June 30, 2014

No One Can Make Just One...

My small, round Longaberger basket is just the right size for my hexies...so far.
All the supplies I need to work on them are safely tucked inside my basket, 
and when I finish stitching, each finished piece goes right back into it.
In one afternoon, I stitched all the hexies from one 42 piece Moda™ mini charm
 pack. I'm enjoying watching the pile of them grow so much I just kept stitching!
It won't take me any time at all to prepare the other little charm pack tucked in
the basket behind all those hexies. I just have to iron all the fusible forms onto 
the back of the fabric pieces first. Then, they'll be ready for needle and thread.
 
Now that I see how they look at this stage, I may have to get more supplies. 
Perhaps I'll get fat quarters to create other blocks to complement these...or
more Plum Sweet mini charms and fusible Hexies™ are on the horizon. 

As I was stitching away, it came to me that this just might become my first,
entirely stitched-by-hand, quilted project. I'm not sure what I'm going to make
yet, but I know I'm looking forward to this process. I'm going to take it one 
step at a time. For now, I'll settle for stitching that second package of hexies.

Happy Monday, everyone!
DonnaAcornSignature

June 28, 2014

Band Camp Recital Night...

It was so good to see Captain (soon-to-be-Major) Michelle Rakers, USMC, at
Handsome's Adult Band Camp at Allegheny College this week. Thursday night was
 recital night for each of the band sections. Michelle is conducting the band this
 week, but Thursday night she was able to take the night off to listen to and play music.
 
Handsome and I were glad to see her again, after not being able to travel last year. 
Her upcoming promotion was cause for us to celebrate with her, too! Michelle
is currently Assistant Director of the Marine Band in Washington, D.C., 
"The President's Own". 
Hers is a prestigious job, to be sure! With her promotion to Major, 
she will gain additional responsibilities with the band.
Of course, Handsome wanted a photo with Michelle.
 
We've both become very fond of her. Not only is she a stellar musician, but she's
 a great person with a contagious energy and enthusiasm. She's a lot of fun, too!
This was one of the A.P.E. performances. (Adult Percussion Ensemble. lol) They
 actually did two numbers, one of which was arranged by our good Florida friend,
 Jim Roytz. The piece is a set of variations on "When Johnny Comes Marching Home".
 
Jim and Handsome perform together with the Suncoast Community Band in 
Sarasota. We love spending time with Jim and his wife, who is also an 
accomplished musician. Jim is a percussionist and Diane plays the trumpet. 
 
The piece was really lovely, and naturally, highlighted the various parts of the 
percussion section of the band. The band "heartbeat" musicians were a joy to watch.
 There was also a German-American Band ensemble which had us in 
stitches. Michelle joined their group and played cornet. She was obviously 
having a great time, and I actually have videos to prove it! (I especially like 
how she pointed out to her stand-mate where they were in the piece!) 
I just had to get a picture of her in the official G-A ensemble t-shirts, too.
 
Handsome played cymbals with the German-American band, along with 
Barbara Bailey (widow of famous percussionist, Buster Bailey), and well-
known bass drummer, Doug McCleod. I asked permission to be able to
tell you that in this photograph there is a total of 247 years between them!
(Doug is 92, Barbara is 85 and Handsome is 70!!!) Their resumes are just
as impressive as they are. We always look forward to seeing them, either
here in Allegheny or when they travel south to perform in Florida.

Last night was their whole band concert. I'll have photographs to share 
on Monday as we prepare to depart Meadville and turn toward Wisconsin.
DonnaAcornSignature

June 27, 2014

Hexies On The Horizon...

I brought these along on our trip...two sets of Little Moda™ "Mini Charms", and a 
package of Hexies™ dissolvable papers. I figured they'd make a perfect portable project.
I haven't tried these papers before, but another blogger raved about them, and I'm
so impressionable! They don't have to be torn out of your hexagons after you join
them. Just toss the finished quilt in the wash and they dissolve into the batting. 
I've tried the other method, and now I want to try to do them like this.

