Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's Never Good When The Phone Rings At 3am

My phone was ringing at quarter to 3 am today.  I was upstairs and it was downstairs.  It wasn't a ring from one of my kids, whew, but it was ringing.  Do I race downstairs or just let it ring?  How likely is it to be a wrong number?  DH made the decision and went downstairs to see who had called.  He came upstairs and said, "It's your dad's number".  CRAP!  That's about all I had to say about that.  How can that be good?  So I went downstairs and called it back.  My sister answered and told me that she called 9-1-1 this morning for my dad.  CRAP!  She heard him bump into a door around 2am and got up to check on him.  He was lying on the floor in the bathroom, very weak and I'll spare you the details, suffice it to say he needed help.  So she called the neighbors and then called 9-1-1.  Why didn't she call 9-1-1 first?  Who knows, but we will be having that talk tomorrow when I go there.

She did not know what hospital he was being taken to so I told her to call me back.  Ok, a little bit later she called and told me.  I went back to bed.  CRAP!  Who can sleep now?  My dad is 84.  My younger sister lives with him, she has Cerebral Palsy.  They take care of each other.  My older sister is retarded and schizophrenic, with a touch of Bipolar.  I know that he is not going to be around forever.  I am dreading the day all this responsibility lands in my lap.  There is no one else to take care of them but me.  I keep saying, "Just 10 more years, dad, just hang on."  In reality? I don't want to lose him ever, I love him so much, but I also don't want to take over my sisters care.  I guess no one asked me what I wanted to do right?  We do what we have to and make it work, don't we?  That's what we do.  That's what I will have to do.

I called the hospital at 5am and found him.  He answered, "Holly"?  "No dad, it's Pam."  "How did you find out about this?"  I laughed.  I told him Holly called me.  I asked him if he wanted/needed me there today.  He said "No you shouldn't drive here.  It's a long drive and you'll be tired."  LOL, I'm already tired.  He is in good spirits and seems ok for the moment.  Concerned that he was going to miss his golf date with a friend today.  Typical. 

They will admit him and run tests and ultimately probably not know what really happened.  He is aging, he probably doesn't eat like he should and he was out late to a baseball game with my sister last night.  I suspect his body just couldn't take so much at one time.  He told me they are thinking that they will discharge him sometime tomorrow.  He has someone to stay with my sister tonight.  He was concerned about not having clothes for tomorrow or a way home.  "Don't worry dad, I'll be there to bring you clothes, pick you up and make sure you get home.  I'll stay with you and Holly and make sure you guys are ok."

I love you dad.

Don't worry, I got this!  ~XOP~

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wedding Party!

My nephew got married in a destination wedding last Dec.  You may recall the tumbler quilt I made for their wedding gift.  I blogged about it here.  The reception/party to celebrate the wedding was on Saturday.  It was held at my SIL house in their back yard.  They had a tent, good food, an open bar and a DJ.  It was a lot of fun.  Here is my nephew and his wife with my MIL and FIL
Chris and Carla

We got to meet our other nephew's new girlfriend too and she was a real sweetie.
Elizabeth and James

My SIL and BIL brought their 4 kids, who we hardly get to see. You may remember Jessie, I made her a graduation quilt from the LCQAL. This is the 4 cousins with my DD2 in the middle of all of them. They were making somores.
My DD1 brought her BF and I managed to actually get a nice shot of them together.
Shelby and Eric 03

And just because he might feel left out, this is my son (in the white) with his cousin. The two of them are always together at family functions!
James and Thadd

I thought you might like to see what I did for the label on the tumbler quilt too. I had made a two row strip across the back and there happened to be one white tumbler. I used that for the label!

Quilt label
I put a Gaelic saying on it too:

Beannachd Dia dhuit! 


Blessings of God be with you!

I'm told the bride cried when she read the label. My favorite response to gifting a quilt! How about you? What kind of reaction do you like to see? ~XOP~

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Exciting Times

I have way too much to put into one post but I am afraid I am going to forget something.  I also like to have things to say every day so I am going to just do some talking and the rest will have to wait till tomorrow, *sigh*.
First my friend Craig has entered the McCall's design star contest.  He made it into the first challenge round and now needs people to go and vote for his amazing quilt.  Voting is here, and you can vote once a day for the next 2 weeks.  So what are you waiting for?  Go, NOW!!  Just make sure you come back because I have more stuff to tell you about, k?

