Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bathroom renovation project

After nine years of living with this ugly's finally OUT! I'm so excited and happy with my husband for getting everything ready for the tile guy! Bo and my father-in-law took out all the white/blue cabinets last weekend. We are almost done taking off all the ugly plastic wall paper and blue vinyl flooring....the sink, shower, toilet and bathtub are gone now. Monday the dry wall will go up. Bubble girl will miss her "happy splashy bathies" for a month or so....but then she'll be able to have them again in a gorgeous new room with Mexican tiles and sink, new cabinets, toilet and's going to be so nice! And I'll treat us to new towels, too! I haven't bought new bath towels in 20 years!
Busy with my Gainesville High School 30th reunion preparation! Starting early to hopefully be in touch with as many as possible from my graduating class of over 300 people! It's been so fun to discover "old" friends! If you haven't tried Facebook...I recommend it, especially if you have a lot of time to waste! HA HA It's addictive, I tell you! No wonder the young kids are into it!
This is my Soccer Team (football) jacket...I can still wear it although I don't. I loved practicing with my team several times a week in high school...I wasn't very good at it...I don't like to run that much but I am quite a good kicker! Actually, I enjoyed the practices more than the games...too stressy! I loved the comradship during field time and locker room giggles! If I could I'd still play, just to participate in the training sessions.

Did any of my Quilter friends play in High School sports?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Slow progress due to distractions

I'm in other worlds these days....

- the dreaded bathroom renovation has gotten started at that means no water or toilet up near our bedrooms, have had to reorganize stuff, many times, not finished with the stuff part.
(photos come you can see what's happening!)

- working really hard on my High School blog site...having fun getting in touch with friends old and dear, some far, some near and we have 3 years until our 30th reunion and I've taken it upon myself to find over 300 missing people! (Ok, so I've gotten some help from others with Facebook ) Realistically, I will be glad to find a quarter of them never know! I'm adding new things to that blog nearly everyday as friends are sending me photos to post on the blog with updates about them. I have even gone digging in my old photo albums to find fun photos to post as well...memory lane! (wish Santa had brought me a scanner for Christmas though...I'm taking photos of photos so the quality isn't good.)

- been sick, as you know, but am feeling better. Cough, cough

- busy back at work...went to a Buddhist Temple with Grade 5 kids as part of their Religion Class. very interesting. The monk was from Vietnam and didn't speak Swedish but a nun (?) translated for him and the kids asked great questions! I'll post photos of that too....they were very generous with their time and fruits! (left overs from Chinese New Year)

-weather is a real drag...hoovering around freezing day and night...some rain, NO SUN!
BORING B-O-R-I-N-G!!!! snow, why can't there be some SNOW!!??? (oh yeah, global's been 3 winters since really good snow!)

That's all...lots is happening! I have just few days to finish some WISPs for the Challenge! Gotta get going on that!

PS- Betsy asked me what I was listening to lately....Bets, I listen to the radio...but haven't a clue as to who the performers are these days. I'm just not very cool anymore! LOL

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Challenge Projects....January

It's bad enough that I have many of my own WISPs...but whenever my Mom comes to visit us she brings me HERS from Florida! With geniue gladness, I accept many of her WISPs and stuff them into the closet along with the others. Since it is nearing the end of January, I decided that one WISP completed was not I went digging around. I pulled out WISPs that were from Mom. Today I finished hemming 6 dish towels with a little loop to hang them. The fabric comes from Peru (where I was born)...and features some of my favorite Peruvian treats! Turron de Doña Pepa! ANTICUCHOS! Picarones de la Playa!
What's next? I found a stack of flannel triangles that were supposed to be a baby quilt for my best Peruvian friend, Giannina Zanelli's baby! Yekaterina was born in 1996 in Moscow, Russia. I don't think she'll want her baby quilt now! (not even for her baby dolls!) Recently a colleague of mine here in Sweden had twins, a girl and a boy. I think these pieces can come together to make two little quilts that will be similar but not exactly alike. This afternoon, Maya helped me arranging the pieces on a design board but she was making something far more complicated that I'm ready to do right now. I'll have to work on it again when she isn't around.
In the meantime, I'm working on a surprise for someone special....just a peek because I know she looks at my blog.
How are you coming along with your CHALLENGE Projects? (if you're in Abyquilts and Tag-along-Teddies challenge)

I sent my Fabric Post Cards out to 8 members of our group yesterday! Hope they arrive safely!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Today we wake up....

