Friday, March 28, 2014


I spent the morning marking a big chunk of material for the placement of embroidery inside of 12 separate blocks.  When that "math" part was all done ( whew...I despise math) I was anxious to start on the fun stuff.  Oh how I just LOVE the embroidery feature on my Ellie!!!  I managed to complete only one shoe before I had to stop (danged body!)...but it is just so adorable!  Eleven more shoes to do and then I can cut the blocks apart and begin the applique.  I am SO PSYCHED, although (admittedly) a bit scared of my first applique attempt!  If I just remember to go slow and steady I should be fine (fingers and toes crossed, lol). 

I think I will go sit in my rocker for a while and relax.  The hyacinths that my Dear Aunt gave me the other day smell calming and yet "refreshing" at the same time.  Spring is truly "in the air" here and I'm loving every minute of it. 


I'm sharing at...

SewJo Saturday

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


...and so do I!  Sunlight, that is!

Isn't it amazing how plants are drawn to the sunlight?  My dear, sweet aunt brought me this beautiful hyacinth a few days ago.  I had placed it on the island in my kitchen for all to enjoy.  But, I spend most of my time in my sewing room and that is where me, myself and I will enjoy it the most!  So last night I brought this sweet little plant up to my sewing room.  This morning I was amazed to see it straining itself to get as close to that glorious sunshine as possible.  After this long, horrid winter I'm being drawn too!  I'm opening my shades and letting the sun shine in! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014



I am just SO in love with how it turned out!  I put a little bit of hardware on the side so I can eventually make a clip on handle.

For the inside I used a bit of striped cotton. 

The whole thing just makes my heart go pitter-patter.  I want to keep it so beautiful and pristine, I hate the thought of using it!  But, this was made for a purpose and it SHALL be used.  I'm just going to be very, VERY careful with it, lol.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'M HAVING ONE OF THOSE DAYS... (and an organizational solution!)

...STRESSED, that is.

This is how my desk looks right now!  Yes, that is a very low calorie, low fat, high protein, good for you lunch.  Sorry, must be my imagination...  I tend to eat comfort food when I am stressed and the only "bad" thing I could find in the kitchen was the very dregs of a bag of chips and french onion dip.  Ahhh...stress relief.

Since Dear Hubby and I had to go out yesterday I did not get my laundry done.  So that chore has carried over to today...and I have a TON of phone calls that need to be made in addition to keeping the laundry flowing.  Note to self...get the laundry done on Sunday...NO MATTER WHAT!

Juggling all of the information for MY phone calls, Dear Hubby's phone calls, Mom's phone calls and Dad's phone calls was driving me crazy this morning.  You see, I'm the family secretary!  Whatever information needs to be gleaned, appointments made, questions asked, etc., etc. for ANY member of my family...I do most of the calling.  My mom and dad are really getting a little up in years to handle everything themselves and call me first with any medical issue, Dear Hubby has absolutely NO time in work to make personal calls, J can't make or receive any calls at work, and I have my own slew of issues to handle...personal and household. 

While looking for my "notes" (scribbles actually) regarding a previous phone call I decided there HAD to be a better way to keep track of what had been said and done and what the "status" was on each issue!  Necessity is the mother of invention!

I found an old notebook from when J was still in school and  began a running list of the calls I had to make.  I left a space after the word "Call" so I could add the "-ed" after I had made the phone call and then documented what was said or done.  Note:  The little red "flag" is a call on the next page that has not yet been made. 

I then searched through my "freebies" and found a highlighter with attached "flag" dispenser.  Perfect!  I can highlight the subject of the call for easy future reference and I can flag any calls that still need to be handled!

I think this book is really going to help my CRS (Can't Remember S***) syndrome and will cut down on the number of scrap paper scribbles or miniscule notations in my tiny Filofax blocks.'s amazing how calming organization can be!  Now to make that last phone call...

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I've made a little bit of progress on my zippered pouch!  Nowhere near as much as I would like, but at least I have gotten something done!

I'm linking up today at:

SEWjo Saturday - My Go-Go Life

Hopefully linking up will motivate me to "push on" with this project.  I love it so and REALLY want to complete it, I just need my Sewjo!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


A while back I won a GORGEOUS set of Liberty charm squares.  After fiddling with my drawstring bag on Saturday, trying to find certain coupons and loyalty cards...which could only be done by dumping the whole bag of stuff on my lap (totally defeating the purpose)...I decided that what I really needed was a zippered pouch to hold all of my "errand stuff".  So I went to the Liberty charm pack and pulled out these beautiful grays and pinks.  Soft, feminine and Oh. So. Lovely!