I've taken a close-up of the packaging so you can see all the information if you
want to try them for yourself. The measurement is for each side of the hexagon.
  I'm smitten with this Moda™ fabric line. I'd seen "Plum Sweet" made into a quilt
on Anne Sutton's "Bunny Hill" blog and knew I'd find something fun to do with
my little charms. If you'd like to see her finished quilt, just click here. It's just so
soft and cozy-looking. So, I'm going to make little hexagons with my 2.5" mini
charms sets. After that, I'll let my muse carry me. I'll have 84 finished hexies to
play with. I'll do all the pressing today and then stitch until they're ready to join.

Can you believe it's already Friday? We originally planned to leave Meadville
on Sunday, but we're going to make a side trip to Ohio before we head to Wis-
consin. That means we'll stay here until Tuesday; Ohio Tuesday night; have a
little work done on Wednesday (I'll tell you about that later); and then on to
Wisconsin to arrive on July 3rd or 4th. I'm glad I have things to keep me busy.

I'll be back tomorrow, as always.
Happy thoughts from the road.
DonnaAcornSignature

June 26, 2014

Another Baby Project...

  Our newest great nephew is being Christened in July. His Momma and Daddy 
planned the date to coincide with our visit to Wisconsin. We're looking forward
to meeting the little guy for the first time, and being there for his special day.

When his older brother was born (nearly thirteen years ago), I made a complete
ensemble for his baptism. I made a Christening gown, bonnet, booties and a
blanket for the church service. A few weeks ago, my niece brought out the set
to try on her second son to gauge the fit. Even though the ceremony is still three
 weeks away - and babies grow like weeds - it was obvious that the six-month
sized gown and bonnet would never fit the new baby. She sent me photos
and we all giggled to see him nearly drowning in fabric. We needed a plan.

I told her that I'll put the gown on him (inside out) when I get there and baste
it to fit him. I don't want to alter the original gown so, when the time comes,
 the next child to wear it will have space if they were larger than our boy.

The bonnet was another matter, so yesterday I made one in a newborn size from
the same fabric I used for the original ensemble. When we get to Wisconsin, I'll
 try it on him. If it's still way too big, I have more of the fabric to adjust my 
pattern one more time and make it even smaller. I'm hoping it's not necessary.

I've decided that I'll make another kimono in newborn size. If this little boy
is as small as I'm told he is, it might take quite a while for him to be able to
use the one I just finished. I'll see how big he is when I get there and then
choose the best size to give to him so he can wear it through the summer.

It rained again all day yesterday, so sewing and knitting were the perfect 
pastimes while Tag and I spent our days inside. I believe I'll knit again today.
DonnaAcornSignature

June 25, 2014

Brynwood Baby...

I think I've told you before how much I enjoy making things for babies.
They're so small and sweet, and I can't help but smile when I finish a piece
meant just for a little one. This is just such an example...a cotton baby kimono.
  This one already has a home. I used soft Rowan Luxury Cotton DK yarn. It will 
wash nicely, and provide a soft, breathable cover for a sweet, new child. I knitted 
this one in the 6-month size so it can be worn for a while. Babies grow so quickly!

I have enough of this gorgeous yarn to make another for my Etsy shop. I think
I'll knit it while we're traveling and list it up when we get back home. Do you
think that I should knit another in a newborn or 6-month size? I can't decide.

Wait until you see what's next (tomorrow)! Another baby gift!
DonnaAcornSignature

June 24, 2014

Tuesdays With Tag - My Brown-Eyed Girl...

 Hi, Everybody!
(SORRY THIS IS LATE. PROBLEM WITH AUTO UPDATE)
Well, it's finally time for me to tell you my great news!

Did you notice in my post a couple of weeks ago that I sneaked in
a little question for my long-distance, pen pal, Quinn? I asked
her if she'd go steady with me. Guess what? She said "yes"!!!

So, today, I'd like to introduce you to my new girlfriend, Quinn.
 This is my girl when she was just a puppersnapper.
She came to her family from a breeder in Ohio, Lehan Corgis.
 Her pedigree name is "Lehan Brings Good Things to Life". 
I'll just call her "Quinn" and she'll call me "Tag".
No need to be formal, I don't think.

