Sunday, February 28, 2010

It’s a GOOOOD day for some HOCKEY!

At 3pm EST, hubby and I will be glued to the tv set. 
Forget everything else, the Hockey game must be watched!
Here in the Pittsburgh area, we are torn between hoping for the best for the Canadian team but yet wishing for US to take the win.
The Canadian team has our star player, Sidney Crosby playing.  Sidney, although I’ve never met him, is almost like a son to me.  We’ve watched him grow up over the years playing for our Pittsburgh Penguins so naturally, we want to see him do really well for the Canadian Olympic team. 
I’ve been thinking about this a lot and since I want Sidney to be the hero on the Canadian team,  I think the best thing that could happen would be that Sidney scores all the points for their team but our US team will win by one goal.  That way it will be an exciting game to watch.  Sidney will get to be the hero and come back to Pittsburgh refreshed and energized with his amazing playing prowess to continue to do great on our Pens team.  Does that sound ok for you Canadians?  :)  Good! 
No matter who wins, it’s going to be some great hockey watching today!
Here’s my latest project.  Remember that stack of freshly hand-dyed spring colored wool that I talked about last week?  This is what I had in mind for the wool as I dyed it. 
It’s not finished yet.  I’m excited to get it finished just because it’s so refreshing to work with these lovely spring colors.   …and because it’s matching pretty closely with the design picture that’s in my head. 
I don’t think that there was any one thing that inspired this design to come into my head.  It just happened.
I get my inspirations from really odd places sometimes.  …
The chick shapes that I just recently used in the “It’s Spring, Chicks!” pattern and the most recent tablerunner pattern was inspired by a picture that I saw hanging on the wall in the movie called “Yes Man”.  I don’t know what the picture on the wall actually was, but the distant shape of it reminded me of a primitive chicken and VOILA!  there’s my spring chick shape. 
I should go watch that movie again to find the scene that where I saw that picture.  I remember it’s a scene where some guy was standing on a ledge getting ready to jump and Jim Carey’s character was leaning out the window, talking to him.  The framed picture was on the wall right above Jim Carey’s shoulder.  :)
I was over to babysit at my grandson's house the other day and they always have stacks and stacks of books for him from the library.  I so much enjoy reading those kid library books to him just because of all the gorgeous illustrations and pictures the books have.  Just absolutely wonderful art can be found in children’s books.
022610_141056 This picture was taken from my cellphone so the colors don’t really “POP” like the actual colors, but this might give you an idea of what I’m talking about.  Look at the beautiful artwork in this book.  It’s really the cutest book about bees too.  Wouldn’t all those flowers look pretty done in wool?!
Thankfully, he loves having books read to him, so I get to marvel over the pictures while entertaining him!
Speaking of which, I’m absolutely convinced that the reason why my two daughters did so well in school, was because my hubby and I read to them ALLL the time in their preschool years. 
I would take them to the library at least once a week and we’d bring home stacks of books to read throughout the week.
So those of you reading this who have small children … (even babies love to have stories read to them).  Read to them every day and they will have an excellent head start when it comes time to start school.  /lecture.  :)  
Ok, I’m outta here. 
Happy Hockey day everyone  … and you Canucks?  I love ya but USA will win today!  ;)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gotta love those Spring Chicks … New Design!

This is what I’ve been working on this past week.  I haven’t named it yet though.   As always, if you have a suggestion for a name, I’ll certainly appreciate it!


I almost don’t even want to show this because the pictures are so bad.They are the best I can do on this dreary snowy day…. not very much natural light. Better pictures will come once I get the pattern finished for this.

This one is a little better to show the colors and details …


This springtime tablerunner measures about 24” long .  What’s nice about making tablerunners is that they can always be eaily adjusted to the length that best fits the table you’re making it for. 

Anyway, I’m in love with this tablerunner.  It was so much fun to make.  I love the long and short legs on these chickies. 

This design was inspired by my “It’s Spring, Chicks!” candle mat design.  I love those cute little chicks and thought it would be cute to put bunches of them in a garden.

Here’s my original sketching of the idea …

100_3517 The finished table runner turned out pretty close to the original idea.  The final finish is missing that butterfly though.  The butterfly that I wanted to make would have introduced more colors into the design and it took too much attention away from the chicks, so I scrapped the butterfly idea. 

I get asked quite often how long it takes me to make something like this from start to finished item. 

I do stitch rather quickly but for something like this, I can’t really say how long it took me because so much time was involved with the trials and errors of getting the design just how I want it to look. 

Little things like the color thread to use for the cracks in the egg take time.  I used a brown thread for the crack the first time and then took it out because it blended too well.  Then the black thread that I used was too thick so that was pulled out.

