Is it Heaven or is it Chicago??

It's in the upper 70's outside, and I'm with the most delightful company.


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The Dub Debuts

So ... I'm a grandmother once again. Of this beautiful, scrumptious, heavenly girl born yesterday, July 23rd at around 2:30 CST. She weighed 8 lb. 7 oz. and is 20 3/4 inches long. There is lots of dark hair underneath that sweet little cap and a very proud mother next to her who somehow knew that this girl was to enter this world without surgical tools involved, (even though odds and many doctors thought otherwise.)

Her name??

Aaah ... you know I wouldn't reveal that anyway, but the truth is that even we don't know that yet. That's because this little girl is just full of wonderful surprises. Just like her mom, Mrs. Dub.

I'm leaving this weekend to get the chance to squeeze her and kiss her and have slumber parties with her big sis.

I'm the luckiest Nanny in the world.

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Fuss Budgeting

So ... I got nothin'. Zippo. I absolutely refuse to discuss the 110+ heat anymore and the fact that it has now been combined with sticky-icky humidity. Seriously ... I refuse to talk about that. What I do have is my July Block for the Block O'Fun over at Bunny Hill. I really, really had fun with this one. Maybe because I wasn't under other sewing pressures while I did it.

You must know that my cardinal rule in sewing is that I must ... must ... sew from The Stash. This rule also applies to embellishments. Which explains why I had 3 of these precious stars to sew on ... but not a fourth. I'm okay with it. Really.

I took my time to fussy-cut the leaves and the flag and the lambie's tail just so. I don't know if you can zoom in on her pink tail, but I can definitely say that it has character.

And just in case you are wondering, this is the scrap that I found for it. I don't even think this scrap is originally from my own stash. I believe it came from this daughter's stash and was left behind at some point. Like I say ... I always sew from The Stash, but I didn't say to what lengths (thievery?) I will go to to add to it. I have even stooped to dumpster diving after classes I teach. Pathetic? Yes. Clever? You betcha.

Oh ... and for all you Mrs. Dub fans out there waiting for some big news from me? Not yet. But I'll let you know ... I promise.
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Why, I believe I feel cooler already ...

So ... Pam of PKM fame mentioned this morning that she is beginning to sound, ahem ... older ... due to the fact that she is obsessed with discussing the weather. Count me in. Seriously, it's hard to find other blog-worthy material when sweat is dripping onto the keyboard.

And other more unpleasant places.

In order to take my mind off the swelter (and pick up a 32 ounce Fountain Drink at Circle K for only 75 cents) I found my way to a couple of my favorite bargain haunts: The Half-Priced Book Store and ... duh ... TJ Maxx. At HPBS I picked up this less-than-a-year-old book that actually released a breeze from its pages when I opened it the first time. Seriously. Take a gander at that jar of sea glass. If you look closely you will see a pair of blue-tinted sun glasses peeking out.

Aaaaah. More breezy-ness.

Then at TJM I found these heavenly blue notecards. From Crane. With a heavenly price that was not originally assigned by Crane. Someday I will write a note on them. From the beach. Feeling breezy. This brings us to the two most important questions of the day:

How are you managing to cool off? and

How often do you take advantage of a 75 cent* FD at Circle K? (Did you know you can get an even better deal (64 cents*) at QT where they used filtered water?) One day you will thank me for these practical bits of life-altering wisdom.

*these prices are including tax (.59 + tax = .64 and .69 + tax = .75). The fact that I know this off the top of my head does not bode well for my relationship with my FDs.

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Wish I was here.

So ... I'm not here. At the the beach, that is. I am actually here in the blasted-hot sun where it is indeed 115 degrees today.

Today I forgot to put up my windshield sun shade up while I was in church. Today I burned the back of my legs on the seat and had to use a wadded up program to shift gears.

Today I really wish I could smell some sea air instead of the sweet scent of the hair being singed on my arms. Today is the day I was talking about in February when I gave you guys the admonition to remind me how wonderful it really is to live in Arizona.

