Monday, February 28, 2011

Jet Lag...

Back to regular programing soon...

Had a wonderful vacation in Florida, thank you for all your wonderful e-mails asking about my trip!

I will soon be posting pictures and telling you all about my adventures.

Jet lagged but happy...Life is good!

Hugs,

Elaine 

Announcing Perfect Scissors Winner!

CONGRATULATIONS TO LUCKY #39

 MARY FROM OREGON

YOU ARE THE WINNER OF A PAIR OF KAREN KAY BUCKLEY'S
PERFECT SCISSORS!

Please send me your mailing address so that I can order your scissors and have them sent directly from Karen Kay Buckley.

Thank you to all who participated in my Give-A-Way and for leaving your comments on your favorite block and whether you prefer machine or hand piecing...I really enjoyed reading them all!

Hugs,

Elaine

PS: Winner was generated by Random Number Selection. There were 64 entires, however only 60 were included in the draw as three people entered two comments and one comment was deleted. Thanks again!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hi From Florida!

Just passing by to tell you all "Hi" from Florida!

Well, actually this is an egret that came to welcome Rosa and I to Florida...

More to follow!

Hugs,

Elaine

Monday, February 14, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane...

My bags are packed and my boarding pass is printed. I'm ready to go!

I'll use my time now to sit back and relax, enjoy some hand quilting and chat with my dear husband.

He told me it would be quite here at home without me and I'm pretty sure he meant that in a nice way too!

I'll be "seeing" you from Florida real soon!

Hugs,

Elaine

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love on Valentine's Day

Valentine wishes from Jim. First he got me flowers and gave them to me early so that I would have time to enjoy them before leaving on my trip to Florida.
They are gorgeous...
And tonight when I got home from work, he gave me a wonderful card. The sentiment inside made me teary... I am so blessed by his love.
And then he gave me a "traveling companion" to take with me on my trip. This "tradition" started when we took our first "big" trip to British Columbia. I packed a little stuffed animal in Jim's luggage as a surprise and he would set it out wherever we stayed. With each trip that we've taken since, I continue to put a little "surprise" in his luggage. This time he surprised me with this "LOVEy" caterpillar!
"LOVEy" will be one of the first things I pack in my suitcase tomorrow! And when I get to Florida, I will set him out to enjoy the Florida air!

Color me LOVED!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hugs,

Elaine

How Many Breaks in a 7 1/2 Hour Day?

Only 7 & 1/2 hours left of work then...

 I'm on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!!!

I can hardly stand it....that's 450 minutes.

I think I can do this.  Yes, I think I can!

Yes, I know I can 'cause I'm going on 

VACATION TO FLORIDA!

WOO HOO!!

Hope you have a great day! 

Hugs,

Elaine

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Half Day of Pampering...

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Florida, I spent half the day being pampered, the first half I worked...needless to say I LOVED the second half of my day the best!
First stop "Kim and Co. Salon"
First I saw the aesthetician, Sabrina .
Then a pedicure with Sara...
I LOVE pedicures... After a day at work, where I stand for 8 hours, a foot massage is very much appreciated. And to have my toes painted ... well, that's the "icing on the cake" in my humble opinion!
Next stop, "Ciao Bella Salon", time for a touch up!
Here's Deborah, my hairdresser
Color and cut...VOILA!
I LOVE days like this...

Now, I just have to pack and I'll be ready to take-off for Florida!

Can't hardly stand the wait...

Hugs,

Elaine

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Git er Done" or "Soldier On" ?

That's the question! As I previously posted, my word for 2011 is "FINISH"... but I came across a dilemma with some of my projects that have been waiting a long time to be completed.

Remember my hand pieced "Which Way Is Up" quilt that I started on a United Airlines flight in April 2008? At the time we were on our way to Washington D.C (Cherry Blossom Festival). , Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Amish Quilts) and then Harrisonburg, Virginia  (National Quilt Museum).
Well, they're still just blocks ... not a quilt yet! They are all done but I would really like them to grow into a "FINISHED" quilt!
So here is my dilemma ...  Do I remain a purist and complete the quilt as I had originally intended to do? Or do I just finish it on the machine?

