March 27, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday...

to me!! LOL, I meant to post about my lovely day on Tuesday, but time got away from me, and my kids busy social life! We've had lots of kids over playing this week during our Easter holidays. Tomorrow we are going out to someone else for a change of scenery. But to still be in my pajamas today now at 10:30 11:30 is pretty nice!

We had a nice easter weekend as well. Went to Sherry's for a party and egg hunt, here are a few photos of the hunt and Sherry's place, check out the great views!! I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to meet Anne Marie up there and that I'll miss the expat quilters Saturday this weekend, just can't do a 6 hour (3hr each way to her place) road trip this time when I'm leaving on Wednesday! I totally want to go though, have a great time guys!
Easter Egg Hunt at Sherry's

The girls also had a visit from the Easter Bunny for an egg hunt at Nana's house. Here is a picture of that egg hunt!
Easter Bunny Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday

I'm nearing the 40 mark these days, but still a few years short (38 this year) so anytime anyone remembers my birthday it makes my day. Got a lovely early call from Barbara, my friend Sandra back in Waterford, a great afternoon visit and gifties from my friend Kathleen here...was just nice! Look at the package of taupes Barbara sent me, she decided she doesn't like them anymore and asked if I wanted them, uh......YEAH!!! I will be getting a few bits for here in America in trade for them!
Yummy Taupes from Barbara

Look at the wonderful package Kathleen brought over. She knows me so well, a great book, a DVD based on a book we read in book club that I liked, candle for bathtimes and some cream...and she brought me a Banoffi Pie, my favorite dessert at the moment. The funny thing is I had just bought myself the same exact thing an hour earlier as my birthday treat for myself. Luckily she stayed here to help me eat some! Dave brought home some yummy Thai for dinner, nice!!
Birthday Pressies from Kathleen

On Friday night I designed a layout and traced a pillow for mom using Lynette Anderson's stitcheries from her Angel's Wish book. I stitched away on it Saturday and on Easter Sunday in between parties, egg hunts and trips to play areas with cousins up in Dublin, and got it finished on Monday. I hope she likes it!
Lynette Anderson Stitchery Pillow for Mom

I had a knitting miracle occur yesterday as well, lol! I had gone into Limerick to buy some 4.5mm double pointed needles to make mom's last hat out of my Noro Silk Garden, the knitting shop was closed for Good Friday. I figured I would have to make another special trip to buy them or get them in the States if I wanted to get it finished before the end of my trip. Well, while cleaning out a drawer in my sewing room, I found the exact DPNs I needed, which I bought two Christmases ago at the start of my sock knitting career....woo hoo! Now I can start and no extra errands to run! that the Dear Jane quilting is done, I've got 3 projects going: mom's hat is started as of last night, I took down my Dear Jane wallhanging to put on the quilting hoop (I was missing hand quilting!), and I have a redwork cross stitch sampler I am working on that I got last year in Birmingham... Gotta keep doing something, lol. The Dear Jane is taking a little rest now till I get back from the States.
Catherine Archer's Bristol Sampler

Mom is getting nervous about the chemo starting on Monday, and I hope she will be okay. Thanks everyone for all the support since this happened. I am looking forward to helping out whatever way they need me to, and giving lots of hugs!

March 20, 2008

Amazing Progress!!

Yesterday was an momentous day. I finished the quilting on my Dear Jane!!

Dear Jane quilting is DONE!!!! Dear Jane Quilting

I have also managed to finish a bag for a bag swap I am participating in! It will be jetting off to ..... soon!

Bag Swap Bag Bag Swap Bag - Inside lining and pocket

It isn't perfect, but it is still cute. I figure my finishing skills will get more precise with each new bag I do. I kinda made up the design for this bag as I went along. There is a pocket for some pens and a mobile... I bought the bamboo handles back in the States a few trips back, and figured they suited this bag. Hope my swap partner likes it!

And if that isn't enough project for me to show in one post. I am nearly done 3 baby quilts for friends' babies that arrived in November and December. I found some chinese coins swap blocks that I got years ago and decided to make simple baby quilts with them. I will do a stitchery at the bottom of each quilt with baby name and birthday and a little graphic, probably some flowers...
Chinese Coin Baby Quilts

To top off a lovely week of progress, I did a swap with Lynette Anderson, brilliant Australian designer, for some Dear Jane civil war reproductions for her Dear Jane and my CW repro collection (love me some repros!!). She so generously sent one of her books signed for me, An Angel's Wish, just beautiful projects, and mom loves angels, so can see a project for her for the summer, don't have time probably before my first trip over. I also love the notepad she designed and the cute purple pen! Thank you so much Lynette for your generosity, great swap! Glad you're happy with the fabrics and chocolate I sent, one can never have too much of either I say!
Swap with Lynette Anderson

It looks like I'll be going to see mom the 2nd- 9th of April. Have to plan my trip around husband's golf schedule! Friends will be helping out and Dave will take a few days as well. Travel is going to take a lot of the time but got a great price. Mom will be starting the chemo March 31st, so will be able to help out her first week. Can't wait to give her a big hug. She seems to be doing well recovering, but is getting nervous about the chemo. She is talking about plans for the girls this summer, so I am so glad I am bringing them over, she can't wait to see them!

