Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Hand Sewing Eclipse Day!

I stitched my little heart out yesterday. Above - Cooper was my buddy, taking over Hubby's recliner for the morning. First up was Gardenvale. It took most of the day, but I finished all the stitching on the backside. I need to do a bit of machine quilting along the seam lines and then it will be ready for binding.

And in the evening I finished this little Bring Me Flowers block.

We had a 92% totality eclipse here. We could tell it got darker outside, but not like middle-of-the-night dark...more like dusk. We had the TV on during the entire day, watching coverage from around the country. Fun day!

And later in the afternoon....ahhh. A few laps and then I read by the adult only pool. Until football season starts the pools are mostly empty, especially on weekdays. Life is good.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, August 21, 2017

A New Use for a Quilting Ruler

To hang the curtain rod in the guest bedroom we needed to go 6 inches over and 13.5 inches from the ceiling. Quilting ruler to the rescue! We marked and drilled and got the curtains up.

Nothing fancy, but they're up! You'd never know how much quilting stash I have hidden in that 33.3 cubic feet under the bed. I prefer this bed lower....but I really love all the hidden storage. 

This is a very simple bedroom - all the linens are white. The only color comes from throw pillows and the quilt at the foot of the bed. I know - said quilt is not there yet, but it will be soon. And I need to finally hang some artwork in here.

And the closet - it's not overstuffed any longer. Those hangers contain quilt tops - still to be quilted. The blue cart is my Rodan and Fields stuff - I think I can move it to our master closet. (UPDATE: I did move the blue cart.) And look! There's an empty shelf above! Hooray!

I made some time for machine sewing. I have this Bring Me Flowers block ready for stems and ready to appliqué the circles.

Here in the US many are excited about the eclipse today. No, we didn't buy the special glasses. We're staying inside and watching it on TV. My eyes are too precious to me to even take a chance. Though it is a very cool thing!

Happy Eclipse Day!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Find!

I dove head first into my guest bedroom closet yesterday. I knew the dust ruffle and curtains were coming later in the day and that made me want to get this done.

There was a Craftsy box on a shelf. Okay. I remember at some point in the last few years ordering a quilt kit from Craftsy when it was on sale. I only would have ordered if it was a big sale! But for the life of me I couldn't remember what it looked like. I had never even opened the shipping box.

Surprise! Oh, I remember now! And I still love this pattern! This came out of the box and will be coming out to play before long.

I made GREAT progress in the closet. The dust ruffle came and is now on the bed. I hope to finish getting this room back together today! Curtains still need to be hung.

I had a fun lunch break. My bestie from college was in town - we fall right back into our friendship when we see each other, like no time has passed.

We ended the day with a sunset golf cart ride with the Mick. (He got a bath yesterday and he smells so good.) Ahhh....

Back to closet and under-the-bed organizing for me - sewing to come SOON!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Black Fabric...Black Thread

I worked a few hours yesterday on the hand stitching on the backside of Gardenvale. Black fabric hand stitched with black thread is hard on the eyes. I can't see to do this unless it's bright daylight with two lamps shining on my work. After dark, I moved to another handwork project. I would guess I'm 40% done with this part.

Here is Mickey...loving on his doughnut. Such a sweet, old fellow!

Black on black makes for a boring blog post. Maybe some color tomorrow? Hope so!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Gardenvale, Quilt Backs, and an Adventure

Gardenvale finally came out to play yesterday! And guess what? It's almost done! I hope to have it finished within a week or so.

And then what? I decided to work on quilt backings. I think one reason I hit a wall in my quilting last week is the fact that I have SO MANY quilt tops that need to be quilted! I've been quilting them myself, but the pile is getting overwhelming.

And so I decided to bite the bullet and have some of these professionally quilted. And that led me to preparing quilt backs. The one above I had to piece. I decided to make a cross pattern for this one, which will be backing I'm a Farmer's Daughter.

I was able to find big enough pieces in my stash to back Marmalade and New Bedford - lucky me! And my stash is reduced! These were delivered to two longarm quilters last night at the guild - off my hands! I like to support all my friends' businesses, so I try to spread my longarm needs around.

And now for my adventure - okay, it's not THAT exciting, but I enjoyed it! The night before, I ordered my groceries on-line from Walmart. Have you heard of their new service? You can order on-line and pick the groceries up at a designated time.

