Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weekend fun

The weekend started early for Bud.  Friday was a perfect day to take the ice boat out on a nearby lake.  Since he is trying to work less and have more fun, he took the opportunity to take the day off from work and enjoy the ice with some friends from the Ice Yacht Club.  I headed off to volunteer at the school and he headed off to Crystal Lake with his boat.  
 As you can see the ice is pretty smooth.  There were a few rough spots but mostly they had smooth sailing.  It was cold though so everyone had to bundle up.  The orange thing you see on the left side of the picture is a cone used to mark a course.
 Here we have a close up of Bud getting ready to sail.  The orange thing you see around his neck is an inflatable life jacket so you can stay above water and hope someone gets to you before hypothermia sets in.  They sail in groups so it is pretty safe.
 Just another view of the group.
 And another view of Bud.
 Saturday we headed down to Coleman to celebrate Leo's birthday.  I took vegetable soup, bread, crackers and cheese for lunch.
 Eva and I insisted on a few pictures.  We are VERY thankful for a chance to get together.  It has been 2 years since Leo  began his treatments and we are thankful that he continues to be cancer free.
 I wouldn't let this opportunity of having Eva as a captive to take one of my 2 remaining boxes from the farm down to go over.  Mom had many photo albums of family and travels over the years.  We sorted through all the photo albums and made some piles for other family members.  If you (family) get an envelope of pictures in the mail, you are responsible to do what you wish with them.  They are out of MY house and there is only ONE more box in my closet downstairs.  That box is filled with really old pictures of the family and little remembrances.  I don't know how we will go through them.  Maybe when Glen comes next time I will "trap" him and make him go through them with us.
 Leo did look at them a little but left the job mostly to us girls.
 I did take a birthday cake and candles.  You only turn 59 once.
 I bought him this display case for his shot glass collection.  I didn't even know he had a collection until some time this fall when he mentioned his collection and wondered where he could find a display case for his house.  WELL, never missing an opportunity to find the perfect gift, I stored that information and found one for him.  His comment was, "I can't ever mention something I am looking for around you" and he is right.
He also told me he needed a matched set of glasses SO, I passed that information on to Eva and now he does.

Bud and I stayed the night in Coleman.  (Eva had to go home not because I made her work on the pictures)  We decided to extend the celebration and take him out to dinner and a movie.  We joined the millions of people who saw the movie American Sniper.  It was either that movie of Selma and I thought the boys would rather see American Sniper.  It was a good movie or as good as a movie can be about that topic.

SO, fun and celebrations!!!   We do managed to pass the time here.  LOVE spending time with family even if I do make them sort and clean out pictures.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Well, I haven't posted in a week or so but I DID post 3 different postings on my last one so I thought that might carry over for a while.  
What have I been doing???  Just my usual nothing and a little more.  It seems that when I go to bed at night and am waiting for sleep I go over my day and think about what I didn't do and remind myself that tomorrow I will do all those things.  I am trying to decrease that list of things I didn't do but sometimes it is hard.  
Last week was kind of a 'wash' as we had a LOT of snow and various storms that came though the area.  We are all covered with white again.  I did manage to get back to school to volunteer but not on my usual days of Monday and Friday.  They cancelled school on both those days so I went in on Tuesday. I did manage to get out of the house most days though.  We are pretty skilled at driving in difficult weather here.  

Yesterday I decided I needed to get going on something other than my sewing projects.  I made myself reconcile my checkbook, go over the Christmas Visa charges AND clean the house.  I did get all my Christmas decorations down last week while the snow was falling around us.  However the tree is still up on the deck outside the window.  You may remember that we often leave that up until Valentine's Day as it leaves a nice glow in the neighborhood that brightens the winter here.   
What I HAVE been doing is sewing.  I am getting ready to put some pieces in a show the first of February.  I didn't have many items I wanted to show and put up for sale and I couldn't use the piece I made for last year so I just had to go to work and make something new.  This piece above is a pattern I had in my collection.  I don't remember where I bought it but I decided it would look very nice.  It is long (about 70 inches) but very nice looking I think.  This is a depiction of the leaves falling.  The first tree has lots of leaves and the final tree is almost empty with all the leaves on the ground.  I think it turned out very nice.  
I thought a closeup would be nice so you could see all the work involved.  I had to stitch around each of the circles that depict the "leaves".  I had a lot of fun making this piece even though it was a lot of work.  I did this piece all myself including the quilting which is the stitching of the backing to the front using my sewing machine and my own skills.  I usually send the quilting part of my work out to my quilter who does this professionally.  Since these pieces were a little smaller and more manageable I thought I could do it myself.  I have a little experience with the 'free motion quilting' and am trying to get better.  It looks good as long as you don't look to closely and check the 'stitch length'.  I like this piece and will put a high price on it so that no one wants to buy it or if they do I will be rewarded nicely for my work and I will have to make another one for myself.  I would like to hang it somewhere in my house.  

