Monday, September 8

All Aboard the Struggle Bus. . .

 Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!

We sat down at the computer over the weekend and realized that it had been a whole month since our last blog post!!!  Here we thought we would do so great after making some visual changes on here, but life got in the way.  Hopefully there are still some faithful followers who haven't thrown in the towel on us. . .

 In light of many conversations that took place in our shop on Sunday, we invite you to join us for a ride on the "struggle bus" as we bring you up to speed on what's happened since...well...30 days ago.  As you can well see, Miss Daisey will be our navigator, and so without further a-do, let's get this tour started.

 We have experienced a couple of "last" first time things in our house this year.

As many of you know, Miss. Lacey headed off to finish up her final semester of school in South Dakota.  She was not ready to hit the books again with the fun stuff happening in the shop but off she went and has established a some-what balanced routine.  She is thrilled to be **finally** be close to done and absolutely loves what she is doing.  Physical Therapy...who would have thought.  We all think this has and will come in handy.  Massage anyone?! (haha)

And the youngest member in our house started his senior year.  Where does the time go?  We all have had a wake up call about this "little guy" being done with high school as it seems like just yesterday he started Kindergarden.  Time sure goes by's definitely important to take your time by making the most of it!!  He keeps busy and fall is his favorite and busiest time of the year and he's stoked it's about here. . .

Lacey spent her last "free" day out musky fishing with her dad.  Those of you who know her know she loves to fish.  (Her family would tell you she's pretty good at it)

They had a very successful day...with a couple northerns and a couple musky.
This musky (notice it has spots not stripes...tho her first musky she caught had stripes) and she had told her dad in an irritated voice that she kept snagging weeds.  Turns out it was this fish biting the spinner at the end of her hook. . .what a pleasant surprise!!  

How big was it? was about 38" away from being a keeper :-)
But a fish (particularily a musky) is a fish and she was stoked!!!

 We ended our summer by having a family gathering at "The River" a few weeks ago.
As you can well tell, we have had some rain in our neck of the woods, and the river was a bit high.

It's always a nice break.  It's quiet, peaceful, soothing and a perfect spot to recharge the batteries.

 We of course have excellent hosts.  
They graciously invite the whole gang down and we don't turn the offer away. 
They even let our pets crash the party. . .and our dogs...they both LOVE the water!!!!
 We all pretty much pulled up a chair and relaxed and chatted
Darci even got in some stitching. . .

Of course no river gathering would be complete without some action in the water
 Joe and Jacks enjoyed hanging out up by shore on the shark.
Believe it or not. . .we all rode that sucker behind the boat.  
Well. . .maybe Lacey did this time, she sort of skipped out last year and felt obligated to.
It may have been a bit too embarassing for further photography...let's just say she isn't real graceful.

 Two of the older girls tried their hardest to get the littlest one of the bunch to touch mud.
We all grew up not giving two hoots about being dirty.
We all loved (still do) taking our shoes off and letting the mud squish up between our toes.
The littlest one...not so big on dirt of any kind.

So the older girls laughed about making mud pies while the younger one, clearly, thought we were beyond insane. Those two worked on getting her shoes off and getting her to poke her finger into their mud pie. And were the successful, you may ask? 

I think Lacey's face in the picture below says it all. . .couldn't have been a more perfect (or hilarious and slightly embarrassing as she'd state) picture

 Yes.  The answer is yes!!!
She not only poked in the mud...she took her shoes off and walked in the water.
Eureka!  Eureka!

 Miss Ana usually has a thing for Miss Lacey and Lacey takes and enjoys all the time that she can get before she's "too old" and "not fun".  I think we all can relate to that!!

 Bubbles.  Always fun, aren't they?

 These flowers were just too incrediable and we had to share.
These hibuscus were the size of a large dinner plate!!!  And just vibrant red.
We love summer-thyme flowers. . .and these didn't disapoint.

Now. . .onto QUILTS!!!
We have a fun and busy schedule the next few weeks and invite you to stop by and say hello if you are in our neck of the woods for one of our events.  Dates are found at the end of the post.

