From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


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Be My Neighbor – Blocks 15 and 16

Stepping up the pace now, my plan was to sew block a week for the next two weeks, sashing and borders in the third week, quilting during week four, and then binding in week five with a week to catch up if I don’t keep up.  But, after the last block was done, and the next one underway, I realized all the handwork I have planned is going to take it’s share of time and I have to add a hanging sleeve and a label to the back.  So, it was time to sew two blocks in a day to move the schedule forward at least a week. Block 15 was supposed to be in these colors, but after I laid out the green, it didn’t make sense anymore. It has such a strong leaf print, I didn’t want to use it.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

But the good news is I found just enough of the orange tree print to barely get a top and three branches for the tree. The pattern calls for seven branches and a top, so I had to expand the trunk and the sky above. I liked that idea better than introducing another tree fabric.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

Tree done, with the sky strip to add.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

Laying out the rest of the bits, for some reason I cannot now explain, I picked up yellow as the house fabric in place of the green, without consulting my plan. This will come back to bite me in just a little bit.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

I had cut the green piece according to the directions, but it wasn’t fitting as it should.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

Measuring again, then looking at the pattern, there is a mistake in the pattern.  Adding up the widths of the pieces across the bottom, you get 21-1/2, not 15-1/2.  I wanted to have the 10-1/2 x 2-1/2 piece under the house stretch across the width of the block as a ground.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

So, another piece cut and finished it up.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

Adding this block to the other two on the row, and arghh!! The center of the ground floral strip is still not right, it is bowing up in the middle so I must have cut it wrong.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

You guessed it, yep, had to rip it out and replace it.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

Then I had to change that fabric too, as I no longer had enough of the original choice.  Finally, will call this one done.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

The next day, on to the next block, the last one!! I pulled out my fabrics from my plan and set to work.

Be My Neighbor 16 1

Cutting out the bits, and laying them out, I started sewing on some of the pieces. It was fun to realize that I was on the last of the piecing for the house blocks.

Be My Neighbor 16 2

It looked so easy, so I dove in without reading the directions. Bad idea.

Be My Neighbor 16 3

The house window floral is directional, so sewing the house needed to be done with care.

Be My Neighbor 16 4

About here was when I realized that the upper cross on the corner was sewed too soon, and the bottom part needed to be separate to complete the house with straight seams.

Be My Neighbor Block 16 at From My Carolina Home

Oh well, ripped out a bit more.

Be My Neighbor 16 7

Now, this time I read carefully, as I have messed up on this kind of roof-chimney arrangement before.

Be My Neighbor Block 16 at From My Carolina Home

Got it right, no ripping this time.

Be My Neighbor 16 8

Laying out the block again, it is looking better. But even now, I still haven’t realized my mistake.

Be My Neighbor 16 9

More sections sewn, and it is done, whooppeee!!!

Be My Neighbor 16 11

Doing the happy dance, until I placed the last block next to block 15.

Be My Neighbor Block 16 at From My Carolina Home

And there we are, two yellow houses side by side.  Nope, can’t leave it this way.  Now, I need to figure out what to do, what to change with the least amount of hassle.  Yes, there is likely going to be more frogging involved, but just how much is yet to be determined.

What are you working on?

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Late July in the Garden

It is hard to believe, but I haven’t done a post about my garden in a month.  There has been a lot going on between the Christmas In July hop and the Safelight Project, but I know some of you like to know what is growing and flowering on our mountain.  Today, I’ll show you how my garden grows. I have taken photos of this group several times over the past month, and it just keeps getting prettier. The vibrant red geranium is set off nicely next to the white petunias. That pink variegated coleus is getting really tall now too.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Lettuce and garlic are coming up well in the pot on the right. Calibrachoa in three colors planted in two pots bloom only sporadically. The daisies in the back are done.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

White begonias are overflowing several pots on the veranda.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

After having my Summer Luncheon and giving away a bunch of day lilies, one of my guests dug up the white iris in her own garden she didn’t want anymore and dropped them off  on my veranda with a gerbera daisy. Those went into the ground the same day.  I love getting new plants!

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The phlox is getting a bit taller, and the color of the flowers got a bit lighter.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Fresh parsley is wonderful for cooking, and this one is doing well with the yellow Calibrachoa.  Some of the parsley went into the shrimp risotto we had for dinner this week, adding a wonderful fresh flavor.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Multiple basil plants are giving me lots of fresh leaves for caprese salads with heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

These are Cherokee Purple tomatoes, cannot wait for them to ripen!

