Sunday, October 28, 2012

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again….

It’s hell to get old. All these new aches and pains and not to mention the Snap Crackle Pops.
Woke up last Friday and the muscle in my left leg felt like a dish rag being wrung out. The pain started at the knee then up to the waist and then down to the toes. Unlike a Charlie horse you can’t stand up to stretch it out. It’s happened maybe 2 other times and it’s extremely painful but it wore off after about 5-6 minutes. I was up moving kinda slow but I was up and getting ready for a Pokeno Girls trip. Well a couple gals couldn’t make it and we missed them but the trip went on. Oh Pokeno is like bingo but you use a deck of playing cards.
Just so you’ll know San Antonio is still standing and in one piece. 7 of us girls went to San Antonio and cruised the Riverwalk.
We stayed at the Riverwalk Plaza Hotel & Suites. The rooms were clean and the beds were actually comfy. Might mention that the AC worked really well in the rooms.
When we arrived late Friday afternoon we checked in, parked the cars and headed out on foot to the Tower of Americas for Happy Hour. I’ll mention now that we walked everywhere and didn’t see our cars until we left Sunday.
Anyway the walk to the Tower of Americas wasn’t exactly a short walk but we all made it. Took this picture out our room window. You can see the Tower over the buildings way over there.
When we got off the elevator in the bar we were slightly surprised at how small the bar area was and there were no tables available. The place wasn’t all that crowed it was just small. We had planned on having a couple of drinks and maybe an appetizer and then head back to the Riverwalk and the La Villita Historic Arts and Shopping area and maybe later stop off at one of the restaurants for a meal.

Since the bar was full we decided to see if we could get a table in the restaurant to have an appetizer and a drink.
We got lucky and got a table where after looking at the menu we decided to just stay and eat dinner. Oh yum yum. Some of us had $12 margaritas that were pretty tasty but I’m not sure of the alcohol content. It wasn’t very strong but I guess that’s okay since we had a ways to walk back. I had bowl of their lobster bisque. Wow it was creamy rich with heavy cream n butter, laced with sherry with lobster in every spoon full. It was so good! For dinner I had the Specialty Plate with tempura battered fish, lobster tail, coconut shrimp, calamari and skinny fries. Oh I forgot to mention the view. The restaurant floor rotated so you got a panoramic view of the city. It takes a full hour to complete its rotation. Like I said before I haven’t quite got the hang of taking pictures of the food so you’ll have to go by my so so description.

Now that dinner is over we’re headed back to La Villita or so we thought. All the stores were closed at this time so instead we walked along the Riverwalk to enjoy the sites and figure out how to get back to our Hotel for a friendly game of Chicken Foot (dominos) along with some wine and munchies. 
Okay so when we get back to the hotel we ended up 3 gals being party poopers. No names mentioned to protect the innocent. They got back to their room to freshen up and decided to stay put. My roomie and I almost did the same thing but Monika and Jaxie were ready to do something beside go to bed. It was close to 10pm and we were in San Antonio to play and have fun so …. I learned to play chicken foot, had some wine and munchies then to bed by …well to be honest I don’t remember what time we went back to our room..
Saturday morning we’re all up at breakfast by 9:30. Part of our package was free breakfast which consisted of Alamo pancakes and bacon or the Texas Two Step (bacon, eggs, toast and red roasted potatoes). I don’t remember anyone complaining about either. I had pancakes the first day and then the Texas Two Step Sunday.
We headed back to the Riverwalk to explore and see about a boat ride/tour and go back to La Villita to look around and maybe shop. Our guide on the boat ride pointed out various buildings and gave us some trivia facts about them and the river.
After the ride we walked around and went up to La Villita to see what there was. First shop we stopped at I found Pamela a shot glass, me a thimble and a Christmas ornament for David and I. Most of the shops there were a little pricey at least for our pocket book but it was fun to look around. It was warm and very humid and we’d been out walking now so it’s time for beverages and maybe some food. A few shared a liter of sangria while the rest of us had tea and water @ Casa Rio. I shared some fajita nachos with one of the girls.
Did I mention how humid it was? It was humid! So bring on the water and tea and alcohol doesn’t help the thirst so I avoided it this time besides I knew we were headed to either Mi Tierra or La Margarita in the Market Square for dinner and drinks that evening so I decided to wait. We heard that Mi Tierra has an awesome bakery so we'll check that out while there.
After lunch we decided to head back to our rooms to just chill before we hit the streets again to head to the market square. Market Square was alive with lots of people and music.  I think we passed like 3 different bands in a short distance. We checked out the goods and a few shops before deciding on La Margarita for dinner.