And then what about the quilting... send out to be machine quilted or should I hand quilt it? I want to be happy with my decisions but am stuck between "FINISH" and doing it as I had intended.

Any opinions out there??

Thanks in advance, I sure need to hear from you as I am spending too much time just "thinking" about it and that really is not getting it FINISHED!

Hugs,

Elaine

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thanks for the Support...


Thank you all for the comments that were left yesterday on my post "Vacation Plans Interrupted".

They were all so supportive and made me feel that I wasn't alone in my thinking. Your comments encouraged me to look into other avenues that I hadn't even thought about as well.

Again thank you all for your comments, they were GREATLY appreciated!

As for what I'll be doing on my day off ... I'll be packing my bags for Florida, of course!

I'm going on my vacation ...

Hope you all have a great day!

Hugs,

Elaine

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vacation Plans Interrupted!

Yesterday was a very upsetting day for me. Upon arriving at work, I was immediately informed that ALL my upcoming vacations were cancelled due to personnel relocations. The reason...they aren't sure IF there will be coverage when I would be gone. Keep in mind, I am planning to leave for Florida next went for a trip that was planned about 8 months ago! My other trips are at the end of March, June and September.

I immediately told my boss that I have airline reservations for all my vacations that had been previously approved along with hotel and car accommodations. He in turn told me that I "would be allowed" to take my vacation next week BUT all my other vacations ( I have 3 weeks) have been cancelled until further notice. And my trip to Florida?  I am not even using any vacation time as I have been working extra hours, I've been called to come in on my days off and like a good employee have gone in!

Now, I don't know about all of you BUT I am a planner. In fact I make definite plans, then make arrangements as in airline tickets, hotel accommodations and car rentals. I pay for the airline tickets at the time I make my reservations and they are non-refundable tickets. If I do change them, there is a $150.00 charge attached, not something I want to incur when I have another 3 trips arranged for this year. 

You might be thinking at this point that ... WOW, that's a lot of trips! In reality, I am only supposed to be working between 24 and 32 hours for medical reasons after my stroke last year. That means, that if I have a full 8 hour day, I should only be working either a 3 or 4 day work week, enough to keep my necessary health insurance along with the monetary earnings. So really along with my 3 weeks of accrued paid vacation, I have "extra" days during the week. 

My trips are a week long or less, quilt retreats in fact. I went last September to one and promised myself that I needed to do this type of activity more often as it was so rejuvenating and good for the soul. I came back so refreshed and invigorated! A trip just for me ...  I finally reached a point in my life that I can do this!

Anyway, back on point...I called my HR department this morning and yes, my boss has this authority to cancel even planned, paid for vacations. Can you believe this? It's all about Corporate and making that $$$. 

Don't get me wrong here, I am very grateful to have a job in this economy but where is that employer to employee relationship? We all have families and a life outside the workplace...I've never worked 24/7 for a corporation and don't plan on starting now. I work hard and put in an honest, full day at work and this is how I am treated ... I'm just another grunt employee, another number on the payroll list. They really don't care...making money is their goal.

Sad commentary on our world...

Elaine

PS: By the way, I will be going on those trips... retirement just might come earlier than expected. I am very blessed that my dear husband is my personal advocate. Along with God, he is my rock that I can lean on during the good and bad times. I AM very blessed...




Monday, February 7, 2011

"Perfect Scissors" Review And A Give-A-Way

After receiving several comments and questions about Karen Kay Buckley's "Perfect Scissors", I thought that I should post a review on how I thought they performed. IMHO, I think that they are PERFECT!!
I spent the afternoon and evening cutting "apple core" and "thimble" pieces while watching the Superbowl game with my DH and MIL. The apple core is a curved pattern, one that can't be cut using a rotary cutter. The thimble pieces are straight and I certainly could have used my rotary cutter on them. However, I opted to "test cut" everything using my new "Perfect Scissors".

I cut a lot ... every piece of fabric in this picture was cut, and we're talking lots of fabric here!
The scissors were PERFECT, my hand never got tired nor did it cramp. Needless-to-say, I was quite impressed with their performance. I couldn't stop from cutting more and more pieces out...they made cutting out curved pieces so easy. Since they have a micro serrated blade that keeps the fabric from slipping, my hand cutting was more accurate. It literally was like cutting butter with a hot knife!

