Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy Street Clue 4

I've been doing my best to keep up with the clues for Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt "Easy Street"....working steady and strong.  I'm almost completely caught up, but at this point I know it's not going to happen until the new year.

I have about half of the last clue (#4) complete...

My 64 purple flying geese with turquoise wing tips are completed...but I still need to trim the dog ears and sew them to another earlier completed clue.  I also need to cut out the lime green squares.

Clue #4 would probably be 100% complete had I not been "behind" on Clue #3 from the previous week.  I did finish that part this week also....

Alas...I still need to trim the dog ears from this clue also. :)

Sadly, as of this moment, I'm temporarily putting away everything "Easy Street" related in order to finish the last remaining Christmas gifts.  I MUST complete two gifts by this Friday when Ray and Kirsten take a quick weekend trip to see his parents in Pittsburgh.  While they are away (and I'm watching the dogs), I will also be completing 3 more gifts needed by Christmas Eve!

It looks like our oldest daughter and her family will be coming to visit us two days after Christmas which means I must put EVERYTHING away in my sewing room because it is needed as a guest room.  My youngest grandson just turned two years old this past September and he loves to touch, disassemble and "work on" anything he can reach.  This means all my sewing machines must be put away in their cases, all cutting tools completely hidden.  I'm sure you get the picture.

Hopefully, I will be able to pull everything back out and get going again around January 3rd....unless I need more time to recoup from having the entire family together for an entire week. :) :)  I'm really looking forward to having everyone home at the same time for the first time in several years!!!!

I hope it won't be too difficult to play "catch-up" at that time and be able to complete the mystery quilt along with all the other quilters around the world.

You can keep up with the progress of many other quilters participating in the Easy Street mystery by clicking on this link....

Until next time....
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

128 Flying Geese Complete & Other Stuff

Yippee...finished the 128 flying geese units that was considered our clue #2 in the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt called Easy Street.  All I need to do is clip the dog-ears off to consider them completely finished.

(Side note:  It's still not too late to jump in and make the quilt along with all the thousands of Bonnie Hunter fans across the world.  All the "clues" so far (there are three at this point) can be found at:

While I finished sewing up the above 128 flying geese, I sewed on some of my Tennessee Waltz units as my "leaders & enders".  Just look at how far along you can get without even realizing it simply by having a different project to the side of your sewing machine to lead or end with....

Are you familiar with the term "leaders & enders"?  It's really simple...when sewing together small quilt pieces...rather than have all these irritating long strings of thread at the beginning and end of each individual unit (and then taking the time to cut the long threads off) simply maintain SOMETHING under your needle at all times so that you are basically sewing a never ending piece.  This is also called "chain-feeding/sewing".  You sew one piece and rather than pull it away and clip the thread, you just add another item under the pressure foot.  Another don't waste any thread.

To help me keep count of my flying geese units, I would sew 10 flying geese seams, then "end" that section with one Tennessee Waltz block.  While the Tennessee Waltz block was under my needle...I clipped the flying geese away, clipped them apart, pressed the seams, then brought them back to the machine and started feeding them through the the machine again for the second seam in construction.  In other words, I'm killing two birds with one stone. :)

Today I plan to cut out the pieces needed for Clue #3 that was released this past Friday.  Now we get to play with the Turquoise fabrics we chose (if you are using Bonnie Hunter's color suggestions that is)....or whatever color you like best for your own selection.

Here is my assortment of Turquoise fabrics....

My daughter Kirsten came in the other day and saw all the fabrics I planned to use for this mystery (Lime Green, Turquoise, Purple, Grey and Black on White prints) and claimed this quilt for herself. :) :)

With this next clue we will be making 64 shaded 4 patch blocks using turquoise triangles, purple squares and black on white triangles.  I don't recall ever making this particular block before so I'm looking forward to learning something new.

Now it's time to get to the cutting board!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Boo Boos, Klutz Gloves & Flying Geese

I've been hesitant to admit to the world just how "klutzy" I was about a week ago.  I have been using a rotary cutter for as long as they have been on the market and never had an "oops" moment UNTIL last week.

In my excitement to get started cutting out the first pieces for a mystery happened....the never imagined, can't believe I just did that, split second slice of the rotary cutter with my left pointer finger hanging over the edge of the ruler ever so slightly.....but just enough to.....

