Lest I forget……………..

I must bring you up to date on this week’s Killer Bees quilt group’s sharing. The numbers were down a bit due to so many events/commitments that seem to be over-lapping!!!!! But, though “quantity” was down “quality” was definitely in place!!! IMG_8092 This first photo is a modified “Log Cabin”-sashed version of the “Stacked 4-Patch Posie” quilt that was a Killer Bees workshop last year. Details may be found here.                            Next up…a couple “Block of the Month” blocks.IMG_8093  IMG_8094 A cute elephant baby quilt.                                       IMG_8095IMG_8104  IMG_8105IMG_8106IMG_8107 And a ripple-knit afghan…IMG_8109             Our resident felted wool applique gal, Rozann, shared a simple sampler…..IMG_8103 and small framed piece…..IMG_8102   IMG_8108     We have another “Twist and Shout” ‘flimsy’ finished (above). See here if you haven’t had an opportunity to follow this pattern’s workshop progress. Next up…a purse that we agreed would be the perfect size for most everyone……..             IMG_8100 IMG_8099 - Copy 

And, now, for our question of the day—What is the name this little cutie and what is its function???? IMG_8096 - Copy IMG_8096 For those of you who were at the meeting and wanted directions, I will post both the answer to the “What is it” and “How is it made” on Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, please, visit again for the mystery revealed. Have an awesome rest-of-the-weekend and I’ll see you on Monday!!!!! Sending very warm Texas hugs………..

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Let’s talk machine lighting……..

For those who have been long-time visitors here, you may remember that I added LED lighting to my Sweet 16 and Juki 2010Q. See these posts for photos and added info….here and here. The lights are from Inspired LED and I had purchased 2 kits previously, knowing that there would be enough cut off of the Juki strip to do another machine ……… my Texas Juki (with the purchase of an expansion kit that would give me the additional switch, etc). The lights are now installed (on Ms Texas Juki) and, I must say, she looks awesome!!!!!

Original lighting gave me this……IMG_8084     With the addition…………IMG_8085   Such an improvement!!!!! The leftover strip was the perfect length….no modification needed……IMG_8086IMG_8088   I purchased the first kits through Amazon but went directly to Inspired LED for the expansion kit. Wonderful people to deal with!!! Prompt shipping and cheerful/courteous to speak with! IMG_8089IMG_8090     Any installation questions are quickly and clearly answered on the referenced YouTube video…….and it’s really a ‘snap’ to do! No college degree necessary!!!!!

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They were calling to me……..really!!!!!…….

Last Saturday was the first Saturday of the month, the day that historic Jackson St. in downtown Harlingen is closed to auto traffic and is filled with all sorts of interesting vendors, musicians and other goodies. The rains subsided just before noon, so off we went. Now, I really would like to share the event festivities with you……..but…..ummmmmm…….my camera remained at home! And I forgot about my cell!!!! Yikes……a senior moment for sure. So……you will just have to be content with the little sweeties that came home with me, providing inspiration for some creative dreaming………IMG_8079     It’s too soon to know for sure their exact destiny. The rectangle ones are placemat size and will probably have some colored fabric directly beneath (especially the left one) and extending beyond to form the border. The smaller oval will join others that are similar in a growing collection for a large applique-style top.

Just a blog “quickie” today….later………

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“Twist & Shout”….a finish…………..

Yup…..a tale that was last seen here, with this added “feathered swirl” stitching motif tutorial detail here, is now this ‘finish’ that I’m completely in love with!!!!!!!IMG_8082     With its mix of flannel and cotton charm squares, setting triangles and borders, what started out as the needed workshop demo project has become a quilt I would really like to have around!!!!! The challenge (for me) was to have the light fade to darkness and, if you look back to the original pattern, you will see how this was a tricky endeavor requiring MUCH visualizing and a design wall. I used 2 charm packs of “Primitive Muslin” and 1 pack of cotton “Count Your Blessings” prints, to add some variety! I’m almost ready to have a go at another such setting…….BUT, a few things must be taken care of first. You will see what I mean in the next few posts.

