Jan 11 2014

So, New Year’s comes but once a year. That’s about all I can stomach.  All of this looking to the future and re-creating myself takes its toll.

I try to maintain a low profile, pretend it’s just another time of year and wait until it all blows over, along with the resolutions of the “do-gooders.” Unfortunately though, this last year, because I roomed with Laurel Regan and Sabrina Lovejoy at BlogHer ’13, it’s been harder for me to maintain my low standards of performance. Note to self: Don’t ever room with movers and shakers.

Sabrina & Laurel Networking at BlogHer ’13

From the beginning, I was odd man out. “Let’s go here,” they said. “Let’s go there,” they said. “Let’s get up early in the morning and take in every networking opportunity at night,” they said. But, I just put my pillow over my head, and waiting long enough, could hear them go out the door, frolicking off to their next adventure. Leisurely mornings and Grumpy Cat levels of non-performance were my preferred specialty. But, gradually, totally against my will, I have been influenced thoughout the last year in ways I never would have anticipated.

Kitty Surpassing My Level of Activity

I have found that Sabrina, whom I call “Pastor Lovejoy,” covers the spiritual plane. She spreads common sense goodness on her web site and blog, “Much Needed Advice for Women,” while holding court on Facebook, Twitter and BlogHer with a zillion devotees. Sabrina is ready to comfort the lost deniers of reality by Tweeting and posting at all hours of the night and day, offering unconditional love and guidance.

 Taking Stock of My Emotions with Sabrina

Laurel seems more of the physical world, manipulating art media and touting organizational skills to define and document every day existence. She creates, in a disciplined way, making small things of beauty seem monumental. Laurel has introduced the world to her trained eye, on her web site and blog, “Alphabet Salad,” with Tangles, continuously posted articles and photographs. While sending updates to Instagram, Chatter, BlogHer and the Library of Congress, Laurel insures little things will be seen in radiant beauty, not forgotten.

Learning Office Supplies are Beautiful with Laurel

And so, because of Sabrina’s unwelcomed good influences, I have started Tweeting uplifting sayings and having a totally unintended positive attitude. Because of Laurel, I take photographs of office supplies and my cats in various, heartwarming poses. And, now, as you can see, I am attempting a January NaBloPoMo, once again, walking in their footsteps. Not exactly following their levels on punctuality, but baby steps, baby steps.

My Cat Will Take on all Cuteness Comers.

And so, when Laurel promptly posted, “My Blogging Bucket List,” I grabbed a pen to copy and emulate eveything she’s planning on doing. I know whatever it is, those are the right things to do. But, geese! Halfway through, I got tired and quit. I couldn’t even complete writing down Laurel’s Bucket List.

And, reading Sabrina’s glory-luscious New Year’s Eve Post, “Happy New Year – My Prayer for You,” I realized I’d have to keep myself on the spiritual straight and narrow for a month of Sunday schools, which made me nervous, feeling not quite up to all of that goodness.

So, finally, I realized the best way to come up with a 2014 Bucket List of my own was to keep it short and sweet. Just be more like Laurel and Sabrina and leave it at that.

Because, like I said, when you’re headed for greatness, it takes baby steps, baby steps.

SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure unsuspecting BlogHer bloggers to her web site, daily newspaper,
The SunbonnetSmart.com NewsFlash, and Facebook Fan Page



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Jan 06 2014

Not really. What I really mean is, “STAND OUTTA MY WAY!”

On a morning when I thought things would be back to normal after the holidays, I awakened to an e-mail from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Now, every morning I check Jenny Doan’s Daily Deal, but I wasn’t expecting to find a BIG “2014 Kick Starter Sale.”

1 Quilting Fenzy

Under the Daily Deal is that
“2014 KICKSTARTER SALE” RED PRINT

(click on the image to go there)

OH MY GOODNESS! The 10″ Tumbler Template, Tula Pink’s “Acacia” Layer Cake,” the “Starflakes and Glitter” Layer Cake for $20 (with those little figures I just LOVE, but couldn’t bring myself to buy because it was Christmas Fabric), and one of my all time favorites, but never purchased, “Happy Tones” Layer Cake.

