Monday, September 7, 2020

UPDATE: Long time no see!

Hi! 👋 Long time no see! It's been a while. 2020 has been crazy! 

First, if you're one of the ones who messaged me or left a comment about my bff, and her cancer diagnosis, and kept her in your prayers, thank you so much! 


I super appreciate it! She is about 6 weeks past her surgery, which was pretty extensive. The good news is, it was a slow growing type, i.e. low grade, but it was in stage II, as it had spread to a couple of other areas. They think they got it all, so she just has to endure the followup appointments and testing, to make sure it doesn't come back. There won't be any chemo or anything right now, b/c it's a type that is resistant to chemo. So praying and keeping fingers and toes crossed that it doesn't return! Unfortunately, ovarian cancer is the worst for women, and the Dr. has said that there's no guarantee that they got EVERY cell, so chances are it could come back. But overall, a pretty positive outcome of the surgery, considering.. please keep her in your prayers. I super appreciate it! 💖 Cancer sucks. She is in her early 40's and has two teens. It's been a stressful few months!

Although I haven't sewn much during the pandemic, I did sew and quilt one thing over the last few months. A throw pillow for the fall issue of Quilts & More, using my Sew Chatty fabric! If you find an issue in a shop, or order an issue, it is in the Scrap Lab section. It was super fun! The instructions for this and two other projects are included the issue, and Q&M will have kits to make the scrap lab projects available for order from their website. The challenge was, they sent me a fabric bundle, and I had to create a pillow design using only the fabrics they sent.

Other than that, I fell off the wagon massively with my National Days scrap blocks and posts/tutorials, (profuse apologies if you were sewing along!) and have mainly just been trying to keep up with orders for my little business. I thought things would screech to a halt when everything shut down in March, but the quilting business seemed to keep on chugging almost more than normal! I guess with all of the quarantine time, people kept on quilting! I'm behind on messages, and I need to send out a couple of prizes for giveaways that I sponsored, that are insanely late (I haven't forgotten you!). I have done a few last minute designs for Riley Blake for some of their fabric lines.. Working on getting the patterns tested and ready right now, so they are not quite available yet but will be in the near future!

There's one more that I just recently started on, but don't have the image or cover ready yet. BUT, it's for a licensed Thomas the Train fabric line. You guys. Get ready if you have a small person in your life that loves Thomas & Friends. My son's head would've exploded for this quilt when he was a toddler. haha! *nostalgia* He's about to be 14. Time flies! I can't wait to share it with you. It will be a little bit, though before I have it ready.. 

..a couple of new pins are designed and ordered and should be here by the third week of September, and I have a third that I just designed that's really fun, too that will be coming in some time after these two..

.. and a couple of happy stickers just arrived! Because stickers are just fun. I'm going to list them in my etsy shop this week. The dog is about 2 x 3". The sewing machine is about 3 x 3 1/2". I stuck a couple of them on my laptop for mood enhancers when I'm on the computer. 

Other than that, I've just been trying to keep up with life in general. I needed to be more present in real life, and it ended up that something had to give so I kind of ghosted my online life (my social media and blog) for the entire summer! And managed to squeeze in a couple of family trips as summer flew by. 

We had planned a National Park hopping road trip again this summer, since we had so much fun last summer, but that got canceled when the virus hit. So in early June, going stir crazy, we decided to sneak off for a week to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, when things first started to open back up and not a lot of people were moving around yet. It was beautiful and soul feeding, and all the things. We saw all kinds of wildlife and hardly any other people! It was blissfully uncrowded. And was so good to be outdoors after being stuck inside for months. Here are a few of my fav photos.. I can't wait to go back. It's one of our favorite places!

They have the best moody sunsets.. (I took all of these with my phone.) This is my favorite. Snapped out of the EcoTour Adventure vehicle window on a sunset wildlife viewing tour. Due to covid, all tours were private (no extra fee!) to minimize contact with others, so it was just our family of three and our guide, Tenley. Who was amazing and fun and knew everything and we learned A LOT. It was so much fun.  

We didn't see a bear on our tour, but she gave us really good tips on where to look on our own, so the next day we set out and happened upon TWO feeding in this meadow. We were actually pretty far away, I took this pic through our spotting scope-with my phone again. 

This is the cutest little Chapel of the Transfiguration, built in the 1920's for park workers, and still operating today. It has a glass window in the front that perfectly frames the Tetons. But we didn't get to go in since it was closed for the entire season due to covid. 

And we went to see the old (and very photogenic) barns of historic Mormon Row..

It's just magical there. We can't wait to go back! I won't bore you with ALL the photos, but we saw bison, pronghorn sheep, elk, several species of birds, bear, moose, beaver.. the only thing on our list that we didn't find were wolves. Someday we will see wolves, and our wildlife viewing bucket list will be complete. ha!

