Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lessons I've Learned Over the Years!

To My Family and Friends, here are a few lessons I have learned over the years. The new year seems like a good time to review them!

A little makeup can make a girl feel a little better, but a lot of makeup doesn't necessarily make her feel a lot better!

Sometimes it takes teamwork to get uphill, even when you're "having fun!"

Learn to enjoy the simple things!

Don't judge a book by its cover! Sometimes, there's dynamite packed into just three pounds, four ounces!

Learn to see the miracles in nature as though you are seeing them for the very first time! Let yourself be thrilled!

 You can't have your pudding until you eat your supper, but occasionally it might be okay to make an exception!

Sometimes our eyes deceive us. Take a second look!

Your dreams rarely just land in your lap! You have to chase after them like bubbles in the wind!


Life is messy, but you'll feel better if you clean up as you go along!

 Some things in life are wonderful surprises!

Find a way to make the little ones in your life succeed and feel useful! They will not remember the words you tell them as much as the way you made them feel!

If you want a "white Christmas", go find your own snow! 
Scientific investigation begins early! Be prepared!

As one of my second graders once quoted, "The grass is always greener where the buffalo roam!" ......and you know what that means! There is usually an "up" side to every "down"!

Life is full of funny little coincidences. Enjoy them!

Learn to laugh at yourself! (Just be sure you have good bladder protection!)
Never let a day pass without telling your loved ones that you love them. Yes, they may know it, but there's something special about hearing the words!
Always remember that "stuff" is here today, gone tomorrow. What remains are relationships and memories. Work more on those than on your "stuff"!
 If you can't go to Hawaii, bring Hawaii to your back yard! 

There will be mountain top experiences.... well as a few low points, but never give up! God is in control!

Here's to a wonderful new year! I'm excited and ready to tackle it!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Making Progress!

Christmas tree at Rosario's Mexican Restaurant, San Antonio, Texas
We're making progress after the fire! We have turned in our initial contents list and hopefully we are finished with that. If not, we will need to add to it from the lists we didn't put on the spread sheet. SHEESH!.....43 years of marriage and so many blessings we had trouble counting them! Our oldest son has been here this week helping us
Yesterday, we sent the list off and then headed into town to enjoy the festivities. 
 I had never been to the Holiday River Parade before,although I grew up in San Antonio, so this was really a nice start to the season!

 I didn't include pictures of all the floats, but I have shown you a "taste" of the atmosphere. It was perfect weather for this. Although we had a "cold front" come through, it was clear and about 60 degrees on the Riverwalk. 
And take a look at this! My husband gave me an early Christmas present!!! A Handi-Quilter Sweet Sixteen! It's a "sit down" long arm. This was a demo model being sold at a local quilt shop. It is strictly for quilting. So.....
for parents gave me my grandmother's old Singer Slantamatic! It sews beautiful stitches! This is the model 401. My grandmother was an expert seamstress. She is 105 now and doesn't do much sewing.
 That's my week! I still feel optimistic and calm. We have the check in hand from the house, we've already sold the lot the house was on, and the contents list is hopefully finished.

 Even Sugarplum is happy that things are going so well. She climbed up in my lap and cuddled up against my chest to sleep. I couldn't resist snapping a photo of her. It was this time last year that she was abandoned as a tiny kitten.
      It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


This time last year I was helping my grandkids set up my Christmas village and preparing for a large crowd of family to celebrate Thanksgiving at my house. This year the house is gone, but the family is not! My village pieces are gone, but the memories are still with me. What a wonderful time to be alive! I realize that even after losing my home and most of my possessions, I still am left with more blessings than many people in the world have or ever hope to have in their lifetimes.
  • I have clean water to drink. 
  • I have a roof over my head.
  • I have a warm, soft place to sleep.
  • I have a kind, loving husband and a caring family around me.
  • I have enough money in my bank account to pay my bills.
  • I have plenty to eat.
  • I live where the weather is not bitter cold in the winter.
  • I live in a modern time where family members are only a phone call or air flight away!
  • I have friends like you (most of whom I've never met face to face) who are amazingly kind-hearted and generous!
  • I have parents who raised me to know what is REALLY important in life!
Those are only the things I have thought of this morning. I'm sure that during this Thanksgiving weekend,  I will think of many, many more! I hope you will remember during the next few days what are really the blessings in your life, too. 
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you are in the United States. If you live elsewhere, have a wonderful weekend!
NOTE: I'm getting closer to being able to get back to my blogging and Blog hopping. We are almost ready to turn in the "LIST"! Then we will be ready to start on the site clean-up. That will not involve as much as my presence as the list did. I might dig up a few prized plants before the bulldozers destroy them. 
My sister and I have rented a spot in a juried craft sale on December 7th. I had a lot of quilts, wallhangings, etc. that I had made for it that I lost in the fire. I have made a few more things, but not even enough to recoup the cost of the space rental. I will be furiously working to make a few more items for that during this next week. I am on the decorating committee for a quilt guild Christmas dinner next Wednesday, and I have also started on my Kona solids project for the January hop. We have decided to have Christmas at my son's California home, but I haven't even thought about Christmas gifts yet.  (Feeling a little stressed, but that seems to go along with this time of year!) I guess that means things are feeling more normal!
             Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! (We're off to buy tamales to have along with our turkey tomorrow!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Still Hanging in There!