Then I started this one this past weekend.  I have been looking at this pattern for quite a while and decided to go for it.  It isn't finished yet.  I have just finished stitching the flowers on the background fabric. I will start putting borders on it today.  It is quite big too, about 40 inches long right now without the borders.  I have enjoyed using various gray fabrics for the background.  This too will look great in my house since we are decorating with gray shades.  The fabrics in this piece and the tree piece all came from fabric I had around although I must admit I have visited the fabric store a couple of times to add to my stash of batik fabrics. They work very well for wall hanging pieces.  
Just another shot of the same piece.  I think I will put some bright borders on it and get it ready for the show.  
This is a smaller piece that I was just experimenting with some things and made this piece.  I will put this in the show and not worry if it sells although it is cute.  

SO, that is what I have been doing, playing and working and trying to find a balance.  I would rather play than clean but must do both.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Part 3 of my Christmas in Grand Rapids

 SO,  If you are checking my blog, you should go to the first installment and start at the beginning as this is the THIRD and final installment.  OR, you can read them backwards, what ever you wish.

 I just thought this was a cute picture of the twins warming their toes by the fire after a cold walk.
 Gram made cookies with her grandchildren.
 Maybe this is her first experience.
 We went to the Grand Rapids Children's museum one afternoon.   Everyone had fun playing with the balls.
 and the cars
 and grocery shopping
 and spinning wheels
 and spending time with Gram

 It is hard to get a group picture of these little ones.
 Exhaustion was the feeling at the end of this day.

Gram did manage to get everyone into one picture   This was one of her goals for the weekend.  Aren't they a nice looking bunch???
 New Years Day was my day of Joy.  This little one slept on me for a couple of hours.  I was in heaven.
 Gram did manage to do some cookie decorating with the littlest grandchildren.  The older ones left on Tuesday and were a little to contagious with colds to decorate cookies while they were there.
 These guys had LOTS of fun.
 We really didn't taste the cookies but they had a lot of sprinkles on them.

 This is one very happy lady with her grandchildren around her.
One more puzzle came out.  This one was a little harder so Lara took it home in sections.

THERE IT IS all my many pictures of my Christmas in Grand Rapids.    I had a wonderful time.

Sunday Part 2

 Sara and Leo arrived on Sunday just before lunch.  The little ones were meeting again.  Sara's twins were excited about meeting the baby.
 And they got to know each other quickly
 Gram has good toys.
 We have a beautiful niece.  Star material.
 Brunch was served.
 The boys were relaxing
 Mom and baby were dressed for Christmas and Is that a bow in her hair????
 Leo was pretty tired after that long drive from the Cape

 Lara love to get down on the floor to play with the little ones.
 Are we ready for presents yet??  There were a lot of them piled up under the tree.

 A few more fun shots.  Beautiful girls runs in this family with a few more in this shot.  They pick good husbands too.
 Daddy looks more excited than baby.  Maybe he has been peeking in his gifts???
 We start with reading of the Christmas story.
 intent listeners
 And the gift giving begins.
 great toys
 cute aprons made by Aunt Della
Lara joins the family with her 'I know Doug" drink holder.

 This little guy received a wonderful fire truck that lights up and makes great noises.
 Leo drove over and joined us.  It was great to see him.  I bought him some 'Scrub Daddies' he asked for.  He only needs to drop a few hints and I write them down since he is difficult to buy for.

 New paddles for his Kayak???
 A tea set from Gram
 A new more stylish WARM jacket for Gram
 Two more aprons from Aunt Della.  It was fun making them for the girls.  They grew out of their other ones that I made for them many years ago.
 A great hat to go with that fire truck
 A beautiful canoe
 A wonderful family. Don't we look great???  I am so thankful for my brothers and sister.  It is wonderful for Eva to host this family gathering.  I am thankful that so many people drove to gather and celebrate the holiday.
 I bought a book for this little one called "The Blue Willow Plate"  It was my favorite book when I was about her age.  I also found this plate to go with the gift.  It is a wonderful book about a girl in the depression who only has this plate as a precious reminder of her mother and better times.
 Gram loved reading books to her grandchildren.
WHEW!!!!   It was an exhausting day.
 Monday we were suppose to go up to Dug's family lodge but we didn't have any snow for sledding and a little sickness was holding us back.  We stayed home and started a puzzle
We did get a walk in that afternoon though
 The park was near by and the swings were a hit.
This is the quilt that I made for Sara and Leo.
Stay tuned for PART 3.