Got me a Margarita and was thinking about a 2nd one but
then again I thought about the long walk back to the hotel and decided that wasn’t a good idea. The food was really good and so were the drinks.
After dinner we stood in line at the Mi Tierra Bakery to get some goodies. I think we were so full that we really didn’t want much of anything but I had to buy something so I bought a pastry with vanilla cream and a praline candy that I brought home to share with David while some of the girls bought a cookie and one bought an ├ęclair for breakfast the next morning and others bought nothing. Their loss.
Back at the hotel we set up our domino game in the coffee shop that was closed but the hostess let us move tables around and turned on the UT Baylor game and the lights so we could see to play chicken foot and laughed the rest of the evening.
We had decided to leave after breakfast Sunday so we packed up and took it out to our cars before heading to breakfast by a little after 9. And home we headed.
We did a lot of walking and my left leg was sorta stiff but I did fine all weekend but Monday morning was a different story. OMG.. My sciatic nerve has been dealing me a fit ever since. I can hardly walk on the left and standing up was a real test. Stepping up the curb was a feat too. Motrin wasn’t easing the pain so Thursday I headed to the doctor. Dang while there she gave me a flu shot. Didn’t really ask me if I wanted one, I was told I needed one since last year I had pneumonia and yes I've had my pneumonia shot. So I give in and got me a flu shot but make the pain in my butt go away. I might add the shot the nurse gave me I never even felt it. That’s a first.
So the doctor says yep sounds like your sciatic nerve so I’m gonna give you some pain meds and some anti-inflammatory medication.. I’m not sure which one did it but I’ve been feeling funky ever since. Yes the nerve is 65% better but the rest of me feels disconnected, sleepy and I even got car sick riding to dinner last night. I thought that it was because I hadn’t had much to eat during the day. At dinner I was fine but coming home I got motion sickness again. Passed on the pain pill last night.
David realized I really didn’t feel good last night since it wasn’t even 9pm and I was in bed with the TV on but then I asked if he’d just turn it off when he walked by.
David is at least relaxing a little today and off on a motorcycle ride with a friend of ours Britt.   David is working 6-7 days each week and 12-13 hours a day for like for the past 2 months. These hours make for a very tired David and maybe even a little grumpy at times.
Haven’t taken any medication today and I’m feeling okay but that nerve is pulling a little so I may have to break down and take it before I go to bed.
I’ve got to have my walking legs because I’m headed to the Houston Quilt Festival this coming Friday with my friend Denise and that’s a lot of walking.

I guess I’m gonna go sew for a while now. I have a few quilts to make and I did sneak in this pillow last week. Pam’s yellow pillow was falling apart so I covered it with black minky and I'm gonna add purple crystal buttons to tie in with her room color. They didn't show up in the picture. Oh well.  I have several more to cover but right now its quilt time.

Until next time…. All people have the right to stupidity but some abuse the privilege.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Daddy Tom Cat away Momma Cat went to Play

Daddy Tom Cat away Momma Cat went to Play
Well sorta. David had to go out of town on business for a couple of days and Jesse Dayton was gonna be at Puffabelly’s in Old Town Spring with Davin James last night. Bummer.
Then I got to thinking “Hey wait a minute that doesn’t mean I can’t go right?’ So when David called me late yesterday afternoon I asked if he would mind if I went ahead and went to the show. Of course he didn’t mind but I still ran it by him.