Thread: (top) Glide, 40wt (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro, 70wt. Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly (80/20), black!

Onward to the day. And a very warm one, here in the Rio Grande Valley…..Temps around 90 with humidities guaranteed to make my hair frizz!!! LOL! Thanks to y’all (oops, another TX insert!!!) for popping in!!! Sending hugs….always…….

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Tuesday’s Thursday………………………..

A bit of a “catch-up” on last week’s Killer Bee quilt gathering. Always a ton of inspiration everywhere a body looks!! The gal seated next to me was wearing a striking black/white blouse with a very nice little over-jacket, BUT what caught my eye was the motif on the fronts of that jack!!! Do you see a future stitching design?????IMG_8059      Hmmmmm……..something very soon…..stay tuned……….

“Sharing time” is always amazing and here is a sampling of this grouping……IMG_8061 She applied tulle-like fabric over the tree trunk applique and then thread sketched over the whole section. The effect was total “frostiness”!!!! You could almost catch the ‘chill’ of this one…….well done, dontcha think????IMG_8062 These are towels this Rozanne embroidered for a “Winter Texan” gathering she is soon to attend. Each state represented has a luncheon/meal together sometime during their stay down here. Minnesota’s is next week. Rozanne is our felt applique enthusiast and did a workshop a couple of weeks ago. Photos are at the end of the link (above). Here are a couple of the gals’ projects…….IMG_8066   And Rozanne is already thinking of next year’s workshop with this presentation possibility…………..IMG_8063    Some more lovelies……..IMG_8064IMG_8065IMG_8071IMG_8072   The modified sweater (also handmade!!!!!!) was a ‘find’ for (if I remember correctly) less than  $1. IMG_8075      I think most of us have seen this topper/candle ring made up in Christmas colors/prints but THIS version is stunning!!!!!! I will have to rethink my opinion of this pattern!!!IMG_8070     I’m not sure if I heard correctly but, 1 yard lengths of 5 different coordinates result in 4 little quilts (donation) and the 2 little totes!!! Wow! Following this time was a workshop (most always!!) on a 4 season table topper. I’ll save that for a future post and allow you time to process all the above creativity.

Now, it’s time to see what is on my day’s agenda……………….some vintage, I think!!!!! Have an awesome day!!!!!!

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Quilts on parade……..

A little while back, the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild held their yearly quilt event on South Padre Island(TX). I scooted in for a quick look/see the first morning and here are just a few of my faves…………IMG_8012 IMG_8013IMG_8014IMG_8015IMG_8016IMG_8017IMG_8018 IMG_8028IMG_8019IMG_8021IMG_8020IMG_8022IMG_8023IMG_8024IMG_8025 IMG_8026IMG_8027 IMG_8029IMG_8030 IMG_8032 IMG_8033 IMG_8034IMG_8035IMG_8036 IMG_8037IMG_8038IMG_8039IMG_8040IMG_8041 The last 2 pieces are reverse applique that were beautifully done. The group of “row quilts” before those 2 were done by a several of the “Killer Bees” who meet together, in addition to our regular weekly gatherings! There were so many more displays, all of outstanding construction/techniques.

And so begins another week. What’s under your needle??????? Quilty blessings to you all, dear friends…….

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My Texas “nest”…………

Is one small corner of our 399 sq. ft. little winter place. The reason for this post is that I’ve had comments about quilting a larger piece in very small quarters. Yes! It definitely is possible. I ordered a small table from Walmart that has adjustable height legs. The table is 24”x 46” and I have the height at its lowest (24”) so that the level of the machine stitching area is proper and I’m not reaching/stitching with my shoulders raised to my ears!!! IMG_8053IMG_8052IMG_8054    When quilting, your elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle so that there is minimum shoulder/back strain. The quilt I’m stitching on has finished at 64”x 76” and was extremely manageable  even in this restricted space. I have done larger quite nicely! So, if you are in a “space challenged” situation, think ‘outside the box’ and see how you can make it work for you!!! We are a creative lot and this is just one more challenge!!!! Now……back to stitching………………..

