Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Graduation Quilt Challenge (among other things....)

Well as you know here at MBIAJ we procrastinate to the Nth degree ..... why start today what you can put off until the last possible minute, we always say (our motto, as it were).... and, as you saw from my post last night, Kid #1 has held up that tradition with his stellar last minute performance of getting his Pa State required Graduation Project finished with just hours to spare !!!!!WELL DONE MATT!! NOW the ball is in my court .... I told him I was NOT going to START his Graduation Quilt unitl he finished his Graduation Project ..... (not that that threat bothered him in the least .... he knows my track record with finishing quilts anywhere NEAR their event deadline .... he wanted to know WHICH graduation this quilt would be for ....., HA HA....) Sooooo, anyhow, at least I bought the fabric and decided on the pattern a few months ago ..... here it is (do you think I'll finish this by June 6th? .... don't answer that .....)
....anyhow, I decided to make "The Lasagne Quilt" (it's pictured there in bright pinks, oranges and greens, etc .... not quite Matt's color scheme ) ... he requested red, white , and blue (which happen to be his high school's colors ... although I don't think THAT was the reason he wanted red, white, and blue .... I'm guessing some pro dirtbike rider uses those colors .... or maybe he just likes red, white, and blue ... ) ANYWAY, knowing this quilt would be started AT THE VERY LAST MINUTE (my usual M.O.) I picked that Lasagne Quilt pattern because theoretically, if all the stars align, it's SIMPLE and SHOULD go together FAST !!! Anybody taking bets ???

So, speaking of unfinished projects (are there any other kind?), I'm still trying to find a few minutes here and there to finish up that apron I was working on (the cherry fabric apron from 2 posts back) .... I want to finish the matching chef hat , too (the perfect fashion statement , in my opinion, to detract attention away from a lousy meal thrown together at the last minute......) Anyhow, this is the pattern I use .... it's probably at least 10 years old....

... it's a good basic pattern .... I'm making the half apron but added a contrasting fabric at the hem and I'm changing the pockets a little .... you'll see ..... hopefully before the end of the decade ....

....oh, and here's a new "retro" apron pattern I just bought this past weekend ...
...... I think it's really SWELL !!!!! Can't wait to make one of the full length versions ....I'll be looking like Aunt Bea!!!!(but of course I wouldn't DREAM of starting another apron until the Graduation Quilt is finished .....AHEM !!) OH! and I actually got my disorganized self to be organized long enough to post my apron pictures on my Apronista page (you can click on my "Apronista" button/badge over there, on the right sidebar just under the music playing thing ....) there are a few aprons I've made, one I inherited from my Grandmother, and a few I've bought at a local vintage clothing shop.)

Well, I'd love to get another cup of tea and sit and yak with you all a bit longer, but unfortunately I've got to get to work..... then HOPEFULLY squeeze in a sliver of sewing so I can FINISH THAT APRON , etc !!!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just under the WIRE !!!!!!!

Yep, here at MBIAJ we live on the edge .... work best under pressure, procrastinate till the cows come home, squeak through by the skin of our teeth get the picture ..... and, as they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree .... soooooooo, it is with my GREAT relief that I announce the COMPLETION of the GRADUATION PROJECT !!!! (at least the research paper portion ..... ) and completed none too soon (as in final copy printed out tonight at 10:30 PM ..... ) to be handed in tomorrow , the due date , at 7:30 AM. ......PHEW !!!!!(Matt has only known about this Pa State graduation requirement for the past THREE YEARS !!!!..... so getting it finished HOURS before it's due has taken it's toll on my homework nagging skills .... I'm pooped , drained, worn out !! So, concerned aunts, uncles, and grandparents of Matt's you are now free to go buy those graduation cards (hmmmm....but maybe hold off another week till we see how the oral presentation portion of the project goes next Tuesday .....) ANYHOW ..... here's Matt holding his ticket out of high school (that is , along with passing grades .... which, so far, so good on that count!)

