Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Wonderful Weekend in Hamilton

Just a few more days of summer vacation left for me, ugghh!  I have gotten a lot of quilting done in the last couple of months and that has been wonderful.  I haven't given school much thought other than, "not thinking about it right now." However, it's almost time to start thinking about it.  Thinking about what I want to do differently, how I want to change up some things that went well, but could be improved upon. Things like that.  I love my Facebook group of FCS (Family Consumer Science) Teachers and reading everything they are doing in their classrooms, but man oh man, there are a lot of beginner and second year teachers on there!!  Plus, they come from all over the United States so their curriculum is a bit different from ours here in Texas.  Still, it's a great source to pull things from.  I guess since it's almost time to go back, I need to get on there and start downloading files of things I want to do and plugging them into my plans.  (not that I always write down plans, but I do have a file in my head.  Things would probably get done better if I actually wrote down the plans from my head, LOL) 

Got back a few days ago from a quilt retreat up in Hamilton, MO with my mom's quilt group from Northwest Arkansas.  My mom and I had a great time up there with 35 other women.  We sewed and shopped all day, played games mid evening before everyone gave up and went to bed and then for us late nighters, we stayed up and sewed into the wee hours of the morning most nights.  Fun, fun, fun!!  If you ever get the chance to go up to Hamilton, do it.  It is something every quilter should have the chance to experience at least once in his/her lifetime.  13 stores full of fabrics, notions and fun fills up the entire town.  It's wonderful.  Plus, if you are lucky enough to schedule a retreat there, it's even more fun to watch and experience the town life.  (Friday nights the farmers and Amish have a small farmers market - don't miss out on the hand pies, fresh breads, fresh fruits and veggies and homemade noodles.  (last year they even had two kids for sale, baby goats)  Now, I haven't tried the noodles yet, but we got some this year on the word of one of the ladies that purchased some last year that raved over them and then proceeded to purchase all they had except for the one bag we happened to get.  Now I have to decide how I want to use them. 

This is the only one I have access to.  I had to download it from a Facebook page, but you will be able to see something that I worked on over the weekend.
She wanted to make sure she could see me, but left off one entire column of blocks.  Oh, well, it still needs a couple of borders which I hope to get on this weekend.  (if I can ever unload my machine from my car) 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Three New Bags

I am scrolling through a blog and wanting to read what the blogger has said about what to do with your farmer's market finds and some recipes of how to cook these items and all I get are advertisements!!  I really, really hate that a lot of my favorite blog sites that I used to read everyday or at least every couple of days have totally sold out and allow all these advertisers to come into their blogs.  A lot of the time I don't even read what they said because I am having to wait so long for all the advertisements to load, that I just get frustrated and leave that blog.  Does this happen to anyone else?  Is anyone else totally annoyed with this problem?  I am so glad that they have found a way to make money off of something they used to enjoy doing - and may still enjoy doing, I don't know because I have stopped reading their blogs due to all the advertisements! 

A lot of my favorite quilt bloggers are now famous quilters and have moved on to pattern making, fabric design and other things, that they either don't blog anymore or it's all about selling their items.  Don't get me wrong, I am excited for them that they have found a way to make the money doing something they apparently love.  I am sad that I no longer get to read about their fun innovative ideas, about their lives and what they were creating.  They have all moved on and reading blogs and getting inspired by what I was reading and then creating my own version just doesn't happen anymore and it's a sad change in my world. 

I have been busy creating items since school got out.  I made three bags recently.  I made them to take on our recent shop hop excursion.  One for me, one for my fellow traveling companion and friend and the last one I will probably sell.  I have more fabric and plan on making several more that I will, more than likely, sell.  I have posted them on Facebook and Instagram both, but not on here.  I guess those are easy posts that I can quickly make from my phone and posting over here is a little more involved. 

This last one is my favorite one.  I love the fabric and colors in it and have some more to make another one just like it, but I probably won't. I will make a different style bag with these fabrics.  Not sure what since I don't use a pattern and just wing it.  However, I will try to post here first this next time. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Schools Out For . . . well, almost out

We are so near the end I can almost reach out and touch it!  2 days with students and one to finish grades, finish cleaning and putting away and finish with school!!  I am ready for it to be over with.  Don't take it wrong, it has been a good year, fast, full of stuff, but a good year, I am just done.  I really wasn't in this mood until memorial day weekend.  having a three day weekend just before the week of finals was poor planning!  It made me not want to return to school today, it made me ready to be done and it made me want to just sit and sew all day long.  Which is what I have planned for my summer!  Or, I should say the next 8 weeks since that is all of a summer we have this year.  I am sure that will fly by quickly and I won't want to return to school in the August, but we will see what the future holds.  I am making my bucket list of what I want to get accomplished this summer and maybe I can get some of that list done, unlike a couple of years ago where I only got a few items marked off.