It takes SO much time just getting the colors and the shape sizes just right that I really can’t even guesstimate how much time it might take to make this from start to finish other than saying lots and lots and lots of hours. 

Once this is made into a pattern though, I’d think that it could be done rather quickly.  It does have a lot of shapes and pieces but the chicks and eggs are whipped stitched on so that goes fast.  The embroidery is mostly straight stitches for the flowers and grass, so that goes quick too. 

Maybe next time I make this, I’ll keep a log of my time just to see how many hours it really does take from start to finish.

Gosh, I feel like I’m rambling now … I’m going to shut up and go shovel some snow!

Happy Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Questions, I get QUESTIONS!

I really enjoy getting emails from readers.  Most are  chatty emails, letting me know how they are progressing on the different candle mats of mine that they are making.  Quite a few emails ask questions or ask for advice. 

I have to say … if you’ve asked me something and didn’t get a response from me, please don’t take offense.  Sometimes, I just forget to answer.  I get busy with other things and then forget to go back to answer and by then, I’ve lost the email.  Just ask me again. 

Like just this morning, I remember that SOMEONE asked me about how the wool comes in the kits … if the pattern pieces are cut out or if it’s just the wool fabric.  I forgot to answer and I haven’t a clue where to find that email.

But the answer to that is that the kits come with the fabric and you get to cut out the pattern pieces yourself. 

People ask me about dyeing wools all the time.  I use Cushings Perfection Acid wool dyes.  They can be purchased at the Cushings website

I won’t give a tutorial on doing this simply because I’m far from being an expert on dyeing wools.  I mix dye colors to get the colors that I want but I don’t have recipes.  I do it kinda like how I make meatloaf … a little of this and a little of that.  It never turns out exactly the same but it’s still good.   You can get far better instructions for dyeing wool from Google, I’m sure. 

I did give a tutorial about “marrying wool” which is quite fun to do because it can give you unexpected results.

I get quite a few  A LOT of questions asking me where to purchase the exact tweed or plaid wools that I use.  Something like the tweed wool in this scarecrow hat ….

scarcrow hat

Any wool that has a small tweed or patterned design will work. Make it work!  Or you can use a solid colored wool and embellish it with embroidery to make it look “tweedy”


I only work with 100% wools but my patterns can all be done with woolfelts too.  I got a question recently from someone asking me where to get  plaid wool felt to use for this snowman scarf.  Woolfelt only comes in plain colors, but use your imagination!  Use some embroidery threads to make a plaid design on that woolfelt. 

I get a lot of questions asking the difference between wool felt and felted wool .  Even though they sound like they would be the same, they are very different, but that explanation would be better in a separate posting because it needs more space and time than I have right now.

The emails that I enjoy most are the chatty ones.  I really appreciate all the kind words and it’s really helped me to gain more confidence in sharing with all of you, what I love to do.  In a perfect world, I could stitch all day long, continuously …that’s how much I love it.  But I tend to still pinch myself in wonderment that you all would want to purchase anything that I make!  So it’s those emails of encouragement that are sooooo greatly appreciated.

My readers often share their own pictures with me.  I love seeing their projects especially those that are exceptionally creative.

Marla, (gosh, I hope it’s ok to use her name) sent me pictures of a handbag that she made. …

Marla's bagI love this bag. 

Marla's bag2  The sheep is from a pattern.  Love the little heart buttons for the eyes too.


Anyway .. I really enjoy all the emails I get.   You ladies are all wonderful!

And speaking of wonderful.  My sister, Casserole Carol, is really getting upset with me because I haven’t been giving her much attention in my blog recently.   

I was scolded for not giving her credit for helping me to collect wool.  She runs the local Girl Scout store, you see.  The Girl Scout store has a 2nd hand shop attached to it so she has access to all the items that are donated.  They only sell top quality women’s /girls clothing so anything that is wool that can’t be sold, goes to me, if I want it, instead of in the trash bin.

BTW,  It is Girl Scout cookie season, so support your local girl scouts with some cookie purchases.  Those Somoas are soooo good!


Happy Day everyone!