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“Feathered Swirl”…………

A step by step.

Step #1…….Make the swirl/spiral…….image      Begin at the yellow arrow, swirl in then back out to green arrow.

Step #2…….begin first plume…………..

image     Step #3   Continue with the rest of the plumes, ending at the yellow arrow (below) and ………

(Step #4) do a backtrack/echo over the top of the plumes.image    One motif finished. On to the next…

Step #5…(following red arrows and form the next spiral/swirl)……….

image      I hope this break down helps you to see the progression of the stitching. The size of the spirals, number of plumes, etc, of course, can have an number of modifications to fit the needed space.

Let me know if you have need of further clarification. Have an awesome day!!!!!!!

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A question was asked………

Regarding the free motion foot that was pictured in my last post. Quite honestly, I don’t remember where (online) I purchased it, but it is a generic high shank fmq foot that seems to be working quite well. Please note: it is just for fmq/free motion quilting and NOT for any type of ruler work. IMG_8050 It was a hopping foot until I modified it ever so slightly by adding that white plastic tubing spacer……..

image There’s a bit of an adjustment that sometimes needs to be made if the spacer keeps the foot above the fabric too far, which allow the fabric to “pop up” after the stitch is made and usually results in skipped stitches. Just skimming the fabric surface (for me) is a bit easier on my eyes (and ears!) than having the constant hopping up and down and the additional mechanical sounds that may occur with the foot’s movement up/down. I know……I’m fussy…..but I usually quilt for many hours at a time and these extra “noises” become a tad tiring….just sayin’.

Anyhow, here is just one of the links I found for this foot. I’m sure there are other locations and the price seems to be the same wherever!

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“Twist & Shout” a bit longer…………..

My Thursday workshop resulted in this demo top……..IMG_7968    and if I didn’t get right to the quilting (a “next project” is lurking!!!!!!!), it would get shelved…………oh no!!!!!! So, last Friday I managed to pin baste it (crawling on the floor to do it!!! Way-ay-ay too old to that very often!!!)……IMG_8010    and then some trial designs that resulted in this choice……IMG_8042      Yup, “feathered swirls”, first done on a red & white quilt shown in this post. Once again, I’m happily stitching on my Ms (Texas) Juki, using my absolute FAVE thread, GLIDE, on the top and Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly on the bobbin. Perfection!!!!!! IMG_8043IMG_8044IMG_8045IMG_8046    Even the irregular thickness I’m stitching on (all of the solid squares are flannel, the prints are cotton) had little effect on how beautifully the quilting progressed! If all goes as it has, tomorrow may see a completion………to be continued……….

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by for a visit!!!! Please, do come again!!!!

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(Busy) Killer Bees………………..

My South Texas quilt group is amazing!!!! I really do NOT think they sleep!!!!! I mean….really!!! The weekly meetings result in a “sharing” time that proves this thought. Today’s time began with many of the “flimsys”/quilt tops that were put together at the workshop I led last week (see here)…………..IMG_7971IMG_7972 Yup, that top on the right was slashed to accept a diagonal “banner” piece of fabric!!!!!!! A closer view…………….IMG_7973IMG_7974IMG_7975IMG_7978IMG_7983And, lastly…IMG_7977   If you follow the provided links back to earlier posts, the pattern is available. It is clever and allows for the side setting triangles to frame the center squares, set on point, without any troublesome math involved! The only caveat is that there is no 1/4” beyond the outer triangle points which results in the appearance of them being “cut off”. That may bother some (myself not being one!!!!!).

Now, on to the rest of the show/tell………(below) A Leah Day “Stitch Along” piece…….


  IMG_7982IMG_7984A clever tote made from selvages!!!!!!

IMG_7985IMG_7988      Fun with a 15 degree wedge!

