Countdown to Christmas

20151215_063042The best part of the holiday season is getting together with family and friends to celebrate and reconnect. Often we have those once a year gatherings that happen in this wonderful winter season. I say that with a straight face from sunny Palm Springs. I have seen snow this year, which is more than I can say for most years. The snow should stay right in the mountains where you can visit it when you like. 20151215_171256I took the photo above from my window seat heading out of Palm Springs at sunrise.

Being relatively new at this job puts me at the low end of the seniority rankings and the high end of the travel season, which means that I will be working over Christmas, as I expect I will for years to come. That’s ok. I took advantage of a couple days off before the holiday rush to have coffee with my dad, in Florida. I really did. California to Florida for coffee. It was a surprise for him, and delighted us both. You’ll note he’s wearing a shirt I made for him.

2015-12-16 11.36.04On the way home I stopped in Nashville to visit with a long lost sister. Well, not technically a sister but a sister of the heart. In this day of technology it seems impossible to lose track of people, but we do. While we’ve talked on the phone, exchanged letters, packages and emails, I haven’t actually seen this dear one for about twenty five years. What a treat. We had coffee in her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee. If you haven’t been, put this on your list of places to visit. What a quaint little town with plenty of history.

Oh, the box of fabric? Hmmm. Well, there’s good news, and bad news. Did I mention that I discovered another quilt shop here in the Palm Springs area. (One fun side benefit to moving is scouting out new places.) Super cute and some irresistible fabrics. So I added a few pieces that were so delightfully airplaned up. 20151214_094116 I know, I know. I said I would just use what I had. Never quite works out that way.

On a brighter note, I did complete two quilts and am trying my hand at Etsy.  All of these airplane quilts will need a home, and it might come in handy for supporting my fabric habit.

20151214_095453-1 It’s hard to say for certain, but it could just be possible that there is more fabric in the box than there was when I began. If it weren’t so embarrassing, I’d take a picture of the box and show you. 20151214_094839-1Trust me when I say it’s overflowing. I do have another top that is about at the half way mark, and plenty of fabric to back the other finished top. Stay tuned for future projects.

Here’s hoping that your holiday travels are as fun and successful as mine have been. Perhaps you’ll be on one of my flights.

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One Year Later…

I can’t believe it’s been a year.  In that time I’ve started a new job flying for a regional airline, moved twice, lived in three states, driven half-way across the country twice. I’ve flown into about half the states, including Hawaii as well as Canada and Mexico for work or fun.

I have settled a bit in Palm Springs, found my computer and more importantly found my password, a couple of sewing machines and one box of fabric. So, while the closet itself is gone, the goal to use up all that fabulous stash in the closet, has not changed.

My first goal is to use what is in the box. Mostly cotton flannel and a couple random pieces of quilting cotton. As we all know, it is impossible to finish a project without bu2015-12-10 12.52.54ying more fabric. I don’t know why it is the rule, but it is. There are a couple fabric stores here, and by that I mean about two. That does not slow me down, plenty of damage can be done in two fabric shops. And, there are a couple places where we layover that have some cute shops near the hotels. I submit evidence A. Strictly purchased with the intent of finishing said items in the box. Don’t let the quantity fool you, no ma’am, this is not frivolous purchasing after such a long drought.

2015-12-10 12.55.57The airplane fabric at center was a piece I picked up in Colorado and sadly, nothing in the box coordinated. Likewise for the navy background flannel. You know when I discover any fabric with an airplane motif that it must become mine…. so, some coordinating dots and solids, a couple more bits with planes and I can begin to finish.

Nothing is finished yet, but I have three quilt tops, two are pinned and ready for quilting and a forth is planned out and ready to stitch.

There is no real appreciable difference in the volume of fabric in the box, but I can really see an improvement in my attitude.  It feels like I’ve come home.

Distraction Project (a.k.a. Creative Avoidance)

Whenever I feel pressure to complete a task I, basically, freak out. Generally, this is best noted by the creative ways in which I can distract myself from achieving said goal, and occasionally by a full blown 2-year-old-style hissy fit. So… I mentioned that I sent my book to a publisher and an editor…. The editor liked it! And, she wants a re-write. This is incredible news. It is not a rejection. Amazing. So, instead of writing, I’ve been painting. I know. Pathetic. I have to say, painting this room was on the to-do list, just way down the list.