Monday, February 22, 2010

It’s a Woolen Springtime

It’s in the air, I just know it is … Spring, that is.   I’m getting that “Spring Cleaning” kind of feeling now too.  Even though it’s only February, March and spring weather is right around the corner and I feel like repainting all the rooms of my house.  Oh, wait, that’s a lot of work!
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just flip a switch and your wall colors would turn a different color? 
Can someone invent that please?
It’s not really feasible for me to paint all my rooms, but I can easily change the colors of WOOL!
100_3500 Dyeing wool was my Saturday afternoon project.
These wool springtime colors just make me happy.  Aren’t they soooo  pretty? 
I have a project in my head which will use ALL of these colors. 
My supply of wool colors has been running low and I’ve found myself doing the “dye as you need it” method.  It’s so nice to be able to go and pick out exactly what color you need right when you need it rather than have to take the time to dye the color.  So for that reason, I like to have a supply of assorted basic colors on hand.  I can always quickly overdye these colors if I need them a bit darker or more mottled, so I’m saving time in the long run by taking an afternoon to dye a lot of wool.
I dyed up a bunch of assorted colors of greens too so that I can have my pick of leaf colors. 
Which reminds me,  I get quite a few emails which ask me where to find the wools.   I know I’ve mentioned it here, in my blog, but I guess since there are new readers coming in all the time, I’ll do a little review.
I used to get most of my wools from recycled clothing, like wool skirts found at thrift/Goodwill stores.  That’s the ideal way to do it because it’s  inexpensive as long as you’re willing to prepare the wool properly after you purchase it. 
As much fun as it is to go to different thrift stores, looking for the hidden treasures, I just don’t have the time anymore to do that … and besides, 100% wools are getting more and more difficult to find at thrift stores now because so many people are collecting it. 
So I do purchase new, off the bolt wool fabric. 
Off the bolt wool fabrics can be found at your local quilt stores, and please, please support your local quilt shops before going off to any other online shop.  They will really appreciate your business.
If you don’t have a local quilt shop, there are a few woolen mills that I highly recommend for wool.   Dorr wools and Woolrich wools are the two that I’m most familiar with and their wools are so beautiful that you’re sure to be addicted and will never want to go back to woolfelt again.  Oh, that might be a bad thing, because it is expensive but it’s worth it, I promise.
I know our local Joann fabrics has a small selection of wool suiting fabric, but it’s made in China quality. 
There are quite a few Ebay sellers that sell their hand-dyed wools.  Some of them are fellow bloggers too.
If any of you fellow wool lovers out there know of a wool source that sells quality wools, please give your suggestions in the comments.  
Ok, I’m off to babysit the grandson today at his house and I need to pack up my stitching things to take along with me.  I get a lot done during his naptime.
Oh .. here’s just a little sneak peak at my current project.  I’ll try to finish it up in the next few days so watch for the update on that.  It’s a spring penny rug tablerunner and here’s just a small sample of what it looks like ….
100_3501 Yes, it’s a dark picture!  I want it to be a big surprise so I’m not giving too much away.  I’m so thrilled with how it’s coming along that I just can’t stitch fast enough to get it completed!
Happy Day everyone!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Smelly (in a good way) Wool!

Ok, I’m going to give away a tip of something that I’ve done for a long time. Remember to use this info for good and not evil. :)
I get asked quite often by customers who receive my finished things, why my wool smells so nice.
Ya know all those perfume samples that can be found in magazines and your department store bill mailings? Don’t throw them away. Save them!
Use them for your stored wools and other fabrics.
I have my wool stored in large plastic bins, in a wooden cupboard and in a large dresser. Each drawer of the dresser, each plastic bin and the cupboard get one opened perfume sample.
It gives your stored fabrics a nice scent without being overpowering and it’s always nice to work with nice smelling wools. It might even help to ward off the moths. I don’t know that for sure so don’t extend an invitation to your local moths to visit, just in case I’m wrong.
Now, just a warning. Use just ONE sample for an area. If you mix sample scents in one drawer or plastic bin, your things start smelling like an old ladies church meeting. It’s bad, I promise you.
One sample lasts for a LONG time in a closed container.
Things are starting to melt on the Wagner family roof. This is quite a good thing because all that heavy snow is coming off the roof and I don’t worry so much that it will all fall in on us. The bad thing about the melting is that it’s quite dangerous to be close to the house because of the dagger-like icicles that are falling off the gutters.
One big icicle fell off yesterday and broke out our basement window. It’s not a big deal because the basement window needed replaced anyway.
One little curious birdie from outside decided to investigate what was beyond the broken window. The birdie flew into our basement and I’m not really sure how long it flew about our house, unnoticed, but in time, our dear old cat, heard the fluttering.
At that point, our dear old cat, felt the need to dash about the house following the bird. And it was about at that point that I heard a HUGE commotion upstairs in the hallway, just outside of the bedroom where I was just getting the grandson down for his nap.
Imagine my shock to see the cat, dramatically huffing and puffing with excitement over the prospect of actually catching something alive. She’s an inside cat, you see. … Actually scared silly to even step outside. While the bird flew up and down the ceiling hallway, she flew up and down the floor of the hallway, chasing it.
What she expected to do with it once she caught it would have been interesting to see, but I did feel the need to save the poor birdie.
I grabbed the old wire rug beater that I had hanging on the wall for decoration and carefully swatted at the bird to guide it into the bathroom so that I could contain it in an area WITHOUT the cat.
Once I was in the closed bathroom with the panicked bird, I kinda panicked then too. What do I do????
Ok, it ended by simply by opening the window!
The bird is safely outside and the cat? Well, she stayed upstairs in the hallway for a LOOOONG time, nervously looking up, waiting for the bird to appear again. Poor thing, she was quite traumatized.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Happy Day!
Edited to say: Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit it but I was screaming like a little girl during the entire bird craziness!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stuck In the Snow Mail Carriers and Ice Jams

