Monday, March 31, 2014

Cumberland River Adventures

We are on spring break this week. My parents are in Kentucky and my brother is in Tenessee, so we always split our spring break between them. There are lots of things to do and see nearby so we have been taking advantage of the wonderful weather & getting out! Soo happy to be out after this seemingly endless winter. It actually was snowing hard when we left home, but it was in the 70's here today!

We have been exploring the Cumberland River & Cumberland Falls area. 

Wolf Creek Dam
View of Cumberland Lake from above.
Jeremy caught his limit of rainbow trout.
Brenna looking at all the fishies at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery.
Cumberland Falls, Kentucky

Downstream of the falls.
The kids & I in front of Cumberland Falls. This is the only waterfall in the Western Hemisphere that has a Moonbow during the Full moon.
Lots of rock climbing was done by the kids.
Eagle Falls just downstream from Cumberland Falls.
Hiking along Cumberland River bluff.
Had to stop by a really cool junk shop in Monticello, Kentucky afterwards. This room is totally filled with Fiesta ware.

Friday, March 21, 2014

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Spring has been slow to make it appearance here. However the calendar says it is here and we have see brief glimpses of it. 

Then it will go back into hiding and winter will return with a vengeance. We tapped our Maples for syrup two weeks ago, I think we are pulling them today. The deep snow and mud and wet firewood made us less than I this'd about the process this year. We've already gotten over 1.5 gallons of syrup and still had about that much so we didn't need to make more anyway. 
I have 3 quilt projects going at the moment. I've wanted to make a black, white and yellow quilt for some time now. I've also wanted to make a log cabin quilt (my favorite) for a very long time, so I'm accomplishing both of those!

I've also started on this kit my Aunt gave me. I think I'll keep this one!  I hit a minor road block with this one and I haven't machine sewn in over two weeks! That's the longest in forever that I haven'tbeen working on some sort of quilt project. 
I have been working to complete this coonskin cap, so sewing has been happening!

My next pelt project is making a Trapper Cap for him from this beaver pelt. Should be fun! Always lots of fun things planned here!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Arctic cold, snow, sewing and more snow

Well the weather has been just plain nasty around here lately.  No one remembers the last time we were above freezing.  In fact we have had numerous double digit sub zero temps. Those kinds of temps are hard on everything, case in point, my windows.  We had new windows put in 2.5 years ago so they are not old and they are supposed to be high quality ones.  During the very cold snap in early January when it never got above -12 F for a whole day, one of my windows cracked straight up and down.  I assumed that the cold caused it but wasn't 100% sure, then on Tuesday night we got down to -17F or some ridiculous number again, and when I woke up I saw the image below!  So I knew that it was temperature related.  I know that the temperature difference between inside and out is 90+ F, but geez!  Anyone else ever had something like this happen? 

Jeremy made the kids a tunnel through one of the many ginormous snow piles by our driveway.  
Woke up one morning to this beautiful snow that stuck to everything, after a full day of cold rain the day before.  
There has been a lot of reading going on as the kids have been off so many days and it is too cold to even have them playing outside.  Today was the first day this month that our kids went to school without a delay.  They only went one day last week and it was delayed......gaaahh!  Our summer is not looking very long at this point.  
There has lots of sewing happening as there is no way I'm going out in this arctic hell!  I was raised in KY and I have never seen such persistent cold and snow like this....ever.  
My husband however was born and raised in northern IN, in the snowbelt region, actually (where there is a much higher amount of snow each year from storms blowing off of Lake Michigan) and he thinks nothing of it.  In fact he has been happy as can be at all the ice fishing he has been able to do!  The ice is over a foot thick and he has been limiting out on crappie!  Brayden must have more of the northern blood in him because he goes too and doesn't get cold.  Brenna says home in our warm house with me.  She's a KY girl at heart! ;)  
I've been trying to keep the birds fed here, they are going through feed at a very fast pace.  They are also taking advantage of the seeds left on my plants. This is exactly why I never clean my garden beds till spring.  
Another quilt started!  This block pattern is called "Split Decision"  I enjoy it and it is super easy to make with a jelly roll, just cut 4.5 inches and start sewing!  
Although we have had constant snow cover for almost two months now and it's been colder than a well diggers ass (thanks Mom!) I am enjoying my orchids that have been blooming continually since fall.  They have made this very long and hard winter a bit brighter!  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Christmas 2013 Wrap-Up (Only 1 month late!)

We had a wonderful Christmas!  We enjoyed lots of time at home before our travels began, then we came home expecting the kids to get back to school and a major snow storm and arctic blast hit and we were stuck at home (literally) for an extra week.  It turned out fine as the kids had lots of new books, toys and board games to keep us all busy and getting along well.

I wanted to share the giving of the gifts that I made this year!  It's always so fun to give away the things I have made.
"Who's a Cutie" shirt made to match the tiered skirt I made for my niece.

