Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yeah...Im done!!!!

I am finally done with my radiation treatments for squamous cell skin cancer on my face :-) I had 31 treatments, 5 days a week. It was absolutely grueling and the right side of mouth/cheek is so sore, red and swollen but I am happy that the treatments are over. I have several big owies in my mouth but hopefully within the next week they will finally heal. I cannot believe how tired it has made me but today I forced myself to do some stuff.
I finally planted a half pound of garlic you realize how many cloves are in a half pound of garlic? Alot! The other night I separated all the cloves and got ready for planting. Then yesterday I added compost to soil, turned (ugh) and then planted. Today I used some gauze I had and laid down on top of area planted...dumped lots and lots of dried leaves and then covered with gauze and laid down a bunch of wooden stakes on top so it all doesn't get blown away. I am stoked to have this chore done. I love fresh garlic, bulbs smaller than in store but so much more flavorful and alot of oil....sooooooooooo good.
Today I spent hours in the raspberry patch...pruning the plants to about 3-4' and then cutting out all the dead wood. Last year I somehow forgot to cut out all the dead wood and it was a nightmare. So............this year I got it done. Got most of debris out of yard, but Mark bailed, so wheel barrow full, needs to be dumped and then I can get rest of stuff out of yard.
These where two big jobs I needed to get done. I am feeling wiped out but very satisfied I completed these two chores :-)
Now, tomorrow would be great if I spend some time in my sewing room which I have been neglecting lately...all I did was get treatment and come home and crawl into bed. I still need to be careful and take care of myself but I want to hang out in my sewing room. I am not happy with the head I did for my mermaid doll. She is being made out of some hand dyed lite green fabric and I feel I use too dark of colors when I did her I was using white or off white fabric. I think the colors should be more subtle and maybe use greens........doesn't look natural. Will see how it goes. If I can sew head and get it stuffed and sculpted tomorrow I would be happy.
The last two days have been beautiful....sunny but about 45. It gets down to the 20s at night, need to get my concord grapes into house, basement for now. We are hoping to insulate and heat front porch area. It will be like a big green house for me...Mark doesnt realize it yet but that is what I want to use the area for, lots of plants. He is going to put a 10=12" ledge below all the windows. Will be a great place to start the veggies this spring.
Well, that's it for now

Thursday, August 4, 2011


My latest projects...I buy really nice t-shirts from St. Vinnie's and then put Hawaiian applique designs on them. Today they had their "bag" sale; anything you can fit into a brown shopping bag for $2...I scored!!!! Got 25 t-shirts; two pieces of really nice fabric, possibly for dolls; two very small pyrex cooking dishes and found two round lids to fit them. Plus, I found metal hangers...I use them to unplug bathtub and the like, maybe even use for doll armatures, who knows, but they are so hard to come by, so I got a bunch for thirty cents. All in all a very good hall. Plus on the way to Vinnies, the Masons were setting up for a rummage sale tomarrow, got to go in check out. Bought two boxes of pint jars for only two bucks each; some very nice picture frames and two very kool pieces of velvet. One is red devore...I'm stoked.
Here is a close up of the "hibiscus" design. I think I have enough t-shirts to make one of each design. I am using my hand dyed fabric, maybe I will use a couple of batiks to do a few. Plus, Victoria request a long sleeve black t-shirt and a no sleeve black t-shirt. Found one on sale at WM for only $3; got her the short sleeve at Vinnie's today, but no long sleeves out yet and to find a solid black one without a design on it will be a challenge. But I am still looking. The designs she wants in pink or a mix of pink and blue...both hand dyes by Nana of course :-)
Our garden is going nuts! I already picked all the broccoli; cauliflower; the rutabeggas are done; the cabbage is ready, my snow peas will produce until the fall.....and Mark's pickling cucumbers are starting to produce. It is so soon for harvesting but it was very very hot, long long days and plenty of rain...guess a good combo for up here. The raspberries are almost all picked. I will be canning into the night!
Things are going well, I need to finish quilt in basement on gamil and then start working on some dolls, and finish that kool sock I was working on. When the sun is out, I hate being inside, soon enough won't be able to spend much time outside. The summer has seemed to just zoomed by this year. Maybe cause I missed the spring while on was on Kauai. Still dreaming about that warm pacific...I miss it so much....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beautiful Kauai

Tori in the pool at neighbor, Pam's. We had so much fun this day. Love my little mermaid.

For the May Day celebration, Tori is playing the "Ipu";a hollow goard that makes a very nice sound when slapped or pounded on ground.

