Monday, September 30, 2013

Binding Friendships = Binding Quilts

Friendships are what our dreams are made of.

We hold onto each other with its binding love.

We stand close to each other, hand in hand,

showing each other we understand.

Some friends may come and go,

but you are the truest friend I know.

Yes, I realize this little poem borders on cheesy.  D'oh!
 I see so much metaphor and symbolism in quilting.  I love to sit in silence while I quilt, listening to the prose of each stitch I make with my hand, thinking and praying for the intended receiver. 
Be quiet and listen to the work of your hands.
Blissful, peaceful blessings to you this week!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

An Einstein Quote that stuck

I saw this earlier and it has stayed with me through out the day...   
Interesting. Does it provoke thought?

What do you think?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Shirt String Quilt

Inspired by the Jelly Roll race, I ripped collars and yokes  into 2" strips from my shirt stash.
(If you click on the You Tube video link above/left, you can see the
Missouri Star Quilt company Jelly Roll race tutorial). 
As it turned out, I didn't rip 2" exactly on every piece.  I probably got closer to 1 3/4".  Oops.....but no big deal.  I think it made the quilt more interesting not having exact widths on every strip. 
I really had no plans for this.  I didn't know what it would look like and I didn't care.  I sewed for 2 days and hoped for the best.  :)  I felt a lot of emotion pressing on me, so I sewed until I got it all out of my system.  2 whole days.  Whew!
Feeling much better now.
As it turned out, I think this is one of my favorite quilts.  I encourage you to engage in mindless quilting with no plans for the outcome.  Shirts give you permission to ruin, make mistakes, re-rip again and again....... I would never feel comfortable "ruining" very expensive fabric I purchased at the quilt store.  I know with a shirt, they are a dime a dozen at the thrift store; easily replaced.
The only thing I would do differently with this number of skinny strings is not sew the ends on the diagonal.  It looks beautiful, but it takes longer, with a lot more work. (I'm making another now, sewing straight seams end to end.  A LOT faster).
I also had a hard time squaring it up.  I thought about putting boarders on it, but it was so crooked, I decided to let it go.  I figured I could clean up the edges after quilting.  I sewed 2 1/2" strips on both ends to give me extra length to work with as I squared it. 
It straightened up just fine after quilting and cleaned up nicely. 
An old college friend, Sarah, quilted it for me and did a beautiful job. 
It is now in the binding stage.  Finished quilt pictures to come soon. 
Stay tuned.  Follow my blog so you can see it. :)   

What do you work on when you're mind is full?
Let’s escape outside,” Isabelle suggested. “Do you have any other talents?”
“I bake and garden.”
“Do you sew, too?”
Amber nodded. “I sew whenever anger incites me to mutilation.”
Isabelle laughed. “One cannot hang for attacking a piece of cloth.”
~Patricia Grasso~
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Pooh thinks all the quilts are his. 
I haven't had the heart to tell him yet, but I'm giving this new one away.
  Go back to sleep Pooh.  Cheer up buddy. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Marriage, Empty Nesting and Rescue Dogs...

Charlie and Olivia; both rescued dogs from ESRA
Our kids grow up and do mean things such as have their own lives,
fall in love and move away. 
Our NEW babies wont move away or get married.
They will never bite the hand that feeds them. :)
I have to say, we've been married 19 years and it's never been easy. 
Love and commitment was never a question, although staying together is
Very. Hard. Work. 
I've had many people say to us, we act like newlyweds and make it look easy.  Thank you for the compliment, but it's never been easy.  We're both stubborn, strong willed people with lots of baggage.
Having a passionate love affair over something we believe in so strongly has been one of the best things we've ever done for ourselves.  It seemed outside of our children, we had so little in common, or so we thought. 
Once the kids what???? 
Combining our affection for animals, and my husband's life time love of Springer Spaniels, we have found ourselves joyfully challenged.  Caring for our foster fur-children has forced us to communicate more frequently
and work together for a common goal.
   If your nesting an empty house, you're miserable and you and your spouse don't know what to do next.....rescue and foster a breed you love.  
Every breed has an organization and is in desperate need of
volunteers and foster homes
You start out saving animals, but they end up saving you. 

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Camera Critters
Be blessed and Be a blessing
Choose Joy
Pooh says hello and thinks dog lovers are boring. 

I hope you'll follow my blog to the right.
And follow our fostering adventures on Instagram too.  :) 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Throw Back Thursday 1971 "Mean Girl"

I'm the oldest sister and you know, we like to pick on the little ones and make them cry. 
I loved making my little brother cry.
I still do. *wink* waaaaaa....ya big baby. Take that, ya little punk.

I steal the coloring book cause you broke my arm by pushing me off the piano bench. Honestly he is my "Irish twin" and has been my best friend for 43 years. I would probably, literally die without my brother. He is a genius. I adore his brilliant mind, his humor and his passion for life. I love laughing with him. We can read each other's mind and bust out laughing.

Such an incredibly beautiful human being and BRIGHT light in my world.

