Monday, September 13, 2021

Monday Mixup: Updates from Darlene & Sally, Happy Mail Signup

 Welcome to another Monday Mixup post, this one by Darlene and Sally (Darlene's Inner Squirrel).  And, Sally is sharing a "few" of her ideas for Happy Mail packages to inspire you to signup for a chance to receive one, or more, as well as to also encourage you to make handmade and send out Happy Mail too!  After all, doesn't everyone deserve a smile coming thru the mail?


After boating in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) for several weeks this summer, I'm happy to be back home.  It is hot and humid and my body is in shock after being in the cooler breezes we enjoyed while on the water in the PNW.  Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the arrival of Fall and hopeful it will soon bring us cooler weather in Southern California and hopefully some much needed rain. 


My creative focus is sketching FMQ ideas for the negative space on my Nine sisters quilt.  Here are some FMQ ideas I want to try.  Sadly, I still don't feel I have mastered the swirl FMQ motif, but I plan to practice on small quilt sandwiches which will be donated to various animal shelters.  Once I'm comfortable with this motif, I will apply it on my Nine Sisters quilt.  Hopefully I can stitch out some swirls that look like small meteors in the sky.  Here are some ideas I've found on various social media sites.  

Sadly, I still can't find the original design which inspired me to head this direction.  I came across it this summer, but can't find it on Pinterest, any ways I would have saved it.  UGH.  The design was basically a circle with outline stitching several times and an elongated tail that traced back several times to the circle.  If that rings a bell to you, I would appreciate any hints.  I've been checking various social media accounts from well known FMQ Experts, but haven't found the exact FMQ motif that originally inspired me.  


When Darlene and I agreed I had way more creative ideas than she could keep up with, we agreed I would share my ideas on her blog in hope of inspiring others to create.  We also agreed I would be responsible for coordinating monthly Happy Mail packages which will be sent randomly to 1-3 followers.

What is Happy Mail:  A little package full of kindness to someone when they least expect it.  Something that would let them know you are thinking of them and wanting to send them a smile and/or virtual hug. 

Here is a very "short list" of some of my ideas for Happy Mail.  But Darlene and I would really like to hear your ideas for Happy Mail.  So please comment on this post and let us know ideas you have for making and sharing Happy Mail with others, as well as what type of Happy Mail you might like to receive. 

  • Cards,
  •  Mug rugs

  • Zipper Purse

  • Fabric Baskets

  • Table Runners, 
  • Jewelry

  • Banners, Door Decor

  • decorative Dish Towels, 

  • Coasters,
  • Kitchen Mitt, hot pads

  •  Ornaments, 
  • creative stamps or stickers,

  •  Candy, 
  • books, magazines,
  •  fabric, 
  • sewing tools, 
  • Fall Decor

  • Holiday Decor

  • tshirts

  • Hummingbird Swing

  • Key Fobs

Click Here to sign up to receive Happy Mail from Darlene & Sally.  Out goal is to send a Happy Mail package to 1-3 followers every month.  They will be randomly selected and the surprise package will be shipped to them, with an informal announcement on the blog "after" it has had sufficient time to arrive.  Only the winners first name (and blog name/url if appropriate, along with insights on what was in the package.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Fun Friday: September Goals - My Goals, Sally's Goals, and Insights on Fun Stuff

 Today is another Fun Friday. I have loads of reasons to consider it a fun and happy Friday and I'll share a few with you today.  I also hope it is a Fun and Happy Friday for you too!

Sadly, I wasn't able to complete my goal for August.  It has rolled over to be my first goal to complete in September and I've added a few others.  I'm linking this post up with OMG on Elm Street Quilts and want to encourage you to participate in this fun and inspirational linky party.  I've found it a great way to stay focused on our goals, as well as find inspiration by way of the sharing by others who participate.

I have created my signature card of goals for September.  I keep this on my desktop, as a daily reminder of where I need to focus.  Thanks to participating in OMG on Elm Street Quilts this has been a big help on keeping me focused.  If you have any tips to share on staying focused, I hope you will share.

FQS Sail Away Cross Stitch:  In August I made a lot of mistakes.  Some I was able to reverse count (aka rip out) and others I have simply made do.  I need to add the sails to the sailboat and then work on adding the sweet Seagull to this design before I can call it finished.   This has been a fun cross stitch project for me, but probably a bit too challenging for my 2nd cross stitch project.  Still, I love it and it was fun to stitch while boating in the San Juan Islands.

