Monday, January 30, 2012

Mid Winter Blahs

As February approaches, I find myself sinking into the mid-Winter blahs, even though this has been an unseasonably mild Winter by Midwestern standards.

I am reminded of the words of Albert Camus:
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

Perhaps I was trying to tap into that inner invincible summer when I chose this sunny yellow fabric with whimsical flowers designed by Amy Schimler for Robert Kaufman for one of my latest boutique baby bib listings.  The reverse side features dainty yellow and white checked Carolina gingham.  A lovely baby gift, or a special occasion bib for baby's first birthday or Easter.

I have listed more new bibs this week.  To browse, please visit this section of my Etsy shop:

It's still tax I'll catch you later!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cara Quilts Basic Charity Challenge

Happy Sunday!

Today I want to share a “feel good” opportunity.

Canadian blogger Cara Wilson from Cara Quilts is challenging readers to donate basic items such as toothpaste, soap, deodorant, makeup, hand sanitizer, shampoo, disposable razors, and tissues to a local homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter.

Those who donate and share a picture of their donated items on her Flickr group will be eligible for prizes in a giveaway. The drawing will be held on February 29 (leap day), 2012.
Here is the link to Cara’s blog post, explaining more details about the giveaway.

I’ve been crazy busy during this first “peak” of tax season, and I’m still presiding over 20 or more administrative hearings per week and drafting decisions and orders for my day job, and I’ve been delighted to have 24 Etsy orders so far in January (I’d expected a bigger slump), so my blog posts will be shorter and less frequent. I still try to follow many of my favorite bloggers, and I’m so grateful my little blog is back to near normal after the scary crash earlier this month.

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Week in the Dark

Lights out.

A little over a week ago, as I emailed a post to this blog, I was met with a startling message. My blog had been disabled. In a burst of denial, I tried to log on as if I were a visitor to my blog. Again, I received a message. My blog had been deleted.

Disabled? Deleted? Why? Who? Is this part of a Wikipedia-type shutdown in protest of anti-piracy legislation? No. Other bloggers using Blogger were still up and running. So why me?
I read the fine print in the message from Blogger. Was it my cookies setting? No. Had I violated the Terms of Use? No. If I thought the blog had been disabled in error, click here. Yes. I clicked. I clicked again. And again. I continued to click. I sent an email message trying to explain that I had not knowingly violated any terms of use and would like an explanation, please, why my blog was somehow lost in cyberspace. No response.

Since I’ve been burning the candle at both ends since the beginning of tax season, juggling two jobs and a batch of custom Etsy orders, I thought perhaps it was a not so subtle message from The Big Guy Upstairs that perhaps I was spending too much time in front of the computer screen. I tried to adjust to my new life as NB (non-blogger), but I still found it hard to accept. Why would my blog be disabled? I’m no terrorist. I didn’t even protest (overtly) in the 60s. I was so straight, my college roommate’s boyfriend thought I was a narc. I’m a blogging granny who has very consciously tried to avoid any controversial subjects because I know my employers would not approve, and I need my day jobs. I try to link back when referencing someone else’s work and give credit where credit is due.

Then a small miracle happened. I happened to note in a comment to my blogging buddy Edi Royer of Memories for Life ( that my blog was dead, so I had decided to drop out of the Etsy Blog Team until I could recreate one. She mentioned that her blogging friend Gia from One Perfect Day ( had recently experienced a similar blackout, and urged me to get in touch with Gia.

Gia was more than supportive. She understood the shock of seeing months of posts obliterated without a trace, and no clue as to why. She compared the feeling to someone stealing a diary. She suggested I click through the Blogger prompts again, but this time, instead of using email, disclose my cell phone number. That’s how her blog was restored. And…voila! The code was sent via text to my cell phone. I typed in the code, and my blog, widgets and all, was restored.

Thank you Edi and Gia! I’ll be your Followers for life. And thank you to my loyal little band of followers, for coming back to visit. The lights are on again at Ponderings!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

The light bulb embroidery hoop art pictured above was created by Jaime from SacreCoeurVintage on Etsy:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Luck of the Finns?

We've all heard the phrase "Luck of the Irish."  But my 31/32 Finnish-American hubby has also had an uncommon streak of luck.

