Yukon wild

Yukon wild
Wild rose

Monday, March 26, 2012

This week, March 19th to 25th, I….

 

Took Thursday and Friday off work.  DH has gone fishing with his buddies, so I stayed home with Zeke, our little canine friend.  He usually goes to work with DH, but it would be too difficult for me to take him to work. 

Here is DH and one friend all ready to leave.  You would think they were going to Vancouver to hit the Boat Show or see a great bluesman in a bar, instead of skidooing out to a cabin with no electricity or running water in the middle of nowhere.  But they do have a twelve hour drive to Alaska to meet their other friend, so I guess they need to look nifty in all those one horse towns they’re driving through.  Smile 

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I spent a lot of time this week end cleaning things up: lots of paperwork to organize, cleaned up my sewing room, organized my embroidery thread, cleaned some things out of the fridge.  On and on it goes.  It could be a full time job just keeping things organized.  Oh yeah, it is.  It’s called a homemaker.  I used to be one….

I’ve been out cross country skiing everyday.  The weather is mostly gloriously sunny.  I think I got a sunburn on my face today. 

I got a little sewing done.  Hexies for my March swap partner…. she asked for small prints in pastels…. I’ve found a gaping hole in my stash that I’m going to have to fill.

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Two postcards for the swap I’m in this month.  The theme is “purple”.  I’ve got one more of these to make….

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Back in January I saw Anne Sutton’s Merry Merry Snowmen quilt pattern on someone’s blog and I loved it.  I promptly signed up for the BOM from Fat Quarter Shop.  On Friday I received month two, so I thought it was about time I started on month one.  I got the background fabrics put together and the first little bit of applique and embroidery done.  Still a big applique and lots of embroidered bits to go on this block.

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When I signed up for the BOM there were several things I didn’t think through. 

1. the cost.  This will be the most expensive quilt I’ve ever made.

2. the amount of work.  Lots of fiddly little bits of applique and embroidery.  As Anne says in the instructions, this is not a quilt to try and rush through.

3. I seldom make quilts from someone else’s pattern, using fabrics etc. that they have chosen.  It is a really different sport than putting a quilt together as you go with your creativity working overtime.

4. the fabrics.  These are really not my kind of fabrics.  I like bright and happy, primary colours, lots of colour.  These are browns and muted other colours.  Even the white is off white.  But I think I’m going to like it anyway.

I received one lovely piece of mail this week.  I had sent LeeAnn at Nifty Quilts a few pieces of vintage fabric.  She’s collecting pieces for a quilt she wants to make.  Click on the link to have a peek.  She sent me a few pieces from her vintage stash in swap.  They are so pretty.  I’ve already asked DD # 2 if she wants any of them for the hexie quilt.  I promised her a photo so she could see what they look like.

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I also won this pattern from Candace in the St Patrick’s Day Blog Hop Party.  Candace gave away one of her electronic patterns to everyone who entered her giveaway! 

She calls it Ribbonry, but what I really like about it is that it is a plaid pattern.  I have wanted to make a plaid quilt for years.  My sister knit an afghan in a plaid pattern years ago which was fabulous.  I have been intrigued ever since.

I have a sitter lined up for Zeke for tomorrow, because I have to go back to work….

Janet

Friday, March 23, 2012

LOUD

A short story in five minutes.  I know, I know, I’m doing more writing than anything else this week.  It’s not going to be a regular thing, except that I am going to try to write Friday five minute stories as hosted by The Gypsy Mama.  Come join us if you like… She gives us a word and we write, free form and without self critique for five minutes.  Every Friday.

This week’s word is Loud.

I wonder how loud the sound of silence is.  I like silence a lot and it is what I choose most of the time when I’m alone.  But when others are around and I am choosing silence – like when I’m at work and I close my door – I wonder how loud my silence is screaming at them. 

Silence can say a lot.  It can scream really loud.  It can say leave me alone.  It can say I’m mad at you.  It can say I don’t like you.  But it can also say I’m sad, I’m shy, I’m hurting, I’m tired.  I don’t think those things scream as loudly from silence though.  I think they kind of whimper.  Or maybe they whisper.  I think that it is hard to hear those things when they are crying out from silence because the loud things are rushing around saying “hear me, hear me”. 

Janet

Thursday, March 22, 2012

TUSAL and Tag

It’s TUSAL (Totally Useless Stitch-a-Long) day for March.  I forgot to post my TUSAL collection in February, so my vase is very full - but also very pretty.

