Look what came today: a nice fat envelope from the Pillsbury Bake-Off. As many of you know, I been a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off twice. In 1998, I was able to travel to Orlando for the finals for my Lebanese Pizza recipe. I didn't move forward in the competition, but had a great time. In 2000, I was able to go to San Francisco for my Pesto Crescent Twist with Feta Spread recipe. This time, out of 100 finalists, I finished in the top four, coming home with $10,000. Put the money toward a new car.
Since those competitions, I'm considered a Bake-Off alumna, and they do treat us well! I always get a wonderful packet before every Bake-Off. And usually another packet after it's over. They sent me the 2012 cookbook with all 100 finalists' recipes, a cute little spiral bound Pillsbury cookbook, and a little jar of McCormick cinnamon. Fun stuff.
I've been a finalist in other cooking competitions, too. I've been thinking about writing an e-book to teach how to enter cooking contests - once you know the tricks, it's really not that hard to come up with a recipe that might win some money. Any interest out there?
I got everything on my list done today, except I STILL CAN'T FIND MY KINDLE. :( Hope it turns up soon. The hunt will continue tomorrow.
Every day I seems to experience a "last" here in Birmingham. Tomorrow is my last hair cut - love my stylist!
On the sewing front: nada, nothing, not a stitch. Tomorrow? Maybe? Hopefully?
No, this isn't one of our doxies! It's a picture Daughter 2 sent me last night which was way too appropriate! Hubby and I went out for a big breakfast yesterday. As always, we took Mickey and Prince out to do their business right before we left. When we got home, barely an hour later, we (meaning ME) found a surprise in the hallway. And guess who stepped in it! Oh well, love them anyway!
By the way, Mickey was the guilty party. How do I know? It was the way the lowered his head and looked very guilty and remorseful when we came in. He does not have a poker face!
We had another hard working weekend. More closets cleaned out. More things to donate. More garbage. We are getting down to the nitty gritty! We hope that one more heavy lifting weekend will do it for us. It's been a busy month, but we know that all our hard work will make moving into the new house so much easier. We'll have less to unpack and hopefully we'll feel settled all the sooner.
Today's list includes making lots of phone calls, a trip to the post office, and a search for my Kindle. I know it's here somewhere!
I'm lucky to be married to this wonderful guy! Yesterday we celebrated our 28th anniversary. Hard to believe! This picture as taken a few weeks ago in front of our new home in Auburn. We are counting down to move in day!
We spent the day yesterday doing heavy lifting and hauling. We hauled all our old, rusty outdoor furniture to the driveway, near the pile of donations we've been gathering in the garage for the past few weeks. A local charity came mid-day and loaded it all on their truck. Ahhh, so freeing to get rid of so much stuff!
Long day yesterday. The appraiser did his thing. The inspector did his thing (slowly!) He was so very nice, but he was here until 8:30 last night! I kept the doggies in the car out front with the windows rolled down and a nice bowl of water. They were so happy to break out of there!
Then we were all pooped and settled in front of the TV. And I saw it. A flea on Prince! EEK! It didn't matter that it was 9 pm, they both got an immediate bath. As you can see above, Mickey thinks the bathtub is just a great big water bowl. He drinks long and hard from that warm water! I saw a few little fleas go down the drain, but this morning I found another on on Prince.
Off to Walmart I went! I bought some little tubes of flea treatment for both of them and some spray for their fur and their bedding. I put all their bedding in the washing machine on the HOT AS BLAZES setting. Before bedtime, I'll spray down their night-night crate very well.
Can you tell I don't like fleas? I haven't seen one on our dogs for about 10 years. I guess the mild winter we had is causing the outbreak. Hopefully, we'll nip it in the bud.
After lunch, Mickey did a little of this.
Ahh, the joys of late Spring!
We won't know until early next week the results of the appraisal and inspection; I think the buyers have to notify us by Monday if I'm not mistaken. Still keeping fingers crossed. The clean-out continues around here, but we're making good progress. Three weeks from today is our move!
While the inspector was here, I organized a new quilting project. Maybe I will actually have some quilty goodness to share here soon. Meanwhile, for your viewing pleasure, check out an AWESOME quilt here!
Mickey has no idea how important today is! I took him out to take care of business and he didn't want to come back inside. He's very cold natured and seemed to want to spend the morning basking. Too much to do, Mickey! You'll have to come inside and get under a quilt!