Latest photo of me, 130# gone.Feeling good and looking better everyday. This has been a long hard journey.

Going to give a doll class here on Kauai, the Sat. before I leave hope for 10 students, will see how it goes. More Kauai photos tocome.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Mark thought this was a "kingfisher" and I looked up in our bird book and it is actually a "banded king fisher". Yeah...its road kill but this bird was fresh, must of just happened. Its eyes were still clear and intact. It was sort of a foggie morning and we found it on the bridge that goes over the Paint River on Hiway 69 (which we call the potatoe road cause that's where the potatoe farms are).

It was a beautiful bird, this one is a male by its markings. Poor guy, was probably just up, looking for something to eat, or something for his mate, if he'd found one already. I am sure he was gone very many birds of prey here. But kinda sad.

Our birds are very busy. I think they have all paired up by now, building nests, eating like little pigs. The darn grackles are here and starlings, but not in the numbers we have seen in previous years, may be they didnt make it thru all those storm systems. They would have had to fly right thru them. I dont care for the grakles cause they eat everything in sight, not leaving much for the other birds but they do airate the lawn quite well. When there are huge flocks of them, you go outside and it looks like someone dragged one of those metal barrel with spikes to airate your lawn with, but they get the bugs and ticks and other creepy crawlies...not that there are that many here.

One thing I dred about going back to Kauai....the BUGS...not just bugs but really BIG BUGS and centipedes that get ove 7" long and almost an inch wide. CREEPY!!!!!! But! the ocean the ocean the ocean....makes it all worth it. With rising gas prices, last I heard a week or so ago, $4.60/gal on son was going to let me use his little Honda, well, I cant really afford the gas to go far, so I told him...I get a bus pass. He told me, he's going to buy me and Victoria a bus pass and we can ride to our hearts content. Weekends I guess we will head for the Northshore, cannot go there during the week cause I have to be back in Kalaheo in time to get Tori from school. My main job on Kauai for the next 6 weeks is to spend time with Victoria and help her out. She is really smart but has the attention span of a knat......

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh...about that two piece I was making. I sorely underestimated the mass of my breasts, it was pathetic trying to fit them in :-( But, I think the bottoms will be okay. I think I am just going to rubberband and dye and then overdye an athletic bra I have and use as a top. More fabric there than most bathing suit tops. I wont need to be taking any vitamin D while I am on Kauai that is for sure.

Well, I have so much to do in the next week. For those on Kauai, see you real soon. Everyone else, take care and have a great week. Will post before I leave. Oh! OH! Big news....I fit into two pair of my size 14 pair is Ralph Lauren and the other some other fancy brand, these are the really good used jeans I got in Austin. I think I bought about 8 or 9 pair for about $32. But I am in size 14 jeans and a large top....used to be 28 stretch pants and 4X shirts. I will probably cut up my big aloha shirts and make into something, some are kool vintage fabric. Will recycle them into something fun. Again aloha nui loa to all.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quilts and Cake

I was thinking...why not use some of those canned peaches we have lots of instead of pineapple. Well, it looks like it worked out great! This is the second time it came out perfect when I turned out onto plate. Mark said, well, I bet it would be good with the fresh raspberries we will be harvesting in July or fresh blueberries....I mean the possibilities are endless. When I go to Kauai, I could try Mango UpsideDown that sounds really good.

I probably started this quilt about 25 years ago, maybe less. Its a double irish chain with a seminole border. I do know Mike was still alive for many years after I finished piecing the top. The dark green is actually a green on green print of roses and the yellow fabric is roses. The coral is a batik and is the same coral color in the yellow print. I finally quilted it this fall so we wouldn't freeze this winter since all my quilts are plum worn out! Need to quilt another one for next year, we use two quilts. This one has a beautiful 100% washable wool form Dream Cotton. Mark loves that it hangs almost to the floor on all was originally for a kingsize bed, this one is a queen.

My girlfriend, Candace Tuell, who lives on Dummyline Road in Picayune, Mississippi (no kidding), called me about two weeks ago and asked if I could quilt a quilt for her. She needed by beginning of July for a wedding. Now, she has had this top done for over 20 years. It's all hand appliqued but since it is going to a couple that is not from a "quilting background" you know this puppy is gonna be thrown in the washer and dryer...cringe...she says she is going to make up a detailed description on the care of this quilt...she kept saying how major this was for her, to be giving a quilt like this away, I get it Candace. She wanted something quick but overall, it was a shame to do a loose meandering over the entire top, all that applique but it really turned out great! She forgot to send a backing and low and behold I had a pinkish fabric for the backing...I still have almost three yards leftover. Here it is loaded on the gammil; those boxes on the shelves in the background is part of my stash. The shelves are 20+' long and have three shelves with room on top. Those ar 54qt. boxes! and I left a huge part of stash on Kauai, gave away to sr. cente and friends...that darn 20' container would only hold so much and Mark kept harping about the washer, dryer, bed......

