Monday This N That & More Adventures

 In some of my yonderings I had recently discovered a community art center wherein one can take free workshops in various arts. Last week I got to take one on painting and resin art. Most people did theirs on a provided canvas, but I chose to bring in a 12"x12" ceramic tile on which to do mine because I hope to incorporated it into a mosaic/resin art that I want to do around a mirror for my bathroom. Ambitious, I know!

This is how my project turned out - painted watering can (from a traced image; I don't draw well yet), decal applied to watering can, glass bits and plaster leaves for flowers, and covered with resin. Though I later discovered that the resin hadn't covered everything well (which I think I can fix), I'm rather happy with how it turned out and hope that I can take more workshops there.

Here are a few samples of other art projects that are being sold at the center:

When I saw this in the bathroom, I had to get some pictures because this is similar to what I want to do.

Another fun thing that happened was that all four of us went yondering last Friday, re-exploring a lighthouse, getting tasty lattes and lunch at a favorite coffee shop, soaking in gorgeous northern Michigan scenery even though not very green yet.

A week from today is when the girls move out, so it was fun to have an adventure together. 

We also had a shared birthday celebration since they'll be gone for my and DD5's birthdays during which we gave her the mug from the aforementioned coffee shop that I'd sneakily bought for her. She was thrilled.


So, I'm going to use the excuse of all that activity 😁 for not getting a whole lot of my goals accomplished last week. But, to be honest, motivation has been low. I think that has changed some and I'm ready to make things happen.

This week's goals (trying to keep it manageable):
* Declutter and beautify bedroom
* Mail DS's birthday gift
* Find/buy paint for DD5's bedroom which will become a playroom for visiting granddaughter & other         kids as well as a napping chair corner

Isn't she a cutie pie?!
*Get seeds started (don't neglect this one!)
*Prune as able (weather dependent)
*Set up mini-hoophouse

*Make DD4's birthday gift
*Journal Quilt
*Finish last little bit of Spring Stitchalong with Pinker n Punkin
*Resist (for a few days at least) starting Joy's Spring Mystery Stitchalong 😇 Maybe later.

*Finish Little Men and do review for Classics Club
*Write Goodreads review of A Country Year by Sue Hubbell
*Continue This Too Shall Last by K.J.Ramsey (very good and helpful!)

There! Maybe I've made the list realistic this time. 😏

I also get to go to a young mom's home on Tuesday to help her figure out a creative way to make a sewing nook in a small house with a very active toddler and his two sisters. That should be fun!

I hope your week is adventurous only to the point of delight and creativity.

Monday This N That; Thrifting Treasure

 Friday I had a jolly good time "yondering" by myself. I took a country road to a farm market/goodies store...

...and explored there for awhile, finding some chocolate-covered dried cherries, an iced cookie, and a cherry drink. It was a cute place, but not stuff I need/want.

So, on I went and came to a huge, overstocked antique store in which I saw this old Saturday Evening Post:

I had to send a picture of it to my daughter who, like me, sings right out in church and whose beautiful voice can be well-heard (as can mine, but not so beautifully). 😁

After wandering on down the small-town street and stopping into a few shops, including a soapmaking place, I drove over to a special art place where they offer workshops of various arts for FREE! When I got home, I signed up for one that involves glass-mosaic and resin art. I can't wait!

I also explored a thrift store and rescued this cross-stitched beauty:

I can't believe it was only $1.00!

I wish I could assure CLK that their hard work/play is being valued now.


Now to report my goal successes and not-so-successes...

Last week's goals (biting off more than I could chew, as usual):

In the kitchen/home:

* Bake chocolate banana bread with the bananas that are showing their age - Done

* Make an egg casserole and freeze - Ignored

* Continue decluttering bedroom - Progress in that I moved a dresser in and put some stuff in it

On the homestead:

* Prune what can be pruned - Not yet

* Start seeds indoors - cabbage, kale, & tomatoes - Today's the day

* Build one more raised bed while I have a helper and now that snow's melting - Done except for             plastic lining which I can do by myself and filling with sand and topsoil for which I need Lovey

* Do as much yard clean-up as possible - Did some pick-up of branches, etc.

