Tuesday, March 5, 2013


March 5, 2013

Well we celebrated the mister's birthday this sunday and it was so much fun. Kendall made her famous rainbow cake and it was as delicious and moist as it looks!

it was so nice to show everyone the progress we've made on the house. we actually have our master bedroom almost totally done! (just the inside of the closet and the curtains to be finished). we can't wait to sleep in the bigger room! i am making roman shades for it and have them half way done. i hope to finish them today. i think that i am more excited over the prospect of having a rod to hang our clothes on. wooooooooooeeeee! this is the mister painting or coat closet. i've really been cracking the whip this week!

 while he's been busy with that i have been spending my time writing to people about my mother's passing and going through her things and working on kendall's birthday quilt. the top picture is of the mister playing vanna chip. i always ask his opinion on things and then (he claims) that i do what i want. can i help it if he hasn't said what i wanted to hear? i only have a few more weeks to get her quilt done. yikes! of course it would have helped if i hadn't decided to take the darker colors out of her quilt. i will be making a lap quilt out of them (see the bottom picture). the colors don't look much different but with the darker values, it changed the whole flavor of the quilt. kendall specifically asked for pastels and soft colors and i do want to give her that. she has great taste and knows what she wants. i love that in her. i am actually happy that i took the darker colors out because i think its going to make an awesome lap quilt. i should mention that i have never made a quilt out of solid colors before. i have actually rarely used solids in my quilts. i swear that i chose this style because i wanted to buy material and i didn't have enough solids in my very large stash to make a quilt with! i do love my material. just looking at it makes me happy. thanks again, amanda of crazymomquilts, for the tutorial on this pattern. it is fun to do.
on the animal front, my suet cakes were a huge success! i am making a second batch today. we are expecting another large (possibly) snowstorm starting tomorrow and i want to make sure my bird buddies are well fed. i gave the mister a really nice bird book for his birthday. we will both enjoy it. we think we're going to get into some serious birding once this house is near finished (i don't think it will ever be completely done!).
this is a beautiful small deer nibbling on the deer block we put in our back yard. recently, we've had two deer that are so big that i at first thought they were female moose. it was 3am and the moon lit up the back yard. the mister says no, it must have been deer but the jury is still out on that! we do have a very large moose that wanders through our property. his hoof prints are huge. one day we followed his prints to our garage window. he must have peeked in to see what was going on! we finally saw him at dusk one evening 2 summers ago. he stood on the other side of our car. we could still see his whole head with a huge antler rack on it. he calmly watched us watching him for a few minutes and then, without a sound, slipped into the woods. we didn't even hear a leaf rustle.....amazing! hopefully our front porch will be built and we can sit there on a balmy summer evening and watch the wildlife saunter through.

i have given up cursing for lent (its harder than you think) and so i am grateful that there is such a thing as lent so that i can give up this nasty habit. my cursing is mostly made up of words like OH CRAP, SON OF A B...., SH......, etc. i have thought more than once that it would have been easier to give up candy, like i usually do. i thought, this year, i'd give myself a challenge in honor of my mother, who never cursed. so this one is to honor the season of lent and you mom. i know you're smiling down on me thinking about how i was born with a spicy mouth. my son andrew is just like me in that respect and when he was voted (at the age of 8) of having the worst mouth in the neighborhood he smiled from ear to ear. he, in adulthood, has been able to get his cursing under control, so mom, send down your good vibes and help me through this! i am, as always, grateful for my whole family. they are so thoughtful and sweet and most of them never curse! i am also very grateful for my husband's good nature and good health. happy birthday mister! xoxo nancyb

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Well, i had a very busy but successful week! Paxton seemed to truly love his quilt or was it the junk food we bought him to go in his "man room"? i think he loved both :>}. the quilt looked great on his bed. his grandfather tucked a few 10 dollar bills in the pockets and i tucked a note for him in one of the pockets. the nicest thing about our grands is that if we had given him just a dollar in a card i would have gotten as nice a hug and thank you. they're so sweet!

i have been working on kendall's quilt. i was loving it but all of a sudden it wasn't flowing like at first. after changing the blocks around a few times i made a decision to make her a whole other quilt! i finally figured out what the problem with this quilt was. if you look at the bottom row (not a great picture, sorry!) and see the really dark colors..........they were changing the whole persona of the quilt. i took them out and as you can see from the top picture it is back to look bright and cheerful again. our kendall is a very happy and energetic girl and i want her quilt to reflect that.


while trying to decide if i should make kendall a different quilt i got out 2 unfinished 1930's quilts. these are the colors kendall likes. i put nora jean to the task of choosing which one was better for my granddaughter. nora looked at them for a long time and then went underneath them to check out the backs (boy, she's a tough judge!) and then finally decided on the one i was leaning toward. she settled on it and promptly took a long nap. if you think i'm kidding about her making a decision for me i have to tell you, she almost always naps on the other side of the couch! well, the next day i went back down to my sewing studio and figured out what was really wrong with the quilt i had originally started for kendi. i took out the 6 squares that had the really dark colors in them and i'm back to happily making squares for the first quilt that i started. this episode has a really good ending though because now i want to finish these two 1930s quilts. they'd make great summer quilts for my beds! maybe i'll finish one for my son and daughter in law. i think they're due for a new quilt!