......anyhow, like I said, I'm POOPED, so I'm gonna hit the hay (even though I have more to blab about .... I know ..... what a surprise .... stuff about aprons, bathing caps and a certain quilt shop .... ooooooohhhh SUSPENSE !!! .... well, actually, not ..... just too deleriously tired to think straight anymore tonight!) So, maybe after some sleep and then a tanker truck load of caffeine tomorrow morning I'll be able to get back to you all on those hot topics! (not to mention American Idol! .... who will get the boot tomorrow night?!?)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Where did the week go ?!?!?

SHEESH!!! Seems like it was just yesterday that I was telling you all about my crazy weekend, and here it is Friday again!!! (not that that's a BAD thing!! DEFINATELY NOT! .... it's just that it was such a CRAZY week, I can't believe I didn't get a chance to blab here in Blogland since Monday ..... did ya miss me??? )

Well, anyhow, let me fill you in on all the happenings here at MBIAJ over the past few days (well, maybe not ALL the happenings .... I don't want you to be bored ...)

First of all, we celebrated a birthday ..... well, actually two birthdays .....this past Monday was Sam and Shadow's 7th birthday ..... That's Sam in the first picture enjoying his birthday dinner of Fancy Feast in a fancy dish ....

... and that's Shadow in the second picture playing with his birthday present ...

.....and here's one of the guests ....
....(the camera sniffer , Daisy)

......and here's one of the party crashers.....

..... yes, Kitty showed up wearing a birthday party hat .....

....anyhow, besides Fancy Feast, Kitty treats and kitty toys, there also was a little dancing ....

(oops! sorry for the BLURRRRRY picture ..... the MBIAJ Photography Dept hasn't mastered action shots yet...)

OK, on to other news ... I am the LUCKY WINNER of that Dandy Dandelion Gal's VERY CUTE apron give away!!! THANK YOU Dandy Dandelion Gal !!!!

......and, while we're on the subject of aprons, I'm STILL trying to finish the one I started a week ago (it's not that it's a complicated project, just coming along at a SNAILS pace due to 6 gazillion interruptions and a very busy work week .....) Anyhow, here are some pictures of a bunch of pieces of fabric TRYING desperately to shape up into an apron!!!

.....and (still) speaking of aprons, I decided to join the Apronista Network !!! (see my little member badge over there on the sidebar underneath the music playing thing ) .... I haven't had a chance to put pictures of my aprons on there yet .... hopefully later today .... or later this century the way this week has been going!

OK, and last on my catch up post today, here is a VERY overdue list of 7 Random Facts about me (I was tagged a couple of weeks ago, at least, by that Dandy Dandelion Quilts Gal) Hmmmm.... let's see.... (I've done this list once or twice before, so I'll try to think of something new ..... but it might be difficult since I'm so normal and there's just nothing weird about me ..... HA !!)

1) I always put my socks and shoes on left sock, right sock, left shoe, right shoe .... never left sock, left shoe, right sock, right shoe .... don't know why .... but doing it any other way I think would completely throw my entire day off.

2) I can eat an entire can of black olives while I'm making the rest of the salad .... OOPS! ALL GONE !

3) I always begin brushing my teeth on my left bottom teeth ....again, don't know why, but any other sequence might screw up my day.

4) I served hors d'oeuvres to Cary Grant !!

Hmmmmmm......can't think of anything else right now, so for #'5,6,& 7, here's a look at my original list ..... and it's a real doosey!

Well, time to try and sneak in a little sewing time on that apron before it gets dry rot!!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Desperate Housewife ESCAPES !!!!!!