Business first …

I was able to get all the pattern orders for the “It’s Spring, Chicks!” pattern mailed out today. Thank you ladies, I really appreciate the great response.

100_3446 If you wish to order this, just go to my pattern shoppe

at Cath’s Pennies Shoppe to find the Paypal link for purchase.

It’s a special preorder price of $8.00 (including shipping) until tomorrow night at which time, the price will be the regular pattern price of $9.50.


Today, I had to get to the post office. Hubby has a 4wheel drive pickup. I don’t. So if the drive hasn’t been cleared, I can’t go anywhere until it is. Of course, I’m able to get DOWN the driveway fairly easily. It’s the coming back UP the driveway to get home which keeps me home because inevitably I will get stuck.

So this morning, in spite of all the new snow we got yesterday, I decided to venture out to inspect the driveway just to see if I might be able to travel, stuck free.

100_3456 So I shoveled the walk first. Gosh, there’s a lot of snow and there’s no where to put it anymore.

100_3455 I looked up ….

Gosh, there’s a lot of icicles hanging off the gutter!

100_3457 Gosh, there’s a lot of snow AND icicles on the porch roof!

I’m going to have to do something about that today …

but first … let’s go check out the driveway to see if I can get out today ….

100_3459 This is kinda hard to see, but it’s pretty heavy snow here, but the good thing is that it’s flat here, so I don’t think I’ll have trouble getting through this ….

100_3460 This part doesn’t look too bad. As long as I stay on the tracks, I’ll get through this part just fine.

100_3461 Here’s the straight away .. the easiest part of the driveway. It’s completely straight and level until the hill to go down …

except … it seems that our mail carrier had a little dispute in the snow on this part of the driveway yesterday.

Now, I wasn’t home when this happened but there were two packages on my front porch when I got home. One from USPS and one from UPS. When I saw this mess off to the side of our driveway, I was convinced that our USPS driver and our UPS driver got into a scuffle. I don’t know who won, but someone sure left a mess in our snow covered grass.

Let’s take a closer look …

100_3468 Yeap, someone got stuck … bad! There’s a pretty good slope to this edge too so they’re lucky they didn’t flip their vehicle.

I miss all the exciting stuff when I’m not home!

So anyway, let’s look at the hill going down to the road to see how bad it might be …

100_3464 Ok, the hill going down to the road is pretty bad. I think I might be able to shovel patches of it though so that when I come back up, the tires will hit the bare spots to get some traction. … let’s shovel a bit to see how hard this stuff is packed down …

100_3465 I dunno… it’s not really deep, but it’s packed hard. I could try shoveling this out, and there was a time in my earlier years that I did it many many times, but heck, I’m not quite as old as dirt, but I’m old enough to know that I might not ever be back to blog again if I try shoveling this out ….

I’m just going to have to wait until hubby gets home tonight so that I can take his monster 4 wheel drive truck down to the post office.

Let’s walk back now, it’s getting really cold. And … darn, it’s starting to snow again.

100_3467 It sure is pretty, isn’t it?


There’s our house from the driveway where our USPS driver and our UPS driver had a rumble yesterday.

100_3471 I’m really getting concerned about the heavy snow up on the roof. I’m going to open the bedroom windows and knock down some of the icicles.

Do you see Skitz, our cat, upstairs looking out the window??

Sure, you might say, “oh how cute!”

No, just no, it’s not cute. That cat stalks me. Yes, she does. She has to know exactly where I am at all times otherwise, she won’t shut up. I’m sure right up until she saw me outside, she was just meowing up an annoying storm.

Stop laughing. SHE STALKS ME.

Ok, so now I need to take a look at the other side of the house. We have water leakage around the living room windows and I want to see if I can clear out the ice blockage myself, without the aid of hubby.

100_3474 Nope, I’m certainly not going to be able to go around this house from this side. Waaaaay too much snow.

Let’s try the other side …


Ummm… no.

This is not going to work. There’s at least 3 feet of snow there. How is it even possible to walk through snow that high?

I’m just going to have to track through the house to go out the back door.