Love you brother!  I'm sorry I took the coloring book and made you cry.  xoxo

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Our New Foster Springer Spaniel

Marshall was an "owner surrender".
He is our 4th English Springer Spaniel foster through ESRA.  He is an unneutered male, born in April, 2012.

(If you love Springer Spaniels, follow our fur family journey on Instagram ~ sweetwoodruffs )


Going to someone's home to remove a surrendered family pet is not something I want to do again.  This was our first owner surrender pick up.  I did not enjoy it.  The family was upset and the dog was confused.


All went well.  I'm grateful it wasn't as dramatic as it could have been.  You feel so sorry for the family saying good bye.  I can't imagine.  She was a single mom and couldn't afford to take care of Marshall any more.  As painful as it was, she did the right thing and shouldn't be faulted or judged. So many people just dump their dogs or worse.  She contacted ESRA and surrendered this beautiful boy to a safe foster home for eventual re-homing.


Marshall had been living in a bad flea infestation for awhile.  It's been a very wet summer here in Florida.  Once you get fleas this badly, it's hard to get rid of them.  His skin is in terrible, bad shape. He is badly scabbed from chewing himself to pieces. Has substantial hair loss all over.  He has allergies I guess from flea bites, as well as possible food allergies.  As bad as he is, we have seen MUCH worse.  This is nothing a good vet, good nutrition and round the clock care can't clear up.  His hair will be growing back in a few weeks.


His mental, emotional health is fine.  He was alone for 12 to 16 hours a day.  I think he is happier here with a pack to play with.  He walked into the house and was immediately made to feel welcome.  No issues at all with the other dogs, which surprised me.  He bonded with my husband quickly, of course.  Everyone bonds with Tim the Enchanter quickly.  :)  Marshall is sooooooo easy, gentle and sweet!!  He gets a long with all the dogs, cats and children.  Minds his manners. A PERFECT dog.  He is a little clingy, and I could see where separation anxiety could be a problem, but that is normal.  Springers aren't called "Velcro Springers" without reason.  We can manage separation anxiety with walks, toys and games.

So far so good.  He will be up for adoption when he is neutered and healthy again.  Maybe a month or two.

"Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace."
~ Albert Schweitzer ~


Marshall is in Florida.  If you love Dogs, know anyone who loves to support rescues, or someone who might be looking for a new family member....especially a Springer Spaniel...... please forward or pass this along.  We NEED and WANT exposure for ESRA and English Springer Spaniels.

Choose Joy!
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing

Pooh says hey.  He is cool with the rescue dogs.
He catches all the action from the bannister above.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Lace Covered Window

So we had a little problem.  

This window, which lets in much needed light, is very poor for privacy.  I never could decide on a window treatment.  Plus, my budget at this time in our life is a big fat ZERO.  I kept trying to think of what I could do for free......what do I have around the house that could work???  What could give us some much needed privacy, but still let in the light.  If we could cut down some of the Florida heat coming in with this south facing window, 
that would be a bonus.

Pinterest to the rescue.  I saw this idea over at Annabel Vita where she 'liquid starched' lace to her window.  
Boom!  That will work.  
(The bottom half is a very old piece of vintage lace pretty)
 I can make my own starch.  
FREE, sort of, or FREE enough!
  I win!   

I used this recipe for my liquid starch.  Took only a few minutes.  Let it cool before you paint windows with simmering glue gravy.  :)  
Here is a before:

I didn't take any pictures of the process, as I was covered in liquid starch, 
but below are pictures of the results. 

I followed Annabel Vita's easy tutorial and here are my tips from my experience.

  • Clean your window first, removing any dust.
  • It would help if you have an extra set of hands.  I was by myself and it took patients and upper body strength.  
  •  Don't be sparse with your liquid starch application.  I used generous amounts.  It dried rather quickly, so you have to keep it wet, or it won't stick.   
  • The whole process took about 2 hours. 
  • It's been up a few weeks now.  No problems and it still looks good.
  • I haven't tried, but I'm pretty sure it could be removed with water and a scraper.  At least I hope it will.                                                          


I went outside at night to see how much more, if any, privacy we had.  Nice!  That will work.  Good enough.  
You can't see up the stairs or the hallway any more.

PERFECT!!!  Success!  Thank you Annabel Vita! 

Lee Lee the Cowdog says hello!  

Hope this post inspires you to creatively solve an issue 
when money is tight.  :) 
 Use what you have and don't be afraid to take risks.  

“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.” 
Edith Wharton

Be Blessed and be a Blessing.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Absent Minded Needle Art Practitioner

No. I haven't lost my mind.  Just a little crazy is all.  Frazzled I was!  Frantically searching for me ol' spectacles. I'm blind as a bat without my magnifying equipment.  Swear words would soon be forming at the base of my spleen as frustration increased. (Bite your tongue. Pull yourself together!) 
"Where are my dog gone glasses?????"  
There they are!  
Well would you look at that!  Both pair.  
Now that's just embarrassing.

Loved this quote...may I forever be a "lover".
Life is short people.

Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absent-minded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.
~ Jalal-Uddin Rumi

Choose Joy!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

David Gilmour, Wish you were here live unplugged

I can't listen to this song without bawling.  
Some songs just do that to me.  
Why is that???

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