geometric patterned hexies on that side and put the green type hexies to the top to extend the tree and then the bottom will be filled with the darker bark type hexies.  Not sure, just thinking.

I'm still making progress on the Marie Kondo - Tidying up!  I've got drawers done now, and closets looking much better.  Filing cabinet was yesterday's adventure.  All cleaned out now, now onto some other areas!  I also picked up two books from the library on Feng Shui.  I find this concept very interesting and am also am working on this as well in our home.

To say I don't have anything to do now that I'm retired!!  Huh!!  I haven't stopped yet and have no intention on doing so.  I've begun walking my 10,000+ steps a day, weather-permitting of course, so I'm back on track with that as well.

Price is Right is on now, so if you know me, I don't like to miss Drew, so I'll close for now.  I hope that everyone has a very Happy, Blessed Easter!


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  

I was supposed to post on Friday, March 15 as per my schedule, but thought it might be fun to just do it on this festive day!  
Click on Elvis Video on Right to
hear him sing a beautiful O' Danny Boy!!
These are a few of my decorations for this day.  The leprechaun was a plastic canvas piece done by Bernie's sister, Donna and the Felt Smiley Face Shamrock was done by Bryan quite a long time ago!

I just love the Snoopy card and this beautiful angel in green was a gift for my retirement from Bernie's Mom!  The table runner was made by me and this is a reversible one that has Easter on the opposite side.  All these runners were made prior to my beginning to quilt.

We were in Pittsburgh yesterday visiting and I had seen on Pittsburgh Today Live program on Friday that this festival was going on in Green Tree.  Since I was right in Green Tree city for the afternoon visiting, I made a trip to the Double Tree to see what this festival was all about.  I thought they would have lots of quilting there.  Much to my surprise, there wasn't much quilting there at all.  A handful of vendors, two of which were selling sewing machines which I in no way need.  It was very disappointing and I would never go back to this again.  If you were into yarn, then YES, this would have been a great place to go.  I never saw so many skeins of wool, alpaca, sheep, dyed yarns, etc.  This festival was extremely busy, so I guess there are a lot of knitters, crocheters out there!  Prices were very pricey!  I ended up with one Riley Blake Charm Pack which contained some civil war designed fabric.  It was a steal at $5.00.  These packs are usually a lot more, but then there was the entrance fee!  I won't even go there!!  I did learn never to go back to that show, but it was very nice to visit Bryan and Jess and Bernie's parents.

This week I did go to the center for the first time all winter long and worked on that Civil War reproduction quilt for our guest bedroom.  I am moving along on this.  I also worked on stoning a lamp.  It's still too cold to make lamps in the garage, but since we had two fairly warm days, Bernie gave me one to get started on.

I also saw on TV a book on decluttering.  This is something that I have wanted to do for a while.  I'm always cleaning, but not like this.  The book is by Marie Kondo and it's called, 

you can click on this link below to see what she is all about!

Anyway, she has this way of folding your clothes and how to figure out what clothes to keep and those to discard just by feeling them and asking one simple question, "Does this spark joy?"  Yep, that's it!  Seems silly doesn't it, but to tell you the truth, I've made great progress.  I have three drawers totally organized and my closet has never looked so good.  Now on to the rest of the house!!

I'll tell you more on this concept and my progress in future blogs!

So with that, I'll say so long for today!  I hope everyone has a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Hugs, Debbie

Friday, March 1, 2019

March 1st - Come in like a lion????

Hello Everyone,

As promised, it is March 1st and my blog post is on schedule!  As far as March coming in like a lion, what does that actually mean?

Because March straddles winter and spring in the northern hemisphere, it tends to 
have very harsh, unpleasant  weather in the beginning but typically has milder, more
 palatable weather by the end. The phrase is often rearranged,separated, or otherwise
 slightly reworded.
 A: "I just wanted this awful cold weather to be over!"
 B: "It  shouldn't be much longer now. March always comes in like a lion,
 but it goes out like a lamb."
 March usually goes out like a lamb,but it's been a lion from beginning to end this year!

So, if it is cold, not windy, but sunny, but anything but warm, which is it?  It's a beautiful day here, but too, too cold, so I'm going to say that it's come in as a lion, just so I can say the going out like a lamb will mean warmer, more pleasant weather.

Since last post, I've been up to quite a bit.

Second UFO (Unfinished Object) of 2019 was this table runner that I began just designing after finishing up Bryan and Jess' one.  I had one block made, which I did just to see how it would turn out for theirs, and I just made a few more blocks to finish it out.  These are not my colors at all.  I tend to lean toward the more darker, or neutral rustic prints.  I plan on selling these along with the lamps at a couple craft shows this year, or perhaps in my Etsy store.  I have several design ideas as well as some different, quick projects, that I can do.