Yessirree....OUCH....blood pouring out....sick, gut feeling that I may have just cut the tip of my finger off....running down the hallway to the bathroom....throbbing PAIN!!!!

I'll leave the rest to your imagination.  :)  Thankfully, dear hubby was home and knowing my over the top fear of requiring medical attention, even though the cut was deep, it was clean and so he proceeded to doctor it up himself....hoping it would work and start to heal without stitches!

I have gone a week now with my left pointer finger sticking up in the air as I do anything and everything.  The constant throbbing ended after about the second or third day.  Now it only hurts if I forget and try to pick something up or touch it.  I have advanced to wearing "butterfly" band-aids in order to give it fresh air to dry out and heal.

Yesterday was the first day that I got brave enough to actually look closely at it myself. LOL  I wanted to know the extent of my injuries. :)  The cut skin looks to be healing nicely...even difficult to see....but yesterday was when I finally realized that it wasn't just my skin that was cut....that stinking brand new blade I had just put in the rotary cutter was truly enough to cut the skin, and continue cutting through the side and towards the center of my finger nail!!!!!!!!!!  NO WONDER the tip of my finger still hurts to do anything with it!!!!!!!

This little accident has left me a little scared of the rotary cutter....terrified is closer to the truth! :) :)  I started looking around and asking questions and found that there was a product on the market just for potentially klutzy quilters called.....drum roll please......KLUTZ GLOVES!!!!!!

I ordered myself one (and I ordered my mom one also because I feel responsible with her new found need to use a rotary cutter herself.....I've been dragging her into starting the mystery quilt and other projects with me).

The gloves are made using a wire mesh to stop "blades gone wild" from penetrating our delicate fingers and there are rubber grippers they help us hold the acrylic rulers in place.  The rubber grippers are on both sides of the glove so that it can be used for both right and left handed quilters.  I bet whoever thought of this has made a fortune!!!! LOLOLOL

The package arrived yesterday!!!!  YIPPEE....I feel brave enough to use the rotary cutter again.  It's a good thing too....I really needed to cut out the required pieces for the second clue in the mystery quilt.

Thanks to my new "feel the power" glove....I am back in the groove.  All 128 purple "geese" triangles, 256 black on white print "wings", and the 64 - 2" x 3 1/2" rectangles (an advance clue for the next reveal) are all cut out and ready to sew together.

The timing couldn't be better.  Kirsten needs the use of my long cutting table to work on some more of her Christmas gift projects (photos will be shared after the holidays) and now I can sit at my little featherweight and sew up a storm while she works across the room....great bonding opportunity for the two of us. :) :)

Ta Ta for now....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Heartland Crossing Project

So, you may recall me mentioning in a past post that I'm participating in a 6-month quilting/history club called "Prairie Women's Sewing Circle".  The November project was a wall-hanging called Heartland Crossing using the log cabin blocks constructed from 1 1/4" strips of prairie/civil war reproduction fabrics.

I got off to a slow start due to the fact it is Christmas and I have so many gifts needing the fact I'm participating in the mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter.

I've just recently finished the 16 (8") blocks needed and I still need to make a flying geese border in order to complete the project per instructions....

Aren't the blocks lovely?  I couldn't be happier with the fabric colors and designs.  I've always loved the look of a log cabin quilt.  Here's my dilemma...I love it so much that I can't decide if I want to finish it per instructions or continue making blocks with the hopes of constructing a bed size quilt over time.  I truly am thrilled with the "scrappiness" of the fabrics.  What to do....what to do.... :) :) :)

I think for now I'm going to set it aside and think about it while I start the December pioneer project....and work on the mystery quilt....and finish up Christmas gifts....and continue making blocks for my Tennessee Waltz quilt that I'm doing as my "leaders and enders". LOLOLOL

This picture is proof of my chaotic method of sewing (don't worry...I'm actually happiest in the midst of my chaos).  To the left and under the sewing needle are sections for the mystery quilt.  Immediately to the right of the sewing machine are the log cabin blocks in the middle of construction and on the far right of the table are pieces for my Tennessee Waltz quilt that I use as leaders and enders.  Of course, peeking out in the right hand corner are Christmas presents that I'm stacking as I wrap them.  (NO...I've not been able to get my dear hubby to pull the tree out of the shed and assemble it for me yet.)

