Archive for the ‘Around the House’ Category

On the Tree or not?

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Here at Chez Depre we have a tradition that I call “tree gifts”.

It started innocently many years ago when I began to tuck/hang small gifts randomly from the tree in the days leading up to Christmas.

These are very small $1-$5 dollar items.   Little trinkets.   Unique food items even found their way to the tree as we have many ethnic grocery stores to explore in our neck of the woods.

And there are old standbys that brings smiles every appearance. Chocolate is always good.  Unique chocolate is sure to bring a smile.

The kids have grown and don’t even reside here but the tree gifts remain.  Last year I caught dear son scoping out the tree within moments of his arrival home on Christmas Eve.

And same son brought a bag full of local goodies from his new hometown of Madison for us to enjoy thus cementing that this tradition is bound to continue with the next generation.

During a recent visit to the grocers a unique variety of Toberlone caught my eye.  Quickly two bars were added to the basket with the declaration “Tree Gifts” to Paul.

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But on the way home a valid point was made that nowadays many of the tree gifts leave with the departing kiddos after the holidays removing the guarantee that we get to “try” the foods too.

“Well” I said “we can always shift these bars to the snack table for all to enjoy.”

Hmmmmmm.

What to do…what to do?  Tree or Table?

Funny the thought of buying a bar for ourselves never crossed our minds…we will just sneak some of “theirs”.

Do you have a unique to your abode Holiday tradition?

Enjoy the day,
Mickey

One Step at a Time

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Tuesday is errand day at Chez Depre and we dashed about.   One stop was at Famous Footwear where I swear you can hear a faint “roar of the crowd” when I pull open the door and the salespeople (who do earn a commission) send up a cheer!  Yes this girl loves her shoes.

It was time for some new gymmies for in the studio and on the road.

For many many years and still now on the main and top floor of my abode I have a been a barefootin’ type of gal.  But over the last few years it has become evident that I need to wear some shoes in the studio to protect my feet and my bones from the hard coldness of the concrete floor beneath the commercial grade carpet.

Add to the fact that 99% of the time I am also teaching (and thus standing & walking about) on a hard concrete surface for hours I need to make sure my footwear is up to snuff…and stylish.

NewGymmies1 copySketchers has been my gymmies of choice for a good many years and Paul informed me that they have a new series of shoes out under a subtitle of “GO”.  Such as GO Run, GO Bionic (I kid you not), GO Trail, GO Golf and GO Walk.

I slipped a pair of the Go Walks on and it was all over for me.   NewGymmies2

They weigh less than 4 ounces.  So foot fatigue is no longer an issue.

They have support and yet it feels like I am truly walking in my slippers.

They have  moisture wicking insoles.   This I LOVE!

And they are cute.

I bought these grey sweatshirt coloring as my choice in color were limited at the store to Grey or Black.

But I know Sketchers and knew that their website would reveal many many more choices.

LOOK at these!

Multiple1

And then they took it to the next level!

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Mens

And they even make these shoes for men (I know two Depre men who are getting pairs!) 81024_CSNT

And Sketchers is even ready with a pair for winter.   Yes in the cart these go to.

I am truly a Go Walk girl.

MickeySignature

 

Zoooooooooooom!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

That is how I feel the last 12 days have gone.  In the midst of them I spent 5 days in Bloomington, Indiana teaching for the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show.images I am home ’til Saturday and then it’s back on the road again.  This time I am headed west to the Eastern Polk Quilt Guild in Iowa.

 

woman sewingI’ve been in the studio ALOT but unfortunately all that work needs to remain under wraps as I am piecing away at my next book.  I am almost halfway done! I can hardly believe it.   The ideas are just perculating and I am designing up a storm. Speaking of storms. imagesYI01VNHP

YES! Snow is on the way.

 

Okay Okay…I do realize enough is enough.   But it’s gonna happen.  And this storm is finally showing up on a weekend at Chez Depre.untitled  Yes this is our weekend.   So this morning we had breakfast with Paul’s folks and the dashed around town doing all the errands with the goal of being home by noon.   We vow to spend the next 36 hours just soaking in the “snowed in” feeling together.   After 30 years together we still love to just be together.  And that is enough to make this girl grin from ear to ear.