After cutting the charms into 2.5" squares, I began assembling the front and back panels of my bag.

Here are the front and back panels ready for quilting prior to pouch assembly.  Gorgeous, aren't they?  I have to stop now as my head is splitting in half and my hands are shaking all over the place.  But, I'm really excited about how lovely this will be when it is all finished!  Hope I can get back to it soon!  In the meantime, I am going to head out to JoAnn's to pick up a spool of thread that I need for my aunt's quilt and then I will run to CVS to pick up two prescriptions.  Toodles....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Since St. Paddy's Day is over, it was time to replace my foyer decor with something more geared to Easter.  As much as I disliked this little mini when it was finished...I'm feeling quite a bit more generous toward it now.  Yes, it has its faults...mainly the missing butterfly and scads of embroidered flowers that I had pictured so clearly in my head. 

The bunny color and grass color REALLY pick up the colors in my foyer and living room (part intention, part happy accident) and overall he and his bunny cuteness are growing on me!  So, sometime between now and next Easter I intend to add the colorful butterfly of my vision and a field full of embroidery flowers.  Oh, and maybe even a cute little bow around Mr. Bunny's neck.  Yes, I think he still has "possibilities"....

Monday, March 17, 2014

IT COSTS....HOW MUCH ?!?!?!?

As I am sure you all know, I have had some type of neurologic issue for the past 14 years.  In that time I have seen 6 different neurologists who have come up with multiple different diagnoses...all of which have been found to be erroneous because of genetic test results or because of the progression of my symptoms.  I recently decided to try my 7th...and FINAL...neurologist.  If she can't figure out the problem, then I'm done!  I will just live with it and pray for strength to deal on a daily basis.

Anyway, the blood tests that this doctor ran came back with an interpretation from the doctor at the lab that my slightly elevated result would be consistent with Myasthenia Gravis with corresponding clinical picture.  I was thrilled.  FINALLY!  The clinical picture online sounded like my symptoms so I thought we had finally found a diagnosis...and subsequent treatment.  However, when the new neurologist saw the results, she doesn't think I have MG because my elevated result isn't "high enough".  Okay, another conflicting diagnosis.  But she DOES think I may have some type of mitochondrial disorder.  Since the treatment for mitochondrial disorders is fairly innocuous (high dose vitamins) and the testing is invasive (muscle biopsy), she suggested I begin the vitamins in the hopes they may help me.  Sounds good to me!  Fairly benign vitamins and no surgery!

Yesterday I went to a couple of stores to price out the vitamins.  OMG!  The highest Co Q-10 I could find at the drugstore/food store was 200 mg for $40.99/80 ct bottle.  I need to take 1200 mg a day.  Like I said....HIGH dose, lol.  I found it at CVS for B1G1 and I had some CVS coupons.  The L-Carnitine is $19.49 for (30) 500 mg. pills.  I need to take 1000 mg a day.  This was also B1G1 at CVS.

So, after B1G1 for each type of pill, $4.00 off applied to my CVS card because I swiped it when I entered the store, a CVS coupon for $3.00 off vitamin purchases, a $2 manufacturer coupon for one type of pill and a $1.00 manufacturer coupon for the other...I paid $50.48...and SAVED $70.72.  AND THIS IS ONLY 13 days worth of pills of the Co Q-10 and 15 days of the L-Carnitine!  SOOO......Approximately $121.00 every two weeks if I don't happen to have as many "money off" and "coupons" as I did this time! 

Holy Moley!  Guess I am going to have to tighten that frugal belt even more.  BUT, IF IT HELPS IT IS WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY...and then some!  Dear Hubby and I started looking for cheaper "bulk purchase" prices online, but we don't want to put out the money until we are sure she is going to be keeping me on it.   Thankfully, I got one of my diabetes medicines free at ShopRite.  Every Little Bit Helps!

