Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday doings

Today I finished the BOW of the Dear Jane list, I-13 Sweet Harmony. I edited the pattern slightly, but then it's my quilt, so I'm allowed to use creative freedom. lol
With this block I'm up to 56 blocks now and total 877 pieces.

This is the second postcard I received from the Stashbuster swap I'm in.
Pat L. sent this cute card to me. Thank you Pat.

Here's a Bucilla ornament kit I'm also working on. Patriotic felt ornaments. So far I've cut some of the pieces out and bagged them individually. I hope to have all ornaments done before Christmas.

So much for today. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

More quilty things

On Monday, I was able to meet up with Barbara, one of my WASIQ friends from Washington State. We had lunch at the Olive Garden and then headed to Sun Valley Quilts (where I teach a Hawaiian applique and hand quilting class) to do a little shopping. I think we both behaved pretty well in the shop and didn't spend too much money. I did purchase someAngelina Fiber to use on some fabric postcards and a pattern, but no fabric for me this time around, because I signed up for a no-buy challenge for fabric on Stashbuster and so far I'm not having problems sticking to the rules. Barbara also brought the "green monster"as she calls it (a queen size Hawaiian quilt) to show me, which is fabulous! Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of it.
Here are some more of the quilted postcards I made for a swap and for friends. I didn't take pictures of all the postcards I made, because I was in a rush to get all of the cards ready to mail on Tuesday.

This one has red beads attached, but I don't think the picture shows it very well.

I'm also making progress on my Dear Jane. The BOW on the Dear Jane list really helps to keep me motivated to make at least one block per week. For last Sunday's deadline I finished two alternate blocks, because I had previously finished the BOW for that week.
Tomorrow I'll have to finish this week's BOW to stay on track. Finishing the swaps and traveling put me a little behind on getting this weeks block done, but tomorrow's another day and I've scheduled time in for sewing, so all is good.
These are the two blocks I made for last week's BOW.

Then I also made this little reversable table topper from 12"orphan blocks. This might turn into a small Christmas gift for Michelle's teacher.

Secret Santa's Christmas Stocking

Wednesday I finished the Christmas stocking for a Secret Santa exchange I signed up for on WASIQ. I freehanded the pattern, because the stocking has to be big enough, so all the goodies fit inside it. The picture doesn't show the stocking outline I drew for the pattern too well, but this is how I checked the size of the seminole center I used.
All the fabrics I used for the stocking are batiks and I think it turned out pretty well, if I might say so myself. lol

I hope the recipient will like it and the contents that all fit in the stocking.

The stocking will be mailed out on Monday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

OK, this post is two days late, but I went with the kids and pets to my inlaws in CA for Thanksgiving, which also happened to be our anniversary, so below are some pictures I took while we were there.
I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and were able to spend it with people you love and care about!
Natalie and Michelle were crafting. Kathy and Brandon were working on some foam Christmas trees and wreaths.
My father in-law.
My BIL, Anthony.

And my MIL.

Michelle and Aaron.

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Although you're half way around the world from us, our hearts and thoughts are with you on your birthday! Since you have tomorrow already, I'm posting this today, so my birthday wish to you is on time. Haha!
Love you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I've got mail!

While loading up pictures for today's post, a DHL van pulled up in front of our house to deliver the beautiful roses from my hubby in Korea, for our 16th anniversary. Love you Honey!

I've been getting quite a bit of mail the last few days, so I'll share some of it with you below.

Yesterday was really weird! DH said he was going to send some packages for Christmas, so I thought one of his packages had already arrived when I opened up the lock to retrieve my package. When I pulled it out, I was wondering, why was the package was addressed to him and the next thought - hey, that's my handwriting. With me having just mailed a package of that size to him last week a little bit of panic set in and I was thinking, did I put our home address on the package in a haze? Nah! And then it hit me, looking at the date the package was stamped - this was the missing package I had sent while I was in Germany with the kids this summer to surprise my dad for his birthday. Wanna know the date it was sent? June 18th! Yeah! It finally made it, even if it took 5 months! LOL

Then I've also received a beautiful heart block for my dad's passing last month and a prepared kitty applique for Michelle for the death of her cat Mittens from Bert from WASIQ.

Since the cards and blocks have come in, I've taken them out frequently to read over the heartfelt messages and look at the blocks. Words can not describe how much those mean to me.

Here are the blocks I've gotten to this date:

This hand appliqued block and fabric is from Molly N.

Two hand appliqued blocks from Robin M. The block to the left is for my dad and the kitty/heart block is for Michelle.

This block is from Natishia (Tish) Ch.

Janice G.

Bert K.

Barbara Sh.

Julie B.

Sue B.
Larrianne S.
Thank you so much ladies!

For the Christmas card exchanges I signed up for, I've received one of two cards from the Stashbuster exchange from Dorothy W. and one card from the Trading Fabrics group from Moira M. Aren't those cards great?!