Here it is finished (well, the quilting anyway). Looks pretty good on my bed. It has that extra length for the pillow tuck. I think she is going to bind it with pink. The sides are not long enough for Mark but he thinks it turned out great! He did think it is pretty fem for a guy...yeah...they are a couple but he still thinks kinda a fru fru. But he would sleep under it.

Corner lovely.

Another shot of pillow tuck and center medalion.
I am now in the process of tracing an old old old Pacifica Pattern for a bikini for myself. Tori says I must wear a two piece. I only meant to trace the top but I did the whole thing. Will make out of some batik fabric I have and line with a hand dye or make out of hand dye and line with batik :-) anyway the bottom comes up almost to belly button, there were two styles, one pretty skimpy and this other view. When I have done I will photograph and post. My time is getting short until I leave. Just realized on Sunday that I am leaving on Mother's day and Mark told me today I get home two days after Father's day. I am going to have so much fun....yipee.....

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Here I am on Wednesday at the Crystal Falls Hydroelectric plant, the Paint River is at flood stage and they had to open 3 of the 4 gates and it is pumping over the spillway. The sound is like thunder. We took some really neat photos this day. I am standing here, 125# less than 14 months ago. It has been a really tough road to haul but I am making great progress and my hair is growing back finally. When I brush my hair it is just the usual little bit that always comes out. For a couple months, everytime I brushed my hair, I would have to empty the brush before I did the other half...very depressing. Almost finished with a series of 12 (ugh and ouch!!!) B1 shots. I get the last on Wednesday before I go to Kauai (May 8th) for a little over 6 weeks. I am so excited to see my Tori! She has so much planned for us to do plus she wants me to start teaching her how to sew...exciting!!! started snowing last night and hasn't stopped all day. You can see how much has accumulated on the deck railing. The birds have cleaned out all the feeders and suet too. Tomarrow even if it is snowing, I will bundle up and go out there and fill the feeders and get them birdies fed. Not only our usual crowd but they've come back in hoardes this spring(?). We have about a dozen Evening Grosbecks, one of the largest finches. I saw this guy on the Michigan program on PBS and he said they were in decline, not this year in our yard :-)

I have started on a new doll, a mermaid, I am making her in two color ways. A very pale pale green and very pale pale blue. I just finished up both heads...I think I prefer the blue. I need to buy lots of beads and different kinds for all the beading on her tail and fins. I think instead of beading her beast cups I am going to use two Sun Rise shells I have had for ages. The perfect use. They are so hard to get these days. Large groups of people comb the beach for these shells on the Na Pali coast and get very aggressive if they find you looking for shells. They sell them individually...a really nice SunRise shell can cost over twenty bucks now a days, could be higher. That really stinks! Have to go see my old girl friend, her trade mark is "aama" which is crab in Hawaiian...because she said she felt like a crab, creeping along the beach looking for Niihau shells and all shells for that matter. She was the first person to combine the Niihau shells and beads, her work is incredible and I own several of her earlier pieces :-)

Well, I am tired and have so much to do before I go to Kauai. One more charity quilt to quilt and am waiting on quilt from girlfriend from Mississippi, need to do that one before I leave. She needs to send from her state to wedding in ? beginning of July. I do not get home until the June 21st (I leave May 8th, a little over six weeks) at around 5a.m. in Chicago...I think Mark will meet me there. My ticket goes on to Green Bay, but he wants to visit his daughter, so, if he does, I will get off in Chicago. Puts about 4 hours on our ride home, but I had a little over 3 hour lay over in

Hope everyone's spring is a bit more sunny than mine is right now. I hope my daffodils and crocus don't croak from all this snow.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


