Show and Tell…

Sara sent her version of my Tree O’ Life quilt. She says:

I started this in 2012, finished it but forgot to send you a picture. I had “Live well” but changed it to “Love God”. There were a few things I messed up on, but went ahead and just went for it!  I figured you and the other people who buy your book would be the only ones to notice.
After Christmas I’ll hang it back up.  It has a place of honor in my home.
Thanks for your lessons in the gray shades of gold for the background.
Sincerely,
Sara

SaraAshauer

Made by Sara Ashauer

I actually don’t mind one little bit when a quilter changes one of our patterns and makes it her (or his) own. That’s part of the fun of quilting! Congrats to Sara for doing just that and for finishing her wonderful quilt!

Little sparks…

I just read The Little Spark—a book designed to help you be creative. I rarely buy this sort of book and never seem to make it all the way to the end of the book when I do, but this time I did.

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This may be the best book cover ever. Happily, the book itself lives up to the cover.

Carrie Bloomston has come up with 30 creativity ‘sparks’ and she writes very well about each one. I admit that not every spark fits me, but more do than don’t. I actually turned down pages and highlighted different ideas and have already used a few! Here’s just one:

If you are like me, you have all sorts of fun art supplies that are put neatly away. Carrie says not to hoard your supplies; instead pull them out and use them! She showed two jars, one with colored pencils and one with markers, that she keeps on her dining table with paper. That way they are out and ready for anyone to use whenever they want to.

Night before last, I pulled my very fine set of Prismacolor Pencils out of the cabinet, sharpened every one, and put them in two vases on my table.

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Last night Chris, Lorna, the kids and mom came over for Thanksgiving eve dinner. (Lorna made shepherd’s pie, Mom made applesauce bread, I made some baked apples… it was all very tasty.) Anyway, before dinner, the kids found the pencils!

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I doodled too, with Bear. Elanor drew a guy throwing up a rainbow (about to be hit with a pizza) and Jack decided to draw one too…

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So, many thanks to Carrie who has already lit some sparks at the Goldsmith house! I suspect that there is going to be a lot of refrigerator art from now on.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a time to consciously give thanks and I am thankful for many things:

  • I’m thankful for my family (who love me even when I am stressed and, therefore, cranky).
  • I am thankful for my friends. You know how there are people who have hundreds of good friends? I am not one of those people. I’d like to be, but it’s not my nature. I have a few good friends and I am so very lucky to have them in my life.
  • I am thankful that I am healthy. In fact, I recently found out that I don’t have osteoporosis—just garden-variety osteopenia along with just about every other post-menopausal woman I know. Yay! One less thing to worry about.
  • I am especially thankful that my family and friends are pretty healthy as well.
  • And I am thankful for pie…

Pies

I baked pumpkin, pecan, apple, and cranberry-apple pies yesterday. Steve rolled out the (gluten-free) crusts which was a big help.

I used a new apple pie recipe, sent to me by my mom’s friend, Coralee. It’s from allrecipes.com: Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie. It calls for a lattice-crust which is too hard to do with a GF crust so I used a cookie cutter to cut pieces instead:

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Watch the video and make notes because the recipe itself is not very complete. I realized after 2 false starts that the order in which to add things matters. You combine simmering melted butter with 3 TBS flour to make a paste (sort of like white glue, not a stiff paste). Stir in white sugar (while still simmering), then brown sugar, and then water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a bit… they say 5 minutes but I think that might be too long. The point, I think, is to make a toffee sauce.

I made the sauce and let it cool too long. I think it would work a lot better to have the pie ready to pour the sauce onto as soon as you are done simmering. It looks like it is going to be a very good pie!

Next year we will be in NYC with Celia and Jeff for Thanksgiving. They are, as I write, sitting in a restaurant watching the parade and having brunch which is a lot warmer than being on the street in the wind and snow.

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Even though I have never been much of a parade-watcher, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade really does look like fun. I’m looking forward already to 2015!

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I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!

It’s nice to be warm…

I’m home from a lovely time with the Cottonwood Quilter’s Guild in Omaha. The class and lectures were full of people who came in all bundled up because it was really COLD while I was there! I’m now back in north Texas where the morning temperature was in the mid-30’s and it felt almost balmy :-).