I was scanning through my pictures I have downloaded and there is nothing new to show.  They are all still on my phone so I will have to do better and get them on here to show you what I have been working on, because I have been working.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Ever have this disease?

I have a really bad case of the "Idon'twanna"s.  This week my students have been testing on their home campuses and only coming over for the last half of my double blocked class and then returning to their campuses for the last class of the day.  Even though I had big plans on getting things done and graded and cleaned up, I have gotten nothing done at all!!  I take that back. I have gotten several things done, but not what I had planned on doing.  After two entire days of mostly sitting around working on the computer, planning future caterings, etc., today (our third day in a row and our last day) I really have come down with the "Idon'twanna" disease and have spread it to my classroom aide.  As I sit here yawning, waiting for two students to show up before taking attendance for the 20 minutes they will be in my classroom, I am writing in the blog.

My body is ready for school to be out and to move to my summer schedule.  I am having a really hard time getting to bed before midnight (more like 1 a.m.) and getting up by 7 (should be 5:30!!).  I have been sewing most nights working on my row quilt.  It's not a large one - only 42 1/4" wide so far.  I know I want to add a wide border on the left side with maybe a tree or branches or possibly floating blocks.

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's Not Easy Being a Sick Teacher

It's no fun being sick!  I woke up Monday feeling bad, but knew I had to go into work since it was our first day back from Spring Break.  Left school a little early, went home and lounged, but could I sleep?  No.  I woke up almost every hour on the hour!  I couldn't breathe!  However, I knew since we were having restaurant on Thursday, we had to get pies made.  So, into work I go on Tuesday.  Still feeling bad, but not totally horrible.  Needless to say, but I will anyway, my week has continued on in this fashion.  I have been here everyday, I haven't slept much at a time (last night was the longest between wakenings at 4 hours!!) Today, I feel HORRIBLE!!!  I am leaving school here in a few minutes to go to the doctor.  I know he is going to ask how long I have been like this and when I say since Monday, he is going to give me the look.  I am prepared for that look.  I know!  But sometimes you just have to do, push through and hold on until you just can't do it any more.

by the way, restaurant was wonderful!  We served Chips and Salsa, Green Enchiladas - with beef - Mexican style rice and beans and a variety of pies - how many varieties you ask - well, let me tell you.  I had purchased graham cracker pie crusts on sale after Christmas for cheap!  really cheap!  so we made:
 1. Peanut Butter with fudge topping, - this was a first for me.  one of my students found this recipe and it is a keeper!  definitely going into the recipe folder.
2.  My 8 minute cheesecake pie with fresh strawberries - this is always a winner in my book
3.  One of my childhood favorites, Pink Lemonade Pie, YUM!
4.  S'more pie - this was a new one - another student found this and wanted to try it.  It was a medium size hit and is also going into the recipe folder.
5.  Key Lime Pie.  this recipe, that a student found, is lacking something, even though some people liked it well enough.  I think my aunt's recipe is better.  I have it at home and I guess I need to add it to my school folder.
6.  chocolate Cream pie - another student find and it was a flop.  literally.  It ran all over the pie pan.  It needs some help or better yet, I think I will throw that recipe out.  I have a better chocolate pie that I will use next time.
7.  Caramel Banana Cream Pie - this one we combined a couple of recipes to create.  It was good, but runny.  It's a keeper with some major altering of the recipe.  it needs some help being more of a complete pie instead of a banana pudding.
8.  Cherry O Cream pie - I wish the students had made a couple more of these.  It's the standard pie from the 70's.

I think that is all of the pies we served yesterday.  It was a lot and when they ran out, we were out! I tried to stay out of the restaurant and kitchen as much as possible and just let my students run it since I was sickly and they, along with my aide, did a great job.  I could mostly sit at my desk and take in the money the waiters would bring me.  

It was a fun week in the kitchen, but I am so ready for a shot and some meds and my bed!  Can't wait until I can go to the doctor.  (Now, how many people do you know say that?)  I am glad I was here all week so my students could cook, but I have to get well so they can cook again next week.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Spring Break is in the Books!

