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I thought I'd share how I am getting more things done lately!

This is a little notebook I found at Dollar General.  Its great for my never ending to do lists.  Every time I think of something, no matter how important or unimportant it is, I jot it down in this book.





When I start a new page, I circle the month and the next seven days underneath it.  I keep marking off and adding on until the page is full and then start a new one by carrying forward the items not finished.  I always have several ongoing things on there, such as working on a certain quilt, working on Christmas gifts, etc.  When one of these on going items is done, its so satisfying to mark it off and NOT carry it forward!


Some time during each work day, I will check my list and decide which things I want to get done that night after work and the next morning before work.   The picture below is an actual example from one day last week.  Sometimes the items only take a minute.  Other times they may be a little more involved.  But they never take too long.

AM and PM notes


Some more examples from recent AM and PM notes:

Spend 5 minutes putting things away in bedroom
Spend 10 minutes organizing and cleaning in sewing room
Get items together for donating to thrift shop
Pin baste quilt 30 minutes
Order birthday gift for Eli
Send Sympathy Card
Send Get Well/Thinking of you card.
Sew binding on pumpkin runner

There is even an item on my to do list with ideas to post about on this blog!  Maybe I can be more regular about posting as a result of the AM and PM sticky notes.

The idea is that the to do list will never get done if I don't break it down into manageable tasks.  No matter how small the jobs are, they really do make a difference.  I have been getting much more done and it makes me feel like I am really accomplishing things.

I do the same thing for Saturdays and Sundays, but I can  accomplish more items since there is usually more time available.  So my AM note may contain things like doing laundry, cleaning, cooking and hopefully I can get more things done that I enjoy, such as quilting and sewing.  

One final tip:  Do you have a hard time remembering to take vitamins or other medications?  Put a reminder sticky note on your bathroom mirror.   Every time I brush my teeth, I see the note and go right straight into the kitchen where my pill organizer is and take the vitamins.


Do you have a tip for getting things done?
Have a great week!
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What's a girl to do when its July and its awhile until Fall is here?

 Sew some pumpkins!



I already had everything I needed to make this runner.  I have been working on a quilt that has a lot of orange in it, so I was able to pull fabrics from that project and I also found some in my fall fabrics that I store in a plastic tote. A while back I found some orange remnants in the remnant bin at Joann's Fabrics, so that came in handy for this project.   I love going through that bin! 


Its a perfect project for using up some scraps.


I always have scraps of quilt batting left over from other projects and found a piece that was just the right size.




The backing fabric is a calico print that I'm pretty sure is from the 80s or 90s.  I'm not sure, but that small orange flower made it perfect for the backing.


I love the orange dotted fabric I used for the binding and one of the pumpkins on the front.  That fabric came from Walmart and is probably still available.


Here is a link to the pattern.  (click here)
I did not use the printable sheets.  I just did regular fusible applique.
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I thought I'd just leave this tab for a new post on my blog open, and as a thought comes to me, I'll type it up!

1.  I am currently listening to the audio version of "Only Love Today", by Rachel Macy Stafford.  I love this book!!!  It has been life changing for me.  I'm currently on my second time listening to this book.  My only problem with it is that I wish I had it when I still had children at home.  But the things I am learning are just as important for any loved one in your life, whether its your husband, grown children, grandchildren, co-workers, and even yourself.  Listening to the book is so calming and soothing to me.

She has written another book that I haven't read, called "Hands Free Mama", which is probably more well-known.  I may just check that one out too, since I feel it would apply to anyone, even if there are no children in the home.

As I've told you in a previous post, I listen to audio books for free with the Overdrive App on my phone.  This is done through your library.  I usually listen when I'm driving to and from work and other times when I am driving alone.  The sound comes through the radio with the blue tooth on the vehicle.