She has five dog brothers and sisters. 
(I don't even know how many I have. I never got my papers from 
the breeder. Let's change the subject or Mom will say bad things.)

She also has a person sister named Hayley and brother named James.
They all live in Massachusetts, not too far from Boston. I'm hopin'
that the next time Mom and Dad go to see our family on Nantucket,
we'll be able to go see Quinn and her family, so we can all visit!
 As she got bigger, so did her ears. We seem to have that in common.
She was a beautiful puppy, don't you think? Her mom said that they
started looking for her when they read about our Fezzik every week.
(I hear he was a great guy and sure wish I'd been able to meet him.)
 This is what she looks like now. Isn't she lovely?
Isn't she wonderful? 
(I'm thinkin' Stevie Wonder songs now!)
 When Mom was takin' my picture yesterday, she said,
"Tag. Look handsome for Quinn." and this is what I did.
(It's my handsome, inquisitive pose...my camera face!)

Actually, when she showed me all these pictures on her
laptop over the weekend, I stood right up on my hind legs
and stared at Quinn's pretty face. I was quite taken with her!
 Quinn's really lucky. She got her picture taken with Santa!
Mom hasn't done that with me yet. (Hint. Hint, Mom.)
 Quinn lives with an American Foxhound mix named Witherby.
Looks like a nice guy and it's good that she has someone to keep her 
company beside her people family. I hear that he was abandoned in the 
woods. Miss Haley found him and brought him home to live with their
 family. He's a lucky, older pup but he doesn't like to frap with Quinn.
 It's a good thing I'm not the jealous type. I mean, I can still talk to
other girls, and as long as he's good to her, Witherby is just fine by me.
 Now, all you girls out there, don't worry. We're not gettin' married or 
anythin'. We're too young for that - and there are no puppies in our 
future, either. But, it's nice to have someone that I can send presents
to and write little, sweet nothin's to from time to time. I mean really. 
How could I ever resist a pretty face like Quinn's? She even sent me 
long-distance kisses! So, this song is for you, sweetie. I hope you like it.
 direct link: http://youtu.be/kqXSBe-qMGo
I hope you're all happy for us. I'll be back soon to tell you all about my travels.
'til next time...
"Wag Like Ya Mean It!"

June 23, 2014

Looks Like We Made It...

 ...to Meadville, PA, that is.
It was a bit of an arduous drive through the mountains of
West Virginia to get here, especially in the rain, but Pennsylvania
proved welcoming. There was a lot of sunshine and the steep ups
and downs slowly transformed into rolling hills and valleys.
 Handsome went over to the college yesterday to pick up his
registration packet, which always includes a college tote bag.
Inside are all his class schedules, meal card and a few other goodies.
This year, he came back with a matching packet for me!
Go figure. I only go to one group gathering, the Thursday recitals
and the concert finale on Friday, but here was my own meal card,
schedule (in case I want to sit in), and even my own swanky pen!
 While he was over at the college, I was working on the knitting
for my special project. I finished it around 9 last night, and will
start my day today doing all the joining and yarn tucking. After
that, I'll add the ribbon closure and perhaps a button or two
just to trim it out a little more. I'll decide when I get to that point.

I'm also making something for our great-nephew's Christening
next month. I brought Sofie along so she'll be helping me out
with the machine sewing part of that project. She also has a small
embroidery unit, so I'm going to add a little something extra, too.

Tag will be here tomorrow. He's so excited to share his good news!
You'll have to come back to read all about it. (He can hardly wait!)
DonnaAcornSignature

June 22, 2014

Sunday Scripture...

Courtesy of Little Birdie Blessings (Thanks, Abby!)
  DonnaAcornSignature

June 21, 2014

Day Three...

This was the back of our Flying Cloud first thing yesterday morning.
Handsome called me outside to see three deer trotting away from our
campground. They were too far away - even for my "real" camera.
 