Heading up on Saturday to Verry Sherry's  for a party and some Easter Egg hunting, might bring the Dear Jane for some show and tell!

Maybe I will do a little angel stitchery for mom, a little angel pillow for her chemo sessions so she can lean on it and think of me for her other sessions when I am not there. What do you think? Better get that started tonight if I do it!!

March 13, 2008

Took the Plunge!

New Haircut for me!

After being lazy for several years and wearing my hear in a shapeless long mass, I got my hair cut last Saturday! Note how I made it a bit of a quilty photo with my applecore wallhanging and my quilt I won in a charity Ebay auction by Debbie Mumm herself!

I am worn out this week. My husand has been travelling to different places the last two weeks, and that little devil Aisling has woken at 5am the last 2 days!! I am ready for a little me time for mommy and am heading off with a few friends on Saturday for a day of shopping up in Dublin! Just wish my friends liked quilting and that there were quilt shops to visit!

I'd love to say that I've gotten my groove back for crafting, but I am only managing little snippets of crafting each day. Mom's 3rd of 4 planned caps is underway, but here is a photo of her second one: the "No Hair Day" chemo cap. For some reason Aine is modeling it with a lollipop.
Aine Wearing Nana's

I have 3 more pieced triangles to quilt and some more of the plain tris and then I will be done my Dear Jane quilting...I think I am subconsciously dragging my feet on the quilt, not wanting it to end. Or maybe I am really just afraid of doing the scallops!! I really want to do some small projects over the weekend. Some pot holders, as mine are falling apart, and the start of my bag for a bag swap! I will get my crafting mojo back!

Tomorrow starts our 2 week Easter holidays here, but the girls are going to an Easter camp the first week, arts and crafts and fun! Here is a gratuitous photo of Aine in her "movie star" getup, she was singing the blues! Keep your fingers crossed for me to get my groove back on, lol, and please stick with me a little longer, I promise more quilty crafty content soon!
Movie Star Aine Singing the Blues

March 5, 2008

Licensed to Drive...and 7 things!!

It is a miracle! I was a nervous wreck as I drove around our local big town in Tipperary, Nenagh, but I managed to do it! I got a certificate and everything, which I get to exchange for a real driving license! At the moment, Ireland lets you drive on a learner's permit for a long time, but the laws will change in July and I wanted to finally (after 11 years here!) get my full license... I was ready to sign up for more lessons I was sure I had failed! I nearly kissed my tester, he was so nice (amazing!) I clipped a curb on a tight corner and figured that was it, and he told me don't worry, he judges driving over the half hour, not just one thing... So nice! He marked me down on certain things, but not enough to fail, amazing!! Can you tell I'm still in shock!!! Of course all this is tempered by a dent I got for the car while practicing the hour before: an elderly gentleman came the wrong way up a one way street and by trying to avoid him, I scraped a pole on the edge of the street...DH will not be happy, I thought it was a scratch, but it is a dent as well...DH is gallivanting around Europe for work till Thursday, but man I feel guilty about the time I'll let the person in the wrong scrape his car to get by!

NOW...back to some crafty stuff again in the next few days! I can concentrate on other things again!! I have my patchwork group again tomorrow morning, so will bring my Dear Jane along to work on the quilting. I'm itching to work on something new, and have a bag swap to work on...maybe will get something organized about that soon. I would also love to get my ocean waves done soon... Back to work!!!!

I feel so honored, I have been tagged by amazing quilt designer Pat Sloan to do the 7 things meme, that just made my day as I received her email right before leaving for my test. I met her when she lead a quilting group around Ireland last year. Hope to meet up with her again this year!