IMG_7990IMG_7992  And from “leftovers”……IMG_7993                     ***********


This may appear to be like the workshop “Twist & Shout” tops but these setting triangles were done the ‘old fashioned way’!!!!!!



IMG_7994         These gals found time to take an additional workshop using folded fabric to make these cute pieces! IMG_7995And a piece…finally a ‘finish’.

Now……there was a workshop that completed our time together. Rozann walked us through a “Felted Wool Applique” piece………IMG_8004IMG_8009    The piece on the foreground table is entirely from felted pieces from thrift shops!!! Wow!!!

 IMG_8005IMG_8006IMG_8007           So that about wraps up this week’s get together. I think I’ll go take a nap!!!!!! Til next time……………………

Remember……to enlarge a photo, just ‘click’ on it!!!

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I just HAVE to………………

Send you all loads of hugs and ‘thank you’s for all your best wishes and sweet comments. The Lord has heaped blessings upon us over the years and the most treasured ones are all who have entered our lives, in one way or another. Our hearts are truly full and we thank God for each and every one of you!!!!! And, as Tom wrote on his card to me…..”Here’s to 50 years more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Hmmmmmmmmmm…………….018  (a photo from one of our Black Hills hiking “expeditions” HE talked me into!!!!!!!……….the rest of the story found here)

Back to stitching……soon!!!!!

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Design Wall Monday………..

Is postponed! Yup. The weekend took an unexpected (wonderful) turn. DH and I had planned on taking the motorcycle and heading for South Padre Island on Saturday for the day. Time on the beach and late lunch at Dirty Al’s. All went as planned. We stopped in Port Isabel, to indulge in my fave “Chocolate Decadence” frappe, at the Causeway Café……..Port Isabel before heading over the bridge (in the background) to the island. Yum!!! The day was breezy (always!) and temps were headed to the low 90s…..perfect!!!! Gale warnings had already been posted on the beach for Sunday’s forecast of 45+ mph winds, so a saunter on the beach was delightful…..South Padre (“Selfies” are NOT my ‘thing’!!!!!) To get to the point of this little story, this day was our 50th wedding anniversary(!!!!!!!!! Yes, you read that right!!!) and it was going to be quiet and relaxed. It was, until a somewhat mysterious text was received, telling us to be at a certain address in Brownsville(TX) at 7:30pm that eve, where we will be met by someone and it’s a surprise. Technology (and Google Maps) gave us the info that the address was the Brownsville airport and we quickly surmised that our “surprise” was going to be an unplanned (by us!) visit from our #2 son & DIL!!! So, after our yummy meal, we headed back to Harlingen, showered, grabbed the car and headed to the airport. The plane was on time and…………..well, we spent a wonderful Sunday together……….IMG_7964       Words just aren’t adequate for how much this meant to us. As I’m writing this post, they are continuing their winter get-away and have boarded their 6:30am flight to Miami, where they will spend some time and sight-see in Key West. As DS informed us, they just couldn’t let this “monumental” occasion slip by without some type of party!!!!! Our hearts are full……………………………….

Now…..on to the week’s tasks……….

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“Twist & Shout”…..it’s a ‘wrap’…………………

Last Thursday’s workshop was the culmination of many weeks of mystery. A technique that resulted in a pieced quilt top with setting triangles on the edges that weren’t cut separately and set in. Now, THAT’S a huge bonus for all who have had marginal success with this type of pattern! To refresh your memory, the pieced top (prior to slicing and twisting) looks like this……IMG_6356 My previous post expands on this here. There were approximately 30 brave souls who had stayed for the “fun”.IMG_7957       I had given them only the preliminary diagram. IMG_7958IMG_7959 IMG_7960    This is one group that’s very serious about their stitching and the word for the day became increasingly apparent. It was “focused”. With just some minor assistance, success was achieved by all and the ‘shouting’ was heard! “Halleluiah”s echoed round the room as each gal successfully sliced their piecings, rearranged them, and restitched them.                              