I still LOVE my Dovo's but I think I will use my "Perfect Scissors" for cutting out more complex and curved shapes now that I know just how "perfect" they are!

To celebrate my "new" find, I will be having a give-a-way of a pair of Karen's small "Perfect Scissors". Please leave your comment on this post. Let me know what kind of piecing you do ( machine or hand) and your favorite quilt block. Since I will be on vacation to Florida next week, the drawing for the winner will be after I return home. So, the drawing will be the last day of February, the 28th at 11:59 pm. Winner will be selected by Random Number Draw.

Good Luck!

Hugs,

Elaine

PS: No affiliation or connection to Karen Kay Buckley or her products. This is strictly a personal review of one of her products.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Progress on "Thimbles" Quilt and "Perfect Scissors"

More Jo Morton fabric pulled from my stash for my "Thimbles... a Tribute to Jo" quilt... sorry the picture does not do justice to the colors of these pieces. Trust me, they are gorgeous! Shown here are Jo's "Annandale" and "Indigo Berries" collections.
After work yesterday, I was able to get some "thimbles" cut and YES, they are very small!
But I think I will have some help with the cutting...in the mail was my order from Karen Kay Buckley!
My "Perfect Scissors" are here! I read your comments from my post on "my" favorite scissors and everyone who commented on Karen's scissors gave them rave reviews. I "needed" to find out more about these scissors and give them a try! And I found them to be ... in my humble opinion... fantastic! 
I put five pieces of fabric together and cut... and they cut perfectly! They held the fabric, there was no distortion or pulling due to their having serrated blades. I think that they will be "perfect" for cutting multiple fabrics that have curved shapes, those times when you can't use your rotary cutter. They are indeed..."Perfect Scissors".

Great day at work and an even greater time at home!

Hugs,

Elaine

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Rocky Mountain Thimbles"

On my lunch hour at work, I started marking fabric for another hand piecing project. It's called "Rocky Mountain Thimbles". The pattern is from the book "Small Blocks, Stunning Quilts" by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms.
Here is what clip of the quilt...
I have decided to make mine using only Jo Morton fabric, showcasing all of her fabric collections that I have in my stash, my "Tribute to Jo" quilt! The size of the "thimble" measures 1 1/4 inch in height and 1 1/4 inches at the base, perfect to hand piece! This photo shows the cutting line for the "thimble", I still need to mark the 1/4 inch sewing line on the inside portion of the block.
And this is the fabric that I marked during lunch. Hopefully, I will mark the sewing line at lunch tomorrow and get them cut within the next couple of days. It is surprising how doing a little quilt related project at lunch made me feel so relaxed...and what a great way to unwind!
With such gorgeous fabric to use, this is going to be a fabulous project! Don't you agree??

Hugs,

Elaine

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm Getting Excited...

Eleven days to go and then ... Florida here I come!
I will be flying into Ft. Lauderdale Airport
and arriving here at Terminal 3...
If everything goes according to plan, my friends will be waiting for me... Frummie, who is our hostess for the week and Rosa, who will have just arrived from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. 
We will meet here...
The closer it gets to leaving, the more excited I'm becoming... it seems like we've been planning this trip for months ( well, than again I guess we have!) and now we're almost to the runway. I can't wait to give Frummie and Rose a REAL hug!

I have all my quilting projects lined up and ready to pack. I know what clothes I'm taking so it's just a matter of packing them. And my hair and pedicure appointments have been made so that's all taken care of too! The pedicure is a traditional event for me, I always have my toes done before going on vacation or to an event. It's kinda like a marker that I'm going to be doing something special and a good way for me to relax!

 I "think" I have everything that needs to be taken care of either done or at least ready to be done and marked off the list!

Can you tell that I'm getting EXCITED???!!!

WOO HOO!!!

