Category: Etc.

Well That was a Surprise!

I took quite a few things over to our county fair. I had very high hopes for my Peace Sweater, and thought a few other things might do well. It was mid week before Girl#2 and I got over to see how things did

Over in knitting the two charity hats, and the Peace and  Skaugum sweaters all did well, receiving blue ribbons, but no rosettes. My last minute entry, the Splendid Sampler quilt got a 2nd place (red ribbon),  which was a welcome surprise, since the quilt competition is small but extremely tough, especially for a novice like me.

It was over in the embroidery section that I had a big surprise…
There’s my hardanger pillow with a Best of Class ribbon, and over yonder on the wall, the barn cross stitch with a Best of Class and the Judge’s choice! That is probably the simplest cross stitch I have ever turned in…

Next stop was the Sewing area, where I thought my linen dress would do well with its new hand picked zipper, and it did, receiving another Best of Class. I also had a skirt and a men’s shirt in sewing.

I had another big surprise over in the wool sewing, where I had the skirt and messenger bags I made using last fall’s MIWW challenge fabric, as well as my 49’er jacket.

You can just see the navy blue messenger bag on the lowest riser on the left. It got best of class for the accessories and bags division! This fair was a big surprise, the things I expected to wow did fine,while the things that I added on a whim won rosettes! Well, there’s the promised report. I’ll leave you with a look At some of the spectacular quilts on display. If you look close, you can see the bird on my Splendid Sampler lap quilt on the bottom left.

I really loved this miniature appliqué quilt, it was so tiny and the stitching was incredible!

This was the Best of Show quilt, and it was just gorgeous!

There were some lovely things on display including rosemaling, wood carving, spinning and weaving to name just a few.


Transition Land – I Choose B.

For the past 10 years I have spent the last weeks  of summer on the run, a weekend at the State 4-H Dog Show, followed by a week of 14-16 hour days at the State Fair, another quick run home to exchange loads before heading out for another weekend away at the state 4-H Shotgun competition. By now it was mid September, time for our annual (required) Extension conference, annual reports and the closing of the grant year just in time for Naional 4-H Week and the Western Junior event the first weekend of October. This was the finale after 7 or 8 weeks of camp. Needless to say, by mid October I was usually pretty tired, cranky and wishing for a vacation instead of cleaning out my office, which now looked like a bomb had gone off! I loved my job, but I admit, after 30 years, these seasons were getting longer and more draining.

So what was this late summer like? I sewed all of last weekend, and last week began a tour with all the orchestra teachers to visit the 4th graders! We will visit 15 schools in 8 days.  I do two or three schools each day, playing the piano for a 40 minute program. It is a hoot, and I am having a ball, and I even get paid! Yesterday I started teaching piano, and will be meeting half of my 21 students for the first time. I am so excited to get to know them!

It hasn’t been all play, though, canning season has finally started. This week I have cooked down two large pots of tomatoes, processed turnips, carrots and corn for freezing, 2 batches of dilled green beans, a batch of plum jam and a batch of grapes. I’ve been tired in the evenings, but certainly not dreaming of a vacation. My only serious deadline is helping Girl#2 get her stuff finished up before the big move to Rome this weekend. 

Hmmmm, which life would you pick, A or B? Now I’ve experienced both, and I choose B! Sure, I expect a glitch here and there, even a sad day or two yet to come, but I believe the transition is nearly complete. A big part of the credit goes to those who have walked this road with me, providing encouragement and virtual hugs, so I say THANK YOU. Your kind words, prayers, friendship and good wishes have sped this process, and I am so thankful for all of you. ♥️

Adventures are on the horizon, I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings! I found this quote the other day, and it might be a little melodramatic, but what a great reminder for every morning!

And this one too,

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Wedding Cards

I promised Helen I would post the wedding cards I made for the summer weddings, so here they are!

I found the idea on Pinterest, and had most of what was needed. I didn’t actually have the cards, but I had lots of extra envelopes, so I just cut a few down to size. Instead of a folding card, I wrote a personal note to the happy couple, so it is more like a wedding postcard with an envelope.

I had bits of lace and ribbon left over from some projects, so just pulled them out of the odds and ends bag and used a little tape and glue. This lace was actually three layers thick, so one length supplied the lace for three different cards. I just had to unpick the seam holding them together!

Pinterest can be a black hole for time, but a few search words can yield the idea you are looking for!

Time for a CLean Up

Originally, my sewing room was going to be just that, my sewing room, but with my move home from the office I had inhabited for 20 plus years, I dumped a lot of boxes into that room. It also became my home office, which meant I was piling things around my sewing projects. Not very conducive to creativity of efficiency! With the finish of the 4th of my Slendid Sampler lap quilts imminent, it was time for a thorough sort and cleaning.

Lots of stuff to put away, and lots of clutter. Also some decisions to be made concerning things I kept because I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do with them.

After a bit of sorting and throwing, putting away, and reorganizing, I have changed my space a bit. Now my “office” area is separated from my cutting area instead of sharing the same space. 

The sewing area is basically the same, except for a thorough dusting and thread pick up. That stuff gets EVERYWHERE!

While the closet area has little outside change, I did resort all my scraps and stash by color and reconfigured the drawers according to the size of each color. 