Next up, remember that incredible improv quilt I had the opportunity to put together? 
Project Special Delivery

Well, it has finally arrived at it's new home and the proud owner is...

Yes, she is expecting her first baby in July and this amazing quilt was done for her new baby by a group of Flickr friends.  She sent a note today to the person that facilitated the quilt and let us know that she had received it and was so thrilled!  I guess she cried when she saw it and especially when she read the label we had done. 
 She said the quote we used (one of hers) was especially dear to her.  How amazing is that?  Faith (in charge of our group) put together a book that had each block and a note from each person to her, as well as photos of the quilt etc.  I am thrilled that I got to be a part of something so incredible.  Everyone in the group did an amazing job with their block, PTM did her usual fantastic job embroidering the label and doing the binding and LTW's quilting was great!!  So now you know who the quilt was for!!

I still want to tell you about my nephew's wedding reception on Sat but that is going to have to wait for a little bit.  Hope you are all having a great Tuesday, ~XOP~

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sauder Village

On Friday DH and I continued our exploits at Sauder Village in Archbold Ohio.  It is an historic village and there are some shops there as well.  Most notable for me, a quilt shop.  I was fascinated with the broom shop though.  I have to tell you the woman making brooms was amazing.  I knew I found my ride home, LOL.  They make them from broom corn.  (did you know there was a corn like that??)  It has seeds on it which they comb off and then use the stalky part to put with other stalky parts to make the broom.  After they put them together and stitch through them they lay it down and give it a hair cut to make the bottom even.  It was very interesting.  I bought a cobweb broom.   You can see the ones that still have the seeds on, they are the ones tied up with the bows and just below, on the table are what they look like with the seeds off.  It takes 60 stalks to make one broom.  The lady told us it takes her about an hour and a half to make the brooms.  Glad it's her and not me!!
Broom shopMaking brooms
Just outside the quilt shop was a museum and a display of old sewing machines. My DH came into the quilt shop to get me to go and see them. He was even more impressed at how clean my new old Featherweight is!!
Antiqe Sewing Machine display

Speaking of the quilt shop, I found some old Prints Charming fabrics, which I love and are some of the softest fabrics I have ever felt!
Prints Charming

I also managed to get some pink(s) of Henna Garden. I know that the Spring one is HTF, so I got some and hope I can use it for swapping too.
Henna garden

We seem to see quilts everywhere don't we? When we went into the glass blowers shop he had some amazing glass spheres. Do you see what I see?
Pinwheels and another quilt pattern in glassQuilted glass ball
I know they are a little blurry, but I had to take it through the glass. Beautiful though no?

I think that takes me up to Saturday and the wedding reception so more about that tomorrow.  I did manage to get some sewing done too, as well as some cutting.  I can show you the sewing but not the cutting!!  HAHA, that's for Jacquie's quilt.  Even she doesn't know I am putting in a surprise element!!  BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!  ~XOP~

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Don't Even Know Where To Begin

I know I have been awol lately but I have been BUSY!!  The fun began on Wednesday when I received the Featherweight that I bought on Ebay.  I am in love with her.  So beautiful!  Here let me introduce you to her.
My new Featherweight

She is a beauty!! She also came with a ton of accessories!

I bet you want to know if she can sew though, right? Well after a LOT of time trying to get the bobbin thread to come up I finally got a chance to try her out. She did not disappoint! Perfect stitch!!
Perfect stitch

I barely had time to play with her and I had to leave for Wed night quilting. I didn't stay long though as DH and I were going to go to Shipshewana on Thursday...early! Time to pack.