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I’m mixing TUSAL up with TAG this month.  Earlier today I was “tagged” by Sheila and I cannot remain “it” but must pass it on.  The way this game works is that you answer eleven questions, then you get to tag someone else.  Here are my answers to the questions from Sheila….

1. Why did you start blogging?

Why did I start blogging…. My friend whose quilting I admire, was a blogger and she was involved in interesting on-line swaps.  I wanted to participate.  I found a swap I wanted to enter that required you to have a blog.  Since I have always enjoyed keeping a journal, this seemed like a natural way to continue doing that, and with pictures too.

2.How long have you been quilting?

I have been interested in quilting since I was young.  When I was in my mid-twenties I started a quilt.  Hand sewn, solid fabrics, green, appliqued blocks.  I had made quite a few of them, when just after we were married DH and I lost everything in a fire.  I didn’t quilt again until about eight years ago, when I started to make baby quilts for my DD’s friends who were having babies.


3. What project have you made that you are most proud of ?

Every one of them… I’m not fast, so my production isn’t huge and my quilts take a while to complete.  All that labour, I can’t help but love them.  But the quilt I made for DD # 2 is in my home and I get to look at it when I want and enjoy the beauty of it.  So I’ll pick that one. 

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4. What country other have you visited and when ?

When I was 23 I spent almost a year travelling with my then boyfriend.  We drove from Toronto down through the US to Arizona.  Then we travelled south, by bus, train and sometimes plane, through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.  At that point we’d had enough and we turned around and headed north again.  Besides that I’ve been to Cuba when I was 24 and Europe once about fourteen years ago.  Principally we went to Germany but DD # 2 and I did take a bus excursion one day that took us into Switzerland and France.  I have visited the USA many times over the years as well.


5. What is your favorite color and why?

Gosh.  I love yellow and usually say it is my favourite, because it is so bright and cheery.  However I love to wear red and love to use it in quilts.  I probably have more blue fabric than any other colour, so I must have some attraction to that as well.  I just realized these are the three primary colours.  I wonder what that says about me….


6. Are you an animal lover and if so what is your favorite animal ?

Absolutely an animal lover!  I love to see wild animals; it touches my soul when I do.  I saw two wolves yesterday when coming home from work – they are not animals who usually hang around the road. 

I love cats and dogs the most as pets.  I have always had a cat, until I started wheezing around them about ten years ago.  I grew up terrified of dogs after being bitten as a child, but I’ve gotten over that and I have a little dog curled up beside me right now.  Once we babysat a rabbit for a year, and he was lots of fun, but he hadn’t been house trained very well, which didn’t endear rabbit keeping to me.


7. Other than sewing / quilting what other craft do you love ?

I’ve tried so many things over the year and love them all:  spinning and weaving, pottery, beading, knitting, paper tole, stained glass, cross stitch, embroidery.  Quilting and other sewing are my favourites for sure though. 


8. What is your favorite all time book ?

9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you most like to visit?

Ireland – the land of faeries and pixies draws me.  I would also like to visit North Carolina and wander among the coastal islands.  And Australia….


10. What is your favorite comfort food ?

Bread.  I love bread, but it doesn’t love me quite so much.  It gives me heartburn and I always fell much happier and healthier when I eschew bread.


11. Who influenced you most in your life?

Ahem… When I was a teenager I struggled with life and got into lots of things that could have ended disastrously.  I had a probation officer when I was sixteen and seventeen and she was a huge influence on me.  She was the first adult I knew who treated me like I was capable of being a success.  So thanks Susan.  The time you spent with me paid off. 

I’m not going to TAG anyone specifically, but offer the tag to anyone of you who would like to answer these questions… Please let me know if you do so I make sure I stop by and get to know you better.

Janet

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grandchildren fun

I stayed overnight with my grandkids (ages 4 and 7) last night to get them off to school and daycare this morning as mom and dad were both busy.  I slept in my granddaughter's room with her 4 month old kitten snuggled in beside me all night. 

At 7 a.m. her alarm went off - a kid's version of Jingle Bells blaring from the radio right beside my head.... followed by Frosty the Snowman.  She appeared a few bars into that tune and hit the snooze button.  She and I had a snuggle, while Claws (the kitten) leapt into action, cruising the window sill, knocking things off the shelf, jumping onto the bed and into the air to try and catch the mobile that hangs above her pillow, and then, when the two canines entered the room a few moments later, turning his torment alternatively between them and us.