Have had a GREAT spring break!  Started the week taking a two day class with Gail Garber.  The first day we learned how to draft our spectacular stars.  Then after a pot luck lunch, we began making our patterns and paper piecing the pie segments.  I think I got most of one finished before class was dismissed and we took Ms. Gail out to eat at the famous Barn Door steak house.  She was so impressed with the big block of cheese they serve that she just had to take a picture.  LOL She really enjoyed her prime rib and sweet potato fries, too.  Several of us returned to the church to continue sewing our stars and many finished them in time for the next days class.  Gail was so impressed with us! 
Frances' star block

Gerrie's first star block started last year, but finished this week

Donna's star block

Cathi's star block proving you can make magic even when you mess up!

Chelsie's first block.  She was the first to finish hers.

Chelsie's second star block.  She was bored waiting for us to finish so she drafted and made another.

Gerrie's second block drafted and made first and then she finished her other one. 

Glenda's star block

Liz's star block

Ruth's amazing star block.  This took some fussy cutting and patience!

Last, but not least is my star block

The next day we returned for day two of our class and circular borders.  Since not all of us were finished with our blocks, some of us got to have a 1/2 day class on free form drafting!!  Such fun!  She showed us how to draft and draw our curved pieces and then set us free to draw all we wanted.  She would bring us back from time to time - she did need to go to the other room and check on everyone else finishing up their stars - and teach us how to draft another area.  It was so much fun. After lunch, she taught us how to draft about 10 different circular borders.  Then we began making our patterns and sewing our borders.  That evening we took Gail to eat at Osaka's a Japanese steak house (okay, now that I see it in print, it looks like it would be similar, but they are totally different steak houses!)  Osaka's has the traditional Japanese cooktop there at the table and you get a show and dinner all at the same time.  Plus, the food is delicious!  However, it's really pricey.  It was at dinner that I found out Gail and I share a birthday!  She had never met anyone with her same birthday before and was really surprised.  I think she enjoyed her time with us here in Odessa and I know we all enjoyed having her come teach us for two days.  Here are a few of the blocks with their second and in some cases, third rounds. 

I was going to label them, but every time I try, it highlights everyone and then deletes a few.  So, Frances added dancing Kachina dolls to hers, Liz added a plain green border and then sewed a picket fence border to add around.  I added flying geese in two sizes and then added a squared up border and another small purple border.  I plan on putting it on point in the middle of a larger quilt.  Ruth added a thin green border and then purple points around hers and last, but not least, Glenda added a big/little border she calls Kristy's Mountains around her block.  It has been fun to see how each one has changed and grown. I can't wait to see what everyone does with theirs.  I do know that Frances is adding some big/little mountains around her Kachina's, Chelsie added some pointy dudes around her first one, Gerrie was adding a border around her first wheat one, but I can't remember off the top of my head what pattern she was using even though I assisted with color choices.  Donna is doing flying geese.  So, maybe by next month we will have some semi finished if not totally finished tops ready to be quilted. 

The rest of the week we had an extra quilt-in.  We sewed from 9 a.m. - 11p.m. almost every day.  Of course, not all of us stayed the entire time.  Some days I didn't get there until closer to 10 and some people left before it got dark.  It was a wonderful time with a lot, I mean a lot of people choosing to spend part of their week sewing up at the church.  (about 32 different people came through, with an average daily attendance of around 18) It was a great time and even though I didn't get anything done that I had on my list of things to do this week, I am looking forward to getting back into a routine.  Getting back in the kitchen with my students.  Ready to finish out this school year. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Two Birds . . .

Don't you hate it when you are part of a group thing and it gets shut down and you aren't told it's getting shut down and you go to it and it's no longer there?  I had a student in my cooperative learning class several years ago (student goes to school half the day and then goes to work the other half) and she went in to work as she was scheduled and the business had closed.  No phone call, no warning, just shut the doors.  Not even a sign on the door!!  She had been at work the night before.  It was really weird.  That is not what I am talking about specifically, but it relates.  Oh, well.  There was no sign on the door, no advanced warning, just closed.  bummer!!  I really enjoyed that group thingy I was a part of for several years.  Maybe those "doors"  will reopen sometime in the future or something else will come along. 

What is not a bummer though is this fun, wonderful, kills two birds with one stone quilt top I just finished. 

