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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Evening Edition! Free Kindle Book!

Wow..I’m finding so much cool stuff that I don’t know how I’ll get a chance to read it all! Seriously. I think I’ve become a book COLLECTOR! So many I want to read, and it’s nice to know that since I did “purchase” these freebies, they’ll stay on my bookshelf on Amazon. Forever. Supposedly anyway!

No, I did NOT download any books about HURRICANES!

But this one starts with a different kind of disaster, a collapse of a dam…and the conspiracy behind it---

Vindicator by Denney Clements is free today from the Amazon Kindle store.

Book Description:

Wichita’s struggling newspaper, the Examiner, sends veteran reporter Joe Emery to Colorado. The dam at the Herman Gunderson Reservoir, 60 miles west of the state line, has collapsed, sending billions of gallons of water coursing downstream into Kansas and killing three people. What at first seems a gut-wrenching natural disaster story, however, quickly becomes something far more sinister.
First, the Kansas governor, Mabel Hodge, bullies her way into a press conference aimed at explaining the disaster. She tells reporters that the collapse of the dam is a blessing for water-starved Kansas farmers and ranchers. These tasteless remarks are apparently intended to shore up Hodge’s candidacy for re-election. Election Day is two weeks away and her Republican challenger is ahead in the polls.

Then, a rival reporter for an upstart Internet news service reveals upstages Hodge. He suggests that the FBI’s official cover story for the disaster, that it is an ‘act of God,’ is a sham. He asserts that the dam was sabotaged and demands that the lead investigator for the FBI confirm it. Instead, the investigator shuts the press conference down.

Thrust into what could be the best story of his life, Emery, an old-school ink-stained wretch, learns that the feds not only lied about the cause of the disaster but also have detained three terrorism suspects – members of a radical environmentalist group. With the help of Carol, the lovely embattled sister of one of the detainees, Emery learns that the feds have the wrong people in custody – and know it.

Emery’s story on their deception quickly goes viral, humiliating the FBI. He’s ready to dig deeper for the truth but the Examiner orders him back to Wichita. During the trip home, he survives an attempt on his life. Two days later, the newspaper lays him off, citing declining profits as the reason. Off the story and stripped of his hard-earned identity, he sinks into despondency.

But with Carol’s encouragement, Emery shakes off his funk and starts The Vindicator, a public-affairs blog. He’s back on the story, navigating a treacherous political environment, uncertain who he can trust, trying to fend off goons sent to stop him. He soon learns that telling the story could carry a terrible cost to the people he loves, and that it may already be too late to back off.

I like to read farther down the amazon page too, to see what actual readers think:

Denney Clements, a newspaperman with a long, ink-stained career, has written an intriguing romp across the Kansas heartland, full of double-dealing, cold-blooded murder and political conspiracies -- all evoked with the inside knowledge of a real journalist. Sunny Kansas has never known true noir, but fictional newsman Joe Emery is a classic hard-boiled sleuth on the trail of a story that might cost him his life. If you enjoy mysteries with newspaperman heroes you'll love "Vindicator."

‘Nuff said! Downloaded! I’m picturing Denney Clements as a Robert Redford type Flirt male

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Or maybe…Matthew McConaughey! Now you’re talking! Winking smile

As always, double check to make sure it’s still free before clicking. No affiliation, yada yada, etc ---

A Little Hurricane Trouble?

This is where we need all the powers that be --- all the QG’s out there ((Quilty Goddesses, don’tcha know!?)) pulling together for some good vibes that this freaking storm move back OUT to sea! Or downgrades. Or Sumpthin’.

Do you see this picture to the left? I want to introduce you to Hurricane Irene! Though, you’ve probably already become familiar with her if you watch the weather channel, or your local news.

Lori pinged me yesterday morning. I’d been like an ostrich with my head in the sand-I was busy doing other things, and I really am not a TV watcher unless it is in the evening and I have hand work to do. Because we had been traveling over the weekend to visit the boys, and we didn’t watch TV or listen to the news at ALL over the weekend, I was completely clueless!

HURRICANE?! Oh NO! Our Caribbean Cruise with Sew Many Places ((My first ever time to be a teacher on a Quilting Crusie! Whoot!)) sets sail this Saturday from Port Canaveral, Florida!

This was the first I heard of it:

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And No, we are not letting Lori’s hurt shoulder stop us either! But she better watch how heavy she packs her suitcase – Just sayin’! :cD

As I checked things this morning, this is where we stand:

- After departing the Northwest Bahamas early Friday Irene should parallel the Florida coast later Friday and approach the coast of the Carolinas later Saturday or Saturday night.

- Even though Irene is expected to miss Florida to the east, it is a larger-than-average hurricane, so the Sunshine State will still have some impacts.

- Heavy rain and strong winds are likely in eastern portions of Florida beginning late Wednesday night in southeast areas and spreading northward through Friday.

- Dangerous surf and rip currents are likely along the east coast of Florida beginning later Wednesday and lasting into the weekend. These coastal threats will expand northward along the Eastern Seaboard during the weekend and early next week.

- Irene could threaten the eastern portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with damaging winds and flooding rains Sunday through early next week.

Of course, with hurricanes, nothing is certain. Things can change at any moment. It’s supposed to hit the Bahamas pretty hard, and that is where our first port of call is! Should be interesting to say the least, and in the mean time we hope for the best~

You know, after posting about my Great Auntie Irene HERE I am smiling to myself. They could have named this hurricane right after her, Always dancing in the kitchen, or the living room….and always making a stir!

Better start packing! I haven’t even begun yet, and my journey starts THURSDAY. I'm stopping in Columbia again, taking Jeff to dinner, and then staying with Jason and Kim. I'm leaving early Friday morning to drive down through SC, and GA, and finally down to Orlando where I am picking up Miss Lori at the airport, and escorting her in SHAMU the mini van ((We need it for all this LUGGAGE!!)) and away we go!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Evening Edition! Free Kindle Book!


School is back in session! I’ve got teacher friends, and I sometimes envy that whole “set up the classroom, welcome in the new school year” feeling they get to experience—Now that my boys are grown and out on their own, it just isn’t the same. Jason has his college schedule all arranged for this semester….

It’s just not the same as picking out a new back pack, buying new sneakers, and a package of pens and pencils!

Yesterday, when shopping with Jeff for some things for his new apartment, I came across the cutest Sponge Bob lunch box…and I remembered him at 10 years old, enamored over EVERYTHING Sponge Bob. And there he was standing next to me, all 6’4” of him, saying “Mom, put DOWN the Sponge Bob lunchbox. I’m OVER that already!”

So today while browsing I came across a school teacher themed mystery! And it is free on the Amazon website for Kindle. Those with nooks, it might be free for you too, just go check.

The Witch of Agnesi by Robert Spiller is free today from the Amazon Kindle store, and has received a perfect 5 out of 5 stars based on five customer reviews.

Book Description:

Bonnie Pinkwater is a math teacher with a mission. As advisor and coach for four students involved in the Knowledge Bowl competition, she becomes particularly concerned when one of her competitors goes missing. She does a little investigating and puts forward a number of suggestions to the police officer in charge, an old student of hers. But things start to get out of control when she finds herself the target, and one of her other students is murdered.

Undeterred, Bonnie remains on the trail and, together with another teacher, is continually updating her theories as two more of her Knowledge Bowl students are found dead. While this novel has an adult as a main character, teens will be able to relate to it because of the supporting cast; from the school thug to the genius, and everyone in between, the secondary players are all strong characters. The nonstop action and intrigue will hold most readers; the suspense is ever present, and the mystery has a good balance of clues and misinformation to keep amateur sleuths turning the pages.

As always, double check before clicking as what was free earlier may not be in the future! If you have a smart phone, a tablet (Like ipad or thrive, etc) you can read these via the kindle app. You can read them on your laptop or computer as well. Or check them out of your local library if you like the description.

No affiliation, just an avid reader and collector of free books! LOL!

And speaking of free books, if you didn't read today's earlier post, there is a give-away for Nancy Zieman's "Sewing A to Z", you just got to leave a comment on THAT post...below this one! Drawing on Thursday, don't miss out!

A Little A-Z with Nancy Z! ((Give-Away!))

There are a handful of quilters/sewists ((I like to call them SEAMSTERS, it sounds better than sewers!)) who’s careers I have followed since I first set up house back in the ‘80s. Household names, if you will! Think back over the past 30 years or so. I’m sure there are names that are just as familiar to you as members of your own family.

I remember when Georgia Bonesteel first published books on lap quilting. I remember the first log cabin quilt book I bought from this “new” publisher who said I could make a “Quilt In A Day”! ((Thank you Eleanor Burns!))

The first quilting book I ever bought was called “It’s Okay If You Sit On My Quilt” – and I still use this book ALL the time. Thank You, Mary Ellen Hopkins!

Nancy Martin, Judy Martin, Gwen Marston – the 3 M’s who have shaped my love of traditional scrappy yet quirky quilts.

And then there is Nancy Zieman! What a classy lady! Oh how I poured over her “Nancy’s Notions” catalogue every time it showed up in my snail mail box!

Her “Sewing With Nancy” episodes on public TV made me realize that I could do anything that I set my mind to, if you just broke it down into steps, and did one step at a time!

So now Nancy has released her NEW book! It’s called “Nancy Zieman’s Sewing A to Z” – Your source for sewing and quilting tips and techiniques.

I was contacted and asked to review a copy, and I was thrilled to do so. I had an ulterior motive! I wanted a copy for my OWN library! The picture you see at the beginning of this post was made by me, playing with different "vintage-y" filter settings on my camera. Here is the professional graphic!

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I love that the book is hard bound. My books get used hard and heavy. And it has a spiral binding for laying flat where I need it to without breaking the spine.

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Look at the great graphics! Here she is demoing how to do mitered borders. There is LOTS of quilting info in here, as well as things from several different methods of Applique to info on clothing construction: Hems, Facing, Plackets to Pintucks, Pleats & Pocket Flaps!

I’m glad to add this book to my library and I know I’ll use it.

If you’d like a copy, I even saw it running at 30% off on the Martha Pullen website. It’s not too early to start thinking of those who might enjoy this book as a Christmas gift…..

Nancy has also put together an amazing grand prize package worth $450 for one lucky reader. Visit Nancy’s blog and comment on her blog tour post for your chance to win, and be sure to follow Nancy’s blog tour for more fun; I’ve listed the other dates below at the bottom of this post for your reference.

((Note, When you go to Nancy's blog to comment….you’ll have to scroll down the page a ways to find out WHERE to comment, but it’s worth it!))

AND..Let's do a Give-Away right here on My blog! Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post! One of our commenters will win a copy of Sewing A to Z by Nancy Zieman! I'll draw for the winner on Thursday morning, August 25th! **NOTE** If you comment as anonymous, or don't have your email address visible in your blogger settings, you MUST leave a name and email address for me to contact you!

Click the links below to visit the other blogs in the blog tour!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Study in Quarter Square Triangles!

I’ve been a busy little quilter :c)

Basic simple units, precut strips, companion angle ruler, a new rotary blade ((Ahhhh….why do I wait so long?!))

These will end up in something somewhere…I just wanted to sew. Reds, pinks, burgundies and neutrals.

Repetitive piecing can be such a ZEN thing, can’t it?

Tomorrow I’ve got a special post and a giveaway, so be sure to check back!

And with that, I’m back to the machine!

Crumbs, Scraps & Strings!

Last Saturday the quilters of Delta Junction ((And Fairbanks, And the Kenai Peninsula, and Missouri!)) gathered for our second workshop of my Alaskan trip, Love Shack!

And I had SUCH a great time that I confess to really falling down on the job when it came to taking class photos. I was having too much fun laughing and talking and sewing and playing to be a shutterbug!

It all started with a Free For All—LAUNDRY BASKETS and BAGS of scraps had been brought to share by many, and all were digging. Oh, it was hard to show so much restraint! But my luggage was already full..lol!

Okay, I did bring home SOME --I used it as "packing material" to cushion the books that were traveling home with me in my suitcase! Yes, there is a way to rationalize everything, and as a woman, it is my right and obligation to rationalize in such ways, don't you agree?

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Would you be able to resist digging in and filling a bag? What a frenzy! And you know I have it bad when I seriously thought of bringing home a Delta Junction phone book as a quilting souvenir! But the weight limits ran out...

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What did we EVER do before zip lock bags?! This quilter had her scraps all coordinated by size and color so she could pick and choose. This is considered a trait of a “control oriented” quilter!

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And THEN…there is the REST of us! LOL!! When organization fails, just dump it all on the floor and Dig, Baby, Dig!

I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who can’t part with the small stuff. I believe that super great quilts can be made with the small “unloved bits”, we just have to find a way to use them! Look at this variety!

I told ya, my camera duty went on fail! But we had a terrific wonderful time, and I’m so happy we went!

And you can bet I WILL be going again! I’ve got Alaska dates in Cordova….in about 4 weeks!

I’ll be back in Alaska 3 more times so far on my calendar…I’ll be with the Kenai Peninsula Quilters in Aug of 2013, and May of 2015 ((2015!!)) And for those of you in the Ketchikan area – I am in the process of working out dates for a possible September 2014 visit with the Rainy Day Quilters. Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Heads Up, August Cruisers!


Our Cruise is in ONE WEEK! Whooowhooooo!

I've heard from some that they can't seem to find the info on downloading our cruise pattern. It's linked on the same page as the class supply list you received earlier.

If you have NOT found where on the Sew Many Places website to find our cruise information please email me and I will direct you where to go!

Please remember that you need to print your pattern and bring it with you. I know it adds more to your luggage, but please imagine MY luggage with all the kits AND all this printed paper ;c) We can help each other if you will print it and tuck it in your luggage.

If you are a cruiser, and have a BLOG…I was asked earlier if we could get the links to each other so that we could get to know a bit about who’s who before we arrive on ship! So if you have a blog, please send me your blog address so we can connect to each other.

And it would be GREATLY helpful to me if you have a guild nametag…and wear it during class so that I know who YOU are! It would be fun to see the variety of name tags that you bring.

Do you have any other questions? I am so excited I can hardly stand it! Just look at this itinerary!

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Where is my sunscreen!??

Today DH and I are heading down to Columbia SC to visit our boys! Jeff has discovered that living with room mates is a whole DIFFERENT deal than living at home. This first room mate he found was NOT a good choice. He was living with his friend, his girlfriend, and their 2 year old daughter. And they have dogs. Jeff was just renting an extra bedroom from them, but found that not only did he not have peace and quiet for sleep after working a double shift, everyone else was eating the food that he bought!

Their dogs weren’t well behaved and the house smelled like dog pee! Surprised smile

He realized that he shouldn’t be responsible for HALF the electric bill when there were 3 adults and a child living there. The girlfriend does NOTHING. The place is always a mess ---It was just not a good situation.

So he’s found a new place, a new roomie from work and we are going down to help fill him up with groceries again. The things parents do! ((And Gladly! This is a great experience for him.))

We’ll stay with Jason and Kim, I’ll love on the grandkitties a bit, and we will drive back home tomorrow. I’d love to go to Harbison state forest for a morning hike! I’ll see if I can twist someone’s arm to go with me….

Car projects?! Oh yes. I’ve got a couple bindings to do….and there are the never ending hexagons, but I think these bindings are going to take precedence!

Happy Weekend, Y’all!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Take A Hike!!

As much as I love to hermit myself down in my basement studio, embracing my creative space—honestly, If there was a bathroom and a kitchen down here, I’d probably never leave—I also love to be out and about exploring this beautiful world.

I was just thinking this morning of all the places my feet have walked just in the past year. Coast to Coast, North to South, All over the Midwest, to Germany and back, to Alaska….We will add several islands to that in just about a week’s time.

Let’s face it – Quilting, no matter how much we love it—is a “Sedentary Sport”. If we want to keep our bodies healthy and happy we have to move more than just from the sewing machine to the ironing board.

Put on your shoes, go outside for a walk…even a short one! Listen to the birds, enjoy the flowers, the green ((Which will be gone in the next couple of months if you are in the northern hemisphere)) feel the breeze, wave at your neighbors. MOVE THAT BODY!

It’s something I learned in anatomy classes in massage therapy school. Bones that are put under pressure or stress ((As in exercise)) have the ability to remodel themselves constantly and are built stronger. Bones that sit idle become candidates for refeeding the body – things like calcium and other nutrients are pulled back out of the bones if you are not using them to be used elsewhere. It’s a use it or lose it situation, folks!

Same with muscle tissue…if you are not using your muscles, they will diminish as nutrients are used elsewhere in your body to keep it going.

We got out as often as we could while we were in Alaska to do some walking and hiking, and we found friends who were willing to take us to some of their favorite places!

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While in Delta Junction, our time at the B&B included evening walks….that easily went as late as 10pm because it was still light enough up there! Lonnie took me and her dog Lucy around her area --- even through some back woods. I got curious when she was whistling and making strange noises, and in one word she told me why. BEARS! Thar’s Bears in them thar woods! I started whistling too….that got my heart racing more! The picture at the beginning of this post is from one of our late evening walks near Lonnie’s.

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Christy, Mike and their son ((And their dog!)) took us out to Quartz Lake….look at those clouds reflected in the water, isn’t it gorgeous? We had a dry spot in between the rain bursts and we wanted to make good use of it.

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I’m not a pro hiker in Alaska I guess…I don’t have a walking stick! Christy and I lagged behind and chatted while the "older" guys followed our young tour guide.

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Look! Wild raspberries!! The wild ones grow kinda small, but they are sure YUMMY! Needless to say, NONE of them made it home but were all instantly consumed.

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See em?? I love the colors in this photo!

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We had a great time watching the dog play fetch in the water! Many of our past dogs have been water dogs. Sadie does NOT like the water, and I just don’t get it ---but THIS dog does! We couldn’t keep him OUT of the water!

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More lake view higher up.

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I so love the wildflowers! I know that summer is really heading toward autumn now, and I am almost sad to see the flowers go. Yes, we’ll have autumn splendor and the leaves will turn…but then…oh, I’ll long for spring when the flowers return!

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Come on, Boy! It’s time to go back! Seriously…he’ll keep fetching as long as you keep throwing! I guess I understand that desire—I’ll keep quilting as long as life keeps throwing scraps at me to do so :c)

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Little outhouse in the woods behind the cabin we saw….Little bit rustic for me! LOL!

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Timber cabin! I love how the vegetation grows on the top. I don’t know the reason for this…in a place with snow, do you want a flat roof? Evidently this one has held up well!

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Wild mountain strawberries! These are TEENY and would take a ton of them to do anything with…but they were sweet and tasty too!

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It didn’t take long for the storm clouds to roll back in…don’t they look heavy and ominous?

Thanks, Mike & Christy, for spending the afternoon with us and taking us to this memorable place!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Caravaning Quilters!

I love the lengths that quilters will go to do what they want to do wherever they want to do it! Travel 500 miles to take a workshop? Completely sane if you can get 3 or 4 other quilty friends to join you on your adventure and do it in a MOTORHOME!

Our first workshop day was a busy one. We gathered and set up for or Bricks the Barnyard workshop on Friday….has been been almost a week ago already?! And I was so tickled that so many had gathered from so far away!

One quilter, Linda, came all the way from MISSOURI! No, it wasn’t just for the workshop days, she had friends or family in Fairbanks I believe, and she just arranged her trip to visit them so it would coincide with our dates in Delta Junction. Quick Thinking! I love this kind of determination!

What was even more fun was the fact that as Linda drove her way IN to Delta Junction….she wound up following a huge motor home…

And she knew right there that she was headed the right direction! Look what was in the back window!

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LOL!!! When I saw this I about died laughing! ((And I admit it, it was fun for DH to see it too!))

The posse in the motorhome? They had come all the way from the Kenai Peninsula and beyond. Something like over 500 miles away, driving 9 hours one way through the wilds of Alaska to come spend the weekend with us! Talk about dedicated quilters!

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A cheesy pose, somewhat in the shade….on the ONE afternoon we actually got blue sky---and we were INSIDE SEWING!! But do you see that beautiful blue? Awesome!

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It was a lot of fun seeing what people brought to sew with! Christy had her beautiful kelly green featherweight humming away…what a beauty!

This time we also ran things a bit different. Since people came from so far away, we did the lecture and trunkshow at lunch time, instead of having everyone come back in the evening again. It worked out really well! We had more people from the guild who weren’t taking the workshop come and join us, and we had a good crowd.

It was also the first time that DH had actually sat through one of my lectures and saw just what it is that I do when I am on the road. He is very reserved with how he expresses himself, but I think he realizes just what it is that I do, and how important it is to me and how much really goes into it. I don’t think he actually saw this as a “job” before! Come to think of it, I don’t actually think of it as a “job” either --- I love it so much I can’t imagine doing anything else, but I think he GETS IT better now :c) He also knows that no matter where I travel, I am in good hands! Quilters are awesome people, he knows you will take good care of me!

My time this week has been spent sending off next year’s articles to Quiltmaker ((Oh, do we have some fun scrappy blocks in store for next year!)) and working on the projects that need to go in the next book. Deadlines loom! I’m sewing like a fiend this week…..

Because NEXT WEEK! TADA!!!! It’s our Caribbean Cruise adventure! Lori is flying into Orlando. I’m going to go down to Columbia SC the night before she arrives and stay the night with Jason and Kim and love on my Grandkitties a bit. I’ll also stop in and see how Jeff is doing……and then in the morning I’ll head down to Orlando, pick up Lori, and head to Port Canaveral! I CAN NOT WAIT!!

We were talking the other day of things we want to do….and I told her, you know….I’d like to spend some beach time, and some reading time, and some relax time. Let’s play it by ear! Shore excursions with 200 people are just feeling kind of crowdy to me right now. I’d love to walk and walk and walk the islands. I’d love to find good food, fun shopping, maybe bike ride…but mostly, relax!

And when we are at sea…WE SEW!!!!!!