For Today ~ 6 January 2014 ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR! Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 6 January 2014

Outside My Window… High clouds blanketing a blue sky. Snow covering the rocks outside still (no direct sunlight to melt the snow that fell what seems like eons ago).

I am thinking… Wow…it’s really been since August 2013 since my last post?! I’ve been uninspired lately, sorta in a funk. I hate where I live. It’s not conducive to quilting nor baking/cooking, which I love to do. Even my photography hasn’t given me much joy. So, I’m going to pull myself up by my bootstraps and move forward! 🙂 I’m also thinking whoever is on the end of 971-208-9936 is VERY lucky we can’t grab throats through the telephone lines, because I would if I could…9 phone calls since 8:18 am PST is driving me crazy. Stupid spam callers.

I am thankful for… the space heater under my work desk. My friend April, my sister Colleen. My new town home come January 24th (yes, you heard right. ANOTHER move)

From the kitchen… Not much since most of it is packed up. Going out to eat tonight…have an Amazon Local deal I bought.

I am wearing… Tennis shoes, jeans, long-sleeved grey blouse.

I am creating… Nothing! All of my fabric is packed. Except for these lovely Pat Bravo 1/2 yards I bought from Hawthorne Threads with a gift certificate! Mostly from Carnaby Street and Summerlove with a few thrown in from Bazaar Style, Rapture, Rhapsodia and Poetica. 🙂 Pat’s fabrics make me happy.

Pat Bravo half-yard bundle.

Pat Bravo half-yard bundle.


I am going… to keep searching Craig’s List for a couch and washer/dryer for the new town home. I found a couch for $200 (looks brand new), but for some stupid reason my husband filled up the back of the pickup truck with stuff from the garage already. IE: no way to get said couch if I decide on buying it. I should unload the truck when I get home tonight.

I am reading… I also packed all my books. But I do have my nook I should pull out.

I am hoping… That if we get any snow and rain it comes fast and not on January 24th!

I am hearing… a postdoc down the hall going over research with his PI.

Around the house… boxes. Cats are getting squirrely. Lucy is making sure we won’t forget to move her.


One of my favorite things… My kitties…





A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week… Pack more. Maybe go to the Nevada Museum of Art. Walk a little more.

Here is a few pictures thought I’d share with you…

Six Mile Canyon, Virginia City

Six Mile Canyon, Virginia City

guy fishing at Pyramid Lake…on a ladder

guy fishing at Pyramid Lake…on a ladder

See?  Ladder!

See? Ladder!

Nevada sunset…can't forget you show you that.  :)

Nevada sunset…can’t forget you show you that. 🙂

New Fabric and Quilting Book

I treated myself to two FQ bundles from HAWTHORNE THREADS…if you need a great selection of fabrics with lightning fast shipping and very good customer service? Shop at Hawthorne Threads!

I kept looking at Heather Ross’s BRIAR ROSE and Jeni Baker’s NORDIKA…then decided what the heck, I’m going to buy them.

The package came in the mail yesterday (was probably there on Saturday, but I usually don’t pick up the mail over the weekend) and absolutely fell in love with Briar Rose! I started looking at them and all I could think of was…1970’s bed sheets and pillow cases from when I was little! I wanted to run home to snuggle up and take a nap with them!



I’ve ALREADY decided what pattern to use to make those lovely fabrics into a quilt! From another purchase that came yesterday, Amy Ellis’s MODERN BASICS II ~

SUNRISE by Amy Ellis, Modern Basics II

SUNRISE by Amy Ellis, Modern Basics II

And for those Nordika fabrics?? Another quilt I saw in the book (which would TOTALLY be cool with ANY Kate Spain or Denyse Schmidt fabrics, IMHO!!!).



Star Crossed by Amy Ellis, Modern Basics II

Star Crossed by Amy Ellis, Modern Basics II

Rambling Friday ~ 12 July 2013

Just a few rambles for today. Been insanely busy at work with the new fiscal year, but still was able to take a few days off here and there.