Many of you are still living in really cold conditions and I hope you don’t have to be out in it too much. Unless, of course, you feel like surfing Lake Erie…

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/112233432″>WNY – Blizzard Surfing</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user31705214″>Kevin Cullen</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Show & Tell…

Jean Temme sent me this photo of her newly finished Christmas quilt. She took elements from two of our Christmas books and mashed them up into this very cute quilt. Way to go, Jean! I love it!

JeanTemme

FYI: the Santa, sled, reindeer and stars are from Welcome To The North Pole. The rest of the quilt is from Quilt A New Christmas, which is out of print. I still have some copies in stock so if you want this book, don’t wait too long.

Put foil in your wallet…

Millions of us now have new credit cards. In fact, I seem to be get one at least every 3 months because somewhere I have used my card has been hacked. It’s gotten to the point that it is no longer unusual. My newest VISA came with the chip and I thought that that was a step in the right direction, security-wise.

I learned something last night from ABC World News tonight and that is that those chips can be hacked by someone with a cellphone loaded with a credit-card-hacking app. The cell phone has to be close, but it happens. You can get a fancy wallet that blocks the cellphone or you can cover your card with foil!

FoilInWallet

I put a folded sleeve of foil in the pocket with my chip-enhanced credit card. I did the same for Steve. I had foil left over so I made myself a foil-dollar-bill and that will live in my wallet, on the outer edge. Can’t hurt, right?

So, in case you missed this news and in case you want a cheap fix, there you go. You can think of me when you look at the foil in your wallet :-).

Don’t fall down…

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There was been a recent article in the NY Times about how bad it is to fall, especially as you get older. I have fallen down myself and can attest to the fact that falling down can be serious. People die from falling down!

My Mom has fallen lately. She can’t get up from the floor by herself which makes falling down even harder to deal with. We have had to call the paramedics in the past and they are remarkably nice and efficient when it comes to helping someone stand up.

A few weeks ago she slipped and fell in her bedroom and, thankfully, was only sore for a week or so. Nothing fractured, no concussion. None of us was happy about the fall but Sherry, her home health nurse, came by at just the right time and helped mom up off the floor. And Sherry taught me how to help mom up on my own which is a good thing to know.

FYI: Here’s how: The fallen person needs to be able to stand for this to work. You face the person on the floor. You both bear-hug. The strong person uses her legs to lift the fallen person to a standing position. It requires upper body strength and balance, and it’s nice to have a helper on the back of the fallen person.

Yesterday I took Mom to the library. She usually goes with Carla but she was out of books and the weather was nice so we decided to go. Everything was great until she tried, with her walker, to navigate over an uneven spot. I was in just the wrong place, trying to position the walker, and she fell backwards… in slow motion. Onto the asphalt. I don’t know how she did it, but she sort of rolled into the fall and, while she sort of hit her head, she didn’t really smack it. She has a small bruise on one elbow and nothing hurts. Trust me when I tell you that this was a miracle.

This is the first time that mom has fallen in public. I was amazed that, in an instant, 4 women were right there to help. It turned out that one woman had been driving by, saw the fall, stopped her car, and ran to help. And these ladies did help! Mom assured us all that she wasn’t broken or have a concussion. I did the bear hug thing with other women behind and beside to help, and it worked.

Darned if Mom didn’t, after getting her bearings, decide that she was still going to go into the library to get her books. That woman is a determined sort :-).

Sherry had suggested a week or so ago that it might be good to have a transport wheelchair. Mom liked the idea and it was on the list of things to do. It moved to the top of the list and now this one is sitting in her garage. I got it at Breath of Life in Sherman, but you can find them lots of places. It’s light but sturdy, and rolls really well with Mom in it. It folds up and fits in the car.

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I don’t know if Mom would have been as happy to have this wheelchair before her fall, but now she knows that this actually makes her more mobile, not less mobile. We can take her more places and, as anyone who knows her will tell you, Mom really likes going places :-).

This post is for those of you who, like me, may not have thought about a transport wheelchair. Ours was $119 plus tax, much cheaper than I would have thought.