Today our current home is being appraised and then later, inspected. Yes, the house will be poked and prodded, measured, studied, and analyzed. All part of the process of selling it, so all is good. We've always repaired things as they broke, so we're pretty confident that all will be well. But you know those inspectors - they can always find something wrong!
The house went through an inspection in January for our relocation company, and we've already fixed all the little things found then. So hopefully, today will go easily. But keep your fingers crossed just the same!
I've parked my car in a shady spot in front of the house. When these people converge here, I'm going to roll the windows down and let the doggies take a nappy in the back. MUST remember to put a bowl of water in there for them.
I've put a pile-o-quilty stuff on the kitchen table - maybe I can spend that time getting something new started! A girl can wish and hope.......
Peggy posted an adorable hexie gifty she recently received - check it out on The Hexie Blog!
I didn't get everything on my list done yesterday, but I did cut some fabric! Yay me! With Memorial Day coming up and the Fourth of July knocking on the door, I was in a patriotic mood. So I pulled some reds and blues and chopped them up. Ahhh, withdrawal symptoms are fading.........
I was feeling a bit cooped up after days of sorting and purging, so I treated myself to a trip to Target for this:
I have fond memories of lots of paint by number kits during my childhood. And these were just too cute to pass up. The birds are very graphic and modern - LOVE THEM! They are part of the "Kid Made Modern" collection that debuted on May 20 at Target. If you want to grab some for yourself, you'll find them on the children's arts and crafts aisle, which in my Target is near the office supplies and gift wrap.
1. Purge and organize office - CHECK!
2. Call movers - CHECK!
3. List items on Craigslist - CHECK!
4. Sewing - no check here :(
Above is a chest of drawers I listed for sale - they are coming out of the woodwork to buy this! I think I could sell 50 of them! Of course the price is right - only $25. The left end (that you can't see here) is very rough. I got it at a garage sale for only $35 - I definitely have gotten $10 of use from it. This piece is definitely sold. A bed I listed has lots of interest, so I think I can consider it sold, too.
The office clean-out took hours! I dragged 5 huge garbage bags of junk to the garbage pile. Why did we keep hanging on to all this junk?
I ran into one of my neighbors yesterday afternoon. She told me how one of her pastor's recent sermons had really spoken to her. The jist of it was that we all have way too many material possessions. Why not get rid of stuff we don't need or use so someone else can use it. Such a great message!
I know we have accumulated far too much stuff. Stuff we don't need. Stuff we never use. Stuff that just sits in the attic, or a closet, or a drawer. If we had a space to put it, we kept it...just because. No more of this! We are really getting rid of TONS of stuff. Hubby and I talked about it this weekend - we are determined to pare down!!!
1. Sort stuff in hall bedroom
2. Sort my closet
3. Cut some fabric - gotta touch some fabric TODAY!
This is what I found yesterday when I came home from a quick trip to the grocery store. Grrrr......
The dogs had a party with a bag of garbage I left in the hallway. I know - I shouldn't have left it there. I should have taken it out. So I guess I shouldn't be too mad at them. But it sure was a mess to clean up!
Making progress around here. We finished cleaning out the attic. Hubby went through his closet and drawers and added a ton of clothes to the donate pile. I continued thought the house, going through closets and drawers, purging like crazy. Still more of this to do.
1. Call movers.
2. List several furniture items on Craigslist.
3. Clean out office closet.
4. Maybe, maybe, maybe sew?
Here are some shots I took with my phone late yesterday as hubby and I enjoyed Aldridge Gardens. Look at the size of that bloom! It's bigger than my hand!
A sweet waterfall.
Hope you enjoyed these hydrangeas. If you're ever in Birmingham, this is a wonderful little park. There's a small lake, lots of walking paths, and picnic tables. It's in the Hoover area on Lorna Road.
Today we had another busy day. We still haven't made it up to the attic to finish that task - it was simply too hot to be up there today. So we focused on going through drawers and closets, gathering lots of stuff to donate and hauling it all down to the garage. Unfortunately I tweaked my back yesterday, so hubby did all of the hauling.
I also went through the kitchen, cleaning out lots of old cereals, crackers, and all sorts of expired food items. The garbage men will have a pile to pick up from our house on Monday morning!