Now, my current projects are hanging, a good reminder to finish them up! Today is the day to wrap and make cards for the three wedding gifts I’ve been working on, which will give me more room in the UFO/staging drawer. Of course when I opened it I found some UFO’s and planned projects needing my attention. First on the list will be Splendid Sampler D, then putting together those cross stitch panels into a lap quilt. It seems I acquired most of my UFO’s from my MIL and my mother…the cross stitch panels and two other baby quilt panels were in the UFO’s, along with three cross stitch kits that should be sewn and returned to MIL as a finished object. I noticed that I have acquired quite a few flannel scraps, so it is time to do some thing with them. 😆 As long as there is fabric, threads and yarn, I think I’ll be busy.

But first, I need to finish a consulting project that started this week. Thankfully my space is ready to work in!

Photo Challenge-Thrift

Yesterday provided the perfect illustration of thrift. I participated in an open house hosted by the area home schooling group, and of course, they had a theme…I don’t do themes, and designing displays makes my stomach hurt! Enter Girl #2, who doesn’t have enough to do these days! Sunday afternoon we built this display using things we found around the house. The only purchase was some candy in the bowl. She had a vision, and I was able to handle the mechanics of it. (I can do some really cool stuff if I don’t have to also provide the design!) So, I think this is a good illustration of Thrift.


The display board is thrice used; we covered it with some ugly brown calico stuff my MIL sent years ago, but worked well for a cowboy round up theme. Red gingham is the camping table cloth…ugly stains covered by assorted table items. A bandana was cut into some of the pennant pieces, then used in the boot, and on the vase, which holds some wheat I took from the garden earlier this spring. “Saddle up” is made of twine we found in the garage and double twisted….you get the idea. Amazing what raiding the closet, a fabric stash, glue and a printer can create!

Linking with Wild Daffodil 

Good News, Good News!

Two things have happened this week and I wanted to share them with you all, who have been such great encouragers to me!

First, I have been working on reproducing a piece of hardanger that my grandmother stitched 100 years ago. I have been hoping to enter it in the Nordic Needle contest next spring, but the rules require the designer to sign the initial photo entry. I decided to write them this week, explaining that I wished to enter the design crediting my Grandma, but if I happened to be selected for the final judging, it would be my reproduction (and stitching) going to Fargo. I hoped to hear in a week or two….they wrote back within a couple of hours and this is what they said…

This sounds amazing! Yes, we would definitely be fine with having the copy you produce from the piece. If it became a winning piece, we would attribute the design to your grandmother, but would want to make sure when you’re writing the biography that you include your role in the reproduction. What a fantastic project!

Please let us know if you have any other questions at all. We look forward to your entry!

I am so excited…and motivated!

My second happy dance is because this week I was invited to do an open house in August, highlighting  my piano lessons, and as of this evening, I have acquired five new students. That’s 3/5 of my goal of 25 total, and it isn’t even August yet. Feeling very blessed in Rapid City!

Transition Land–Taking a Risk

I have been busy this summer taking a vacation. I have worked hard at it! I have had regular therapy  Skype sessions with my friend, Karelyn, who is transitioning right along with me, from the same boss and same job! I have completed numerous crafty projects and books, spent hours on the piano playing Bach, Mozart, Hadyn, and (gasp) Chopin and Schumann. Right before we went camping, I finally took a risk. I designed a website/blog for teaching piano and (here’s the risk part….) I sent the link to the area Suzuki teachers and both the homeschool groups to post on Facebook. I know what you are thinking…that was a risk? Yep it was. 

The past several months, I have spent my time developing some wonderful friendships with you in Blog Land, and I can not express my gratitude to all of you adequately. You have become my colleagues, friends and cyber neighbors, and I would do this all again if that was the only way I would have met you! I have been tightly sequestered since March 22, with no one able to reach me except for people at church and two contacts from work. So, you have been my safe place, and have blessed me with your wonderful, normal, and sometimes funny presence!

 It may have been a little odd to be so closed off, but I needed time, and I realize I still need time. My 4-H kids and contacts are everywhere, and the constant explanation and reopening of the wound would have been detrimental to the necessary healing, so I have barely left home when we are in town, except to go with DH to pay bills, get groceries, etc. I was just not ready to be outside my safe bubble and meet a 4-H family out on the street and have to be fine. I think I am still a few months from that if I am honest! In spite of that, I have NOT been bored or very pensive here at home!

Some of my new friends may be feeling really confused now, so let me quickly recap. In mid February my boss drove 400 miles to hand me a letter saying he chose not to renew my contract on June 21. So, after 31 years as a 4-H professional, and 27 in South Dakota, I was essentially fired. By not renewing my contract, he didn’t have to justify the decision to anyone. My colleague, Karelyn received a similar letter a few days later. We decided to quit March 21 instead of hanging around until June. 

So back to that “risk.” Since publishing it, I have had traffic on the site, and actually have a new student already! I started with basic info and a contact page, and have it set up so that I can post to the blog portion as I make decisions about schedules, fees and studio policies. Those posts will now become items I can share through Facebook, which will allow my current parents to point others to my page. It’s a new kind of “word of mouth.” Last night I had another inquiry, so I am guardedly optimistic that this endeavor will indeed work!

Now that I have a plan formulating, it is much easier to think about what the fall may bring, and being out and about. 😉