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The tomatoes in this pot are coming along too.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

These are cherry tomatoes in the front bed, hoping for a good harvest here too.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Early in the month, the mornings were crisp and cool, perfect for sitting outside in the early dawn hour, listening to the birds. I found it was a great time to get some pictures of the choir in their natural setting.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Apparently there was a meeting scheduled, but I didn’t get the memo to attend.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There were still plenty of birds visiting the feeder too. This young female cardinal stopped by.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Goldfinches stay here year round.  A male and female were in the tree, looking around and taking their turn at the feeder.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Now that I know what the wood thrush looks like, I have seen him quite often.  Oops, brain glitch, this is a purple finch, thanks, Jan!!

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Other mornings dawned foggy, lasting a couple of weeks, giving us humid, and (for us) hot days near 90°F (32°C).

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There are a bunch of apricot gladiolas on the mountainside out back, I think some were planted by the previous homeowner and some may be volunteers. Either way, they are difficult to get to. But DH got out the limb lopper and managed to get some blooms for me to enjoy in vases in the house.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I put them in vases with some of the pinkish hydrangeas and a few tall purple hosta blooms. They look really good with my Stacked Bricks table quilt.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

After those were done, it was time for the yellow gladiolas to bloom, pretty aren’t they!

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Our resident skink made an appearance.  Usually he runs away with any movement, but this time I caught him from the veranda while he was hiding below near the hydrangea.  He ran inside the drain pipe, then slowly peeked out to see if the coast was clear.  I think there is a good size family that lives here, and I like that they eat a lot of bugs.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The snapdragons are still going, and I put the white iris in with them.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

White petunias bloom nicely in the front flowerbed next to more snapdragons.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A woodpecker watches as I water the garden.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The hydrangeas are still blooming too.  After I took more pictures of the gorgeous blooms I deadheaded the bush.  This lavendar color is so clear and pure.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I did add some lime to the top in the hopes that I’ll get some more pure pink blooms like this one.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

This one is blue to lavendar on the same flower, such gorgeous colors!

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Looks like the African violets are going to bloom again too, unlike me they love the heat and humidity.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The northern flickers are back too.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A friend gave me this adorable birdhouse for the garden, and it looks perfect in the big pot next to the front door. I have been a bit disappointed in the lobelias, usually they give profuse vibrant blue flowers all summer long, but this year they aren’t doing as well.  The chocolate variegated coleus is getting bigger, and the begonia is blooming a bit too.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

So, that is the garden in July.  The torenias stopped blooming for a bit, I think they got stressed when we were gone to Lexington for a few days.  They are beginning to bloom again, but will take a couple of weeks to fully come back.  I did see the hummingbird one morning while watering the flowers, she came up and hovered right in front of my face.  It was a magic moment, and I watched her in wonder.

What’s going on in your garden?

 

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Gardens Galore


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Let’s Talk About Pillows

When was the last time you bought yourself a new pillow for your bed? I asked this question of some friends recently, and their responses were much the same as mine – years.  We all know about dust mites, and keeping our bedding clean, vacuuming the mattress from time to time, but I’ll bet most of you, like me, don’t think about the pillows much.  Change the pillow cases, wash the covers, and wash the pillows if you can.  I have foam pillows which are next to impossible to wash, but I can put them in the dryer now on high heat for 15 minutes to kill the mites.  Problem is I forget to do that every three to six months as recommended.   Down pillows are the worst for growing mites, and it seems that the newer latex and memory foam is the best for keeping those colonies down.  There was a great sale at a local department store over the July 4th weekend, and I am sure that there will be good ones coming up for the next holiday. So think about getting yourself some new pillows.  Now, decide which of the old ones can go between your bed and the guest bed.  But, don’t throw them away, make these really super fast dog beds.  I cleaned the pillows as best I could in the mud sink with a brush and soapy water (they won’t do in my low water washer), dried them in the dryer to get them as fresh as possible.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

Then, I purchased some pillowcases at the thrift store for $1 each. I brought them home and washed them. Inserting a pillow, I simply topstitched the opening closed. Assembly time less than five minutes.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

Then, there was this fabric in the stash. I got it because of the light pink part, never opened it up to see the border print. Now it is in the ‘what was I thinking?’ pile.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

I put the pillow on the fabric and cut a piece large enough to cover it, folded it right sides together, then serged the sides. Sewing would work just as well, but I need to use the serger to keep it working well.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

The pillow was inserted, and the end was sewn shut by turning under the raw edge and topstitching.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

This took 15 minutes total. I don’t think the shelter dogs will care about the color.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

One of the pillowcases was a king size pillowcase in flannel with a large, thicker piece on the end. So, I cut that off to make the case a better size for the pillow.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

I turned the raw edge under….