My example (in the first photo), after 2 “slices”, became this………..IMG_7961 For those of you who would want to work out this pattern on your own, the “rest of the story”/pattern may be found in my original “Twist and Shout” post, here. One important note……..The outer edges are all bias, so one, or more, borders are required to stabilize the finished top. Mine was constructed with 5” charm pack squares. I worked with 2 packs of Moda’s “Primitive Muslin” (flannel) and a charm pack of “Count Your Blessings” (cotton). The setting triangles are a dark coffee brown cotton. There will be 2 borders added (a photo for an upcoming “Design Wall Monday”, perhaps). If you have some moments, check out these posts for photos of this pattern done in a variety of fabric combinations by my Spring Grove quilt group………..here and here and here.

Now, I need to get back to those borders!!! Til next time………………

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For my “Killer Bee” friends………

Just a reminder…….the “Twist and Shout” workshop is this coming Thursday! Is your pieced top ready to slice???? IMG_5755 Details of supplies to bring in the yearly KB calendar. Here’s the version I have ready………..IMG_6356                  Very definitely………to be continued………..

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A “Friday Finish”…on Wednesday!…….

I so love the sound of that!!! Backtracking a bit to the post here,, will bring you up to speed on this one. When I purchased this, last September in Kingsport, Tennessee, I just knew it would be a great fmq project!!!! I brought the unfinished cloth to Texas but forgot to bring the binding fabric, so a trek to the local Hobby Lobby produced just the perfect piece!!!!!IMG_7906    Gingham!!! Yes!!!!! And one with a bit of ‘poly’ in it…..how retro is that!!! The minimal shrinkage of that fabric will be ideal for this much-washed cloth. IMG_7906 IMG_7907

A peek at the back…….IMG_7904   It’s a piece of wide backing I had gotten from Connecting Threads and has a ribbon motif subtly running through it. IMG_7909     And a final ‘full shot’……..IMG_7908    “Clicking” on any of the photos will enlarge.

Thread: (top and bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly (70wt). Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly (80/20).

The outer border was fun and a great way to keep the stiffness away (no tight stippling, etc) and allow for a nice over-the-table-edge drape.

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Almost a UFO no longer…………..

This vintage kitchen cloth is so-o-o-o close to a finish and I’m really liking it!!!! (Story continued from this post)IMG_7897 IMG_7894 IMG_7900IMG_7901  Just 2 more sides to finish the border….IMG_7896IMG_7895   The last 2 photos are what I decided on for the outer white area/border. Initially, a diagonal grid was in my mind but there would have been a wee bit too much fullness to contend with. I wanted something less densely stitched to have a softer edge drape and chose to somewhat duplicate the cherry/leaf idea in the four corners, connected by a wavy line of leaves. I think this is really working well with the center motifs, don’t you??

Thread (top and bobbin) is Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly (70 wt) with Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly (70/30) batting. And, of course, continuing to be stitched on my wonderful, all-purpose stitching/fmq machine: Juki 2010Q. IMG_7902

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I know I’m home when……….

The aroma of fresh baked bread is filling my little Texas “space”! Earlier today, I was trying to catch up with all my friends’ blog posts when I came upon friend Karen’s post (her blog: “Quilts…..etc”). She resides in NW Arkansas, an area that has also found itself in winter’s frigid grip. Her solution to such cold blasts is similar to mine. Aside from stitching, baking is the activity of choice. The results of her post is this yummy loaf……..IMG_7893    Her “Banana Walnut Bread” recipe (found here) is wonderful!! I made 1/2 the recipe using just shy of 3 cups of bread flour but kept the brown sugar amount the same. The bread is a very mild….very……banana flavor that is excellent! The other substitution I made was craisins for the dates (which I did not have!). After the first raise, I shaped it into an artisan loaf, place it on parchment on a pizza pan. Let raise again and baked it for 30 minutes at 350F. Thank you, Karen, for this fab addition to my bread baking repertoire!!!!!

I must get back to stitching!!!!………..

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From this……….