2.  I gave up Sirius XM Satellite Radio.    I got hooked on it when I had 6 months free with the purchase of my vehicle.  They know how to hook you on their product!  But, did you  know if you call them trying to cancel, they will keep dropping the price until its pretty cheap?  The last time I called to cancel mine, the price started at about $125.00 for 6 months, and the person I was talking to came down to about $40.00 for 6 months.  Just be sure to call BEFORE your current subscription runs out, or you have to pay for the part of the subscription you have used.  They don't send a bill until after the next subscription has started.  I decided to go ahead and cancel mine completely though, since I can listen to books and free radio.... well for free!    But $40.00 for 6 months isn't bad.

3.  When I am trying to eat right, or exercise, it doesn't have to be ALL OR NOTHING!  Even doing the right thing health-wise most of the time, is very good!  I don't have to never have another Diet Coke!  I don't have to never have any real sweets!  Its ok occasionally.  And that way I don't feel deprived so much.    As my husband says in his deep eastern NC Southern drawl,  "You don't have to take a bath in it!"  If I don't get my steps in every single day, its still ok.

4.  Speaking of getting steps in,  I am proud to say I usually do get in the recommended 10,000 steps most days.  I started out feeling like I would never be able to reach that goal, but now its easy for me to do.  I found out that its easy to walk inside.  No more using the weather or not having a good place to walk as an excuse.   Its not as boring as a treadmill to me.  I simply walk  back and forth from one point in my house to the other.  Listening to something on my phone is very helpful to make the time pass.  I also walk on my lunch break inside my office., upstairs where no one is watching.  I love listening to instagram stories of certain people while walking, or an audio book.  (See number 1 above.)  Walking 20 minutes before work, 30 minutes at lunch time at work and 20 minutes or so after work, is usually enough to reach my goal.  The other times of walking in the course of the day also add up.

I was given a Fitbit as a birthday gift in 2018 and rarely take it off now.  I love it.  Even bought my husband one for Christmas and he loves his too.  He loves to get more steps than me...

5.  As far as eating right, I am fine, until I get through eating what should be enough.  That's when I want to just keep eating!  Just one handful of nuts.  Just a couple of cookies.  Just a few chips.  And its so hard to not do this!  I have found that if I will make myself a cup of coffee, (half caff or full caff if its not too late in the day) and I can get past those end of meal cravings.  Or if I can ignore the cravings and get busy doing something else, I can usually get past it.  There's no eating for me after I brush and floss at night, so I've avoided many a late night ice cream snack, by not wanting to brush my teeth again.

Well, no pictures today, just words. 
To be continued......
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I'm always in a hurry when it comes to cleaning!  Squeezing in a few minutes here and there and then on Saturday, a couple of hours... and its still not done.

So, I've decided if I have to do it, it may as well be enjoyable!  In this picture I was drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying a candle while cleaning the bedroom which included dusting, decluttering, dust bunny evictions and organizing.




I put on a "clean with me" You Tube video for motivation!  Another option would be to play fast music or what ever kind of music you enjoy.



 Things I have done or read that would help make cleaning more enjoyable:

1.  Use a timer and race against the clock to get a job done.

2.  Listen to an audio book while cleaning.

3.  Do the worst job first thing in the morning, so you won't be dreading it all day.  Then you can enjoy looking at the finished job the rest of the day and be proud of yourself.

4.  Use cleaning products that you enjoy and that make the process easier.  Some products have a great scent.

5.  Wear a pedometer or Fitbit and see how many steps you can get while cleaning.  Cleaning can be a good workout, especially if you are crawling around on the floor cleaning under furniture, etc.

6.  Dedicate some of your cleaning time to prayer for a specific purpose.  If something is laying heavy on your mind, you can pray while you clean.

7.  Do small jobs throughout the week so you don't have to do a marathon cleaning later on.

8.  Clean with somebody.  It could be a family member or a friend.  Have a cleaning party!

9.  Reward yourself when the job is done.  It could be something as simple as just stopping for a cup of coffee or snack every few minutes, or something bigger, like a new outfit when Spring cleaning is done.