So here’s what I did:

Screen shot 2014-01-06 at 8.20.36 AM

Printed off the 3 Layer Cakes, full size onto 81/2″ x 11″ paper.
(Click on all images to enlarge.)

 

Three Fabrics

Played with the three sheets of paper
to make sure the fabrics go together.

 

2 QF Happy Tones

“Happy Tones:” The Light

 

3 QF Snowflakes and glitter

“Starflakes and Glitter:” The Medium

 

4 QF Acacia Layer Cake

“Acacia:” The Dark and the “zip”

 

5 QF Tumbler

The coveted 10″ Layer Cake Tumbler Ruler

 

6 QF Almost $100

ALMOST up to $100, so I grabbed a charm pack off the list.

 

7 QF $100.24

And here we have it! 5% Bonus Quilter’s Cash
Points, *FREE* shipping, a Tumbler Template,
3 Layers Cakes and 2 Charm Packs for $100.24.

 

I have outdone myself. My heart is beating so hard. It’s time for a nap, But, before I go! If you want to make this quilt along with me, order the same or your choice of three layer cakes from Jenny’s “2014 Kickstarter Sale” page and we’ll all quilt together for our first “Quilt with Me” quilt along.

See what you think. I can’t wait to see how many SunbonnetSmartsters are as nutty as I am.

And, if you want to order, JUMP IN as Missouri Star runs out of their popular specials quite often!

Thanks for reading along. You all are the ones that make my quilting SO MUCH FUN!



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Filed under: Quilting,Roof — admin @ 2:46 pm Comments (0)
Jan 03 2014

The weather reports promised an onslought of snow, Thursday night into Friday.

Although it sounds like it hit hard up north, those of us in the Washington Metropolitan Area got off lightly.

Through the dining room windows.

We woke up to a beautiful morning, white snow and vivid blue skies. I didn’t have to go far for a nice photo, in fact, just out the kitchen window.

Snow with sun. Reminds me of Colorado.

And, while I waited for the coffee to brew, I was able to make my “Photo of the Day” using the iPhone app “Collect,” that I dearly love. BlogHer Laurel Regan shared it on Twitter and I have been mesmerized by the ease of taking a fun photo everyday. A diary in a second, so to speak. Then each day is added to a calender for the month and saved, I guess, forever. And, ever? That Laurel sure is on top of things.

Love the Collect App. Saving a record of
each day for my Presidential Library.

It was energizing. So much so, I was motivated to make an improvement on our living space. But, fixing up the house in some way sounded like WORK, so we decided to fix up a smaller project. The bird restaurant in the backyard was due for a redo.

Our old feeder, squirreled to unuseability.

After the usual discussions of whether to fix up or replace, we decided to replace. But, that was probably influenced by our neighborhood ACE Hardware having a sale on the “Squirrel-Be-Gone Bird Feeder” from PerkyPet.com that caught our eye last week. Such a cute feeder, like a little red barn with a “Whoopsie” bar for squirrels, should they shinny up the metal pole.

The Perky Pet Feeder

Isn’t it CUTE? The roof comes off after the weathervane is turned to release it. And, it’s powder coated so cleaning with a damp cloth, every two weeks the directions say, will maintain its shiny barn-like finish.

 Well, thar she blows!

Perfect viewing distance from the house. I hope my birdie friends will be pleased with the new addition. Having a nice clean feeder will help me with my bird counts when I start up with the Cornell Ornithology Feeder Watch, counting birds coming and going in their migration patterns.

So, check in block for Friday, January 3, 2014. We did something in addition to complaining about the cold. :)

 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure unsuspecting BlogHer bloggers to her web site, daily newspaper,
The SunbonnetSmart.com NewsFlash, and Facebook Fan Page

 



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Filed under: Beauty,Outside — admin @ 4:40 pm Comments (1)
Jan 02 2014

It is always a financial challenge for a family that consumes large quantities of food to eat out.

The prices of eating at a restaurant are much higher and the quality of food much lower than what can be prepared at home. Especially if one is used to organic nutrient dense food. It’s a stretch to think restaurant dining can be cost effective.