Gotta go do some laundry so I can get back to sewing! :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Easy Street Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter

Most of the projects I've been working on over the past few weeks are gift related (as in Christmas!) so I'm unable to post much of what is occupying my days for fear that the recipient may read my blog that day. :)

BUT...I am able to share about one of the projects I've just started.  It's a mystery quilt called Easy Street by Bonnie Hunter.  I'm as huge fan (remember me sharing about her workshop I attended back in July of this year?)  Well, bless her heart, as a means of "thanks and giving back" to all her fans, each year she offers the opportunity to participate in a free mystery quilt.  She releases the clues (instructions), one step at a time on a weekly basis.  Clue #2 was just released this past Friday.  The mystery is that we have no idea what the finished quilt top will look like until the final clue is revealed.  Of course, I've not seen a quilt Bonnie Hunter has designed that I didn't love.

To see the progress of many other quilters participating....then simply visit the link below:

The first clue was revealed on Black Friday.  I was out of town for Thanksgiving so I didn't get to start until the middle of the last week.

First clue involved making 384 twosies....

Then sewing them together to make 192 four-patches....

After sewing them, we had to "twist" and press the center seam (something I had never done before I might add). This step reduces the bulk of the fabric seams so that the block lays flat.

Now I must scoot and get started cutting the pieces for Clue 2....using purples and the black on white prints as seen in my first photo above...AND continue working on the ton of other projects I'm trying to finish.  It's a good thing I am at my best when multitasking   I accomplish more when I have lots of variety and projects going on at the same time.  One project at a time is BORING! LOLOL

Seriously consider jumping in and making the mystery quilt along with all of won't be sorry!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Leap of Faith

In early October, I started a 6-month quilting journey with my friend Marianne (who actually signed me up for this!)....called the "Prairie Women's Sewing Circle".  Basically, this is a history/quilting project hosted by a fabric shop called Material Rewards in Dansville, NY.  Each month, for 6 months, we learn a little bit of history in reference to the prairie/pioneer women from the 1840 - 1900 era.

I really enjoy "history"....and this group is so nice in that it is hosted completely on-line which allows anyone to participate no matter where you are located.  Our instruction kits are mailed to us at the beginning of each month and we have the opportunity to post photos, share our progress, ask questions, etc., on a blog set up strictly for the participants of the "journey".

I've always said that "sewing" is very soothing for is my "therapy" you'll understand why I got a chuckle as I read through the history lesson that accompanied this first project....

     "Sewing was so ingrained into the culture of this era that it was said to be "essential to a woman's happiness, no less than her usefulness in accomplishing the mission of her life".  Sewing perpetuated "modesty", "quiet and retiring manners", and had a "soothing and sedative effect, and was a corrective for the little irritations in life".

I just LOVE the last little part of that last sentence (underlined). LOLOLOLOL  It appears that women of all  time periods had rough days....I'm not the only one!!!!  :)

This first project is called "Leap of Faith" because it truly was a leap of faith for these families to give up everything they, family, friends, luxuries of civilization, basically EVERYTHING in order to head off into the unknown, to homestead the prairies of young America.

The main emphasis of our lesson was to teach us about using "make-do" fabrics within the construction of our quilts.  Needless to say, our prairie/pioneer sisters did not have the luxury of making a quick trip to the local fabric shop whenever she wanted to start a new project, or if she suddenly realized that she was just a tad bit short on a particular piece of fabric had to make-do with whatever she could get her hands on.

In our kit for October, we were supplied a small piece of blue fabric to use as our "make-do" fabric for this first miniature quilt top.  We were instructed to use this swatch of fabric in just a few of the triangles in the construction of our star blocks.

Can you see the difference?  I only incorporated the "make-do" fabric in a couple of the star blocks...not all of them.

I'm starting to fall in love with the Prairie and Civil War reproduction fabrics.  I've been a big fan of 1930's and WWI - WWII reproduction fabrics for several years now....but I'm REALLY liking these fabrics!!!! :)

I probably should have hand-quilted this little quilt....but I didn't. LOL  In fact, as I was looking through my stash of supplies, I found an embroidery quilt motif called "Prairie Rose" that I thought was perfect for this quilt.  I used my machine's embroidery accessory to "quilt" this motif in each of the light colored blocks.  (See first photo at top of blog post.)

I then used the "stitch-in-the-ditch" technique to outline each of the blue stars....then I did a simple meandering on the borders.

Maybe you can see the quilting better from the back side of the quilt....

