Category Archives: Monthly Progress Report

February’s fluff

This month flew by. February is a short month. And I was sick for a week!

On the plus side, we enjoyed a visit from my Aunt Bertha this month, we did a little shopping, some pool and hot tub time, and just enjoyed vacation time together. I had a productive month at the sewing machine. And I had a birthday! All in all, it was a very good month.


Star Blocks –This was meant to be a hand-piecing project, but I found out (rather quickly) that I don’t like hand-piecing these little 3″ blocks. I fiddled around with making them by sewing machine, and I’m quite pleased with the result. It takes me about an hour to do each one. Thirty-nine done…a jillion to go.

HSTs — I needed almost 50 more half-square triangles for my scrappy quilt project. I got them done in February, and now I’ve started constructing the quilt top. This is a HST challenge, so I’m not sharing a photo yet.


  • Finish the last seven basket blocks for my Ruffled Roses quilt
  • Make more stars!
  • Prep a wool project so I have some hand work ready to go


Gifted Yarn — Aunt Bertha left me with some sumptuous Malabrigo Arroyo yarn in purple. Project to be determined. I also purchased some yarn so I’ll have a knitting project for some car time next month. It will be a cowl.


We plan to take a little North Carolina day trip to the Callabash area, but it looks like that will be in March.


I’m not getting much photography time in, but there are a few more pictures in the Gallery section of this page. Look at the top of the right-hand column. We have had some really pretty days.


Continuing with our Thursday Movie Days, we saw one movie in February:

Stan & Ollie:

If you grew up with Laurel & Hardy movies, you’d probably enjoy this movie, which covers some of their later years. The actors were so believable as Laurel and Hardy, it adds to the appeal of the film.


  • Mr. & Mrs. Murder on Acorn (binge watched!)
  • We re-watched almost all the Doc Martin episodes on Acorn
  • I’ve introduced Jim to The Brokenwood Mysteries on Acorn, and it’s been a while so they are almost new to me.

So another month has slipped away. Changing my blog’s format and purpose into sort of a project diary has helped me focus on specific tasks I want to accomplish each month. Thank you for stopping by !


January’s Jottings…


Ruffled Roses by Sue Garman. I am working on the twenty-four 6-inch-finished basket blocks. They are really a great exercise in improving my accuracy, as there is not much room for error. Seventeen of the 24 are done. Here area few of them on my “design chair”:


We took a road trip to North Myrtle Beach, SC. This is our first visit to the area. I knitted and sewed, Jim enjoyed walking on the beach.


Spotlight Shawl.  

This is an easy shawl that’s taking too much time, and it’s all my fault. I decided I couldn’t do the lace section. It wasn’t that hard, but I would have to give it full attention and count stitches; I like to watch TV while I knit. So I created my own brainless design for that section.

I did a picot bind-off, and I really like it. The whole thing will look much improved once it has been blocked. (I learned how to do the picot edge on a YouTube video. All the how-to help that’s out there is just amazing.)


  • (Audible) Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich, a Stephanie Plum novel. Predictable and enjoyable. If you liked the first 20, you’ll like this one.
  • (Audible) The Child Finder by Rene Denfield. Recommended by an acquaintance, I enjoyed this book. I would like to read another by this author — not for the storyline, but for the richness of her writing.
  • (Audible) The Witch Elm by Tana French. As a Tana French fan, I expected something similar to her previous books. Not so. First time that I can remember buying a book, getting 1/3 of the way through, and then I quit.
  • (Audible) Bone Box by Faye Kellerman. Still in progress.


This winter, we have designated Thursdays as Movie Day. Here are the movies we saw in January:

  • The Mule with Clint Eastwood. Kind of predictable, but still an enjoyable movie, especially if your husband is a big Clint Eastwood fan!
  • On the Basis of Sex, biopic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. An interesting and educational tribute of the Supreme Court Justice. Worth seeing.

Binge-Worthy TV:

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Seasons 1 & 2, on Amazon Prime. Love the characters and the story. Avoid if offended by frequent coarse language. Now to wait until Season 3…probably 10 months from now!


The big event was the lunar eclipse. There are a few other January photos in the Photo Gallery at the top right of this page.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by. Please feel free to leave a comment for me.

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November/December Notes

(Header shot is of a horse-drawn carriage, curbside, in New Orleans.)

Happy New Year!

We were away the first half of December, so I decided to do a combined-month blog post.


Thanksgiving was a week of puzzles, games, movies, and food!  This is Rob (#3 Son), hard at work.  Isn’t it good to know that my sewing lights get a little extra use?  All the “kids” were home off and on all week, and it was so much fun to have them around.  I’m a lucky mom.

Rob (Son #1), above, working on a puzzle.

Fast forward to Christmas time, and we had the whole family in town again…what a blessing!  It was a blur of movies, games, and meal prep & eating, laughter and fabulous family time.  Lucky Dave was still home when we got a little snow, and he volunteered to get the shoveling done before his dad got up.


Lots of handwork was done on the cruise, but since I don’t have a decent picture, I’ll update sewing next month.


Apron:  Super-easy pattern by Perkins Drygoods, “My Favorite Apron”.  I love this style, as it is equally good for men or women.  Looks like it’s only the body cut out in this picture, but it finished up great and I used it all through the Christmas cooking.

Zippered Bags:  I really enjoyed making these bags from the “Stowaways” pattern from Atkinson Designs.  The pattern includes instructions for six variations of small bags.  They are easy and fun to make.  (The two smaller bags below are made following the pattern.)

I loved the shape of the middle-sized bag above, so I increased the size to make a makeup bag.   I added a layer of clear vinyl to cover the lining so I will be able to wipe the inside clean.  I was really pleased with the result.

If you want to make the large-sized bag, you will need the Stowaways pattern, make the “Sassy” so you understand the construction.  My modification increased the main fabric piece cut to 15″ x 19″.  I love it!


Aaah, knitting was totally ignored.  But I bought yarn.  In New Orleans.  So technically it was a souvenir.  Not STASH.  A SOUVENIR.


November was a good month to stay home, and so we did.  December, on the other hand, was a good month to go south, waaay south, to the Panama Canal!  We both really enjoyed traveling through the canal on the Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas.

Panama City, before we entered the canal from the west.

Our ship will be entering the lock on the right, behind the green and white ship.  This set of locks stair-steps us up higher than ocean level, so we can travel across the lake to the set of locks that will stair-step us down to the Atlantic side.  In the photo above, you can see how much higher the green ship is than the red ship.

It’s a tight squeeze for the cruise ships, but they are made to barely clear the width of the Panama Canal.  This was an awesome trip, and I highly recommend learning about the construction of the canal, and then, if you have a chance, take a trip through it.

Most Panama Canal cruises start or end in one of the Florida ports, but this cruise started in Los Angeles and ended in New Orleans.  I read in a guide book that New Orleans is best experienced on foot, and that is just what we did and it was a wonderful experience.  Just a couple of pix:

We attended Mass at the St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter.  It was beautiful inside and out, and makes for a striking skyline feature.

Later in the day, we stopped by the Cafe Du Monde, as we heard their beignets were outstanding.  The line was at least two blocks long, 4 to 5 people across.  So we continued with our sightseeing and came back later.  Definitely worth a visit!  (Beignets are square pillows of dough, fried like a doughnut, and served under a very generous blanket of powdered sugar.)  Their other specialty is chickory coffee with milk, which was also delicious.


My little photo gallery for November/December photos is in the right-hand sidebar at the top of this page, and I added photos from our visit to the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans.

So many happy memories from these two months…2018 was a wonderful year

Wishing all of you a blessed, healthy, and prosperous  2019!