Jesse Dayton in Black           Davin James with hat

Now I didn’t want to go by myself so at the last minute I asked a couple of people if they’d like to meet me out at Puffabelly’s. Yay, my long time friend and former co-worker Deborah Marxsen  said ‘sure!’ It was her first time to be at Puffabelly’s and hear Davin and Jesse. She was in for a treat. And she loved it.
 Not only does Puffabelly’s provide great live music by Davin James who ever his guest is each Wednesday they have great food. Word of warning the pickles are sour sour but good and the jalapeno’s OMG the burn.  I tried to warn Deborah that the jalapeno’s were HOT but she just thought I was being a wimp.  Picture of laughter I have to say it….. I Told You So. I bet you’ll listen to me next time. Even with the 4 slices she shared with me added flames to my mushroom cheeseburger. 

Davin and Jesse have known each other for a long time and even roomed together a long time ago so they had plenty of material to draw from and talk about between songs.  


They can rock the house with their guitar picking and songs. They’re a little bit honky tonk and a little bit rockabilly. I had only seen these guys in the small intimate settings of Puffabelly’s until Labor day when David and I saw Jesse in Austin @ the Broken Spoke with his band. Talk about rockin the house. Wow.
Now in December David and I hope to go to see Davin with his band in action in Ft Worth while we're checking out the sites. Davin told me last night it’s a fun time and they rock the house.     Can’t wait.
Jan H. next time they play together I’ll let you know.

You need to check these guys out you won't be disappointed.
Just click on their names here and it will take you to their sites to find their tour dates.
Jesse Dayton
You'll also be able to hear some of their songs
Deborah took a couple of pictures of me and the guys. Thanks Deborah and thanks for joining me. Remind me not to post things on Facebook when It’s late and I’m really tired. My daughter texted me and asked if I was tipsy. Nope, not even close.

Me and Jesse.
 I probably wouldn't have asked if Deborah hadn't suggested she take a picture of us. Thanks again girl friend.

Not sure what happened to the exposure on the  one to the right. Darn.

Me and Davin

What a fun time!

Until next blog.... 
The trouble is if you don’t spend your life yourself, other people spend it for you. ~Peter Shaffer

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I did it I really did it

I finished the baby quilt. It's actually bigger than a baby quilt. I got carried away.
I know most of you are thinking it’s about time. Sweet Abigail Victoria can finally enjoy her quilt. And she's not even a year old. It seems like forever since I have actually accomplished or completed a single project. I mean I hadn’t even created or completed a quilted mailable postcard in over a year. Well maybe I did make one for my boss in January for her birthday but that’s it.
The quilt journey began in February after I went
to the baby shower with a card, bottle of Pedialite and a promise of a quilt for Lisa and Kris’s pending bundle of joy. Whoa did I just tell someone I’d make a quilt? Yikes! What pattern, what fabric and how to quilt oh crap now I panic. Okay let’s see ahhh I decided to do a western theme. Lisa is into horses and even does competition reining. So now to find a pattern and fabric so I can get started. 

While visiting my mom in Conroe we went by Quilters Quarters Quilt shop for a look. Wait you want Me to go to a quilt shop and just look. Is that even legal?  I found all their western themed fabric but I still needed to figure out a pattern. Mmmm the decisions and that’s when I walked into their back room and there it was on the wall a pattern made for the shop using western fabrics. Now the pattern was for a bigger quilt but that’s okay I can modify. I bought most of my fabric @ Quilters Quarters but some came from my stash, Quilters Crossing and QuiltWorks. hint if you click on the store name it will take you to they're website.

So here’s the pattern for the full size quilt.  I used it for inspiration for my adaptation.
I was okay with all my fabric choices until little Miss Abigail was born. When I heard the name Abigail Victoria I took a look at the quilt top and thought mmm it’s not girly enough. Now what can I do??

Well of course I hit up all my very talented quilty friends. With their help I added a couple of boarders to help tone
down the less girly fabrics and the quilt got a tad bit bigger.  The name Abigail Victoria conjures up in my mind this prim proper Victorian lacy little girl. Would you look at those pretty blue eyes and sweet face…? and what a smile.

So now that Abigail is here I start to question my western theme. Will this work or not?

Of course it will, just look at this mom and daughter all comfy in the saddle.

I got the piecing done. Not bad if I say so myself. I might have taken a couple blocks apart and re-sewn them but that’s okay.  

