Friday, February 28, 2014



One of my goals for 2014 was to begin decorating my home for each of the holidays.  While I know I can't decorate EVERYTHING in the house, my initial decoration will be a mini quilt to hang in my foyer for each holiday of the year.  As you can see above...I'm ready for St. Patrick's Day!

I found this image somewhere online (possibly pinterest?), copied the image, printed it and cut it out...and there it sat until this past week.  I made a few little changes to my tastes, but the basic concept is the same.  For the life of me now I can't find the website where I found the image to give proper credit to whomever designed this adorable hat.  If it was you, or if you know who it was, please let me know so I can list him/her as the designer.

I was determined to only use what I had on hand, and I met my restriction with the exception of the clover charm.  The hat was just calling out for a little bit of bling!  I also attempted stipple free motion quilting for the first time, and added some wonky stitching for shading on the hat.  I was having a bit of trouble with the foot catching as I was quilting so there are some eyelashes on the back of the piece.  Oh well, nobody should be looking at the back, lol.  I added another loop of rubber band to my altered free motion quilting foot (per Leah Day) and did a few quick stitches on some scraps and the motion was MUCH better.  I can't WAIT for my next FMQ session!  Thank you, Leah! 

So, how are YOU decorating for the holiday?

BTW, on March 7th (or thereabouts) I will be having a small giveaway for my "mid year blogiversary".  Stay tuned for details! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


One done, one more to go...

I finished sewing the second valance, and I can steal the hardware from the design wall in my sewing room...but I don't have another rod.  THIS is why I hate to garage sale stuff.  I got rid of at least four or five rods during our last garage sale, two of which were the size I need now.  Humph......guess I will try to get to Walmart tomorrow to buy another.  By the way, I don't know why all of the right window and half of the left window is showing up "brownish".  Maybe the level of the sun?  They are both actually white, as you can see near the black chair (and yes, that is dust on the chair, lol).  It will be moved down the basement now that the water restoration is all done and I'll dust it off then.  We have had so much "work" done in the house between painting the guest room, painting the guest bath and repainting portions of the basement that dust from the sanding is EVERYWHERE!  But it is a sign of progress around here, so I guess I will just swish the duster and be thankful that we are getting things done, lol. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

DEALING WITH IDIOTS...My Blood Pressure Is Rising!

Warning!  This is a rant!  If today you happen to be dealing with your own difficulties, you may want to avoid this post!

IDIOTS!  When my son was young he used to listen to some punk rock group that sang a song about the world being taken over by idiots.  SO TRUE!  Back in December I called to set up an appointment for my MRI.  The girl on the phone told me I had a $25 copay.  I told her that I had already verified with our insurance company that we do not have a copay.  Quite nastily she informed me that the computer said I did...therefore I would owe $25 at the time of service.  I informed her again, more loudly I admit, that we do NOT pay copays on MRIs and I would NOT be paying $25 at the time of service.  She said, "We will see when you get here".  Long story, short...we don't have copays for MRIs and I did not pay. 

Fast forward a little less than two months and Dear Hubby went to have his MRI.  When I scheduled his appointment the girl on the phone did not mention a copay, so I figured the "computer" picked up correctly that our policy did not have copays for that service.  Idiot.  ME, that is.  I should have figured there would be a problem.  Computers and their GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out)!  This morning Dear Hubby hands me a receipt for his $25 copay at the MRI place.  Grrrrr.....  Now I will have to fight to get the hospital to refund the money to our Benny card.  I can't have it sent to me, or I will have to send a check to our Benny card administrator.  This should be fun, NOT!

On January 10th I asked our Endocrinologist for new prescriptions for four of Dear Hubby's medications.  A week or so later there was no record of the prescriptions on our mail away prescription website, so I called the mail away pharmacy.  No, they had no record of the prescriptions...but when you talk to the doctor's office have them fax it to XXX-XXX-XXXX.  Fine.  I called the doctor's office and, YES, they faxed it.  They even had a confirmation.  I asked them if they would please fax it the number the pharmacy had provided.  About 30 minutes later I got a call from the doctor's office confirming they had faxed it to the new number and they had a confirmation! 

Fast forward to this morning.  Dear Hubby informs me that he has less than two weeks of one of his medications left.  Shouldn't we have gotten the prescriptions by now?  So I go online to look at when they were shipped.  NO RECORD OF THEM IN OUR ACCOUNT!  I called the mail away pharmacy and they have no record of the prescriptions.  AGAIN!  How in the heck can these IDIOTS lose a prescription that was faxed to them?  TWICE!  I told them I will contact the doctor's office tomorrow and have them call in the prescriptions (AGAIN)...and that at they had better be over-nighted to our home because my husband is so low on meds.  And I'm not paying for the over-nighting as these prescriptions should have been filled weeks ago!  The customer service rep tells me to get the doctor to call a small prescription to our local pharmacy and pick it up there.  Okay.  I REALLY lost it with her.  Why on God's Green Earth should I have to get over to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription because they screwed up TWICE?  We are supposed to be getting more snow and if I'm not feeling well I'm not going out in it!  I informed them that they had BETTER over-night it free of charge...OR ELSE! 