"Crossroad & Variation" by Pastthyme Patterns
This quilt (and the one below) are from the Black Cat Crossings by Maywood Stuidos.

This project is a perfect table cloth size.  We are in love with the fun border.
(Better to see spooky fabric...then spooky werewolves...haha)

 The 'variation' part of the pattern creates a nice sized table topper.
Perfect to keep out throughout the fall season.

 HarvestThyme Pumpkin by Pastthyme Patterns

My apologies on the name. This one isn't 100% certain but for the time being it will be!
We have had so many good things said about our crazy shamrock project we decided to dabble in the fall.  This project keeps on with our love of wool applique...and crazy quilting.

It's a nice, manageable size that is easy to finish for the fall thyme season ahead.

 Crazy Witch's Hat by Pastthyme Patterns

Again...not sure that name will stick but at any rate we are super excited about this one.  Halloween can be a fun holiday to create projects for and this 'takes the hat' (ha--sorry! couldn't resist)

It too, is quick to stitch up and would be an adorable addition to your house for the end of October holiday.  And notice...happy faces :-) not scary ones!!!

 Knottingham by Pastthyme Patterns

This pattern has been a favorite of ours because it's quick to assemble.  We are also in love withe fabric tones in Castlewood by Jan Patek.  That outer border has such good color tones in it and is a great sized/scaled piece.

We have a couple of more quilts that ended up in our busy binder's stack.  Boy was she glad she came home! Haha.  Those hands will be busy stitching as we prepare for a few shows/events.

We hope you enjoyed your ride with us.  We really didn't struggle through our show and tell.  That was just our sewing abilities on Sunday.  One of us couldn't calculate binding strips to save her life (aka: Lacey) and the other fought quilting (aka: Darci).  

As we laughed about our struggles Lacey asked Darci if she was driving the "struggle bus" today and was answered with the reply of "yep...we are going to Crane Lake."  Lacey laughed...and then seen what Crane Lake was.  And laughter again filled the quilt shop.

May your days be filled with love and laughter until we share again.

 Come join us!  Stop and by and say hi. . .
Thursday night...trunk show in Sioux Falls SD (9/11)
Friday morning...wool class in Sioux Falls, SD (9/12)
Fargo Quilt Show...Fargo North Dakota (9/19-21)
Walker Quilt Show...Walker, Minnesota (9/26-27)

Almost forgot...we have adorable little kittens!!
One of the five is spoken for. We need FOUR more homes...or one person to take the remaining four.
They are cute, playful and curious and need a safe place to call home!
Let us know if you are interested. . .

Thursday, August 7

Hauntingly Good Thymes at the County Fairs

This past weekend, the number of Pastthyme Pets grew in size.
No. . .Lacey didn't acquire Moses (the dog from Iowa). . .our cat had kittens.
And with the help of the two canines, we found them.

We should admit that we generally give her a hard time about not being able to keep her kittens alive.  All you farm goers know the reality of kittens on a farm.  Stuff happens and we never see the litter they have.  It's no fault of the momma cat, it's just how things work.  She has had numerous litters (even tried having them on Joe in our house the last time!) and we've never seen them.  But not this time.  This time, success.

 Beatrice kept all SIX kittens alive.  We have absolutely adorable little kittens trying their legs out under our porch, driving our dogs crazy. They are a joy to watch teeter-totter around.  We love watching them so much we forget our camera power in the house. . .and will have to supply pictures later.

Why do we mention this. . .well, if all keeps going well, we may be asking to find homes for these little guys.  We don't have desire to keep them and have told the men of the family we will find good homes.  While we have some ideas for placement, we'll plant the seed for a few more.  If interested, keep watching. . .we may be looking in the near future, or let us know and we'll keep you posted.

 Cramming in projects before the leaves (or snow) starts to fly. . .

Speaking of farm cats.  Most know we come from the country.  About fifteen years ago we painted the barn.  As I type this, I realize I should dig up some oldies to show you. Next time!