Oh another thing to grin about…..moreleadersfront1

BONNIE’S NEXT BOOK IS ABOUT TO HIT THE SHELVES!   WOOT!

More Adventures with Leaders & Enders.

Please check out her blog with a preview of all the quilts you will find in it.

I looked it over and decided if I could have just one it would be this one.FourPatchX_1_thumb

Four Patch X

I don’t know if it is the yellow background that just sings to me or the secondary pattern.  All I do know is that my friend Bonnie sure knows how to design a quilt. You can find pictures of all the quilts here on her blog and you can place a preorder for your very own copy.  Plus she is giving away TWO copies.  Read her blog for the rules and remember you can’t win it unless your in it so take a moment and enter.  You never know! April 1st cannot come soon enough.

I promise…cross my heart promise….won’t let the blog posting slip again for this long.

Thanks for hanging with me. Off to grab an end of the couch and hang with my guy. I also promise Spring will be here soon…..just not tonight.

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Take Care,

MickeySignature

Hobby Lobby …..we have a problem.

Monday, February 24th, 2014

One of the errands on my list last week was to drop by Hobby Lobby to pick up some stickers.

SewingStickers1If you place an order from my store, or receive written correspondence your going to get a sticker.

I love them.  And I hope they bring a smile when someone sees them.  I always try to mix it up in my choices.

For years there was a favorite coffee themed stick sheet but it is long gone.  And then there were some fun buttons one…but alas it to has been discontinued.

This outing found this packet.

SEWING!

I snapped up the three remaining…grabbed some monkeys (always a fav), a sheet of St. Paddy’s day, and some Easter and headed to the register.

One must remain on task and focused when in Hobby Lobby or the register tape grows with each minute in the building.  At least in my case. SewingStickers2

Once in the car I took a good look at the stickers and laughed out loud.

Uh…Hobby Lobby…we have a problem.

This is a sewing pack of stickers.  Indicated by the LARGE sticker saying SEWING.

Apparently the graphic artist in charge of this collection was a bit confused.   I see knitting and crocheting in there too.   Which in the long run really isn’t a problem for me since I do enjoy those crafts to.  BUT it is an error.

imagesAPCUA5JNMuch like the infamous Northern Toilet Tissue ad error in the late 1990s where they had their cartoon ladies quilting with knitting needles.  OOPS!

Northern Tissue was flooded by calls from quilters telling them of their grievous error.

Trying to decide if this is worth tracking down the phone number.

What do you think?

MickeySignature

 

Why YES we are 12!

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Happy Valentines Day!

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Yesterday I finally got around to looking at an invitation I received via Facebook to an event.  I get a good number of these and fess up that most go the wayside with just a glance but this one caught my eye as it was sent by a friend and the title included the word SNOW!

20140213_150246.jpegAIt was a Snow Angel Party!  Basically make a snow angel, take a pic and post it on facebook on February 14th.  The idea is to flood it with pics of snow angels.  And given the weather most of us have had this winter there is ample opportunity.   I quickly sent Paul a text at work and he was all in too.  A plan was hatched. As soon as he got home we would meet in the yard to make our angels.   If we hurried the daylight would be just right so we could snap pics.

20140213_150300.jpegCWe decided to forgo the heavy winter jackets so that our angels would have some waistline….lol.

We chose the back yard vs the front for the virgin snow that we had.  Our mailman walks our route and he tromps right across the front yard (yes thru knee deep snow vs the shoveled sidewalk) and when your front yard is the size of a postage stamp…well you get the picture.

Molly ran out with me to greet Paul in the yard.   But she took one look at the snow, shook her head, and headed back to the side door.  There would be no “Molly Angel”.

20140213_150254BPaul’s smile says it all.  Why yes we are 12!  Let’s go!

The snow is deep. SnowAngelD

And he’s down!Snow Angel EAngel making begins…sweep those arms and legs!

A back full of snow means success.