to a new ERA , new HOPE and a NEW PRESIDENT! And we are HAPPY!
It's a BRAND NEW DAY! Last night we toasted the NEW FIRST FAMILY!
Maya decided what she would wear for this special event when Barack Obama won in November 2008! It's, white and blue and Hawaiian, too!
Click here to sing along!
After the ceremony...we watched with delight as President Obama signed his first bit of paperwork! We hope he will be signing many more acts with good intentions for
our common future good! We can work TOGETHER to create a better world!
This reminded me of a REALLY good episode of "The West Wing"! Only BETTER!
And you don't have to pinch me...'cause I know I'm not dreaming, at last, this is REALITY!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Finishing and Finding on Monday

Despite having the flu....I did manage to finish up my fabric post cards for January. I feel a little HEAVENLY HAPPY this week! So some cozy angel kitties are making joyful, peaceful wishes for the world on the sparkling stars this month! I made an archealogical discovery this afternoon while in pursuit of stitchery patterns to do while watching the INAUGURATION tomorrow! And I found some LONG LOST and LONGED AFTER patterns...particularly, these three! When I do an organization...I really do a put it away organization! I found these at the back end of my "teacher's room" in our basement! The Rumpled Quilts projects are bean bag things...perfect for my little mermaid girl and her underwater props! (they look great with those Bali Batiks!) The Mumm's pattern for the gingerbread people I've been wanting to do with some adorable g-people fabric I have had a long time! And the little paper piecing gardening quilt from HM Designs...well, I'm a's so cute and would make perfect gifts for my gardening friends!
But....I've got to finish my current projects and WISPs before I start something new! But these are so tempting.....

In my diggings I found some other interesting things....later...

We're off to watch the BIG EVENT at a place with CNN and BBC (in English!)...waiting such a long time for this happy day! And allow me to say it one more time...I"m PROUD to be an AMERICAN! Democracy does work! May we all come together for the GREATER GOOD!

Katie's Housewarming Party

Later today I'll be getting ready for Katie's Housewarming Party in Australia!I made an extra batch of chili con carne for her....even opened my special Hungarian Paprika that my friends brought to me over the summer.

Then I think I'll make something's a summer BBQ in Aussie so....I'll be looking for a typical "mid-sommar" dish to bring to her new place! She's having GREAT Giveaways! So click HERE to find out more!

Ice Skating Party on Saturday

On Saturday we invited two families over to ice skate on the beautiful lake near our home. The ice was slick and smooth and very fast! The Dads had a great time trying out their speed and style on this wide open arena.
Maya still isn't so confident on the skates but with a little help from a friend she manages quite well. (Maya is in pink.)
The little boy in the group (2 years old) would NOT be left out! He screamed until his parents finally "made" skates for him with someone's boots and the blade covers. Although it didn't work so well, it did satisfy him.
Here are my "ice dogs" ....Pepe and Rosy Tulip! Our real dog LOVED the ice! What a funny Floridian dog!
We returned to our house for chili, sallad and pannacotta! and, of course, hot chocolate!

Maybe I'll get a little sewing done....

Monday, January 12, 2009

And the good news is.....

I can use a sewing machine with my hand wrapped and swollen! Got started on my Fabric Post Cards for January...very happy with them! I'll wait to post a photo later.

The nurse I visited today to get my bandages changed said my burn was "very pretty". I didn't think so but I guess she's seen a lot more 2nd degree burns than I have! This bandage I leave on until Thursday and change again for a shorter period. Would you like to see my burn when I put on new gauzes Thursday?

Sandi over at Embroideroo and I have a BUTTON these photos are for her! And, of course, anyone else who likes old buttons! I purchased a box full of buttons at an auction in 1998 while visiting my friends in the Buffalo area of New York. The price has escaped my memory bank but I know whatever it was I was very, very pleased with my purchase in the evening when I thoroughly explored the contents. Whoever had the buttons before me had organized them in bundles by size and color although many were loose or on cards. I can't bare to release them from the cards...just too cool. Do you see the Eygptian looking one? Many are mother of pearl, bone, tortoise shell and wood. And a lot are funky plastic, too.
There are some packets with button cover kits...I might use them. Recently saw an idea on....oh, agh...I can't find it now.

What buttons do you collect? Use? Display?
I'd like to hear your ideas! or have some links....I can't just leave them stored in a box forever...or can I? (my secret treasure!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Challenge continues...

