Monthly Archives: January 2017

If I was grading myself …

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on If I was grading myself …

I’ll give myself a B for this effort. It’s the 3rd animal I’ve made from this book and while it’s not hard – you have to jump back and forth in the book so it can be a little confusing. Especially when I forget that she’s using British crochet terms so a DC (double crochet) really means a SC (single crochet) in US terminology. Of course, she states that in the general notes in the book but I went straight to the pattern since I’ve made two other animals. Luckily it’s easy to see pretty quickly that I wasn’t doing it right and crochet is very easy to pull out and do over. 

All the body parts were finished last night.

The eyes are still a little weird but I’ve taken them out once so I think I’m going to leave them. The black doesn’t show up against the dark gray so I’ve tried to add a little white to make them stand out. 

Here’s a side view that shows the trunk a little better. 

It’s time to stop playing with yarn and get my rooms ready for the kids … their agendas have changed several times and I thought I had until tomorrow night to get ready but Adam just called and they’re getting here after lunch tomorrow and Chris will arrive shortly after that around dinner time. Adam is also able to stay until Monday and Chris who was going to stay until Monday has to go back on Sunday. None of it’s a problem – I’m just happy they’re both coming for the parade weekend with the kids. I know it’s a long drive for just a couple days but Keith is a big kid and he was home alone last year and went to the Gasparilla children’s parade by himself – he asked both boys to come so he could go with the little ones this year!

Body parts

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Body parts

With company coming this weekend I decided not to start another quilt in the sewing room so I’m focusing on the knitting/crochet items on my list as well as getting ready for more company. 

First up – Bridget the elephant from the book Edwards Menagerie by Kerry Lord. 

Hopefully my parts will go from this …

To looking like the elephant in the book …

Bree’s photos

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Bree’s photos

This was all quicker than I expected thanks to Google Photos. I quickly sorted all of my photos of us with each grandchild into folders and they’ve been uploaded to Shutterfly and prints ordered. The process is made easier by the fact that Caleb at 6 is the oldest and all my photos of them are digital. Dealing with our older family photos will be much more labor intensive but the creation of an album for each of the kids that I’ll update as we spend time with them was one of my main photo goals for 2017 and I’m happy to say all that’s left is to add them to the albums and make a few notes. 

Here are a few of my favorites with Bree. 


Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Progress

It seemed like I wasn’t making any progress on my goals between getting ready for company and entertaining but I have made a little progress all the way around. I’ve knit some on my Shine scarf and it’s slowly growing. All the Dutch Windmill blocks are made and I’m ready to assemble the top. 

The Simply Woven top has been quilted and bound. It’s my first UFO finish for 2017 and it’s  a free pattern from Moda Bakeshop found at this link. I had two blocks in the center I should have turned another way but I wasn’t about to take them out. It’s pretty obvious here in the photo but not really noticeable when you’re using the quilt. It’s just one of those things that as you turn some blocks in the quilt you create other areas that aren’t quite right and at some point you think you’ve got it all arranged OK until it’s all together!

Great progress has been made on our running/walking challenge and Chris and I have hit a combined 100 miles on our 2017 miles in 2017. He’s running and I’m walking my miles. 

It’s Pirate season here in Tampa and the kids are coming this weekend for the Gasparilla Children’s Parade. Our flag is out.

I also decided to make a Pirate ship. This might go back with Rae for her tree in her playroom. 

Not sure what the appeal is but it’s kind of meditative so last night after finishing my blocks I decided to make a quilt block. Technically I guess it’s not a block since I didn’t fill in the corners. 

In spite of having a ton of scarves that need to be donated, I have a little bit of a problem making things that don’t seem to have a purpose. A few might make it to the Big Canoe tree or this one might end up as a coaster in my sewing room. 

Another day… another walk

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on Another day… another walk

We might have tired my sister in law out! We walked again today. First a 5 mile walk to Ballast Point and back and then a 3 mile walk to the village movie theater and back. So nice to be within walking distance to so much but I don’t think she’s used to walking so much. 

It’s been a fun visit and they’ll leave in the morning and I hope to get back in the sewing room!

Google photos app

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Google photos app

This app is going to make it very easy for me to catch up on my photo project for the 3 grandchildren. I’ve already pulled all of Rae’s photos and facial recognition makes it easy. I don’t have to go into individual albums. They pull all the photos of her and I can scroll through and choose the ones with Keith or me or both of us. Here’s a little sampling. Next up, Caleb!

Don’t laugh

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Don’t laugh

I want to make some progress this year on my photo organization…. I’ve got McLaughlin family photos, Johnson family photos, our photos, digital photos and they’re all needing some type of organization. Older family photos need digitizing, some of the digital photos need to be printed, the rest need culling/organizing/backing up in a manner that makes them easy to find and share. 