ETA:  DANG!  I must have been REALLY upset when I was doing my calculations, lol.  I only calculated the dosage out for ONE bottle of each medication (I got B1G1!).  So I have enough for a MONTH.  Not quite so bad when I say $121 a month for the pills.  Whew! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I didn't get any sewing or quilting done today, but I did finally finish up the designing of the central theme portion of my aunt's quilt and I have made a test block from scrap material.  I've also purchased the necessary machine embroidery patterns.  On Monday I will begin test embroidery in a single color thread on scrap material, so I can figure out the final layout with "actual size" embroideries.  Then, once all of the "testing" is done I will begin work on the actual quilt. 

Since this is the first time I will be using applique on a quilt I have to wait for my heat resistant template material to arrive...and I have to go to the store and buy liquid starch!  A new technique in a new design "Christmas gift" quilt.  I don't put much pressure on, do I? LOL.  My mom was shocked when she saw my design process.  She thought I just bought a pattern and made it in the colors I wanted, lol.  Actually, I've NEVER made a quilt using a pattern...and the process of following another's ideas totally intimidates me!  Crazy, huh? 

I consider myself having started on my aunt's quilt as of this past week and I figure it will take about 3 to 4 months to finish it.  That should leave me enough time to hopefully finish a quilt for Dear Hubby's Christmas gift!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


No photo with today's post, just a quick "shout out" to let you know that one of my goals for 2014 is working!  We are lowering our monthly outlay of money by undertaking numerous frugal activities...and are increasing our savings with the money not spent!  FINALLY!  We have been trying to "frugal" for several years and have been incorporating "frugality" into our lifestyle a little bit at a time.  For many years it has been three steps forward, one step back.  Suddenly, though, it is like all of those "little things" are finally starting to add up.  I cannot begin to tell you how HAPPY I am with our accomplishments!  It is like our mindset has suddenly flipped all the way, instead of teetering between spending and saving! 

If you still find yourself in the "teetering" stage...don't lose hope!  Mindful, deliberate living and frugality are DEFINITELY the lifestyle choices to make; and the rewards are worth so much more than money!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

TIME FOR THE BUNNY HOP... least in my neck of the woods!  I "finished" my 12" mini (that ended at 12.25"!) for Easter.  I am absolutely certain that next Easter I will be making a new mini.  I'm not happy with this one at all.  I had really wanted to do a lot more embroidery on it, but it has been a bad week and I'm just not up to it.  I can still picture in my head tons and tons of embroidered flowers, a few more eggs interspersed here and there and maybe even a butterfly.  But my "vision" and my reality don't always match.  Oh well, it will give me a bit of color in the foyer for this Easter and then I can either continue work on this one (unlikely) or start from scratch (which is more likely) next spring.  Oh well, not every finish is filled with "love", lol.  Flops are what help us grow!

Off to snuggle my heated throw and watch TV for a while...

Friday, March 7, 2014



True Random Number Generator  


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DAWN FRISCH you are the winner!   Please send me your address so that I may mail out your goodies!  
Congrats, Dawn, and thank you all for playing along!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Hee,hee,hee.....  Can you guess?  Done the machine work, now it is time for a bit of needle and perle cotton....

Monday, March 3, 2014


On March 7th my blog will be 1.5 years old!  To celebrate I will be having a small giveaway of a Butter Pecan charm pack, 3 fat quarters and a set of 4 coordinating buttons.  And it is EASY to win!  Spread the word!

Simply follow my blog (through Bloglovin, email, etc.) and leave a post telling me how you follow.  That's it!  Easy, peasy!  One entry per person please.  The winner will be drawn on Thursday, March 7th. 


Sunday, March 2, 2014

EXPANDED SEWING ROOM (ESR)...Finally Finished...

For those of you who followed along with my Scrappy Happy Place, I promised pictures of my Expanded Sewing Room.  Like most quilters, I outgrew the confines of my Scrappy Happy Place and really needed somewhere to store extra fabric and supplies and someplace to set up folding tables to pin baste my quilts.

 When J moved out a little over a year ago I painted his room a neutral gray and claimed it as my Expanded Sewing Room.  Over the past year I have worked to bring color to the room and, while it is first and foremost my second sewing room, decorate a fun, happy place for Dear Hubby and I to watch TV or an extra room to house quests.  I kept two of J's Ikea pieces as they would provide a TON of storage space.  After a full year of slowly adding to the room it is finally done.  Yup, you read that right!  It's FINISHED! 