This is what is should look like:

FQS Cross Stitch University:  This free educational program started this month and also includes a cute free downloadable pattern.  This is a great opportunity for those wanting to learn cross stitch, as well as those like me that may have started but need to learn more basic cross stitch information.  I'm participating and I hope you will join me.  Cross stitch really is quite fun and relaxing, as well as an inexpensive project to work on while traveling and/or looking for a simple activity to do when you may want to be creative but not be tied to your sewing machine.  The FQS blog and YouTube channel will be your best source for participating in Cross Stitch University.

FMQ planning for the negative space in the middle of my king size Nine Sisters quilt.  I will be returning home mid-September and with two weeks being able to use my sewing machine, I know I can't finish FMQ this negative space in September.  So, my goal is to create some practice sandwiches which will be turned into quilted pet beds to be donated to Animal Shelters impacted by Hurricanes, floods and/or fires.  I want to create a FMQ motif that would blend with stars for this negative space in the center of my quilt (the white area around the nine sisters blocks in the center).

I spotted this FMQ stitched by Bold Notion Quilting on Facebook. The beautiful circles and spirals gave me the idea to create little circle "astroids" in movement in the negative space of my Nine Sisters quilt.  Thus, in March, I will create sketching templates for the area I'm wanting to fill with FMQ to sketch out ideas, then stitch out those ideas on practice sandwiches which will become pet quilts to be donated to animal shelters.

Thanks to Carol of From My Carolina Home for introducing me to the concept of "Happy Mail" and inspiring me to make small handmade gifts and share.  In September I will be making a special handmade gift and will randomly select 1-3 followers to receive such.  More details to be shared later this month.

I've also been discussing with Sally, my Inner Squirrel, that she has so many creative ideas and I can't keep up with all of them.  Thus, she has agreed to share some of her ideas twice a month on "our" blog to hopefully inspire you and others.  Needless to say, she is delighted to start taking on this task in September.  And, she also decided she wanted to join OMG Linky Party to share her monthly goals too!

Sally's Goals for September.

1) Halloween Doodling and Rock Painting

2) Inner Squirrel Party Planning (plan party details, schedule early October, send out invites)

3) Write two creative and blog posts 

Sally also wants to let everyone know they should consider joining a free event hosting by AccuQuilt with very special guest Barbara Brackman.  AccuQuilt will be introducing some new dies and also giving away prizes from Hoffman Fabrics to attendees.  This event will be held on Tuesday, September 7 from 12-1pm CDT.  Click here for more info and to register, or click the image below:

Sally and I hope you have a super Fun Friday and a wonderful September too!  We'd also love to hear what creative projects you are planning for September.  

Monday, August 16, 2021

Monday Mixup - Updates on Boating Life, Slow Stitching, Free Quilting Event with Giveaways, and Sea Otter Cuteness

 We are still enjoying Boating Life here in the San Juan Islands, Washington.  Our time on the water is quickly coming to a close, with plans to haul out on August 26th.  The past few weeks we were at the northern part of the San Juan Islands and not able to get enough cell coverage to create a hot spot and release a blog post.  Today we are picking up two bars on my phone, so this update will be short.

I do hope all is well with you and you are having a Happy Monday with time to enjoy and create, as well as share joy and smiles with others.

I'm getting into cross stitch and finding I'm making fewer mistakes (that doesn't mean I'm not making mistakes).  My focus in the Sail Away design from the Fat Quarter Shop.  A lovely design anytime, but perfect for me to work on while boating.  I've found that the Qsnap frame is much more comfortable to stitch than no frame at all.  Ooops. I just spotted another mistake (incorrect color choice for around the door to the Lighthouse.  Boo hoo, more "reverse counting" today).

I'm currently stitching the Lighthouse.  I'm hopeful I can finish this project this month, but I fear I may not be able to finish it till early September. 

Sally, my Inner Squirrel is planning a party with other squirrels.  She has now decided it will be scheduled in early October.  This fun blog hop is open to any blogger who has an inner squirrel that wants to share their perspective on creativity, being "your" inner squirrel", and simply having fun as it is a virtual party.  I've heard from several bloggers and will be sending out an email to them early September, but if your inner squirrel is interested in joining this party (aka blog hop) let me know and I will happily add you to Sally's list of participants, answer any questions you may have, as well as keep you informed on the party plans.

AccuQuilt has been hosting fun & free virtual events every Tuesday, with giveaway drawings for attendees and more.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 17th. Timeless Treasures has donated some yummy fabric bundles for prizes!  Register now for AccuQuilt's Online Events hosted every Tuesday! AccuQuilt will introduce new dies, share tips and creative inspiration, and host interactive contests. Quilters of all skill level are welcome. Register now to qualify for prizes which will be awarded to randomly selected attendees during the event.