I've got all my squares and rectangles cut out and ready for the next set of instructions for the Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt Along.  I have enough cut out to make two table runners.  Not sure of the design as this is a surprise.

Also, I plan on finishing the queen size quilt that I began, who knows when, for the quest bedroom.  It's called Martin's Pennies and is a Civil War Reproduction Fabric quilt.  I have the top ready and just have to sandwich it with the batting and navy blue backing fabric you see below and get it quilted and finished.  I hope to have this done by April.  We shall see.

Last Sunday was a cloudy, but warmer in the 50's morning, so Bernie and I took a drive down to the Pymatuning Lake Dam in Jamestown PA.  This is only about a 10 minute drive south of us.  We parked and walked around and saw a few fishermen down where the dam overflow is, and we walked to the dam.  It is absolutely beautiful there.  It's like a mid-evil castle built right at the top of the dam with a vehicle bridge right beside it.

The Pymatuning Reservoir was built in 1934 and the dam was the largest project ever tackled in this area.  Appox. 7,000 men worked for $3.15 a day to clear the land and construct the reservoir.  Workers cut and burned anything that would float so debris would not damage the dam's gates.  Two construction crews, working 10-hour shifts, hauled in dirt for the dam.  The job was finished in a short 28 months for about $368,000.  The dam was constructed at a point where the hills converged to form a narrow valley, the earthen dam extends 2,400 feet across the valley with a maximum height of 50 feet where it crosses the old Shenango River Channel.  (This is a beautiful area as well and we'll visit it this spring and blog about it and it's bridge). The core of the dam is made of fine-grained clay, with a row of interlocking steel pilings in the center.  The pilings were driven 12-43 feet to the bedrock.  Heavy sandstone, ranging from 18-36 inches thick and hauled in by train, protects the dam from the pounding waves.  The reservoir and dam have 70 miles of shoreline, and is 16 miles from the point of this dam to the north end of the reservoir.  The deepest area is 35 feet.  The reservoir is 2.2 miles wide and it holds 61 billion gallons of water in the summer.

 This is our Pymatuning Lake!  Such a beautiful thing that we seem to take for granted living here.


Just think how beautiful it would be to have photo of a wedding party taken there. I'm sure it has been done before. 

So here we are! 

By the time we were ready to leave, the wind had blown up and we were about carried away and the wind blew in the much colder air and by afternoon we were in the 20's!

The door is all wood with bars and it is so rustic! 

So that is a little bit of our goings on the past few weeks.  As soon as the weather cooperates, we'll get out there for some more trips around Pymatuning to share with you.

Until next time, take care and I'll be dreaming of warmer weather................


Friday, February 15, 2019

Happy Day After Valentine's Day!!

Hi everyone,

I intended to get this post up yesterday, but things just don't always happen when planned.  So, I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day!

This was a little pillow ornament that was made by my sister-in-law many years ago.  I had it on our Valentine's Day tree.  So cute.

Then on Monday this week, I baked Valentine's Day cookies.  They turned out pretty cute, these are a few of what I made and decorated.

These are fun to make, but very time consuming.  I made 45 cookies as that was a single batch, but it took me all of two days to make them.  Here they all are:

Bernie and I went out to dinner at a little local restaurant we like and we each had a meal that was very good, we played a little Keno while there, and I only had one number on one of five games.  Bernie at least won $4!

This week was also a finish for the year for me quilting.  Bryan and Jess wanted a table runner made out of white/teal/gray fabric.  I pulled from my stash, lucky I had some teal and was able to make some blocks.  It measured out at 17-1/2" x 28-1/2".  They wanted 17 x 30, but this was as close as I could get and they liked it!

I'm working on another one using some blues too!  Not sure what I'll do with it, but it was going to be my sample block, and I decided to finish it out.  

I'm also beginning work on a Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt Along.  You can visit this blog by clicking on From My Carolina Home here. She has a lot of interesting things on there and I enjoy reading it. Recipes, tablescapes, and of course quilting, she lives in the mountains of North Carolina so there is lots of posts on wildlife and gardening.  Her Veranda is to die for.   