Our barn had been white and the paint was chipping off.  A friend of the family, who worked at a paint place, came up with a "barn red" paint for us.  We primed the barn with this special stuff that would make the paint last.  This stuff was pink.  (Now I really need to find is too funny to not to!!) We painted it pink for primer and then "red".  It was quite job, and the idea of doing it again wasn't exciting.  But, over the years the "red" faded and we were left with the only pink barn in probably the state.  Nobody in their right mind would want a pink barn. . .trust us.

You can image this wasn't real attractive. It was a good laugh for us. 
So barn red paint was bought and a painting party had. 

We managed to get the barn done as well as the chicken coop and I promise once the white trim is done I will post pictures. (A tease is all ya get for today) A nice view of the barn. . .and a few of the pink.  It looks so nice when you get up on the yard.  It's a wonder why we didn't do it sooner. . .

 County Fair Thyme

Last week was the Chippewa County Fair in Montevideo. Our whole family winds up attending this event and we always seem to have a good time.  This year, the fair board really put a lot of work into improving things.  They had an excellent variety of entertainment, a nice midway, and building full of people.

As a bonus, the WCCO (channel 4) news guys Frank and Mike hit the road "Going to the Lake" in our neck of the woods.  They had three really nice segments on the area we live in.  If you didn't see them we suggest checking out the WCCO website (or facebook) as they were quite good.

It especially hit home for Darci as Lac Qui Parle lake is just downstream from where she grew up.  Our family fishes that lake and the river that flows from it.  It was fun to see them spend time at the Watson Hunting Camp, Arts Dairy Freeze, and at the fair.

We specifically went to the fair for the races.  Big shocker, right? 
Well this. . .might be.

Neither of us like "haunted" things.  Haunted houses.  Shows about haunted houses.  People in haunted houses.  Not our thing.  Not real fun for us.  We both avoid people who dress to 'work' in those places like the plague.  And. . .well. . .they seem to "smell" our fear.

Darci and "dad" and Lacey were all headed home to the shop in the same vehicle and the timing of the event that took place next could not have been planned more perfect if you'd try...

 As we are leaving, two gentlemen dressed in their haunted house garb exit the food stand in front of us.  They spot dad, who slightly slows down.

 And us Pastthyme gals?  We start walking fast to get away.

And while we walk..."Dad". . .well he stops to chat with them.

Lacey makes the mistake of turning around to see what happened. 
And this is what follows:

Lacey: Oh no!!! They are following us.

Darci: DON'T LOOK AT THEM!!!!!!!!!

Lacey: (looking backward) They are still coming Mom!!!


Lacey: They know dad.  They aren't gonna quit following us.
Walking fast isn't going to work!!!! We should just get it over with.

Lacey now decides she doesn't want to be ambushed by the duo. 
(We should make a quick side note that when Darci was growing up her dad, Stan (who hates this type of stuff more than us girls do) went into a haunted house at the MN State Fair.  When a haunted house guy grabbed his shoulder while walking through the house, Stan threw a punch and heard a the guy groan in pain.)
Truth be known, Lacey did them a favor by stopping. . .and facing the reality they would have went to great lengths to follow them as they knew we were both freaked.)
Darci lucked out and they went for Lacey.

 Fortunately, the really creepy zombie took pity and stook back.  

Dad admitted later that Darci was the intended target...and the nice guy he is, he sent them to get Lacey.

 Lacey put on a smile and took a picture to the request of her family with an "Ugh, I don't like this." "YES I'm freaked out", "I'm really sorry, it's really not you I don't like." and "Let's just get this over with" phrase or two while the cameras were snapping pictures.
Facing a fear. . .only because we knew the guy behind the mask.
And can't thank him enough for taking it off while he chatted.
AND that his zombie friend didn't photobomb the photo.

We are currently drying our eyes as we relive this terrifying moment!! And hope you all have found humor in it as well!!  Looking at the picture now...he doesn't look so scary.  He was famous too, he was on the news segment, earlier in the day. And Frank the news guy. . .he acted the way we usually do.

