Archive for November, 2009

Just Dreamin’….

Our Thanksgiving turned out quite well, thank you very much! It was a total team effort…Dad made the rolls, Mom did all the potatoes & brought dessert. My husband helped with stuffing the turkey & handling the roasting pan, etc. He carved, did all the cleanup & my Mom & I think we have 2 keepers! There was one glitch with my salad though – in a moment of complete brain fog, I added a small piece of extra fresh pineapple to my lime gelatin & cream cheese based concoction. What was I thinking? Never do that! I knew better! Of course the salad never set, so early Thursday morning I had to put something else together…it was okay but the first salad would have been so much better!

Okay, there is nothing to prevent a quilter from dreaming about fabric, cutting & piecing even though temporarily “out of commission.”  The wrist continues to heal and the days move forward towards Independence Day – 12-15-09 (aka the-cast-comes-off day!) In the meantime, fabric can be sorted through, folded & generally straightened up. Even the motion of doing that is soothing when you are unable to hold a rotary cutter. One of my quilting “sisters” has suggested a trade off for projects…I will do her Gail Wilson pincushion box & she will make a fabric “portfolio” for carrying quilt blocks…I saw hers and it is a beauty! This is the black floral I have chosen for the portfolio. Isn’t it a lovely piece??!! Moda,  from The Blessings Collection….Brannock & Patek.  The paisley next to it is another piece I fell in love with & am thinking – what a border on a project it would turn out to be! Just dreamin’….

Another dear friend had sent me the yardage a while back after I had coveted it.  When I saw the portfolio, (will share with you when it is done & in my hot little hands:o)  the mission was to get additional yardage.  Connie mailed off the package to me right before Thanksgiving,  & the fabric was folded around a box of Dots – one of my all time favorites!  Now, her favorite is a Bunn Candy Bar – so I need to look for those – they are not always the easiest to find around here & half the fun is locating a stash of them! By the way – if you ever see fabric with the official “Dots” candy printed on it – let me know. I have always wanted to do a fun comfort quilt.  Just dreamin’…Dots rule!

Pretty quiet around here this weekend – the sky is very gray and we woke to snow this morning. Mostly gone now, there a few patches remaining on top of the ice layer on our pond. A cold week is predicted with more flurries – and so it begins. All the leftover turkey remnants are in a soup pot simmering away on the stove this afternoon. The house smells so good.  The broth will be the base for turkey noodle soup – just one of the many things our  #1 Son has requested when he arrives for Christmas. He has quite the wish list!

Wishing each of you a good week ahead and time to work on all those Christmas projects. With lack of activity recently, the joints are getting stiff all ready so I think a little walk on the treadmill is in order. The time will give me an opportunity to continue…Just dreamin’…and thinking about the day when I can

Always take time to stitch…


My one & only piece of Tartanware - the measuring tape is silk


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What a difference a week makes…the splint has been replaced by a shiny new green cast (was hoping for alternating golden yellow stripes – but this is close enough to Packer green). Now I can move the fingers more freely and even thread a needle.  Okay,  it was a darning size needle with perle cotton to secure some things for a craft project – but hey! You don’t know how much you can miss the feel of sewing anything until something prevents it from happening. I am not one to sit in front of a TV hour after hour – for that matter, it is difficult to just sit,  as being busy & moving about the house or outdoors is the norm. Anyway, it is great to be back in the sewing room just doing basic little tasks. Actually finished up one Christmas present and am well on the way to completing the binding on the last of 3 other gifts. And I proved a person can machine quilt with a broken wrist.

My husband, John, has been a tremendous help & we have been pretty efficient as Team Taylor in the kitchen…he does the chopping and I do the stirring & general ordering around! Meals seem to come together just fine and we even did a Pineapple-Mango Upside Down Cake yesterday (Martha’s Baking Cookbook – good recipe!) with fresh pineapple.

With a nice stack of books to read – some from the library & some on loan from friends,  I am catching up on that when it comes time to elevate the arm.

Speaking of friends…I am blessed with some of the very best. Having get togethers scheduled in advance for this past Thursday & Friday, I figured they were out of the question for driveability. No way, said my sweet stitching buddies. They worked out a way to pick me up for both days so that I could join in the fun. We live slightly off the beaten path so their efforts are doubly appreciated. I have said it often – quilting friends are the BEST!