It all started with a trip to a couple of my favorite stores, Hobby Lobby and Home Depot. It should be against the law to visit both stores in one day. Plus, I keep seeing all these great ideas from Found This Painted That. The Laundry Room Makeover is complete.

I picked up this tray at the thrift store for a dollar or two that needed some help… So I painted the bottom with chalk board paint. It’s so cute now! I need some chalk so I can write inspirational messages to myself.

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Before…

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Painted the walls, the trim, the door and hung my cute new hooks on the walls and voila! I also learned an important paining tip. The trim may look white, but it’s actually not just plain white. Many of you are shaking your heads at me, the rest will try it yourself and realize. I ended up with Swiss Coffee and it looks beautiful with the Cozy Cottage walls.1398869445660

 

Ok, I’m going to work on the book. Right now.

New Year’s Resolutions

Usually I make most of my resolutions on my birthday. Somehow it feels more personal to me, my own special day for making my own special plans. New Year’s is a great time to renew the resolutions, and any chance to set some goals is a good chance to take. As I mentioned a week ago, cleaning up my sewing room disaster was on the list, and, ta da! done. I thought I better take pictures as it us unlikely to last.

I’m feeling just a little smug, because I’ve finally finished 3 of the 4 projects that I have promised well before thanksgiving….(See me dusting off my hands and patting myself on the back.) The fourth project is nearing completion Lori, look carefully at the pictures, you’ll see it by the door…ImageImageThere are no pictures of the desk in the corner… perhaps another resolution.room aImage

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The completed projects are pictured here, two boys shirts, of course featuring airplanes and one adult size.  Because, who doesn’t need plane clothes?

little shirtImageand last, but perhaps most important, is a sewing convert. I can’t tell you the number of times I hear how horrible Home Economics was in school, how many people were turned away from my favorite power tool, the sewing machine. I don’t know why, but I have to agree, Home-Ec was awful. Yesterday whilst I was finishing up these shirts, Kim was converting some of her men style tee shirts into cute girly style. “I never thought I’d say this, but this is fun.” And she had great success.

ImageOther goals for the new year? Getting my novel off to the publishers in the first quarter. (I’m prepared for rejection:) Write novel number 2. If you can write one, why not keep going? Half-marathon. Turn my defunct hot tub into a planter. Sew, use or give away all the fabric in the closet.

I’d love to hear your resolutions. Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

As always, the holidays arrive in a flurry of activity and I never quite get to all of the projects that I have planned. All the same, the important things get done, like baking pumpkin chocolate chip bread and oatmeal cookies and smothering pretzels in caramel, pecans and chocolate.

This is a great time to say thank you to those of you who read and/or follow my blog. I cannot tell you what a thrill it is to see your comments and ‘likes’. Thank you.

I did manage to complete one little sewing project. Originally this was to be a quilt project… however it was started about 8 or 10 years ago, so it’s safe to say that I was not inspired to finish it. While perusing Anthropologie’s catalog I was inspired by their apron design and just had to make something similar for serving Christmas Dinner.

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The closet and the sewing room are rather a disaster at the moment, so I’ll spare you the update. My new year’s resolution will be to clean and organize the entire room this year. Photos to follow. Thanks again. Have a very Merry Christmas and may the new year bring you peace and love.

Kat

Satisfaction

Labor Day Holiday meant extra time for me to work on projects. The completion of these projects has resulted in great satisfaction.

First a simple panel baby quilt. I mentioned to my daughter that I had made such a simple quilt, because these are intended for everyday use, not as heirlooms. She informed me that the simple quilt I made her, and that she used daily is still in her possesion.  She said it didn’t matter how simple, she loved it. This was very inspiring to hear.Image

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Of course this is for one of my co-workers who is a dog lover as well as a pilot and expecting her first.

Florida is next up on my adventure list, where I will be visiting my Dad and his wife. I love to bring a little something when I visit, especially since they have birthdays in September and October respectively. Even in Florida it gets cool enough to enjoy a lap quilt. I spend so much time looking out of an airplane window at the earth that I see quilt designs in everything. I quilted this freehand to give the look of plowed fall fields.Image

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And finally, after having languished for many months on my quilting frame… I finished my queen sized quilt, the last of the series I call “Tiff’s Bright Idea.” (See the complete set here) My sister Tiff gave me a fat quarter bundle of Kaffe Fassett brights that inspired some quilts and color theory. Thanks Tiff.

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Now, let’s see what we can make next…