I have a theory…

I always try to get a lot done by Wednesday of the week.  Over the years, I have developed a theory of productivity*… if  I don’t put in the work toward the front end of the week by Wednesday, the rest of the week would just zip by blurry without me getting much done before the weekend!

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So, I have been planning, thinking, scheduling, calculating, pattern writing, piecing, stitching, reading, and trying to come up with a good name (you know how lousy I am in that department)…  all that in a day’s work… well, the first part of the week’s work! In truth, and the highfalutin mumbo jumbo aside, I have just been trying to dig myself out of my work pile. :)

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So what do you think of my theory of productivity?  Do you feel the same way I do about Wednesdays?

While, I still have a few hours left on this Wednesday, I’d better get myself in gear to finish up what I started this morning…. and oh, I still have to decide on that name!!!  More details to come on that name — when I am finally able to share!

Thank you for stopping by, Dear Friends!  May God bless you all!!  Hugs!

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*Back story on my obsession with efficiency and productivity:  As a primary (elementary) school kid, I used to loyally read self-help books and columns on how to be a better (and more productive) student. And thereon after, efficiency grew to be a lifelong and ongoing pursuit! My husband looked at me with this perplexed look when I told him what I used to do for childhood passtime. So…. I’ve NEVER claimed to be the cool kid in the crowd, HA!

Announcing Giveaway Winner & Answering….

… a couple of “pressing” questions!  I have been asked by quite a few whether I have a Facebook or Instagram Page.  Answer is… I don’t, regretfully.  At my current phase of life, I only enough time to keep my blog somewhat updated. Though I have thought of being on Twitter, but my life is SORELY and DISMALLY un-interesting…

Now, as promised… the winner of my Machine Quilting Level 2 DVD giveaway is: #92 Cecilia! Congrats — an email is sent to you.  Please email me at wendy2@wendysheppard.net if somehow my email doesn’t reach you!

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You may read more about the quilting class here.

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Meanwhile, if you would like to have the information cards about BOTH of my online machine quilting classes with $5 off coupon for your quilting groups or events, please do not hesitate to email me!  I am more than happy to mail them to you.

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Rogers Sewing Center in northwest Arkansas is displaying the class sample I made for the class!  Stop by to see it if you haven’t already. More importantly, I want you to meet the RSC team – Dan, Rhonda and Kathy!  You won’t regret your visit… I can promise you that much!  Many more of the sample pictures are posted here.

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I thought I would also show you my tropical fruit salsa made with papaya and mango.  I was a bit skeptical about how it would taste even though I love papayas and mangoes by themselves, but the salsa turned out really deliciously summer-ish!

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Our summer holiday officially starts tonight.  To think I hadn’t though I would cope with Miss Baby starting and being in school two years ago… well, she will be a First Grader this Fall. Where did the time go?  We have lots planned for the summer, including a quilty summer project.  Stay tuned!

SO — curious mind wants to know what variations of salsa you have made using ingredients other than tomatoes!

Wednesday’s Ramblings

Hello Friends,  I hope you are well.  Just want to check in with you quickly.  First off, one down — two more to go. :)

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Meanwhile, our rhododendron bush has bloomed!

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Many with whom I work, and have to come love are gearing up for this year’s Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis… wish I were there… but I am comforted (somehow) my quilts and designs will be there.

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Come back tomorrow – I will have some in-progress pictures to share with you, as well as a couple of Anne of Green Gables snippets relating to quilting!  I have been on an Anne of Green Gables kick these last couple of weeks because of the tragic passing of Jonathan Crombie.

How is your week shaping up?  I hope your week has gone well for you!

Color Me Raven Black!

So I tried to shorten the following excerpt, but I think the full effect will be lost if shortened… or you can watch the clip on youtube here.

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“Dyed it! Dyed your hair! Anne Shirley, didn’t you know it was a wicked thing to do?”

“Yes, I knew it was a little wicked,” admitted Anne. “But I thought it was worth while to be a little wicked to get rid of red hair. I counted the cost, Marilla. Besides, I meant to be extra good in other ways to make up for it.”

“Well,” said Marilla sarcastically, “if I’d decided it was worth while to dye my hair I’d have dyed it a decent color at least. I wouldn’t have dyed it green.”

“But I didn’t mean to dye it green, Marilla,” protested Anne dejectedly. “If I was wicked I meant to be wicked to some purpose. He said it would turn my hair a beautiful raven black—he positively assured me that it would. How could I doubt his word, Marilla? I know what it feels like to have your word doubted. And Mrs. Allan says we should never suspect anyone of not telling us the truth unless we have proof that they’re not. I have proof now—green hair is proof enough for anybody. But I hadn’t then and I believed every word he said IMPLICITLY.”

“Who said? Who are you talking about?”

“The peddler that was here this afternoon. I bought the dye from him.”

“Anne Shirley, how often have I told you never to let one of those Italians in the house! I don’t believe in encouraging them to come around at all.”