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

and topstitched it just like the others. The flannel slid around a bit, so I pinned this edge.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

Donated to an outlying shelter that has little support, five dog beds made quick and easy.  Making all these beds took about an hour total sewing time.  Add a bit for the cleaning and drying, but all in all a very fast project.

Pillow Dog Beds at From My Carolina Home

So, now you can have some fresh pillows for your bed, and the dogs get new beds too.  Nothing goes to the landfill.  How long has it been since you got a new pillow?

 

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Vintage Charm

Talk of the Town


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Be My Neighbor Block 14

This block was one I needed to redesign as a sailboat doesn’t fit with my view of the neighborhood.  Turned out it was pretty easy to do. Here again is my plan. I need to step up the timeline on finishing the flimsy here if I want time to get it quilted and bound by the deadline for entry into the state fair. One thing that takes time is making decisions on color and print for the houses, so I got out my pastels basket and made decisions for all the blocks on the fourth row at once.  It is also a way to remember which block on this row is getting the darker blue for the sky.

Be My Neighbor Final Row Plan at From My Carolina Home

Then I put the choices in individual bags, so I can get sewing faster when I get to the next block.

Be My Neighbor Final Row Plan at From My Carolina Home

Digging out the bag marked 14, I pulled out the book of patterns and looked at the size of the block needed.

Be My Neighbor Block 14 at From My Carolina Home

The house block in the first row, Block #1 without the tree, was the right size according to the notes on Block 14, so I created a six inch center block for the focus.  It is a simple nine-patch with HSTs in the corners. I used the roof dimensions on the other block and created that bit. Then I filled in the space with a strip of purple, and added side strips to the focus bit to make the house the right size.

Be My Neighbor Block 14 at From My Carolina Home

Those were sewn together, then a purple strip was cut for the house bottom, again using the dimensions from the other block pattern.

Be My Neighbor Block 14 at From My Carolina Home

For the ground, I cut a large piece to length and sewed it to the bottom of the house.

Be My Neighbor Block 14 at From My Carolina Home

Then, I cut it to size with my rotary cutter.  All done.  Easier than I expected it to be.

Be My Neighbor Block 14 at From My Carolina Home

So, now 2 more blocks to do, sashing and borders to add, quilting and binding to go.  I have barely six weeks to finish, so gotta get busy!  A block a week for the next two weeks, sashing and borders in the third week, quilting during week four, and then binding in week five, should get me done with a week to spare.  Or a week to catch up if I don’t keep up with the plan, LOL!!

What are you working on now?

 

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Wednesday Wait Loss


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Christmas in July plus more ideas for seasonal sewing and crafting

I thought you might like to see some of the projects I did last year during my 12 Days of Christmas event coinciding with the Christmas blog hop event. Here are some links to those projects, plus some other Christmas projects from prior years. In keeping with my blog being about a lot of subjects, there are a number of different kinds of projects here. I also added a page at the top of the blog to gather my Christmas projects together for your convenience later. Click on the titles to see the post.

Christmas Stitched Ornaments

Cross Stitched Quilted Christmas Ornaments | From My Carolina Home

Christmas Card Stamping

Christmas Cards 14

Christmas Mini Quilt Tutorial

Christmas Ornament Mini Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Gifts for Guys

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

Sewing / Jewelry Kit Tutorial

Sewing Kit | From My Carolina Home

Christmas Wool Applique Penny Rug

Christmas Wool Applique Penny Rug ~ From My Carolina Home

Christmas Trip Around the World Quilt 2015

Christmas Trip Around the World | From My Carolina Home

Make a Holiday Purse

Christmas in July at From My Carolina Home

Pine Cone Hanger

Pine Cone Hanger at From My Carolina Home

Quilted Table Runner with Tablescapes – Figure out what you’d like to find at the thrift stores before the holiday season.