Just to make my pledge to the Challenge even more of a challenge....I've managed to handicap myself a little bit. For those of you weak in the stomach I did not photograph what is under my bandage! Last Monday I burned myself pretty badly on the oven element while enthusiastically and hurriedly taking out baked potatoes. At the time I realized I'd branded myself royally with a single, thick, straight burn just below my thumb on the top of my hand. Ok, so I ran cold water over it and left it alone. It scabbed over a few days but then on Friday the scab started to open up revealing raw tissue underneath. Saturday morning it was oozing...a lot. Bo put a bandaid over it for me. As the day went on my hand started to swell and turn bright red, we took off the the evening it felt like my hand was on fire and movement was becoming difficult and the redness was creeping its way onto my arm, all the while icky pussy ooze was dripping out of the burned area. I called the "health advice hot line" here in Sweden and they said I should go directly to the hospital for antibiotics. This was at 10 pm and Bo had just gone to work his night shift. Maya was in bed. We live in the country, so going to the hospital means a 40 minute drive to Helsingborg. I called my hubby, he got off work just as he started and I got Maya out of bed. Off to the hospital, on the way I got in touch with my ever faithful, helpful friend, Kelly Sue (who lives in Helsingborg) to drop off Maya in her PJ's asleep at their place. What a relief not to have to take Maya into the Emergency room with us and to leave her in caring hands! Thank you so much Carlssons! It means so much to have friends like you! the ER I tried hard not to think of all the horrible things that could be happening inside my hand...gangrene, thumb removal, nerve damage, scarring, etc. OK, this really wasn't THAT bad but my imagination does tend to head towards the worse case scenario. Luckily for us the night shift at the ER was relatively calm. The doctor came to see me at 12:30am. It's a second degree burn and infection had set in. He said it was good I came when I did before it had gotten any worse. Now I have penicillin for 10 days and must keep my hand wrapped. I'm supposed to go to the District Nurse to have her change the bandages on Monday. We'll see what it looks like then. At the moment my hand is still burning and swollen...actually more swollen than yesterday. I can still type though...and hold an embroidery hoop and book! So it's not the end of the world! And I will go to work on Monday.

Since we finished up at the hospital around 1am we decided to leave Maya sleeping at Kelly Sue's....and she can have the opportunity to play with her surrogate sisters today before coming home. Kelly Sue told me this morning that when Maya woke up during the night she asked, "Can you tell me exactly why I'm here?" KS explained about my hand, etc and then Maya got a smile on her face and said, "I was afraid I wasn't going to get to spend the night with
Caithlin!" (not worried at all about ME!) Just goes to show you WHO is a priority in my daughter's life! So here I am...doing some needle work. It's not too comfortable so I may just hold a book instead. (I could possibly grade some school work but ....nah, no fun!)
Yesterday I did manage to finish one of my WISP's....a dress I bought at a LOPPIS some years ago for Maya. And the other day it dawned on me that the size is perfect for NOW. It's a jumper from one of the 'foo-foo' Swedish kid's stores. The buttons were old and mismatched. (didn't take a 'before' photo) I decided to sew the jumper together rather than have the lower buttons keeping it together. Then I changed all the buttons and ironed on the patch from "Hello Kitty" collection. A small WISP finished but finished nonetheless....and finished while watching MAMA MIA for the third time with Maya!

I also worked on my new Fabric Post Cards for January! Perhaps I can manage the sewing machine with my hand like this...I'll try it.

* Kelly Sue just called with the Maya report. She loaned Maya some clothes.
Maya: "I don't usually like wearing jeans unless they are pretty and cool like these!"

Friday, January 9, 2009


What a WIN!
Florida Gators National Champions AGAIN!
Thanks to North American Sports Network (NASN) channel I could watch it live here in Sweden! That means I was up from 2 am to 6 am cheering for the GATORS! It was worth it!
My little Gator Fan made her own flag to wave while watching the game. In her 6 year old mind the Gators = USA! Well...she's nearly's a GATOR NATION now! She was dressed in her Gator gear but when I woke her up at 2 am to watch she couldn't keep her eyes open and choose to go back to bed. We did celebrate in the morning with HIGH FIVES and more cheers! GO GATORS!
I'd forgotten how many commercials play during an American football game! geez....gave me lots of moments to sew! I'm coming along with my lavender sachets! Although my eyes went a little foggy around 4 am! This 'old' body can't do those all nighters too many times a year!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Who's gonna win?

FLORIDA!!!!! That's who!
I'm going to watch the National Championship game live at our summer house at 2am!
So excited!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

January Challenge projects declared

Trying to shake off the feelings of "Dooms Day" (returning to work). I always stress myself out before I return to work at the end of a holiday, as if there is some important deadline that I must meet that includes all housework completed and organized, all rooms put into perfection, and all the laundry, plants and extra stuff done by the time I return to work. Why do I do this to myself? then I don't enjoy my last days of vacation doing what I want to do....instead I'm constantly thinking of what I must do next. What about doing all the things I WANT to do instead of what I think I NEED to do?