TA-DA!!!!  Welcome to my ESR!  I am in LOVE!  While I always thought I was more of a pastel, shabby chic (minus the shabby) type of decorator, in this room I have discovered that I really LOVE COLOR!  Who woulda thunk it?  My mom, dad and aunt came over the other day and we spent a while in here just sitting and talking about the transformation.  Everyone agrees that it is just such a HAPPY place.  Mom said she didn't want to leave, lol.

So, let's start the tour....

Immediately to the left when you enter the door is my guest chair.  This chair was bought YEARS ago when I had my Medical Transcription Business.  It was used when the girls I had working for me would come over to discuss work, or when I was interviewing a new transcriptionist.  Most of the time, though it was just a dumping ground for "stuff".  I'm keeping it real here, ladies!  It could really use a good cleaning and if I can ever remember to buy upholstery cleaner when I am in the store I will give it a good once-over.   I am hoping to make myself a portable design wall that will be propped behind this chair when needed.  It will be stored behind the Pax cabinet (shown further down) when not in use. 

Continuing around the room is a $7 (now $9.99...geez) black Ikea "Lack" table.  I adore Ikea furniture as it is cheap, easy to transport home in flat pack boxes and even easier to assemble!  The MacBook that I inherited from J is by my side whenever I want to do a bit of "surfing" while resting.  The bright mug rug was made with leftovers from my "Sunshine and Bowties" quilt.  It was the first mug rug I ever made!

On the wall above the futon is my "Sunshine and Bowties" quilt.  It was the first quilt I made upon my retirement in October of 2011.  

Next is the futon we bought for J when he had his first apartment in Harrisburg.  He was attending Penn State at the time.  Unfortunately Penn State dropped a division of his major (the one he was interested in, lol) and he came home.  When J and his fiancee, K, moved into their apartment in January 2013 this futon was used as their primary sofa.  A week before Thanksgiving one of the wooden arms cracked, disabling the entire thing.  J was in a panic as he and K were having my folks and aunt over for Thanksgiving dinner (Dear Hubby and I were in South Carolina) and with the futon disabled they had nowhere for anyone to sit!  We told them to move the broken futon to our house and go out and buy a sofa..."Merry Christmas", lol.  When we got back from vacation we took the arm of the futon to the store where we bought it.  Unfortunately the futon had been discontinued so we could not get a brand new arm, but the store glued it all up for us.  I don't think it is strong enough to serve as a primary seating area anymore, but the occasional use in my ESR seems to be fine.  I washed the cover of the futon and Dear Hubby and I were unable to get it straightened out on the mattress.  The mattress is HEAVY (it was more expensive than the futon) and we couldn't heft it around as much as needed.  One of these days I will get J and K to redo it for us.

This small shelving unit is being used as an end table for the futon.  It fits well into the space and gives me a place to store magazines (if I ever get around to sorting my magazines and filling the magazine holders, lol).  Dear Hubby and I are going to buy a ceiling light shade (the kind for recessed long fluorescent bulbs) and cut it down to size to lay on top and keep the drinks from wobbling.


Next is the small closet.  This closet originally had sliding doors.  OMG you couldn't fit more than one arm through the opening!  Our builder was an A-double scribble.  Apparently he bought "seconds" to build these houses and nothing is square and none of the openings are standard.  When we switched to a single door in order to gain full access to the closet, our handyman found that the door opening was 35.5" wide.  It was too small to handle a standard 36" door.  In order to fit a standard 32" door he had to "build up" the opening.  Like I said, our builder was an idiot (I'm being nice here). 

On the top shelf is the quilt I made for J when he was just 3 years old.  Memories...  Some day the twin sized denim quilt and a pillow and fitted sheet will also be housed on that shelf too.  Storage close by if we need to use the futon for overnight guests.   On the next shelf are boxes containing scraps from quilts I made previously (in case repair is needed), extra magazine holders and unopened batting.  The bottom shelf holds pieces of batting, polyfill and home decor weight scraps.  The bottom houses my sewing machine bag and travel bags for supplies.

When J moved out he didn't have room to take his Ikea Pax unit.  Thank goodness, the unit is AWESOME for holding supplies!

Hanging on the front is my embroidery kit.  It was just a happy coincidence that it matched the Button Rug I purchased last month!