Hugs,

Elaine

PS: If you noticed, it 4:34am PST. I had a really bad dream and now I can't go back to sleep...must be watching way too many episodes of "Criminal Mind" and "NCIS" before bedtime!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ready to Quilt - Abe's Log Cabin


I felt well enough yesterday to finally do a little sewing. I was able to completely sew the top to my "Abe's Log Cabin" quilt.  Yes, I realize that the little quilt is only 11 inches by 14 inches but a huge accomplishment for me to get it done in one session at the machine! I had arranged the strips previously so all I really had to do was get behind the sewing machine and push the peddle! The picture looks a little wonky but "up close and personal" it is straight.

In fact, not only is it sewed but backed and basted, all ready to quilt! Unbelievable!!!

For me that is amazing ... I have to admit that I am slow in completing projects or even deciding which one to work on (see my post of Saturday,  January 29th  "What To DO" for the details). I know that a lot of you can relate to this by the comments I received on that post.  And thank you for those comments, they made me feel like I wasn't the only one who got boggled down in the sewing/quilting process.

Anyway, I am going to quilt 1/8 inch from the seam allowance on the outside of each log. I'm thinking that this will be a great project to do on my flight to Florida.

Color me pleased!

Hugs,

Elaine

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Looks A lot Like Spring in California!

The tulips are here...it must really be Spring here in California! While the mid-west and east coast dig themselves out of the snow, those of us on the west coast are basking in the warm days, reaching the high 60's to low 70's.

I love tulips and since I've not been feeling well the last couple of days, I treated myself to these beautiful tulips when I went to get some more saltine crackers.

Now these make me feel better...don't they make you feel better too?

Hope you all have a great day, filled with laughter of friends and family...

And remember to stay healthy!

Hugs,

Elaine

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Correction: Sajou of France Scissors

On my post today, I stated that these beautiful scissors were Dovo. I had forgotten that they are Sajou of France scissors and was reminded of this through a comment and follow up e-mail that I received. 

Thank you Sharyn for bringing this to my attention, I had completely forgotten. 

I was also asked where I purchased these scissors... they are available through Nordic Needle or Silent Stitches.** Click on their name for the link to their websites.

Sorry for this error....

Hugs,

Elaine

**No affiliation with either business. I just added them for your convenience if you were interested in purchasing either Dovo or Sajou of France scissors

My Favorite Scissors - Dovo

I love my Dovo scissors. I found these to be the best scissors for me. While being light in weight, the blades are very sharp and the point is perfect to use "if" you have to take out stitches. And they fit my hand perfectly!
I have several pairs of Dovo scissors. Since I like to have my hand piecing ready to go with me at any given time, I keep a pair of scissors in my piecing tote.** This is the one I keep in there...the green point protector is a "Clover" product and works great keeping the point safe!
I also have several pairs of scissors that I keep in my sewing room. These are my utility scissors that I use all the time, whether for applique or hand piecing or just cutting out small pieces of fabric. The two scissors on the right I use mainly when appliquéing, one blade is blunt the other pointed.
I also have a special pair of Dovo scissors that I take when traveling. It is a blunt tip and TSA approved. I bought this at the time when you couldn't take a pair of scissors on the plane unless they had a blunt tip. From what I understand now, you can take a pair on scissors on board as long as the blade is 4 inches or less. I'll continue to take my blunt tip scissors though!
As you can also see from my pictures, I have FOB's on all my scissors. They make them easy to locate and identify them as mine when going to classes or retreats. I enjoy the "dazzle" they add and at the same time make a great identifier.
I do have a pair of Gingher scissors that I use to snip machine threads and cut paper. I've had these since I first started quilting in the 80's. They are heavy but great to use for those things I would never use my good scissors for.
In the past I thought I was the only one who had so many scissors. Then I started going to classes and retreats and found out that quilters have multitudes of scissors. I wasn't the only quilter ... we are all (I use this term gently) "addicted" to scissors! I guess its like a carpenter who has lots of tools or a fisherman who has lots of "flies". Every scissor has a different use... and that sure makes sense to me!

What do you think? Do you have multiple scissors for different types of sewing too? I know that there are several of you who "collect" scissors...do you use them all? And what type of scissor do you prefer?
Call me "Curious George"...

Hugs,

Elaine

** Please refer to my post of January 19th "Type A Personality?" where I talk about my hand piecing tote