Christmas Tablescape | From My Carolina Home

Gifts From The Kitchen – including my recipe for Double Dutch Brownie Mix.

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

More Ornaments and Decorating Ideas

Christmas Ornaments ~ From My Carolina Home

Christmas Breakfast

Christmas Tablescape | From My Carolina Home

Crafting with Christmas Cards

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Christmas Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Christmas Vanilla Sugar Cookies ~ From My Carolina Home

Cozy Christmas Reading – mystery books set at Christmas time.

Cozy Christmas 2

Quick Christmas Table Toppers

Quick Christmas squares 10

2015 Christmas Runner Quilt Along

Christmas Quilt Along finish

And one last idea from last year, use a table runner as a bed scarf! Makes a room festive without taking up a lot of storage space.

Christmas Table runner used as a bed scarf | From My Carolina Home

The Christmas in July Blog Hop ends today, so I wanted to give you one more list so you can get in on the drawings for the wonderful prizes Sarah hasSarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict arranged a great hop and giveaway Deadline for entry has passed.

The lovely folks over at Free Spirit Fabrics have donated not just one item for a giveaway, but THIRTEEN!  And it’s pretty drool-worthy stuff, too – it’s Tula Pink’s new holiday line, Holiday Homies!!!

Sarah has six design rolls, six layer cakes, and one fat quarter bundle to give away – and here’s how she’s going to do it!  Visit each stop on the hop, including this blog, and leave a comment on each post for the day.  At the end of the hop,  Sarah will do a giveaway for each day by putting everyone’s name in the hat who commented that day (from all that day’s hop-blogs), and drawing a winner for that day.  That will be twelve winners – the design rolls and layer cakes.  Then she’ll put all the names from all the days in a hat and draw out a grand prize winner for the fat quarter bundle!  Only one prize per person, though – let’s spread it around a bit!  So carve out a bit of time to visit all the blogs and comment – it makes the time bloggers spend on each post worth it when we see what people think about our work!  The deadline to make a comment on all the blogs to be included in the drawings is July 26th.  Due to some family problems, the drawing will be delayed to August 4th or so, as she deals with her father-in-law’s illness and hospice care.     Giveaway is done.

Here are the participant blogs, have fun!!   The participating blogs are linked to their main pages, you may need to scroll back to find the Christmas In July post.  You’ll note that some blogs are listed more than once as have more than one project to share.    My link will take you back to that page for the travel bag.

Friday, July 14th
From My Carolina Home– My Scrap Dance Swing Bag pattern is now on Craftsy exclusively.  Click on sidebar link.

Vrooman’s Quilts
Pampered Pettit
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Saturday, July 15th
Citymousequilter
Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Quilting Fun
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Sunday, July 16th
Swimming in a Sea of Estrogen
Everyone Deserves a Quilt
Cheryl’sTeapots2Quilting
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Monday, July 17th
Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life
Crayon Box Quilt Studio
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Tuesday, July 18th
Seams To Be Sew
Stitchin at Home
Domestic Felicity
.
Wednesday, July 19th 
The Colorful Fabriholic
Smiles From Kate
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Thursday, July 20th
Cheryl’sTeapots2Quilting
The Inquiring Quilter
Selina Quilts
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Friday, July 21st
Katie Mae Quilts
Quilted Blooms
QuiltFabrication
.
Saturday, July 22nd 
Devoted Quilter
Kathy’s Kwilts and More
All Points of the Compass
.
Sunday, July 23rd
Mel’s Quilting Blog
Resourceful Momma
Cheryl’sTeapots2Quilting
.
Monday, July 24th
Anja Quilts
PickingandStitching
A Dream and a Stitch
.
Tuesday, July 25th
Christina’s Handicrafts
Abyquilts
Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Plans are in the works for another Autumn Jubilee event, more on that later.  Are you starting on your seasonal sewing yet?