This is only half of the gang that was in and out of my house all weekend ....(now don't get me wrong ... they're all good kids .... and I'd much rather have them all at my house because then I at least know where my kids are and what they're doing ...... HOWEVER house constantly looks , not to mention , smells .... like a giant locker room .... or a barn .... and THE BATHROOMS ...... UGH!! ...... Men's Room at a disgusting gas station pretty much sums it up ..... I keep telling them to aim for the water ....) (P.S. to answer Nancy's question in the comments about the fireplace .... the fireplace surround/mantel was just finished about a month ago, but not yet installed since SOMEBODY has to paint it first ..... and now that somebody decided that some of the bricks have to be changed BEFORE he paints and installs the surround/mantel .... so he stuck it over there , propped up against the bookcase .... and there it will probably stay for months, and months, and months, ....)

Anyhow, the gang eventually got bored of watching dirtbike racing on TV and hauled themselves off of the sofas , suited up, revved up (anyday now the neighbors are gonna vote us OUT of the neighborhood!) and took off on their dirtbikes leaving me with this .....

.... and a HUGE pile of the filthiest laundry you've ever seen!!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THOSE SOCKS !!! (sorry!! I should have put a warning at the beginning of this post that there might be some graphic scenes of abused socks.)

ANYHOW ..... Daisy and I FINALLY escaped to the sweet PINK solitude of our sewing room for a little well-deserved peace and quiet and blissful sewing ....

.......AHEM!! well, anyway, one of us did some sewing .....

What was I sewing???? Why I thought you'd never ask ! I was working on another apron and really enjoying myself when ..... THEY came back ..... 4 revving dirtbikes and 2 revving 4-wheelers ...... breaking the peaceful silence of the pink sewing room ...... just then the phone rang ..... guess who?!?
Kitty wanted to know if I wanted to go shopping with her .... she wants to get some new sunglasses .... she decided she doesn't like those pink ones .....

So..... off we went .....and not only did Kitty get new sunglasses .... LOOK at all this other stuff she got!!!
....Kitty says now she has just about everything she needs for going to the shore this summer.

Anyhow, after we shopped for Miss Kitty, she waited out in the car, listening to her tunes, while I FLEW into The Quiltery literally minutes before closing time (Kelly and Judy weren't there today, but Karen was ..... actually, she's usually the one working on a Sunday when I run through the door seconds before she's closing , and I skid across the floor saying WAIT !!! I just NEED .......whatever it is .... and poor Karen just shakes her finger at me and rolls her eyes .....I decided I better not take her picture .... she was ready to strangle me as it was .... ) ANYHOW, the reason I felt the need to zoom in there yesterday was to grab a few yards of this highly sought after, and difficult to find fabric ...
....yes .... those are dirtbikes, of course, .... "Motocross" by Hoffman ...... it's definately a plus when you have a friend who has a quilt shop ..... and it's even more of a plus when that friend also has 2 sons .... and one of those sons also rides dirtbikes .... and that friend understands how hard it is to sometimes find just the right fabric for guy stuff ....

BUT ..... lest you think I have all sorts of self control in a quilt shop and only bought that one fabric ..... think again!!! With only SECONDS to shop before closing time, I managed to throw a few more bolts of fabric on the cutting table (while Karen had her arms crossed and was tapping her foot .....) but I was SPEEDY !!! I may have broken some sort of record .... look at this pretty stuff !!!
........... this is "Strawberry Lemonade" by Me & My Sister Designs.

......ooohhh, and look at this pretty stuff !! This is some of the fabrics from the "At Water's Edge"collection by Blackbird Designs.

... and this fun stripe fabric is from the "Prairie Paisley" collection by Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson....

.......ahhhhhhhh....... yes ...... what would I do without my pink sewing room to escape to, or fabric shopping ........ well, probably this .....
.......yep, dive headfirst into a margarita !!!

Anyhow, speaking of sewing aprons (I know this is a long post, but remember that was what I was working on before Kitty called me to go shopping yesterday ....) ANYHOW, speaking of aprons, you should run over to Dandelion Quilts ... she's having an apron give away ... but hurry because it's over tomorrow! ..... also, zip over to Apronista" because they're also having an apron give away!!

Oh, yeah, and Kitty says to remind all of you to help her decide on her prom dress in the last post .... look down... yeah right down there at that last post about Kitty going to the Prom ... she says THANKS!