After we were back home for a couple of weeks, my son and I ventured out to the Midwest for three weeks to see my parents. We hadn't seen them in a year due to the shutdowns etc. It was eerie at the airport. There was zero traffic, and NOT ONE OTHER PERSON in the security line.

Usually it's a madhouse of people, inside and out.

 We wore face coverings and didn't touch our faces, etc. I was kind of wary about what flying would be like but it was fine. Flights were about half full so that was actually kinda nice! More space. It was so good to see them, and nice to be in an area with hardly any virus cases, and where life seemed pretty normal. CA is still locked down pretty tight.

Then we came back home. Just in time for school to start on Aug. 6, so early this year! So now we've just been home dealing with online school and carrying on while dreaming of GTNP. ;) While our state is bursting into flames, as it does every year. The air quality was REALLY bad for about a week. But lately, it's a lot better. Still not in the green range, but at least not in the purple range anymore (the worst). The fire map is looking the same as it has been, but the fires are all pretty well contained. I finally downloaded a fire tracker app so I could see what was going on. 

This has been A YEAR! And it's only 2/3 over! 

I'm going to try to be back soon with the National Day block that I had been planning to post when I fell off the wagon back in June? May? I can't even remember! Anyway, the next block I had been working on is a PB&J block. Because PB&J actually has a day! As it should. 😄 That's Skippy Creamy and Welch's Grape in case you couldn't tell. ha!

If you read along this far, thanks for dropping by! 

I have the PB&J block about half done, so I'll post it soon. Hope you're having a great Labor Day weekend!

Happy Stitching!



The ONLY kind of PB&J!! LOL
So glad t hear that your friend is recovering well from her surgery, Kelli! Looked for your blocks, but totally understood why you wouldn't be quilting much. Between your friend's diagnosis and the virus, you NEEDED a vacation (or two!)

lisa0116 said...

Hi Kelli! Glad to hear your friend is on the mend! I love reading your blog but find it quite difficult to do with that light blue print you use. Please change that to something easier for us to read. Black works. I have quit reading many things from people because they use that light blue and some even use yellow which is even worse. If you really like blue and think you need blue writing, please go darker. Please please please! Thank you!

kvanatta said...

I am SO happy to hear from you!! And glad that things are going as well as 2020 allows...... Thank you for sharing the photos and the relax times you've been able to snag! Your business looks like it is doing well too - and I cannot wait to get a puppy pin :-) Big hugs for you and your BFF.... and thanks again for popping in :-)

Sometimes you just need to slow down and take a big breath and I'm so glad you were able to do that. Glad to hear your BFF is better and will continue to keep her in prayer. On my bucket list is visiting all the National Parks. Your visit and photos were well enjoyed. Glad to hear from you again. Stay well and safe, my friend.

Anonymous said...

It’s so good to hear from you! And good job taking care of yourself. I made an art journal page yesterday: “2020 Dumbest Year Ever”
I didn’t do anything all summer but have finally gotten back to some sewing and art. I guess I’m finally getting adjusted lol. Love your pillow, so cute! And yay for Skippy!!

Patti said...

Glad to see you back online, take care of yourself. I have missed your posts.

Hang in there Kelli. You've done amazing work over the years. It's perfectly fine to fall off the wagon, or more like, taking an extended break to recharge your creative batteries.

Ellie said...

👏😊. Good to hear from you! I have family in Modesto, Carmel, Salinas and Tahoe area. I’ve been watching all the fires and hoping all of them are safe. I’m glad you are well and back to blogging.

Kathleen said...

So glad to see you surfacing again. I have missed you. We normally go on a national park hop every year. But this year we didn't go. Have missed so many things but there is always next year. Anyway will continue to pray for you and your friend. Looking forward to more blocks.

Angie said...

Really cool pillow. I really like the Sew Chatty fabric. I hope to get the Sew Chatty fabric one day. Super cute! angielovesgary2 atgmail dotcom 🌻🦋

Hey Kelli! It sounds like great news about your friend. I will be having my ovaries removed due to a genetic mutation I found out I have after my BC diagnosis. I finished up 5 months of chemo in July and had my double mastectomy last week so I haven't had a lot of time to sew, either. I really need some sewing therapy and your post was perfect timing for me! Hoping to get most of my drains out before it starts. Stay safe!

Great pillow! You'll have to continue the 'day' blocks into next year. We got to visit Missouri in June, and we plan on a trip to see our parents in October (well over a year since we've seen any of them). I still need to use my Sew Chatty fabric. Maybe some project bags......

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