10.  This may not be an option for everybody, but the ultimate way to enjoy cleaning, is to hire a professional!  I've never paid anybody to clean my house, but it sure sounds good! 


And just a little bit of cuteness..... Grandbaby on a Quilt!



 How do you feel about cleaning? Can it be enjoyable?
 Have a great day!
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I normally would only post pictures of quilts if I was working on a new quilt or had finished one and had pictures of the completed quilt.  But, life happens and sometimes there is a sad quilt story.  Thankfully, this is rare!

Two weeks ago the house my stepdaughter, her husband and three children (ages 2, 4 and 6)  were living in caught fire and they lost almost everything.  The wonderful thing about this tragic event is that they all got out safely without having a hair on their head hurt.  Thanks be to God!  They were renting this house while waiting for a new house to be built.  Thankfully they bought a smoke detector since there was not one there.  The smoke detector woke them from a deep sleep, each parent grabbed a child or two and ran outside.  They put the children in their van.  The fire was spreading so quickly they could not even go back in to get the keys to the van!!!  They only were wearing what ever they were sleeping in.  No shoes.  No coats (and it was a cold night).  I don't have to say any more about how close a call this was!  Sadly, two dogs didn't survive.

We are so thankful that they got out and also for another wonderful thing that came out of this situation.  The family and community have been absolutely amazing!  They were offered a fully furnished house to stay in at no cost.  By the second day after the fire they were living in this generously offered home.   They have been given so many things, including cash and replacement clothes, toys, etc.  They are overwhelmed with the kindness of people they have never even met!  Honestly, they have more clothes than they have ever had.   It will be a long time before everything is replaced.  You don't think about all the "things" we need and use everyday.  The list goes on and on, from driver's licenses to a basic screwdriver.  But they are doing just fine!  In a few months they will be able to move into their new "forever" home.

As we all know, "things" can be replaced!

My stepson-inlaw brought me these quilts that I had made, to see if they could be saved.  I tried very hard, but for most of them, it just wasn't meant to be.  The chemicals in the smoke or soot on them acted as some type of acid which ate holes in the fabric, dissolved quilting threads and quilt batting.  It was also impossible to get the stains out and I'm not sure if the smoke smell could have been removed.

Only one of the quilts is salvageable.  It is the quilt I made back in  early 2011 shown HERE and the name of it is "Farmhouse Magic":  It was stored in a closet that was at the opposite end of the house from where the fire started and only had a couple of small spots on it.  I think it will be just fine.  I aired it out on the clothesline for several hours and then washed and dried it as normal.


THIS sailboat baby quilt that I named "Blue Skies From Now On" was at the daycare, so it was safe! There were three more baby quilts that couldn't even be found.


Here are before and after pictures of the ones I tried to save: 









I already had in my mind (on that never ending quilt dream list) a plan to make each of the children a new twin size quilt.  So I'm going to get on that ASAP.  It takes me a while to make a quilt, but maybe you'll see some progress on that soon.
Have a great day and check those smoke detectors!
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Just a few quick notes today.


1.  What I am reading:  A book called "SLOW" by Brooke McAlary.  Actually I'm not reading it, but listening to it on my phone and in the car.  There is an app called "Overdrive" that I am using along with my local library that allows me to listen to books for free.  I am loving this.  Hopefully, no matter where you live, you might be able to do this.


This book has lots of good ideas for decluttering, minimalism, cutting back on technology, social media, etc.  I am getting lots of good motivation for decluttering! 


2.  A new Bible Study:  Proverbs 31 Ministries is offering a new Bible study called "Its Not Supposed To Be Like This".  You can sign up for this free Bible study HERE.  You will need the book, but usually they have the first few chapters free on their website.  That way you can try it and see if its something you would like well enough to purchase the book.


This Bible study looks helpful in handling those disappointments and hurts that we all experience from time to time whether they be Big or small.
Happy Wednesday!
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Here are a few glimpses of Christmas 2018 in our home.  