And this is where the pictures stop. I did go out the back door, many many more times today because the ice buildup was so bad, the water was seeping in through the house siding and leaking down our windows. I chipped away the ice but it didn’t fix the problem. Hubby took care of it when he got home.

I did manage to knock down all the icicles and I took a shovel to the heavy snow that was on the front porch roof. We don’t have any above freezing days in the forecast, so it’s going to be a while before that snow melts off the roof. Just hope that it doesn’t cave in before it melts!

So, one last picture before I close …

This solves the mystery of what happened in the snow yesterday….

100_3482 Hubby brought this in with the mail today when he came home from work.

Our mail carrier quite often leaves me notes on my mail .. most of the time she’s yelling at me because some people still write our old address number. Our old one was 86 and now it’s 107. She hates, HATES it when it’s written wrong and makes sure to tell me about it in her notes.

Anyway, apparently, she was the one that got stuck in our snow yesterday. The note, in case you can’t see it says “Yes, I was stuck in your drive. Sorry, grass. Solid ICE. Cannot come back till thawed.”

I guess I’m going to have to drive down to the post office for my packages now!…

It was nice while it lasted.

Happy day everyone! I’m going to relax tonight

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ripped Off By Kipp Inglis Yost of All Sewn Up

This is my newest wool Candle Mat pattern called, “It’s Spring, Chicks!”
It's Spring Chicks!  This design certainly has helped me get through this rough snowy weather time.
It measures 14” round and is shown made with 100% wools, but this can very easily be done with woolfelts too. 
The pattern is being printed today so I’ll take pre-orders for it at the special price of $8.00 which includes shipping.  Canadians and other international readers are welcome to order at this special price too with no additional shipping charges.
I should have this ready for mailing by Wednesday.
To order, just go to my Cath’s Pennies Designs Shoppe .  If you don’t wish to pay by Paypal, I accept personal checks!  Just email me at and I’ll send you payment instructions.

I’m also soo sooo very pleased to announce that my long time friend, (Ignore all this praise because Kipp Inglis Yost of "All Sewn Up"  decided to not pay me for all of the patterns I sent her. Yes, she ripped me off!) ”, will be carrying my patterns in her quilt show vendor booths.  She’s kitting them up right now for her next show, which is in Hughesville, Pa on March 5, 6, and 7th.
(Name Deleted) is the woman who discovered me almost 10 years ago.  Back then, she had a vendor booth at all the national quilt shows around the country.  I made all of the wool penny rug samples for her to display in her vendor booth.  Patterns always sell better when the customer can actually see and touch the finished item, so (name deleted) made sure that all her kitted patterns had samples to go with them.
It was the perfect job for me at the time.  (Name Deleted) sent me the patterns, the wools and the threads to make the penny rugs.  I’d make them and mail the finished ones back to her.  She paid well and was very generous with supplies and her beautiful hand-dyed wools.   How perfect it was for me because I got to make the newest, best designs on the market using the best of quality wools and threads. 
(Name Deleted) has the same tastes in pattern designs that I do and I can only think of one pattern, out of probably over a hundred, that she sent me that I didn’t enjoy doing.  (No, I’m not going to tell what that pattern was but I very clearly remember it.)  :)
That job lasted a good .. hmm … 3-4 years?  Not sure, but it was so much fun while it lasted.  (Name Deleted) had to stop doing the national shows so that she could spend more time at home with her family.
Until now!  (Name Deleted) is back!  She’s starting off doing some small shows just to get back into the swing of it.  I betcha by the end of the year, she’s going to be back with the big-time national vendors.  It’s in her blood, it’s inevitable. 
So anyway, those of you who live close to Hughesville, Pa, which is in the northern, middle part of the state, mark your calendars for the quilt show. 

Note:  (6/30/2011)  This woman who was so kind and helpful way back when I worked for her, ripped me off for hundreds of dollars (over $500 worth of finished samples were sent to her and she never paid me for them)along with bounced check fees, when she originally shut down her business.  I forgave and let it go because I felt sorry for her...she was struggling with family issues.   When she went back into business last year, I felt sorry for her again.  I sent her one of each of my patterns to get her started, free sample patterns and then sent her dozens of my patterns for her to sell kitted with her wool.
I told her to pay when she was able.  But after a year, she's never paid and refuses to answer any emails.  I've given her options ...told her to send me wool instead of money since she couldn't pay ... I've even told her I would accept $5 a month until her debt was paid, but no response. 
I blame myself for foolishly trusting her ... only to have to steal from me again.  I'm sad about it ... not angry. But, if she happens to read this ever ... Kipp Inglis Yost, of All Sewn Up,  you've done me wrong. again.  Do the right thing.