If you enlarge her, you can rotate her so she is sitting the correct way. (I tried and I couldn't, but maybe you can) The beading took me days but was well worth the effort. From now on, I will do the beading on the body BEFORE I put her together or put on the hair. Her arms and legs are out of a fabric I dyed about a year ago, reds-oranges-yellow. Then I used metalic Seta Color...bronze, gold and pearl. It really turned out great. I just love the way she turned out so far. Of course, I made another 4 heads, and used number 4. I need to get a really nice basket to put all the extra heads in. :-)
The torso is out of a Hoffman bali Batik and I beaded some of the circles. I haven't really beaded before, so it was a learning process. Those are seed beads on her torso. Buggle beads on her arms and a variety of a bit larger flat beads and bigger seed beads. Her hair is this bunch of ribbons I got, they are sold on a plastic ring and are great and very inexpensive. I cannot wait until Kat gets more so I can buy a couple more selections. Now I have to dress her. I am going to use some cheese cloth I died...reds-oranges-yellows...not super bright. I will make leaves out of different colored wool felt I have and maybe do some free motion lace. I have never dressed a doll like this, so it should be a fun adventure.
My next doll project is a mermaid by Patti M Culea. I was going to buy pattern on line and then the other night I was looking for a different pattern, not doll at all, and I came across three really neat patterns I bought at this incredible shop I went to one time I went to California. It is called Material Possessions and it is in Forrest Lawn. My friend, Linda, took me to about three shops that day, the first was in Costa Mesa...Piece Makers; cannot remember the name of the second but when we got to Material Possessions I almost had a stroke. I use Isacord polyester embroidery thread for my machine. It is hard to find, but this place had a wall of it, every single color they was frightening! You know how you can get in big trouble $wise when it comes to thread, they are such small inocent looking purchases until they start adding them up at the cash register and then it's...."do you know CPR?" :-) They had a room with sample quilts and quilting fabric, a "doll"room with all sorts of doll patterns and samples and stuff to make dolls. They sell Bernina sewing machines and accessories and when you walk in, the quilts that are hanging are incredible. One of my all time favorite quilt shops, that is, after the Kapaia Stichery on Kauai.
I have a small private dye class on Thursday with two gals from Wisconcin. It will take them about an hour and a half to get here. Like me driving to Marquette. I ordered the fabric three weeks ago and by Tuesday they still hadn't sent came Friday by next day air FedEx...I only had to pay for ground since they were the ones who messed up. Then, after I had cut their fabric, it would take too much of class time so I did for them....they canceled the class they were to come to Monday, tomarrow, but will be here Thursday. Works out good for me anyway.
Well, it is late. I should get upstairs and hit the rack. I have now lost 120# and am very happy with it. My hair has finally stopped falling out at that alarming rate, now just the usual when you brush your hair. Lots of white coming in for those new hairs, it will actually be pretty, two long white strips on either side of my head, otherwise it is as dark brown as ever. When I went for my six month check up the dr. kept arguing with me that I had dyed my hair dark brown, she finally went and got my intake photo. I was kinda miffed, cause she was basically calling me a liar. I just had lost a lot of weight. I have never ever colored my hair ever...too much of a hassel as far as I am concerned.
well...........I will post a photo of Angelina(not for Jolie but for the fibers I worked with for the very first time for her wings)...which I will attach last after she is all dressed and stuff.
Take care and happy stiching!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Here is the "Stepping Stones" top. It is now finished. I am just waiting to get the backing from Alley Kat, I think she mailed it today, hopefully. Wonder what she picked.......After I quilt it, I think a very thin black binding would be perfect! By the way, Mark is holding the sides, was too long to hold lengthwise.
I am totally addicted to dried apples. I have been these 3# bags of Macintosh apples. They are smallish and core and peel easily and am using my funky mandolin. I cannot control the wideth, so I put in the insert and they come out paper thin, crunchy and melt in your mouth. They are better than candy and much much better for me.
Still knitting away. Got my box from Knitpics...a ball winder; two packs of small tip protectors; a ball of wonderous fingerling to make me another pair of socks and...ta da...the Harmony wooden interchangeable needles. The only bum deal is, they don't have the sizes on the tips anywhere, so I guess I need to get one of those needle gauge thingies.
They are offering this new class at Alley Kat called Zentangle...I had to look up. Heck! My first husband did this sort of art in the early sixties until he passed...mostly in pen and ink. I have always doodled this way most of my life. I think I will make a small Zentangle wall hanging and send up there before the class so she can have as sample.
Took lots of fabric back down to the basement. It tends to migrate upstairs and needs taking back. I traced and cut out most patterns from the A is for Apron book. I am going to make them out of TROPICALS!!!! They are gonna be so kool....the first one Im going to make is Mango Tango and I have this yellow orchid and uke fabric. Will post photo when done.
Well, its late, gonna hit the rack. Have a great and productive week everybody.