Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

First, for your amusement, my cat Jack:

I am a day late posting about that but I hope everyone had a wonderful turkey day. It was just my immediate family here at my house but I thought I would show you our bird. It was a beauty, and HUGE!! DH gets a turkey every year from work. We have a few left overs, LOL.
Our turkey
I am thankful for my family and for all the things God has blessed me and mine with. My dad is still around and very active, I have 3 healthy, happy and relatively productive kids, my health is good and so is my DH's, all 5 cats and the dog are doing well and we have a home and food to eat and enough fabric to keep me going for a long time. My family wanted me to relax a little more than I usually do (read that I'm just a little bit of a control freak, according to my family) and when I am stressing they are stressing so they banned me from the kitchen. Oh Dear!! What was I supposed to do all day? Well, sew of course! I got out a project that I wanted to get done (read on my UFO list) and I got the center of it finished tonight. I was able to get all but the last row sewn on. I do need to do the borders but will cut those and sew them tomorrow I think. I used Moda Swanky turnovers with white and the border and binding will be made from a jelly roll of Swanky too.
Swanky close upSwanky center

Swanky is such a cheerful line it was hard to continue to have slightly hurt feelings when I was sewing this top. I had been talking to LTW awhile ago and told her of my desire to do some leader and ender projects while sewing and she generously donated some 2.5" x 5" coins for me to use. I just loved the fabrics and there were 3 sets that kind of went together. I chose the one that had fabrics by 3 Sisters. Those coins needed to be added to to make yet another small coin quilt (Moda Bakeshop pattern). I had done the Designer Mystery Sampler and had a little of some of those fabrics left over so decided to see if I could make up the difference. Well, I was having so much fun I finished all the coins today! I will cut the sashing tomorrow too. Then it will probably be time to put the machine away until after Christmas. I think I am going to start an Etsy and put the coin quilt in there once it is finished.
Christmas coins
I realize that I can be a little bit (really quite a bit) of a control freak sometimes. I do like things done a certain way. I try really hard not to get too bossy. I have had 2 incidents recently and am wondering "Is it really me?" I am thinking of trying to simplify my life and will be making some changes come January so stay tuned!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sarah Palin's Book Signing in Grand Rapids Michigan

I just have to say that right after I got home from NY I spent the night and got up and re-packed my bags to go to Grand Rapids. I got in the car with DD1 and we drove to GR to see my dad and for me to get ready to go and get my book signed by Sarah Palin. I knew it would be a huge event so I was prepared to be a little nutty about the whole thing. In for a dime in for a dollar, right? So first stop was Barnes and Noble for the book. Then to Attic Windows quilt shop. This is what I got there. Some black for Hocuspocusville and some gray that looks like Petosky stones for a Michigan quilt someday. I also got these sweet FQ for cheap too!!

Black and gray$1 FQ
I found this really sweet pear batik fabric and these amazingly creepy cats. I found this adorable cat pattern too. I can see this done with all 30's fabrics can't you?
Pears and catsNew pattern
So after all that, I got to my dad's house. I decided I should be in the line to get a bracelet to get in line for the signing around midnight, and it was pretty cold out. My dad gave me his snowmobiling pants and boots, which I paired with my husband's down jacket and a hat, a headband and DD1's sweet purple scarf. Oh, and I borrowed the gloves from my son.
Me again
I got there at midnight and it was pretty cold, but I was quite warm. (I didn't put the "in line" photos on the blog but they are on flickr). We waited until around 5:30am when they let us into the mall to continue to wait until 7am. At 7am they opened the doors to the bookstore so we were able to get out bracelet (which entitled us to comeback and wait some more!) I went home and took a shower and put some makeup on and changed my clothes so I didn't look like a skank. Then DD1 and I headed out to Red Robin for lunch and she dropped me at the mall.
I got back in line and was around 200th (I was 37th in the am). We all stood around and sat around and talked to pass the time. The people in line by me were very nice. About 5:45 Sarah arrived (you can see the media inside the book store in the first photo) Some elderly lady walked up to the group I was in and asked if anyone wanted her sign. Everyone stepped back, so I figured they just didn't want to talk to any of the media. I was cleaned up so I said, "Sure, I'll take it". Wow did it ever work like a media magnet. I ended up interviewed by the Detroit Free Press, The Observer (from the UK), Fox News ( by Greta VanSustern's assistant) and the New York Times. Pretty sure the only one that used anything was the Free Press. I was in the paper the next day (Wed, you can read it on their site)

Sarah arrivedMe and my sign
This photo is on the NY Times website. It was me going upstairs for the actual signing and where I got to meet Sarah!!

