Monday, December 26, 2011

My Old Fashioned Santa!

Well, I have an interesting story about my Santa.  He's the one in front of my trees on my porch.

I made him about 18-20 years ago, a very long process that has to be done in steps over a few weeks.  So, when they say patience is a virtue, they are so right.

Notice he isn't in this picture!

So, a couple weeks ago, one of my employees noticed a lady leaving the shop, she did not purchase anything, which really shouldn't matter, but she had her jacket on when she walked out the door and as she was walking towards her car, she had her jacket off, under her arm, with something in it.  Diane, my employee, walked over to the door and noticed this, but at first she thought she had a bolt of fabric.  I know what you're thinking.  Quilters are honest people.  Yes, that's was I always think, but I'm always amazed when things like this happen.  Diane noticed a smidgen of red sticking out from her jacket.  She looked down, and yes, the Santa was missing.  Then she noticed that my Santa was missing.  Yes, gone! 

Well, then she called me over right away, explained the situation and away I went.  Out to her car.  This lady was acting very fidgety, trying to cover what it was in her passenger seat but, I noticed a bit of his coat prior to her covering him, that confirmed it.  I asked her to bring her window down and she finally put it down about 4".  I politely asked her to remove her jacket so that I could see what was under it.  She asked, "Why?", then I explained that he was missing and that my employee saw her jacket covering him while she walked to her car.  She got very anxious then and said, "I don't have to.".  Well, I felt very angry then, that someone would just up and take something that didn't belong to them. 

She proceeded to put back her car up as I was asking her to please show me what it was under her jacket.  She then proceeded to put her car in drive.  So, I decided to stand in front of her car.  Probably not the most intelligent thing I've ever done!  But, I really thought that she would just give him up.  Well, with me standing in front of her car, she just put it in reverse, so then I kept walking along side her passenger side.  I was talking to her the whole time, explaining to her that it wasn't a very good idea to leave and that I had her license plate numbers, the make and model of her car.   So, she had to stop to put her car in drive, and at that point, for some weird reason, I decided that holding on to her side mirror might encourage her to stop.  Or, maybe I could hold her car back.  NOT!  She took off down the driveway. 

I ran in and wrote down her license number and then the adrenaline kicked in.  My mouth dried up and I started to shake.  I couldn't even punch 911.  I've never had this happen to me before.  I had to ask Diane to do it for me.  After some explaining to the dispatcher, how big, what he looked like, and other fun stuff, they sent out a deputy sheriff, actually 2 riding together. 

They arrived and one came in while the other one walked down to out mail box.  He came walking up with my Santa.  We came to the conclusion that she drove back and threw him out the window.  

We asked the two deputy sheriffs if the call they received to this sounded kind of odd.  They said the call came in as, "Please respond to 5130 E US Hwy 14 in regards to a stolen Santa off the porch."  He explained that it sounded "interesting". 

So, as it turned out, they went to her home and after much questioning and telling her that there were two of us that saw the Santa, she finally admitted to taking him.  I have to add here that this lady was around 60 and drove a Cadillac.  She did not look like someone that would do something like that.  I know we shouldn't stereotype people, but really, I'm sure she could've bought her own Santa.


The way it ended up was that I didn't have any charges brought up against her, which my husband said that I should have, but she is not allowed back on our property or she could be arrested for trespassing.  My Santa is now back home, a little damage to his beard, but overall, he looks pretty good.

Moral of the story, you just can't trust everybody!

Till next time!  PJR

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ah, A Retreat!

I spent the weekend before last at a place called Covenant Harbor.  It's in Lake Geneva.  A wonderful place for a quilting retreat.  My friend Marge was one of the organizers.  They did a fantastic job.  I have lots of pictures, but I'll try to keep it brief.

We had a ton of fun.  This is Bonnie, she went around stealing desserts.  It was all in fun, really! 

Isn't this adorable?  This is Peggy's pincushion.  She made it. 

And this is Char's pumpkin pincushion.  Very cute!

This is a pincushion that I started a year ago and finally finished it.  I gave it to DarLynn for her birthday that weekend.  And the MidNite was a "just in case" I couldn't sleep.  I have many of those nights.  The good thing was, I slept great while there.

This is my Farmer's Wife quilt.  I finished the blocks last January, but it's taken me this long to get the borders on.  And, as it turned out, I was short one of my second border strips.  So, I had to take it home unfinished.

This is a quilt that I finished the top at the last retreat to Fern Hill I went to at the end of September.  I brought it with to get the binding on.  It's one of Delaney's Christmas presents.  It has orange minkee on the back.

This is my sister, Cathy's quilt.  We did a block exchange a few years ago and the quilt took 182 blocks, so, we named it our "182 Block Quilt".  Kind of fitting!  Her border, sashing, and cornerstones are great!