The 15 minute snooze ended and Jingle Bells blared out again.  No stirring from Grandson's room next door.  "Will he wake up or do we need to get him up?" I asked.  "We have to wake him up."  So off we went to his room where he was scrunched into a ball with his face buried into his pillow.  Trying to roll him over did nothing as he grabbed a snuggle bunny for a face cover instead.  "If you get him dressed he'll wake up while you're putting his clothes on."  advised granddaughter.  There is a challenge in dressing a small scrunched up, semi-rigid body with a bunny stuffie attached to its face.  But then he was awake with a smile on his face and ready to show me all the ropes - feed the fish, get the vitamins out, instant porridge for breakfast.  "No I don't want water in it."  After a couple of dry, uncooked spoonfuls he acquiesced.

Granddaughter ever so slooowly got dressed, interrupted by a search for Band-Aids to put on her fresh scratches from Claws (the aptly named). She arrived for her porridge, and also requested a crumpet.  Grandson now wanted a crumpet too, which he gobbled into the shape of a gun - and proudly showed me over and over.

Son-in-Law had told me Granddaughter's lunch - a grilled cheese sandwich - was made and I just needed to cut up an apple or orange for her lunch box.  Danged if I could find a grilled cheese sandwich anywhere.  "I guess I'll have to make one."  Two bags of mouldy bread later we found some usable crusts and a short end of  cheddar cheese.  Granddaughter’s instructions were: "No, I don't want any butter, and I want it made in a frying pan, not in the oven, and don't put the bread together.  Just put the cheese on the bread in the frying pan and let it melt." 

I have to say this method doesn't work well.  First the bread started to "overtoast"  (euphemism for burn); when I turned the heat down.... well let's just say she didn't have grilled cheese, just burnt bread with softened cheese.  How do you put two slices of bread with softened cheese in a sandwich container without putting them together?  I still don't know because I told Granddaughter she had to take care of that challenge.  Then, "I'll have an apple." she said.  Oops, no apples in the fridge; she didn't want an orange, but settled for some strawberries.  Next step: cut off the spots and find a container for them. 

Grandson, meantime, wants to play I Spy with the I Spy quilt, which he needs to lay out perfectly flat on the living room floor so we can see all the pictures.  Find the light switch, turn on the light.  The clock has passed the hour - the time Son-in-Law told me we need to leave at.  Two quick turns at I Spy - one for each of them, (Grandson spies something pink, Granddaughter spies something blue - interesting) then we hustle to get on coats and boots, find hats, mitts and snow pants, make sure Granddaughter has her lunch bag and pack with her homework, get the car-seats into the car, get all my things into the car, get Grandson to sit down in his seat and stop trying to put on every other seatbelt except the one that is meant for him, make sure the cat didn't get outside, put up the baby gate at the top of the stairs so the dogs can't go up and eat the cat food during the day.  Are all the lights out?  I find my key and lock the door - boy that is one sticky lock. 

We got to the school before the second bell rang.  Apparently normally they stop on the school side of the street, but there were no parking spots so I stopped on the opposite side and walked Granddaughter across the street. Then spent the next five minutes explaining to Grandson that no, I couldn't fit my car into that little slot between those two cars, and no I didn't leave Granddaughter to cross the street by herself.  I dropped a happy boy at day care and was only fifteen minutes late for work myself.

Now that’s a fun morning!

Janet

Monday, March 19, 2012

This week, March 12th to March 18th, I….

Forgot to post my weekly update post on Sunday evening…. I was reading a book – not a particularly good book, just a thiller mystery type book.  I’m a fast reader and I often like to read this type of book cover to cover in one sitting.  So I spent about 4 1/2 hours reading this book yesterday and forgot all about my post….

Kept up the exercise routine, Yay!  Fantastic ski on Saturday.  The insanely sunny March weather is finally here.  Cold nights, –15 or so, warm days, around zero, lots of snow for skiing and snowshoeing, and tons of sun….

Had several amazing evening viewings of Venus, Jupiter and Mars…. very exciting….

Did a minimal amount of sewing…. FNSI was my big coup except that I…

Finally finished my name game swap piece.  Still can’t show a picture, but….

Took a class at the LQS using texture magic….and I have to show you the fantastic palm tree that I made using texture magic…. please enlarge the photo to get a good look at the texture…..

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Received wonderful mail again…  This book – a giveaway win from Victoria…. I’ll read this book a little more slowly and carefully….  savouring it ….

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Another set of 100 – 2 inch blocks for my postage stamp quilt… a giveaway win from Mary…Is anyone else wondering what has happened to Mary… she said she was going to organize another swap in March, but no word on her blog since February 25th… I tried e-mailing her but got no response…

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Three fabulous hexies from Elizabeth, and the cutest little butterfly bead…

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Fugly fabric from M R's giveaway…. this fabric does look nicer in the photo than in real life Smile …..

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And the last two of my spring flowers postcards….Here’s all three together…Tulips are popular….Aren’t they all lovely…

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Janet

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday Night Sew In Report

FNSI was not as productive as I’d hoped it would be.  I wanted to get all the blocks for DD # 2’s quilt completed so I can get the layout done.  I’m going to a retreat next month and joining all these blocks is going to be top of my list to get done while there. 

I sewed ten blocks and fixed the one block I’d sewn together wrong. 

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I still have fifteen blocks left to sew.  I’m hoping to have a really productive sewing week as DH will be away for part of it – so no cooking or having to be a sociable wife… I like an occasional short break from those two things…

Janet

Sunday, March 11, 2012

This week, March 5th to 11th, I….

What did I do this week?  It seems to have gone by so quickly and I’m not sure where it went to…. But,

I…. Got this huge bag of scraps from my friend in Skagway.  Those who know me well know that a bag of scraps like this makes my heart beat fast and my palms get sweaty….

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So I cut a couple of batches of 100 two inch postage stamp blocks…. I’m doing another swap with Alberta…

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And I sewed together 100 of my blocks…. 300 sewn so far…

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The only other sewing I did was the Christmas mystery quilt that I showed yesterday …. and I’ve been working on my Name Game swap wall hanging…. I’m a bit late as it should be in the mail already… but it isn’t quite finished and I can’t show it because my partner might see it…

Last night we went winter camping… just for fun… with the grandkids and DD # 1… Here’s DGD leading the way on her skis…

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And the rest of the crew coming up behind….

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Snuggled up under the lean-to…it’s fun to sleep in a lean-to instead of a tent… you get to look at the stars in the sky, except it was overcast and snowing…

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Everything was wet, from the soft fresh snow and warm temperatures…but a big fire dries it all out...

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A few lovely items arrived this week…. these pretty hexies are from Gemma in Spain… they are my swap hexies from last September…

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I won these cards from Marcia in the Leap Day giveaway….  So pretty…

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And look at this gorgeous table runner that my friend brought me from Cuba… It’s got embroidery and drawn thread work.  Please enlarge the picture and take a closer look.  So pretty but such a lot of work! I told my friend that I couldn’t possibly put it on my table because DH always makes a huge mess…. So it is living on the back of the couch for now.  

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I’m off to bed, even though I’m not tired yet.  It’s the first day of daylight savings time and it will take me a few weeks to get adjusted to the change in time…

Janet

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Christmas Quilt-a-long

I got a bit done on step two of the mystery quilt.  All  these half square triangles were made… and some of the blocks pieced….

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Then I spilt my tea on a pile of half square triangles… I ‘m going to have to cut them again, not because they stained, but because they shrunk…

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Rats!  There are only about ten of them and I’m sure I have enough extra fabric….
And I got two blocks completed so I can see what they look like…

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Pretty! What did you do for Christmas Quilt-a-long?


Janet

Friday, March 9, 2012

A quilt finish! And a reminder about tomorrow’s Christmas Quilt-a-long

I have been waiting all week for some bright weather so that I can get photos of the fairy quilt, but it’s been grey and snowing all week.  Today is a bit bright so I’ve got some photos to show.

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The finished quilt is 42 “ by 41 1/2 “.  The fairy print in yellow and the panels just have “Becky Kelly for Timeless Treasures” on the selvedge.  The backing is “Midnight Garden” Galaxy Collection by E. E. Schenck Company.  The binding is “Fusions” from Robert Kaufman.  

Quilting is stitch-in-the-ditch around all the panels, a zigzag around the panel borders and lots of stars.  If I was doing it again I would make the stars in the sashing between the blocks more random, like I did with the outside sashing stars. 

This quilt is for DD#1’s neighbour’s baby.  Her mother is quite young and her father was killed in a motorcycle accident before she was born, so she needs extra fairy dust in her life.

A reminder that tomorrow (Saturday), or today depending where you are Smile , is March Christmas Quilt-a-long day.

Blog ButtonThis month hosted by the lovely Joanna.

I’ll be working on part two of my Christmas mystery quilt.  See you there!

