Sunday, December 29, 2019

2019 Was a Good Year

I’m sending 2019 off with a grateful, joyous heart.  What a year it’s been! 

We’ve been so busy all year, (as in past years) but this year was different.  The “busy” was all for milestone celebrations. And two new babies to top the year off - becoming grandparents twice within less than 4 weeks is quite astounding on top of all that waiting!

And here we are, wonderful celebrations, two healthy babies, Christmas is over, and we’re ready to ring in a New Year once again.  I’m ready!

Can you imagine all the “firsts” that will occur in 2020?  We are so very lucky to be close to our daughters' homes, and able to see and help out with our grandbabies. I see why we have children when we’re young - it’s exhausting!  But, oh, so wonderful that they are not far away.

In non-baby news, I have a beautiful new Janome Memory Craft 6600P sewing machine and table.  My mom had this for awhile, but she prefers her Bernina machine. I love my older Janome, which I will keep handy as this new machine is specifically for quilting and doesn’t have an open arm for all of those bags I like to make. I have only practiced some new stitches and played with the settings so far, but I’m anxious to get on with some new sewing projects. Of which I have many, as always!  Can one buy time somewhere? My sewing/craft room is full of inspiration.

My cave never, ever looks this clean and neat!
This is just after moving my new table and machine in, and rearranging the mess.
It didn’t stay like this for long, LOL!
I also opened an Etsy shop after much thought about it. (ahappybluebirdsnest) It won’t be huge, but I will add things here and there. I only have my tatted pennies there so far, but I will be adding some bags and other things as I get back into my habit of mass production. (Does anyone else do that? I find a great pattern and I just can’t help it!) I’m not sure how to run an Etsy shop, but I’ll wing it until I figure it out. I do know I need to research copyrights prior to placing anything for sale, otherwise I just need to get busy. 

I did find time to squeeze some tatting in. I’m loving the onion ring patterns by Robin Perfetti at Tatting by the Bay. I’m still hoping to work on more of those patterns, too. (Now that I have that Catherine Wheel join mastered! Well, mostly mastered.)

Another new thing I did was join a local book club this past fall - it helps me to choose books outside of my usual preferences. And it’s super nice, because the group is large enough to choose 2 books each month - so I have 2 to ponder!  I’m still enjoying audiobooks, so I can sew or tat (or even do dishes or laundry, God forbid) or listen while driving. I’m also planning to put up a Little Free Library this year since we live near a park and walking path.  Do you have one in your neighborhood? Hubby has agreed to build it for me. 

I’m looking forward to another joyful year.  Without as much craziness, perhaps, but full of life nonetheless.  With sewing, reading, tatting, babies and family gatherings, it should be another year of things to be grateful for.

On with 2020!  
Peace and Joy to All

Sunday, November 10, 2019


Are you sick of me yet?

I just wanted to break down my thoughts today and feel like I’m sorta caught up. So I can look back in a year or two and remember what a great year 2019 was.

I forgot to post this penny memento I made for my folks' anniversary.  There are actually two pennies - the front one is 1959, and there’s a 2019 one on the back side.  I dug through our large jar of pennies to see if there was a 1959 one by any chance.  And yes!  Success.  Which led to an afternoon of sorting out significant years, lol.

The lace piece is from my mom's wedding dress, and was pretty hard to tie since the lace is quite brittle.  A little glue should hold it there, though.  I really love making the memento pennies for graduations, weddings and babies!  

The other project I had some fun with is more button tatting. Diane (Lace Lovin' Librarian) showed us her button tatting and shared many colorful buttons at our retreat in July.  She is such an inspiration, and ever so generous with supplies. I got on a roll and matched up all of the buttons with different threads. I figured I’d use them to sew onto things, and just have on hand for various projects.  Then ...

I found this Facebook page/group called Art Abandonment. It is FULL of various kinds of art that artists purposely abandon for someone to find with a note listing the Group/page, and a group moderator email address for finders to share their story.

This originally started on this blog: 

I was pretty on board with seeing all of the different types of art, and started using my small tatted pieces to try this.  The buttons and ice drops are perfect.  (And a great way to promote tatting!)   I need to update my note with my own contact info on it, as I’ve not seen any of my items on the page as “found” yet.  I’d love to know their fate! 

Just another fun thing to do with some of the tatting I do just for enjoyment. 

OK, I think I’m caught up in a nutshell now.  
On with November, grandbabies, and holidays!  

***END PART 3 OF 3***

2019 - PART TWO!

Our 3rd Twin Cities Tatters Retreat is also in the 2019 books!  Another fun retreat with great tatting friends - and we added a day this year, much to everyone's liking.  Our first two retreats were each 2 nights, and we decided one more night would be better because by the time we settled in it was time to pack it up.  The one extra night made a wonderful difference, and we felt like we really had a better chance to visit. I can’t believe I didn’t post this earlier - our retreat is at the end of July!  I guess I had a few other things going on 😬

We had time for tatting, time for walks, time to go out to eat, and best of all, that extra time to visit.

We each added a motif or two to this floating glass frame to leave at the retreat center.  I’m pretty sure we're the only tatting group that uses this beautiful place - it appears to have more quilting, scrapbooking and embroidery groups.
They definitely need tatting representation on the craft room walls!

There was time for other beautiful work, too. Beautiful new yarns,
some bobbin lace, and I heard a lot of knitting talk, too.

Michelle, Katie, Cindy (me), Diane, Kathy, Kathryn, and Heidi
What a great group of tatters! 
We are showing off our commemorative shuttles specially made for us by 
LaCossette (Etsy shop on LeBlog de Frivole)

Showcasing our Minnesota State Bird, the Common Loon

I was specifically working on the second phase of my T.A.T. program, which I’ve had for years and never quite seem to make the time to finish. Still in progress.  
There are just so many new and wonderful things to tat!
(... and sew, and read, and attend ...)