On one of those days off I made SWEET and SAVORY RHUBARB SAUCE that I found on on Mennonite Girls Can Cook’s site. I added a few more cloves of garlic and dried peppers, and I think it could of used a bit more. I used the chicken recipe that they suggested with the recipe, and dinner was wonderful that night! I used a water bath with my batch.


I had the day after The Fourth off too…and made Beer Mustard. Overnight I soaked brown and yellow mustard seeds in Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale (had a bit of ale left for me!).


I probably shouldn’t have drank the rest of the ale as I could have made the mustard a bit more “runnier”…I love it though! It has a BITE to it and sorta makes your nose run. I was able to can 3 half-pints with the recipe I used, will have to find the smaller jars to give as gifts and sell at the November craft fair.


I DID IT!!!!! I paid off my sewing machine on layaway! Yesterday I brought her home with me…but all I had time to do was take her out of the box, look at all the extra feet, and wind one bobbin.


I LOVE the thread compartment…kitties can’t get to the thread now.


My first project will be the Labyrinth lap-size quilt top that I’ll make in class this coming Monday. I even have all my fabric cut out for class. 🙂


Have a great weekend everyone!

11 July 2013 - Reno, Nevada Sunrise

11 July 2013 – Reno, Nevada Sunrise

For Today ~ 4 March 2013 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 04 March 2013

Outside My Window… Blue sky…not a cloud up there (at least facing north). Sparrows and finches on the bird feeder. People going to work.

I am thinking… Why can’t it be nice and sunny for the weekends?

I am thankful for… For not being sick this winter…hopefully I didn’t jinx myself for spring.

From the kitchen… I made a Buffalo Chicken pizza last night (chicken, Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce, gorgonzola cheese, celery and green onions). Tonight I’ll probably bbq some chicken and have a salad with it.

I am wearing… Jeans, tennies, grey long-sleeve blouse.

I am creating… I have three quilts I’m working on. I’ve been hand-sewing hexies for a week, but had to take a break for a few days as my wrists are killing me. I have 31 flowers finished now.

Batik Grandma's Flower Garden

Batik Grandma’s Flower Garden

Yesterday while it was raining I was working on a quilt with my Denyse Schmidt fabrics. I have 12 finished blocks and 8 more blocks 3/4 way finished.


((Had a question on that mug…we bought it when we stayed at the Featherbed Railroad Bed & Breakfast that I blogged about HERE.))


I am going… resize some pictures I took on Saturday down in Genoa area for tomorrow’s post.

I am reading… All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-long Journey with Jane by Amy Smith.

I am hoping… That the coming snow stays up in the mountains…and that we’ll have a nice weekend.

I am hearing… Someone walking really really loudly out in the hallway.

Around the house… The condo is cleaned. Kitchen was cleaned, floors vacuumed, laundry washed and put away, clean sheets on the bed…CLEAN!

One of my favorite things… Hearing it rain while falling asleep.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Keep on quilting. Hopefully pick out a movie that my husband and I both want to see…we still have movie passes.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

Mule deer in Genoa front yard.

Mule deer in Genoa front yard.

Tree blossoming out at the Mormon Station State Park in Genoa.

Tree blossoming out at the Mormon Station State Park in Genoa.

Kitty pin cushion that I bought for $3.75 at a Minden/Gardnerville antique shop.

Kitty pin cushion that I bought for $3.75 at a Minden/Gardnerville antique shop.

I put a sewing machine on layaway ~

After a lot of brain-storming with my friend APRIL, I visited three local quilt/sewing stores, in Reno, over the last few days. My last two machines have been Janomes and I really loved them…but thought about a Baby Lock and a Necchi.

The first quilt shop I stopped off at sort of pissed me off. I went in asking to see her line of Baby Locks, specifically the Melody.

Baby Lock Melody - Quilting Sewing Machine

Baby Lock Melody – Quilting Sewing Machine

When I asked how much, and received an $1,800 answer, I about spewed. I paled and may have let slipped that I can buy a Janome 6500 for that price and have enough left-over for another sewing machine. Or as April stated…LOTS OF FABRIC. I don’t think she was impressed that I wanted to stay under $1,000. Told me to go look at the other machines on my list and come back to her afterwards. Wouldn’t even let me test drive the machine.