UPDATE (12-14-12) As of this date, Kipp Inglis Yost of All Sewn Up has still not paid the amount due from her invoices from August and September of 2010.  I've been more than helpful and willing to accept anything in exchange for the monetary payment, but she has yet to make any kind of effort to pay her debt. 
She's lied, she's hedged, she's made excuses and each time, I offer to work something out to help her with the payment and now there's silence.  I've even offered to reimburse her for the shipping cost to mail the patterns back to me.  She did say that she'd borrow money for the postage to mail them back, but that shipment day has come and gone.
Kipp Inglis Yost of All Sewn Up, used me, took advantage of me and still to this day, shows all of the samples that I made for her in her vendor booth at quilt shows. 
I am wiser now because of her. My only hope now is that she loses business because of this post.
Kipp Inglis Yost, "All Sewn Up"  She's a thief.

UPDATE (12-13-15)  Kipp Inglis Yost of All Sewn Up  
Her  Facebook page: 
Please don't do any kind of business with this woman.  I know I will never receive her payment that she owes me, I don't want her to steal from anyone else.
Kipp Inglis is not to be trusted.
 Kipp Inglis, if you read this, and you've decided to do the right thing, just email me at cathspennies@gmail. com .     

That’s all for now!  We’re getting more snow today!  Yay!  :)

Happy Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kudos to the US Postal Service

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"


Now I do have to admit, from time to time, I am critical of our USPS.  This time, however, I will grant some praise.


I went out this afternoon to attempt the clearing of the walkway from the driveway to our front door.  There’s a good solid 8 inches of new snow to shovel.  As I get closer to the front door, I looked up and see something that REALLY surprised me ….


Is that a box sitting on my front porch??   Let’s zoom in to see for sure …..


Oh my gosh!  It is a box on my front porch!  That means our mail lady drove her vehicle up our looooong driveway, risking  “enstuckment” (I know that’s not a word but it should be!) in the unplowed, 8” deep new snow on our driveway to deliver it to our door. 

I do have a greater respect for our mail carrier now.  With all this snow, the mail carriers all have a much more difficulty getting the mail delivered to residents.  My hubby always clears the area around our mailbox down by the road so that she can pull her vehicle right up to the box.  She leaves us notes in the box, thanking us for being so considerate. I know how tough her job is because I pass multiple houses that don’t bother clearing the snow away from their mail boxes along the road.

So anyway, our mailcarrier scored some points today with me because I got my package in the mail and she not only drove it up the treacherous driveway, but she walked through the deep snow from the driveway to the front door.

The only thing …. I noticed this in two different places along the walkway …

Yellow Snow

Can you see the “yellow snow”? 

Now, I’m not accusing the mail carrier of this …

but it seems oddly suspicious that she was up here with a delivery and there are two spots of yellow snow right along her path ….

I guess it could have been hubby when he left for work ….

That would be rather unlikely though …. the bathroom inside would be easier to use, I’d think.



Ok, I think I’m just going to convince myself that it was an animal. 

Everyone is probalby so sick of looking at snow pictures, I know.  But too darn bad!  This is record breaking stuff so we should be allowed to show it without complaint from you silly viewers.

100_3422 These pictures were taken from our deck which is off of our 2nd floor bedroom.

100_3423 100_3426 This is the view out of our 2nd floor bedroom window.  I love these two majestic pine trees in our front yard.

It sure is pretty, isn’t it?  It comes to the point that it’s senseless to complain about it.  I will just admire the beauty while thinking spring.

It’s still snowing now and there’s an additional 2 inches on the sidewalk after I shoveled.


In business news, I’ve finally worked on my blog where I intend to sell my patterns.  Go take a look HERE .  Add that site to your followers list, if you wish.  It will be updated with every new pattern that is introduced as well as any finished items that are for sale. 

Oh … and if you have any interest at all in the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver, go visit Loretta @ House of Houben .

Loretta lives right in Vancouver and has some really interesting posts about the inside workings of what is going on in the area. 

I’m so excited for the winter Olympics to start!

Happy Day everyone!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Homeless Daughter, More Snow, New Design!

She’s a young, energetic 20 year old. Life has been good to her for all of her 20 years until now. Suddenly and without warning, Mother Nature left her homeless. Without her vehicle and a useless , lifeless cellphone, she huddled under blankets to keep herself warm in the freezing temperatures. Thankfully, she has food, …her pet fish passed away from the cold so she savored his life by …..

Ok, NO, Rachel didn’t eat her pet fish that died. Sorry. Rachel is homeless and without her car right now though. Verizon’s cellphone tower went down which rendered her phone useless.