So....instead of worrying and fretting about all those things that won't get done because I've made unrealistic goals for myself, I've signed myself on to meet a FUN CHALLENGE for the WHOLE YEAR! May Britt's & Kris's ONE WISP (work in slow progress) per Month Challenge. It's quite easy...and laid back. No stress (like my fabric post card group). I pick my own unfinished project (UFO) or WISP (work in slow progress) that's sitting in my crafty room and finish it! One per month! And believe me....there's one per month in my sewing closets! At least! I might even get a prize if I finish them! But that part doesn't really matter....I just want the fun challenge of it! And the little push to get started! January's project to do is one that I started over the summer with Maya...we harvested lavender flowers to make into smelly little sachets for Christmas gifts. (Not anymore...hopefully they'll be Valentine's gifts) The idea came from a woman I met in Gotland, Sweden. She had embrodiered simple flowers on a cloth bag stuffed with petals. Of course, I thought to myself "I can do that"....and now 4 years later I've gotten started!
These are my own designs...just free hand stitching. Below is Maya's design for her own sachet!
Do you want to join our Challenge? Just click on over to May Britt or Kris and find out the details!

Icey fun

It's been a cold week with low temps at the lake is frozen thick near our house! This is one of our neighbors ice fishing! He uses a big trap that sits a meter or so under the ice, for bait he just uses oatmeal flakes! The little fish swim around right into the trap. These trapped fish he keeps frozen to use as bait during the spring and summer for salmon and carp fishing. To get over to the lake to ice skate we found it was easier to put Maya's skates on at our house then pull her on the sled over to the lake. She held my ski poles today on our short journey.
Not bad, not bad at all for day 2 of skating! (this was Sunday's trial) Maya holds her balance well, knows how to stand back up after a fall and keeps trying her best! The bicycle helmet makes us feel safer but it really doesn't sit on the head well with a cap under it.
Sunset around 3:45 as you can see in this photo....Maya alone with the 'kick support' sled.
Ready for some hot chocolate at home!
Today I got a turn to try ice skiing! (Maya took the photo.) Cross country skis are for down hill! They go FAST on the ice! I only fell once and could even get up! lol I want to go out again to take advantage when we've got such nice cold weather!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Three days left....

I've got 3 days left of my vacation and no more house guests (after 3 weeks worth). Although I am still sick (the damn flu-cold-cough-mucus thing but no fever), I'm not as bad as I was a few days ago as long as I don't talk too much (then I lose my voice or lapse into a coughing fit).
Anyway.....among my big plans for the next 3 days is to find a place for all of Maya's new toys (which includes about 9 Polly Pockets and all their gear--given to Maya by a friend of mine in Chicago who finds them at second hand shops) and BOOKS...oh, the books!

Now, this is where I need HELP! As a first time mother of only one child....I've not had too much experience with this.
How do I get a 6 year old to release her ownership of toys she hardly plays with anymore?
It was easy when she was younger, I simply took them out of her room, even in front of her, and she didn't notice as I dropped them into a bag marked LOPPIS* on the side. But now it seems she's made some sort of inventory of each little item! Since she's been older (around 4) I've been removing some things on the sly by placing them into a closet in a "holding area". So if she misses the item I can "find" it for her but if she doesn't mention it or miss it, then after about 2 months I've been placing that item into the LOPPISbag out of her sight. This method is not only time consuming but a part of me feels a little sneaky doing it this way and I'm not sure it's OK in the "good mommy" world. (If I'm honest, I'm not so objective either because I remove the items I don't like and leave the unplayed toys that I like!) On the other hand though, when I request her assistance in filtering through the toys, there is, of course, NOTHING she doesn't play with and she wants to keep it ALL! HELP...please give me ideas about how to go about this! She knows that her toys will go to a place where other children will use them...not just to the trash. Actually, she's ok with that...and even gives me one or two token items but it's not enough reduction in the clutter of her toy areas. We also read the above book...which was entertaining but not helpful in passing along the message!

Of course, her father and I should be role models for this desired behavior. Unfortunately, we both come from generations of sentimental pack rats! But when I do clean out my clutter, I should make sure she recognizes what it is I'm doing in hopes that she will follow my example one day!

Please leave me a comment about sorting through a child's toy area!
I can use some tips! Thanks!

*LOPPIS is a Swedish word for "flea market".

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy 2009!

We've already had TWO days of SUN in 2009!
The first was spent at the beach! This is my mermaid in the winter time on her favorite rock!
Patches of sand were covered in ice...very cool looking!
My Prince Charming and his loyal companion!
January 2- Mom and Maya took a turn "skating" on our little pond!
Tomorrow my folks head back to the Sunshine State of Florida after a 3 week visit with us! I always feel melancholy when they leave us but it will be good to get back into some sort of routine again....and maybe I'll start picking up the mess we've made of the house over the last weeks or maybe I'll just start a new sewing project or read a book! (And I will certainly ignore the bag full of papers I need to grade!)
I got one more Christmas fabric post card! This one from Vicki!
Thank you!