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Create Link Inspire

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Crazy Mom Quilts

Celebrate and Decorate

Vintage Charm

 


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Having Fun in Lexington, Kentucky

Last week, DH had to go to Lexington, Kentucky to do some work, so once again I packed a bag and tagged along.  I had a fun time shopping and sight seeing while he was working. Lexington says it is the horse capital of the world, with much in the town being about the horse. There are horse farms, a horse racing track, an entire park dedicated to horses and Man O’ War, and many of the streets are named for race winners or tracks.  I took over 300 pictures, and I promise I will not show them all to you, LOL!!  But today, come with me as I shop and eat, visit quilt shops and bookstores, and have fun in Lexington.

Chocolates

In some places in town, there are horse statues painted by local artists that were apparently part of an art project some time ago.   We do the same thing here with our bears every year. I only found four of these horses, but this one was the most compelling, did you see what was behind it in the picture above?

Painted Horse 10

Oh, yes, a Kentucky institution, Old Kentucky Bourbon Chocolates. Every last bit of this store was chocolate! The aroma of freshly worked chocolate hit you as you walked in, there was no way to leave without having some.

Ky Chocolates 2

A couple of free samples later, I decided on a large box of Bourbon Truffle Chocolates, and two little samplers. One of the samplers was Black Forest Truffles (bourbon, chocolate truffle with chopped cherries), and the other was Chocolate Covered Bourbon Cherries. I am carefully rationing these out, excuse me for a moment while I go nab one, my treat for today.

Chocolates bourbons

This horse was across the street from the chocolate shop. It was beautifully done, and I think was my favorite of the ones I found.

Painted Horse 11

Next on the west side route plan was this shop, Quilter’s Square.

Quilter's Square 1

Beautifully light inside, and huge! Owners Chana and Kayla were so friendly and helpful, I really enjoyed chatting with them.

Quilter's Square 4

They are doing the Row by Row too, and had a darling hot air balloon pattern. Although I can’t show it to you, you can see in these pictures how many projects they have going on, with samples above the fabric. Just stop by and get their kit if you are near the area.

Quilter's Square 3

They had fabric and more fabric!  So much choice!  I could have spent a lot longer just admiring all the displays and quilts.

Quilter's Square 2

While I was on the west side, I had to go to my favorite chain bookstore, Half Price Books. I was delighted to find two stores in Lexington, this was the smaller of the two.

Half Price Books Lexington 1

Yet it was stuffed as is usual for these stores.  The cookbook corner had the same amount of space as this one for crafting, sewing, quilting, gardening and more.  The clearance section was huge too, with lots of books at just $2.

Half Price Books Lexington 3

Dinner that night was at a local eatery called Saul Good, I had a flatbread pizza.

Saul Good pizza

DH had a tuna steak, and shared his asparagus with me.

Saul Good tuna

On the corner of the shopping center, this horse was standing watch.

Painted Horse 5

The next bit of shopping was on the east side, with Sew-A-Lot leading off the afternoon of fun.

Sew-A-Lot 1

I have to say, I had just as much fun chatting with Patti, Thomas and Kim. They were trying to get to their lunch but were willing to chat as long as I was there, and I just couldn’t leave, LOL!! Sorry for delaying your lunches, but I was just enjoying myself too much!!  There were a lot of goodies to see, patterns and fabric galore.

Sew-A-Lot 2

Their Row by Row pattern was inspired by one of their customers who uses a little red wagon to carry all her class supplies. It is a darling pattern, so stop over and get their kit if you are nearby this summer.

Sew-A-Lot 3

The east side’s Half Price Books was next on the list, and wow, what a pretty storefront with the arbor and flowers!!

Half Price Lexington flowers

This large store kept me entertained for over an hour as I perused the fiction for books on my to-get list, and then the non-fiction for what might be fun.

HalfPriceBooks 2

The last horse is the only one of the four with a plaque to show what it was all about, but it wasn’t dated. This one is in front of the TV station and is named Color Bars. It was bought at the art event and donated to the station.

Painted Horse 4

Dinner that evening was at Columbia Steak House. The original restaurant has been there since 1943. We went to one closer to the hotel that has been there for 17 years. It is locally owned, not a chain.

Columbia exterior

I usually look for one of a kind places like this when traveling. We have to resort to chain restaurants often enough on the road, so these are a treat. We started off with a shrimp appetizer as we were both hungry. I had skipped lunch to shop and sight-see.

Columbia shrimp

My dinner was a nicely grilled rib-eye with steamed broccoli.