This is the bus she pulled up in. I forgot to tell you I extended my hand and she put down the pen and shook my hand, firmly. I told her, "Thanks for what you are doing for our country." She looked me in the eye and said, "Thank you for what you are doing to support our country too." I have to say all in all it was quite an experience. I adore her and was thrilled to be able to meet her in person.
Sarah's Bus 02

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Watkins Glen and Montour Falls

The trip continues. We drove from Skaneateles down to Watkins Glen. We drove past around 25 vineyards. It reminded me of the Traverse City area in Michigan. Also known for producing great wine. We were kind of rushed to make all the stops we wanted to do so we didn't stop at any of the wineries. Bummer, I really want to do that the next time we go!! I took this out the car window as we were speeding along the lake on our way to WG.
Vinyards in the Finger Lakes
I know, why all the fascination with Watkins Glen? There is an amazing state park there and in the parking lot you can see one of the waterfalls at the park. Unfortunately, the park was closed but at least we got to see this one!

Watkins Glen 03Watkins Glen 02
In WG was a really nice quilt shop called Oh Susannah's. I managed to find a few things there. Like this amazing reindeer pattern. (both girls love the movie Prancer, so I may have to make 2 of these!) And the Pies and Tarts pattern that I am also in love with!! I found some ivory scales (for a future pond dragon quilt) and 2 clearenced quilt patterns and a bit of something for a Halloween quilt? Who knows! Anyone know where that panel for the 12 days of Christmas is still available??
Oh Suzannah's 01O Suzhanah's Purchase
Then we were on to Montour Falls. I had no idea what we were going there for except that it was amazing. DH was just driving through this historic subdivision and we pulled up (see our car) and there was the most amazing waterfall right in between 2 houses. Can you believe it? You could totally walk out in your back yard and sit down and watch the waterfall. It would be like, "hey want to hang out at my house, I have a waterfall in my back yard" AMAZING!!

View of Montour Falls from road
Here it is up close!!
Montour Falls 01
As you can see I am still a little bit behind in my posts. I am a little bit behind in my life too so I guess it is all good. I am having withdrawl from not being at the sewing machine for like 2 weeks!! I have to clean up the house, do laundry, grocery shop and clean up the sewing area too. All I really want to do is sew. DD1 and DH are headed to Grand Rapids to move DD's stuff to a storage facility closer to home (and cheaper) thank the sewing gods I don't have to go!! I am hoping for some quality sewing time tomorrow. I want to finish the borders on LTW's second lighhouse quilt and finish my Swanky quilt. I have a plan for the church ladies for the new year too so will keep you posted.

Hope you are all having a great weekend. I am so far behind in my blog reading I fear I will never catch up so if you haven't heard from me it's because I am a little behinder!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Skaneateles and Watkins Glen

The next stop was Skaneateles (pronounced like Skinny Alice, go figure!) We stayed at the Sherwood Inn. We left NY after my visit to the simulator and it was about a 4 and a half hour drive we arrived at the Sherwood Inn.

Sherwood Inn 03
Overlooking Skaneateles lake(one og the Finger Lakes.

Skaneateles Lake
Because there were not too many folks staying there they upgraded our room to the best room at the Inn and it was gorgeous. Here let me walk you through our room. As we walked into the room to the right was the sun room.
View from the sun room:
View from our room 02

Us in the sun room at SI 03

This was the view we had from the couch. And the fireplace was to my left.

Me in the sun room at SIFireplace in our room at SI 01
Directly behind me was the bathroom and between the bathroom and sun room was our bedroom.
Bathroom Sherwood Inn 01Our Bed Sherwood Inn
You can see our room from outside.
Sun room at SI (our room)
There are lots more pictures on my Flickr so go and check it out!
We spent one night at the Sherwood Inn and then we stopped at Patchwork Plus (another quilt shop located in Skaneateles) before heading to Watkins Glen. My photo shows the center of the shop, but there is much o=more on both sides of where I took this photo. they also have LOTS of yarn too. This shop was one of the Top Ten shops in the Quilt Sampler magazine. It was fabulous. Probably one of the best I have been to. They were so nice here too.
Patchwork Plus
DH and I had passed the Stella Maris Retreat on the way from the Sherewood Inn to the quilt shop so I asked if they ever have retreats there. Apparently they do, twice a year. So if any of you live near to there, you should check out their website and go!! They should be posting information in the near future about the upcoming retreat.

