Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just Another Day

Not much to share with you this past week, we have been very busy lambing and assorted family duties!

FarmerBoy is out there feeding the ewes and their lambs, this is the view from my little sewing nook. The weather is lousy hence the rain on the window but you can kinda make out the lambs and their mudders.

This weekend is the the quilting retreat here at our house, including myself there will be 13 people participating. I will fill you in on the details on Monday!

Gotta run, too much to do today and not enough time to chat. All the best!

Keep Smiling!
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Today was a Special Day!

Today, 20 January 2009 was a special day! At 1:00pm Irish time, 8:00am Washington DC time, I turned on the computer and found the CBS (large tv station in the US) website and settled in for a day of watching the Presidential Inauguration of the USA.

Why was it so special? This is going to be the only time I let my politics show on this blog, and I am doing it for a reason. I was overjoyed that Barack Obama was elected; I have been telling my children all about him and his life; I have explained to them who Martin Luther King Jr. was and what he stood for; they know the story of Rosa Parks; DS1 is reading Muhammed Ali's new book and loving it; and they know that 45 years ago Barack Obama and his family would not be allowed to dine in restaurants in certain parts of America! When they came home from school their dinner was ready and we sat on the sofa and watched this historic event. They understand the significance of his election and for the first time, one of my children said, "I 'm proud that we're Americans".

Last night on tv there was an American law professor, who teaches at NUI Galway, that summed up what it has been like to be an American living abroad for the past 8 years. It hasn't always been pleasant. I probably have felt it more so than other Americans because I am in the hospitality business and would have people from all over the world staying at my home. The amount of American bashing that I have had to listen to both personally from guests, the community I live in and the media has been difficult at times. I keep my mouth shut and rant to my husband!!!! Even my children have been subjected to the most awful remarks at school. It wouldn't happen every day and maybe you would go weeks without a negative word, but every so often it would happen. ****And just so that you know that I do keep my sense of humor with some situations - I have on one or two occasions where I didn't feel like debating with someone, told them I was Canadian!!!!!!! LOL So to all you Canadian readers I thank you!!!

President Obama has a heavy load to carry right now and I know that he is the right man for the right job. So, today was a special day and I will secretly admit an emotional day, but the tears that were shed today were tears of hope and joy not anguish and sorrow!

I am going to go put my soapbox away and I hope that I didn't offend anyone, but I really felt the need to share!!!!
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Block 1 Revision!

Sorry, I had to post a picture of block 1 with her eyes and mouth drawn on as well as the vine that holds the leaves! I have to press it although in person the block doesn't look this puckered, maybe this picture is before I did the final pressing. My mind is a fog, I just can't remember.

Tonight is a big night for us! We are enrolling our oldest son in secondary school, high school to some of you!!!! I can't believe my baby is going to secondary school. And the scary part is he is almost as tall as me which by the way is 5'11". It seems like only yesterday we were taking him to school for the first time... good god the years are flying by.

Take care and keep smiling!!!
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tisket A Tasket Block 1

I have been rehearsing fabrics for the Bunny Hill BOM and this is what I made up tonight. My DS#2 when asked said that there should be blue in the block because January is blue!!! OK! I have some simplicity fat quarters and the perfect print for a basket and it's blue...

I have a stack of Lakehouse Fabrics charm packs so I thought what the heck, pull out a couple of those and here we are. I used polka dot fabric for my snowwoman and my children don't like it. I don't think I do either LOL. The more I look at it the more I am beginning to wonder if there might just be too many polka dots. I think I will leave it for now and blanket stitch around the pieces and finish up the embroidery. All of the pieces, with the exception of the basket were cut from charm squares and I had two charm squares in my hand for the basket and that would have worked as well.

Once he has his eyes and mouth he will look much better!!!!

We had horrendous weather here in the Southeast of Ireland today. The rain was unreal and the wind was really rough, my poor baby lambs are out in the field hiding in the hedges trying to keep warm. Poor things!

All the best to everyone!
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Friday, January 16, 2009

Mud Mask Anyone!

Oh my, oh my it has been a very long week!!!! I so wanted to sit and blog but it just wasn't going to happen.

I'm in the beginning stages of a new quilt, a Thimbleberries quarterly club quilt from last year which like everything else has been sitting in my pile! I also have been looking through my stash for fabrics for my Bunny Hill BOM!! See below if you have no idea what I am talking about!