Snow Angel F

My turn. Snow Angel G

Angels in the snow. Snow Angel H

We had a blast!   Thanks Kelly for the invite and giving yesterday a fun activity that had us giggling like schoolkids.

Today I am sewing all day.  A new Castle rock block will be in the mix as I watch some midday curling.   Just a reminder the introductory special price of $20 for any of the Castle Rock collections expires tonight at midnight.    You will find the Inklingo button on the side bar to get you to the site!   Join me for a year of handpiecing.    If you are new to the blog you can search out the word inklingo in my blog search to find previous posts on Castle Wall.    Jump in with us….the snow…err hand piecing is fine.  😀

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Enjoy your day,

MickeySignature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In need of a Curling Fix STAT!

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

7b05b18e9e8b2e95cbc265587b1ed9e3Last night Bob Costas announced that coverage of curling would begin today at 2am.

I decided right then to go to bed at 9pm and set my alarm for 2am CST to watch.

WRONG.

It begins tomorrow.

6d4adbb0776865f7b6e6be1d43f6a5c2So I am up now watching women’s hockey (not a bad substitute but still not curling) at 2am.  Sweden vs Japan.   I won’t post any scores or highlights as not to spoil it for anyone.

I was so pumped to get my curling fix started this morning.  I don’t know what it is about this sport that has captured me so.   But every four years I am glued to the TV to watch stones being guided across the ice with subtle flicks of wrists and at times frantic brushing of brooms to a scoring bulls eye with a fever usually reserved for hockey.  imagesCAS2EELH

It’s been described as chess on ice with all the strategic plays of blocking and bumping with the goal of swooping in on the last stone and literally “checkmating” your opponent with one nicely placed stone.  It is believed curling started in Scotland and paintings as early as the mid 1500s depict curling games.

Every four years I declare that I am going seek out this sport locally and learn to play.  Four years ago I found a curling group on the north side of Chicago.  And while it may be only 30 miles away it means a few hours  (roundtrip) in the car so close but yet so far.

I have found a great curling game on Wii and so I continue to curl virtually in my own living room.  I know that it is a weak substitute but for now it is as close as I can get to gliding my own rock on ice. imagesCAX68Z0Q

I am loving how teams of late are using their attire to stand out and make a statement.  Will Team USA make such a fashion statement this year?

Tomorrow at 2am the fun begins.   I think I will break out a Castle Wall block kit to celebrate.  After all the ring of the block kinda looks like a curling stone.

Go Team USA!

MickeySignature

 

p.s. Oh wait…there was one more image I found when on my quest for this post.   Obviously curling has found it’s way into the promotional calendar business.   I do so enjoy this sport.   Who will be joining me at 2am Monday morning?

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Lesson Learned.

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Paul is back home.

And I for one am thrilled.   This last week has been educational.

lessonlearned

It’s always me jetting off to one place or another…and quite honestly at times I dream of being the one who gets to stay home and “snuggle in”.   Of course I romanticize the notion of having the entire house to myself and no one (other then 9 pounds of Molly) to answer to.  I would sleep in (til noon) after rollin’ into bed at say  ummm…6am.  Full on nocturnal.  Sewing blissfully away hour after hour. Meals eaten when I wish.  And Stacked (fav local café) would response to speed dial with delivery to my door.

I dropped Paul off at the airport at 6am on Monday with this fantasy film clip relooping thru my brain all the way home.  (ok 1o minute drive but still looping).

Except even on my way home from the airport I knew this was truly a fantasy.  My errand list was long for that day.  But I did get to sneak in a facial at 1pm so I thought I will just pretend Paul didn’t leave til noon and go on with the full indulgent 5 days alone from that point on.

imagesCA636US2I returned home from my “girl time” to a full on sick Molly.   Wasn’t posting this as I didn’t want to worry Paul but let’s just say I cleaned up a lot on Monday & Tuesday.

And then snow happened.  and happened.  and happened.

And shoveling happened. and happened. and happened.

 

And then shoveling recovery happened.  Note that extra two hours of recovery sleep did not get repeated 🙁   because then……untitled

Tuesday=sick dog.  It was not pretty. No more explanation needed.