on the homefront, we got a ton of snow and so have been vigilant about keeping our birdfeeder and suets filled. i tried making my own suet cakes and they came out really good. i used the plastic containers from the suets we bought and it made it so easy. we have our deer back and they  are enjoying the deerblocks. this year we are seeing the birds, squirrels and a turkey pecking at the blocks. this last picture is the sunset that we see each evening in our back yard. the outline of the mountain is nh's mount chocorua. i've read where they've minted a quarter with chocorua on it. i've got to get me some!!!

well, today i am ever so grateful for the beauty that surrounds me. i am especially grateful for the mister who bought me yellow roses (i'll tell that story some time), a new cutting board, some quilty basting spray, a magazine, some good and plenty candy and a really cute card for valentine's day. since he has to work today from 6am to 7pm i'm making him a heart shaped meatloaf (i stole this idea from my sister) with baked potato and carrots and raisin filled cookies for dessert. i'll wait to eat until he gets home. we'll open a bottle of wine and we'll eat in front of the tv to watch american idol and i will wait on him hand and foot. yesterday i made him, FROM SCRATCH!, cinnabons for him to take to work today......that way he'll think of me allllllll day. happy valentines to all! nancyb

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 6, 2013
Where Have I Been?


Well I am back and haven't given up on my blog just yet! i have been very busy with my mother. she went into congestive heart failure in october and slowly but daily went down hill. She died on January 17th. since we moved up north it was an almost 2 hour drive each way and i visited her almost daily. i have no regrets about that because my mother was such an interesting, funny and busy person. my sister, brother and i (as well as many others) will miss her greatly. i know that my life and personality has been shaped by the kind of mom she was. her love of crafts was unfounded. in 2009 her nursing home entered a blanket she had knitted for my brother (she almost always gave away everything she made) into a yearly contest that the state has for senior citizens. there are 12 winners (one for every month of the year) and she was chosen as Miss April! they had a wonderful dinner and award ceremony for the winners and i was so proud to attend. what made her knitted blanket so special was that each colored square had a state knitted in garter stitch. despite the fact that she had no vision in one eye and diminished vision in the other, she was able to follow the patterns for the states. her determination to not just DO things, but to do them well really allowed her to live the life she wanted. she didn't let anything get in her way when she wanted to accomplish something. I also have to add that the nursing home (Revera Nursing home in Rochester NH) always encouraged and helped all residents to get involved with as much as they were physically able. if they couldn't do it themselves they would find someone to help them. my mother was there for 12 years and my siblings and i have not one complaint about them. that, i think, is saying something! they were kind and so caring, not just to her, but to us also. it helped us immensely. it's a hard thing..this dying but we all have to go through it.

meanwhile..........while i was busy traveling to the seacoast and the mister was working, nora jean kept herself busy with her favorite tv channel.......animal planet. her favorite shows are about cats in the wild but she also watches bird shows with great interest.

this is what i've been working on since my mother passed. it is for my grandson, Paxton's 14th birthday. he and his sister got new full size beds for christmas and i thought it was time for new quilts. this quilt was huge and HEAVY! the center patches are cut out from old jeans that the mister and i have worn. i wanted it to be boyish but not babyish. i cut out a patch from my  light jeans for the far left corner......i will write the date and info on that patch. on the far right, i cut out a pocket from the mister's jeans that has his wallet imprint on it. i will tuck some money from the mister in that pocket. the next picture is the mister helping me sandwich that monster. boy, we were both soaked with sweat when we finally finished! that is the only part of quilting i don't like but that is because it is so hard to do. my hq16 quilted it beautifully. i made very simple cross hatch lines on it. it was too big to get fancy with and he, at 14, doesn't like frills. that's all that was left to do after i sewed on the binding was for nora jean to break it in. she put as much kitty love in it as she could and i thanked her profusely for the cat hairs.

i am working on my granddaughter, Kendall's, quilt next. i am using a tutorial from amanda jean at crazy mom quilts. i am using all plain mostly kona cottons for it. these are the colors she wants in her room and i figure we can pick out a nice print for her curtains. it will be as big as pax's but it shouldn't be as heavy because i'm not using any jeans! i'll post my progress in the next blog. her birthday is next month and i'm determined to finish it for her. btw, go to amanda jeans blog.....its really great! she is a prolific quilter with a wonderful eye for color and patterns. thank you for the tutorial amanda!

well, that's it for now. i will be writing much more often now. today i am grateful for all of my family and friends. i am glad my mother is at peace and that i was able to share her last days with her. i am so very grateful for father dan. his kindness and enthusiasm warmed my heart and was much needed. i am especially grateful for the mister's support during this sad time and of course, the comfort of nora jean.
i'll write again soon, nancyb