Each month the Lincoln Quilters Guild hosts a mini raffle. You may recall my hubby won vintage yo-yo pillows last Fall.  Well, this past Monday, while I was working away at the tax office, hubby went solo to the LQG meeting – and he won ANOTHER raffle prize!  (The guild has well over 300 members, so what are the odds?!)


This month, his mini raffle prize was this lovely little 11" x 11" miniature quilt in shades of brown, tan, and red.  I love the tiny blocks in each corner, and the  pebble quilting with variegated multi-colored thread (a modern whimsical touch to this traditional-looking quilt), and the machine feather-stitched binding.


I think I'll give that man $2.00 and ask him to buy me a Powerball lottery ticket!! 



LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Thursday, January 12, 2012

January Quilt Blocks Craftsy BOM

I just finished the first two 12.5" blocks for the Craftsy Block of the Month with Amy Gibson.  There's still time to join in on the fun:

So—here's my show and tell:


Block 1 – Asterisk Block


This block was trickier than it appears, mostly because of the L-O-N-G bias seams.  If I ever make another asterisk block (highly doubtful!), I think I'll use some spray starch to try to control the stretching.  But I am happy with the overall appearance of the block, and I'm still loving my Kaffe Fassett focus fabric.


Block 2 – Wonky Pound Sign Block


I used a Michael Miller pin dot, white on bright turquoise, for the wonky pound sign block, with Kona cotton in Snow for my background fabric.  It's a happy little block, but I'm thinking I maybe need to appliqué an ampersand (&) block and an at sign(@) block to keep it company.  (Only kidding!)  


So far, so good.  My blocks aren't perfect, but they are colorful and cheery.  And they are done.  On time.  During tax season. 


So, what are you crafting these days?



LeAnn aka pasqueflower




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Me -- By the Numbers

This past Monday, my blogging buddy Edi of Memories for Life Scrapbooks, did a Me – By the Numbers post, and invited her followers to do a similar post and link back.

So, here goes:

1         Number of pets (a cat named Tux)

2         Number of grandkids who live in New Hampshire – Madeline and Garrison

3         Number of grandkids who live in Lincoln, NE -  Henry, Alex and Oliver

4         Number of grandkids who live in Colorado – Erin, Daniel, Michael and Katy

5         Number of adult kids and stepkids – Jenny, Jon, Tim, Jeff and Allison

6         Number of years I've worked at the NE Department of Labor in various positions

7         Approximate number of my unfinished quilts in progress (UFO's)

8         The time of day I wake up if I don't set an alarm

9         Total number of grandkids to date

10     Number of years I've been an IRS Enrolled Agent  (Yup, it's tax season!)

If you decide to do a similar post,  that would be great.  I'd enjoy getting to know you better.

Numbers Art Print by JanuaryJonesPrints on Etsy:


LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Bears in the Woods

It's shameless commerce Tuesday, and today I'm featuring one of my newest boutique baby boy bibs.  This bib features Bears in the Woods fabric from the Get Together collection designed by David Walker Studios for Free Sprit – Westminster Fibers.  It's a whimsical print that reminds me of The Three Bears.


I purchased the fabric this past Sunday at one of my great local quilt shops, The Calico House:


The reverse side of this bib is a navy and white print from the Aunt Grace Scrap Bag fabric line by Judie Rothermel  for Marcus Brothers Textiles.  I purchased this fabric while on my little quilt group's road trip to the Seams To Be Quilt Shoppe in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. Thia print looks like little baseballs to me. 


To view other boutique baby bibs in my shop, visit:


Thanks for stopping by!



LeAnn aka pasqueflower



Monday, January 9, 2012

Craftsy Block of the Month

My Etsy Baby Boomer Team buddy, Patty Harrington, shared a link to Crafty's Block of the Month (BOM), taught by the talented Amy Gibson:    It's FREE, and Amy has created excellent online video tutorials to coach us through the process of making two 12.5" x 12.5" blocks each month.  I couldn't resist.  I'm in!


The two January blocks are an Asterisk block and a Wonky Pound Sign block.  Both are sew and slash blocks.  I've decided to use fabrics from my stash.


My focus fabric will be Persimmon by Kaffe Fassett for Rowan-Westminster Fibers, shown above.  I will shop my stash for coordinating pink, peach, tangerine, mint green, aqua, turquoise, tan and gray fabrics as I complete the blocks.  I'll use the focus fabric for the Asterisk block and a Michael Miller turquoise pin dot for the Wonky Pound Sign block.  My background fabric will be a snow white Kona cotton.