I drove up to the pick up spot today after using the app to let them know I was on the way. An employee came out and loaded all my groceries into my car. BOOM! They made sure to show me all produce to make sure I was happy with their selections. I never had to walk into the store.

There is no charge for this service. What a convenient time saver it was! This may be my new normal!

I meandered home through campus - lots of students are back and it was fun to see all the hubbub.

What will I do today? Hmmm....I think I'll pull out Gardenvale again. It needs lots of hand stitching on the backside before I bind it. I plan to sit in my recliner and stitch away!

Wishing you a happy day!

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Back to quilting! I made templates and cut fabric and EVEN made a good start on another Bring Me Flowers block! I moved on to the next pattern for flowers. I really was not happy with how the last one turned out. I love this one! The black stitches are basting - I'll be turning under the edge to appliqué to the background.

I also made curtains yesterday. I had this fabric and decided to use it to make two curtain panels for my sewing room. Easy peasy! They are done and hung.

I was planning to hem all four sides, but I changed my mind when I noticed the cool, fuzzy selvage edges. I ended up leaving this edge raw and it hangs on both sides on the inner long edge. I think it gives it a cool look and made my job much easier.

I also cleared lots of piles and began putting fabric under the guest bed - so far I'm storing my yardage pieces there - bigger pieces to use for backings or focus fabrics. I don't need these often so this is perfect for them. I have more to do, but I've made a great start.

I'm waiting to make up the bed until the new dust ruffle comes. You know it's almost impossible to add a dust ruffle under the mattress without UN-making the bed - no sense in doing this twice.

Today I want to work on Gardenvale. I keep saying this, but I haven't gotten back to it in a long time. I think it would look fantastic in the guest bedroom. Let's hope I can finally make some progress!

Also...I need a favor...do you live in Australia? Or do you have friends or family in Australia? I'm looking to make some connections there. Rodan and Fields is starting business there on September 1 - the first ones on board are going to be at the top of the explosion of this opportunity. Trust me on this. When the business spread to Canada - the first ones to sign on made mega money. Send me an email: juliacwood@mac.com.

I think I've already said that I'm so glad I signed on with R and F. I was so hesitant and doubtful at first. But without a blip in my quilting-for-fun schedule or retirement, I've made more money in 6 months with Rodan and Fields than I did my last 3 years as a quilting professional, including book royalties, teaching fees, magazine sales, etc. And very little time invested in this....hard to believe, but true.

I'm having a little adventure today - I'll tell you how it goes tomorrow! Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Bed is Lifted!

We got a good start yesterday morning. Hubby bought the big chunks of wood, we marked them, and he got busy with his drill and some chisels.

See how the bed leg fits right into the recess he made? Perfect fit. No wobbles! This assures the legs will not slide off the supports.

We put purchased risers on the foot of the bed. BOOM! I have a new dust ruffle (bed skirt) ordered to fit the new height (and new curtains for the room, too). This 'lift' gives me more than 33 cubic feet of storage space (yes, I calculated this - always an engineer). Very HAPPY! That's like a new closet!

I also cleaned out two more drawers for more stuff to live. Where there's a will, there's way!

After we finished this project, we hung a curtain rod in my sewing room. New curtains coming to this room, too...

Today I'll get the bed made and try to get this room put back together. I'm SO ready to SEW again. I still have piles of things everywhere...dining room table, foyer table, counter tops.... I hope all this mess is gone today!

If I don't do anything else in the sewing realm...I at least want to prepare some hand sewing to work on. The last several nights I haven't had anything at the ready. I like my TV time to be productive.

Speaking of TV, I cancelled our trial month of HULU. We finished watching both The Handmaid's Tail and 11.22.63 in record time. I highly recommend both shows. I had already read The Handmaid's Tale book, but not 11.22.63. There were several differences between The Handmaid's Tale book and the show, but they ended the same way. I'm sure I drove Hubby crazy saying, "That wasn't in the book!) during every episode. He wasn't expecting to enjoy The Handmaid's Tale - it was not something he would have ever chosen to watch, but he liked it as much as I did.

Last night we started watching Land Girls on Netflix. So far, so good.

Better get to work! Have a fun day!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Creating a Mess

Yesterday we hit the ground running. And we did make progress in finding more storage space for me and my quilting supplies.

