Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Look Bloggers Review: The Berenstain Bears and the Biggest Brag


When my three kids were young we read to them every night and some of their favorites back in the day were by Stan and Jan Berenstain.  Their son Mike has now written a book called "The Berenstain Bears and the Biggest Brag" in the same tradition as his parents--Brother and Sister Bear learn a lesson from the older and wiser folks in the book.
In this story the siblings are one upping each other over anything and everything.  Their constant bragging makes them not so nice to each other.  One day Gramps comes across the two looking at the clouds and outlandishly explaining what magnificent things they see in them.  The bickering catches Gramps' attention and he has a talk with the cubs about pride, bragging and talent.  The cubs seem to get the message by the end of the story which has a few quotations from the bible which support the message of the story.
The last page of the book has a section titled "Activities and Questions from Brother and Sister Bear."  I love the conversations that can be started with little ones with these prompts.  The message of the book is a good one as all the Bearenstein Bear books are and the pictures are fabulous and engaging.  
This is a great book for kids up to age 8, I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone wanting to teach their children or grandchildren about building up others for their talents and letting others build up you instead of bragging and boasting about yourself.  Great message!
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. They did not require me to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”*


Sunday, January 25, 2015

City Sampler, Eye Spy and a Hike!

I made Tula Pink's City Sampler block 45--once, 
 twice, three times before I got it right.  Funny thing is I grabbed four leftover hst's and just threw them together...then realized it was wrong, so I "fixed" it.  Sigh, almost left it, but it was bugging me so now it matches the picture.
 Thankfully block 46 was a bit easier, haha!  Linling up with the folks over at Chooseyourownblockalong!
 I have been listening to "We are Water" and so far the female character is annoying me.  Not sure I will finish it.


 Kathy and I went to a new place--in Scottsdale for our hike today.  Brown's Mountain.  Really nice area with great paths not as rocky or hike like but beautiful and well marked trails and a free paper map to keep us set.  Even with all that we took a longer path than we meant to and did about three and a half miles.  It was a bit much since we are still recovering from last Thursday's hike!
 I spent some time today reorganizing in the quilting studio.  I went through the thread and resorted things by type and color--over time they just wind up mixed together!  I also cleared two drawers so that I could put tiny fabric pieces in the drawers--one for darks and one for lights.  This will make Wild and Goosey blocks so much easier!
I finally got the Eye Spy blocks into a top and made a backing for it.  I also made a backing for Moth in the Window so I can get it to Ros.
Not sure what I should sew next!  I am sure I will find something :)

AZ Blankets 4 Kids Day!

 Today was AZ Blankets for Kids Sew Day.  This time we met really close to the college I work at.  Samantha made this modern looking quilt.  And I made this cute one.
 Later I made this one which was cuter in person.  I messed up on the bottom two rows but they told me to just leave it, it looks okay...lol.  Hard to see too but one of those brownish looking fabrics had tiny purple stuff on it and it was cuter in person.

 Here is Christine (Samantha's mom and my co-worker) with her cute top!
 I did a binding too but decided to go back to piecing next time.  My featherweight isn't the best at the binding...the 99 is so much better but of course that is left at home because it is so heavy!
 I got a kick out of this picture of Samantha and I ironing, lol.
 Here is our whole group.  Barb, Christine, BJ, Limbania, Ann, Samantha and a spot for me.  We had a lot of fun!  You can see Kelli in the background too.  Laura was there for most of the day and a few of the gals from the Grand Illusion mystery kick off too--Karen and another gal I already forgot the name of!
Ann brought me a huge bag of scraps!  I spent a good hour sorting and playing in them after I came home and worked out.
 Here is the string pile I came up with.
 Here are a bunch of strips that went right into the right bin tonight.
 Lots of colorful scraps for the Wild and Goosey and future paper piecing projects.
 Lots of neutrals for same.

