Life is Often Too Seriously Taken, so for that reason, I'm going to post a silly poem from time-to-time. These first several will each be taken from a small booklet entitled, Lighten Up! 100 Funny Little Poems, compiled and edited by Bruce Lansky.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Is this a Joke?

I visited with sister-in-law in Chicago area.
Her son has taken a film class.

This is their video.

Watch out for your eggs...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Mural is Pretty Much Done

We might find a couple of touch-ups to do yet, but for all practical intents and purposes, the mural on the Church nursery wall is finished.

One thing we must do is to coat the paint with (polyurethane?) so that it will be scrub-able. If we don't coat it and someone needs to wash the wall, the paint will be removed. Yipes! It makes me sad to think about the possibility!

Anyway, this is what it looks like as of this afternoon.

Those little pachyderms look tired!
Maybe that's how I was feeling this afternoon! ha.

The alligators have a couple of teeth each...

Some of the flowers were painted...

And poor Mrs. Noah is forever plagued by mice!

Do YOU have an idea of the best way to coat the mural?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shady's T family - Grandchild #3

This little fellow is now 2 1/2 years old.

I drew this from a photo taken last June during our visit.

Matted and framed... ready to be a Christmas Present.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another Nursery Mural Update

There have been a couple of painting sessions since the last update.
Thought I'd document our progress here.


(Click on the photos to enlarge)

We anticipate being finished before too long...
and will probably coat the entire wall with a waterproofing of some sort.

A fun day in Des Moines with some Great Young People!

I posted on my garden blog, earlier.

Here's a cute video of these fun High School-ers! :-)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Granddaughter Painting

Ah! This is not one done BY a granddaughter... this is one done OF a granddaughter - by me.

I began by using watercolor colored pencils.
This was taken Jan 22, 2009.
(I may have used a flash or a sunny day)
Outdoor Summer activities had me Not working on this at all.

However, in the meantime, I did take it to our local framing shop and had it double-matted.
I then took it to my daughter's home, where she added her wonderful calligraphy.

So, to make a long story short...

... this Christmas present is a two-person labor of love!

You will notice that I've added a few final touches with an almost dry brush loaded with water!

(And the photos were taken in the dining room, no artificial light, on an overcast morning. So I lightened them via the computer. It really is on white paper with a bright, white mat.)

It goes downtown for framing today. :-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

'Crazy For You' Quilt instructions

“Crazy for You”

Materials needed:

These blocks are to be made from a wonderful collection of your favorite fabrics, trims and laces! It will take approximately a total of 3 yards to make 20 blocks.

Note: Please read all the instructions before you begin to cut and sew.

Because you will be drawing the pattern on muslin, you will want to use a fabric pen that makes marks that disappear only during a washing. Work to make the marks visible on the reverse side as well.

Cutting the fabric:

Foundation piecing is easiest if you have smaller pieces with which to work. You can begin by cutting the fabric into 3” x 8” pieces. You will be able to see what works best for you. (I often sew a couple of small scraps together to make a larger piece when necessary.)

Constructing the blocks:

Step 1: It is best to work on one block at a time.

Step 2: Place the fabric on the “back” (lesser visible marks) of the block. When you sew, you will turn the block over and sew on the marks you have drawn.

Step 3: Place a piece of quilt fabric over the #1 area. It must extend over the lines by ¼”. (The fabric you have chosen for #1 will be laid with the wrong side down and the right side facing you.)

Step 4: Note the position of the #2 area. Select a piece of fabric that will cover the entire area plus the ¼” on each side (you will probably use a piece quite a bit larger, that will be trimmed after being sewn). Lay this fabric face down on top of the #1 piece, matching the edges that overlap the sewing line indicated by the arrow and a number 2. Pin the fabric below this line, out of the way of your stitching.

Step 5: Turn the block over, and stitch on the #2 line; stitching from the beginning of the line to the end. You don’t need to backstitch, but do not trim the threads too short.