“Oh, I didn’t let him in the house. I remembered what you told me, and I went out, carefully shut the door, and looked at his things on the step. Besides, he wasn’t an Italian—he was a German Jew. He had a big box full of very interesting things and he told me he was working hard to make enough money to bring his wife and children out from Germany. He spoke so feelingly about them that it touched my heart. I wanted to buy something from him to help him in such a worthy object. Then all at once I saw the bottle of hair dye. The peddler said it was warranted to dye any hair a beautiful raven black and wouldn’t wash off. In a trice I saw myself with beautiful raven-black hair and the temptation was irresistible. But the price of the bottle was seventy-five cents and I had only fifty cents left out of my chicken money. I think the peddler had a very kind heart, for he said that, seeing it was me, he’d sell it for fifty cents and that was just giving it away. So I bought it, and as soon as he had gone I came up here and applied it with an old hairbrush as the directions said. I used up the whole bottle, and oh, Marilla, when I saw the dreadful color it turned my hair I repented of being wicked, I can tell you. And I’ve been repenting ever since.”

“Well, I hope you’ll repent to good purpose,” said Marilla severely, “and that you’ve got your eyes opened to where your vanity has led you, Anne. Goodness knows what’s to be done. I suppose the first thing is to give your hair a good washing and see if that will do any good.”

Accordingly, Anne washed her hair, scrubbing it vigorously with soap and water, but for all the difference it made she might as well have been scouring its original red. The peddler had certainly spoken the truth when he declared that the dye wouldn’t wash off, however his veracity might be impeached in other respects.

“Oh, Marilla, what shall I do?” questioned Anne in tears. “I can never live this down. People have pretty well forgotten my other mistakes—the liniment cake and setting Diana drunk and flying into a temper with Mrs. Lynde. But they’ll never forget this. They will think I am not respectable. Oh, Marilla, ‘what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.’ That is poetry, but it is true. And oh, how Josie Pye will laugh! Marilla, I CANNOT face Josie Pye. I am the unhappiest girl in Prince Edward Island.”

Anne’s unhappiness continued for a week. During that time she went nowhere and shampooed her hair every day. Diana alone of outsiders knew the fatal secret, but she promised solemnly never to tell, and it may be stated here and now that she kept her word. At the end of the week Marilla said decidedly:

“It’s no use, Anne. That is fast dye if ever there was any. Your hair must be cut off; there is no other way. You can’t go out with it looking like that.”

Anne’s lips quivered, but she realized the bitter truth of Marilla’s remarks. With a dismal sigh she went for the scissors.”                                      ~~~ Excerpted from Anne of Green Gables

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Two Fridays ago, I had my hair colored for the first time…. because you see, I have been consistently seeing these pesky gray peeking through my “formerly raven black” hair!  I told my hairdresser as long as I didn’t have an Anne of Green Gables experiences with the coloring session, I was good to go. After all, I did have a rather important event to go to.  I surely didn’t want to show up with the potentially comical visual effect of a botched up hair coloring job!

I was also saddened a couple of weeks ago to find out the actor who played the Gilbert Blythe, Jonathan Crombie, passed away.  So, I have been watching the Anne of Green Gables series by Kevin Sullivan for old time’s sake. My favorite scenes are the “Lily Maid Rescue” scenes.

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Probably the best scene from Anne of Green Gables, with Anne’s recitation of ‘The Lady of Shalott’ being a close second. I’m also extremely jealous of Gilbert’s ability to rock out the hat. :)
Gilbert: Anne Shirley. What in heck are you doing here?
Anne: Fishing for lake trout. 

Curious mind wants to know if you have a favorite Anne of Green Gables scene?

Thanks for suffering through my “vanity of vanities” post today! :)  I hope you have a lovely weekend!  See you next week.

Behind the Scenes #1

I thought I would show you a few “must-haves” when I do pattern writing.  The following shot was taken a few days ago when I was writing instructions for a design where I had to account for more than 30 fabrics.

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I am not very gadgety — so, except for my computer, everything else is old-school.  See that day planner behind my coffee cup?  Yeah, I live under the rock!  And that cup of coffee — absolute must have especially when I am needing to focus for calculating yardages.

How about you?  Do you tend toward technology, or do you tend toward old-school, or do you find yourself right in the middle?

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a great day!

A Mother’s Love: Sneak Peek #1

Hello Friends, I hope you had a blessed Indpendenced Day weekend!

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Now, life is back to normal… somewhat!  I have been up since 2:30am working on a very tight deadline.  Here is a sneaky peek for you!  By the time you see this picture, quilting is about to begin.

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I want to say a HUGE “Thank You” to you all for your kind words on the news of my upcoming book Recreating Antique Quilts.   Many of you emailed me personally – thank you so much!  Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to reply to comments and emails.  But please don’t give up on me just yet…. I have a few very tight deadlines in July, and I am working hard to meet them!   But I will make it a point to whittle down the emails/comments to which I have to reply!