Columbia steak

DH had a Kentucky staple, a Hot Brown. I was surprised to find out that this is not an open faced roast beef with brown gravy. Quite different!! It is sliced ham and turkey on a piece of bread, covered in a mornay-like sauce, topped with cheese and sliced tomato then broiled to melt and brown the cheese. Then it is topped with crispy bacon. Yum!!

Columbia hot brown

Inside the restaurant was again, all about the horse, with somewhat old fashioned decor and horse pictures on the stucco walls.  It was a bit dark, with stained wood beams on the ceiling and wood floors.

Columbia interior

They had several beautiful stained glass like art on the doors and windows.  Only by getting very close could you see that it was done with paint, still they were nicely done.

Columbia window

So, that was shopping and eating. In future posts, I’ll show you some of the other places I visited, including the Arboretum and Keeneland. We were not able to get to the Kentucky Horse Park where Man O’ War is memorialized as the greatest horse that ever raced. The tickets were $20 each plus $5 to park, and we just didn’t have the whole day to spend there to make that worthwhile. But, DH will have to go back later in the year, so we may try then.

Are you going to do a Row by Row quilt this year? Do you have patterns left over from last year like I do?

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Take Me Away!

 


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The Safelight Project Update

The response to the Safelight project idea has just been incredible, so get ready for a long and picture heavy post. Thank you so much to everyone that has participated, with cards and donations for the gift bags.  I have begun assembling the bags, and want to show you were we are at this point.  I do need to apologize, I must have hit a wrong button and my first paragraphs of this post’s draft posted to the site last Thursday. I immediately took it down, and I apologize for the mis-post. A few days after the first post, I purchased the tote bags, removing the labels and opening them up all over the office floor.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

Taking what funds I had at the end of that week, I went to the stores and found lots of things to begin filling the bags. I got pretty hairbrushes with flower handles, hand lotion, facial peel off masks, perfumes, shower gels, scrubbies, and gel eye coolers.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

I found hair treatments, and neutral color eye shadows too.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

I also did several hypoallergenic bags for those with perfume and fragrance sensitivities. At the thrift store (unbelievably!) there were some full size, brand new, Avon products for just $1 each – I bought them all!

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

Then, like handing out trick-or-treat goodies, I began filling the bags with goodies.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

I want to publicly thank the donors, each and every 1/2 bag, whole bag and multiple bags sponsored made a difference. I won’t tell you who the two gold star donors are, but they donated $50 each to get this project well underway. With the mail from Friday, promises of checks yet to be received, and a couple of donations from the mis-post, the financial goal has been exceeded for the project!!  If any additional funds come in next week, I’ll put them to making up additional bags for future residents.

Amy O. —  Mary Jo L.  — Nancy B.  — Norece E.  —  Susan D. — Mary Z.

Sharon S.  —  Kathryn W.  —  Jodi M.  —  Mary C.  — Deborah M  —  Denise F.

Mary Jean C. — Susan G.  —  Jennifer G.  —  Christine S.  —  Erika N.   —  Susan C.

Linda S.  —  Carol L.   —-  Teresa M. —   Sherry T.  —  Jeanne C.  —  Donna S.

Nancy J.  —  Beth L.  —  Sarah K.  —  Elizabeth S.  —  Ruth C.   —  Melanie T.

Karen T. —  Judy D.  —  Lesley G.  —  Janice H.  —  Lisa (unknown)

Mildred P.  —  Jennie R.

I have responded personally to every donation I have received. If you see your name above, but you didn’t get an email from me, check your spam folder. If you made a donation, and you have not received an acknowledgement from me, and you don’t see your name above, I didn’t get it.  Sometimes the long email address doesn’t get transcribed exactly right, and you know how computers can be.  Let me know in an email or a comment if this is the case, and we’ll try to resolve it.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

I have to tell you all a quick story that just shows how wonderful people can be. While I was checking out at the Dollar store with over 100 items, a lady came up to stand behind me in line.  I apologized to her for holding her up as the checker had already begun before she got in line.  The checker was curious as to why I was buying multiples of so many things.  I told the checker about the project as she was ringing up the sale. When she told me the total, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The total stranger behind me was holding out a $20 bill, and said “I want to help you with that.” I was absolutely blown away. All she would tell me was that her first name was Lisa. So, Lisa, even though you may never see this, I am so grateful for your kindness.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

My friend Sam brought over boxes of items to add to the bags, toothbrushes and combs, nail files and razors, deodorant and soaps.  Each bag got two or three of each of these items, and there are still some left over that I’ll take with me to the shelter.  They can use some of these items for the kids, and the rest can be stored for future needs.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

The creativity in the cards coming in is just awesome. The first package from Lenora arrived just days after the Safelight Project post, and contained 16 unique cards with such creativity!