I'll keep you all posted on my progress.   Are you involved in a quilt-a-long, BOM, or other group challenge?



LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Count to 100!

Remember The Count from Sesame Street?  He was one of my son Tim's favorite characters as a little boy.  Tim could imitate that laugh perfectly.


Well, I felt like The Count over New Year's weekend, as I counted my pile of English paper pieced 8.5" blocks for my Pies and Tarts quilt. 

"… 97, 98, 99, 100!  One hundred English paper pieced pie blocks! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!"


I have to confess I still have a handful to stitch to the background squares, but all of the big circles are DONE!  Now on to the 88 little circle tarts to appliqué on top of the intersecting corners of the 100 pie blocks.  One of my 2012 resolutions is to finish this quilt top before 2013.


Here is a link to an earlier post about this quilt, designed by Sue Daly of Patchwork by Busyfingers.  My hubby has dubbed it "the ugliest quilt in the world."  (He's not too fond of turn-of-the-century reproduction print fabrics.)  But my daughter loves it.  She has dibs on this one.


Speaking of 100, I'm getting very close to 100 followers on my fledgling blog.  Thanks to all of you who already follow Ponderings.  I am happy to count you among my cyber friends.



LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Feelin' Groovy

I am a HUGE Simon and Garfunkel fan.  As a teenager, I had all their albums, knew the lyrics to all their songs, which I tried to play on our cheap acoustic guitar.   Although many of their songs were serious and introspective, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) was a happy, feel good song.

Here's a YouTube link of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel singing this song on The Smothers Brothers Show.  Enjoy!  (You'll be humming it all day.)

So, when I first saw Riley Blake's fabric line, Feeling Groovy, I just had to add some to my stash.  Well, some of it has now been used to create today's shameless commerce featured item.  To read the full product description, see:  I can imagine wearing these retro-inspired oven mitts while listening to oldies.  I'm hoping they'll add a little peace, love, color and whimsy to someone's kitchen. 

Signing off.  My furlough is over, and today is beginning of tax season, when I work a second job as a master tax advisor (IRS Enrolled Agent) for a nationally known tax firm.  Never settle for less.


LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Monday, January 2, 2012

Grandma Hootie's Girlhood Needlework Sampler

One of the most unique Christmas presents I received this year was from my sister-in-law, Sarah Larson.  The antique needlework sampler, pictured above, was made by Sarah's maternal grandmother, known to all her grandchildren as Grandma Hootie, about 100 years ago. Sarah's mother had kept it since Hootie's death several years ago, and after Sarah's mother died, it was passed on to Sarah.


The more I study this piece, the more intrigued I am.  I am guessing Hootie was probably 8 or 9 years old (just learning cursive) at the time she made the sampler.   I love the girlish printing and cursive mix, written in pencil, to identify each of the stitches she practiced.  She had some difficulty spelling "feather."  And Hootie clearly loved pink.  Most of her practice rows and her monogram in the center of the piece are all worked in pink floss.


Who was Hootie's teacher, I wonder?   Was it her mother or grandmother, or was she in a needlework class? There are "utility" stitches as well as embroidery stitches:  a bound buttonhole, two types of hand-worked buttonholes, and three types of hemming stitches.  But there are many embroidery stitches, and three sections with cutwork or open work designs.   What a treasure!

What was your most unique or unexpected gift this holiday season?



LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Today begins a brand new year with no mistakes in it yet, as Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables may have said.  I hope you all enjoyed a happy holiday season.

Here are a few of my personal New Year's Resolutions for 2012:

Walk more.

Worry less.

Eat more veggies.

Keep a Gratitude Journal.

Spend more quality time with big kids and grandkids.

Read at least two books per month with redeeming literary value.

Finish Erin's graduation quilt top (so it can be machine quilted by May of 2013).

Finish the Pies & Tarts quilt (dubbed The Ugliest Quilt in the World by my hubby, but my daughter loves it, so she has dibs on this one).

Make at least 3 charity quilts.

Make at least 3 ConKerr Cancer pillowcases.

Continue to build my Etsy business.


Do you make resolutions?  If so, what's at the top of your resolutions list for 2012?


Happy New Year! 



LeAnn aka pasqueflower


The photo above is from the quotesandnotes Etsy shop: