Redneck Reality

Last Saturday night My Cowboy and I were invited down to the neighbor’s for a birthday/bachelor/bachelorette party for their son, Nick, and his bride-to-be, Hallie. Her friends got her a sash and a tiara for the event.

Leslie, the neighbor, and I, grew up together. He hasn’t changed a bit. Honestly, his wife has earned sainthood in my book, just for putting up with him! Not only did she orchestrate putting the meal together, even though the guys actually did the cooking outdoors, she kept everyone happy and still managed to run around and snap a few pictures.

And the party went about like we expected. Very entertaining . . . My Cowboy and I have determined that this bunch should have their very own Redneck Reality TV show. It’d be a hit!

The boys were all lined up with their shotguns, shooting clay pigeons.

That’s all good and fine, normally, but look where they’re shooting! We kept teasing Leslie that we sure would hate to have to spend our Sunday butchering a cow after it got hit by a stray shot.

We had really good seats for observing the longest game of Washers in the history of the world. It was being played by Leslie, and Charles (in the red shirt) . . .

. . . and Floyd (in the blue shorts), and Mike . . . Floyd and Leslie being partners against Charles and Mike.

Seeing as how they were all four consuming copious amounts of alcohol throughout the game, it was nearly impossible for them to keep score. Furthermore, in all their drunken genius, they came up with a new way to tally said score, and the game drug on and on and on and on . . .

Punctuated by jigs and shenanigans, mostly by Leslie when he (or more likely, his partner) managed to finally make a point.

Yep, still shooting toward the herd . . .

Nick’s friends had mixed up a “cocktail” for him as his birthday present, and it’s time for the highlight of the evening’s shootout. Thank goodness the cows have moved out to further pasture by this time . . .

Nick got to shoot the canister so it would explode. I don’t think Floyd expected him to hit it just then . . .

After that excitement, the game of Washers resumed. I’m only sorry that I missed getting a picture of Leslie doing the moonwalk. Leslie’s brother maintained that it was more of a “gravel shuffle” than a moonwalk, but still . . . who knew he could even do that much?

After being ahead for nearly the entire game, it came down to the final point, and Floyd and Leslie had let Charles and Mike tie with them. That whole time, and the game came down to one final point. And after hardly scoring anything for the entire game, and enduring jokes from all onlookers about letting Floyd carry him, Leslie managed to score the winning point. Unbelievable! And I’m sure he’ll never let anyone forget it, either.

It was a really nice evening for an outdoor gathering, the food was fantastic, and we had fun just watching everyone else have fun. Even Roscoe seemed to have a good time.

Leslie got to show off his new hay baler. His other one recently caught fire in the hayfield and burnt up, taking a bit of the hayfield with it. It’s been way too dry around here this year. And that right there might make for an entire ‘nother episode of their Redneck Reality TV Show!And the best part? Nick and Hallie are getting married this weekend, so we’ll be doing it all again! Our very own weekly versions of Redneck Reality . . . Come on by!

Oh, and miraculously, no animals or people were harmed during this episode . . .

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Published in: on August 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm  Comments (4)  

Old Tobacco Road

I do love me a good scrap quilt.

And this one is a fine, fine example!

I recently quilted this quilt for my friend, Rose Marie. She made it from a Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt online project, Old Tobacco Road.

I think it’s one of those quilts that, years from now, new quilters are going to be saying “Would you look at all those neat old fabrics?” about . . .

I don’t quite recall exactly how Rose Marie said she wanted it quilted, because when she gave it to me, the quilt was screaming so loudly for what IT wanted that it drowned her out.

I did what the quilt said . . .

Here’s a couple close-ups of the front:

This one shows some of the border area:

And here’s the back:

A bit closer shot of the back, showing some of the border area:

Everyone who sees this quilt just loves it, and not because of the quilting. It’s just the most wonderful scrap quilt!

I’m just lucky that sometimes I get to go spend the day and root around in her stash, and she periodically brings me leftovers she doesn’t want any more!

If you’d like to make one of these for yourself, at the time of this writing, the instructions for it are still up on Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilts page, so you can get right on that. I’d be happy to quilt it for you when you’re done!

Published in: on July 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm  Comments (12)  

We Had Visitors!

That rarely happens around here.

Usually because there’s not that much to see, and not a lot going on, especially when it’s really hot or really cold.

And it’s been really hot lately.

And dry.

We need rain. Badly.