If you are of a certain age, you know the Clampetts. Jed, Granny, Jethro, Ellie May. Hubby and I felt like kissing cousins to the family today. We have a bunch of STUFF stored in a rented storage facility nearby. The movers will not move any of our things that are not at our house.
Today using a borrowed trailer and our big SUV, we made three trips. So much stuff! We divided it all in three sections: donate, longterm storage, move to new house. We left the things to donate at the storage unit. I'll arrange to have a charity come pick them up next week. Longterm storage items (mostly stuff for our kids) were put in a section of our garage. Anything going to the new house was put in another area of the garage. Needless to say, our cars will not be in the garage for now!
We are pleased to be getting rid of so much of this STUFF!
By the way, my dye supplies have found a new home! They were picked up this morning - glad they have a new home!
We are making progress around here and it feels good. We still have to finish clearing out the attic - tomorrow?
Tonight we cleaned up (ourselves) and went out for a nice meal. Then we took a lovely walk at Aldridge Gardens. The hydrangeas there are in full bloom and gorgeous. I'll post some pics tomorrow.
No, we're not at the lake. A girl can dream a bit though.
We are in the throes of preparing for the move. All's good, but I look forward to being settled.
I'm rockin' a major headache today and that doesn't help.
Trying to decide if we should have a huge moving sale or try to get rid of the big stuff on Craigslist and donate the rest. Leaning towards the latter.
To any quilters in the Birmingham area, I've decided to get rid of all my fabric dyes, soda ash, etc. I have enjoyed a bit of dying here and there, but it's not my favorite thing to do. I can always buy hand dyed fabric if I want it. Any interest? It's free, but you have to come pick it up. I'm not shipping it, sorry.
I may have a few more quilty things to give away, so stay tuned.
For the past 4 months, I've somehow managed to keep my sewing studio pristine while potential home buyers came through. But we've been cleaning out the attic so things have changed! Do you see that door at the end of the room? That's an attic. There's another one at the other end of the room. We've been going through everything stored there, decided what needs to be kept, donated, or sold. We are being rather brutal - we will be getting rid of a lot of stuff. I'm ready to live a more simple life - why keep storing stuff that we don't need! The downside is that everything we're getting rid of needs to be carried down two flights of stairs to the garage.
Once we're done with the attic I plan to go through the other rooms in the house paring down our belongings. It's amazing how much stuff you accumulate when you're in the same house for 20 years!
Meanwhile, I'm going through withdrawal - from quilting! Oh, how much a want to fondle some fabric, pick up a needle and thread, sew a stitch!
I watched a PBS show recently - Craft in America. One of the featured artists, a weaver, had the most interesting view on making art. Someone had asked him how he could focus his entire life's work doing something that is not essential to living. I can't remember his exact words, but he said that these things we make with our hands ARE essential to life. We all need to see, feel, experience art in all its forms. I know I do!
Here's a shot of Peggy wheeling our book quilts and manuscript into the AQS building. There's a lot of love in that box! I'm working on the new blog and hope to have it up and running soon. Then you'll have an idea about what we've been doing for the last year.
I spent a good part of Friday and Saturday organizing my studio, getting it ready to be packed. The movers will be packing our house and we're not supposed to pack anything. But I did separate like things into see-through plastic bins that they can put in boxes. It will make unpacking that much easier.
This afternoon I plan to get the boxes that came with my various sewing machines out from the attic and start packing them up. I don't think the movers will mind if I do that!
I think the reason that they don't want us to pack any boxes is because they want to make sure breakables are packed well, since they'll be liable if anything breaks. Also they probably want to make sure we don't have something dangerous (like chemicals) hidden away in a box.
I'm spending a quiet Mother's Day at home with hubby - my favorite kind of day! Happy Mother's Day to all of you!
It's GIVEAWAY TIME!!! The winner of Modern Quilts Illustrated is............
Dora the Quilter!
E-mail me with your address and I'll get it to you ASAP!
Here's a quick pic from last weekend in South Carolina. Left to right: Son-in-law, Daughter 2's boyfriend (another proud graduate), Daughter 2, and Daughter 1. Good looking group!
Here's the piece of pizza a was served in Greenville that day. Can you believe the size? It wouldn't even fit on TWO plates! Love me some green olives.......