 I'm looking forward to starting on this hop! My fabric is gorgeous!!!
To begin, I want everyone to know how extremely grateful I am to all of you who have sent words of encouragement, cards, and even packages to brighten my days. I have found so much enjoyment in them all! (And to whoever tried to send me a package from Tennessee, I send my apologies from UPS. They received the package here on October 28, sent it back to you on November 4, and sent me a notice to come pick it up on November 8! (Of course, that was after it had been returned!) They couldn't give me your name, so I couldn't let you know that I did not reject your package or anything like that. They to pay for a second try, but I had no way of letting you know that. I'm SO SORRY! The problem was that I must have hit the 3 key instead of the 4 key in my address. It was sent to 2035 instead of 2045. You would think they would have at least gotten close because we're out in the country and that should have been close enough to get it to us. Again, I'm so sorry! 
I am still filling out contents lists and trying to find values for things. It is quite a job. We are about to leave for an appointment with a real estate agent. We will discuss our options - selling our land, buying new land and building, or finding an existing house. 
We're still doing fine and feel so blessed in so many ways! 
( I'll find time to post soon with photos.)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Progress and a Cute Little Sewing Machine!

My dad, who is an extraordinarily creative and skillful artist, is making a few of these little sewing machines for an upcoming crafts fair! This is his own design.(He has also made little tractors, cars, etc.) What you can't see from the photo is that if you turn the wheel, the "needle" (also wood and not too sharp) goes up and down. What little girl wouldn't be thrilled with a machine like this! It is about 10" or 11" wide - a perfect size for a wantabe seamstress! I think it would be a cute addition to some of our sewing rooms!
As far as progress after the fire,I am still filling out contents lists for the insurance company. This is probably the most difficult task so far. Could you remember every item in your house, when and where you bought it, and how much you paid for it? 
 I'm still doing fine emotionally and I still feel that everything will be fine in the end. Doug and I are safely tucked away right in the heart of family and the people around us have been amazing! My sincere thanks and appreciation goes out to all of you who have written encouraging emails and cards. Some of you have sent packages and I have had so much fun opening them up and discovering the contents! Early Christmas! I plan on putting all your cards in a scrapbook so that if I find myself bogged down in discouragement, I can pull out the scrapbook and see what an amazing group of people God put in my life! Thank you so much!!
Hopefully, I will have more to show you when all this insurance business gets behind me, but I wanted to give you an update.

 Since I showed my house after the fire, I wanted to show some pictures of it before.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Wicked Blog Hop! My Day!

Hello! Thank you for joining me today on the Wicked blog hop! Some of you know that my husband and I lost our house to fire on October 9, so the pictures I'm going to show are not great. I had them on my phone and they were taken before the projects were complete, but at least you can see what I would have shown! I did finish them, but lost them in the fire.

First of all, I live in south Texas, where many of my friends with a Mexican heritage celebrate Dia De Las Muertas or Day of the Dead. They have explained to me that this is NOT a zombie type thing for them, but simply a memorial for friends who have passed on. It is celebrated from October 31 through November 2. Some of the decorations are a little macabre to some of us, but are not intended to be spooky or creepy. Candies called sugar skulls are part of the celebration, as well as other skeleton figures posed in common positions they might have had in life. Flowers and pretty colors also play a part.
My first project is a doll. She is intended to be a skeleton doll wearing a pretty floral dress and a flower bedecked hat. I was in the process of making her some shoes and underwear, but they are not on her in this early photo.

                                                                                              My second project was a wall hanging depicting two "ladies" enjoying a sweet feast! 
The speech bubble says, "Finally I can eat whatever I want and I don't gain a pound!" This was a fairly large wall hanging and I had finished quilting and binding it, but not in this photo. I quilted in many details that are not in this picture.

Thank you to our sweet hostesses, Madame Samm and Wendy! Be sure you visit our other blogs on the hop today!