The sun was shining, and it was already hot while Handsome was 
breaking up camp for us. I had finished stowing everything inside and
came back out to see if he needed any help. He was nearly done, too, so
 I took the photograph! We left Cornersville shortly after this was taken.
When I look out my window while we're on the road, this is frequently my view.
The mirrors are great for keeping track of what's going on behind us, but I'm a
little hampered from seeing past them to get good rolling photos of the terrain.
Every once in a while, I do manage to catch a peek at something I can capture.
 
Right before we crossed into Kentucky, I saw a barn I wanted to photograph. It
wasn't until after I looked at it on my iPhone that I realized it had a barn quilt on it!
We spent a nice bit of yesterday's miles on the Bluegrass Parkway in Kentucky.
Not the usual heavy semi traffic, and incredible scenery. There were lots of other
barns to see, too. You do know how much I love them, right? Let's just say, "a lot"!
This farmstead especially captivated me, but I took many, many more other shots
to remind me of this beautiful drive through mountains and vast horse country.
When we pulled into the Huntington/Foxfire KOA in Milton, WV,
the first thing we saw was a big swimming lake. It looked really 
inviting, but it rained shortly after we finished setting up The Cloud.
What Taggart noticed were the kids...
...and I've told you many times before how much he loves kids!!!
He was mesmerized by them before he was even out of the truck, and he 
spent most of the evening looking out the window at every child that walked by.
Sorry it's blurry. sigh
Dinner last night - for those who are interested - was a shrimp boil. I popped tiny,
red potatoes into a small amount of water, white vinegar and Old Bay Seasoning.
As soon as they started to soften, I added sweet corn and then finished up with the
shrimp. A whole meal was ready in about 15 minutes. Handsome said it sure beat
popping a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew on a campfire (in the rain). Funny guy.

We traveled over four hundred miles yesterday, so sleep came early last night.
 
We'll arrive at our destination in Meadville, PA today. It's the shortest leg of our
trip. We'll check in early, set up camp for the next week and really relax. 
 
I'll be back tomorrow with more pictures and stories from the road.
DonnaAcornSignature

June 20, 2014

Day Two...

Here's my "second installment":
We covered another four hundred miles yesterday. It was all easy driving
 (except around Birmingham - awful roads!!). We drove  seven hours to get to
 our destination for the night. This segment took us from Chattahoochee, Florida
 to Cornersville, Tennessee. Again, it was hot outside - 92º when we arrived.
This has got to be one of our favorite campgrounds. It's called the 
"Texas T Campground", just off I-65. It's down in a little, cool hollow.
I took photos of this scene last year with my camera - this year with my
 iPhone - but I'm sure this is why it's a bit cooler here, at least in my mind.

I love how the water trips and tumbles over stones and flat rocks on its
way to the Tennessee River. Here, there are schools of small fish resting
in the shade and loads of flowers decorating the banks of the brook.
Seeing the Queen Anne's Lace reminds me of our old home in Wisconsin,
and all the times I spent in the fields walking and working with our retrievers.
And, now, my little man sits happy and content on a bed of clover.
(As much a metaphor for his life as it is an actual image.)
  Handsome set up our outside requirements - water, electric and such,
while I set up the inside. I feel a bit like a flight attendant as I take 
items from their appointed spots to make it homey again for one night.
 
Each day enroute, I stow everything away again so it's secure while we
travel, and then pull those same things out in the evening. Then, I don
my Paula Deen "The Lady Can Cook" apron to prepare our evening meals.
 
Last night it was shepherd's pie on the cooktop. Browned, seasoned ground beef,
 to which I added onions, green beans and sweet corn. Once heated, I added cream
 of mushroom soup, salt and pepper and then a generous topping of mashed 
potatoes. I formed an open well in the center of the pan which quickly filled 
with juices from the mixture. It also steamed the inside of the covered pan to heat 
the potatoes prior to serving. By the time Handsome was showered and dressed, the 
table was set and we sat our road-weary bones down to eat. Cleanup and then I, too
was finished for the night. We were off to bed early to prepare for Day Three.

Our destination today is Milton, West Virginia...another 425 miles or so.
It's a little further than we usually drive in a day, but we've all got great traveling
companions. Handsome, Tag and I are having a grand time together.
DonnaAcornSignature

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