Last but not least, there was another package waiting for us, but the key for that specific box did not open the door, so I called the PO to find out how to get the package. Here I'm thinking, they have a general key and they open up the entire front to load the mail into all of the boxes so it really shouldn't be a big deal if they can get a hold of the delivery guy to come back and open up the unit, but the lady said they'll have to send a locksmith out to open the box, because if my key doesn't open it, they'll have to switch out the locks??? Still waiting on a call back from somebody/anybody, but so far nothing. If I get the package out today, I'll post about it later, if not, a post will unfortunately have to wait till I'm back from CA, because I'll be driving with the kids and pets to my inlaws to celebrate Thanksgiving and my anniversary with them.

So I'll end this post wishing all of you a blessed Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday mailing deadlines

For those of you having to mail cards, letters or packages overseas to military members, please keep the following mailing dealines in mind so they arrive by Christmas:

Priority & First Class letters/cards:
- Addressed from 093XX / 964XX locations: 6 Dec 08
- Addressed from 098XX locations: 10 Dec 08
Parcel Post / Space Available Mail (SAM): 19 Nov 08

Priority & First Class letters/cards:
- Addressed to 093XX / 964XX locations: 4 Dec 08
- Addressed to 098XX locations: 11 Dec 08
Parcel Airlift (PAL): 1 Dec 08
Parcel Post / Space Available Mail (SAM): 21 Nov 08

The following information was listed on

Some tips from the Postal Service:
* Packages must be addressed to an individual service member. Mail cannot be delivered to “any service member.” Use the member’s full name, military organization or unit and APO/FPO address.
* Do not include the country name in any part of the address when using an APO/FPO address.
* Choose a box strong enough to protect its contents, and use plenty of cushioning material such as popcorn or newspapers.
* Consider using the Postal Service’s free Military Kit — eight boxes of three different sizes popular for mailing to military personnel, along with mailing labels, tape and U.S. Customs forms. Kits can be obtained by calling toll-free to (800) 610-8734. Choose option 1, and when a live agent responds, ask for Care Kit 4.
* Write the delivery and return addresses on one side of the package.
* Place a return address label inside the package.
If you miss the parcel post deadline, here are your options for getting mail to an APO/FPO address by Dec. 25 (subtract 21 days from these deadlines to ensure delivery in time for Hanukkah):
* Space Available Mail (SAM): Nov. 27.
* Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL): Dec. 4, except for ZIP codes starting with 093, which are all areas of contingency operations. The suggested deadline for those locations is Dec. 1.
* Priority Mail: Dec. 11 (093 ZIP codes, Dec. 4).
* First-class letters and cards: Dec. 11. (093 ZIP codes, Dec. 4).
* Express Mail Military Services: Dec. 18 (not available to 093 ZIP codes).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fabric Postcards

I've signed up for the 2008 Christmas postcard swap on Stashbusters.
Since I've never made fabric postcards before, I am still experimenting with what I want to do, but here are two cards I've finished so far. The dark card was simply made using Laurel Burch Christmas fabric, on which I stippled shiny Sulky thread and attached rick-rack. The edge is bound using Razzle Dazzle from Superior Threads.
For the white card I used Stampin'Up rubber stamps and colored the design in with Sakura Micron brush pens. To add a little more color and glits, I stippled with metalic Sulky, added baby rick-rack and used a silver Razzle Dazzle in the bobbin for the border. Having had just a little 2"x 6" piece of the fusible Pellon left over and not wanting any of it to go to waste, I also created a bookmark. I think those would make some nice quick gifts, too. I'm thinking of putting some of those up on etsy, too, and see if they'd sell. Which reminds me, I also still need to list all of the scissor/cellphone fobs/charms over there, before the holiday season is over.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One month mark

One month ago, today, my dad passed away.
With his passing and loosing our family pet on the same day, I had filled last month with so many things to stay sane, that I don't know where the month went.
Staying busy is my way of coping with things, but you wouldn't be able to tell by the shape the house is in right now, so this month I need to shift my focus a little more from creating things to creating more calmness by reorganizing things that surround me. Guess this happens when life gets out of balance. You focus so much on one area of your life, that other areas suffer. I do feel out of balance at this time and the only way to get back in balance is to re-evaluate things and change priorities. A while ago I started listening to some of Anthony Robins' CD's, about creating the time of your life. He speaks about just this scenario, where your life gets out of balance and how to go about creating more harmony to make things work for you. Quilting and creating is important to me, that's why I do it, but with things changing around here and us adjusting to not having Cliff around at this time, I will need to modify a few things to work better for us. It's hard to believe Cliff is in Korea for two months already, which means that we'll have him back in 10 months!

OK, I don't want this post to sound too depressing, though, so back to posting about the productive things I've accomplished.
Quilting and making gifts for others has always helped me release some stress, so I've been working on some Dear Jane blocks over the last few days. Today I finished my 50th block, which brings the total of pieces in this quilt to 786 so far. Here are the blocks that I've finished, since posting the last block.

OK, now off to declutter my craft table. A clear table definitely helps me to lessen visual stress and free the flow of creativity.