One of my high-school classmates, Cindy (and we won’t say how long ago that was) lives in the city, but still owns a farm up here, so she brought two of her three kids up with her to spend a week doing things at their farm.

Things such as cleaning up brush, and mowing, and stuff like that.

I’m glad she didn’t invite me to her place!

I told Cindy before she came up that if the kids wanted to go horseback riding, to just bring them on out.

So when they got settled in, they called and said they’d like to ride.

When it’s this hot, we do our riding early in the morning or right before dark, to make it easier on the horses (and the cows, if we’re working them). OK, and easier on us, too!

So they came out early the next morning, we got the horses all tacked up, and off they went.

They took turns, and Sarah went first.

She’s mounted . . .

She’s moving . . . (Bonnie’s a good “babysitter”, and was displaying that trait quite profoundly at this moment. She always takes really good care of her passenger.)

And they’re finally off!

I told Cindy not to worry, Sarah wouldn’t get bucked off — because bucking takes way more energy than Bonnie wants to expend!

After their trip around . . .

. . . I think she was getting the hang of it.

Then it was Mark’s turn.

Bonnie was completely astounded that she had to go for a second round. That never happens! She took Mark through the gate and right into her “parking spot” to be untacked.

Not so fast! She ended up having to make that other round so Mark could have his turn.

They must have had fun, because they came back the next evening to ride again!

Cindy brought me some red squares for my red & cream checkerboard quilt.

And they made me this darling scissors fob, complete with a cowboy boot on it! I love it, and it has already made my embroidery scissors much easier to locate on the mess of a table I work on.

I talked to Cindy after they got home, and Sarah already wants to come back. “Mom, they said we could come back any time!”

We did! And we meant it.

They’ll be back up in July sometime.

Bonnie will still be here.

Published in: on June 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm  Comments (3)  

Some Exciting News!

Every now and then I mention a website and group I’m part of called “15 Minutes Play“, and I periodically show things I’ve been working on from over there.

Most recently, it’s been my Color Challenge blocks, which I’m seriously behind on, but I’ll catch up.

Well, there’s big news from the 15 Minutes Play site this week . . .

Victoria has written a book!!!

I’ve known about it for quite awhile, but we were all sworn to secrecy, so I’m really excited to finally get to tell you about it. I’m so proud of her!

I’ve been observing from the sidelines ever since she started writing the book, and I know it was a long, arduous process, so I’m really excited for her that it’s finally getting close to becoming a real object that we can hold in our hands. And I’m really excited to get my hands on a copy when the time comes!

I’m even more excited that it’s finally coming, because I quilted a few of the quilts that are in the book, and I believe one of my own quilts, that I made because of the 15 Minutes Play site, is also in the book.

You can read more about the book HERE on C&T Publishing’s site, and it’ll be available this coming November. I’ll be sure and let you know more about it as time draws near.

You can read Victoria’s announcement HERE.

You’re gonna want to have this book in your quilting library. It’s not a pattern book — it’s a book that challenges you to do things and make wonderful stuff you’d never think of on your own.

Very inspiring . . . (and I’ll just bet we can get V to autograph one for you!)

Published in: on June 7, 2012 at 11:04 am  Comments (7)  

The Market Report

And, no, I’m not talking about cattle . . . even though that’s what market reports around here usually mean.

I’m talking about International Quilt Market in Kansas City, which I attended a couple weeks ago. (Has it been that long already?)

I haven’t even had time to tell you about it because I hit the ground running as soon as I got home to get ready for my guild’s local quilt show this past weekend. I’ll tell you about our quilt show tomorrow.

Today, I’ll tell you what I did at Quilt Market.

I got to meet lots of people I’ve only talked to online before, and it was great getting to meet them all face to face.

And I got to see lots of friends that I met online that I’ve actually met and done stuff with before, but it was so great to get to hang out with them for a few days yet again.

I don’t have a lot of pictures, because for some reason, I go stupid at these events, and can’t seem to work my camera. I only took 8 pictures all weekend. I don’t know what that affliction is called, but it’s not good for a blogger!

I met up with Victoria, who was my roommate; her friend, Kim, joined us Friday night, and was our other roommate, and we hung out together all weekend. I always have fun with Victoria, and we never ever run out of things to talk about, or laugh about, and Kim is wonderful, and we had such a good time.

We were like bumblebees, flitting around together, splitting up to go do things on our own, getting back together, and sometimes having anywhere from one to four other people walking around with us.

I got to meet Angela Walters! One of my longarm quilting idols! I stood in line for her book signing the next day, and got a copy of her new book, Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters. Love it! Love her!

I got to meet and chat with Tula Pink. Her booth was fabulous. She introduced us to her brother, Kam. I came home and told My Cowboy that Tula Pink has an assistant — her brother — and that maybe My Cowboy should become my assistant. He quipped back that Tula Pink was probably paying Kam, and that unless I could come up with some monetary compensation for him, it was a no go. So I’m still assistant-less . . .

I got to meet and chat with Jacquie Gering. She gave me a ticket to her book signing, and I stood in line and got an autographed copy of her book, which I also love: Quilting Modern, which she co-authored with Katie Pedersen. I’ve read Jacquie’s blog for years, so it was really great to finally meet her.

I met Kaari Meng, THE French General, and gushed like a fool. She gave me samples of her new line of fabric and paper. I feel like framing them, but I’ll most likely make something pretty when I find the time.

I met Cindy and Jina from Riley Blake Designs. Since I’ve become an instructor for Cutting Corners College, I really wanted to meet them in real life.

I got to meet Melissa Stramel from Lilac Lane in person finally. I had done some stitching for one of her patterns, and some applique for one of the projects in her new book that debutted at Market, so I stopped by her booth to say hi and meet her. She’s like a living doll, and just as adorable. Here I am posing with her in her booth (as if it’s mine and I’m the one who did all the work):

We stopped by Pat Sloan‘s booth several times. On one of those occasions, she and her Shipping Department held up her new BOM quilt for me to take a picture:

I just love that bicycle block in the lower right corner, and Pat had pins that match it:

Cute, huh? I also got a sample pack of all the fabrics in her new line with Moda, Eat Your Fruits and Veggies.

Saturday morning I got together with a bunch of blogger friends, some of whom are from the Blogger’s Retreat we have every July, and some from one of my online bees. We had breakfast together:

There’s Stephanie (Peas In A Pod), Amanda Jean (Crazy Mom Quilts), Claire (Amanda Jean’s sister), me, Cindy (Live a Colorful Life), and Tara (Tinkerfrog).

Several of them brought me gifts! I have such wonderful friends! And I was totally unprepared and didn’t bring anything . . .

Amanda Jean brought me a thread catcher:

Stephanie brought me a zippered pouch that goes with my Boss Lady tote bag that I absolutely love:

Tara gave me some homemade soap and chapstick:

Saturday night the St. Louis and Kansas City Modern Quilt Guilds co-hosted a party for anyone who wanted to attend. There are only 3 modern guilds in the state of Missouri, and the modern guild I belong to, the Pecan Valley Quilt Guild, is the third one. I found three of my fellow guild members there at the party! Jean won one of the door prizes, and it included a book that Amanda Jean is featured in, so we snagged Amanda and had her autograph Jean’s book, and get in on the picture with us:

We were obviously having fun at the party. Here’s Stephanie, me, and Victoria goofing off. I’m not sure what V’s trying to do to your head there, Steph, but you have to keep an eye on that girl!

There are so many other people I got to meet, and I’ll tell you more about some of them in later posts, so this one doesn’t get any longer.

I really had a good time, and it was all over with way too soon. I’m already excited for the next one!

Published in: on June 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm  Comments (9)  

A Single Thread

While in Paducah last week, I had the pleasure of meeting, live and in person, Marie Bostwick, the New York Times Bestselling Author of a wonderful series of quilty novels.

I recognized her right away from seeing her picture online several times. And we have a mutual friend in Victoria of BumbleBeans. So I stepped right up and introduced myself. (I’m sure I made a great impression, cos I’m all cool like that — pffft!)

She asked me if I needed a book, and THIS immediately shot into my head, and I said, as I picked one up, “I don’t think so, but let me see here . . .”, and I was hooked just from looking at the covers.

Being a stickler for “reading books in order”, I wanted to start from the beginning. HOWEVER, Marie writes her books so that you don’t have to do that. They’ll each stand alone, and you can skip around in her series, and it will still all make sense.

Nonetheless, since I plan to read them all, I bought the first one, A Single Thread, and Marie even autographed it for me. My sister bought the second in the series, and . . . I’m sure we’ll be getting the third and fourth ones real soon. But . . .

I’m going to win the fifth and newest book, Ties That Bind.

Michele over at Quilting Gallery has organized a blog tour of 10 different bloggers, each of whom have reviewed the new book and are giving chances of winning a copy to their readers. I’ve signed up on several of them already. If you go to THIS POST, you can get started on the tour and sign up to win one of them your ownself. But hurry, it ends soon!

If you’d like to learn more about Marie — she’s a delightful person — one of my fellow Two’s Company Bee members, Jackie of Canton Village Quiltworks, recently interviewed Marie and has a cute article (with pictures of Marie’s own personal quilt inspector) here: Spotlight on Marie.

Of course, you can always visit Marie’s web site as well, where you can sign up to be a “Reading Friend” and have access to some free quilt patterns that Marie has designed to go with her books.

I can see some new projects in my future . . . please send help!

Oh, and I’m already halfway through the book I got. I couldn’t put it down — and for me, who hardly ever reads anymore — that’s saying something! I highly recommend them.

Published in: on May 1, 2012 at 8:36 am  Comments (3)  

Pastime Pillows

I’m finally free to talk about one of the things I was working on a while back that I couldn’t talk about at the time . . .

A cross-stitched piece!

I cross stitched this beautiful bouquet of roses on linen for Melissa from Lilac Lane.

It’s included in her newest pattern, Pastime Pillows, along with the bird cushion that was cross stitched by Teresa Taramasso.

Melissa is introducing Pastime Pillows today on her blog, so you can now get your own copy of her pattern and make some of these darling pillows for yourself.

I haven’t cross stitched anything for a very long time, but this was an easy and fast piece to do. Melissa’s instructions are wonderful, the chart was easy to read, and there are no complicated stitches, just crosses and backstitching. Simple and beautiful!

Melissa also has a new book coming out soon, A Year of Making Life Beautiful. It’s a trip through an entire year of baking, gardening, crafting, and sewing, and it’s gonna be great. I did some stitching on one of the projects in the book for Melissa, so I’m especially excited to see it when it comes out!

Hop on over to Melissa’s blog to read more about all her latest patterns and goings-on.

Published in: on April 23, 2012 at 9:54 am  Comments (2)  

An Office Supply Fetish

I have an office supply fetish.

I also have a school supply fetish.

I cannot go into an office supply store and come out with anything resembling a sane amount of purchases.

When the back-to-school sales are going on, I just can’t resist, even though I no longer even have any kids in school . . . or even college.

I have passed this affliction on to my youngest daughter.

So now I have someone to make these purchases with; someone who completely understands that I do indeed need one of everything, it all needs to be color-coordinated, and of course, it’s necessary so that I can be all organized . . . and stuff . . . ahem.

And now I’ve even found another friend who shares this same affliction! Stephanie . . . and she’s a professor, so her fetish is completely justified — she definitely needs both office and school supplies regularly, I’m just sure of it.

And she thinks I do, too. She’s the perfect friend for me, because we both understand this need (and the need for lots of quilt fabric, too).

And just the other day, the cutest little package arrived in the mail from Katie Blair Designs.

Katie Blair Designs makes eco-friendly cards and notebooks, and Stephanie had recently blogged about her new spring line, and I promptly fell in love with this very notebook:

I wracked my brain trying to figure out what I had ordered and why I was getting a package in the mail, and inside there was a note that said: “From your office-supply-fetish-sharing friend. Guess who? Enjoy!”

Well, THAT was a no-brainer!

And enjoy I will!

Thanks, Stephanie, for thinking of me and sending me this darling notebook, that now I love too much to even write in. I’ll have to think up a very special use for it . . .

And if you, too, just happen to have an office supply/school supply fetish, Stephanie and I would both encourage you to hop right on over to Katie Blair Designs and buy yourself some handmade ones. You know you need them!

Published in: on April 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm  Comments (3)  

Cowboy Poetry Week, April 15-21

It’s Cowboy Poetry Week.

Yes, going on right now.

CowboyPoetry.com initiated Cowboy Poetry Week as part of National Poetry Month (the month of April) in the US and Canada. This is the 11th Annual Cowboy Poetry Week.

Each year, CowboyPoetry.com chooses a painting to represent Cowboy Poetry Week on a poster. This year’s poster features the painting “Heads or Tails”, by R.S. Riddick.“‘Heads or Tails” © 2004, by R.S. Riddick, www.cowboyartistsofamerica.com;  Cowboy Poetry Week 2012, www.cowboypoetry.com

You can read more about this painting and the artist here: R.S. Riddick

Or visit R.S. Riddick’s web site to see more of his work and learn more about him.

You should also check your local library for information on Cowboy Poetry Week. Most libraries participate in some fashion. Attend a reading, check out a book, or listen to a CD. My local library highlights a display of books on cowboy poetry and the western way of life.