Retreat update!!!! I have been putting together a quilt retreat for the 30, 31 January & 1 February. Our total as of tonight is 11 participants, and I am growing concerned that I might run out of space LOL!!!!! I had no idea that this would end up being such a hit. I would however like to thank Cathi for rounding up 3 gals from her quilting circle over there in the West of Ireland!!! I joked with Cathi that I might need to ask for the parish hall if this keeps growing. I think this will have to be an annual event, maybe a get together in the Fall is needed. I wish all of you could join us here in Ireland, our weather may be wet and grey but it would feel downright tropical to you gals over there in Western Canada!!! You poor things but a great reason to stay inside and quilt.

I will have more over the weekend now that we are decompressing from a very hectic week. I wanted to leave you with these delightful pictures, My everyday life in Ireland!!!!

The first picture is the troughs with sheep meal and this was taken up in the farm yard. The building facing the camera is the home that FarmerBoy's grandmother was born in. It was once thatched and in fact the thatch is under the sheet metal roof. You can see it when you go into the house, although most of it is on the floor now. This house is at least 200 years old and probably older, I'm just not sure.
This lovely picture is of my feet in the mud. I spend a tremendous amount of time sloshing around in this mud. When I see Wellies advertised in pretty colors with flowers and other cutsey patterns all I can think of is how unpractical that would be!!!! Can you imagine Martha Stewart sloshing around in this stuff with her pink and green wellies?? There are times when the mud is so deep that it gets difficult to pull your foot out and the boot can even come off the foot... lets have a collective YUCK!!!!

So, when you're sitting in your nice dry home and your reading this I may just be tromping around trying to catch a very pregnant Ewe all the while hoping that I don't slip and fall face first in this!!!!!!!! Have a great weekend everyone!!!
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Long Weekend!

Good Morning everyone!! I hope you all had a good weekend, I know that I did. What did I do you ask? Nothing really, I finished another quilt that had been languishing in my pile!! What a great accomplishment, this was not fun but the results are worth it.

There are twelve blocks in this quilt, each block consists of 25 3 1/2" squares. Now some of these 3 1/2" squares are made up of a HST(half square triangle) and 2 QST (quarter square triangles). Then there are squares that are made up of 4 QSTs. 47 pieces in one block. The back of the quilt is really more impressive than the front, Yikes. Let's just say the pressing of this baby was interesting and the pattern will be filed away for a very, very, very long time!

As of last night we have 22 lambs here on the farm, however sadly this morning we found a lamb that died in the middle of the field so that brings the number down to 21. FarmerBoy and I were out last night until 2am taking care of a ewe that was having difficulty. I am so bone tired this morning that I can hardly see straight.

My package hasn't arrived with my backing fabrics yet. Hopefully this week I will receive delivery and can get some of the quilts quilted. I have 4 quilts hanging on hangers as you can see and they are all ready for quilting. On to my next project, a UFO from the stack. Although I think I am going to add a new BOM to my "to do" list.

I am a big fan of Anne Sutton, the very creative lady of Bunny Hill Designs, and she is offering a BOM for FREE over on her blog!!!! I have two of her projects, both BOM's in my pile that are half finished, and that are so adorable that I am really committed to getting them done this year. So if you enjoy doing Applique and would like a fabulous FREE project then pop on over to Bunny Tales and see what Anne is up to. Have a great start to the week and keep smiling!

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

January Blues!

When the January Blues set in, I just pull out fabric that reminds me of summer, especially fabric that reminds me of clothes my mother used to make for me as a young whipper snapper! I was feeling rather nostalgic this past weekend; I celebrated my 45th birthday on Tuesday and I needed to revisit my youth. I bought this kit from my favorite online source, The FatQuarter Shop, last summer when it went on sale. This is Swell by Urban Chiks and is a Moda University quilt pattern.

I fell in love with the fabrics but now I remember why I put it away last summer, the piecing of it is driving me crazy. Maybe it's my middle age failing eyesight LOL, who knows!

The top two blocks were done last summer and I just completed the bottom one. I have another block completed and I need to hopefully sew it onto this row tonight. The quilt is 4 blocks by 4 blocks. I think when I'm done it will look lovely but the piecing is overwhelming me right now. However, I won't quit until this is finished.

I have vowed to finish all my half started projects this winter, there are too many containers hanging about my work space filled with projects like this cutie over there.

Now onto other business! I have had a wonderful response to my Retreat invitation, in fact if I receive any more interest I am going to have to ask if I can use some of the tables from the community center and the overflow will have to bunk down at the other B&B in the village!!!

We also have a nice mixture of Irish, American and Australian women attending. There are women that are coming that don't know anyone else, women bringing a friend and there will be a good balance of beginner to advanced. I congratulate all of you for being so quick and so excited at the prospect to meet other like minded souls and hopefully learn and share with others!!! YOU ROCK LADIES!!!!! My greatest hope is that everyone enjoys themselves and hopefully we can set a trend.