Matching owl skirts for my two littlest nieces who are 3 and 4. With the coin purses I got them.

Gardening Apron for my MIL.

My niece told me I was the "best sewer ever!" after she saw the quilt I made her!

Josephine's Knot quilt for my oldest niece.

UK Wildcats Quilt for my second oldest niece.  She said this will make her make her bed!  We'll see! LOL!

My Mom, myself and my daughter with the Dresden Star quilt I made for Mom.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dresden Star Quilt for my Mom

Last winter I began the process of piecing this quilt for my Mom. I've talked about it here, here and here.   She is a Civil War history buff so I wanted to use fabric reminiscent of that time period.  I had taken a Dresden Star (Edyta Sitar's pattern) class I at my favorite quilt shop, Fabric and Friends, and knew that I wanted to use that block in her quilt.  I had a Moda scrap bag with  Sandhill Plum fabric line from Kansas Troubles Quilters and began piecing in January I finally finished piecing in August and took the quilt in to be long arm quilted in September.  I recently got it back from Heaven on Earth Shop, where the owner Cheryl Ross, has not only a wonderful fabric and long arm shop but also runs a greenhouse!  (She's living my dream!)  Cheryl worked some serious magic on this quilt! Thanks Cheryl!   I'm so excited to give it to my Mom! 

Thanks to all who made this quilt possible!  I am super proud of it can't wait to see Mom's face!

Skip To My Lou

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Josephine's Knot all tied up!

This quilt is for my other 13 year old niece!  It is the Josephine's Knot pattern, I talked about it more here.  This is how it turned out.  These pictures aren't the best but here it is.  I am pleased with how this one turned out as well.  Some of my seams on the front didn't line up real well, but I'm not one to fuss over the details to much!  Looking forward to giving this quilt too! 

I'm still learning free motion quilting. I guess learning never ends!

Back of the quilt.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kentucky Wildcats Quilt

I told my 13 year old niece I would be making a quilt for her and wanted her input.  She said she wanted a University of Kentucky Quilt.  I, being a KY native and former crazed UK fan, was happy to comply.  I found a picture of a quilt online that was a replica of the UK  Rupp Arena basketball floor.  I decided to make that  quilt for her.  It turned out wonderful! I decided to do a bit of free form piecing on the back for a more modern look. There was a lot of applique work, which I enjoy. The hardest part was definitely the quilting.  The quilt measures 90 X100 so it was very hard to horse it through my small home machine!  Here it is!  Can't wait to see her face! :) 

Back of quilt.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Card & Letter 2013

Christmas card 2013
Photo by: Brook Rieman 
November 26, 2013,
Dear Family and Friends,
Yet another year has passed and it has found us to be healthy and growing.  Brenna recently turned 9 and Brayden is 7 and are in 3rd and 2nd grades.  They really love school and are doing very well.  Brenna is still super athletic and outgoing. She loves swimming and swears she will be the female Michael Phelps!  She also loves football, basketball, soccer and….well, you get the picture!  Brayden is a bit more reserved and has a brilliant mind.  He still loves anything to do with trains, roads or cars and will spend hours drawing “New York City” and all its roads in chalk on our concrete drive area.  Jeremy and I are doing great as well and still enjoying our jobs and now have been with the DNR for 13 and 9 years respectively. 
Jeremy’s Grandmother, Ellen McKee, departed this life in late April.  Though she is greatly missed, we are happy her suffering is over and that she has been reunited with her sons in heaven. 
We traveled quite a bit this year, visiting family and friends as well as vacation travel.  Every spring break we visit my parents in KY and then to visit my brother near Nashville, TN.  This year we stopped by Mammoth Cave National Park on the way down.  In May, Jeremy and I were able to take a long weekend to the Catskill Mt. area in NY with friends to attend our other dear friends’ wedding right on the Hudson River. It was a wonderful occasion!  We are thankful to Jeremy’s Mom, Debi, for taking over with the kiddos while we were gone!  We were also able to get some hiking in while we were there!  What a beautiful area!  For vacation we met our friends up at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness in the Upper Peninsula of MI.  We stayed in a rustic cabin with no water or electricity for 5 days!  Our cabin was a short walk from the Lake Superior beach, though the water was way too cold for swimming, even in late July, the kids still loved playing there.  The hiking there was fantastic with great views of lakes, waterfalls and (seemingly) endless forests. 
We are truly enjoying the elementary years with the kids and love watching them grow and develop.  It is a bittersweet experience.  We look forward to another year with them and you!  We wish you many blessings and joy during the holidays and the entire year!! 
With Love,
Jeremy, Jennifer, Brenna & Brayden


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Brenna's 9


My oldest turned 9 on Saturday.  I let her have her first "friends" party and they all had a blast.  There was much rabbit petting, tree climbing and playing in the giant boxes in the basement!  It was in the high 50's here so that is really great weather for this time of year.  My daughter decided to be barefoot the entire time, even while climbing the trees.  :) We love you Brenna!