I will be making several phone calls tomorrow:
  1. Telling the hospital they need to credit our Benny Card with $25 and fax me proof of the credit...
  2. To the doctor to BEG them to put up with this "happy horse shit" (as my dad would say) one more time and CALL Express Scripts... and ask them to fax ME a copy of the paperwork from the last two prescription attempts so I can take this further...
  3. To the Better Business Bureau to file a formal complaint against Express Scripts...
  4. To the Attorney General to file a formal complaint against Express Scripts...
  5. To my husband's employer to file a formal complaint against Express Scripts... 
For the first four years we have had mail away coverage through Medco.  In all of that time we never had so much as one glitch.  Then Express Scripts bought out Medco.  When I informed our physicians' offices of the change, the office staff people wished us luck.  I guess they knew from experience just how BAD Express Scripts can be.  Me?  I have no understanding of, or acceptance of, such shoddy practices.  These medications are what are keeping people ALIVE!  Between Dear Hubby and I we are on over 20 medications.  The amount of money our insurance company pays Express Scripts in primary coverage and the amount of money WE pay in copays is astronomical.  Two of my medications alone have $100 copays, and it would probably be more except our policy has a cap at $100 a copay!  Now multiply that by tens of thousands of people in my husband's company alone.  And Express Scripts, since buying Medco,  is probably one of the largest mail order pharmacies in the US.   They are "making BANK" as J would say!  For that reason ALONE we deserve better service! 

Okay.  My rant is least for today.  I think it is time to sit in my rocker with my cup of hazelnut coffee and attempt to "chill".  Breathe deep...breathe deep...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Ever since the weekend I have been slowly working on this Collapsible Craft Container.  See the cute little tray underneath my hand-work?

Dear Hubby bought it for me while we were in North Myrtle Beach so I would have something to hold my book/Nook or crocheting or hand-work in my lap while we drive.  Chasing craft supplies that roll under the seat while we are driving down I95 is no fun, lol.  Thankfully the center console kept things from rolling under Dear Hubby's seat...but the tray should keep things where they belong. 

This blue container will be another button holder in my black cubbies.  With the completion of this button holder, I will be done the basic colors (Red, and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue.  I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, too!)  Then I will only have black, gray, brown, beige, wood-tone, metal-tone and miscellaneous to complete.  I have far too many white and cream colored buttons to fit in a Collapsible Craft Container.  The miscellaneous buttons are in my Mickey jar and the "sets" of buttons on cards are stored inside the orange pail. 

I have been feeling really weak and worn out since Saturday and haven't been able to do much of a few stitches here and there has been all of my accomplishment.  Yesterday Dear Hubby started with a bad chest cold and is now in bed with 100 degree temp, which is really high for him...both he and J usually run a point below normal.  I am also feeling a little "scratchy" in my chest and hope I am not coming down with it too.  However, that would at least explain the debilitating fatigue I have been feeling for the last four days.  My tremor has been horrendous all day today, but thankfully I only needed to glue the hair ties to the hexies.  Can't do much physical damage with glue, lol. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Even though we are supposed to get SLAMMED with snow tomorrow, the barometric pressure was steady when I woke my pain level was stable.  I took advantage of the reprieve and did a small amount of FMQ on my pillow (my first real attempt at FMQ) and then sewed up the sides.  I absolutely LOVE this pillow!

Sorry the pictures are a bit pain was stable but my tremor was acting up.  But I am sure you can get the idea, lol.  

Good thing I did a little bit of sewing this morning.  The barometric pressure is dropping and I am starting to really hurt.  We are getting killed with snow tomorrow...think I will spend the day under the electric throw trying to keep warm and keep my pain in check. 

Take care, stay warm and stay safe!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


No matter how many times I looked at the red and white diamond material as the backing of my "Square Pot" pillow...I just wasn't happy.  Then last evening in our mail was a package of fabric I ordered to make valances for the windows in my ESR.  Suddenly I remembered I had bought more than enough material to make the valances!