IMG_7837  Snowy Minnesota landscape (car and bike packed and ready to head South), to a , DH-suggested  quick stop……in Missouri……at a place/town that is on the map today, largely, because of the vision of one gal and her family. Any thoughts???? Maybe this “little” clue will help……..IMG_7838      Well, maybe this is a better clue……….IMG_7841   Could I say no??? Of course not!!! But, was I totally unprepared/without a plan or list??? Yes!!!! So, with only a few moments to grasp the whole idea, we were parking the car and heading out to………. Well, for those who have not kept up with the growth of Missouri Star Quilt Company and the impact on the little town of Hamilton (which is also the home of James Cash Penney….yup “J.C. Penney!), there are 12 (yes! count ‘em!) individual buildings that house various categories of what would comprise just one ordinary shop. IMG_7839    The first building we entered is a composite site of what each location has for a them……batiks, primitives/wools, children, animal/themed, etc.IMG_7840   Each place is well-lit, with signage that clearly marks each category of fabric. Shopping made very easy!!!! IMG_7842   I will admit, this was a “speed run” and purchases were extremely minimal!!!!!!IMG_7892    A few fat quarters and a ‘tumbler’ cutting template that works with charm/5” squares. We zipped in and out of most all the shops, except for the café, bakery and “man cave”, that were bypassed completely. A (better) planned stop in the future would probably be a good idea! Ha!

We were headed to Higginsville, MO, for an overnight with friends Celeste and twin sis, Celia. I had made a tie pillow for Celeste a year ago. I acquired her dear hubby’s fave ties upon his passing and wanted to give her a special remembrance………IMG_7843   A construction note…..using the narrow tie ends, I merely zig-zagged the appropriate lengths to a black denim piece of fabric which gave the pillow a very nice stability and smooth surface. Maybe a good item idea when a quilt is a tad too much???

The rest of our southern trek was wonderfully uneventful. I wish I could say that we are having fab warm south Texas weather but the “cold snap” has even this area in its grasp for a few days. Lows at 31F will be found throughout the Rio Grande Valley at some point with “wind chill” readings that are most unpleasant. Now, for my Northern friends…….yes, this is a bit of a ‘whine’….sorry…………….

Back to quilting….and warm thoughts…….soon………………….

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I know I’m back in Texas when……..

Meals begin to have a certain theme!!! Yup….seafood! A quick fish taco is always good, topped with a bit of guacamole, and served with a “side” of sliced jicama (sprinkled with a bit of Adobo seasoning)……..IMG_7851    And there must always be shrimp!!! IMG_7849   This is a super easy fix that Pinterest provided last year! You say you’re curious about the recipe?? OK, let me give you the very quick run-down……….

1.5 pounds of raw/uncooked shrimp (these were deveined only)             

1 stick salted butter

1 med/large lemon…sliced thinly

1 package dry Italian dressing mix

Melt the butter in a 9”x 13” edged pan and place the lemon slices in a single layer on the bottom. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the package of Italian dressing mix over. Place the shrimp on top of these layers and sprinkle the rest of the seasoning mix on top of the shrimp. Bake @ 350F for 15 to 17 minutes (til the shrimp are bright pink). Enjoy!!!! A great no-fuss way to fix perfectly cooked shrimp. Served with a side of rice……….wonderful!!!!IMG_7850    Stay tuned for more happenings of the quilty variety shortly…………

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My prayer for you…………………..

Snoopy-New-Year-Wishes               Is for you to have a Joy and Peace filled New Year!!! As we come to the close of another year, I, again, give thanks for all of you, my dear “Bloggy Friends”, who stop by for a visit and leave sweet words of encouragement, inspiration and friendship. I wonder what’s in store these coming days??!!! Let’s explore together and open this new chapter. And, as always, sending hugs……….

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From this………IMG_7837    to this………..IMG_7846 with the bonus of 76F and palm trees!!!! Cleaning-mostly completed. Cable and wifi hooked up (yes, I need certain things!), barn square up and a few tasks left that will wait til…….well, will wait a bit………….

To be continued……………

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