I Must Be Plum Crazy!

That's the only explanation...for even starting on this little journey today. Doesn't this bowl of plums look so innocent...well five hours later (and I'm pooped out!)...they have become
 
 
 14 pints and 12 half-pints of plum jelly (or plum syrup if it doesn't set right!!!) 
 
I squished and pureed plums (minus the pits) until my feet hurt from standing...and the result filled mother's larger canner.
 
 
Then, a thought occurred to me...I still had to add the sugar...and it had to boil. So, half was dipped out...
 
 
and I then had TWO batches of jelly/syrup to contend with. And, even with only half a pot full...look how close it came to overflowing with it started to boil! 
I can tell you I was in a full panic mode! Turned the stove eye completely off, stirring and blowing to cool the mess down before it boiled over the top..and on to my stove...then down the side...then on the floor. I could just see the mess that was about to happen. Luckily, I got it under control just in time!! See the rim of the pot below...that's where the "suds" stopped before boiling over!! I mean, one extra spoon more...and I would have had a horrible mess!
 
 
And, I did the same thing on the second batch! Geez!
Sure hope all of these turn out to be jelly...cause that's a lot of pancake syrup otherwise!!
 
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What a Week!

Wow, this week has just been tiring!
Of course the baby was here each day...and Aidan...and every evening, I just fell into bed! I think the heat has something to do with my "zapped energy level".
A good part of the week was spent measuring lengths of pearl thread and silk ribbon...as I'm making up 30 kits for a basic crazy quilt class next month in Huntsville.
 
 
The remainder of my "free" time was starting on the second block of my Elefantz little quiltee, and I'm still just loving this design.
There are plums in my fridge...that MUST be made into jelly tomorrow...so, come on over and I'll put you to work!
 
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Feedly vs Bloglovin

As you have most likely already heard or read about...perhaps even dozens of times...
the Blog Reader part of Blogger is scheduled to go away in July. This means that if you follow many (or just one) blog in your dashboard...you'll loose you're ability to read them in July.
This means that you will need to go back and "find" all of your favorite blogs again...and import them into another type of reader service.
 
OR, you can import all of them now. Which is a lot faster and easier than finding them all over again.
 
Basically, there are really just two (IMHO) choices for a new reader...Feedly or BlogLovin.
Both are great, for different reasons.
 
So, I went hunting to find the real scoop...and read a lot of reviews. The most comprehensive review was over at: Nosh on It...posted back in March.
 
Here is the link to the full post:
 
http://noshon.it/blog/2013/03/google-reader-alternatives-feedly-vs-bloglovin/
 
But, here is the wrap up copied over for you
 
QUOTE: "In general, Feedly is a great Google Reader alternative if you:
  • Want an easy way to transfer  your Google Reader folders and subscriptions.
  • Want customizability over the layout.
  • Browse quickly between posts and don’t regularly read from original sources.
  • Regularly use a mobile device to access your subscription content.
  • Frequently share content to a wide range of social networks.
If you prefer something simpler and more familiar, then Bloglovin’ could be for you. Bloglovin is a good RSS service if you:
  • Use Tumblr and/or Twitter and like their clean, minimal, familiar layouts.
  • Use Internet Explorer 8 (but please… it’s time to upgrade!).
  • Primarily read your content on your computer, since the app (Android app at least) is sluggish.
  • Haven’t spent a lot of time grouping your subscriptions in Google Reader and don’t mind manually categorizing them in Bloglovin’.
  • Want to share your list of subscriptions with other people and discover new content through the Bloglovin community."
So, whichever reader you choose...the important thing is to transfer the RSS Feeds and Links to each of the blogs you follow before July.
And, in case you are wondering...I use Feedly.

Edited to Add: I downloaded the free Feedly app to my Iphone today...and now can read all of the blogs I follow right on my phone. So, I catch up a little while having coffee with Mom in the morning...when we aren't chatting...or when she is on her phone! My Mom's house is "grand central station" for the family, and there is always something going on!