The next day I went to the second quilt/sewing center and had a very pleasant hour or so test driving four machines. She spent time asking what level I was at, what I wanted to do with my machine, and how much I was comfortable to spend.

I really was impressed with the Baby lock Melody…nice stitches, easy to use, very very quiet motor. It was $300 cheaper than the first shop and she would knock off even $200 more on top of that.

Next we moved onto the Pfaff Ambition 1.0.

Pfaff Ambition 1.0

Pfaff Ambition 1.0

All I can say is WOW…those Germans sure are great engineers! Just WOW! LOL! $999 was the price she would give me on that machine. No auto thread cutter, and it scared the crap out of me on the first stitch (growled)…I thought I broke it, but very very very nice handling. Loved the stitches on that one too. It has a built-in walking foot that is to die for!

Scooted down a few machines to the Pfaff Expression 3.0 after I told her my goal is to be pretty dang good at FMQ’ing. The asking price was $2079 but would come down to $1,699, with 25% down and 4 months to pay it off.

Pfaff Expression 3.0

Pfaff Expression 3.0

I sighed when sewing with it. I actually FMQ’ed…AND IT LOOKED GREAT! But I knew full well I couldn’t afford that fine piece of German machinery, even with the discount and layaway plan. I would need more time than 4 months. I still asked for the quote and told her I’d get back to her by the 2/29 deadline. If I had the money, I would buy that machine in a heart beat…should I ever fall into money, after paying off all debt…that baby is coming home with me. 🙂


Onto my last stop where I wanted to test drive the Janome 3160 QDC, Necchi EX30, and the Brother NX-800. I was eyeing the Janome 3160 as it’s a popular quilting machine.

Janome 3160-QDC

Janome 3160-QDC

The Janome had a $1000 price tag on it, but with new pricing I think it was $200 off. I wanted to try the Necchi EX30 as it’s the same machine as the Janome 3160 (built by Janome with a Necchi body and name) and at $700 it’s less money. And let’s face it…I love the buttons. LOL!

Necchi EX30

Necchi EX30

April suggested looking at the Laura Ashley Brother machine…so I googled and came up with the NX-800, but she meant the NX-2000 (another machine that I can’t afford). When I saw the Brother NX-800 I did a double take as it was the EXACT SAME MACHINE as the Baby Lock Melody! EXACTLY! I was told at the shop that Brother makes the Baby Lock, just as Janome makes Elna and now Necchi.

Brother Laura Ashley Innov-is NX-800

Brother Laura Ashley Innov-is NX-800

The Necchi was a great machine. Easy to use, good basic 30 stitches, light weight…would make a great machine to haul to classes (12 pounds), and stayed put when sewing.

Ultimately I picked the Brother NX-800. While I love everything about Janome…I enjoyed sewing with the NX-800. Nice stitches, quiet, you can do lateral stitching, auto-thread cutter, ease of bobbin winding, great accessories. If I had the money I would have gone with the Pfaff, I like the large quilting throat.

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 7.01.01 AM

Can’t wait to pay off my layaway bill and bring her home.

Quilting Work-in-Progress WIP Projects ~ 4 February 2013

After moving to the east side of Sparks (from west side of Reno) to a smaller but sunnier condo, I’ve finally unpacked most of my quilting supplies and fabrics. Set up a small part of the second bedroom with my table and an old bookcase in the closet to house fabric. On one wall I put up the design wall…thank goodness for 3M Adhesive strip hooks!

My small work space...that Princess Feather block was pieced by my GGGrandma in Nebraska.

My small work space…that Princess Feather block was pieced by my GGGrandma in Nebraska.

One half of my fabric stash.

One half of my fabric stash.

I left a big box of civil war reproduction fabrics in the box and tucked it in the back of my closet…another box is loaded with prints of various colors.