Have fun!!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Look who's going to the prom !!!!!

This afternoon Kitty called me .... she was VERY excited because she was asked to the PROM !!!! The Prom isn't for another month, but she wanted to come over and show me the tiara she bought today and plans to wear. (she says she's not quite sure how she's gonna wear her hair with the tiara, but she just LOVED it and had to have it for her special night!)
She was babbling on and on about this tiara and her hair and I kept trying to ask her who's her date? Who asked Kitty to the Prom? She says it's a secret ...........a mystery date. Then she asked our opinion on a dress for the prom ..... here are a few she was looking at .....which prom dress do you think Kitty should get? I'm kind of leaning toward the lilac strapless .... but Kitty doesn't have much to hold that thing up, so maybe she should go with the white organdy with spaghetti straps..... PLUS, when the dress is strapless, the "date" never knows where the heck to pin on the dang corsage ..... best to go with a wrist corsage to avoid that awkward moment ......

Well, as usual, after a visit from Kitty, I'm totally POOPED !!! (she can be SO exhausting to deal with!! ..... her hair, her dress, her shoes, her nails, blah, blah, blah ......SHEESH!!!) Now I need a LONG NAP!!!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Computer is fixed !!! &... SPRING HAS SPRUNG !!!!

Yahoo!!! the computer guy is my new hero ..... as of last night, our computer is fixed !!! I never thought I'd be so attached to a computer, but apparantly, I am .....(as I've said before ... I should probably get a life!!!)

..... AND DOUBLE YAHOO!!! because it seems SPRING HAS SPRUNG here in northeast Pa!!! Today it's supposed to be 67 degrees, and tomorrow through Saturday ..... 75!!!! ...... AND lookie !!!

...... FLOWERS !! Blooming in my front yard !!

....and here are more signs of spring in my backyard...

...lots of birdies at the birdfeeder and a couple of newcomers ...... meet Lou and Thelma Turkey (wild turkeys, that is) ... that's Thelma in the middle of the first picture walking at the edge of the yard, and that's Lou in the second picture with his back to the camera (he was busy eating and made it clear he didn't want to be disturbed .... which was fine with me because at one point he fluffed up all of his feathers and spread his wings and I decided he was probably bigger than me ... anyhow, I took the pictures from inside the house through our dirty windows .... and actually the picture of Lou was from one of the upstairs bedroom windows through the dirty screen .... which further explains the crummy pictures!!)

..... and THEN.... this morning, I woke up to find this .....

......empty birdfeeder on the ground ........ which usually means this guy is up from his long winter's nap and was out looking for a midnight snack!!

......oh, here's another sign of spring (fever) at my house .....

.........the "meeting of the minds" in the driveway and garage ......they're riding and repairing their dirtbikes and "quads" ..... too bad they don't put this much effort into the graduation project that is due in TWO WEEKS !!!!(In the state of Pa, in order to graduate, the kids have to complete a graduation project which involves some kind of communty service, or shadowing a professional in a career they're interested in, and then writing a paper about it ..... soooo, they can be accepted to Harvard and have a 4.0 , but if the graduation project isn't completed and passed, they aren't going ANYWHERE !!!) ...... now, this bunch (all except Evan who is only a freshman) have known about this for the past 3 years .... and now we're DOWN TO THE WIRE they look worried that they've hardly started this project ?!? NO!!! do they have acid indigestion??? NO!!! Do I?!? YES !!! Do they have a STRESS headache?!? NO!! Do I ?!? YES !!!! UGH!!!!

.....OK ..... I think I'll take some tylenol and down a few more Rolaids and then go for a stress-relieving walk ..... well, it'll be stress-relieving if I don't run into the bear that had my birdseed for a snack last night!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Computer is on the BLINK !!! RATS!!!