What??? it’s Wednesday?  Already?

sewing

 

Wednesday night I finally got some studio work done.  Cathy came over and we killed a bottle of wine and she did some sewing/playing with a new technique she found on you tube and I pulled and plotted out the palette for a new quilt.  Note I sewed for approximately a total of 20 mins.   which was fine for that night. I planned on sewing all day Thursday.

 

Thursday was full of working on yet another new project…and this one I will get to share with you next week. As some you know I usually pick a “on the road” project each year to be worked on while..well…on the road.  Some years it was a knitting pattern that I learned by heart and made dozens of (fingerless mitts one year, monkey socks another) and then gave away all randomly at the years end.    This year it is something quilty and for me.  But you can make one to.  And I hope you will.   But more on that next week.

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But Thursday was also full of frozen garage doors, twinkling electricity (note sewing machine and computers unplugged) due to deep freeze and general concern about frozen pipes.  I had pretty much convinced myself this was going to happen as God’s final test for this week of “you dreamed of being home alone” lesson.

 

And then it was Friday.   And it was a day spent in the office.   The amount of paperwork being generated lately is astonishing even me.   I’m not complaining.  I am just trying to keep it all in order. Two new file cabinets have been added to the office recently.  They are already half full.

happy dancePaul was scheduled to be home around 7pm…which turned into 10 pm due to flight cancellations.

I picked him up and gave him the biggest hug.  So happy he is back home….now I can get some studio work done again.

So now you know why you really didn’t hear from me last week.  I was surviving my week alone.   And learning that I’ll take my alone time in my life when I am “on the road” thank you.

Til tomorrow,

MickeySignature

 

 

 

Flowery Quilt Day

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Racing to type and post this blog before my webmaster (the best ever! that’s a plug August W) texts me that he needs the website as there are some more improvements coming to various pages.

I planned to type it up last night but when I reached the top of the stairs I just continued down the hall to bed vs. turning into the office.

It has been quite the week of chaos here at Chez Depre and I felt it hit me with full force last night.

After the last post regarding Em’s travel we had an evening of frozen pipes at the in-laws and then Friday night we came home to our own personal pond in the kitchen from the fridge.

fridgedeadIt was running, but apparently not the compressor for making things cold.   And since neither Paul nor I opened the fridge at all during the day.  (I have a fridge in the studio full of munchies and drinks) this fact went unnoticed for HOURS.

YIPES!

All the drinks (it’s also the beer and adult beverages fridge) in the studio fridge where unloaded and thankfully our upstairs fridge untitledcontents were back to the usual “empty nesters on the go” status and everything could be JAMMED into the smaller downstairs fridge.   Lost a few items but not much.   We have most meats in the small (truly two person size also) deep freezer in the laundry room.

Decision time.  Repair or Replace.   I so didn’t want to have to do the replace thing right now.   Too much other stuff going on to add this into the mix.  And then the question…stick to white (which I personally like) or go to the brushed nickel which I know a certain other person likes.  I do definitely like the new (or is it back to old as my gram had this fridge) style with the freezer door on the bottom.  Hmmmmm.

But yesterday our trusty appliance repair man arrived and fixed the problem lickety split.  Seems our dear old GE Side-by-Side as a well known tendency to have this issue between the age of 10-15 yrs.   So for a $102 fee she is running like a champ again.   Whew!

So please forgive me for taking a few blog days off.  I didn’t think you wanted to hear again and again about the chaos that seems to be erupting here.

What I do want to share with you today is two of the goodies that arrived here during the holiday season.

Yes I do love my 30s quilts!

First up.Jan 12 -1

Jan 12 -2This lovely mini hexie baby quilt.   I think this is my fourth or fifth quilt (oh my that is a sign of problem when you start to lose count) with this exact same hexie basket pattern.  Someday it is on the docket to make this pattern even if it is just one basket and use Pieced Hexies in the flower arrangement.

The quilt is made up of 1/2″ hexies and is approximately 40″ x 42″.   It is a treasure.   And I know if was never used/laundered as the colors are clear and bright.  I love the yellow.  And heavily hand quilted.