Step 6: Turn the square over to the top side. Unfold the second fabric to lay over area #2 and press with your iron. You will trim the second piece of fabric to be ¼” over each side of the shape. (I fold back the muslin foundation along each sewing line (one at a time) on each side of the #2 area.

Step 7: Using a marked straight edge ruler, cut the new fabric ¼” away from each sewing line. Be very careful NOT to cut the muslin foundation block!

Step 8: After trimming all sides of piece #2, lay down the block (you now have two pieces of fabric sewn to your block) and select fabric to cover area #3. Repeat steps 4 – 8.

Step 9: You will select, sew, and trim each different fabric piece to cover your muslin foundation block, areas 4 – 13, in the same manner.

Step 10: Trim the excess fabric so that the block measures 8 ½” square. Press the block carefully.

Step 11: Sew the blocks together in the design of your choice. They can be sewn directly together, side by side to make strips. Then sew the strips together, pinning to match the corners. Or sashing (coordinating fabric) can be sewn between the blocks and strips of blocks.

Borders: If you decide to put borders on your quilt top, it is best to use two layers of fabric. That will give all your quilt the same body and weight.

Finishing: Layer the quilt with batting and backing. The quilt can be tied, and hand- or machine-quilted. For a flatter look, it is not necessary to put batting between the quilt top and the backing. Enjoy!!

Quilt Layout:

Crib --- Finished size: 36” x 44” (20 blocks sewn together without sashing) with a 2” border

Need: 1 yard of fabric for border and binding

Cut: 4 – 5” x 44” strips for border

4 – 2 ½“ x 44” strips for binding

Sew: Fold all border pieces in half to measure 2 ½” before sewing onto quilt edges. This will provide the same thickness of fabric as that of the blocks.

Twin --- Finished size: 72” x 88” (80 blocks sewn together without sashing) with a 4” border.

Need: 3 yards of fabric for border and binding

Cut: 8 – 9” x 44” strips for border

8 – 2 ½“ x 44” strips for binding

Sew: Join border strips end to end. Fold all border pieces in half to 4 ½” before sewing onto quilt edges, to provide the same thickness of fabric as that of the blocks.

Queen --- Finished size: 92” x 108” (120 blocks sewn together without sashing) and 6” border.

Need: 5 yards fabric for border and binding

Cut: 10 – 13” x 44” strips for border

10 - 2 ½” x 44” strips for binding

Sew: Join border strips end to end. Fold all border pieces in half to 6 ½” before sewing on the edges. This will provide the same thickness of fabric as that of the blocks.

NOTE: If sashing is added between blocks, adjustment as to the number of blocks needed for each quilt (and its size) must be made.

Note: I scanned the quilt block below. There are two lines around the outside edge of the block. The inside line is the stitching line and the outside is the trim line (where you cut the excess fabric from the block). Each block will be 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" (measure from one outside edge to the opposite outside edge).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Gardener Friends

I went to visit my friends for our first Fall/Winter Garden Club get-together last week.
Look at the group in my car!
(for a better peek into the car, click on the photo!)

You might have recognized Gardener Gladys and Susan Scare-the-Birds in the backseat.
Here's a post about how Gladys has helped me in the garden from July 16, 2009.

Susan has appeared in several fun posts (and outfits). Here are a couple of them "in action!" One from July 22, 2008 - a meme about Garden Whimsey, again on August 19, 2008 and one a couple of days later on August 21, 2008.

Perhaps you remember Thoroughly Modern Mona from a couple of earlier posts: Her introduction first of May 30, 2007, and her questionable gardening abilities in the second on February 15, 2008.

This photo was taken October 20 while we worked.
All three ladies observed and critiqued as we gardeners each began an attempt
at bringing to life more Gardening Friends. :-)

This past Monday, a few more of my friends gathered at my house, some of whom decided to attempt a friendship with a gardener, too. As before, Gardener Gladys, Susan Scare-the-birds, and Mona watched as we worked.

I was sorry I didn't get photos of this second group, but we'll be back at it in a couple of weeks. I'll be updating! :-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Update on the Crazy Quilt

Sixteen Blocks

And quite a number yet to go...
but it's Very Fun!