Now that the piecing is done I hit my Next road block ….
What quilting motif do I use to make the quilt top a tad more feminine.
I always question my ability to quilt .  
What if I screw up and the quilting looks like a mess and that screws up the whole quilt!
I think at the time "Maybe I should just hire someone to quilt it."
Only then the quilt wouldn’t be from me because I’d have to share the credit with someone else and pay them. I'm selfish I want all the credit. LOL
I stalled and fretted over what to do. I'm such a goober.

Where’s my confidence? Obviously it's was hiding out in a closet somewhere or under a pile of fabric in my sewing room.

So here's where I put the back, batting and the quilt top together.
Quilt all laid out.
Ready for Press n Seal.

Yep I said Press n Seal.

A guest speaker at our guild meeting one night commented “Press n Seal is my best friend.”
Guess what I think it might be mine too. I’ve used the gold quilting paper to trace my quilting pattern on and then pin to my quilt. Only by the time I man handle the quilt on my sewing machine with only a 6 inch throat with all the twisting and turning the paper gets so torn up I have no idea where my next stitch 
should go.
I’ve also used the chalk method where you put a quilt stencil down and pounce the powder over the stencil so that when you lift the stencil you have a design to follow but it becomes smudged or completely disappears.
Glad Press n Seal lays out nicely on your
fabric and STAYS.

So I start to trace my quilt pattern onto the press n seal

After about 30 days
of procrastinating I put on
my big girl panties and started quilting.

Here's an up close view of the floral motif I used. Can you see it?

Right off I screwed up the first 200+ stitches and had to remove them. Gee That was fun. NOT! 

Kim S. if you're reading this here's what it sorta looks like when you try to quilt a big quilt in a small space.  See how it's bunched up to the right?

I peeled some of the Press and Seal off a section I had finished and my quilting doesn’t look too bad. I figure It wasn't perfect but then neither am I. 

About 3 quarters of the way into quilting the damn thread starts breaking and bunching. Awww come on I want to finish and give Miss Abigail her quilt so she can start to enjoy. So I ripped out the quilting and re-stitched. I ended up ripping out over 20” of quilting on the border because my bobbin tension went goofy. GGGRRRRR Finally made it through the quilting stage.
Binding time but first I had to make my label so I could catch it in the binding. My label for the quilt states the quilt name "Welcome to Texas", who the quilt is for, the birth date, who pieced and quilted the quilt top with tender loving care, the completion date and what pattern I used.

I have family several quilts with no label so I don't know who made the quilt or why or for whom. Wish I did. Mom's gonna come down one day and see what info she can provide me so I can add a label one day.

Such is the life of a quilter or at least this quilter. You sew, you rip, you sew again. And again ................................. 

Put a fork in me it's done. The Quilt ended up being about 50x40.

I stopped at a house not far from our home and asked if I could take a picture on the fence of my finished quilt and the owner said sure anytime and anywhere. One little donkey got nosey but the rest ran. When I backed up to take the picture and looked in the view finder there were 4 ears popping up just over the quilt but before I could focus and snap they ran off.

The quilt may not be perfect but it was made with tender loving care.

And It was given from the heart.

David, Pamela (she was home for the weekend) and I drove out to deliver the quilt this past Saturday. Kris and Lisa seemed to be delighted. I hope Abigail gets lots of use out of it.

Now it’s on to quilts for the Quads. So many babies so many quilts so little time.

I better get busy…………..

Pamela was home for her friend Avery's baby shower and I did a small project for her.

She had gone to lunch with her Mimi at the Whistle Stop Tea Room
and walked across to Quilter's Crossing picked out the pattern and
fabric for a pair of baby booties. Look girls at Quilter's Crossing I actually
have a picture of a finished project from fabric bought at your shop. I did alter the pattern a little. I was suppose to make straps out of the fabric and use Velcro but I couldn't find my Velcro so I used ribbon and I think they look pretty cute. Pamela said Avery loved them so that's what counts.

One more thing… we have an addition to the family. David and I became grandparents…

to Pamela’s new puppy. Her name is Sophie.

She’s a cutie but Dexter isn’t so sure.

He tolerated this little intrusion into his world.
Well 98% of the time.

The were both sporting their Aggie attire on game day.

So until next Blog………
                       A child is a handful sometimes and a heart full at all times!