So, whatever feed you decide to use...just add "shawkl.com" to your list of blogs to read, or follow on Google+ Friends, RSS Email feed, Bloglovin, or Feedly...Hugs!
 
 
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Do You Fish?


I'm usually the one sitting in the lawn chair with a book...swatting at the mosquitos and wishing I were back home. Which is probably why I don't do much fishing! This past weekend, my daughter, her boyfriend, his family, and Aidan went fishing....and this is one of the fish that they brought home. Several catfish filets will come from this one for sure.
 
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More Cabochons


It's been a good week here at my home, and I hope the same is at your place too! My little wee nephew is growing and getting more active each day. His naps are shorter...and so are my creative times! But, the trade-off is well worth it! Seeing his little smile just makes my day. 
In the evenings, I'm working on prepping for a class in Huntsville in July or finishing up my chores not completed during the day. I did manage to get a few more cabochons done this week, and really love the ladies. I'm going to have to do more of these for the CrazyQuiltSupplies shop.
I'll get these in the mail on Monday, and you'll be able to purchase them in a few days...whenever Thearica gets them loaded on her website.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
I'm off to vacuum, sweep, mop and get laundry caught up. Yuck!
But, it is always rewarding when these needed tasks are complete...so, I'll look forward to that!
 
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Cabochons


Beading cabochons are a good pastime while tending to a baby...they can easily be picked up and put down dozens of time during the day as need be to tend to a wee one. Here are the ones I'm finished with...and working on the horse right now. How has your week been?




 Sorry the photos are sideways...not sure why that is. But, the baby is awake again...so can't worry over trivial things right now. See ya!

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Kayla's Block

I've been working these past few days (when time allowed) on a round robin block for Kayla. Here are the photos. I'm trying to get used to this new phone from Verizon...and uploading the pictures. The phone is an iPhone4 and has some great features, and takes great photos...but, it does not accept a micro card like my last phone...so I'm having to connect the phone via a cable and download one at a time...it is cumbersome. I'm sure that there is a faster way..and I'll find it...but, for now...I'm struggling!
 
 
Mary stitched before me. She included the spiderweb, feather stitch plant, some seam trim, and cute little seams as well. My seams tend to be larger, but I think that things are "melting together" pretty nicely so far. Next, Erma works her magic to finish up the block.

There were more images...but they are too blurry to make out. I have to get "re-trained" on this phone camera! Hugs!


 
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Stuffed Animals


Here are three little stuffed animals I worked up yesterday. They don't take much fabric or buttons, and are really cute. I'll add them to a shelve and they will make me smile when viewed. If I still worked, I'd even consider putting them in my office....just to remind me to be kind and smile more! Ha!
The patterns are all from Bunny Hill Designs...and I got mine at CrazyQuiltSupplies. The fabrics are scraps of left-overs from various projects..and are from the French General Line by Moda mostly.
There is a whole group of these little mini-critters. I chose only three to stitch.
 

Bunny. I stitched one ear UP and one ear FLOPPSY.


Lamb. I'm thinking about painting the feet and nose black...more like a real lamb would be. Or dark gray like the dots of this pink fabric.


Squirrel. Think I'll do another one in blue as he is nice and flat...without a lot of buttons/beads...so just right for little Brady to play with if I French Knot the eyes. Although these would all make cute little additions to a nursery shelf area...the buttons/beads don't make them good toys for little ones. But, that doesn't mean that us "Biggun's" can't play with them. (Translated: Biggun's is southern slang for grown-up folks!) 
Hugs!

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A Techno Challenging Day Already!


We had storms late yesterday afternoon. So, I shut down my laptop and modem and unplugged them after they finished turning off. This morning, I plugged back in...and started up. My laptop came on just fine...except...it did not have my screen saver picture of Aidan on the front...or some of my icons. I had no My Documents either...and No Photos.