Inside the left hand door are my "hands free" bags that I use when attending quilting shows, car shows, home shows, etc.  Anything where I need to keep my hands free for a long period of time.  The hexie denim pouch is only big enough to hold money, a few important cards, my camera and my keys and I only use it if I am going to be home before mealtime.  The button pouch is bigger and can also  hold my medications and insulin in case I will be away from home over mealtime.  

Inside the Pax unit there is a TON of storage.  All of my yardage, flannel, plaids, bundles, patterns, etc are stored on the left, while the right side holds my yarn and crocheting supplies.  I also have a HUGE travel bag (actually J's hockey bag from when he played goalie in roller hockey...HUGE) in the family room that houses all of the yarn needed to complete the queen sized afghan I am working on. 

Next to the Pax is a rolling cart that holds smaller scraps, hexies, 2.5" squares, embroidery scraps and zippers.  The organizer on top holds my new embroidery pattern by Lori Holt and some supplies to help when I am pin basting quilts.

The lateral file cabinet was a freebie I scored on Freecycle.  Now that I have shut down my business it holds "miscellaneous" household paperwork.  Dear Hubby and I eventually hope to sort through it all and empty it completely so I can use it to store more crafting stuff.  Eventually.

On top of the lateral file are cubbies that I scored half price at our local thrift store.  Each of the Collapsible Craft Containers (my design) holds a different color of single buttons.  Sets of buttons are on cards in the next opening.  As you can see, I still need to make seven more Collapsible Craft Containers, lol.  Eventually.  Each of the cubbies is deep enough that I can fit TWO containers, leaving room for increasing my stash.  On top of the cubbies my Minnie Mouse jar holds buttons that still need to be sorted.  Eventually it will hold loose white and cream buttons only.  The orange pail holds white and cream buttons on cards.  The penguin shotglass holds pins.  The black buckets are still empty.  Between them and the orange pail is an adorable sewing machine sent to me by a dear friend across the pond.

The two left drawers hold embroidery floss on cards that I made with my Sizzix Big Shot.

The right hand drawer holds duplicate floss and fabric covered button kits that were bought at our local thrift shop.   I LOVE our thrift shop!

This cabinet is yet another Ikea piece.  On top are the TV, cable box and DVD player.  The bottom drawer holds hanging file folders.  So far I have only established "Sewing Done", "Sewing To Do", "Crocheting Done" and "Crocheting To Do" folders.  I have lots more file folders to label and TONS of patterns to file, lol.   The middle drawer holds miscellaneous stuff and the holiday 12" mini quilts I have made to decorate my foyer.  The skinny top drawer holds basting pins, rulers, etc.  My collection of crafting books is rather small at this point.  The blue metal basket is empty, but I am sure I will find a use for it someday.  My hand made "softie" pin cushion rests in the corner.  

You are now back at the doorway of my ESR.  You can just see the safe (that only holds our passports, lol), trashcan and edge of the fan.  Next to the fan is the door.  As soon as I can make a trip or two to the basement I will bring up the folding tables I will use while basting.  They will be stashed behind the door when not in use.

Hope you have enjoyed a tour around my Expanded Sewing Room.  It is one of my favorite places in the house! 

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Today is a "pamper me" day.  After Dear Hubby and I ran a few short errands I came home and snuggled down in my ESR (Expanded Sewing Room) under my electric throw.  The heat really helps the deep muscle aching and sitting or lying down is best for me when I have this level of exhaustion.  

While I was watching my favorite channel on TV, I pulled out my embroidery kit to do a little bit of stitching.  Isn't it amazing that my Button Embroidery Kit matches the rug?  A very happy coincidence!  My pain level is really bad today, as is my weakness...extreme today...but my tremor is not bad.  Go figure.  No rhyme nor reason, but I am happy for the chance to complete a few stitches!

I haven't worked on this little stitchery in AGES and it has gotten really wrinkled in my bag.  Plus I had used a hoop for the first part of stitching and accidentally left it on my fabric (OOPS!) , but I have discovered I am really much more comfortable stitching without the hoop!  I managed to finish up five of the broken heart lines today.  Progress!  It's always a good thing!

Dear Hubby is taking me out to dinner tonight.  I am really much too under the weather today to handle lifting pots and pans on and off of the stove.  I told Hubby to pick the place as even my taste buds are too exhausted right now to care what I eat.  Wonder what he will pick...