This is my Purple Penny Patch Quilt that I finished this weekend (without the top row showing since this was being held up by two of my students, they don't understand the importance of showing all the quilt!  However, the one on the left did put that edge out over the table corner so it would show, just not the top row.  I started this quilt top as an example of using 4 patch units in a quilt.  I had made two blocks, one had a pink/purple print as the large square and the other had a mottled purple large square.  Two of my little cousins (my first cousins children) wanted purple quilts for their high school graduation.  Well, they have been out of high school for at least 4 or 5 years now and I just can not force myself to make them an all purple quilt.  I had cut about 20 fat quarters and tied them all up ready to make either a Yellow Brick Road quilt or a turning twenty quilt.  I just haven't forced myself to make them.  Purple is not my go to color choice even though I like it, it's just not the first color I think of like soooo many people today.  Anyway, after seeing these two blocks up on the design wall, I thought, "Purple!!!  I can use those fat quarters I cut for a purple yellow brick road quilt to add some zing and pizzazz to this quilt." So, that is what I did.  I only made 12 blocks, (12 fat quarters) and that meant that the top was only 48 X 64.  It needed to be wider.  Of course, I can't do things symmetrical so I cut strips from the remaining 8 1/2" segment that I cut my square from and sewed those together.  Once I got my strips sewn, I planned on cutting that long section to put part on the left and part on the right, but decided to put it all on one side.  Now I needed to cut some more strips to put onto the right side, just not the same size.  Looking good.  However the top and bottom look unfinished, but I don't want to add too much to the length so no piano keys for them, just bricks with a little bit of the leftover keys sewn in.  The top has only one row of bricks and the bottom has two.  Love how this turned out and this will be one of the girl's quilts after I get a purple back (already have the fabric for this) cut out and put together to send off to the quilter.  First, though, it is part of the 4 patch class I will be teaching at retreat in a couple of weeks.  two birds, one stone!  Love it!! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Stuff again

Writing prompt for the day:  on this day in 1924 the first winter Olympics were held.  What is your favorite event and why? 

It totally shocked me that about half of all my students had never watched the winter Olympics on television and couldn't tell me what any of the events might be.  WHAT???  shocked!  My aide was shocked and my appraiser who was in my class today was shocked.  It was crazy.  I don't know how anyone in todays world of having 3+ televisions per household could ever grow up and not have watched the winter Olympics.  some had never watched the summer ones either.  Now I know these are mostly 16/17/18 year olds, but come on!  I remember watching the Olympics while sitting on my parents bed in their bedroom because it was something special. 

Feeling better.  Stomach has finally settled down a lot and not being so picky which is a good thing.  I just wish it had gotten better before last weekends trip to the FCSTAT mid-winter conference.  I just didn't feel up to going out with the group for Mexican food. (nope, didn't think I could handle that)  I posted a picture of a slice of cheesecake and it was pretty good, couldn't eat it all even though it was small, but even the wonderfulness of it didn't sit well. Couldn't lay down to sleep due to the nausea.  However, I was glad that that was all it was the entire weekend.  Just that feeling of yuck without all the yuck. 

Got a full week of things going on and am looking forward to our stay at home quilt retreats we have in our quilt group.  We will be getting together to plan out our row quilts for the year and coming up with what all we want to go in our quilts and how we want to do them.  I anticipate that we will have at least three groups that come together to plan their row quilts; traditional, modern and improve. 

Gotta get some rest for tomorrow is looking like it might be a long day. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

MLK Day Break

Martin Luther King Day and I am home from school.  That is a good thing.  I am sick.  That is a bad thing.  I have gotten nothing done today and I am okay with that given the circumstances.  I had planned on going to get soup in Midland - Harvest CafĂ© - Bahama Chicken Enchilada soup, yummm! I had planned on sewing a few more blocks in the 4 patch variations segment.  I had planned on taking out the trash, washing clothes, cooking. . . . none of this got done. Well, I did wash one load of clothes, but that wasn't even a drop in the bucket on the clothes front.  I may have to stay home tomorrow, too - depends on how the night goes, if I am still running fever - and that is not the best thing.  There are way too many things to get done this semester and it is already cut into by FCCLA regionals (I have to work two other ones beside ours) and possibly state. That means I will be out at least 8 or 9 days just with FCCLA.  Then there are the quilting things.  You know I have to have my quilting things.  That is another 4 days of being out.  I have to attend the FCSTAT Mid Winter conference so add in a couple more days and I am going to miss about 3 weeks of school just attending to other things.  That doesn't even include in case I get sick.  Which, knock on wood, I haven't had a sinus infection so far this year!  (I was really, really sick with a couple of them back to back last year and then had a reaction to my meds.  It was not good.  I even had to miss out on some of the FCCLA and ALL of the quilting last spring which is why I am NOT going to miss out on the quilting this spring!  If I can help it)  Even though its a nice break and it's mostly for the kids, it's still hard to get the rhythm going and flowing in the classroom.  We were just picking up speed and then we have this day off from school.  We will just be picking up the speed again and then it's spring break.  Don't get me wrong, I love the breaks we get.  It's just hard sometimes to keep the flow going when you are in and out of the classroom.  But that is life. 