* Continue researching how to build frugal quail cages (Square County Homestead on Youtube) - Got         a plan

* Help Lovey with garage retrofit - Did a lot of lumber moving to make space for workshop area

In the craft corner:

* Finish quilting Canning Jar quilt; do binding if able - Nope 

* Work on Journal Quilt - Also nope

* Catch up on mending (ugh) - Triple nope

* Turn crocheted rectangles into poncho - On a roll nope

* Get caught up on Spring Stamps Cross-stitch - Made huge progress

I made a boo-boo on the frame, but if you didn't have the pattern right in front of you, you'd never know. I'm a little surpised by how much I'm enjoying getting back into cross-stiching. Thanks to Pinker n Punkin Quilting's Spring Stitchalong for getting me going again.

This week's goals: Hopefully being more moderate and realistic

In the home:
* Dig out keto green menus and revise/update as necessary and prep for use
* Make a big pot of turkey soup; can any leftovers
* Bake sourdough for the last time in a while
* Continue bedroom clean-out
* Shampoo undersides of new/used couch cushions

On the homestead:
* Start indoor seeds
* Continue to help Lovey with garage/critter corner
* Continue researching indoor growing area for winter
* After snow melts, try sowing seeds in mini-hoophouse
* After snow melts, prune as able

Serving others:
* Write to MH
* Write to Aunt P
* Mend (Maybe if I list it here, I'll be more likely to do it. heh)

* Spring Stamps Cross-stitch - Do Stamps 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (Whew! Guess I'll need a good                 audiobook or Youtube homesteading videos as well as evening Hercule Poiroit)
* Hand-quilt labels onto Canning Jars quilt
* Put together 4-5 columns on Journal quilt
* Attend seminar at library on Using Nature to Tie-Dye - Wed evening
* Craft workshop 1:00-4:00 Thursday (Oh, boy!)

* Inspiration - This Too Shall Last by K.J. Ramsey
                    - The Inner Voice of Love - Henri Nouwen
* Study - Donna Schenk books particularly on kefir
* Fun - Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
          - A Country Year by Sue Hubbell 

Still a very full- looking week, so I'll get off here now and go get at it. Hope your week goes well. 😊

Words of Wisdom Wednesday - On the Everpresence of Spring

Spring is a season unike the other three. Like morning glories, it is more ephemeral, yet also more enduring.

It is a river that runs through the whole year. We glimpse it when snowflakes fall, fresh and new like apple blossoms. 

We see its echo in the brilliant colors of autumn leaves.

We feel it on our skin every time a breeze cools the summer air. 

Spring is the river that bubbles up in the wilderness. It is the river that flows in so many corners of my every-shifting, always changing life.

- Christie Purifoy in Roots & Sky, p. 137

Monday This & That And Life Changes

 I suppose the only time we will not experience changes in life is after we're gone, but even that's not guaranteed. :) We're now going through the major change of our oldest daughter (the one who served for five weeks in Ukraine and who has been renting our downstairs for several years) and our youngest daughter (who graduated high school last spring) suddenly announcing that they're moving six hours away to share a nice apartment with a friend and "seek their fortunes" there at least for a while, probably around a year. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what this change will mean, but am glad they have a good place to live and grow.

So, since oldest daughter has been right-hand-man for quite a while, Lovey and I are rethinking how to do various things, like building a quailery/rabbitry in the corner of the garage. I get to be the assistant now, though not nearly so qualified. Oh, well, I'll get to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks. 😁 And I think there are some aspects of empty-nesting that we'll enjoy though the girls have been very independent and we'll miss their companionship.

One of the things I've enjoyed learning and doing the past couple of weeks is making kefir. My niece shared some kefir grains (starter) and the simplicity of the process is wonderful.