I'm relaxing with my coffee this morning (and two doxies in my lap). Today I will start the process of sorting through the house, trying to get organized for the move. Hopefully I can begin to separate out things we want to get rid of, preparing for a big moving sale. I also need to start thinking about where furniture will go in the new house.
I'm itching to get back to quilting, but I need to focus on the move now. Hmmm. May take some time to cut some fabric though. Just can't stay away from fabric for too long.........
Yes, Mickey has a new friend. He has officially bonded with Peggy through our process of writing this book together. This afternoon, Peggy put a large box full of quilts and our manuscript in the hands of the American Quilter's Society! Yay! A few months off for us before the editing begins!
We can now tell you a bit about our book.....and that will come soon, I promise. I am also going to launch a new blog soon to celebrate - I'll keep you posted on that, of course.
Daughter 2 (Elizabeth) graduated from Furman University over the weekend. She was awarded the Scholarship Cup for having the highest academic average of her entire class! It was a great weekend! And Daughter 2 (Emily) captured it all wonderfully with her camera - thanks, Emily!
Are you keeping track of the numbers?
1. Book complete.
So what's the third good thing that has happened this week????
We seem to have a contract on our house! After four months, all of a sudden everyone seems to want it. Okay, not EVERYONE. But we have gotten multiple offers this week! I didn't know that really happened except on HGTV! But apparently it does.
Reading over this, I'm sure I have totally overused the exclamation point in this post! Please forgive me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3. Eating well. (Even forgot to eat lunch yesterday!)
4. Showering. (Yes, no time for a shower yesterday, either.)
5. Putting on make up.
6. Reading blogs. (I just checked - there are 737 posts to read.)
7. Putting out the trash. (There's a bag on the deck that needs to go in the bin.)
But, as of approximately 4 pm this afternoon, the book is done! Peggy and I packed up the quilts, the manuscript, the samples, the CD's, and a pile of signed paperwork and loaded it all in her car. She and her husband are driving the precious cargo to Paducah tomorrow.
It was an absolute JOY to work with you! You are so organized and your positive attitude kept me going thoughout this process when I kept having to get out of my house for showings (note to self: don't try to write a quilt book again when your house is on the market!), make road trips to Auburn to go house hunting, make numerous trips to South Carolina for recitals, award banquets, and graduation, nurse a dog through major surgery, have another dog put to sleep, put my father in a nursing home, move my parents out of state, ......okay, I think that's it. Anyway, you are a great friend and I admire you so much! Thanks so much for partnering with me on this project!
To my family:
Thanks for putting up with my quilting madness for the past several months and for not complaining when I took sewing projects EVERYWHERE we went.
Sorry for the break. Daughter graduated from Furman this past weekend. Peggy and I are MADLY working to finish our manuscript! MADLY, I SAY! Two sick dogs. And lots more to tell you about........in a couple of days!
Yesterday my goal was to make two bags in various states of completion as samples for the book to go along with the one I'd already completed. Over the last few months, I've looked high and low for the same fabric I used in the prototype I made last summer. It was something I've had in my stash for years - a loosely woven neutral whose original purpose is to be used to make punch needle rugs with yarn or strips of fabric. In typical fashion, I'd bought it along with the huge punch needle years ago and never used them.
I went to all the usual suspect stores: Joann's, Michael's, and Hobby Lobby (where I bought the stuff in the first place). No luck. It looks a lot like burlap, so I figured I'd go with that. I bought 3 yards. Cut it up.
I worked on it all day yesterday. I sneezed and itched and spread burlap "dust" everywhere. I hated the results. I finally gave up around 4 pm and went to a home decor fabric store. Luckily I found something I think will work. But now I need to make 3 bags so they'll all match. And the fabric was $30 per yard - yikes! Back home again, $100 poorer, I cut out three bags. Then I spent the entire evening unsewing all the salvageable pieces I'd sewn onto the burlap. I had to take a shower before I went to bed to relieve the itching. After I crawled into bed, I found a burlap fiber in my mouth! It's everywhere! This morning I found a fiber in Prince's eye (he sat in my lap last night while I unsewed).
I am a wife, mother to two daughters, an avid art quilter, cooking contest entrant, and dog lover. My book, FABRIC PHOTO PLAY, AQS, 2005, demonstrates my original technique for making portrait quilts. My second book (with Peggy Rhodes), Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts was recently released.