This is definitely a new member of my trunk show lecture ” Quilts- Timid & Bold, Young & Old”.

Jan 12 -3The next goodie is a top. And while sitting at the computer I realized my full pic was horrible…and with the time crunch…well sorry.   I am still buying up tops.  They are cost effective and I like finishing them.  Some need repairs and or borders but I don’t mind.  The problem right now is the actual quilting of them as I wait out another month of chiropractic care…but that is another story.

The minute I saw this top on eBay I was all over it.  Merry Christmas to me!

look closely …..STRING PIECED TULIPS! Jan 12 -5and those tulips are pieced in not appliqued.   Yes this top has some bowing issues due to the curve piecing but I have tackled much worse.   I don’t think I am going to add a border.  I like it just as it is.   Jan 12 -4Most 30’s quilts don’t have borders in the elaborate style we are doing now.   It truly was a “get ‘er done” mentality.   This top was tucked away somewhere for many years as it too has very vibrant colors.  It measures approx. 80″ square.

 

 

I’ll be in the studio sewing all day.   I got word that hexiedeux-coverloresPieced Hexies Deux hit the warehouse doors on Friday so here’s hoping my boxes arrive before I myself am out the door on Thursday to teach.   As soon as they arrive (and I can) I will begin signing and shipping out the preorders!   BIG THANKS to all of you who did preorder!   🙂

Take Care,

MickeySignature

 

Uh Honey you left a receipt on the table.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

I woke up this morning and I immediately found myself in a dilemnia. How does this always happen?

You see when I wake up, Molly wakes up, and that means even if I just need to “go down the hall” I must also go down to the side door so Molly can “go down the hall”.

And then she wants breakfast, and so then I want coffee, and then the “not gonna go back to bed” reality sets in.

So I made my coffee and grabbed my laptop and figured some news reading, pinterest surfing, maybe a game or two would kick off my day.

imagesCAJCBNX0 I settle into the couch, click on the light….and find Paul’s reading glasses sitting on the table along with his eyeglass case.   No big deal.   But lately Miss Molly has begun to act like” Dora the Daschund Explorer” and now I look at everything that is left out and think “how can she break this or hurt herself”.

(Yesterday we returned home to find my stitching box was tossed like she was searching for valuables…err edibles.   Needless to say someone spent a few hours in her bed and I considered a shaming sign.)

So I fold up Paul’s glasses and go to put them into his case…and then I see it.  An Ikea receipt laying next to his eyeglass case.   It’s not folded, well it was at one time, but it is in an open state when I find it.

Then it clicks. When I brought my suitcases in on Sunday  I put them in the studio…and something was missing in the studio.  I couldn’t figure out what.   But immediately when I see the receipt I remember the four table legs from Ikea that we bought for a project but they didn’t work out and thus needed to be returned.   They were gone.   I put my suitcase where they had sat for the last two months awaiting a visit by us to Ikea.

hmmmmmm.

I just sit and look towards the receipt.

Sip of coffee.

hmmmmmm.

On Saturday night when I was out of town I didn’t hear from Paul at all.   To be honest I was hoping to return home to the new – old light fixture hung in our bedroom that has been on the “to do” list for awhile.  But when I went upstairs upon my return the fixture was still the yucky old one.

hmmmmm.

Yesterday was a pretty crappy day in the afternoon due to some Village government wrangling and honestly I woke up still feeling like I had been punched in the gut.

hmmmmm.

malm--drawer-chest__61935_PE168411_S4I think I might know that the receipt is for.  I have been wanting a jewelry/accessories cabinet that matches our bedroom furniture now that we have the larger bedroom there is space for it.malm--drawer-chest__0132830_PE196481_S4

hmmmmm.

oh look when I placed my coffee cup down the receipt is right there and ………..

yes!

Ok it’s 9 days ’til our Anniversary.   You would think after 26 years someone would know better than to leave a receipt out on the shared end table between our respective morning coffee seats.

Did I mention that suddenly I am smiling ear to ear.

untitledI am a very happy (and only human) girl.

And I won’t tell him I found the receipt until he reads it here.

But I will begin to gather jewelry and accessories that will be living in a new home soon.

hehehe….happy dance.