There are also events held in all sorts of places throughout the week. You could actually go to one and see the authors reciting their own works. For a schedule of those events, click HERE.

I’m especially excited that my friend, Yvonne Hollenbeck, will be performing, even though I won’t get to see it. Yvonne is a very talented quilter in addition to being one of the greatest cowboy poets of our time. I’m honored to call her my friend. (And thrilled that her sewing studio is almost as messy as mine!)

She even has a Quilting link on her web site. She does programs for guilds and quilting groups across the country, combining both her poetry and quilting talents into one wonderful program. So there’s something to consider if you’re looking for a program for your guild (hint hint) . . .

I hope you’ll check out the information on Cowboy Poetry Week. And if you’d like to have one of the Cowboy Poetry Week posters, all you have to do is become a sponsor of CowboyPoetry.com and they’ll gladly send you one.

Published in: on April 16, 2012 at 11:12 am  Comments (1)  

I Was Wrong

It’s NOT genius I’m surrounded by . . .

It’s INSANITY!!!

And I’m dealing with it daily.

From all sides . . .

My Cowboy is horrifically offended that in my last post about him, I made it sound like he’s just a “plain ol’ farmer.” And that I never mentioned Chip, the Wonder Horse, and Blueberry, the SuperDog.

“They’re gonna think I was just out plowin’ a field when I found that fire! You didn’t tell ’em what I was really doin’.” And then he reminded me of one of his favorite movie quotes: “I ain’t doin’ nothin’ I cain’t do from the back of a horse.”

So ever since, he’s been feigning indignance whenever he gets the chance. I’m sure Chip and Blueberry would also have hurt feelings if they could read the blog. They’d be harping, too, that I never mentioned that they had just finished rounding up and loading an injured cow onto the trailer, and that they weren’t even scared one little bit of the fire at all. They all want full credit!

See what I have to deal with?

Denny’s since moved on past the whole fire incident, and has been complaining that he’s putting on too much weight lately. So in response, my sister is putting him on a diet beginning tomorrow. He requested fried chicken for Sunday dinner tonight. One last hoo-rah.

I’m supposed to make him a chocolate cake.

Then he adds: “If I don’t like it, I ain’t a doin’ it.”

My sister says: “Well, I got news for ya. You ain’t gonna like it, but I’m the cook around here.”

He looks at My Cowboy and whispers: “The last time she put me on a diet, I’d sneak off down to Orville’s and have some o’ whatever Diane was fixin’ him.”

See what my sister has to deal with?

From our brother asking her if there’s any special seasoning he needs for those deer carcasses, to the neighbor standing in the gate and saying to me: “You bin waitin’ fer me yer whole life, aintcha?”, and me biting back a reply of “Why, yes — yes, I have — NOT,” it’s just one thing after another.

I had lunch with my cousin the other day, and he knew I had recently been on a quilting retreat. He inquired: “How does somethin’ like that work?”

So I explained to him how it went.

“Was there any drinkin’ goin’ on?”

I said, “Yeh, they broke out the wine on the second night.”

“The second night?! Why’d they wait so long?”

Then the trick question: “Did you have some?” (He knows I only drink very occasionally — does that make me an “anti-social drinker”?)

I said: “I really needed to get sewing done and didn’t want to be drunken sewing.”

He said: “Well, I like to sew when I been drinkin’. I do like to tie one on and get out my thread and needle and go to town.”

I had no good response to that one . . .

Last weekend, my niece found a babysitter, made plans for a date night with her hubby, and halfway through the date, he decided he was tired, and they just had to go home right then. (Some guys just can’t handle Dinner Theater.)

See what my niece has to deal with?

So she took him home, bought more tickets, and invited her mother and me this time. We had fun, and I’ll tell you more about that later.

And I wake up this morning, get chores over with, and ask My Cowboy what he wants for breakfast.

“I want an egg, but can you make it sorta scrambled and sorta fried and square? And can you make my sausage patty square, too? I want it all to fit on my toast just right.”

I was dying to know: “Did your mother have to trim the crusts off your PBJ and cut your sandwiches into special shapes when you were little?”

“I’ve never eaten jelly in my life. Yuck!”

I’ve inherited the world’s pickiest eater . . .

The insanity continues . . .

It should be obvious by now that all us girls needed a girl’s night out, huh? I think we’re gonna have to have them more often . . .

Published in: on March 4, 2012 at 10:55 am  Comments (3)