Speaking of haunted houses.  The place that this wearwolf assists at is suppose to be a really, really good one.  They have done a ton of work to make it something to remember.  We speak solely based on what wearwolf has said and what we hear from those brave enough to visit it.  If you are into "hauntingly" good times, make sure you visit Sherods Fright Farmily by Montevideo. If you are into that stuff we don't think you'll be disappointed!!  Haunted barn, grainery and maze.

 The Kandiyohi County Fair

We just didn't get enough mini-doughnuts in Monte and so to Willmar we went!
Lacey and her brother did the sibling hang out night and did the fair together.
Darci and "dad" did the husband and wife thing and did the fair together.

This is what they saw. . .

This is one of the dozen draft horses at the fair.  
It's a family stop every year before we leave as we all  have to rub their face and feel that soft, velvet nose.  This year, one of the horses didn't like our nose touch and sneezed on us.  This brought on good laughs from the boys who had moved on, anticipating its happening. . .and not only did we get blasted once...we got it twice.

 Lacey scored a victory by getting Joe to agree to watching Pig Races before they went and watched the cars race on the dirt.  Joe will swear that the only reason he went was because his "older" sister was acting like a "six year old" trying to get him to go  but would have to admit that he laughed just as hard as she did while the little piglets raced around the track.  It's an absolute hoot, and truly entertaining. 

If the fair near you has races (or you can attend Willmar the next two days) you should really make a point to watch a couple races.  Sometimes, it doesn't take much to amuse us and we all love to laugh.

We should also note that Lacey was excited to get Joe into most of the animal buildings.  She is an animal lover who would tell you "I would take them all home!!"

Here's a little known fact.  She had (2) rabbits as pets.  One was a black and white rabbit with upright ears that lived to be an old rabbit. His name was Flopsey.  The second was a floppy eared, really fluffy rabbit named Thumper.

While the younger duo went to watch the stock car races, the parent duo took in bull riding.
Those that know Darci know she loves bull riding and doesn't miss bull night at the fair.  She joined a sold out arena and sat on the edge of her seat while the brave cowboys gave their luck a whirl on big, burly bulls who don't like to give rides.  Her and "dad" were also able to cheer on three local guys from our Clara City area, but it ultimately came down to a gentleman from Missouri who took home the buckle.

Of course we all took in the 4-H building (shout out to the girls from Kerkhoven on their projects) and the arts and crafts building (shout out to the familiar names who had ribbons on their projects) the mini-doughnut stand, delicious pork chop on a stick stand, fresh lemonade stand and peanut stand.

Good food. Good entertainment. Good people. Good times. 
We are fortunate to have great local county fairs.

Now onto some quilting fun.

 "Hidden Stars"

We have a bunch of people waiting on this gem so we decided to test the pattern with a whole different color scheme.  This little guy works awesome with candy packs (or would with a charm pack) and is lots of fun with it's prairie points and miniature size.

Fabrics shown above were Floral Gatherings by Lisa Bonean and Primitive Gatherings.

 "Patches of Friendship"

Lacey was excited to finish up this lap size quilt that uses up one jelly roll.
We apologize for the bad photo, we tried this in different lighting and this was the best we got.  
We'll attempt it again once it's quilted!!
The fabrics shown in this quilt (which utilizes a jelly roll just grand!) is Somerset by Fig Tree & Co.

Patterns will be coming soon as well. . .those of you who follow us on Facebook.  This was the quilt Lacey would have showcased on a segment of "Chopped" if a TV crew would have been with us.

 "Prairie Pinwheels"

This was one of our first charm pack patterns that we decided to revisit.
This guy is fun!  This guy is quick! This guys only takes 1 charm pack!

The photo shows off the beautiful new Sandy Gervais fabric called Rambling Rose.

 How do you like our new binding method?  Did you catch the safety-pins?
This is what happens when the Busy Binder goes on vacation. . .haha

And last but not least. . .is the new arrival of LuLu.
Lulu is by Chez Moi (we just love that name...makes us yearn to learn French) and has just super sweet tones of pink, yellow, blue and green.  We are dreaming of fun projects and are sure you are too.

Piece and Blessings until next time