She’s ok though. Rachel shares an off-campus apartment with a friend of hers down in California, Pa. Their area was hard hit by last Friday’s snowstorm and their power is still out. Her car is buried under 2 feet of snow and even if it were dug out, she wouldn’t drive it because little mustangs just don’t like snow especially on snow-covered and icy roads.

She does have her cell phone service back now, thankfully, and she’s staying with friends in the area until her power is restored.

I did laugh with her last night though because she certainly could easily be a homeless girl living on the streets. All she needs is a shopping cart to hold her earthly possessions.

Needless to say, I’ve been extremely concerned and worried but she’s one tough cookie. It has been tough for her but she’s managing without complaining or whining … Although I think she might yell at me for hinting that she ate her pet fish, Pete. :)

Here in Western Pa, it’s snowing now with weather predictions of another 6-10 inches on top of our 22 inches that we already have. The roads are still in terrible condition around here from the last snow hit. I just can’t imagine what it’s going to be like after we get even more.

All you folks up there in the northern states that are used to getting massive amounts of snow, should send all your snow crews down here to teach these municipals how to clear snow. I’ve been in Worcester, Mass after a big snowstorm and it’s just like another day for them. We need their snow-clearing experts down here.

Ok here’s what I’ve been doing over the weekend …

100_3411This one doesn’t have a name yet. I do have a name idea, but suggestions are always welcome. :)

I still have to stitch the backing on yet but this will be my next pattern release. Hopefully I can have it sent out to the printers by the end of the week.


Once it’s completed with the backing, I’ll show better pictures.

I have a penny rug in mind to make with a similar baby chick theme.

Brenda, over at Pumpkin Patch Primitives, has a few wool kits left for my “Let It Snow” pattern and “Scarecrow Jack in the Pumpkin Patch” Pattern.

Go visit her site and buy something. She’s super wonderful!

Happy Day everyone!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pete, The Pesky Fish

I'm sure everyone has seen plenty of pictures with SNOW. Here in Western Pa, we certainly got our share.

Almost 2 feet of it!

We have a really looooong driveway, and this snowblower deserves a medal for clearing it all out for us. Hubby spent the better part of yesterday with his snowblower. He managed to clear enough so that we could get out if we absolutely had to. As of right now, after 3 more hours out there, hubby finished and we can now drive down our driveway to get out.

Pete, the fish is no longer with us. He passed away early this morning. Poor Rachel is upset. It was weather related.

Pete, the pesky beta fish, lived with Rachel in her apartment at college. Rachel lost power during the snowstorm and as of this morning, she is still without power.
She camped out in the cold last night with lots of blankets. Since she has a gas hot water tank, she could keep Pete warm with warm water. However, early this morning, the landlord came in and shut off their water and filled the pipes with antifreeze. No way to keep Pete warm. Rachel said her apartment was 38 degrees inside.
Pete froze. What a way to go. Poor little guy. It was a love/hate relationship between the two of them ... But she has enough heart to not want a living thing to suffer.

So Rachel is without a place to live right now and she's upset about her fish. Most students go home for the weekends there at Cal but they'll be coming back today so she'll temp move in with a friend, once they come back to school today.
For now, she's safe and warming up at her boyfriend's apartment. His power came back on this morning.

Poor Rachel. I wish she weren't so far away. She was laughing and making fun of me for worrying about her last night. "I'll be fine, mom. I have lots of blankets, mom" This morning, after waking up cold, she wasn't laughing.

In the meantime, to keep myself from worrying about her, I've been busy with a brand new spring design. Snippets of wool were flying everywhere yesterday while I was working on it. I'll be ready to show it tomorrow or the next day.

Happy day everyone .. stay warm!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Yikes! Jury Duty

Oh yes, that’s right.  The notice came in the mail yesterday.  March 8th is the day that I report.  I’ve mixed feelings about this. 
It has nothing to do with the whopping huge $8 a day that they will pay me. 
I’ve served Jury duty before … long ago.   Admittedly, it was done differently back then.  All the potential jurors had to sit in a large, cold waiting room, all day for 5 days, just waiting to be called in as a group to be selected for a jury.  It was so horribly boring.  There was one tv set in the room, which many of the ladies females fought over because they didn’t want to miss their soap operas.  During that week of mindlessly sitting and waiting, I came close to being selected to be on a jury only twice.  Both times, I was quickly dismissed by the defense attorney because my father was a state cop.    I read a lot of books that week.
I was selected another time for jury duty, but I was excused because I was pregnant with my sweet Rachel.   Barf bags aren’t permitted in the courtrooms, I guess , and since I needed one every day, all day, the judge decided that it was best that I stay home with it instead.
So that brings us to March 8th.  I will just have to sit at the courthouse for one day.  If I’m not selected as a juror that day, I’ll be done.  Naturally, if I am selected, I’ll have to stay as long as the trial lasts. 
I have a form to fill out which basically wants to know if I can be impartial and fair.  It also asks if I’m related to someone who is a police officer or in law enforcement.  My dad was a statey,  and my son-in-law previously worked in security and has a master’s in criminal justice, so I’ll have to check the “yes” box.  I’m going to assume that I will be rejected because of that.
So here’s my mixed feelings.  I don’t really want to spend the day at the courthouse waiting to see if attorneys will pick me to be on their jury, but if I am selected to be on a jury, I think it would be interesting and I wouldn’t mind.
But if I get there and they insist that I can’t be impartial simply because I’m related to someone in law enforcement?  That’s going to make me angry.
But, I have no say in any of this.  I’ll do as I’m told.  I’ll report, I’ll sit, I’ll be rejected, I’ll go home with my $8. 

