Saturday, December 31, 2011

{Goodbye 2011}

Tonight we'll say so long to 2011. It was a good year for our family. We had so many wonderful things happen and have so much to be thankful for.....a college graduation, two weddings, a grandchild on the way, a family vacation to Yellowstone that we'll never forget, two new sets of drums for Brian, Thanksgiving together in North Carolina,  a new-found hobby (quilting), an engagement, snowshoeing in Colorado, attending a college football game with Danny, my Mom's 70th birthday and Steph getting into vet school.

I'm sorry to see 2011 go, but I'm excited about what 2012 will bring. We're blessed to have a wonderful family and  a really sweet life. I only can imaging that this upcoming year will bring with it new & amazing experiences for our family. My "One Little Word"  for 2012 is "Thankful". I hope to go through next year recognizing exactly how much I have to be thankful for....the big, the small, the obvious and the obscure. I'll be incorporating it into my P365 +1.

Happy New Year! May it be a blessed one.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

{O Christmas Tree}

Yesterday we drove to the Foster Avenue Market to pick up our Christmas tree. Each year we get a live tree and the market is the best place to get a nice tree at an affordable price. It took us about 30 seconds to zero in on the keeper after we were directed to the "small trees". I didn't examine the entire stock as I usually do since we were both fighting a bad cold. I looked quick....what do you thing about this has a nice shape....smells good.....we'll take it.  The tree dude trimmed the lower branches, ran it through the netting machine and tossed it in the back of the pickup.

We got it home, set it in it's stand and stood back & admired it. Not too bad. Well, unless you notice the gaping hole 2/3rd's of the way down on one side and the broken top spike. No angel on the tree this year. Anyway, my planned decorations would hide the hole. I put the lights on and called it a night.

Today I broke out the new tree decorations and the deco mesh from Looziana. This year's tree has a Mardi Gras, purple & green decorations. I got them really cheap from the new 99cent store up the block.  It's definitely different than our usual tree. I'm kind of liking it. Now I can start wrapping.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

{Christmas Preparation}

Last night I dreamed about sugar cookies with red & green sprinkles and a large, cold glass of milk. Well, this week will begin the preparation for {Christmas}. I don't decorate as early as some people I know. I'd rather do it all the week before, you know, the pressure makes me work better. Ok, not really. It's just that I have a hard time thinking about Christmas before Thanksgiving is cold. Tomorrow we'll go to the market and get our tree. We'll probably set it in it's stand but the decorations won't be added until the weekend. I'm waiting for some deco mesh to arrive from Baton Rouge , LA. I'm going to try something new with the tree decorations this year. I'll post photos if it looks decent.

This weekend I'm also planning the {candy making}. As much as I loved the cookie making when I was a kid, it's not something I'm very good at. The candy making is more fun for me. This year's choices are {English Butter Toffee} and {Peppermint Bark}. I'll do shopping for the ingredients saturday morning and get started right away. The sooner they're done, the sooner I can start picking. So much for the diet for the next two weeks.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


There's a great giveaway going on right now over at Happy Quilting. It closes on Dec. 7th so hurry it up!

Friday, December 2, 2011

{A Thought for Today}

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is. ~ Albert Einstein

I'm choosing the latter. How about you? Happy Friday!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

{Thanksgiving & a Quilt}

We're home from our {Thanksgiving} celebration in North Carolina. It was a wonderful two day gorge on the turkey and all the usual fixings, as well as some {lasagna}, garlic bread & salad on friday night. Having the {family} together for a holiday is wonderful and a little painful. It's so hard to leave everyone, knowing we won't see each other again for six months.

I did the big unveil of {Nebraska Farmhouse c.1953} on friday. Everyone seemed to like it. I did notice some layout errors but I learned a lesson from them. Oh yeah, the name....The {Strawberry Fields} fabrics remind me of a 1950's era farmhouse. I love the soft, vintage colors.  I can picture curtains hanging in the kitchen made from any of these fabrics.  Some of the fabric designs would make perfect bed sheets and others I can picture the farmer's wife using  to make aprons for herself and jumpers for her girls.

I'm really happy with this, my first full sized quilt. It finished up at 65x82, a very generous lap quilt. I'll be sure to use it this winter.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


There's a great giveaway going on over at {Lily Pad Quilting}. Make sure to check it out. One of the goodies is the Accuquilt Go! Baby.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Last night I dreamed about hedgehogs. Reason one...Steph just added one to her household. A little boy named Stitch. He really is cute, but I prefer an animal you can pet and not get stuck. Maybe I'll feel differently when I get to meet him.

This is Sonic, Steph's first hedgie, who passed on to
Hedgehog Heaven.