With Thanksgiving this coming week, I have so much to be grateful for…

A husband and family that takes good care of me…

Friends that are there for you – laughter, good food & sharing…

A comfy home that is a tad dusty right now, but it is our dust…

A Mom & Dad who spoil us rotten & are so eager to share Thanksgiving dinner chores…

And 10 cords of newly delivered wood for future winter heating…

That is about it for the slow typing this week – time to give everything a bit of a rest. Off to watch the Packers vs. San Francisco…This weeks needlework tools are 2 ivory lace making pieces. One is engraved with “Be True” & the other says “David.”  They were both purchased in a little antique shop in Sydney, Australia – 1994. The owner specialized in vintage needlework tools. I had to have “David” – the name of our son.  And wishing you could be with us on Thursday, Dave…but so excited about your Christmas visit next month.

I hope  Thanksgiving is filled with your special people and good times. If you are traveling, I wish you a safe journey.

Always take time to stitch…


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Late Breaking News…

Literally – had today’s post in draft mode & headed outside for a frosty early morning walk  with the camera and our 3 girls…all was quiet & peaceful around the pond until I fell – very uneven ground & muskrat holes do not make for a smooth walking surface…the result?

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Yep -broke my right wrist…I’m bummed…and so many Christmas things in the sewing room…just might be alittle late this year. At least this fracture was not as nasty as my left wrist in 2000. But after being  diagnosed with osteoporosis last year & adding Vit. D3 & extra calcium to the routine, it was suggested today at the emergency room that I consider Boniva or Fosomax – oh fun….

So for now a short post & a hold on the photos I did capture this morning & the subject matter that was planned…typing with my left hand is just too slow. My husband & I did a team effort this afternoon & made the bread…watch, it will be so much better!!

Not even my weekly pincushion to share – but I will close with a simple photo of sweet little puppy paws taken at the start of our ill-fated walk today…on our frost-covered dock.

Late Breaking News... 002Have a good week & wish me luck…good thing I have a stack of books to read.

Take a few extra stitches for me!


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This is more like “Thankful Thursday” –

Humming along with Christmas projects – the sewing room is a mess but it is a happy mess! Haven’t run into any glitches yet……………..the day is young though & I usually find a way to get into trouble:o)

Our mild November continues here in the Northwoods…

It makes running errands and just walking out to the mailbox downright enjoyable…and no ice on the pond yet – our resident wood duck is still paddling around.

Waiting for our 10 cords of firewood to show up this morning and hoping my husband’s shoulders hold out – thankful we have almost 2 year’s supply cut and ready…this new load is future insurance.

I rediscovered some old Better Homes & Gardens Christmas magazines – tons of cookie recipes that I had forgotten about. These issues date to 1986-1988 when simple country decorating was so popular…old bowls, quilts, lots of pine boughs – things that were old but never really grow outdated and you worked around with what you had. So that’s the plan this year – keep it simple! Living in a log house doesn’t mean a lot of glitz anyway.

Appleby’s Restaurant – we went there for dinner last night – the place was packed, we received incredible service from a wonderful staff, & the food was great. They went out of their way to thank all Veterans and my husband received a free dinner. The manager made sure he went to each table and thanked everyone for their military service. We talked with people we knew and total strangers. Many of the Vets wore caps or shirts indicating their time in service…WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm…all branches were represented. What a special evening for everyone.

So come on everyone – what are you thinking about today?? I hope this finds each of you having a good day, that life is not too complicated and you can…

Always take time to stitch


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Veterans Day…

There are so many posts being added today in honor of Veteran’s Day – I would like to add my own family’s military service to the growing list…

On my Dad’s side – we have traced service back to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, & the Spanish-American War.
My Dad was career Navy and served on the USS Yorktown during WWII – he was at the Battle of Midway when the Yorktown was hit by enemy torpedoes. He survived and went on to be a member of  the US Navy Band in Washington, D.C. He always said that he was called to play taps at too many funerals in Arlington Cemetery.
My Mom’s family included my Grandfather who immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900’s from what was Lithuania at the time. He enlisted in the US Army as a young man and went back to Europe to fight for his newly adopted country. He was shot in the Argonne Forest in France. He lost his leg due to this injury.  His son, my Uncle Butch, was Army and was part of the liberation of the Concentration Camps in Germany.