 I made my Wild and Goosey block (started it last night) and put some of Ann's fabric in it!
 I also finished up this charity quilt for Nimble Thimbles tonight.  It was a kit, not real tickled with the fabric and such but I did what I could with what they gave me, lol.
 I then did my Nimble Thimbles Block Party block.  They gave us the center fabric and told us to add two fabrics to it and make the block.  Then at the next meeting we will draw and someone will win a set of the blocks.  The block is called Friend's Star and the directions on Quilter's Cache left plenty to be desired.  Suffice it to say I wound up doing my own thing and using the picture more than anything.  That said, the block looks good.  The center fabric is actually purple but this picture shows it pinky/red.  Weird.
 I also got the corners on the eye spy quilt blocks that have been waiting patiently for me to get to them.  I had to cut out more corners and now they are made.  Have to find the pattern (it was around here awhile ago) so I can remember how to lay things out...may have to just find the previous one on the blog.
Off to bed, I have been sewing all day and my shoulders are killing me!  More tomorrow, I am sure!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Finally Hitting a Long Awaited Goal!

I had a very happy mail day yesterday!  Julierose sent me some red (and white) fabric for my Lil' Crumbler red and white quilt.  She also sent me some dark chocolate!  Love the reds, cannot wait to get into my quilting studio and cut more crumblers!  Thank you Julie!
That stop at the mailbox added to my already great morning yesterday because I finally hit my long awaited goal of 75 pounds lost!
They gave me a charm for 75 and one for my second 10% that they forgot to give me previously.  My ring of whoot whoot stuff is growing.  I worked for a few hours and then Jill, Kathy, Lombardi and I went hiking at South Mountain. 
We walked farther than I have ever hiked before.  We just got to gabbing and tried out a new trail toward the end of the regular trail we go and we just walked and walked!  We didn't go super fast because both Kathy and Jill have bad knees but I managed to do 4.24 miles!  Great hike though my legs burned for hours afterwards!  Today I am good though so I am super happy with the fact that my hiking has gotten longer, more difficult and I am still loving it!




On the way home we stopped at Wal-Mart for a few groceries (tacos for dinner) and I picked out and bought my 75 pound reward--a new bike!  I was too sore to ride it last night but hope to take it around the block tonight after work!  We plan to get a basket to put on it and see if Bug likes getting a ride.  
75 pounds makes a huge difference in the way I look and feel.  Look at the difference in my face (nevermind the rest of it!) from before I started and yesterday.  I am already planning my reward for 100 pounds--a trip to the beach in California (six hour drive) and/or a winery.  Having a goal like that makes it seem much more manageable than trying to lose it all!  I still have a  long way to go, but one day at a time, I am going to get there!


Tomorrow I am going to AZ Blankets for kids to sew for charity so there will be sewing happening--looking forward to it because several of my quilt friends and one of my terp friends (and her daughter) will be there sewing. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Nimble Thimble Meeting-Zentangles Fun

 I did a bit of clean up in the studio today and then got my blue four patches done for the alternate block on RSC Sampler 2015.

 I brought my teeny tiny twisters for show and tell to Nimble Thimbles tonight too.  Several of the gals brought their blocks or tops from our Quiltville Happy Scrappy Houses Workshop too.
  This is Kathy O with hers.  Love it!
 This gal made different blocks.  She had a church, school, etc.  Really cute and some of her fabrics were stone or wood looking too.
 This gal had really happy houses too.  Love it sashed in the narrow yellow.  I didn't get a picture of Kathy K. with her blocks but they were cute too!


 I went ahead and decide to join in on making one block to be put in a pool for someone to win.  Maybe I will get lucky.

 Our presentation was given by Amy on Zentangles.  I really didn't know much about it or think I would have a lot of interest in it.  I am no artist so I don't even try stuff that seems artsy.  However, it was really fun to try it out and I could see myself doing it now and then.  I thought it was a great gift idea for others who might like it too.
 Here are my first Zentangles.  Apparently Pinterest has tons of designs because people are always developing new ones.