I am sure you realize I could NOT leave without some take out, right? Here goes. I don't know if I have confessed this before but I have NEVER bought any Kaffe Fassett fabric, *GASP*'s true. WHY??? You ask. Well, honestly, I am so overwhelmed by the choices and without a project in mind I just can't seem to make a decision about which ones to purchase. I decided to jump in and so I bought a few half yard cuts here. I have been following Kelly at Don't Look Now and she uses a lot of KF prints and explains why, so I was thinking if I want to make some of her patterns, and I do, I need to start looking for prints that will work.

Patchwork Plus 02

Now I know this is not the best picture but you get the idea. I have never seen fabric with competitive swimmers on it. Both my girls swam for oh so many years and DD2 even swam her freshman year in college. So I had to buy some of that for later quilts for the girls. I bought the bunny one for PTM as she is always doing such nice things for me. (Like using her discount to purchase some new sneakers for me and she picked them up at the store for me too!!) I gave it to her already so I can show it to you now! I also found some 30's kind of fabric from the City Quilter but no photo and gave her a FQ of that too. Again,not the best photo but this was the first pattern that caught my eye when I walked in the door. Isn't it adorable??
Patchwork Plus 03Patchwork Plus 01
I still have Watkins Glen and Montour Falls to show you as well as my trip to GR. Wow, how many blog posts are too many in one day?? I hope you all are not bored yet!

More of my trip to NY

I hope you are not bored of my trip yet! I have some more to share then on to the Finger Lake region. One thing at a time. Oh, and I need to share purchases with you yet too, huh? OK sit down and here goes nothing!
I forgot that I actually went over to Flight Safety to meet DH for a ride in the simulator with him. I just thought I would show you some of it. Here we are in the cockpit of a simulator of the airplane he flies (Falcon 50). The next pic is us "flying" around NYC. It really was weird but cool.
Chris and me in the simulatorCock pit in the sim
They stopped right by the Statue of Liberty. It was neat, we could go right up close and they had me take this pic. You could NEVER do that in real life in your plane!
Libery from sim 05
I think I should share my shopping on the way to NYC an in NYC next so here goes.
We stopped at a quilt shop in Pennsylvania (Can't remember the name) and I got this book and this wonderful black on black cat fabric.
PA Shop Purchase
Next up was The City Quilter in NYC. Interestingly enough they told me that the other shop was much smaller. (Are you kidding me, this shop was pretty small!) Here is the view inside the shop. They do have some NYC themed fabric and I thought it was pretty cool. This is the subway and bus routes and I had to have the Peace sign batik!
The City QuilterCity Quilter Purchase 01
I fell in love with those goofy bunnies and of course I *needed* the owls too. I liked the Statue of Liberty batik too. Really my colors!
City Quilter Purchase 02City Quilter 01
Next up the trip to Skaneateles and the Sherwood Inn.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm back from NYC

We got home around 10pm on Monday night. Tuesday morning I left for Grand Rapids to go to Sarah Palin's book signing. So it went like this, I just stayed up and went to the bookstore around 11:45pm to get in line to get a wrist band. It was soooo cold. My 83 year old dad gave me his snowmobile clothes and boots to wait in the cold all night. This turned out to be genius, and I was never cold at all!! In fact when the personal summers began I had to take off my scarf! We got to go into the mall around 5:30am and the bookstore opened around 7am. They let 25 people in and I was in the second set of 25 to get in. I got my wrist band and was leaving the store when a woman stopped me and asked to see my band and what it said. Turns out she is a reported for the Detroit Free Press so she interviewed me. The article is here if you want to read about it. I am exhausted! Unfortunately, the second line is first come first served too which is kind of stupid and gives no real advantage to the people that stayed out in the cold all night. But whatever, I waited all night what's a few more hours to meet one of my idols! I am so excited!!

I have photos of it all but will upload them, in reality, tomorrow. Along with all the rest of the trip pics and the pics of the quilt stuff I bought. I'm going to shower, and put on some nice clothes and some makeup so I don't look like a total skank. Then I will take DD1 out to lunch and back in line for me. There are not photos allowed but someone from this deal will be photographing and posting to a Flickr account.