I readily admit that as much as I love the history behind the quilts...I'm glad it is HISTORY and that I am living TODAY!  I'm not cut out to be a pioneer how!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Unplanned Steeler Quilt for Ray

This is one of those quilts that happened accidentally.  I tend to have days (the older I get, the more often they come) where I just need something to do to keep me from going crazy.  Sewing is very good "therapy" for me....much better activity than wringing someones neck! :) :) :)

On really bad days....I cope so much better if I can just sit and sew at the machine for hours.  The constant hum of the motor is very soothing.  On days like this....I just need to sew, and sew, and sew....mindlessly sew, and sew, and sew....without having to think and plan and cut, etc.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Quite a few weeks ago, one of these days popped up so I decided to experiment using a pattern/idea shared with me by my friend Marianne.

The photo above shows a stack of fabric strips - 40 strips that were 2 1/2" wide by 44" long.  I sewed these 40 strips of fabric together....end to end....sewn on the diagonal (the same way you would sew strips together when making binding).

After sewing the strips together, which means I had one continuous strip of fabric that measured approximately 1,600 inches (instructions say to clip off approx. 12" - 18" from the beginning of the long strip to make sure your other seams end up at the right spots during the construction of the quilt top)..... I took the end of the strip and brought it up to meet the beginning of the strip  (basically folding the strip in half) and started sewing them together.

I so enjoyed sewing one long continuous seam that equaled approximately 800 inches!!!! (Seriously!!!)  At the end of the seam, where the "fold" was....I simply cut the fabric across the fold line.

As before, I took the end of the now double wide strip, folded it in half and brought the end up to meet the beginning of the double wide strip and proceeded to sew them together.  This next continuous seam was approximately 400 inches long and 4 strips you see the concept of what I'm doing now?

I just kept doing this over and over until I ended up with a lap size quilt top equaling approximately 56" x 75" (my mind just went blank so I can't remember the exact measurement at the moment).

It's different....but I really like it. that I've actually used this "pattern"....I have figured out how to get a better layout based on the order in which I sew the strips.  Of course, I'm NOT about to rip this quilt top apart and start all over....NO WAY!!!!  :) :)

The more I looked at this quilt top, the more I realized that the colors reminded me of the Pittsburgh Steeler husband and daughters' favorite NFL team.  This wasn't planned.  The 40 strips of fabric used just happened to be in yellow/golds, grays, white and black.

It needed a border to pull it together...

Yep....I decided to use a solid black as the border to frame my "Steeler" quilt.

Now what do I use on the back of the quilt?  Well....if I'm going to call it a "Steeler" quilt...then I need to go all the way with that theme.  A quick shopping trip later and I've found the perfect fabric to use as the backing.

I know, I know....maybe I've gone just a tad bit over the top here...but oh makes me happy! :) :)

Now time for more experimenting.  I'm still trying to practice and develop my free-motion quilting skills.  I have used my regular sewing machine in the past to "stitch-in-the-ditch".... to outline the blocks using 1/4" free motion a meandering design and even use my embroidery attachment to quilt more elaborate designs....but I need to learn MORE!

After watching a few Youtube videos online showing some different (supposedly easy) techniques....I decide to give it a go.  This quilt is staying here why not experiment with it! :) :)'s not perfect....but it's not terrible either. :)  It doesn't quite look like what the lady on the video tutorial was teaching....but it's in the same vicinity I guess.  It took me about one week to finish quilting this.  It's hard on the shoulders, arms and back so I had to take LOTS of breaks.

Maybe you can see the design on the back side, against the black fabric a little better....or maybe not... LOL

I used the same solid black border fabric to make my binding.

After I had completely finished it....I proudly handed it to Ray during this past Sunday's Steeler game (thank goodness they won this time LOL).  He likes it and has placed it by his side of the bed and says that the next time I steal all the covers during the night, then he will grab his own quilt and cover up with it. :) :) :)  Sounds like a good plan to me!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Placemats are Finished!

Back in August, I posted a blog showing how to make some easy, fun placemats as possible Christmas gifts, etc.

Here's the link if you'd like to refresh your memory....

After I sewed the tops together...I put the project aside in order to work on more pressing items. :) But since  summer is over and fall has arrived...I pulled them back out and completed them so that my daughter Amanda can start using them in her new home.