Hi everybody out there in Blogland !!! I just wanted to let you all know that we're having TONS of computer problems at MBIAJ (Moonbeams in Jar). Right now I'm on the Big Cheese's computer at his office ..... he tried to fix the one at home and lets just say it got worse instead of better .... so now we're waiting on the computer fixer guy that he'll actually have to pay ...... ANYWAY, I'm sorry if anybody emailed me ..... cause that's not working either .... or at least I have no idea how to get my email from our home computer on this computer. Also, THANKS, THANKS, THANKS for all the fun comments that I can't answer right now since any second the BIg Cheese will probably come flying in here telling me he needs to use his computer .

SOooooooooo ..... I'll be back online as soon as possible !! (I think I'm actually going through computer/blog withdrawal!!! Seriously!!! ) So, maybe in the meantime, while I can't be piddling away tons of time on the computer, I'll actually make some progress on some sewing projects ..... I'm in the process of cutting out another apron and maybe a chef hat to match (one always needs a matching hat!! --- and I have a feeling that Kitty is gonna want a chef hat too.... SHEESH !!)

OK .... be back as soon as I can !!!!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Camp Moonbeams (Day two) Stitch & Hike/Sweat

(Note: before I get started with this post, just wanted to let all of you know that we're having lots of problems with our computer .... so I'm not sure if this post will show up , or if only half of it will, or if the pictures will be goofed up ..... AAARRRRRRGGGGG!!!!)

Camp Moonbeams (Day Two): Activities Dept Plan included sewing and walking.

OK ..... let me give you a little background info ...... The word "Beth" (not all "Beth's", but definately this particular pal of mine , Beth) and the word "sewing machine" have not to this point happily coexisted in the same sentence. Apparantly there was a Home Ec situation back in junior high or high school that left Beth and sewing machines mortal enemies.

ANYHOW, Beth, being the good mom that she is , wanted more for her daughter Jenny. (Jenny is currently in 8th grade and so far her school has not offered a sewing class.... and Beth is pretty sure she won't have sewing in high school , either .... not in the curriculum.) ....... so, Beth and Jenny came here to Camp Moonbeams with the sewing machine Beth recieved as a gift from her ever hopeful husband a couple of years ago. At the time of receiving the gift, Beth enthusiastically used the instruction booklet to help her wind the bobbin and thread the machine ..... and then she lost the instruction booklet leaving her wondering ..... "how do I wind another bobbin ..... how do I re - thread the machine ....." Anyhow, Beth and Jenny awakened on Day Two of Camp Moonbeams with their pre threaded sewing machine and their determintation to change the color of thread on that sewing machine and learn to sew something .
......and here they are !! That's Jenny sewing away like a pro and mama Beth waiting her turn to get at that
machine! They did a great job !! They worked on a pair of shorts for Jenny, and also learned to piece a 9-patch quilt block (and I can't believe I forgot to take pictures.... RATS!!) Anyhow, we sewed and sewed and sewed in our PJ's until Beth's eyes glazed over .... which was about 2:30 PM .... so we decided to take a break .... then the phone rang ..... guess who it was .....
"Hi everybody ! What are you doing today? I want to try out my new bathing cap .... let's take a nice walk down to the river ." (Kitty is the assistant to Camp Moonbeam's Activities Director ....but she's a bit head strong and just plows forward and expects everybody to be following her ..... Kitty, Kitty, Kitty ..... it's ALL about Kitty .... oh, sorry ...... ahem .....) OK, so we all decided to get out of our PJ's and go for a nice leisurely walk with Kitty .

KITTY!!! We thought you said LEISURELY walk !!!!

.....and here she is, that Kitty, showing off "King of the Hill!"
(look, she's already wearing her bathing cap .... she can't wait to get down to that river .... the Lehigh River ... and take a dip .... even though it's FREEZING out ..... she is SO headstrong!!) .......

UH OH !! KITTY !!! Watch what you're doing !!! You're rolling towards the cliff !!!
PHEW !!!! GOT HER !!! (see what we mean by HEAD STRONG !!! not to mention RECKLESS !!)