More later, sleep and shower are in order now!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NYC Continues

This morning I had time to sleep in. So as you know, I got up and blogged. Finally DH got back to the hotel and we took the 1:30 er, I mean 2:00 (they have not been on time once yet) bus into the city. It was gray and drizzly but I didn't care as I was with my sweetie and we were going to explore the city. So much for that, it began to POUR and us with no umbrella's. YIKES. Originally we were heading for Central Park, but it was just too far in the rain and what were we going to do there in the dounpour anyway right? I mean I had water dripping off my entire face! So we headed for this place, Carnegi's deli.
Carnegie's Deli 02
Many of my friends said to go and eat here. Just make sure you bring lots of cash! The sandwiches were very expensive and they did NOT take anything except for cash. Here is what we got. The first one is mine, corned beef with swiss cheese and DH got the Woody Allen (corned beef and pastrami) I have to say this was one expensive meal but there is enough for BOYH of us to eat lunch and then some tomorrow! Now we have a deli in Ann Arbor called Zingerman's Deli. I happen to think it is every bit as good as this deli and not quite so expensive. If you are ever in Ann Arbor you need to try it.
My foodChirs' food

We were so stuffed there was no room for dessert. I could not believe my eyes when the people next to us (who all got a sandwich and shared onion rings, french fries and mashed potatoes too, there were 4 of them) each ordered dessert. 3 pieces of cheesecake and one chocolate mousse. I really wanted to try the cheesecake but I was so stuffed and one piece was like $9!! so we passed. I will probably regret it tomorrow, but what's done is done.
Now the rain had stopped and we were on our way again. There was a very beautiful church, St. Thomas that we found on our way to St. Patrick's. There was a wedding and the groom must have been a Scotsman as the entire grooms party were wearing kilts. *SIGH* what is it about men in kilts that gets my blood hot??!! TMI?? Sorry, *giggle*. Anyway there are more photos on Flickr if you want to see. I even snapped a shot of the men in their kilts!
St Thomas 02
Next stop St Patrick's cathedral. This one did not disappoint! It is very grand and very beautiful! I didn't even wait for DH just ran up the stairs and into the church. The inside was just magnificant!
St Pat's 02St Patrick's 01
The photo on the left is the alter, the one on the right a shrine to St Brigid. It was so amazing. I love old churches anyway and could have spent a LONG time in there but DH gave me just enough time to go up and down the isles. I did sneak in a few minutes to kneel and say a quick prayer, but how could I resist?
St Patrick's 05St Brigid
Then we moved on to Rockefeller Plaza and the ice rink. Some gentleman was nice enough to take our picture. Now mind you I had done my hair and makeup but pfffttt, stupid rain, 'nuff said!
US at Rockefeller center
As we were walking away, we passed the ginormous tree. See all the scaffolding around it? That's how they decorate it! Then I looked up. WOW! What an amazing photo opportunity! How spectacular does the Rockefeller building look in this pic??
Tree with scaffoldingRockefeller Bldg 02
We were certainly seeing all the "sights" and as we passed the Radio City Music hall I quickly snapped this pic to show you too.
Radio City Music Hall
I really wanted to go the the American Girl Place. I know, my girls are not *that* age anymore but...there were 2 things I wanted to get for DD2. You have to promise not to tell...oh I better not, I know she sometimes reads this. I'll show you at Christmas time, sorry.
American Girl 03
Now I was really excited about this. We found the FOX News studio and guess what? Bret Bair was actually doing the news. I would have liked to see Sean Hannity or Glann Beck but I don't think they are around on Saturdays, bummer! I t was exciting none the less to see where some of my favorites hang out to do their work! Hi Glenn, Hi Sean!!
More Fox News
Last but not least we were back in Times Square and on our way back to the bus station. I was exhausted! Again!! Even more so tonight because we did even more walking than I did the day before and my feet were screaming "no more" by the time we go to the bus station. And of course we went to the wrong floor and then had to hurry back to the right place (they make you go in a circle and it is like trying to find your terminal at a LARGE airport, there were 3 floors!) So when we finally go there I was so happy to get on the bus and sit down!
Times Square 10
DH and I were trying to decide if we want one more day in the city or if we should leave for the Finger Lakes tomorrow after he finishes his school. It would give us a little more time there to explore if we leave tomorrow and we would be there all day on Monday. I am fairly confident this will be the end decision so, as we were traveling down the Lincoln Tunnel (of which there are 4 so I have no idea why it is not tunnel(s) plural) I say a fond farewell to the Big Apple! I had a great time and look forward to returning some day, maybe when there is not a hurricane dumping TONS of water on the city, but you never know.

Lincoln Tunnel
DH is snoring away so I got up to write this before I go to bed tonight. Hope you are all enjoying the trip. I know I am. I am going to go to bed now, more with our adventure tomorrow so stay tuned. Like I said more photos on Flickr.