Small, Medium, Large?

Sometimes I wonder if you live in a space that is small, medium, or large? Mine is small...but not tiny. I have lived in a Studio Apartment before...and that is tiny! I also lived in a 3-story with a gloriously large sewing room...but that is in the past too (and yes, I still miss that house!). This week, these walls really felt like they were closing in on me...because we have two new beds in the house.
 
 
Aidan's twin bed was just too small for her...so I got a full-size bed for her. Isn't the bedspread just hideous?! But, she love it because it shines...and cost an entire $10...need I say more! She likes it...and that's what really matters...so, I'll tolerate it. See the white curved thing in the bottom right...that's the corner of my bed. We sleep very closely together in this tiny space. Here is my bed...an old antique iron bedstead which I really love...and it is REALLY heavy! The bookshelves are a temporary fixture...they should be here beside the bed. But, since we moved Aidan's twin bed out yesterday...we also decided to shampoo the carpet in the bedroom. We pulled everything out from under my bed (don't ask...it's a lot!)...and my mattress/springs and a couple of night stands...and Sommer came over and helped me with the rented carpet shampoo machine. We didn't move the large bookcases next to my bed...we were too tired!
So, today...after Aidan's bed was delivered...my SIL Tracy came up and helped me with shampooing just the area inside the door and along the side of my bed...so the bookcase is "resting" until the carpet dries more before pushing the dresser base back in place. Then the bookcase is the top portion.
Aidan's old bed went into the office. And to accommodate that...her small desk had to come out. The table in the sewing room also went in, and is not my office desk. There had to be a smaller work table put in the sewing room...because of the second bed.
 

This is a Cadillac of baby swings...and I got a great deal on it from Ebay. It takes up a lot of space...and several little shifts of furniture later...here is where I'm stitching...on my oversized ironing board.
 
 
 It might look weird, but is about 2 foot wide and 6 feet long...so is plenty of room. I also have a 4 ft x 4 ft cutting table in the sewing room and a 1 ft x 5 ft table at the top of this ironing board...where all of my little supplies are "stacked". But, I'm right there next to the baby during the day...so that is so convenient!
 
 
And look how peaceful Brady is sleeping in his swing. The photo is blurry...because the swing was...well...swinging. But, even a bad picture can't hide the pure bless of a good nap!


Buddy is temporarily displaced until I figure out where to put this bed. But, don't feel bad for him...this is one of three beds he has to choose from...and that doesn't count the bottom of our own large beds where he also catches a nap throughout the day! Right now, he's on the bottom of the twin bed...now in the office...so he's cool with all the moving around. Mostly, he's just glad that "things" are starting to be stationary...and not moving all over the place! Now, to just get that bookcase off my bed before I need to crawl into it!
Aidan slept on my boxsprings/mattress temporarily in the living room last night...and I took the twin bed in the office. With all of the moving and cleaning...and scrunching up to sleep...my back is not happy right now! I will be a happy camper to get back into my own bed tonight.
So, here's a question for you...
Do you ever move/replace one thing...and it causes you to move a dozen more things around in your house?
(Please tell me you do...I don't want to be all alone in having this happen!)

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800 Followers! Let's Celebrate!

I love having you visit with me each week, and can hardly believe that there are now 800 followers! 
That milestone calls for a celebration!
Usually we give some little something away...but instead of one person receiving I'm going to have some fun with the number "8".
For the next eight days (or until they are gone)...I'll be have a special sale on my Etsy Shop.
My crazy quilt workbook "Embellishing Crazy Quilts" will be on sale for $8.00!!!
That a huge discount from the normal $19.95 on my Etsy page, and the $28.95 on Amazon MSRP!
I'm loading Eight books...so the first eight folks (limit one per customer at this price) will get them.
Shipping will be priority in the U.S. at around $7.00 and true cost for international (shipping charged after the sale but before the shipping international).
 