I learned more about other foods to make besides smoothies with some library books as well as the incredible nutritional benefits. I found these books through Donna Schwenk's Youtube channel. So, I've been making green smoothies with some fruit for taste every morning and Lovey especially (and somewhat surprisingly) really likes them. I've also make a kefir cheese that's like cream cheese and quite good on a bagel.


This week's goals:

In the kitchen/home:

* Bake chocolate banana bread with the bananas that are showing their age

* Make an egg casserole and freeze

* Continue decluttering bedroom

On the homestead:

* Prune what can be pruned

* Start seeds indoors - cabbage, kale, & tomatoes

* Build one more raised bed while I have a helper and now that snow's melting

* Do as much yard clean-up as possible 

* Continue researching how to build frugal quail cages (Square County Homestead on Youtube)

* Help Lovey with garage retrofit

In the craft corner:

* Finish quilting Canning Jar quilt; do binding if able

* Work on Journal Quilt (tutorial here)

* Catch up on mending (ugh)
* Turn crocheted rectangles into poncho

* Get caught up on Spring Stamps Cross-stitch which I haven't actually started, but really want to


I think this list should keep me well-occupied along with my regular homemaking work. Wednesday afternoon I get to host a young mom and her four (well-behaved) kids who wants to learn about quilting. Fun! Of course we'll have tea.

Journal Quilt Tutorial

Some have asked how I'm making my Journal Quilt, so I thought I'd write a tutorial based on the instructions from a long-ago blog that doesn't seem to exist anymore. Fortunately, I had printed her instructions and made some notes of my own, so here goes:

I highly recommend that you prepare in advance of January 1st, unlike me who didn't actually start this till well into January and was playing catch-up for quite a while.

Finished size = 64"x 93" which is approximately Queen Comforter size. This assumes no borders.

- Lots of light colored fabric scraps. You could use all one color family, or just mostly creams but                  include some pale colored fabrics for interest. 
- Freezer paper
- 16 quart-sized ziploc bags
- Closeable, portable container for storing the bags of blocks and your pen (portable in case you travel)
- Super-fine-point permanent marker(s), like Micron. I just used black, but you could vary the         colors.
- Fine-point permanent marker, like Sharpie
- Approximately 5.5 yards backing fabric

Cutting: Start with LOTS of 4.5" strips (of various creams, or some light colors)
Subcut into:  48 (4.5"x 6.5") blocks
                     80 (4.5"x 5.5") blocks
                     80 (4.5"x 4.5") blocks
                    160 (4.5"x 3.5") blocks
Keep separated by size. (You can make piles with post-it notes to keep a tally of blocks while you're         cutting.)

Preparing for journalling: 
Lay out a piece of freezer paper, with tacky side up.
On top of this, line up cut blocks, right side up (wrong side to freezer paper) with edges barely touching     each other so that you can iron them onto the freezer paper without getting your iron sticky. Do this         with each block.
Cut the blocks apart again being gentle with the freezer paper so it doesn't come off.
Label the quart-sized bags 1-16. These will hold the blocks for each column, having 23 blocks/days per     column.
In each bag insert: 10 (4.5"x 3.5") blocks
                               5 (4.5"x 4.5") blocks
                               5 (4.5"x 5.5") blocks
                               3 (4.5"x 6.5") blocks

Alternately, you could sew your column together before you do the freezer paper or writing, ironing         freezer paper on after the column is constructed, but I didn't want to have to keep messing with the         ironing and preferred to just keep my blocks as blocks till I'd finished writing on a column's worth.

From bag #1, randomly pick a block, perhaps purposefully leaving larger blocks for when you have lots     to write and smaller blocks for when you don't have much. Randomness means you don't have to            match up a bunch of seams when putting the whole quilt together.
With permanent pen, write the date and your diary entry, BEING SURE TO LEAVE 1/4" SEAM                 ALLOWANCE EMPTY ALL AROUND. The freezer paper should keep the fabric stiff enough for         writing.