ANYWAY, after we all calmed down from Kitty's near plunge over the cliff, we continued on down to the river so her majesty, Kitty could take a dip in the freezing river just to try out her new bathing cap.
......UGH! Now she's freezing and decided she's going to drive back home ...... Kitty, we TOLD you it was too cold for a dip today but you didn't listen!

Anyhow, after her majesty, Kitty, left Beth, Jenny and I decided to continue with our "leisurely walk" and hike up the waterfall (Glen Onoko Falls) ..... well, not the ENTIRE waterfall, just about 1/4 the way up the falls..... and here's a picture of our Jersey Beach gals sitting near part of the Falls (because Beths' mom didn't believe her when she called her to listen to the rushing waterfall .... she kept saying that we were holding the phone next to a flushing toilet .... HA ! )

.....and as the sun sets over Glen Onoko Falls, and we head back to "camp" to go out for pizza and ice cream, so concludes another "interesting" day at Camp Moonbeams.

Mary Anne (aka Mare) ... and our campers, Beth and Jenny

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Camp Moonbeams (Day One) Shop & Eat

Look who came to visit me here at Moonbeams in a Jar!! My best pal Beth and her sweetie pie daughter, Jenny!!

....and look who invited herself over...

Anyway ..... the MBIAJ (Moonbeams in a Jar) Camp Activities Dept first planned some shopping (of course!) .... so we hopped into Kitty's zippy little car ....

....and our first stop was ....
.....The Quiltery ! Kelly wasn't there , but her sidekick Judy was there and manning the ship ...... (and look! ... those two crazy gals have started a a blog!)

After we drooled all over all the great fabrics and patterns in the quilt shop area, we strolled through all of the antique vendors. Beth felt the need to closely inspect this kayak......
....wasn't quite what she was looking for .....

Next, we found a flea market that Kitty wanted to visit to do some car shopping ....
.....she decided she didn't like anything they had and she'd stick with her sporty red convertable.

Then we were off to do some hat shopping ....
.... this looks like Jenny has a pink furry Hershey's Kiss on her head ...... it's very becoming, don't ya think?!?

Well, all that shopping made us hungry so it was time for lupper (late lunch, early supper).
.....(oops, that picture is a little dark .... I'm gonna have to make the "MBIAJ Photography Dept" take that course "Photography for Dummies"....) anyway, here we are (Jenny, Kitty, yours truly, and Beth) at one of the newly opened restaurants in Jim Thorpe .....Flow(named because the Mauch Chunk Creek flows under the building which was an 1800's factory .... there is a section of the floor cut out with a glass enclosure so you can see the creek flowing (we're standing in front of the glass enclosure.)

Beth and Jenny had a veggie burger and hummus wrap.....

Kitty and I shared soup and a delicious salad.....

Even though we were all stuffed, we forced ourselves to share this yummy dessert (and look who was first in line ...... that Kitty is such a bottomless pit!)

When we got back to the car, Beth and Jenny showed me this gem of a card they found...
... a cat in a FLOWERED BATHING CAP !!!!!! What are the chances of finding a picture of a cat in a flowered bathing cap to match the ones Beth, Jenny and I have ?!?! (not to mention my sister , niece and sister - in - law ..... all members of our "Sisterhood of the Flowered Bathing Cap" ..... the only requirement is one bad synchronized swimming performance a year....)

Anyhow, Kitty was feeling rather left out since she was the only one in the group without a flowered bathing cap .... so when we got back to "Camp Moonbeams" Jenny went right to work and made her one .....
..... so here she is modeling her new flowered bathing cap (made by that very clever Jenny , out of balloons) ..... isn't that a HOOT !!!!!

So, that was pretty much Day One of "Camp Moonbeams Shop & Eat". Tune in tomorrow for Day Two of "Camp Moonbeams Stitch & Sweat" !! (that is if this computer is more cooperative tomorrow than it has been the past few days ..... trust me, it almost went flying out the window a few times !!!)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)