 Amy uses it in her quilting and so this is how it really applied to us though I don't plan on trying that I think I may just make doodling more a part of my life.  It really was relaxing!

I love Amy's owl too!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Few More Items Ticked Off the List!

 I made my Wild and Goosey block today.  This one is a fun one!  I worked out while watching the Packer game--oh what a game.  Really a stressful afternoon at my house.  Bummed they are not in the Superbowl but Kathy is over the moon that her Patriots are in.
 I was feeling blue after that and since it is the color for January in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge I went ahead and started sewing these Betty's Choice blocks.  Amy  and I are trading blocks so we are each making one to keep and one to trade in each color all year.  Amy is designing the alternate block so we will be making those too and in the end we will have a cool quilt that has each other's fabric in it!  I am trying hard to make these precise so that I will look like I know what I am doing to Amy--lol!  My first block was a titch small so I made two more that came out better.  I had made too many parts anyways because I wanted it to be scrappy and not have any repeats.

 I also cut a bunch of the neutral triangles so next month will be faster to sew..I have a whole stack waiting for me.  Linking up with SoScrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!  I then quilted my Teeny Tiny Lil' Twister!  I used a fabric that I could follow the wavy lines on for a backing and I am pretty happy with how the quilting came out.  I have to say too that I love quilting on my Singer 99.  It really just does a great job!

So a few more items ticked off the list...tomorrow I have Pilates and a massage and most likely more sewing time since I am off work.  Tuesday the college starts and I go back to my regular job!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Lotta Loose Ends!

 Today I spent some time putting away things that have been stuck here or there in the studio (too many projects getting finished and clean up has been lacking!) and so I decided to finish the sashing, cornerstones and borders on this Christmas Past and Presents from Temecula Quilt Company.  This is the second one and will most likely be a gift for Christmas this next year--I will keep one too!
 I decided that I am going to do a small red and white quilt using the Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. Lil Crumbler ruler.  So I started by cutting from my leftover fabrics and then that led to cleaning out the red bin and cutting from all the fabrics that were mostly red or white/cream/lighter than a paper bag.
 I have a little stack of reds, but not too many lights yet (didn't get into that bin, just the red and whites that were in the red bin).  These are about 4 inches by 2.5 inches.  If any of you feel the need to send me some of your reds for inclusion in this little quilt I would love that!  I realized in doing this today I may just be collecting fabrics for a good long while and not actually making this little top.  I think I will look online for a charm pack or two of reds...

Becky came over to sew for a few hours which was fun.  She brought me a pile of clothes too!  I am now down a few sizes and seriously in need of some work/dress clothes.  I went thrift shopping today after Pilates but only found one pair of pants and they are one size down from what I am in now!  Price was right so I bought them anyways.  I then wound up at JCPenney and found two pairs of pants (one on clearance and one on sale).  Later I realized I did have one pair of dress pants Becky had already given me and so I at least have some pants for work.  I can get away with more casual stuff which I have more of, but the first week or two of the semester I try to be a little dressier than usual.  Weird, I know.
 So after cleaning my closet and dresser and trying on all of the clothes Becky brought I decided to work on Moth in the Window.  My goal was to get it to 9 by 9.  Whoo hoo, it is done!
 Coleman is happy with it too!  I am so happy that several of my Dad's shirts and his PJ pants are in this quilt.  Also the green plaid fabric and the little golfer fabric that is in my Dad's quilt is also in this quilt.  Next up is backing for it.
 I also made two ILY hand labels for Margie's Florabunda quilt and our Lozenges quilt.  Still need to hand stitch them on.
On the Weight Watchers front, I am really struggling to get to 75 pounds lost!  I have been dancing around and close to it for six or eight weeks.  I am trying to be patient with the plateau but I find it harder to not cheat when the scale isn't going down--which doesn't help the scale go down!  I am not giving up but am ready to move past 75!