Reason two... I started hand sewing (ouch) the binding to the back of my {Nebraska Farmhouse c. 1953} quilt. That's the one made from the {Strawberry Fields} fabric line. I'll explain the name choice in another post. Anyway....this hand sewing thing looks better than I expected for a first-time attempt but my right index finger is sore! I mean really sore! I was hoping to have it all done over this past weekend but I had to take breaks. So....hand sewing the binding is carrying over to tonight. I'm hoping  to have it done and the quilt into the wash this evening. I can't wait to see it, and feel it, in all it's puckery goodness. Once it's washed and dried, on goes the quilt label and Wednesday it will make it's first road trip to NC so I can show Mom. Hopefully, I'll get some nice photos to post here. I'll have the tall son with me to help with holding the quilt.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

{Strawberry Fields}

Last night I dreamed about strawberries....the plump, red, juicy ones. There's nothing better than those strawberries dipped in white chocolate. Today I received a package I've been waiting for impatiently. It's my first full sized {quilt} back from the quilter! I haven't really had a chance to examine it yet since I'm at work but I did take it out of the box. I'm in love. I used the fabrics from the collection {Strawberry Fields} by {Fig Tree & Co} for Moda. The colors are lovely and soft with a vintage feel. The quilting was done by Carol at The Quilt Studio in Nebraska. I'm so new at this that I never specified what color thread I wanted for the quilting. I figured it would just be done in white. Nope....Carol chose a soft green thread that matches the fabrics beautifully. I'm so happy with it!

Now begins a new adventure....binding. When I made my first traditional quilts that are baby sized, I was able to quilt them simply and bind them the quick & easy way by wrapping extra backing around to the front of the quilt and machine sewing it to the front. This will be the first attempt at making and binding a full sized quilt. I already know that both front and back will be machine stitched. The thought of hand sewing gives me the willies.

I'm not going to post any photos yet. I'm going to wait until the quilt is completely finished. Tonight's plan is to make 312" of 2 1/4" binding. I'll keep you updated.

Friday, November 11, 2011

{Little Green Fairies}

Last night I dreamed about little green fairies. One of my favorite places to buy pre-cut fabrics is having a great giveaway until Tuesday. Go check out {Green Fairy Quilts} and be sure to enter.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

{The Boys of Fall}

Yesterday we drove to PA for the Lehigh-Holy Cross football game. It was family weekend at school so instead of taking a historical tour of Bethlehem we opted for the football game. We stopped at the staduim to pickup our tickets then drove to the other side if campus to pick up {Danny}. He's such a great kid.....he picked up some brown & white pom-poms for his Mom to cheer with.
We couldn't have asked for more perfect {football}weather. The skies were blue and the air was crisp. We had really good seats somewhere near the 50 yard line. The stadium was packed and the crowd was lovin' it. These kids play with so much heart.  Final score..... Lehigh 14- Holy Cross 7.  A great day for football.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

{More to Swoon Over}

Last night I dreamed about butterflies. They are certainly one of God's most wonderful creatures. We don't see them often in Brooklyn, but we see them all the time during the summer in {Mattituck}. They always catch my attention and always make me smile.

The Swoon blocks are coming along. I've got four of them done so far. I really don't want to post any photos yet since I don't want to spoil the surprise. I'm using {Chrysalis} by Sanae for Moda.

I've had these fabrics since last June and was waiting for the right project to use them on. I'm getting more comfortable with the pattern and the blocks are coming together much quicker now. I'm hoping to finish another one this weekend. I may only have Sunday this weekend to work on it since we're heading to PA for the Lehigh vs. Holy Cross football game.  The weather will be perfect for football!

Friday, October 28, 2011

{Cigarettes and Crocheting}

Last night I dreamed about laundry and how much I had to do when we still smoked. Happy Anniversary to us! It's been four years since Brian & I stopped smoking. Now, we can wear an article of clothing more then once, (hence, there is less laundry each week), I don't huff & puff climbing two sets of stairs with said laundry, we are $20.00 richer each day (a pack of cigarettes averages $10 here), and we are no longer offensive to the people around us. Each day without those stinkers is a good day.

Going back four years......I knew that I would need something to do at night while I was sitting in front of the tv to keep me occupied so I would not think about smoking. Smoking isn't only a physical addiction (which was being taken care of by a nicotine patch and inhaler) but also a mental addiction. I needed an activity that would keep my hands occupied. {Crocheting} would be my salvation. I enlisted Brian's niece Donna to teach me some of the basics and she provided me with my first pattern. I ran to {Michael's} to purchase the yarn for my first crochet afghan for Steph.