They have turned out so pretty that now I'm almost wishing I could keep them and use them myself.  Oh well...what's a mom to do. :)

Here's the front side:

I'm trying to build my skills for free motion quilting.  This is just a simple "meandering" using my regular home sewing machine.  I plan to try my hand at a larger project this week.  My dream of owning a longarm quilting machine is going to be "just a dream" for a while so I don't really have much choice but continue practicing. :)

I used a metallic fabric that has shades of gold and greens as the binding.  It blends beautifully with the fall colors on the front...and it works perfectly for the back....

As you can see....I used a Christmas Poinsettia print to back the placemats so that they are reversible and all Amanda has to do after Thanksgiving is flip them over and she's all ready for Christmas. :)  She is so happy with them that she wants me to make MORE reversible placemats for other holidays throughout the year.

By making them reversible this certainly cuts down the storage space needed....especially for someone in a small space with very little storage at all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Memory Quilt for Marianne and George

A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to a surprise 45th Wedding Anniversary party for my dear friend Marianne and her husband George.

I was so excited when she opened her gift...a memory quilt celebrating their 45 years together and all the blessings of their children (and their spouses) and of course the GRANDCHILDREN! :)

Aren't they just the cutest couple!!!!

Now for the story behind the gift..... :)  :)  :)

I asked their daughter Melissa if she could "sneak around" and get her hands on wedding photos and photos of each member of their family without her mom's knowledge.  I've never made a "memory quilt", but I knew that if I could figure out how to make it, Marianne was someone who would truly appreciate and cherish the gift.

Sometimes I have these wonderful "spur of the moment ideas" without thinking about exactly what will be involved in actually "doing" the project. :)

First example of how naive I am was the time frame.  I received the invitation from Melissa on September 4th....and the surprise party was scheduled for October 6th....basically a month to accomplish my "idea".  That wouldn't have been terrible...but I couldn't start the project until the photos arrived. :)

Gathering up the photos was not an easy job to complete.  I received e-mails with the first couple of wedding photos attached on September 21....then a couple more family photos arrived by e-mail that same evening....then a few more on September 22....then a few more on September 23....and finally the last couple of photos needed on September 24.

I had 11 full days to make this quilt...from start to finish.  YIKES!!!!  I truly was worried at this point that I had bit off more than I could chew.  Not only did I have less than two weeks to do this....when making a memory quilt...there are NO INSTRUCTIONS!!!  :)  You basically have to figure it out all by your lonely self!!! LOLOL

First, I printed all the photos on colorfast fabric paper.

Did you notice that each photo is a unique, different size?  In the beginning, I thought that it would be best to print all the family photos the same size to make it easier.  The only problem with that idea was that when I printed them the first changing the sizes, it resulted in several chopped off heads, arms, etc.  So after a few wasted pieces of fabric paper...I realized that I had no choice but print each photo "just like it was" which would mean that in order to sew them into quilt blocks...there would be no "mass production" of fabric block would be unique, and different from all the other blocks.  At this point....I feel my stress level rising!!! LOLOLOL

Next question....what color fabrics do I use?  Isn't the computer a wonderful thing?  I googled "45th Anniversary" and learned that this was the "sapphire" anniversary. it is! :) :)  Since each block was going to have to be cut and constructed individually....why not use a different blue fabric as "frames" for each photo???  As strange as it much as I love all colors...."blues" have never been a fabric color that I tend to collect...which means I wouldn't find many (if any) "blues" in my fabric stash. :)

FAT QUARTERS are now my new best friends!!!  For those of you unfamiliar with quilting, etc...a "fat quarter" is a piece of fabric you can purchase that is approximately 18" x 22".

The time (days) are slipping by....gotta get this show on the road!!!!  Admittedly....I felt lost...where do I begin?  Math is not my favorite subject...but I sat down with paper and pencil and starting drawing out placement ideas.....then tried to figure out the math involved to make everything fit and come together in one quilt top!!!

Before starting on the photos, I decided to make one special block using the embroidery functions of my sewing machine....

Next, I forced myself to be brave enough to start cutting into the fabrics and begin framing and constructing the individual quilt blocks....

Marianne has four children, two daughters and two I thought it only fitting to make the second row of the quilt using the photos of the kids and their birth order......

Next comes the order of oldest to the youngest....there's a total of 10!!!!

The first four....

The next four....