At the retreat, they had a project for those who wanted to do it.  It was a quilt made with a Jelly Roll.  This pattern is all over the internet, and I'm sure you've seen it, but if not, here is the link.  This one to the left is my sister, Connie's quilt.  There were quite a few of the women doing this, so they decided to make it a competition.  My friend, Leanne won.  She made it (just the inner quilt) in 1 hr 18 min. 

Here' Micki's Jelly Roll quilt.  She was the second one done.  She did hers from a Moda line called "Solphie".  Very cute!

This is my sister, Rose's Jelly Roll quilt.  She made hers from one of the Minnick and Simpson lines. 

This is my sister, Cathy's "Dipped In Chocolate" quilt.  We did a block exchange for this a few years ago.  800 tiny little four-patches.  She got hers finished a while back.  I'm just now getting mine put together.  It is an awesome quilt. 

This is Debbie's quilt, "Heirloom Stitches", a Lori Smith design.  We did this last year as a "Block of the Month".  Instead of doing it up all in cotton, we did the applique in wool.  Isn't it a great quilt?

This is the center of Debbie's quilt.  "Pennies From Heaven" by Gretchen Gibbons.  We are going to be doing this as a "Block of the Month" starting up in February, hopefully.  This is also a wool on cotton quilt.  This picture does not do it justice.  It is absolutely gorgeous!

Oh, and we ate good too.  These are just a few of the homemade items that the women brought in to share.  Peanut clusters, nut mix, and pretzel, rolo, pecans.  Mmmm, good! 
 I can't wait to go back there.  Actually, I'm hosting a retreat there next month.  I know, I'm a little spoiled.  If anyone is interested, please email or call me.  We still have openings!

Till Later, PJR

It's About Time!

Well, hello!  It's been over a month since I last posted and to be blunt about it, it's about time.  I could say that I've been too busy, and yes, that is true, but I'm always busy.  So, no excuses here.

Since I last posted we've celebrated our 8th Anniversary of being in business as "Life's A Stitch Quilt Shoppe".  We had our annual sale and it was a lot of fun and lots of people came by for our sale.  I wish I had taken a picture of Char, our Grand Prize Winner!  She won 20% off for an entire year.  She was very surprised.  We do this every year and it's one of the funnest parts of our Anniversary Sale.   

And during the last month, we had a new water heater installed, and a water softener installed at the same time.  It's been 7 years since we've had soft water.  That's when we moved out here.  Oh, how I'm loving that soft water.  It's like heaven taking a shower again.

Then we enjoyed our Thanksgiving Holiday with our family and a very relaxed day of doing little or nothing.  This doesn't happen very often, so I take full advantage of it.  Actually, I had lots of fun just playing with Delaney.

This is Delaney checking out the dogs' toy basket (to the right).  Most of the time, she just wants to give the dogs a toy to play with.  Not this time.

Nope, she wants to sit in it, toys, her, and all.  I think she thinks she's still little enough to fit in those small places.  So, now that she got do I get out!

Well, I'm trying.  Oh, but it's so hard!  So, as it turned out, she did make it out and on her own.  She's getting pretty savvy about things like that.  She's even climbing on chairs and onto tables, and oh how we get nervous about those things. 

November was such a warm month, that we did almost all the outside holiday decorating the week before Thanksgiving.  We had a couple days in a row that got up to 60 degrees and we took advantage of that.  The lights down the driveway we set up and the porch got decorated.  That is the one thing that I love to do for Christmas is to decorate the porch.

Here's our bench!  Those skates are Canadian Flyers I bought on Ebay for $18.00.  There was another pair up for sale at the same time, but they were never used, for over $100.  I like my barely used pair better.  It gives them character!

And the dry sink with fun things that surround it.  I love antique winter items, like the skiis, the sled in the above picture and the sled in the picture with the trees below.  They're just fun items.

This is a great shelf that a friend's dad made for me.  I normally have a quilt hanging from it, bit it's just fun to put different things on it for different seasons, but I always leave my chickens and the cow weather van up there. 

The old goat cart filled with greens and holiday ornaments.  And no, these are not another pair of those skates, I just have to move things around once in a while.

And we can't leave the lamp out, add a bow and an old trough of some sort.  Fill the trough with ornaments and voila, done.  Keeping things simple is sometimes better than over doing it.

The trio of pencil trees is a must.  You can't decorate without having trees up.  And at night they light up.  Notice the Santa in front of the trees.  Well, I have an interesting story about this Santa in my next post. 


So, now that's it's almost the middle of December and there are 12 days left till Christmas, I can honestly say that I'm more ready this year than in the past.  Decorating is done, presents are wrapped (well, most of them anyways!), and most of the baking is done.  I'm not even sure why I'm more ready, maybe it's because I'm trying to keep things simple.  Either way, I seem to be enjoying it more.

Till Later, PJR