On some days, I wrote out quotes or Bible verses.

Birthdays were made to stand out by using a thicker permanent marker.

Keep the written-on blocks in their original numbered bags, peeling off the freezer paper as you go. After you have a few bags completed, you can sew them together just for the fun of it, keeping dates in     order with earlier dates being on top and going on down the column. (So, January 1 will top Column     1; January 24 will top Column 2; February 16 will top Column 3, etc.
Or you can wait and sew it all together at the end of the year (New Year's Eve project?).
There is an extra block to allow for Feb 29, and there are extras in July and December also. You could         do something fun on these, like applique or embroidery, or you could write a long enough journal         entry to need two blocks.

Here's is a break-down of the dates of each column:
    Column 1 - Jan.1-23
    Column 2 - Jan. 24 - Feb. 15
    Column 3 - Feb. 16 - Mar. 9 (includes one block for Feb. 29 or undated)
    Column 4 - Mar. 10 - Apr. 1
    Column 5 - Apr. 2 - 24
    Column 6 - Apr. 25 - May 17
    Column 7 - May 18 - June 9
    Column 8 - June 10 - July 2
    Column 9 - July 3 - 24 (includes one undated)
    Column 10 - July 25 - Aug. 16
    Column 11 - Aug. 17 - Sept. 8
    Column 12 - Sept. 9 - Oct. 1
    Column 13 - Oct. 2 - 24
    Column 14 - Oct. 25 - Nov. 16
    Column 15 - Nov. 17 - Dec. 9
    Column 16 - Dec. 10 - 31 (includes one undated)

Since I started this so long ago and don't remember what exactly was happening, I should let you know that two of my columns ended up being short. Maybe I cut wrong; maybe I shortened some blocks as a method of erasing; maybe the count in sizes of block is incorrect. I don't know, but here's how I solved it. I just sewed a strip of fabric to the bottoms to even it up. 😁 If I, or you, figure out what went wrong, let's share that so we can fix the tutorial if necessary.

I hope you get to try this. And I hope I finish mine up this month. My kids enjoyed seeing the blocks being written and collected. I'll have to show them the finished product...finally.


March Finish and April OMG

My March goal had been to finish the flimsy of this Canning Jar quilt and I met and exceeded my goal because I also got the hand-basting done and started using the stencils to mark for hand-quilting.

So, I'm enjoying working on the hand-quilting in the evenings as Lovey and I watch Hercule Poirot.

I got the April wallhanging hung to remember Holy Week. This was made by my four oldest kids a long time ago and it is precious to me because of that as well as because of what Jesus did for us as he took our sins upon the cross and then (spoiler alert) ROSE AGAIN! 


April's One Monthly Goal, based on the American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge (#4 for April) is completing into a flimsy this Journal Quilt. Previous UFOs I've had to guess when I started them (ie. just after Noah exited the Ark, or when Job's friends were not being very comforting), but this one has the date written on it - January 2011. Sadly, I do not know from what blog I got the pattern and when I thought I had figured it out, the blog no longer exists.

I have quite a few blocks that were written on, but not sewn into columns yet. I might have some blocks that are blank. I'll write some fun quotes on them, or maybe applique something cute on them, or draw something. We'll see how it goes once I get it all figured out. I'm also not sure if I want to hand-quilt this one to be a wall-hanging, or have it machine quilted into a bed quilt. 

One of my difficulties with light-colored bed quilts is that my kitties like to romp outside, including rolling around in the dirt driveway and tiptoeing through muddy spots and then they come snooze on my bed, leaving white fabric not so white anymore. It just looks kinda dingey.

So, I'll probably not want this light Journal Quilt to be a bed quilt.

On the homesteading front, my last few seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds got here, so I'm pretty set to get things going as soon as the timing is right.

As you can see, the timing is not yet right, not even for starting seeds indoors till next week...

So I continue to try to learn patience. 😇