Monday, October 12, 2009

One More Twin Quilt!

This one is for grandson Hayden!

It's a Crazy Quilt, but I'm doing it with a "pattern."

As you can see, the blocks are printed on muslin.
You just lay the pieces of fabric (face down) on the block, sew the seam, trim it and press. You lay the next piece face down on the previously sewn piece(s) and sew one more seam, trim it and press. Etc. :-)

I've just laid the first 8 blocks onto a piece of blue fabric to help visualize what it might look like with "sashing" between the blocks.

I hope no one expects it by Christmas...
but I'd like to make that a goal.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nursery Mural Update

Just a little more updating on Saturday...

The yellow stripe in the rainbow received its first coat. ;-)

The goldfish and bears are entering the scene... as well as the frogs and mushrooms.

Just who is painting what? We're not telling... ;-) My friend Sara and I are having a great time, though! Click here for links to other update posts.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another Progress Report on the Church Nursery

This is the first batch of photos of this Nursery Mural. The photos below were taken Monday morning after a little more work. (Actually, there have been two sessions since those first photos were taken!)

Having fun! There are still a few animals to be added. And lots of detail work. But it's coming right along! :-)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

One Day's Work

at my brother and sister-in-law's house last Tuesday!

While I was "up north" visiting my parents, I took a day to plant some flowers near their new home. My brother built their beautiful home by himself (with only a little help here and there).

He built a pond this summer, and I wanted to help begin a bit of landscaping nearby.
First, I'd found some bargain ($2 each!) Blue Rug Juniper plants.
After surveying the hillside, I put down a section of landscaping fabric...

...and proceeded to plant one row.

I didn't know what they might want to happen with the rest of these bushes,
so I didn't plant them.

Won't this be beautiful with a colorful array of plants and bushes?

This shows the digging process for each bush.

I'd purchased a Northern Sea Oats Grass for one corner.
After planting this, the next project was their potted small sedum plants,
a thrift, and a blue fescue at the right side (south) of the rocks.
You can see the fescue, here.

On the Northwest corner, I planted two 'Husker Red' Penstemon.
If you look Easterly, you'll see a couple of asters.

Here are their asters. I couldn't resist the "whimsy."
By the time I was able to take more photos, it had gotten quite dark!
I somewhat lightened the next two photos on my computer...

A small hosta and 'Autumn Joy' east of the asters.

Looking westerly, you'll see a few more 'Autumn Joy.'
On the west side of the pond, we also planted three clumps of 'Stella d'Oro.' It's possible I might return yet this Fall, but more likely it'll be next Spring. I can hardly wait!! ;-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Braces On.... Braces Off! :-)

Braces On....

This was taken a couple of weeks ago.

Braces Off!

This was taken yesterday, September 14, 2009, at 11:15 A.M. in the car!

Shiny smile... wearing the plastic retainers.

Two great smiles... (mine is still wearing the plastic!)
This is a great friend
who also happens to be my neighbor.

Saturday Night at the Sondheim Theater

We have a Beautiful Theater/Civic Center that opened nearly two years ago.
I am constantly amazed at the number of wonderful opportnities there are.

The following was an evening to Support the Sondheim.
Local and area talent provided the entertainment "free gratis."
The price of the tickets went directly to help support the theater.

The first video is of the Fairfield Dixieland Band. They began playing in 1964.
Two charter members remain.
Please accept my apology for the poor quality of this video.

(My first experience with my new camera. The other two videos are much better.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Looking for My Car Keys - from YouTube

Looking for my car keys by....Millsap....I think.... Ok not too sure who this is but its slightly amusing...

Note: I do not own the rights to the video or the song, all rights belong to the persepective owners. :}

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Church Nursery Mural Progress

They painted the nursery walls bright colors!

This shows our progress to date.
Enjoy! (We are!) :-)

If you click on the photos, they should enlarge somewhat.

Sarah and I are having a fun time. Perhaps we should slow down a bit? ha.