"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dare to be Ugly Challenge Results

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was in an HGTV Dare to be Ugly Challenge.

I positively HATED the fabric but it was a good excuse to try out a few things that I wouldn't want to "waste" good fabric on.

In an effort to irradicate the cats, I chose a pattern that required thin strips.  When I cut the strips, I actually turned the fabric sideways so that I would be slicing diagnonally.  Anything to get rid of them.  I did a wonky modified log cabin, inspired by Jacquie, one of my quilting heroes.  I can't compare with her fabulous work and you ought to go take a look at it.  Jacquie does really simple quilting and I thought I would give some straight line quilting a try.  Wow - that didn't take any time at all on the longarm!

Finally, because I had to use 90% of the nasty fabric and I had a few pieces left over, I pieced the backing, which is something I'd been wanting to try for a long time. 

The results came in, today, and I tied for second place!  There were so many creative projects and I am very impressed with the entries. 

Here is a link to the HGTV message board that shows the winning entries.   Oh wait, if you aren't signed in, you can't see the pictures. 

But here is a link to a flickr photo album that has mutliple pictures of all the entries. 

Special prize went to #16.
#'s 14 and 18 tied for 4th place runner up
#'s 3 and 6 tied for third place
#'s 2 and 11 tied for second place
# 7 won first place!

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pearl is Blowing Her Coat

I cannot BELIEVE this, but Pearl is blowing her coat!!

My other girls didn't blow their coats until they were nearly three.  She makes it hard to brush her because she keeps flipping over on her back to get her belly rubbed. 

We went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant, last night.

 We didn't have Thanksgiving dinner because, 1) we were tired from loading the truck the previous day; and 2) it was so wet and muddy that we knew that if we went out to eat, the girls would be complete mudballs by the time we got back.  Plus, we knew we had a nice dinner planned for the weekend.

While we were there, husband walked to the restroom and ran into a darling little boy (maybe six?) wearing an Oklahoma Sooners sweatshirt rushing out.  The little boy's eightish looking sister had her own Oklahoma Sooners sweatshirt on and we ended up talking with their parents about how wonderful Oklahoma is and how much we all miss it.  We rarely see anyone from Oklahoma out here and it was quite a coincidence to see a whole herd of Okies decked out in Sooner garb at a nice restaurant during the same time period that we are moving home.   They were a bit envious.

The staff all came out and took pictures and hugged us.  One cried.  We go there, often, and will miss them. 

I dreamed I got a new job, last night.  The new job involved hauling a chimp around in a sling.  It doesn't take much a seer to interpret that I'm thinking a job would be a monkey on my back, eh?  Oh, and while carrying around the chimp, I was walking on ice that was cracking.  Thin ice?  I think there is some stress going on...  Clearly, I am not too mysterious, even in my dreams. 

The girls are trying to adjust to all the changes.  Fortunately, they can entertain themselves pretty well.

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Too Much Red?

Is this template too much?

Today, we sat around eating chili and cherry pie.  Then, we took a nap.  The absence of clutter has been wonderful.  Tomorrow, I will try to find a place to work on a Sylvia block and maybe clean some scuffs off the walls and scrub some window sills.  Dog noses, you know.

Pearl is about to drive us out of our gourds. 

 She goes in and out and in and out - we let her out of the house and she scritches on the door to come back in within 4 seconds.  We timed her.  She is bored like a little kid.  If she were a little kid, I would give her a chore to keep her occupied.  She would then fake interest in life to get me off her back. 

Evelyn's beloved love seat was moved from our sitting room (she typically slept on it) to the den.  This has become a source of distress. 

The love seat is a remnant of the days when Jezebel was a puppy. I'd started a new job and came home to find the living room strewn with sofa stuffing and a puppy looking horrified. I restuffed it and pinned a towel over the hole. It has been a dog sofa, ever since. It won't make the trip to Oklahoma.

In the following picture, you can see the layout in our room.

To the left, is the sitting room.  To the right, is the bathroom.  The love seat is in the sitting room and you can see it in the picture.   Normally, Evelyn crashes on the love seat while we read in bed and after a few minutes, climbs down and goes to the bathroom where she flops down on the bathroom tile.  Last night, she went in and out and in and out of the sitting room trying to recapture her usual go-to-bed routine.  She got so frustrated that her love seat wasn't there that she finally gave up and climbed into bed with us.  She looked positively disgusted.

The love seat is very cushiony and Pearl is having a hard time walking on it.  It is like a moon walk.

 We moved the love seat to the den so we'd have something to sit on.  Husband is also having a hard time getting out of it, which is just sad.  I hope that is not our future.

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It Has Been A Year Since We Lost Jezebel

I woke up at 4:40 this morning thinking about Jezebel and that awful day when they called in the soul of the night to ask if we were willing to let her go.  Until we got the call, we thought she was coming home later in the day.   I don't want to spend more time than I have to thinking of her death.  Her spirit was so brilliant and her heart so loving that those memories can't be dimmed for any length of time by the grief that came with losing her.  I cried a few tears, then got up, thankful that today was scheduled to be a very busy one.

The second and third (and last) moving vans were scheduled to take our stuff back home to Oklahoma.

The driver, Ken, drove the first van several weeks ago and we hit it off.  He and his helper arrived in town early and stayed with us Monday and Tuesday nights.  The muscle men were supposed to arrive at 7:30.  They arrived at 8:10, which was about an hour sooner than we thought they'd actually appear.  They were the same guys who loaded the last truck and other than having faulty time pieces (both times), they are hard workers, good at their job and we feel lucky to have their help. 

Evelyn adores Ken.  When she spotted him outside, her head shot up and she started whimpering, something I've only seen her do with Husband.   Ken is a dog person away from his own five dogs so he appreciated the attention and kisses. 

Ken brought the 40 footer, again.

His helper also had a large truck, half full so we had a truck and a half to fill.  We also had a dumpster delivered and will have it for a couple of weeks. 

We kept some cruddy furniture in the den and master bedroom that will go in the dumpster a few days before we leave. 

The men went through the house like locusts.  Here are some assorted before and after pictures.

Parlor before - we used this as a staging area.

Parlor after.

Dining before - we staged boxes in there, primarily.

Dining after.

Back Bedroom, before loading.

Back bedroom, after.

Front Bedroom, after.

Den, after.

Breakfast area, after.

Sewing room, before (but I'd cleared out a lot in the previous weeks)

Sewing Room, after.

My sewing room is empty except for my sewing machine, two printers, the head of my longarm, and some sewing stuff that will go in the car with me. I left out some so I could do some sewing during the next two weeks before we head home.

Sitting Room, after.

Hallway, after.

All the bedrooms except for ours are empty.  The parlor and the dining room are now empty. 

Both of us are so relieved to have that done.  Living amid all that clutter for a few weeks is enough to drive someone mad. 

The girls had to stay out on the deck most of the day because the front door was open.  They did a lot of barking and wore themselves out.  I was able to bring them in a few times and Evelyn would beam while watching Ken.  Pearl was exhausted and snoozed. 

Both of us are pretty sore.  We are thankful that for Thanksgiving, we don't have to get up early.  And that that is just the beginning of what we have to be thankful for.  Like my kids, our health, Husband's good job, our home in Oklahoma, our girls:

I know that a lot of families are struggling and know several who are experiencing their first Thanksgiving without a particular loved one.  I offer up a special prayer for their emotional and spiritual comfort.  

Happy Quilting and have a Safe, Blessed Thanksgiving,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl