28 April, 2017

Girls Weekend - Plus One

One week ago we made a weekend trip to the Other Banks with our daughter and our oldest granddaughter. Lucy Ann referred to our time together as "girls weekend with Paw Paw". We had a memorable two days. The purpose of the trip was for Mr. Goodneedle and our daughter to experience hang gliding from the dunes at Jockey's Ridge State Park; this was my husband's Christmas gift from her and her family. Unfortunately, this was also the Y-Guides Spring Outing weekend for our son-in-law and Mason; we missed them, but, undaunted by their plans the four of us pressed on for an adventure.
These two were scheduled for a Saturday morning flying lesson, which left Friday evening for exploring and walking along the boardwalk in Duck at sunset. As you can plainly see, it was a sweet and relaxing time.

It was a good thing that we were well rested because we had to hurry through breakfast on Saturday morning so that we had time for this local treat before flying!

Here he is-- gone with the wind!  My husband had the time of his life, as did our daughter. 
Lucy Ann did too, she spent the waiting time productively: shopping(!) and perfecting her cartwheel. All too soon it was time to head home once again. I was sad that it all went by so quickly but, even one week later, I am warmed still by the memories of sweet smiles and giggles, hearty laughter, the thrill of a shared adventure, delicious meals and one incredible sunset!
Life is Good!


26 April, 2017

Hexed! (And A Winner!)

I have been hexed; yes, it's true, the textbook definition is as follows: to put a hex (a spell, especially an evil spell) on. The current Block-of-the-Month at my LQS has just begun, this session's theme is "Happy Hexagons". I simply cannot stop! The only explanation for this obsessive behavior must be a hex, although I certainly wouldn't call it evil, I am having too much fun. Armed with a well-stocked stash of novelties and a bin filled with strips for framing, there's no telling when this merriment will wind down. I do have an end in mind: a child's quilt, time will tell just how big this becomes. I need to find just the right setting. I have a winner* from last week's pattern giveaway: it is Susan C! Susan writes: "I love making zippered bags and use them quite often. As I'm on a quilt retreat now my organizational tip is to kit up your projects and put them in their own plastic box along with the instructions, thread and special notions that may be needed. Having everything ready like that makes for more productivity!"  Thank you, Susan, and for everyone who left a comment with an organizational tip, they were all great! Susan's pattern will go out in the mail today.
Life is Good!

*Winner was selected using Random Number generator, the number 12 was selected from a field of 1-16.

20 April, 2017

Piping To The Tunes

We had a chance to attend another Home Free concert on Tuesday evening, this time they were performing in Greensboro and it was a short drive over there to grab a quick dinner and then sit back and enjoy the extraordinary vocal talents of this group. If you've been a reader for a while you already know how much I love this a cappela group. Mr. Goodneedle and I have been following them since they won NBC's The Sing Off in 2013. Have a listen using the link here.  The group has changed, slightly, since the last time we heard them live. There is a new band member, Adam Chance (far left), who replaced one of the founding members, Chris Rupp. There was, absolutely, no change in the sound however. Their rendition of How Great Thou Art (click) to close out the show was so incredibly beautiful I felt a tiny tear escape before I could choke it back.
We had awesome seats this time. See me? You don't? I am waving both arms!!😉
This morning I cranked up the music good and loud in the kitchen and sang along to some of the same songs performed on Tuesday evening. I piped while I sang, icing up a bouquet of spring tulips. I am eager to improve my cookie decorating skills and, naturally, there's only one way to do that. Practice, practice, practice. I have been adjusting the cookie recipe too, this one has a lemon essence, it's yummy. How many other hobbies allow one to eat their mistakes? 😋  So, practice I shall!
Life is Good!

19 April, 2017

With Apologies to Jack and Diane

This post is about Ditty Bags, beginning with a little ditty; but, sorry, this one isn't about Jack and Diane*! The Ditty Bags were last month's project from the Let's Get Organized club at my LQS. Featuring patterns by Annie every month this year I have already managed to make a Stash and Dash and a set of Nesting Boxes, I am quite pleased with the results. For the Ditty Bags I chose to make the smallest one first, to keep for myself. My idea was that I could work out any "kinks" in the construction before I turned my attention to the two larger ones which I planned to make as a gift set. As it turns out, the instructions were so well written, and clearly illustrated, that there were no kinks to be found!

The small Ditty Bag is perfect for a few essentials, just the right size to fit inside my purse. 

I love this pattern, all the seams are finished inside, making for a very neat and tidy interior. I chose to bind the inside seams with contrasting fabric in the bag's accent color, just for fun.

This is the set, the large and the medium bags, a gift for my daughter. She is an Auburn grad and will love these fabric choices. War Eagle!

I have an extra Ditty Bag pattern for these bags in all three sizes, as shown; I would love to give it away. If you would like a chance to win the pattern simply leave a comment below with your best organizational tip and I will draw a random winner one week from today. Make sure that you have an email address attached to your account so that I can reach you, should you win. We'll all be winners with a list of organizational tips; thank YOU, in advance. Good luck!

This post has it all today: a project show and tell, a giveaway and music (click below)!
Life is Good!

17 April, 2017

"What's That?"

Anyone speaking to me has received fair warning!
"Wait, what was that you just said?"  My daughter-in-law has been printing up some new T-shirts for quilters and I have added two to my daily-wear wardrobe for spring. The first, pictured on the left, clearly expresses the reason you might just need to repeat yourself if the shirt's wearer has that distant, far-away look in their eyes. If you're a quilter you understand! 😉 This second one, below, clearly answers that oft-heard question: "what time is it?"  C'mon, you already know what time it is, that time never changes!
If you're interested in either one of these cute shirts, simply leave me a comment to that effect or email me. I will get you directly connected to the source for your very own, seriously super-soft, quilter's Ts. You'll love them.
Easter here was a glorious one! We spent the afternoon with these four precious children. Mason and Lucy Ann (above) traveled from the Capital City, here they are before church in their Sunday finery.
Lynnleigh (and all of her babies) and Gregory in their coordinated Easter outfits. Smiles all around on a very happy day. 
He is risen! He is risen indeed! 
May the joy of that empty tomb remain in your hearts today and always.

Life is Good!

15 April, 2017

Easter Remembrances

I spent the morning decorating for Easter; decorating cookies that is, there are personalized ones this time too, my first attempt at writing with the piping bag. It's been a long time since I worked on cookies like this, at least three months, I could tell that my skills were a bit rusty; it felt good nonetheless. These cookies will be especially sweet, they were rolled out with my mother-in-law's wooden rolling pin. My husband has memories of sweet-treats-to-come when she would bring her rolling pin out of the cupboard; she always kept it wrapped in the same cotton towel for storage, that's just the way I carried it home a few weeks ago and the way I will keep it here. There's no way of calculating how many perfect pie crusts she rolled out with this pin over the years, she tried to teach me her secret but I never quite measured up. I will keep at it though, Mom would be proud; and in the meantime, we'll eat cookies.
Happy Easter! 

13 April, 2017

Move Over, Make Room

For the first time in a very long time I sat down yesterday-- and stitched; on my brand-new, inherited, vintage Singer 301.  After lovingly oiling her this past weekend, and adding some motor lubricant to the teeth of the gears, she purrs like a kitten and makes a most impeccable stitch. It took me all of, hmmm... let's see, ten seconds to get used to the sewing posture for this one. There is a knee-lever which controls the (mounted inside the cabinet) foot pedal; for the last twenty-plus years I have been sewing on Berninas where the knee lever controls the presser foot up/down. I adjusted quickly to the change. There is a handy little cross piece along the inside bottom of the cabinet on which to comfortably rest my foot. I adore this machine, I have named her Ruth.  When it was time for me to bring her home to live here my husband innocently asked: "where will this machine go?" I answered, immediately, "in the sewing room, of course." "Is there room?" he continued. "I will make room" was my reply.  And I did. I have two other cabinet machines situated in the center of the room.
This picture is from ten years ago, when Mr. Goodneedle built this tree-part table for the machines and storage. It is well used and much loved.
Ruth and her first real project since arriving at Chez Goodneedle, a pillow case for Ryan's Case for Smiles.
Ruth entered this space quietly and graciously, she fits nicely right in front of the window and gives me a wonderful view of the bird feeders just beyond the side porch. My other machines haven't been one bit jealous of Ruth's arrival, they have deferred to her senior status; there's been no pushing or shoving for top-dog status. This relationship is one of harmony and cooperation.
The comings and goings just outside the window, at the finch feeder on the other hand, are the exact opposite. These pretty little birds are quite aggressive with one another vying for a place of their own at the table. They could learn a lesson from Ruth if only they just peeked inside, there's room for everyone to coexist peacefully, if they would only wait their turn.

...and we just keep buying seed...
Life is Good!