It took me a few tries to get it right. Somehow my rows got longer as I went along so I had to do some ripping out. Eventually I got it done and Steph loved it. Over the next year I made afghans for all of Steph's college roomies....6 in total, three for { Project Linus }and one for Brian. The next year I made two Christmas gifts and two baby gifts and another afghan for Steph .... I was afghan crazy. I'm not even going to mention all the scarves I crocheted. I really believe that the crocheting helped me finally kick the stinky habit.  Currently I'm working on an afghan for Danny in his Lehigh colors. It should have been done already but the {quilting} has me snagged right now. I promised I'd have it done before the end of the Thanksgiving break.  Sheet....that's only three weeks away.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

{My Camera}

Last night I dreamed about photographing brown bears in Alaska.  I'd love to get back to {Alaska} someday with my new and better camera. The last time I photographed them using the original Canon Digital Rebel. Although the photos were good, I'm sure I'd capture some real arse-kickers with my {50D}. Naturally, the 50D has already been replaced by the 60D but I'm not planning an upgrade anytime soon. I love my {camera}. There's so much flexibility built right in that it's usually a given that the photos will be good.

There's still things I can learn about taking good photos. I occasionally buy a book or take an online seminar to help me improve my photography. I take photos for me and no one else. I feel good when my camera is in my hand and I miss it when I don't pick it up on a regular basis. Of course when we're traveling it's easy to find subjects to photograph. I love {landscapes} and including my {husband} in those photos. For several years now I've been making {photo books} of our trips and an annual "Year in Pictures" book. I love looking back at where we've been and what we've done. If we ever had a natural disaster and had to evacuate, those books, my other photos and my camera would be the first things I'd pack.

Lately I haven't been taking too many photos. There's been nothing important going on recently so the camera's been in it's case. Last June I started a {Project 365} photo a day for 365 days. It sounds easy for someone who loves to use the camera, but some days it was difficult finding the picture of the day. I tried to take photos that were representative of our daily life. I managed to complete it on May 31st of this year and since I was scrapping each week as I finished it, the photo book came together quickly. I've looked at it several times since and love it every time. I decided that in January I'll be starting an new {P365}. There's a terrific online community for those of us who take on a P365. Capture Your 365 is a great place to share your daily photo, get inspiration and to ask questions about photography. I think I'll make a point of posting my photos daily this time. P365 will allow me to spend some time each day with the {50D}. That will make me very happy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

{My Daughter}

Last night I dreamed about my daughter. She's such a sweet girl .She's living in Tennessee now, attending The University of TN College of Veterinary Medicine. A life-long {dream} of hers is finally coming true. She spent the past four years at UCONN for undergrad and now is living in the land of hillbillies, pickup trucks and kudzu. 

I really hope she's going to be happy there for the next four years. Her apartment is very nice and with all the little decorating touches she's adding, it's starting to look very homey. She's never really had the opportunity to decorate in "her" style and it's great to see her personality show through. There's lots of {cow }stuff around...she LUBS cows. And her collection of {milk bottles} is displayed over the cabinets in her kitchen. Yup....people do collect milk bottles.

And this is one of them.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I couldn't resist the pattern for {Swoon} by Camille Roskelley. I first saw it on her blog Simplify and decided that I'd like to try one of the blocks. She's also the designer of one of my favorite fabric lines, {Ruby}. The colors are beautiful. Anyway, I cut the fabric three nights ago and finished the first block this afternoon. I think it turned out  pretty darn good for a first attempt at a more complicated pattern. I even had a turn with flying geese for the first time. The only problem I ran into is that the finished blocks are supposed to be 24 1/2" and mine are 23 1/2". Guess my 1/4 " seam allowances aren't exactly 1/4". I would think that as long as I'm consistently inexact I'll be ok. Next week I'll cut another block and piece it. I'll see how long it takes to finish the 9 blocks required to complete the quilt top. I already have someone in mind to give it to...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

{My First Step into the World of Blogging}

Well......I did it. This is the first official post on {The Sweetest Dreams} blog. I just set up the new template this morning and I'm still working on the customization. I have no idea how this works or how it will work out. It will be a learning process as I go. I still haven't figured out how to post a {photo} yet. I'm hoping to find some helpful instructions to guide me through.

I'm certainly not expecting to have many followers....probably only my {family}. I know I can count on my {sister} to be a regular visitor...can't I? I get a lot of enjoyment reading certain blogs each day. Some I've actually learned from....mainly the {quilting} blogs. There is so much information and inspiration out there.

I hoping this will be a good way to record the goings on around here. Kind of journalish without having all the crossouts I'd inevitably have on my written pages. (Love being able to edit my posts!)  Here we go.......