Lenora's cards 1

Inside, Lenora put several different sentiments, all very inspiring! I really like how she signed her cards – ” A Friend You Haven’t Met!”

Lenora's cards 2

Lenora's cards 5

Then, she used a great stamp for the outside of the envelopes and decorated those with stickers too.

Lenora's cards 3

Gorgeous cards, here are a few more of her designs.

Lenora's cards 4

I was inspired by her cards, and went to the stamping workbench to create a few more for the project. Remember my sunshine box from my friend Val? These daisies came from that box, and I hope they will bring that sunshine to the women. I stamped a bluebird of happiness on textured cardstock, and a Happiness Always greeting. The trim on the bottom is washi tape.

My Safelight Cards at From My Carolina Home 2

I found the perfect sentiment stamp in the box of goodies given to me by reader Katie. Thanks again, Katie!  I signed the cards “Someone Who Cares.”

My Safelight Cards at From My Carolina Home 1

On the back, this stamp was cute, and left my name off.

My Safelight Cards at From My Carolina Home 3

I decorated the envelopes too.

My Safelight Cards at From My Carolina Home 6

Then I stamped this design for another purpose, and made a second one for the Safelight bags.  Inside it has my sentiment from the first post on the project.

My Safelight Cards at From My Carolina Home 9

Karen T. sent in products for the bags, some Mary Kay lip and eye crayons along with some makeup items. Thanks so much, Karen, these will add a lovely touch to some of the bags. I put them in the bags with the hypoallergenic items as those had fewer items per bag. I was able to find sensitive skin unscented shower gel and lotions, but no makeup items, and of course, no perfume. It really helped to balance out the bags so the scent free ones were just as fun as the rest.

Karen's Mary Kay donation

Danice made these lovely cards, using the sentiment from my post inside. Thank you, Danice, for blogging about the project as well! She sent an email that she is sending six more cards that should arrive next week too!

Danice's cards

Then, a dozen cards arrived from Carol L, beautifully done.

Carol's Cards 1

Each and every one has a unique, handwritten message inside. Truly stunning, and once again I was just blown away.

Carol's Cards 3

Carol's Cards 4

Carol's Cards 5

Jennie’s cards arrived on Friday, how lovely!

Jennie's Cards

I love what she did inside too.

Jennie's Cards 2

The cards are truly the most important piece of this project and without your help, I’d be gluing my own fingers together by now. The inspirational messages will help these women so much, to feel better, to believe in themselves, and to have hope for the future. If you are counting, you’ll notice that we made the goal of 35 cards, but will be using a few more for the extra bags that can be done from the extra donations received.  Any additional cards received will be given to the shelter for future needs.  Here is one of the bag assortments after week one of shopping.  The roll of tissue contains a nail polish, wrapped to keep it from breaking in the bag.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

At the second trip to the stores, I found a pedicure set and got more nail polish so every bag has these items.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

Several of you have asked about sewing projects, and I do have a couple of things in mind. More cards will be appreciated for holidays coming in a few months. I will look around when I deliver the bags and see what may be needed or appreciated, and we can do another project later in the year.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

The drawings for the prizes will be in early August, with the winners notified by email. One question I got privately, but want to answer publicly is regarding the gift card prize. The MasterCard Gift Card prize is not being funded by donations, it is coming out of a points program I have on my personal credit card. So, all your donations, every penny, will go to the gift bags. I’ll draw a couple of days past the postmark date of August 1 so everyone has a chance. You get one entry for each card sent, and one entry for every $5 donation.

Stampin’ Up has provided this wonderful prize for someone making cards for the project.  Visit Stampin’ UP to find a demonstrator near you.  This company has the BEST stamping supplies!

So, that is where the project stands at this time.  It is almost complete!  I am still going to wait until August 1 to draw the prizes as I know of at least a couple of things still coming.  I’ll bring you another update when the delivery is made in early August.  Thank you all for your wonderful support of this project!

What do you think of our progress?