I have more to share, but with limited cell/internet access, this needs to be a quick update.  Or, there is one more thing.  We have cute River Otters in the San Juans, but we don't see Sea Otters.  But we have been lucky enough to see large rafts of Sea Otters when we have been cruising in SE Alaska.  Thus, this cute video on Youtube caught my attention and I wanted to share it with you today.  

I hope you have a wonderful Monday, actually a wonderful week, with plenty of time to enjoy and create.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Monday Mixup - My Goals for August and more

 Ah, it is Monday.  A perfect day to shine, create, enjoy and celebrate how lucky we all are.  Even with the challenges that life throws at us, there is plenty of good.  Like many of us, this past year I found to be quite stressful in many ways and it certainly influenced my perspective on life (not in a good way).  I've learned a trick that I find is helping me and I wanted to share, just in case you are finding life is a bit more challenging than you would like.  When I go to bed, I try to focus on the good things, anything that brings me joy and hold it tight in my heart.  And, throughout the day if anything happens to cause me grief, I try to think upon things that bring me joy and.  Quilting, creating, you and your kindness all bring me great joy.  So, let's be happy together it is another Monday and perfect day to shine.

Today I'm linking up with One Monthly Goal Linky Party, hosted by Elm Streets Quilts.  I'm finding OMG is helping me stay focused, although Sally, my Inner Squirrel, has been phone calling me and letting me know what classes she has signed me up.  At least she hasn't been using my credit card to buy stuff for me lately.

I originally thought that the needle turn applique stitching on my Herd of Turtles quilt would take me two months to finish this summer. I finished it in less than two weeks in July! 

 As I'm boating in the San Juan Islands the only other projects I have to work on are pretty much cross stitch.

Awhile back I signed up for the Sail Away Mystery SAL, with the Fat Quarter Shop, thinking it would be a fun project to work on while boating this summer.  It will be my 2nd cross stitch project ever and I'm a little nervous about it.  But I'm going for it as my primary goal for August.

The official SAL is over, but you can still find this Sail Away Mystery pattern on the Fat Quarter Shop website.  I love their description for this design "Sail away with us to another world of cross stitch bliss! The Sail Away Cross Stitch Pattern by Fat Quarter Shop is anchored with a boatload of nautical niceties that will make you feel like you’re stitching at sea in the bright summer sun".


We pretty much spend time anchoring while boating, fishing, crabbing, shrimping, hiking and observing nature.  We recently spent two nights at Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, which is one of the larger communities in the San Juan Islands, Washington.  It gave us time to provision the boat, laundry, clean the boat, as well as go out for a yummy dinner.  The town is bustling with visitors this year.  Big difference from last year.  The US/Canada border is still closed to non-essential travelers, but Canada has announced plans to open up on August 8th.  Still, there are rumors that the Canadian Customs is going to strike.  Either way, we've decided it is too late for us to plan time cruising further north.  Fortunately for us, there is next summer and with luck all will be right with the world and we'll spend the summer cruising in British Columbia.  Hubby is still on the fence if he wants to go to SE Alaska next summer.

Flowers are in bloom just about everywhere I look in Friday Harbor.

{below} I am not familiar with what this plant is, but I sure like it.  

{below} I'm not confident as to what this yellow flower is.  But it looks similar to what I know as a pink stargazer.  I've just only seen this bloom in pink!  Lovely flower and the plant was loaded with flowers!

{below}  This is another beautiful plant which I'm not familiar with, but I love the color of the flowers and how prolific the flowers are on this plant. 

We will be boating for a few more weeks in the San Juan Islands.  Currently moving into a northern area where we won't pick up a strong enough cell signal to post blog updates.   But, we'll be back in one of our favorite areas for hiking and observing wildlife.  Local birders are telling me they believe the hummers have started migrating south.  I will still keep an eye out for them, as well as birds that are more commonly found in Washington.  At our last anchorage we did spot several Kingfishers playing, as if they might be flirting.  It was a behavior we had never seen previously.  Clearly they were not trying to catch a meal.  We also spotted a pair of river otters having fun.  Sadly, all the critters were too far from our boat to catch a photo worth sharing.

Lastly, it seems like we need to recognize Quilters in the Olympics.  This Quilting Olympian is certainly giving her all to the sport!

Lastly, Sally my Inner Squirrel is looking for bloggers who find inspiration (and headaches) from their inner squirrels.  Leave a message if your inner squirrel might want to participate in a blog hop to voice their creative perspective, ideas, frustrations as well as how they enjoy chatting with other inner squirrels!