My newest grandchild's Christmas Stocking.that I made.














I hope your Christmas was merry!  Happy New Year, as well!
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My daughter-in-law asked if I could patch up her Great Grandmother's quilt.  The quilt is in pretty bad shape with lots of holes (some big ones!) and stitches coming out all over the place.   Her request was that I just fix it so the damage wouldn't get any worse.

From a distance its a great scrap quilt:



This quilt is the perfect example of a REAL scrap quilt.  It contains every kind of fabric you can think of.  I'm pretty sure there are flour sacks in it, along with scraps from clothing.  Looks to me like nothing she had went to waste.  I love it!

Some of the different fabrics up close:









However, due to the age of the fabrics in the quilt, they are disintegrating in places.  The seams are coming apart in lots of places.  There is no way to restore the quilt, so patching and hand sewing loose seams was the only thing I could do.

The first thing I did was sit with this quilt in my lap while watching TV, and go over it bit by bit, clipping loose threads and strings of fabric that had frayed.  Any seams I could repair with needle and thread, I repaired.  Where there were big holes, I trimmed up the area and  repaired what I could, so that I could hand sew a patch over them.

A couple of the holes after I had trimmed them up in preparation for the patches:




There are a lot of red fabrics in the quilt, so I felt that the patches should be in red.  I found some muted red fabric in my stash.  I also used some beige calico fabric that I felt would would go with the vintage fabrics in the quilt.

A few of the patched areas:



The calico patch!


I love the pattern in this quilt and in fact, I made a small Christmas quilt in the same pattern many years ago.  The one I made is small and I use it as a tree skirt, or put in on display.  I would love to make more quilts like this.  This is the one I made:



Scrap quilts are my favorite and so repairing the old scrap quilt for my daughter-in-law was a labor of love.
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I had this idea to make "Thankful" pictures for Thanksgiving week from some of the pictures I've taken lately.  My plan was to share one on Facebook each day this week leading up to Thanksgiving.  I'm not a big Facebook fan.  I'm more of a Blog girl! LOL

I love photography as much as my other hobbies of sewing, quilting, gardening, crocheting, etc.  So, I thought I'd share some of the pictures I came up with here to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.



My thanks go to my husband for the use of his hands in this picture.  The beautiful yellow Fall leaves came from the mountains of Tennessee last week.


These toes belong to my youngest granddaughter, Victoria. Love those little toes!


This food is takeout from the Redneck BBQ Lab in Benson, N. C.  If you are ever traveling on I-40 near McGee's Crossroads, you should definitely stop.  They have won so many awards, its crazy.  The occasion for this food was my sister's 70th birthday.  We stopped on the way to her house for a little celebration.  The food is really good!

The Blessing words do not all show up too well, but it is the traditional Blessing my Mama always said before meals when I was growing up.

My sister's cake:


So there you have it.  My "Happy Thanksgiving" to you!
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I recently bought this little 2 sided chalkboard on Amazon to use as a photo prop with my grandchildren.    In addition to its use as a photo prop, I discovered that I really like writing different things on it.  It sits on the kitchen counter where we see it all the time.  I am really enjoying it.

Here I used it as a photo prop:


I used it here for my granddaughter's 2 month pictures.  I will be using it for this purpose a lot in the future.


Here I wanted to surprise my husband with a compliment!  He didn't notice it at first, so I took a picture and texted it to him.  He thinks I'm kind of crazy. LOL


It will be great for different seasons.  Fall, Winter, Christmas, Valentines, Spring, Summer, 4th of July and birthdays, etc. will be showing up on it.


One favorite way to use it is for Bible verses or Christian quotes
.

I'm not a chalkboard artist, but I can write and draw a simple sunshine, flower or heart!  Also there are all kinds of ideas on pinterest.

The frame is natural wood, but I'm thinking of painting it.  Just not sure what color.

If anyone is interested, my Amazon referral link for the chalkboard is below:


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