So some might think me wrong to look at the receipt but I am who I am and I will tell dear hubby he should learn to “hide” things better…like in the back of a closet…behind a stack of pj bottoms…where his gift is.  😀

MickeySignature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramble Typing.

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Yesterday was quite a day.

As you are probably aware the damage and loss of life in Illinois (and Indiana…and Kentucky) from tornados was great.   Anything that is +1 is to much.

Molly and I spent a good portion of our day in the basement.  And while the basement is my studio and thus filled to the brim with fiber goodness.  The event was not a pleasant one.

Poor Molly…she got so scared she had an accident.  And then ran for her bed and hid in it.  And even yelped when I attempted to lift her out of it to snuggle.  She truly was not a happy camper.

Paul was at work in the land of tons of steel balanced on skinny wheels on rails.  Naturally I was concerned.   And as usual in situations like this with dense clouds and lightning, traditional phone calls and newly traditional text message communication were reduced to nil when he is in the rail yard.  So we turn to our facebook posts to check in with each other.  On my personal page Paul has my posts go directly to his phone and thus when I was posting each weather report spot of a tornado and posting it he could get a read on direction of the storm if he was indeed out in the yard.   Do realize that being “out in the yard” at work is not just a few feet or actual yards out of the office door.  The rail yard is literally miles long.

When the power started going off and on in rapid succession here, I ran upstairs to turn off the furnace. It was in a start cycle when the first on/off flicker happened and it got stuck in that cycle.  Yes even though the day was nearing 60 degrees we still had the furnace on to keep the moisture at bay.  When you house is brick and lathe/plaster you do this.   Up the stairs and thru the kitchen to reach the thermostat in the dining room.  Back thru the kitchen and the power went off again.  And I was in total inky darkness.  That is when it truly registered how bad this storm was.  I could barely make out my garage just 30 feet from my kitchen window facing south. I am amazed truly at how little damage we suffered in Oak Lawn with what I saw (or didn’t see) in my kitchen for those few moments.    A few homes/businesses lost roofing, one lost an entire roof. A billboard completely down.  A funnel cloud spotted by a trained weather spotter 1.5 miles down the road.

Events like yesterday’s weather really make you reflect.   Ironically yesterday was two years to the day of my life saving emergency surgery. I am presently on my “third life”.   So this truly brewed up the perfect storm in my head.

I have been trying to figure out how to balance my life more since coming up from air after the book manuscript writing in July.   Working a non traditional job coupled with a husband who works a traditional job but with non traditional days off (his weekend is Tuesday/Wednesday) makes for a very scattered and 24/7 job cycle.

I am a business.  And I am it’s only employee.   So if something needs to get done I’m the one doing it.   But I also need my downtime.  And I just keep forgetting to schedule it for myself.  My bad.

I have taken to doing major paperwork (processing contracts, writing proposals, class material, ordering supplies, coordinating shipping materials, booking airfare, sending samples, general email…trust me the list is very long…there is a lot more done timewise behind the scenes then the 6 hours of teaching that most see).  Anyway I have designated Wednesday, Friday and Sunday as office days for the last few months and this is working out quite well.   Giving me more studio and sewing time to be creative.   Paul is usually off bike riding most of Wednesday so my working on those days wasn’t taking away from time with him.

I am thinking though for the winter when he isn’t off riding on Wednesday I am now going to truly take Wednesday and Saturday off.   For me off.   Meaning no office work.  And if I am sewing it is not on a project that has a deadline attached.

I am going to put this plan into effect starting Nov 25th when I am back home after my last travel gig of the year.   Off to Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday!

So if you send me and mail on Wednesday next week…you won’t hear back from me until Thursday (which is Thanksgiving so make that Friday)

And heads up….on Friday November 29th I will start taking preorders for Pieced Hexies Deux.   More about that later.

Thanks for letting me ramble in this post.   Sometimes you just need to “ramble type” to get it all straight in your head.

I am spending a few hours today in the office taking care of the paperwork that for obvious reasons I couldn’t get to yesterday and then I am off to sew.

MickeySignature