I’ve used Picasa Web Albums for years and it’s changed over to Google photos. I’ve resisted downloading and using the app because I’d tried earlier versions and didn’t like it. It’s evolved and now it has some features I like including collage and ‘this day in history’ my history that is and I get to see photos I’ve forgotten all about. I’m also liking the face recognition and that’s going to help me with one of my photo projects. 

Several years ago I made a digital book for Caleb with photos of him with us during our visits. I’m sure Adam shared it with him once or twice but I bet he doesn’t even remember it. I want each of the kids to have an album when they’re grown that will always remind them of the times we’ve had together. 

Michaels had these albums on sale for $5 each. I can put a photo of each child in the cover and we’ll keep them here in the library to look through together – Rae especially likes looking at pictures of herself ‘when she was little’ and likes naming all the people in the photo with her – and for me to add a photo or two after each one of our visits. It should be interesting catching up – Caleb is 6, Rae is 4, and Bree is 2 – there are already lots of photos I want to share with them. 


My house is clean!

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on My house is clean!

I realize that not everyone can have someone come and clean for them but I’ve only had a cleaning service routinely for a couple years when we were in Marietta (2005/2006). I’ve been telling Keith for years that I wanted to start back having someone come in to clean – I have several reasons that I don’t want to do it myself … I’d rather be quilting, I can’t tolerate cleaning solutions due to my allergies, I don’t LIKE to clean!!!! I’m lucky that Keith is willing to participate in cleaning the house – he does the strong chemical cleaning and I do the other stuff. Today I had a service come in and clean – through Amazon! Easy to schedule and pay for and they did a really nice job. 

Of course, one of the best things about having someone come in to clean is that you’re forced to pick up before they come. I should have taken a before photo – this is my sitting area in our bedroom where I read, knit, bind … and usually it’s rather messy but not today….today my house is not just clean, it’s neat! Just in time for my contractor to come tomorrow to take photos of the kitchen and bathroom remodels AND for us to have company on Friday. 

By the way, I know that’s an ugly chair but as Keith will tell you when we went shopping the only criteria was it had to have enough room for Chesty . Unfortunately he only sat with me in it for a few weeks.  



Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on 15K

I was scheduled to walk this race with Keith and Chris in October but I was in VA caring for my sister-in-law and Chris contacted them about me doing it ‘virtually’ as in they sent me the medal and I was supposed to do a 15k on my own (9.3 miles). I’ve been home long enough to get it done and we’ve got the half marathon coming up in about 6 weeks so it finally happened today! My medal can now go up on the wall with the others. 

My stats (and my proof it was done)! My actual walking pace was a little faster – there are stop lights and roads to cross on part of my route and the clock keeps ticking even when I’m waiting for a light or a car. I won’t have those to contend with in the half marathon. 

It was sunny when I started out but ended up overcast which is fine with me – easier to walk when it’s cooler. 

Insomnia strikes again

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Insomnia strikes again

I was doing well for a while – going to bed and getting up at somewhat normal times but this week I’ve been unable to fall asleep until very late and each day gets worse until here I am sitting up at 6:20am not having slept at all. Sleeping today won’t be a problem but I won’t be able to sleep in the rest of the week. UGH!

Since I couldn’t sleep I played around with some quilt ideas on the iPad. I wrote that when I buy dies, I think about sizes that can be used together. Tonight I paired the half rectangle and chisel dies – they both finish at 3×6 so the blocks would finish at 12 inches. 

You could also pair the half rectangle with the 3×6 finished rectangle for a simpler, funky pinwheel. 


Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Quilted

My Simply Woven quilt was not only pin basted but quilted!  As you can see, I chose an irregular grid rather than one that quilted each line. Simple straight line quilting that kept it nice and soft. It’s a free pattern from the Moda Bake Shop. 

I also walked a couple miles before setting down with my knitting for the night. 

We had some cooler weather which has been very nice and last night I even used the heat for a little while for the first time ever and promptly ordered a small heater from Amazon as I just needed a little extra warmth here by my knitting chair and didn’t need to heat the entire house (although the thermostat did read 63 when I turned it on). I used to keep it at 65 in Minneapolis but I also sat by the fire in the evenings. 

Of course, I also had someone to cuddle with in MN! Thinking of him a lot this week as I’ve heard that there are two new puppies in the family. We will NOT get another dog … at least not while we’re traveling so much … and maybe never because I don’t think another dog could ever replace him. I tell Keith all the time I’m not a dog person, I was a Chesty person!