Here are the rules:

  1. When tagged, place the name of the person and URL on your blog.

  2. Post the rules on your blog.

  3. Write 7 things about yourself.

  4. Name 7 of your favorite bloggers.

  5. Send e-mail letting those bloggers know they have been tagged.

  1. I am extremely nervous during formal tests, lol, like the driving test...

  2. I drink Diet Coke like others would have tea or coffee, bad I know, will try to change!

  3. I have struggled with weight since university. I lost 70lbs on Weight Watchers in 2001, got pregnant with Aine the week I reached my goal... got down to 120 after Aisling was born, but then let myself gain weight ever since...always a struggle for me! I don't plan on getting to 120 again, but 130 would be great (I'm 5'1")

  4. I am usually a book snob, prefering book club type modern books and classics, lol, but since I started watching the TV series Bones, I've enjoyed Kathy Reichs novels and have been collecting them at the charity shops I visit! I have always liked anthropology and archaelogy.

  5. I stay up too late and get up too early, lol, guess that is why I get things done! I do well on about 7 hours sleep, sometimes less!

  6. I am not a great cook on some levels. Or maybe I should say, I am not a relaxed cook. When I organize myself my cooking turns out fine, but with kids it is hard to get a balance of interesting recipes...I keep to my standbys...I love to bake though, lol, not good for the waistline (see weight issue above, hee hee)

  7. I am a gadget girl. My mobile is out of commission right now and I am waiting for a mobile smartphone, it can play movies, mp3s and be a phone...and it syncs to my Outlook tasks and calendars and contacts, which I use daily... a few more days and I will get back in action. Us mommy's here use a lot of texting to organize play dates and mommy play dates, and I keep getting asked this week if I am getting the text for different coffee mornings...nope!

I am not going to tag anyone this time, but anyone who wants to play along, let me know, I'd love to hear more about you!

March 1, 2008

Hello it March already...thank goodness!!

First I just want to say thank you for all the wonderful comments I got from last week's post. It was a bad week for me and you all made me feel not so alone at all...husbands are great support but there is nothing like a whole community, virtual and real life, out there being so wonderful!

I'm feeling much better, my taste buds seem to be coming back without the use of antibiotics I was threatening to get! Friends still listen to me and tell me I sound horrible, but I'm feeling better so that is okay!  It has just been one of those months where we are all reinfecting each other with ick, and I don't think the airplane rides ever help for colds either!!

I am still slightly panicked about next Tuesday's driving test, lots of things to memorize this weekend (rules of the road, location of various engine bits we need to know, geesh) but apparently it is a rare person that passes their first driving test here in Ireland. I took one when I first arrived with no lessons and only days using a stick shift car, I don't count that one, lol!!

Anyway, as I become a golf widow today, I am going to relish in the fact that the kids don't have to go anywhere today, and I can stay in my jammies all day! So little crafting has been done, and I don't get as exciting mail as my friend Katy does, nothing squishy in the mail this week...but I do have some pictures of shopping and gifting from my weekend in London!!

Look at this beautiful sampler Katy gave me as an early birthday pressie. I want to get back into cross stitching and stitcheries, but right now my life is mainly blowing noses, watching kids and sleeping early, not a lot of extra energy.
Lovely Early Bday gift from Katy

My goal of finishing the borders on the DJ was not met in February, but that is okay, it was a bit of a hard month for me. I have five of 13 triangles done, none of the plain tris marked for quilting yet... I did however buy the fabric for the binding and made all the bias binding strips for the scalloped border for the quilt. I am hoping to finish the border this month and start on the border. Katy gave me the great idea of working on sewing the binding on and then turning it over as I go along, so that I am actually finishing both sides at the same time, I hope it works! Here is a photo of the binding fabric I bought (the blue swirls on the left) and some other nice things I couldn't help myself picking out for a repro swap I am doing. The moda cross stitch fabric I just love...will use it as background for something in the future.
Repros from the Quilt Room

Katy also gave me some pieces of her pink and purple fabrics for a few baby quilts I am behind on doing...figure a few quick 6 inch square pieced quilts will work.
Pinks and Purples

Will let you know about the Tuesday results, and hopefully show the 2 funny hats I've made for mom when she starts chemo. She is still sore, but she is in good spirits. We try to talk everyday and I have the web cam set up on Skype so that she can chat with the kids and just watch them play sometimes....she loves that, feels like she is in the room with them. Often there is not much new to talk about, but it is just nice to have her as part of our day! Makes me feel a little less far away.

Have a great weekend, I plan to spend most of mine in jammies, cleaning, studying and hopefully sewing! Of course, mothers day is tomorrow here in Ireland, so I plan on reading in bed for a long time while dad and the kids make breakfast for me! My mobile phone is dead, so I am thinking a cool new phone is a great mother's day pressie as well, gonna go order one online now!! Later!!