My $1 chair I bought over the weekend from a garage sale.

My $1 chair I bought over the weekend from a garage sale.

Now onto the Work-in-Progess quilts ~ (minus a quilt top I made with Kate Spain fabric that I forgot to pull out).

Left: Triangle rows out of Frolic.  Need to add a few onto each row and make it longer.  Right: English paper pieced Grandma's Flower Garden out of batiks.

Left: Triangle rows out of Frolic. Need to add a few onto each row and make it longer. Right: English paper pieced Grandma’s Flower Garden out of batiks.

Cut Frolic triangles.

Cut Frolic triangles.

Hexie wall-hanging made with Lauren & Jessi Jung Flora charm pack.

Hexie wall-hanging made with Lauren & Jessi Jung Flora charm pack.

Farmer's Wife quilt blocks that I'm hand-piecing with Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley.

Farmer’s Wife quilt blocks that I’m hand-piecing with Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley.

Farmer's Wife 'Cut Glass Dish' block that I have with me now to stitch together at lunch.

Farmer’s Wife ‘Cut Glass Dish’ block that I have with me now to stitch together at lunch.

Farmer’s Wife Quilt Update ~ two more blocks finished

Finally getting back to hand-piecing a few blocks of my Farmer’s Wife quilt after setting it aside to make the Nevada quilt and to move.

With the new place unpacked, and most of my fabrics back on the book-case, I pulled out the ziplock baggies that I had 3 blocks all cut out waiting to be pieced.

Contrary Wife ~ Block 21

Hill & Valley ~ Block 46

Am working on Cut Glass Dish, Block 26, right now…lots and lots and lots of tiny triangles, a bugger to hand-stitch, especially when you have cts in your right hand. I was going to save it for last, but am going to just get it over with! 🙂

I’m using Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley fabric line, Kona solids, and Moda Bella solids to make the quilt

Eight and 1/3 blocks down…102-2/3 blocks to go!

Finished Nevada Quilt and Leather Bead Wrap Bracelets

Well…I finally finished the quilt I designed for someone my sister knows. I’m pleased at how it turned out, even if it was a bugger to put together. 🙂


Am taking a break from quilting now…dug out my leather cords, beads, buttons, thread and needles!

And making a bunch of these:

Still working on the Nevada quilt ~

A while ago someone my sister knows asked if I’d make a quilt for her, not being of sound mind, I said yes. 🙂 I lost my mojo on it, but have jumped back into the swing of things.

This is as far as I got when my quilting mojo ran far far far away ~

Parts of the Nevada Quilt…back in April 2012

Let me tell you! It’s been a bugger of a quilt. I threw the pieces up onto the design wall and sat back just staring at it…then sitting on the couch, with Lucy and Luna, pondering how the hell am I going to attach all those together?! All I can say is Thank God quilting and a wash will hide some of my mistakes. 🙂

Piecing the bugger together.

After bouncing off some ideas on my friend’s head, I decided it did indeed need something else up north of the State of Nevada. So I started making wee stars. Will make two grey and one blue. Still need to add some strips here, stars over there…that sort of thing…but am hoping to get the top finished and ready to sandwich by the weekend.


On the search for the perfect E-reader cover case

I have a Nook Simple Touch and have been on the lookout for the perfect cover case/cozy to make for it.

Last night I finished sewing (well, I still have to add a button snap) a pattern by Java House Quilts, and while I’m happy with how it made up…it’s just not “perfect” for my Nook. Big sigh. It’s sort of lop-sided in weight. I like the pocket for the eye glasses, but, as I said, the weight distribution is off.

For this attempt I used Westminster, Free Spirit House Designer’s CAIMAN fabric that I bought at Hawthorne Threads. Beautiful fabric!

My next pattern to try is Whistlepig Creek Production’s #1203 E-Cozy E-reader Cover and Carrying Case. I may have to try their E-Cozy Palooza too.

Have you made anything for your e-reader or iPad that you truly LOVE? If so, let me know as I’m whiling to get it a whirl!