We got up early and headed out. It is about a 2 and a half hour drive but we really enjoy going and spending the day. I usually spend a lot of time at the quilt shops, but I did pretty well this trip. I did visit the shops but I didn't spend much. I had just recently bought from several places and didn't feel that I needed a lot. I was looking for some navies to use in an upcoming project though and managed to score a few great finds on this trip. Shipshewana also had a quilt show going on that weekend so I have loads of photos from the show. I won't be able to upload them all here but if you go to my Flickr you can see them all and who they were made by too. I think we will start with pictures from the show.
This quilt and this one were made by the same woman, Rosemary Youngs of Walker, Michigan (where I grew up!!) The first one was quilted by Tammy Finkler, the other one by Rosemary.
Quilt Show 01Quilt Show 17
This quilt won the best in show award. It was beautiful! By Barbara Perrin, Pullman Michigan. You need to see this up close on my Flickr.
Quilt Show 08
Those were the ones I liked the best, but there are a whole lot more in Flickr. Now more of my trip. WE found the best doughnut shop (Bread Box Bakery) and here is DH enjoying his.
BEST dougjnut ever

There were flowers, fairy gardens and buggies everywhere. Even quilts hung all over the Davis Mercantile!
wagon of flowersMore Fairy hutsBuggiesStatue with quilt
I even found this young lady waiting for a dip! I LOL right in the shop when I spotted her!
Beach boob doll

DH even managed to snap my picture too, as we were going into the Fairy Garden.

Everyone kept asking us if we were from Lansing and we couldn't figure it out until we realized that he was wearing his Spartan hat and I had on my Spartan jacket!! HAHA

Ok, I kept you waiting long enough, here are the things I got while there:
Nest and dotsNavys
Cool cats and navy
We ended up leaving there and heading over to Sauder Village in Ohio to spend the night. I will pick up there tomorrow. I still have LOTS more to tell you but I need to go and clean the bathroom. We are having some company tonight. I am also hoping to get into the sewing room to do some cutting today. Have a good Sunday! ~XOP~

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Prince Charming

I don't know how many of you are in love with the new fabric line by Tula Pink called Prince Charming but I am totally head over heels over this new line.  Have you seen it?  It is like Hushabye and Neptune had a baby!! LOL  The froggy is especially adorable

Don't discount the snails either.   They are AMAZING!! Probs my second favorite in the line.

My friend Cori at Crazy Quilt Girl is selling this fabric.  You really need to go and get some, oh and tell her she really needs to just get the entire line!!   The hand of the Free Spirit fabrics is so soft, you are going to LOVE these prints, they really are Charming! LOL.

As nuts as I am over this fabric my friend Katy, may be even more so.  Here is Tula's latest artwork shown in another form.

I know she just got this a day ago but isn't it cool?? She needs to get it colored in yet but it is awesome (and I am not really a tattoo fan, but you gotta give it up for such a cool one!!)  In fact if you go to her blog, you will see some of her other amazing tattoos too.  Like Tula Pink's owl from Hushabye. 

All in all run over to Cori's shop and order yourself up some incredible Prince Charming.  We all need a little Prince Charming in our lives don't we?  ~XOP~

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I LOVE Surprises, Don't You?

I mean the good ones of course!  You know what I mean.  Someone brings you flowers, cleans your house, gives you that unexpected little gift.  I mean, c'mon, who wouldn't love that right?  Well I had 3 packages waiting for me when I got home yesterday.  THREE!!

First was a wee small one with the charms I won from the Sweetwater FB giveaway. I got to choose 3 charms from their website. I chose the three you see. Funny thing is that they had hometowns and so I thought no harm no foul asking for my own hometown and low and behold they sent it to me! Grand Rapids! How cool is that?? Thank you ladies of Sweetwater, I love my charms!
Charms from Sweet Water

Now this is an "It's a small world" story so you might need a Diet Coke or a cuppa something to read it. I'll wait while you get something, go on, I'm serious! Back? Right then here we go.

When I first began blogging a LONG time ago (5 years ago to be exact) I found blogs, probably like everyone, by finding one, reading their blog list and finding more. One of the first blogs I read was Gone Aussie Quilting. I loved her blog, and I still love her blog. I followed her for quite sometime, through a period where she was not blogging much as she had a rough pregnancy. She blogged sporatically but always had the most amazing quilts to share!(and she still has the most amazing quilts to share!!) Bored yet? No? OK. So fast forward to recently and the HUGE release of the new Denyse Schmidt fabric at JAF. I belong to a group on Flickr that was all a buzz about it. Several of the Aussie's wanted it (as well as some people her in the US w/o a JAF) so I volunteered to go and get what they wanted. I ended up at the JAF near Ann Arbor and dropped some serious cash on all their fabric. I posted about it here.