Edited to Add: 6/12/2013 Well, that didn't take long! Less than two days, and the eight books are spoken for! The last order will mail out in the morning. Congrats to those that took advantage of the Eight Buck Deal! 
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Cabochons Completed


Last night I finished off the week's worth of cabochons. These turned out to be good little projects for when the baby is sleeping...which are many short naps. Got to run and get these into the mail.
Hope you are all having a great weekend!
Want to see another cute photo? 

Can you tell that I'm a proud Auntie!
 
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A bit morbid?

 
This is another idea I had lately...and I'm not sure if it is just a bit too morbid for folks...or not?
Several of my friends have lost their mother or another close family member lately...and that has got me to thinking about my own death. Hopefully, not for decades more...but, it is certainly something that will happen at some time...there's no escaping that.
And...that lead me to thinking about all of the service members we have lost...and their caskets, covered with the American flag...traveling back home. 
And...that lead me to thinking about a cover for my own casket...not a flag...but a quilt. After all, quilting has been a huge part of my life...so why not celebrate that along with my life as I am remembered by family and friends before going home myself.
It would be in place of a blanket of real flowers (or silk flowers)...and my family could keep it or send the quilt off with me if they wished.
What do you think? A good idea? Or too morbid for you?
Also, wondering about what to do in the middle...leave it blank for some nice hand quilting? Or embroidery something in the center?
If embroidery...what to do?...a hymn? a poem? a scripture?
I can't decide about the center...so, am left thinking about that.
The inside border will be applique flowers...my absolute joy of working on.
The outside border will be crazy quilt seams...also, a purely blissful pastime of mine.
 
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Early Mornings...Early Evenings...but Sooooooooo worth it!!

My days have started very early these past two weeks (0500 hrs (that's 5:00 a.m.)) as my great-nephew's dad (my nephew) has to be at work at six in the morning...and I need to be awake before trying to pick up a baby...and THAT takes me about 30 minutes as least. The waking up part...not the picking up part! Ha!
(Unless I'm trying to get up from the floor...that does take a little longer...but not thirty minutes. At least, not YET! Hugs!)
Dad picks up this bundle of sweetness by 1500 hrs (that's 3:00 p.m.)...and then I get to blogging, stitching, eating, and whatever else needs to be done before an early bedtime.
So, my "style" is being cramped by my new duties...but, really, is there anything sweeter than a precious little bundle?! I'm so enjoying myself and am blessed to be able to help out.
Isn't he just precious! If you come over, I'll let you hug him all for yourself! Then, I'll put you to work helping me to catch up on the Un-Finished Objects that are piling up around the house!
Hugs!
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Block One - Shabby Roses is Complete


Block One of Shabby Roses Beauty, the BOM by Jenny of Elefantz is done. It has even been washed, dryed, and ironed! And a good thing too...because Jenny just published this month's newsletter with Block Two inside...so I have another project to work on soon! This little quilt will have only five squares and will be a cute little girl's quilt when completed. Hmmm, perhaps little Ely would enjoy it...as she has quickly outgrown the christening gown I made for her. Another giftee would be appreciated I'm sure.
 
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What a Busy Weekend...You too?

 
 
This was a good week at my house...Aidan had a nice visit. I looked forward to a quiet Saturday where I could get a lot done...but, the rest of the family had other ideas. We had a family yard sale on Saturday...and it was just hot and muggy outside too! By late that afternoon, I was drained and not in the mood for much of anything that required me lifting my arms!! Ha!
Heat and I do not get along well.
So, that day...nothing much got accomplished.
Today, I finished up a flannel blanket for Brady. It's a simply little coverlet...no batting.  The front is pieced flannel blocks (leftover flannels from other projects) and the back is a solid piece of striped blue flannel.
 
I just needed something that would be cool...not like a heavy quilt or fleece. The purchased flannel baby blankets are just too small to carry him down to Mother's house in...his feet keep coming out the bottom.