Here is the top for my word of the year quilt.  I just need to quilt and bind it - hey strips are cut at least!  Then I will have one completed quilt for the year. 

I had planned on posting the 4 patch variations I have been working on, but apparently I deleted them from my e-mails and will need to resend them from my phone again.  On the good side, that will be another post!  I will try not to be so whiny in the next one.  Maybe by then my body will feel better.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Words and Water

Today was the first day back at school with students after the Christmas Holiday break and I introduced the concept of one word for the year to my students.  Tomorrow, they will have to write in their journal what their one word is and why.  It will be interesting to see what they come up with and their reasoning behind choosing their word of the year.  I will have them periodically check back in - through their writing about once a month.- to see how they are doing with their word.  They won't have a quilt wall-hanging in their face to remind them of their word, which is why I will have them write in their journal about how they are progressing in their year.  I have never done this before, but since my word is "better", maybe this will help me make (mold) them into better students, people and family and community members. 

Of course, being the first day back (actually the second, I had to be at work yesterday, too, just no students yesterday) I stayed up too late last night and hit the snooze a few times this morning.  I will have to work my way back into the routine of going to bed earlier and getting up earlier again.  I allowed myself to get out of it during our two weeks off. (by Saturday and Sunday I was way off my schedule.  I went to bed Sunday morning at 3!!  That is summertime schedule!)  In this instance, every time I do this, it is usually on Thursday that I have the absolutely hardest time getting up and moving.  We will see if that holds true this time, too.  Okay, as I look at the clock on the computer, I see that I am already late getting in bed tonight.  (10:42) And I still need to move the wash to the dryer, kennel the dogs and find some more water!  (that is in the garage - so a cold trip out there for me! - for those of you not in Odessa, Texas - our water is horrible!  I only drink bottled water - I refill my gallon jugs with RO - reverse osmosis - water and I keep my full jugs in the garage.  Since I ran out this morning filling up my quart drinking bottle, I forgot to bring one in when I got home from school)  So, since I still need to get some stuff done tonight, I will sign off for now. Hey, two blogs this week.  Doing Better!

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Life got really busy this last 6 months since school started back up and I dropped a lot of balls.  One of which was blogging.  I have really missed it, believe it or not.  I would think about what I wanted to blog about, but never made it to the computer to put those words into the blog.  Most weeks I didn't make it to the computer to do anything!  I know that this spring semester is already jam packed with things I have to get done for school, quilting group, FCCLA, the dogs, and life in general.  I know I am going to be super busy, but I also knew as this new year was coming at me fast and furious, I needed a word for the year.  I originally thought I would use the same word from last year as my word for this year since I didn't really get to "create" much for more than half the year, but the more I thought about it, the more another word kept popping into my head.  I had gone on the blogs and written down words other people had chosen over the years and filled up a full scrap page of words I could choose from.  I read through them again and again, but nothing seemed to fit.  Then I started thinking about how I wanted to be.  What I wanted to do.  Yes, I want to create.  I am happier when I am creating.  It relaxes me and makes me more complete.  Therefore, in order for me to be able to do that I needed to manage my time better and carve out some space just to create.  I want to get healthy.  No more knee braces - even though I have done well in that area this past year.  This means I need to make better choices about food - come on - I teach foods and nutrition.  I know how to do this, I just don't always have time.  So, I need to plan better to make the time.  I want my courses to flow better.  That means I need to work better at planning out the year so it coordinates with what we want to accomplish in class, competition and restaurant.  I need to make time to get together with friends and be a better friend.  Quit hibernating so much.  Okay, I don't really want to totally go back to my "social" year, but I can do better about getting out.  Maybe have a girls night out from time to time or a girls lunch on Saturdays. 

There are so many things I would like to accomplish in this year and the one word that kept jumping out at me was, BETTER.  I could do better, be better, work better, eat better.  Yes, that word is my word for this year.  I want to do, be, etc. BETTER. 

What about you, do you have a word for the year?  Instead of having an entire list of resolutions that I am unable to keep - or don't want to keep - I have chosen just one - see, easier if you only have one - one word for the year that I need to work on.   I proposed to my quilting group that they come up with a word for themselves this year,  make a wall quilt so they can see it, refer back to it from time to time during the year and next December, evaluate how they did during the 2016 year. 

In 2015, I didn't do so well on my word, create.  I started off the year with a bang, but it fizzled.  So this year, I am going to do . . . BETTER.  Happy New Year!