The last two....TWO??  But I need four to make it even!! :) :)  There's not enough time to create new grandchildren so I put my thinking cap on and came up with the idea to make two blocks using 1 1/2" strips of fabric from the assorted blue fabrics used to frame all the photos....

Some of you may not believe this...but I'm truly designing this quilt top "as I go".  At this point, I need to decide what color fabric to use as lattice strips separating each block.  Honestly, when I started the quilt top, my thoughts were leaning in the direction of pairing yellows/golds with the blues...but once I got this far and started REALLY looking at it, I just wasn't happy with that idea.

After laying out a few possible color choices....the winner is.....RED!

Oh yes....I'm really liking this choice.....

There's not much time left to complete this quilt before the party....I'm not exactly thinking through all the details in advance.....I'm happy with the finished quilt top....but there's not enough of the red fabric to use for the back side....oh boy....what do I do now....I should have thought of this "small" part of the quilt process earlier. :)

After measuring it, I need exactly 3 yards of fabric to back the quilt....I plan to run to the fabric shop tomorrow with the completed quilt top to find something that looks nice.  Literally before heading to bed...I go look through my "stash" of fabric one more time.  I found something....I LOVE will look great....but do I have enough of it????

I kid you not....when I measured the fabric piece it was EXACTLY 3 yards!!!!!!

The next morning, I measured the fabric one more time to make sure I had not dreamed it....then cut the 3 yards in half, giving me two 1 1/2 yard pieces.  I quickly sewed them together and.....continue the race to complete it in time!

The quilt top, batting and quilt back is sandwiched and pinned the fun begins....time to quilt it.

I have one day left....I'm much to little time.....

The quilting is I need to bind I go not thinking things through again!!!  What fabric do I use to bind the quilt?  I have enough of the red used in the front of the quilt to cut binding strips...but it doesn't really look right against the red fabric on the back.  I bet a blue binding would really make it "pop" and pull the whole look together.  The only "blue" fabric left is the scraps from the fat quarters used to frame each photo.  There's not enough time to shop for more fabric....a quilter must do whatever a quilter must do to complete a project.

There's no other choice but cut the blue scraps into strips...regardless of the length of the strips....and then sew them together until I have approximately 250 inches of binding....(I crack myself up sometimes!!) that it's finished...I think the binding is adorable!!!  I'll do this again on future quilts I'm sure!!! :)

Just a few hours "last minute" idea (yes, I'm full of them! LOLOL)

I took the tiny scraps from the quilt top and stuffed them into a clear Christmas Ornament...took a gold paint pen and wrote "45th Anniversary" on one side and 10-6-2012 on the other side.  I forgot to take a photo (was running out of time at this point)....but I DID get a photo of Marianne after she opened the box and found the ornament on top....

Oh...there's something else in the box...

She's smiling....I think she likes it! :)

                              "HAPPY 45TH ANNIVERSARY MARIANNE AND GEORGE!"

P.S. are a special friend and I treasure our friendship!!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Amanda's Kitchen Before & After

Let me explain from the beginning that Amanda is not completely finished with her kitchen yet...she still has plans to remove the old wallpaper and paint...and paint over any remaining paneling.

BUT....I just had to show you what a HUGE difference simply painting the cabinets made to this once little dark kitchen.

The kitchen "before"....

Amanda admits that painting kitchen cabinets is not an easy job....very time consuming to get it right.  She painted inside and out.  She even painted the hardware!

The kitchen "after"......

Do you spot the pineapple salt & pepper shakers in the
bottom right corner of the photo?  Another gift from her little
sister Kirsten.  They now have a little joke between them about "pineapples".
I foresee many future years of Kirsten slowly adding funny
pineapple items to Amanda's home. :) 

She isn't sure if she plans to tackle the walls soon or wait until she isn't hanging things on the walls until she finishes or decides to wait.  Plus...she still has the two bedrooms that she is currently working on.  I believe she plans to save the bathroom as her last project as it surprisingly needs the least amount of work.

She is having so much fun settling into "living on her own".  She is planning meals (has already hosted one dinner party).  She is clipping coupons and planning her grocery lists.  She loves fresh flowers (as you can see in the photo).  She even called me to let me know that she had paid all of her first bills....that excitement will wear off soon I'm sure! LOL

On a serious note....she genuinely seems at peace and content with her life, happy and excited to see what each new day brings.  What more could a mom hope for her child? be young again!! :) :) :) :) :) :)