Forgetaboutit. Today I can not be convinced that there is an upside.

Today I just want to whine.

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My First Quilt

So ... the powers that be over at Carrie's and Camille's have suggested to the rest of us that it would be fun to show off our first quilt and our latest quilt. Having perused the offerings so far, I was a tad hesitant to show off my first quilt. Just keep in mind that I made this sometime in the early to mid 90's. Also keep in mind that this was the first quilt I made after having actually taken some classes. There were some others but I no longer have them.

Please ... be kind.

My favorite thing about this quilt is that I hand quilted it and I didn't do a half bad job for a first-timer. Okay, so the very first quilt (which is basically one block and one of my daughters has it to hang as a vintage oddity) was hand quilted also and those stitches were basically hand basting.

My least favorite part (other than the fading, which occurred because I let it hang with some serious sun on it for several years) is the binding. I didn't know how to do mitered corners so I just ... avoided them. The tacking down of the binding on the other side is done with huge, slanted stitches. I purposely chose not to post a picture of them. I did have a huge grin on my face yesterday when I got the quilt down off the closet shelf and studied it. This was just after I returned my bag to the closet which contained my supplies/samples/handouts for the class I taught yesterday morning, here, called ... Better Bindings.

You may have already seen this, my latest quilt. I've called it "sum, sum, summertime". I'm thinking that I have learned a few things in 15 years. Good to know.

Thanks Carrie and Camille. Now I'll go and continute salivating over all the others.

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more red, white and blue

So ... I'm having one of those birthdays that just keeps on giving. The kind of birthday that I really ... really ... like. Just yesterday a friend of mine gave me the dishtowel pictured above. I am pretty certain it will never actually meet up with a wet dish because it's way too precious for that. But just in case you are marveling at the delicate hand stitching, think again. My friend digitized this and sewed it out on her Bernina (730). Believe me ... that takes some marveling of its own. Very impressive. Thank you, my friend.

Our celebratory weekend was definitely on the low-key side. Ms. Gee was here along with temperatures approaching 110 degrees. Spending much time outside seemed to be unwise, so we took a trip to Blockbuster instead. We only intended to get two movies until they convinced us that the third one was free. Here is my professional opinion. You must keep in mind that I'm very easily entertained.

* Confessions of a Shopaholic: Better than I expected. Isla Fisher was quite charming although I found Hugh Dancy to be ummm .... blah. The most impressive thing about this movie, however, was that the following day Ms. Gee and I went to Nordstrom's Rack and came out empty handed. We both agreed that the movie's message was definitely an influence. Interesting, very interesting.

* Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Definitely fun in an Indiana Jones kind of way. Hard to get past the extraterrestrial angle and the enormous amounts of ants and the fact that Indy is getting too old for the job, but still ... fun.

* Swing Vote. You probably don't even remember this coming to a theatre near you and there is probably a good reason for that. However ... if you stick it out to the very end you might get a little teary as I did. The message comes across with the delicacy of a sledge hammer ... but it's a good message, no doubt about that.

There you have it. Sewing advice and movie reviews in one fell swoop. So do tell ... do you digitize? Did you see any of these movies?

Dish. Just don't expect to use my dishtowel.
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Stars. Stripes. Streamers.

So ... Happy Fourth.

I hope your day involves bright lights in the sky and a lot of greasy food.

I hope you enjoy these flags from my very first block-exchange quilt from 2002. It was during the construction of this quilt (after poring over every single square and salivating on a few because these women were "real" quilters) that I decided to become a "real" quilter.

Unfortunately, when I got this out of the closet this morning and photographed the squares, I came to the sad realization that styles and fabrics have really dated themselves over the past seven years. Please excuse me while I momentarily panic over the shelf-life of my Stash. Anyone out there want to join me?
Our Fourth will involve a visit from Daughter #1. I'm thinking that we'll get out an old bike and make her put crepe paper streamers through the spokes and find ourselves a parade.
How about you? What's on your agenda? And more importantly ... what's on your menu?
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