Life is very busy here in my house right now, lambing lambing lambing..... We are also in the process of having a new website designed by Cada Media in Gorey. We are moving forward with our new venture, Cycling and Walking Holidays here in the beautiful Southeast corner of Ireland (how was that for a shameless plug?!!!). Once that is complete we have to start planning our vegetable garden and get the sowing of seeds mapped out on the calendar. Organization pays to be a type A personality!!!

All the Best and if you have any last minute interest in joining us for our Quilt Retreat please email me for the dates and info!!!

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Finish and a Question!!!!

Regular readers will recognize these two quilts! I have been working on them forever, and now all I have to do is quilt and bind them. They will be enjoyed by two little twin girls named Ciara and Maeve!! I like Ciara's the best, the black fabric gives the quilt some extra punch not to mention that I did the borders wrong!!! What can I say, I was tired and when I hung them up I thought it looked kinda cool so I didn't bother to do any ripping!! I designed these quilts and as far as I am concerned it is my artistic interpretation to do as I please!!!

Do you like my new take on hanging quilts?? I saw someone else do that and I thought what a great idea, no more asking family members to hold up my artwork.

So, here is my QUESTION.... If you live in Ireland you might want to give this some thought...

Today, Cathi of Celtic Knots and I exchanged a few emails and I have been toying with this idea for a few weeks so I will throw the invite out there. I would love to have a quilt/craft retreat at my house sometime in February. I am more than willing to do it over a weekend so that our DHs can mind the children and afford you a weekend away. There will be no cost involved, just a contribution of some sort of food or beverage item that can be shared!! Since I own a B&B and have plenty of bedrooms, those of you gals traveling from the 4 corners of Ireland can stay either Friday or Saturday or both nights if need be. We had a retreat here last year and we all had a great time. Let me know what you all think and for those of you that are reading my blog and live in Ireland but have never commented please don't be shy and send me an email. If you would like to come and you have a quilty friend, just bring her along. I will contact the usual suspects and see if we can come up with some idea of a good weekend.
Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed didn't they??!!!! I don't think he likes being photographed, neither do I, that's why I always have the camera!!!!! LOL
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Monday, January 5, 2009

Old McDonald Had a Farm

Pity these poor children!!! No really DON'T....
Things are speeding up here on the Farm, and although it can be fun it is certainly hard work. We have a three lambs that need supplemental feedings, mostly because the mothers are not producing enough milk and we have had mostly twin births so it puts a strain on the mothers. By right you should be giving the ewes extra meal but our winter grass has been good and frankly you can't afford to buy the grain. The sheep are okay, it just means my poor children have to do some extra work, AAAWWWWWW!

The boys are heading up the field with the morning bottles and the little lambs know they're coming! They are sooooo cute. We were going up the fields to round the sheep up for routine dosing and inspection.

We check their feet and trim hooves if need be. The sheep are brought into the farmyard and placed in a pen. All five of us climb into the pen and the dosing begins, everyone has a job. FarmerBoy catches the ewes, I load the medication into the syringes, DS1 paints a dot onto their back, DS2 regals us with good humor and corny jokes and DD pouts. She doesn't really pout the whole day, just the first hour or so - not really a morning kinda gal!!

I have two more quilts finished and will do a show and tell tomorrow. They are quilts that I have showed before, they just needed borders and the applique finished up. Keep Smiling and thanks for stopping by!
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Thursday, January 1, 2009

One Down Many More to Go!!

I wasted no time today finishing up this quilt top!! Last night I posted about this and how I was uninspired by it and never bothered to finish. Today was overcast and miserable, the perfect day to stay inside and get some quilting done.

I set about ironing the remaining fabrics for the borders, cut up the 4 7/8 squares of yellow and assorted leftovers for the pieced border. Did some quick chain pieceing and bada-bing I am finished! There is one problem and that is that I don't have enough backing material. I need three yards and preferably I would like '30s print, I ordered some off the FatQuarter Shop last night. This little gem will have to wait until next week, once the fabric arrives I will get it pinned and ready for my machine quilting exercise!!!

I am so glad that I finished this, it's really cute and to be honest it was silly of me to just toss it aside. While finishing up the pieced border, FarmerBoy walked by my sewing area and without prompting (I usually ask 20 times what he thinks, knowing full well he will always tell me how beautiful my work is and how talented I amLOL!!!!) said that we should hang it at the top of the stairs "it's so cheerful".

I am off to clean up my sewing area and then my little sidekick and I are going to watch Mama Mia for the 40th time!!! I just need to find my sequined bellbottomed jumpsuit and platform shoes!!

Happy sewing!
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