First trip to the buffet. Are you KIDDING me?

But, let’s not be hasty. Sometimes with the four walls closing in, mid-winter, a meal out while getting fresh air and a new point of view, is well worth a compromise on the organicity and family budget.

 Only $6.99 each? Are you KIDDING me?

Then, on the other hand, if one is feeding Viking descendents, testoserone laden beasts that I have affectionately TradeMarked the “Barbarian Hordes,” one MUST be aware that ordering off the menu could result in a sizable bill. So, what’s our answer to this awkward dilemma? The Flaming Grill and Buffet in Frederick, MD. It’s worth a drive from anywhere.

 Tasty delights as far as the eye can see.

The Flaming Grill has not disappointed since we went the first time in November. The quality of the food is high, meaning that we, organic eating devotees, do not feel the effect of chemicals after we eat. Now, we do always stay away from sauces, as many times they seem to have “ickies” in them. But, the Flaming Grill has been a fun repast that I want to share. And, did I mention the blue?

 Love the gracious ambiance, all for $6.99.

Cosmic blue light shines down lulling diners into the surreal. It’s really pretty with a large crystal chandelier catching light and radiating sparkles.

 All the ice cream you care to eat.

There is a large ice cream freezer which reminds me of the wonderful snacks at the BlogHer conferences, included with each person’s registration fee. When we leave the conference rooms after each session, there are tables of top drawer treats and freezers of the best ice cream bars.

 Lovely desserts. Try a bite of each!

And, let’s not forget the dessert table! What fun to go to the Flaming Grill, have a pleasant time and not break the bank. Now, I’m not suggesting every buffet is worthy of your attention, but if you are selective, perhaps you can find you can find such a gold mine in your area. If you do, let me know the name!

 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure unsuspecting BlogHer bloggers to her web site, daily newspaper,
The SunbonnetSmart.com NewsFlash, and Facebook Fan Page



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Filed under: Money,Sugar Bowl — admin @ 4:34 pm Comments (1)
Jan 01 2014

Oh, for Heaven’s sake. Iron Quilter II! Ha! my hopes were high and my ambition keen, but it was not enough to keep away the daunting forces of evil.

I was moving and shaking; cutting and basting; ironing, sewing and having a great time. But, during the day on Thanksgiving, I came down with something or another. It was an illness profound in its implications as well as in its dibilitating effects. I was queasy peasy, but kept on rotary cutting, stacking and whacking, because nothing was going to take me down.

 Pinwheel blocks coming out my ears.

I was starting to lag behind my self imposed goals, but well, never one to quit, I kept going. I was having fun sewing, which is my life’s work, afterall. But, by Friday, the die was cast. I was so sick, I no longer cared about ANYTHING, which made it very easy to stop sewing and just go to bed. And, go to bed, I did.

Getting some air.

So, where does that leave me? Well, it took about three weeks until I finally felt better. By that time, many wonderful quilts, 450 of them (!) had been submitted to the Missouri Star Company for display on line to gather popular votes. The winners had been selected, posted and promoted, while I was in the ring with the “death plague,” as one blogger called it. It seemed to be going around.

Trimming unruly 4″ squares to exactly 4 1/2″.

And, far from being on line, my Iron Quilter II quit sat in a storage box waiting for the light of day. But, as a result of my efforts, I have designed a new quilt pattern, have the quilt about 3/4 of the way finished and, am motivated to start a “Quilt with Me” quilt along to provide instruction for those who want to learn traditional and fast piecing methods in a group. Actually, I am pleased with the whole experience. It really got me into the thick of competition quilt designing again. It was time to dust off those brains cells and I did!

So, be sure to go visit the winning quilts and their quilters at the Missouri Star Facebook Fan Page. They are spectacular! And, I am already planning my pattern for the Iron Quilter III, which I bet that clever fabric maven, Jenny Doan, will announce next fall.

It sure doesn’t hurt that I honed my skills a year ahead in preparation. Gr-r-r! Those other quilters better watch out!

 

 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure unsuspecting BlogHer bloggers to her web site, daily newspaper,
The SunbonnetSmart.com NewsFlash, and Facebook Fan Page.



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