I think this material is absolutely PERFECT for the back of the pillow!  While my ESR is my expanded sewing room, Dear Hubby has asked that I not make it SCREAM sewing.  So I have to be a bit "obtuse" in my decorating scheme.  He is okay with the "buttons" on the rug since they give the room a big pop of color, but he would prefer not to have TONS of "sew-y" themed stuff around the room.  I almost DIED when I saw this beautiful hexie material!  To a quilter, this pattern just screams QUILT, but to the non-quilter it is just a nice geometric pattern that matches the black, gray and white of the room.  Perfect.  ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!

So this morning I sewed up the backing of the pillow.  Hopefully within the next few days I will get the front of the pillow quilted and then I can assemble it.  This weekend I will go to JoAnn's and buy another pillow form.  I will also check out the curtain rods at Walmart.  I need to go online and purchase the curtain rod hooks that attach to the window frame so I don't have to put holes in my newly painted wall.  Then all I need to do to finish my room is complete 8 more Collapsible Craft Containers to hold the rest of my buttons and the room will be DONE.   Decorating, that is.  I still have a ton of sorting, etc. to do in the room...but the pretty stuff will be done. 

Monday, February 10, 2014


I have a new WIP (work in progress) on my sewing room table...a cute little pillow inspired by Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  I am having SO much fun decorating my ESR (Expanded Sewing Room) and the bright pops of color are just what the doctor ordered for these cold, winter days!

I used a mini charm pack of "Potluck" by American Jane for Moda.  While I loved the white sashes on Amanda Jean's is much more in keeping with the decor of my ESR.  I couldn't find any black yardage, or even fat quarters, so I simply pieced some Kona Black charms that I had in my stash.  Once this is quilted I doubt the seams will be very visible.  It took me all last week to get this pillow top finished.  Physically it was NOT a good week. 

This morning I searched through my yardage to find a suitable backing for the pillow.  I came across this fabric that my Dear Aunt won at the local quilt show we attended last year.  I love the bright, funky-ness of the pattern, but is the white too much for the black on the other side?  There is white in the mini charms and also white in the carpet.  Is the "scale" too different?  I really need your opinion! I am usually VERY decisive...but this one is throwing me for a loop.

We had unexpected company over the weekend as my Mom, Dad and Dear Aunt ran out of propane to heat their house on Saturday.  Snow on the ground, in the forecast and cold, cold, COLD and the propane company failed to keep their tank full!  I was FURIOUS!  Not that they were staying at our house (that was never a question and it was actually fun), but that the company whose job it is contractually to keep their propane tank filled fell down on the a house with three elderly people, two of whom are in their 80s and have very serious health problems. Even more inexcusable, the emergency switchboard called at least 6 different delivery people on Saturday evening and not ONE of them answered the phone or called my folks back.  So Sunday morning "I" called the company (Huh?  Headquarters is on the west coast?) and raised holy hell.  I have learned over the years exactly which buttons to push to have things accomplished...and where my family is concerned I was pushing ALL of the buttons! While I am thankful that we live close enough for my family to come stay at our home, gathering up all of their medications, blood pressure cuff, blood sugar machine, clothing, etc., etc. was really too much for my folks  and aunt to handle with such short notice.  They were all pretty stressed!

So I am hoping this week will be a little calmer.  We are due for another snow on Thursday (the day Dear Hubby, J, K and I are going to the car show in Philly), but we are hoping to be headed back home before the roads get too bad.  Where are you, Spring?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Ugh....hope this friendship is short-lived!


Last night we were hit with ice on top of the heavy, wet snow that already bombarded us Sunday night.  The result?  Lots of downed wires, downed trees and loss of power.  Fortunately, our power is still on (albeit with occasional brown outs).  J has not been as lucky.  His apartment complex is completely without power, his office is completely without power and...


See the big, round, beautiful dent in the middle of his hood?  You can just about see the fallen tree branch where it slid off of his hood.  Okay, Murphy...once and for all....ENOUGH ALREADY!  J is going to talk to the management company of his complex and see if they will do anything about it, but more than likely it is going to have to go through his insurance.  A $500 deductible he wasn't planning on....

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I think it was back in 2012 when I made a cover for my design sketch book.  I thought it would meet my needs, but alas...until you get to actually "using" something, sometimes what you "think" you need and what you "really" need are two different things.

So I scrounged through some old stationery supplies and found a large ring binder.  I like the idea of a ring binder because I can print out pictures of each quilt I have made, place it into a page protector and have it nearby for reference.  Plus, my sketch book is pre-punched to fit into a traditional three ring binder.  Perfect, right?  So far so good.  But now I needed a way to store my mechanical pencil for sketching and my colored pencils for coloring in my designs.  I knew I could go to the dollar store and purchase a "binder" pencil case for a buck, but the weather has not been great to go out (snow, snow, and more snow) and I really didn't want to spend any money...even if it was only $1.06.  Solution?  Make it myself!  A quick search online revealed the perfect pencil case!

