Thursday, January 16, 2014

2013 - The Year of Ups and Downs

Hi All :)

I Hope your 2014 is off to a great start :)

As my 2014 starts with an adventure (more on that another day :)

I am looking back at the Ups and Downs of 2013.

I haven't really been a very good Blogger Buddy the past year but........

I have to say that health-wise 2013 was most probably the most challenging I have had to date. I spent the last 6 months of 2013 suffering from Shingles and it is only just now easing off. Six months of exhaustion on top of the crap I already deal with, not a recipe for fun :( 
I guess on the upside the pain was more bearable for me I guess because of living with Fibromyalgia every day, I am used to living with constant pain and so I didn't even know I had Shingles for almost 6 weeks into it, I thought it was some kind of bug biting me, DUH!!! 
So, my house was cleaned, from top to bottom, my bedcovers wash over and over and my house sprayed, organically of course, for pretty much every kind of insect known to humanity; so I worn myself out (and the rest of the family I might add too) doing that rather than resting to recover and so when I finally went to the doctors and they told me what I had I felt like a complete idiot. But again on the upside there isn't a bug within a 20 mile radius of my house who would dare enter, lol ;) 

On the up side I got to spend a few weeks this year with my whole family together, one week in Ohio where my Son graduated from Uni (college :)

It was so awesome and of course this proud Mama sobbed as they entered to "Pomp and Circumstance" - One, because I actually made it there at all! :) 2. That we were all together for the last college graduation of our little family unit :) and 3. The tune is to the song, "Land of Hope and Glory" known to us Brits. very Patriotic and Powerful to a Homesick Girl :)

Then we were all together at home for the Holidays, I felt truly blessed, our time together gets harder to juggle with everyone's schedules and some living in different States too, so every moment is cherished  :)

We also had a "downsizing" sale in the Summer; the stress of organizing and working that may have been enough to bring on the Shingles, never again!!! (Shingles or any kind of sale Downsizing, Moving, Yard, or Garage, NEVER!!!!
Goodwill here I come, lol :)

Of course, We got to do our Yearly "B.Day" trip, (me & Hubby) to Lovely, Sunny San Diego :)

Also, My Hubby and I celebrated our 30th Wedding Anni :)

click on photos to see larger images :)

Night shot of Downtown :)

I got to go to my favourite Winery (in the local Oregon Wine Country) and also, to the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon and the Portland Rose Garden on perfectly beautiful Autumn days here in the Pacific N.W. in October, I couldn't ask for anything better than that :)

Old Highway Columbia River Gorge in the late afternoon Fall Sunshine, Oregon :)

Vista House - Shot from Portland Women's Forum Scenic Viewpoint, Oregon :)

One of the many beautiful waterfalls along the Old Scenic Highway, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon :)

(Both shots above are views from the new Ponzi tasting room :)

So, I was going thru my photos, taken in 2013, trying to find a photo that best represented me and how I felt thru most of 2013 and this one sums it up for me.

Beautiful Roses with Bokeh at the lovely Rose Test Garden in P.Town Oregon :)

There was beauty to been seen but the Glaring, Blinding distractions of so many things kept my attention from completely enjoying it all the time but I tried with all my might to get the best out of even the worst days. :)

I hope 2014 has a clearer path with less distractions (oh, who am I kidding?!?!? lol :)

Wishing you all a wonderful 2014 :)

Cheers, T. :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Quilt Block Tutorial

Hi All :)


Well, do you remember back in December last year, (lol, sounds like such a long time ago now!!! :)

I WON this amazing book "The Quilt Block Book" by Nancy Wick. 

I had great fun browsing thru it over the holidays and finally came up with a Quilt Block that I thought would be a challenge (for me) and fun to create :) 

(If you didn't see my "I WON" blog post you can check it out HERE :)

So, here is the square quilt block I chose to make and the final result, plus the tutorial on how I did it :)

The Marbles - Quilt Block Tutorial

So, I have to tell you that I am really not good at following written directions and so I really need great visuals to get me motivated and to help me know what the end result will be. When following a skirt pattern, for instance, I can usually make the skirt from the pictures alone, I rarely read the instructions. So, I was really excited that this  Quilt Block book had wonderful visuals and concise, clear instructions, (cuz I did have to read these, lol :)

Here is the pattern I chose and the fabric I felt might work :)

You can see from the design below that you can use lots of contrasting fabrics on fabrics to create multiple Block Squares to create an eclectic quilt.

My mind was going crazy with color combos but I had to stay focused on making the first one :)

First, I cut out a 6.5ins square of my red with tiny white hearts fabric, (I just had to remember to line up the little white hearts in a straight line for the first cut ) easy enough (this is classed as an easy pattern but wait..... :)

Next I used my "Wunder-Under" to trace the "Marble" applique pattern from the book :)

I then, with out thinking, pinned the pattern to the right side of the fabric, oops!!!

It seemed like the obvious thing to do, I cut it out and realised that the pattern would be all wrong because when I tried to fuse the web to the reverse side of the fabric it would be off, so then I had to read the instructions, pin the fusible side to the side you want it to be fused too, sounds obvious but I wasn't thinking (possibly too much celebrating over the Holidays, I guess, lol :) 

So, then I pinned the traced pattern and fusible web to the reverse side of the fabric, all was well :)

I ironed the fusible web (on a low-med heat - no steam) to the reverse side of the fabric and gently peeled off the paper backing on the fusible web.

The next step was to position the "Marble" applique on to my Square, I measured to make sure it was centered and then I pinned the applique to my red fabric and fused it to the fabric using an iron (again, low - med heat, no steam)

I really like how the patterns and colours worked together. :)

I think I will try the Blue fabric as the background square the next time and either use the Pink dot again for the "Marble" applique or maybe the Red with White Hearts, what do you think? :)

There is one last step I wasn't able to complete because my sewing machine is being very temperamental (she's old, but don't tell her I said that, lol :)

Anyway, as you can see from the image below, in the demo photo in the Book they have added a decorative shell stitch to the inner and outer circle, which serves 2 purposes - it pretties up the applique and makes it looks complete and you could use either a neutral colour thread or a contrasting thread and the other thing is it will stop the fabric from fraying. :)

Well, I hope you enjoyed my Tutorial and please let me know what you think :)

Have a lovely Weekend :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Hi All :)

I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a Wonderful, Happy, Successful and Fun 2014 :)

The road forward may not be clear all the time but it is how we navigate it that will help us to thrive :)


Cheers, T. :)