We completely emptied the china cabinet and put things back selectively. I now have an empty shelf in the bottom of the cabinet to use. Happy!

I also cleaned out the craftsman cabinets on the sides of our fireplace - two empty cabinets for my use! Happy.

The next step was the guest bedroom: put the bed on risers to give me storage underneath. Hubby brought home a new set of risers. Easy peasy? Nope, of course not! The legs at the head of the bed are too big to fit in the risers. We mulled and talked and googled our hearts out. The plan now is to make two bed risers from blocks of wood for the head of the bed to match the height of two store bought risers to be used for the foot of the bed.

Things are always more complicated than they seem. But Hubby is headed off this morning to Home Depot to get the wood. Can't wait to get this room put back together! We're also going to hang a curtain rod in here and maybe all this will inspire me to hang some pictures on the wall, too.

Last night I went with two team members to Birmingham for a Rodan and Fields event. It was a packed room full of women (and a few men). This is the first time I've attended one of these and I really didn't know what to expect. I came away so thankful to be a part of this billion dollar business with like minded women (and men). I came away feeling blessed to have made the decision to jump aboard several months ago. I have never been a part of a group of women who are so supportive without being competitive. And I have never seen so many people in one room with such amazing and glowing skin - haha!

Okay, time to get to work! Have a great one!

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Painting

Here's the painting I did on Saturday. This is Daughter 1 and SIL 1's home. SIL 1's birthday (30th!) was yesterday and this was one on his gifts from us.

I think I'm better at painting dogs, but it turned out okay. And he seems to like it - a very good thing! I have two more paintings to do in the near future.

Today I have a big plan and I have Hubby ready to help. We have some boxes. Lots of boxes. And they are sitting around in our bedroom. And our guest room. So we are putting our thinking caps on and trying to figure out where to put some stuff in our little house. I'm tired of looking at these boxes!  We have lots of good ideas already. In fact Hubby's leaving now to buy bed risers to lift the guest bed to provide more storage underneath. BOOM. And that's just the beginning... Hope we make good progress!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Back on Track!

Yay! I got my mojo back! Did I baste the Christmas tree? YES! And I even made another little seasonal quilt - do you like my pumpkin?

AND I basted it, too!

Not to mention I painted the watercolor that's been waiting patiently for me. I'll show it soon - after the recipient has gotten it. I think that's plenty for one day!

AHhhhh.... I knew I'd get it back...just needed a couple of days off.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Moving Forward!

I'm going to start small today - I'm determined to get back to quilting, so I'll do a small thing. I'm going to baste this little quilt. That's doable, right? I really like this little Christmas tree... it will be fun to embellish.

Yesterday I decided a bit of shopping therapy would be nice. A trip to Ulta. I bought this BB cream to try as foundation. I tried it last night - I think I'm going to LOVE it. I rarely wear makeup, but when I do...

I also treated myself to a new eyelash curler. I've always had short, sparse lashes but R and F Lash Boost has changed that! Yippee!

And... a product to help keep my natural curls from frizzing out. The jury's still out on this...tried it last night, but I'm not sure if I like it or not.

Retail therapy! Good for the soul!

Before I do any quilting though...I'm going to paint! I owe a painting to someone and I'm determined to get it going TODAY!

Friday, August 11, 2017


Finally I have a bit of sewing to share. This has not been my favorite block for Bring Me Flowers... the centers are off - though they'll be covered with appliquéd circles. There are points that don't match. Still need to add stems. Though I may trash this block... I have purchased the fabric for the alternating blocks for this quilt - I think I'm ready to start making a few of them.

I'm having a little issue this week with my mojo. Do you ever have that with your quilting? Get in a rut? Not in the mood to sew? Yesterday I was DETERMINED to get in the sewing room. I did. But I couldn't get my TV to work. I machine sewed this block together and quit. How's that for spoiled rotten? I wanted my TV while I sewed, by golly!

When Hubby got home and checked...my TV was fine. I had a lotion bottle blocking the input. Oh me, oh my. But I was done in the sewing room for the day.

I'm sure I'll get back on track.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


No sewing. No painting. Just grocery shopping and cooking.

And so we'll talk about HULU. I recently read The Handmaid's Tale. I heard that the book has been made into a show on HULU and it was nominated for lots of Emmy's. We don't subscribe to HULU, but yesterday decided to sign up for the one month free trial.

Last night we watched the first episode of The Handmaid's Tale and the first episode of 11/22/63, based on a Stephen King book. Both were excellent.

I'm glad we found some new things to watch in this dry spell before the Fall shows come out!

Have a good one!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Party's Over...

I took the summer off from my strict eating plan. I haven't been terrible, but I haven't been perfect. Some wine here and there, a cookie here and there...

Today was my day to get back to work. I'm back on 1200 calories per day. I CAN DO THIS! I will do this. But, yes....I'm hungry. The first week is the hardest; I know this from experience.

The above blocks are the beginning of my newest quilt project: Jen Kingwell's My Small World.
This looks to be a fun quilt to make. I'm taking my time, making a few blocks here and there.

I did not work on Gardendale yesterday because I got my paints out. I've promised a few paintings to some loved ones, so I need to get one going. Yesterday I did an initial sketch. Hope to paint some today, but also to sew a bit.

Okay, I'll be sending out some mini facial samples of Rodan and Fields this week! If you like one (free) send me an email with your address - juliacwood@mac.com.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 7, 2017

A FABULOUS Weekend of Quilting

I'm back home! What a great weekend we had! What you did't know was that I wasn't at the lake with Hubby - I had a couple of quilting friends with me. We sewed our little hearts out! And laughed our socks off!

One of them completely made this eye spy quilt- she only has to add the right and bottom sashing pieces.

And the other was working on this modern chevron quilt. Both lovely quilts!

Hubby came today to take us for a boat ride. 

I was lucky to capture this photo of a guy doing a backflip from chimney rock. He has more guts than I do!

And let's end today with a puppy photo - little (but growing FAST) Sammy had a big weekend as well, I hear. He's one pooped pup!

I started another quilt while gone - I'll share that tomorrow. I'm not sure what I'll work on today. Maybe Gardenvale? I'm anxious to get that one done so I can focus on my new projects.

Enjoy your Monday!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Latte, Anyone?

Yesterday began with a latte on the deck - what a nice way to start the day!

Here's the new project I started with Kaffe strips. I'm loving this! It's easy and grows quickly.

I also made this little Christmas tree top yesterday - cute, huh?

After a meal at our favorite Mexican restaurant, we enjoyed a gorgeous sunset with a little glass of wine.

Oh, and there was a Sea Doo ride in the afternoon. A very nice day, indeed.

I'm planning more sewing this morning and we also hope to get a boat ride in before the rain comes.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I'm A Farmer's Daughter: Finished the Top!

I did it! I finished my I'm A Farmer's Daughter quilt top! I do love this one and will be keeping it for myself. There are lots of memories here - wedding quilt fabric, Gardenvale fabric, New Bedford fabric, and much more. Every single block is hand pieced, but I machine stitched the blocks together. A scrappy, happy quilt!

And because I'm at the lake, you know I had to drape it over the deck rail for a photo. I've also been working on two other projects today. Maybe I'll have them a bit further along to share tomorrow...

Have a nice day!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sewing at the Lake...

Usually when we come to the lake I only bring hand sewing projects. But we're here and I have my sewing machine and lots of projects - I'm having a sewing weekend here.

So far this morning I've been sewing strip sets of the Kaffe I cut up back at home. But I have a few different project to play with while I'm here. I hope to have this strip project far enough along to share tomorrow - then you'll see where I'm going with this.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Strips and Triangles and a Baking FAIL

Look at this gorgeous Kaffe print I found when cutting strips yesterday- I adore it! But I didn't hesitate to cut it up - I really want to stop hoarding all this precious fabric and USE IT! I filled a shoe box with newly cut strips ready to use. You'll have to wait to see the new project for these.

I decided to make some sugar cookies in the afternoon. I've used this recipe before and it always turns out great. The dough never runs - the cookies always keep their shape. I decided to cut them into dachshund shapes - cute, right?

Not so cute after baking. I know what the problem was. I ran out of flour - needed an additional 1/4 cup. So what did I do? I put a little extra powdered sugar in the dough. Yup, it didn't turn out right AT ALL. So today I'll go to the store, buy flour, and remake these. You just have to laugh! Life can be very funny!

This morning I'll run out and get more flour and do a re-bake! I'll keep you posted...

Have a nice day!