So, I’m just about done with my candle mat.  :)  I’m sooooo pleased with how it looks now.  Earlier I had shown it and said that i was having trouble figuring out what to do with the leaves.
I just couldn’t make it look how I wanted it to look.  After it sat on my table for two days …with me looking at it every stinkin time I walked passed it … It finally hit me what was wrong.  The green color that I had dyed the original leaves was just a shade off.  The green was just a smidgen too bright. 
I went back to the dye pot and created a more subtle olive dirty green and that solved it!
I just need to sew the cream colored background on, stitch the backing on that and I’ll be finished.
Soo sooo happy with this one. 
Noooo, it’s not going to be a pattern!  I cut all the flower petals and leaves free hand so it was a spontaneous creation. If you look close enough, you’ll see that the petals aren’t the same sizes and shapes …  neither are the leaves.
BIIIIIIIIIIG snow storm is coming this way today.  The latest weather report I heard was 8-12 inches of the white stuff? 
I’ll be over babysitting when it all starts so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get home.
And speaking of the grandson … at 3 years old, I find myself having adult conversations with the kid. 
First of all, he never shuts up!  He’s always jabbering about something and has this way of making sure that I’m listening to everything he says too.  Yesterday, he came over to me and pointing to some of my penny rugs that I have hanging on the wall he asked, “How you make those, gamma?”  I reminded him that he watches me make those and I do it with a needle and some thread and wool.  He shook his head back and forth and very seriously said “well, they are just beautiful”.  
haha … the kid knows how to butter up the grandma real good to get a special snack, now doesn’t he?
I love my family. :)  
Rachel called last night and made me laugh .. a lot.  It had to do with … if she ever accidently enlists in the army she’ll just cut off her trigger finger so that they will reject her enlistment.  Oh dear, that doesn’t sound funny, does it?  But coming from Rachel, in her goofy way, yes, it was really funny. 
Have a gloriously happy day everyone.  :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Giveaway Winners!

My fingers REALLY aren’t working this morning.  Instead of typing “Giveaway Winners” , I typed“Gimpaway Winders”
Good thing I caught that because the Giveaway Winners might feel insulted instead of happy.
The winner of the “Snow” Penny rug is the new blogger Roberta English from Ohio.
The winner of the Lacey Heart Pinkeep is
Barb of A Corgi to Quilt By.
Congratulations ladies!  Send me your address and I’ll pop your things in the mail!

In other news…..
for all those who’ve ordered my newest pattern, “CatTails of Love”  I’ll be mailing those out to you today.  Thank you all for such a terrific response.  I really appreciate the kindness and your orders. :)
Brenda, at Pumpkin Patch Primitives, has the “Scarecrow Jack in the Pumpkin Patch” candle mat,  kitted up with all the materials needed to make this candle mat.  Just go to her website and click on the pattern picture to order.

Here’s what I’ve been working on the last few days. ….
I don’t intend to make this into a pattern.  It’s just something that’s been in my head to make.  I’m really in this neutral tone on tone mood, again.   I get this urge every year to do taupes. 
I decided to try quilting the wool by adding a layer of soft cotton batting under it.   It needs some leaves, and I dyed some wool a nice taupey greenish color, but I’m just not really liking how it looks. Perhaps the green isn’t the right color or perhaps the leaves are too small … or perhaps I just need to just look at it for a while and hope an idea comes to me.  I’ll keep this sitting on the dining room table for a while and I’m sure I’ll figure it out.
I plan to keep this one for myself, btw.  I’ll be sure to show it once it’s completely finished.
The grandson is feeling much better now.  He still has coughing fits because it’s really difficult to get a 3 year old to understand that running, jumping and tumbling are not good therapy for lungs that are trying to heal.  But at least he’s breathing better and not feverish.  Thank you all for the well wishes.  

Happy Day everyone!