I am in LOVE with the pattern, and I knew EXACTLY the fabric I wanted to use.  A while back I won a giveaway from Jessica of "Life Under Quilts".  It included a gorgeous, bold floral pattern (perfect for the outside) and a matching swirly pattern for the lining.  I had been saving these fabrics for something "just for me" and the pencil case was the perfect project.  A quick look through my fat quarter baskets produced a purple floral that blended nicely.  I could see it so perfectly in my mind's eye.  I even had two creamy white 9" zippers to match.  I was all set!

I worked on my pencil case off and on yesterday and today.  Maybe it was because I have REALLY  been hurting and couldn't concentrate, or because zippers ALWAYS give me trouble, but the pencil case didn't come out as well as I would have liked.  Sigh...  It is still plenty serviceable and I still ADORE the pattern...and will definitely try it again on a day when I am a little more focused.  You can never have too many zippered pouches!  But for now it is a great way to meet my current need and I didn't spend any money!  "Making Do" can be so much fun and SO PRETTY!   

Thank you, Lindsay, for the wonderful pattern; and thank you, Jessica, for the beautiful fabric to make my "pretty pencil case"! 

See how great it works in my binder!  Oh, I LOVE IT SO MUCH!  If only my technique would catch up to the vision in my head.  I added an extra line of stitching around the edge as somehow I was too close to the edge on my side seams and they weren't holding well.  Grrrrrrr.  But, practice, practice, practice...and maybe some day my sewing skills will improve.  At least I will have tons of fun while I practice, lol. 

Monday, February 3, 2014


Anyone who knows our family knows that we have a LOT of Ikea furniture in our home...mostly in our basement.  Since the queen sized bed in the guest room (that I was intending to paint) is breaking (it was a cheap Walmart bed), we have decided to purchase a bed from Ikea.  We know their products wear like iron.  So, yesterday we went to Ikea for some bed window shopping and to pick up a few miscellaneous things we needed...such as two 5x7 picture frames to replace the ones in Dear Hubby's office that were destroyed by the water, three 8 x 10 picture frames needed for a bit of decorating in our guest bathroom, a toilet brush for the guest bathroom, and some folding wall hooks that J needed for work.  As usual, we got all of that...and then some, lol.

I won't bother showing you Dear Hubby's photo frames since they aren't part of my 2014 organizing and decorating goal.  The above frames, however, were critical to my decorating.

These Nyttja frames were cheap ($1.99each) and more importantly LIGHT, so I knew I would have no problem hanging them with 3M Command products.

Back when we were having the guest bathroom painted, I had gone online to search for modern "artwork" that I could hang on the totally bare wall as you enter the room.  I did a google search for "free bathroom printables" and one of the first sites to pop up was an image site.  I clicked on it and was totally smitten when I saw the subway art above.  I clicked back to the original poster and found  I printed out the artwork in variations of gray scale and it was a perfect match for my newly painted bath.

Here they are hanging in the bathroom.

Oh...and I said we picked up more than we intended...

I spotted this rug and just HAD to have it for my Expanded Sewing Room floor!  Even three other women standing next to us started to tell me to "Buy it!" when I stopped to look at the rug.  Thankfully, Dear Hubby loves his wife very much and was happy to heft the rug into the cart, lol.  I had this room painted gray (the same paint I later used in the guest bath) because I wanted a neutral base for decorating.  I wanted the room to "pop" with color.

First I added my Sunshine and Bowties quilt as a wall hanging, then two red pillows.

These little pops of color really bring out the "fun" in the room!

Yup, the room is really coming together now.  Oh, and please excuse the piles of junk you see next to the futon.  We HAVE been trying to make some headway on purging through the boxed "stuff", but decorating is just SO much more FUN!

OUT MY WINDOW THIS MORNING...'s WHITE out there!  And it is STILL coming down!  Last I heard we were due to receive 4-8 inches.  I don't mind light puffy snow if I and my family don't have to go out in it, but this wet, heavy stuff is going to cause all kinds of problems if we really do get 4-8 inches.  Dear Hubby ran to the convenience store this morning and he said his car was covered by the time he got home.  It is snowing fast, hard and furious. See how heavy it is on my tree branches?  The perfect combination for a power outage.  We have already had a few "brown outs" of our lights.  Keeping my fingers crossed that the lights stay on.  Oh, and I guess the repairman will not be coming out again today to do the final repairs on our basement.  Of course, every day we don't have the extra insulation is a day we can have another broken pipe.  No, Murphy!  Please...

UPDATE:  The men arrived to continue the repair. Murphy this time.  The snow has FINALLY stopped.  Here is the same vantage point out of my sewing room window...

Quite a difference!!!  Take care and stay warm...