2019 - PART ONE!

Gosh!  I’m going to have to focus on at least one blog post a month - if for no other reason than for myself to go back and look 😊 I do refer back on my blog for dates or milestones, and it is kind of a good journal when there’s no time or desire to write in an actual hard copy journal.  I've kept many journals over the years, but the past few years I have found it to be hard to keep up.  Either my life is boring, too busy, or I just have no desire to write about my day.

In any case, it’s been a busy summer and a wonderful year!  We had great fun celebrating my parents' 60th wedding anniversary in August with an open house style buffet.  It was fun to see many of their family and friends there, and such a good time meeting those we’d never met.  What a wonderful thing to celebrate - a true example of love and friendship for many years.

I’ve spent the year watching my two daughters go through their first pregnancies.  They know so much nowadays - right down to exactly what is developing during every week.  We had each of their baby showers, and it was fun to see all the good wishes they received.  And as a first-time grandma of  both a boy and a girl, I can tell you the baby clothes are soooo fun to shop for.  (Tee hee!)

I spent time making them each a quilt, and since I’m big on books, each quilt was made with a story center and given with the matching book.  My sappy touch!  I think they turned out beautifully, and hopefully will be used and loved.

And now those babies are 6 weeks and 3 weeks old, and I’ve been lucky that they live close enough for me to get my gramma snuggles in weekly.  Watching my daughters and their husbands go through the new parenting struggles is a reminder of how rough those early days can be - just trying to figure those little bundles out.

Of course my babies needed a special 2019 penny from gramma too!

More on this fabulous year later 😉

*** END PART 1 ***

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Summer Saga!

I haven’t posted since February? Life happens. (OK, technology and social media happened too.)

Wow!  It’s been a crazy, fun, busy summer for us so far.  Myself and my family have so many exciting things going on - a summer to be remembered for certain!

My brother and I are planning a 60th Anniversary celebration for our folks - an open house that will be great fun!  We are looking forward to sharing that day with as many people as possible who have known our parents throughout the years.  They have set an example of love and commitment for sure. What a wonderful anniversary to celebrate.  

Our two daughters announced this spring that they are both expecting.  Grandma status in October! BOTH OF THEM 😳 Their due dates are only 12 days apart, so it was a shock to say the least! It has been a fun few months so far hearing about the baby growth, tests, predictions, and eventually the gender reveals.  Turns out we will have one grandson and one granddaughter. The shopping has been fun, I’m telling ya - those adorable baby clothes for both genders! And now we are getting to planning those baby showers. I can’t wait to meet these little people.

How many people get to celebrate these milestones both with their parents and their kids within just a few months?  Lucky us! 

We also had a few graduations and other new babies in our lives, so I got to making my commemorative pennies. It took until about May to get some 2019 pennies, but now I have a bit of a stash. Here are a few gifted already:


And today I received a special gift from a young High School gal.  I work with her mom, who had told me that she was a creative seamstress, and was interested in design and quilting.  I gave her some fabric that I was looking to donate somewhere, and she was thrilled!  This was on my chair in my office this morning:

How darn cute is that?!  I love it!  She used fabric that I’d given her to make this thank you gift.  What a treat!  It looks great in my living room.  What a talented, sweet young lady!  

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Polar Whiplash!

I think there were 80 days in January!  Seriously. Yes, it’s hard to believe it’s already February, but January was long here in the frozen tundra.  This week, we had such record breaking below zero weather that the U.S. Postal Service even shut down. No mail on Wednesday, and no schools for most of the week while we had -33 air temperatures with -54 wind chills. Dangerously cold for everyone.  (Frozen water pipes add to the excitement.) But, here we are today with a high of about 36, and tomorrow’s high of 40. That’s a 70 degree swing in just 4 days! Typical Minnesota - big temperature swings. No wonder we don’t know how to dress from one day to the next.

A bonus to hibernating for a few days is the opportunity to either tat or sew or create something - more hours than usual to spend in my cave studio.  I stayed home from work on Wednesday and worked on a duffel bag I’ve had cut out since . . . well . . . for months. Today I will finish the straps, and it will be usable.  For my next getaway. Hopefully somewhere warmer than here.

This is from my 2016 Quilt Minnesota Fabric. I love to get some each year because it’s limited, and it just represents “home”.  (Notice there are no winter scenes in this particular line!)  The 2019 fabric is gorgeous - I can’t wait to get some of that for a future project. 

Other than weather, January was fun.  We met my folks and my brother’s family for a buffet lunch at a casino for my Dad’s birthday one Saturday - I actually won a few $ this time.  Nothing big, but considering I usually just lose $20 within 15 minutes, it was a good day.  I also tried out wheel throwing pottery with one of my daughters - another fun hobby I could get into, but what a mess! I still need to wash the clay off the shoes I wore 😬.

On with February!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Wedding Pennies

I finally got these two wedding memento pennies done for my daughters.  I’ve been meaning to do them, but didn’t really think they were terribly interested.  The weddings were in 2015 and 2016.  My daughters LOVE them - makes me happy knowing they really are interested, they just don’t ask for these things.

I wanted to include their wedding party colors, as well as a little piece of lace from the day.  The lace was significant for both of them. One daughter was married on her grandparent’s anniversary, and I CUT my mom’s wedding dress up to make straps and a belt for her dress. (See my face of horror  HERE).  My other daughter had me CUT my dress for her headpiece.  HERE is that beautiful chunk of my dress!

So both memento pennies have a little lace attached.  It just seemed like it had to be there.

Now the search is on for 2019 pennies for the upcoming babies, graduations and weddings.  I really do love making little mementos for such special occasions.