Sugarplum and her little friend send their wishes for a happy hop! (Can you tell she's chewing on the skeleton foot!? I had some cute props! I wonder if they gave the firemen a scare! If so, I'm so sorry, but what a story those firemen would have to tell!)

P.S. - Sugarplum is happy as can be in our temporary apartment! It happens to be over my parent's garage area and is connected to their house. Sugarplum thinks she rules the entire house now and even goes downstairs to make sure my parents are awake when we are! She stands on a trunk at the foot of their bed and makes mewing noises to tell them to get up! We are all doing fine and are getting lots of love from our family and friends here! My love to all of you who have sent prayers and well wishes our way! I can feel your hugs from here!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Real Set Back, But NOT a Tragedy!

I haven't been able to access my blog for a week now, but I have an excuse. Our house burned to the ground last Tuesday night. Here is a pitiful photo from my phone. This is from the garage side looking in to the house. The shell of a car was my husband's fairly new car. I'm told that coming back from a fire is a long process, so I'm hoping that blogging a little about it will help me.

The fire started in the garage and quickly spread to the attic in the house. Our garage, although detached, was connected to the house with a breezeway and roof. We were told that our attic was on fire before we even knew there was a problem. We saw our lights flickering and looked out the window to see the garage on fire! We grabbed the cat, my purse, and the hard drive and ran out barefooted.  Poor little Sugarplum, the very talented cat you've seen in previous posts, was in such a panic she fought me really hard to get out of my arms, but I managed to hold on to her.
Our house was a total loss. Since we live out in the country, the volunteer fire department couldn't get there in time to save it despite their heroic efforts. Fire departments from four surrounding counties came. There just wasn't enough water to control the flames.
I stood among MANY friends and family who showed up to support us. Our sweet neighbors brought us shoes to put on and water to drink. It is very surreal to stand and watch your house burn. I shook uncontrollably for several hours despite the heat. I kept thinking, "This is not the kind of thing that happens to ME!"
Thank goodness, God took care of us and we escaped unharmed. We are so blessed to have family nearby. My parents have a little apartment above part of their house and we are very comfortable here until we can rebuild or find a house. We are keeping this in perspective, too. This is NOT a tragic loss. Losing a child or a spouse would fall into that category. We will come back from this and be just fine. We have each other as well as family. We don't need anything except patience and a clear mind to deal with the aftermath. Insurance will eventually replace most of what we needed. We're sad, but not grieving the loss of material possessions.
I am not writing this to gain your sympathy. Many of you out there are suffering losses much greater than this and I DO realize that! I'm so thankful for all my blessings!
I will participate in the Wicked blog hop started next week. My projects are gone, but I had a couple of photos during the process that I had taken with my phone to show my sister what I was doing. I will show those. You won't see them in their finished state, but close enough that you can use your imagination!
Thank you so much for being here, reading this, and coming back in the future. I will get back on track. My camera will be replaced as well as my computer. (I am borrowing one now.) In the meantime, blessings to you!!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Simple "Rag Striped" Throw Pillow Tutorial

Do you want a simple project that will use up scraps , make up quickly, and add a punch of color to your decor? How about a throw pillow made of fabric strips sewn to a fabric base? You can use any color you want! You can also make it any size you want!

Start out by cutting a fabric base the size you want your pillow to be.The base will show between the strips after you fringe your raw edges, so use something that will look good with the fabrics you choose. I actually used a lightweight canvas for mine, but quilting cotton works too. You will need 2 pieces - one for the front and one for the back.
It doesn't have to be square. Rectangles work just fine.  Pull out the strips you want from your scrap pile. They can be different widths or the same, whichever you want. Use a glue stick to stick them in place. Glue them all down, sides touching, before you sew. 

After gluing all the strips down, you're ready to sew. 
Sew each strip down 1/4" from each edge. 
 Trim the edges.
Place your backing right sides together with the top.
Sew around all sides, leaving an opening in one side for stuffing.
Wash and dry to fringe the raw edges. This will produce a lot of stray threads. You can also choose to use a chenille brush to fringe the edges instead of washing.
Turn right sides out, push out the corners, and press if necessary. If pressing flattens your strips, just dampen them and fluff them up with your fingers.
Stuff with polyester fibers, stuffing corners first and then the remainder of the pillow. Sew the opening closed.
That's it! You're finished! You don't have to use different colors. You can use all one color or alternate between two colors. I used a "jelly roll" and cut the strips into narrower strips.
This can be a lot of fun! I think it could be fun for a grandchild. Hmmm........maybe a future project for a bedroom? 
Until next time....

Wait! Did you hear about the $250 giveaway? Go to the Sew and Show button on my sidebar and leave a comment on that post to win!

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