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Hope you are all well.  Do tell me what you are working on this week.  Hugs to you all!  I must fly for now.  I shall catch up with you later.  Love and hugs to you all.

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p.s.  There is no doctoring or photoshopping going on here — that was exactly how the sky looked this past weekend – not a cloud in the beautiful blue sky! And do you spot that little white speck in the sky?  That’s the moon showing up at around 4pm my local time.

Winners: McCall’s Quilting July/August 2014 Magazine Issues

Happy Monday, Friends!   I hope you have had a great weekend!  I want to thank you for entering my giveaway (courtesy of McCall’s Quilting) of McCall’s Quilting July/August 2014 issues two Fridays ago.

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I used a random number generator (www.random.org), and drew the following two winners.  Ladies, I will email you so that you can email me back with your mailing address so that I can have the magazines sent to you!  Congrats!

#14

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#22

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Things are really happening at Ivory Spring with summer holiday being in full swing -with work and summer activities with my little family.

I didn’t know just how embarrassingly city-slickish my family is until we went to pick strawberries at a nearby farm over the weekend.   Miss Baby ooohed and aaahed at the scenery driving up to the farm, and was musing in the backseat how she wished she lived on a farm — she would just work the farm with my husband, and all I need to do is to cook.  And guess what she did when it came time to actually “work the farm” and pick the strawberries?  She didn’t want to get her hands dirty!!!  Seriously!!??

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And I didn’t know just how many we had picked until we got home — I have been frantically looking for strawberry recipes to use the berries up before they go bad.  I made some no-cook freezer jam this afternoon… and I think I am going to try to make a strawberry cake tomorrow.  I have a lot of strawberries to use up!!!

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have had a great start to your week.  Do come back tomorrow for another free-to-use pattern!!  Hugs to you all.

Autumn Sky: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, the last couple of days have been busy.  I worked hard to push through a few things.  Autumn Sky is now on its way to the editor.  I am experimenting with quilting with straight lines.  Honestly, I find quilting straight lines MORE difficult than free-motion quilting.  I am exploring a few visual effects in straight line quilting.  I still have much to learn- don’t you just love all the learning opportunities in quilting?

Anyway, here is a sneak peek of Autumn Sky:

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The fabrics might look familiar to you… yeap, you are right, the fabrics you see are some of the fabrics you see in my Bird Watching quilt.  You still have time to enter the magazine giveaway in my Bird Watching post here.

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Meanwhile, our summer is shaping up quite nicely.  Yes, we are feeling the heat, including heat from the oven!!!  You see, Miss Baby and I are working in a bit of baking in our summer routine.  Miss Baby is crazy about those cranberry pecan rolls!  [Doreen’s bread recipes are the absolute best!!!   Click here for Doreen’s recipes.]  So, I am not the greatest cook in the world — I had to write Doreen and asked just how long we should wait for the bread rolls to rise before sticking them in the oven to be baked.  Doreen is  most gracious in sharing her bread making wisdom – thanks, Doreen!

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How is your summer shaping up?  Are you doing any traveling this summer?  If so, where…?

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope to post about another editorial feature tomorrow — I realized I needed to take a few more pictures while working on the post.  Till tomorrow.  Hugs to you all.

Christmas Reflections: 10,000 Joys

Dear Friends, I have to confess I have experienced pangs of grief and pain amidst the joyous cheer and anticipation of Christmas this whole month of December.  I grieve for dear friends who have lost their loved ones during the Christmas season.  I have cried thinking about how much those loved ones are missed…

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And yet, grieving for the loss of a loved one is a reality of life from which we cannot escape…

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Then I heard 10,000 Joys sung at church yesterday, and my heart was encouraged greatly by the words “… ten thousand joys — enough to last through all the years; And joy to shine through all my tears — ten thousand joys!”

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This Christmas, may the ten thousand joys brought forth by the Christ Child will overshadow the grief you feel when you miss and think of your loved ones who have gone on before you — with the assurance that in Christ, you will be reunited at the other side of heaven.   Hugs and blessings to you.

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Standing here beside the manger, looking at this little Stranger,

Wondering if He’ll be like other boys?

Looking down across tomorrow, knowing there will be some sorrow,

I still know He’ll bring ten thousand joys!


When I am alone with Jesus, in the quiet where no one sees us,

Or when He is with me in life’s lows,

If I speak, I know He’ll hear me and to know that He is near me

Always bring to me ten thousand joys!

 

I know He came from God to save us from our sins, 

And that He came to set His people free.

But how was I to know when Jesus came into my life,

That God’s own Son had come to bring to me…

 

Chorus:

Ten thousand joys!  Sweet Son of God You came to me!

And my heart sings because I know that You are mine!

In you I find ten thousand joys—enough to last through all the years,

And joy to shine through all my tears:  Ten thousand joys!