I took it over to my friend Cori's house (Crazy Quilt Girl) and she helped me cut and then ship it out to everyone. One of the people was someone named Heidigoneaussie in Australia (or Oz). I was happy to help out my Aussie friends. Then, like a lightening bolt it hit me, Heidigoneaussie was Gone Aussie Quilting, or Jeannette!!! LOL, my friend!! Even funnier, I have learned that she grew up in Saline, MI which is very close to where I live now. Can you believe that??

I know, get to the point of the story right? Well, Denyse Schmidt released some of her fabrics only in Oz and Jeannette was sweet enough to send some FQ's to me. Even after I at first told her I didn't think I wanted them. She knew I would change my mind, LOL. So thank you to Jeannette for being such a wonderful friend! Here is what she sent me.
Aussie DS PrintsAussie DS Prints
Can you guess which one is my favorite? If you know me at all you will easily guess. It's the aqua one third from the left!

Now if my evening wasn't good enough with all that goodness, just wait...there's more! Seriously, can you believe it?? The over the top generous Jeannette sent a few little gifties. A little FMF love (OMG!!!) and two amazing charm packs.

There are 20 charms of My folklore (how did you know I love this line with their Dala horses??) and the BEST EVER??? Forty squares of assorted Heather Ross fabrics!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost fell over with the excitement of her generosity! How do you make such wonderful friends that you  have never met IRL? How I ask you? Jeannette, when you read this, please know how happy you made me and I was not having the best of nights up until that point so from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

I hope you all have some wonderful blogging buddies out there too. Remember making friends all around the world and sharing what we do and who we are is an amazing thing. I have had such great experiences with all my blogging friends. Most of them have been generous to a fault. I try to pay that forward when I get the chance too. One of my favorite sayings is what comes around goes around. It only takes a minute to be nice and you may just impact someone's life like you never expected you would. So go forth, my blogging friends and pay it forward today!! Tell them Mama Spark sent you!! ~XOP~

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

YEAH!!  It's Father's Day here in the US today.  I called my daddy last night to wish him a happy Father's Day.  Now on to my own husband's Father's Day.  DD1 and I took him to the local airport for the EAA sponsored pancake breakfast.
Father's Day 2011 011

This is what it looked like. We went around 9 and we were able to walk right up and get our food. It was awesome. Here is DD1 with DH, although it was a bad picture of him, lol, sun in his eyes.
Father's Day 2011 001Father's Day 2011 002   

  We always see the mom of a boy my DD2 went to elementary school with when we go. Her son was in my daughter's kindergarden class the year they all went to the airport hanger to see the airplanes my DH flies. From that day forward, Nick had always wanted to be a pilot. Through the years they have stayed in touch and after talking to him mom today, I found out that he is an air traffic controller in the city I grew up in! Small world huh? It was that day and my husband that influenced this young man for the rest of his life. So, if you ever wondered if you made a difference in someone's life you very likely have done. We are just fortunate enough to know it.

Unfortunately, the rest of Father's Day did not go so well for my DH. He got roped into going out to the farm with DD1 to help build her peacock enclosure. On the way to the farm they saw DS walking down the road. Why, I hear you ask?? He drove our Wrangler in a field and put a stick through the radiator. So he was walking home. They picked him up and made him go to the farm and work, LOL, joke was on him. DD2 came home for dinner and the burgers are on the grill as I type this. I guess it was not too bad of a day after all.

I know you are all sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to hear if I got that embroidery finished aren't you? Well, I not only finished the one I showed you but...wait for it...wait for it...I got the second one done too!!! WOO HOO!!! Now, I can put them in the mail on Monday and BE DONE WITH this commitment!!!! Oh, you wanna see them I suppose, right?
Purrfect WorldCat photo frame
I had to ice, ice, ice, but I am so happy to be finished with them. I really love the In a Purrfect World one. I will stitch that for myself someday. Now I feel like I can start working on the pattern for Jacquie.  I have been pulling some fabrics already!

How was your weekend??? ~XOP~