How this works is that the person organizing the Quilt Along, Carole, will tell you what to cut out, such as so many squares, rectangles, etc.  They give you instructions on how much to cut out based on what size you want to make (table runner, crib quilt, twin, full, queen, etc.)  She will also give us instructions each month on what to do for that month.  That way you have an entire month to complete the challenge.  This works great for me!  It will take us five months to complete, so I think what I'll do is cut up all the fabric and figure out the biggest thing I can make and do it that way.  You are supposed to use fabric that is in your scrap basket.  (these are odds and ends of fabric used in larger quilts, but you just can't throw it away, so you use it on say 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares, etc.)  Since this was to be done in some kind of flowery type material, which I have none of in scraps, I opted to use a little kit from Annie's that I recently received.  The fabric was to be used in a baby quilt, but I didn't like it for that, so it's going to be used in this mystery quilt.  I'll share the fabric with you next post.  Which I'll be posting again on March 1.  I'm now planning ahead and marking my calendar to be sure I get it done.

The weather has been awful here, gloomy, rainy, snowy, icy, below zero days, above zero days, warm days in the 50's and 60's,  you name it, we've had it.  I'm looking forward to springtime, winter has been enough for me for some reason this year!

Not much else happening in my neck of the woods.  How are things with you?

Have a great weekend and see you back here on March 1st!!


Monday, January 21, 2019

October Christmas in the Woods Wrap Up! and Now it's 2019!

Hello Everyone,

I tried to post twice a month in 2018, but that didn't seem to be working very well at all.  I found this October post in my drafts.  So, I'll just continue to add to it now that we are in January 2019.

So, October had been a very busy one for Bernie and I for sure.  This is the month that we go to Christmas in the Woods with our lamps in Columbiana OH.  If you recall, we sold out of them last year on the second weekend of the show on the Saturday before noon when we took 45 of them not knowing what to expect.

This year we had 77 to take,and we sold out again.   These two weekends were very cold and Bryan and I warmed ourselves up on hot soup from one of the vendors and the vegetable beef was so good that we had it twice!  I sold the very last lamp on the last day at 5:00!  I thought I was going to bring one home, but as I was cleaning up, a lady came running into the cabin and purchased the very last one!!!  My goal was met!!!

The staff there in the woods came and took Bryan and my photograph, so perhaps we will be in the next years newsletter. Who knows!

Some pictures from the woods of our cabin!

Dec 1 and 2 was another craft show that I signed us up for in Erie PA.  It was at an Intermediate School, but was actually for what is called Asbury Woods. You can click here to see what it is about.

We went there with 34 lamps, and we sold 17 of them there and another one after the show, so 18.  It is what we expected for a small show like this and we were happy.  Bernie accompanied me to this show both days and this was his first selling experience.  I liked for him to be there so he could see and hear the wonderful comments we get from the people who either just stop by or actually purchase a lamp.  He did make his first sale while there.

Our layout for this show was different because we actually had electricity.  Here is what it looked like.

 Our layout looked really nice and we got compliments on our display as well.  Nice, neat, non-cluttered, and only the lamps were on display with business cards, and information on the lamps.  We've decided to do shows with only displaying our lamps in the future. Bernie has always said this and he is right! 

We enjoyed this show very much and there were a lot of really talented crafters' and it was great that the people beside us were a husband and wife team as well and Bernie and I had someone to pass the slow time talking with.  We were asked by the organizer to come back in Dec 2019 and we agreed.

Some other things that happened since I last blogged in Sept, geez!  am I behind.  I went to the Octoberfest at Active Aging in Meadville which is a craft show and I purchased $5 worth of Chinese Auction Tickets at one of the booths and I ended up winning a huge basket of Christmas Fat Quarter Fabrics.  So, I'd like to make a king-size quilt for our bed for next Christmas!  I haven't done much quilting lately.  Nothing since the new year; however, Bryan and Jess have asked me for a table runner for their night stand, so I'm working on that as I write this. 
I'll post a photo of it when finished.  Since I'm not sure what I did with the picture I took of this win, I guess you'll have to wait until I finish the quilt!

In November, I took a cookie decorating class at the senior center.  It was taught by a gal I met when I first moved here, she owned the local country/primitive store in Linesville at the time and I used to go there in the evenings when I was living in the motel just to have a place to go and we became friends.  She has since sold the business and re-married and moved to Ohio, so it was nice to see her again.  Anyway, I learned that decorating sugar cookies is a fine art!  I only made one type of cookie for Christmas this year and these were them.  Sugar Cookies

    I only made a few designs and the trucks took me forever because you do one section or color and then have to wait for it to dry before you can do the next section.  I liked the snowflakes the best, they were the prettiest and now that I've done over 100 of them, I know that simplicity is better.  I think I'll try to make some for Valentine's Day and I'll share those with you in a later post.

Bryan and Jess came up for Thanksgiving Dinner as well as for Christmas.  We enjoy our time with them during the holiday season.  This year, Bernie and I put up his "N" scale train set.  It is the first time we put up a train in years.  He built the layout, and he wired it all for the lamps and houses that lit up.  I then took care of building the roads and putting the houses down and securing everything.  It took me about a week to do it all.  Now we will think how we can add to it next year.  It was a fun project for us.