My husband’s grandfather & father – all served in the Army or Air Force. My Father-in-Law was stationed in New Guinea during WWII and was career Air Force.

My husband was an Army helicopter pilot and did 2 tours in Vietnam – 1968-1969 & 1970-1971. (Close to 10 years total service time)
Our son was Army and did his tour in Bosnia.

Military men – all.

As a daughter, wife and mother – and the millions of other family members who have sent men (& women) off to war, the pattern repeats itself endlessly. After thousands of years, we still have learned nothing.

What generation will stand up and say Enough is Enough?

Always remember…


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If you think living in Northern Wisconsin during November is the time when everyone starts to hunker down for winter…think again! Saturday we were at 61 degrees – full sun and plenty of time to work outdoors. Typically, by now, yardwork, winterizing, etc. would have been done by mid-October. But that month was cold and rainy with snowfalls. This weekend has been such a gift. I was able to get back to the front and side gardens and actually do trimming and clean up. It feels so much better to have those things under control instead of having to deal with it next Spring.

Our evenings have been so soft and quiet lately – with a full moon reflected over our pond, it is easy to be lulled into a “winter-is-far-off” frame of mind. (Slightly out of focus – which “reflects” my own fuzzy brain these day’s :o)

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But we all know that fast approaching is the Holidays! Last week got away from me, so I knew this week had to be Plum Pudding time. The recipe  has been around a long time and I still use the original copy that my mother-in-law gave me many years ago. Being the wife of a retired Air Force officer, and having lived is so many places, she knew other wives from all over. This recipe is called Old Fashioned Traill Christmas Pudding and was given to her by another lady whose husband was in the Canadian Air Force.

I would be happy to share it with you – just contact me and I will email a copy to you.

Plan to spend the day at home if you want to make this the traditional way. Assemble all your ingredients…don’t forget the nuts! I almost did!

Reflections 006Using a classic plum pudding mold, everything is mixed (with “secret ingredient”) and ready to go into the kettle for steaming…

Reflections 008This pudding must steam for 4-6 hours…during that time while you are monitoring things, it is a great opportunity to clean out the pantry or tackle other chores in the kitchen area. I found things lurking in the back of my pantry. Where did that come from? Why did I buy that? What is that expiration date again? Oh boy, chocolate I didn’t know about…

Reflections 009

After sitting all night and cooling down, the mold is inverted and out pops an almost completed plum pudding…the final step is wrapping it in brandy-soaked muslin or cheesecloth and then placing it in the frig until Christmas…it is going to get nice and mellow and will be served with my Williamsburg Hard Sauce. Oh my! A Charles Dickens Christmas if ever there was!

Reflections 012While some of the Christmas projects that have been going on in my sewing room lately can’t be shown – things are definitely picking up speed.  I also had a chance to do up a sample from Little Lone Stars (Lorraine Olsen – C & T Publishing). This book is just plain fun and features a new method of folding for paper piecing. Finally, my lone star block lies flat and the diamonds line up very nicely. I plan to do more with this technique – the accuracy is that good! This particular piece measures 7 1/2″ before the little border.  The 4 squares & 4 HST pieces are all set in. I feel kind of smug about the back too – all 8 points spiral out in the center – first time ever! Who says you can’t teach an old quilter new tricks??

LoisNewsletter 007Don’t you love it when the mailman mail lady brings squishy packages? This little grouping arrived on Friday from one of my favorite places – Reproduction Fabrics in Bozeman, Montana. Of course, it included the black paisley needed for the exchange with my quilt history study group which met on the previous day…but my friends understood it was in transit and I will make good next month! The other pieces are from the Clara Barton Collection and will be used to do a little project for a brief presentation I will give to that same group in January. More about that down the road…

Reflections 016And what about you – what have you reflected on this week? I hope this finds you well and peaceful with your own part of this world. We are heading into some very busy days and it feels like this quiet weather & warm sun is just made for recharging our energy levels. We should embrace it completely. Have a wonderful, productive week…

And always take time to stitch…


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One more Gail Wilson pattern done - a fabric covered box

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