Janet

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Treasure

I’m linking to Melody's blog today for Tuesday Treasures.

My brother and his family live in Redmond, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, where he works for Microsoft.  He used to live in Dallas, Texas.  I never visited him in Dallas – didn’t even make it there for his wedding, but I have gone a few times to Seattle.  It is pretty easy to get to from here – a short plane ride to Vancouver and then a few hours in a car, or on a bus or train, or a lovely fast ferry from Victoria if heading from there.

Seattle is a really interesting city, very pretty and lots of neat history and art.  There is the Rock and Roll history museum, next to the science fiction museum.  There is the Space Needle and the market.  There is the super  fascinating underground tour of the old city.

One time when we were visiting there was an exhibition of Tiffany's work at the art museum.  It was absolutely stupendous; he was a master of mosaic, glass, jewellery, fabric, furniture and room design.  I bought this replica of one of his pieces in the gift shop.  It was made in China – a mass production.  But then one of the reasons that Monsieur Tiffany was successful was because he was a forerunner in the mass production of art pieces in factory-like workshops….

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I just had to show you the big picture…

Janet

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This week, February 28th to March 5th, I….


Had a giveaway…. whew – they are a lot of work….

Got a new cupboard in my sewing room.  It’s all painted now but I’m still putting things away….
Went to a friend’s 70th birthday party today….

Got some lovely mail…. more Cathy’s Campfire blocks…

From Vanessa…

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And from Jen….

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A beautiful heart wool pincushion that I won in a giveaway from Susan.  It is FABULOUS… and she sent a scissor fob as well….

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And a lovely birthday package from Leona…. I think I signed up for a birthday club on her blog…. a fat quarter, 50 weight Aurifil thread ( I haven’t tried this weight before) and a cute clipboard…. and a lovely card…

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Didn’t do as much sewing as I had hoped to…. but I did finish the fairy quilt tonight, binding, label and all!  I haven’t had a chance to take pictures so I’ll have to do a reveal tomorrow….

Edited to add... I mentioned to someone last week that the March 1st controversy over Google Friend Connect disappearing was as serious as the Millennium hoopla.  Well it seems that March 1st and the Millennium were about the same.... Nothing happened.... Has anyone else noticed any changes?


Janet

Friday, March 2, 2012

Photo of the day February 29th

And for the extra Leap Year day…. “something I am listening to”….

This is what I listen to everyday…. CBC radio.  When I am home alone I often don’t listen to anything, because I love quiet.  But when DH is home, the radio is on; either this one on CBC or his Sirius radio on the BB King blues channel. 

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Those cute little monsters were created by DGD and DGS…. Smile 

Janet

Photo of the Day February 28th

The word for today is “money”.  This is the old version of Canadian funny money.  The newer stuff is even more colourful….

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Can you name all those Canadian Prime Ministers?  (I can, because I read the names written in tiny letter by their photos.)

Janet

Photo of the Day February 27th

Gotta get caught up on the last of my photo of the day pictures….

The phrase for February 27th was “something I ate”.

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I often have a fried egg sandwich for breakfast.  Not the most healthy I guess but not that bad either.  I cook the egg in a non stick pan and don’t put any salt on it.  But I do butter my toast.  Green tea to accompany…

Janet

Leap Day giveaway

This morning my sewing room looked like this…

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The reason for this is that DH made me a new cupboard…. and it looked like this….

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After I posted here about my sewing room, I decided that I had to do something about the mounds of stuff everywhere.  After all DH is a master carpenter….

By this afternoon the room looked like this…

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And the cupboard like this…

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It may still look messy to you, and it isn’t totally cleared, but at least I found the giveaway fabric…. and I also found the quilting gloves that have been missing for the last two years!  I really don’t have too much fabric, do I? Smile

So I wrote all the names out…making sure I put in a second slip for the nine people who entered who had also commented on my February Photo of the Day posts…

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And I cut them into little bits with my nifty paper cutter, and folded them all in four…. and then I drew two names….

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It is interesting taking a picture of your hand with your other hand…

And the winners are….

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Joyce LM and Christa, in that order.   Congratulations!  I have sent out e-mails and am eagerly awaiting your addresses.

Thank you to everyone for participating in my giveaway.  And a big hug to all my followers.  I have made some wonderful friends and for that I am thrilled. 

DH and I were out a short while ago looking at the northern lights, which are dancing green in the sky tonight.  We saw three of the visible planets….

Janet