Here you can see the layout by our fireplace and we searched all over to find the old brick look paper that is so vintage and found it at a little hardware store in Greenville PA.  The right picture you can see the building lit up and one of the little lamp posts lit in the back. 

We had a new tree this year, a frosted pine.  We loved how it turned out.

And to finish up this blog post, I'll leave you with this photo taken yesterday after Winter Storm Harper came through on Sat and Sunday.  We got 15" from this storm and another 2" of lake effect snow off of Lake Erie last night.  So we are at 17" out there and it is very cold in the lower teens and windchills makie it feel like below zero.  It is beautiful though.  Bernie had to get out his tractor with snowblower to take care of this amount of snow.

So, with that, I'll close out 2018 and have begun 2019 with a blog post finally!  I have vowed to post at least twice a month this year. You may hear from me on a weekly basis if something interesting to tell you comes up.  With that said, I hope that everyone has a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!!


Friday, September 21, 2018

Last Monday of Summer and Last Day of Summer!!

Hi everyone!

Doing much better with the posting, twice in one month.  WooHoo!!!  I finally have enough material to post today so here goes................................

I have quite a few pictures, so I hope I get them in some type of an order.  Last Friday night was just a beautiful evening, so Bernie got out his AMX and we took it for a nice drive.  We tried to get some corn, but corn is pretty much done in these parts, although we found some, it just wasn't good.  Here is a pic of me with the AMX.  Bernie made the comment that it has only been 41 years since I've allowed him to take a pic of me with the AMX and it was about time.

I'm still walking every morning for breakfast, not literally, I just walk for at least 30 minutes each morning and this morning was so nice out that I did over an hour walk.  Where do I walk, up and down the same dirt road, and no!  I don't get bored.  I just put on my music and walk, walk, walk!!

Today, went something like this.............................

I started out seeing a guy on his mowing machine for the township, who I like to call Mow Man!
This guy mows along side our roads three times a year, spring, summer, and fall.  He does a really nice job too!  It just seems to take him forever to complete his mowing.  He's been around our area for three days now!  We do things a lot slower in the country.  Hee Hee!!  The photo on the right is our dirt side road and this is where I walk.  Through the trees on the right is our home.

I also walked down by the new home they are building and I have to say, that I'm disappointed that they didn't brick it.  They used vinyl siding and now the colors are so bland!  Also, they didn't match the barn across the street.  I have this problem with things that are built that don't all match, ask Bernie about that sometime.  Hee Hee!!

So when I was just about finished with my walk, the sky was getting darker, so I looked at the radar, and here comes Hurricane Florence's rain and wind and knew it was about time to head home for breakfast. Who else loves these Cheerios Pumpkin and Spice Flavor?  Also, that is fresh orange juice that my father-in-law made for us, Thanks, Dad!!  It is so good!!

Also, at the end of my walk I passed by some plants in our yard and found a photo op there.There are the marigolds, the new ice plant, and lavender.

  Continuing on with this walk past the front of our home I came across some new flowers and corn.  Yep, I'm getting ready for fall y'all!!!

I love these $ store finds.

The corn wasn't a dollar store find, but from Joann Fabrics a few years back.  Now this corn looks like it's ripe for the pickin!  Hee Haw!!!

Just a few more pics and I'll be finished!  I've been quilting this table topper for a while now and can finally see the light of it being done.  I was making it for the center, but the more I work on it the more I think I will keep it. I've been going to the center on quilting day, but I'm really not enjoying going there much anymore.  I've been busy working on more lamps each day.

So with autumn arriving on Saturday, I think that I'll just finish on this note.  Not only do I LOVE FALL! , but Macy loves it too! 

I would have finished this post on Monday, but since I wanted to add one more thing, it is now Friday, the last day of summer.  Here is what the wait was for:

Stella, my nephew's wife, and I entered a local flower farmers giveaway to win some flowers.  Little did we know that we would both win.  So, Jessica, from Hickory Grove Flower Farm Co. delivered both of our bouquets to me.  Since I've been cleaning out, I only saved one vase figuring I'd only ever receive one batch of flowers at a time, so I had to use an old milk bottle I had on the shelf, so most of the flowers had to go in the vase and only a few in the milk bottle.  So, here is what we won!  Aren't they beautiful???

Til next time............................Happy Fall Y'All!!!!


PS, I'd like to send prayers to my mother-in-law, Joan, who is in the hospital and I hope she is well real soon and also prayers to my good friend, Eileen and her husband, Art.  His sister passed away today.  Blessings to everyone!!