Bee's Hive

Saturday, December 26, 2009

More surprises from Kathy

This was not the usual fun Holiday, very little baking went on because I couldn't find my baking gear and my heart just wasn't in it. Then I got into a terrible state of sickness on Christmas Eve and all day Christmas which didn't help with the cheerful celebration we usually have.
To add to that, the dog, who is up there with me in age and health, ran after his new Christmas ball and injured his leg, keeping us up all last night.

Yesterday I got a call from Kathy. She didn't see me post about the gifts she sent to me and thought I might be "mad" about them. Now, when I got time to think this over it made me wonder what she could have sent that I wouldn't like???? hmmm

Today is starting out better. Dog gave us a huge smile and tail wag because he does not want to get out of the Van and see the we are just going to baby him and allow him to heal on his own. That now gives me the chance to try and celebrate Christmas today!

We had our late breakfast and set down to open gifts. Kathy has not been to my house or she would have known not to worry! Something happened in my childhood that now makes me surround myself with dolls, doll houses, old toys, doll clothing and anything else that suits me, without any guilt at all!

So Kathy, I set out to open the big box you were worried about. Here she is! I don't have any that work with batteries. After watching her move and coo, I headed for the hall where I have the most beautiful victorian Christening gown and bonnet that she will look just perfect in...but I had forgotten we stacked 20 sheets of drywall against the closet her new outfit will have to wait..She has a new name...Kathy!

The next gift from Kathy was beautiful fabric's in blue

Most likely the gift that I will wear out is this cherry stone filled pad that you heat up. It's covered in soft gentle flannel and came from Pennsylvania!

Thanks a bunch Kathy! Dave is on the computer searching Ala., Miss., and Lou. for Jobs on the site you gave him. Maybe the day will come when I can invite you to a "real" house and you can see all my babies!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's not Christmas, but....

I've been busy putting together some doll house furniture that was given to me by bluesnail. So many pieces, but it's together and ready to be finished later when the color scheme for the house comes together.

While I was sanding the pieces the mail came with another wonderful surprise. This one came from Russia from our HGTV friend, Roolen. The fabric's are heavy woven and the lace is just so delicate. Her needle work is super. It's impossible to see it in this photo, but the needle case is too wonderful. She also sent a post card that will hang in the sewing room.

I know it's not Christmas, but I have a million excuses why I couldn't wait. It was 7 degree's this morning, this house depresses me, and then there is this house...what can I say. So I did treat myself to opening a few of the gifts Kathy sent to me.

Hmm, looks like we have a theme going! The furniture matches the pieces I just put together! The metal crib is for the teeny tiny baby and on the small dresser is a plastic bag holding the bottle and, so tiny. I wasn't planning on a baby..but I guess we now have a single mom!

Next I opened two boxes filled with wonderful things for crazy quilting! Appliques, beads, thread, buttons..lots of shiney things! I was going to stop here but still feeling a little sad about living in this house, I went for a few more...

OOOhhh socks, just what I can use in this old house! Last week Talia & Donna were visiting Kathy. They spent a lot of the time working on beading. A girl can never have too many bangles and danglies. This is done in green, perfect for Christmas or any other time... just why I put them on with my jammies!
Great Surprises Kathy! I must say it's very hard to walk away from my little tree which still has gifts under it, but I will take the teeny baby out of her wrapping and see if I can come up with a plan for the furniture/house.
Stay tuned...more to come!

Friday, December 18, 2009

More surprises!

I was told by Shawkl,, to be on the look out for boxes to arrive. Today they came. I was also told that wrapped gifts belong under the tree until Christmas. It's only a little tree so the gifts spilled onto a chair. I'm going to have a hard time looking at them sitting in my sewing room for another week!

Another box also came from Oilpainter, . I didn't get any "directions" with this box, so I opened it! How special to have something she painted! She also sent one of her handmade cards. I have a collection of Becky's cards and they are beautiful!

Thank you Kathy and Becky for all these wonderful surprises!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Best Friends

When I was a child I was told that "someday" you will have people you call your best friends. I've waited a life time having friends leave when I needed them most and realizing they really were not "Best Friends" at all.

It took me to be almost 65 to know what a real best friend is, and now I have several. It just seems when I am down and feeling pretty alone, along comes a best friend who warms my heart and makes it all better.

All through the year Donna,, has been my best friend. We have never met but emails have served us in forming a friendship. She just seems to pop up when I need a cyber hug!

Today I heard the mail girl pounding on the door and calling my name. When I finally got down the stairs there she stood smiling from ear to ear with a HUGE box. Not that gifts make a friendship, but when the gifts have been handmade you know it was gifted in friendship and love. Thank you so much Donna!
This is a wonderful Post it board that will get tons of use! I am hoping to cover it with photos of all my new "best friends"
I know what these are for but they will not go on the oven in this house. Instead they will live in my sewing room where I can enjoy them. The package is from the fat Quarter shop in beautiful colors and the slippers are fit for Santa, made in a velvet type fabric.

All I want for Christmas Swap 2009

I'm going to post this here because you can't post anything on HGTV that might be considered a dig, warning or and "ugly" in anyway. This will have some ugly things included.

Many of us have spoken about bad swappers and having black lists. That will come later in the year. Right now I want to talk about the swap I held for Christmas on HGTV.

I was surprised that so many ladies signed up for the swap after I warned them that this would not be a CHEAP swap. We had 44 ladies in the swap and a few that were gifted just because. I gave 20 themes for the ladies to fill for their Pollyanna from May 13th until November 20th.

They were suppose to include in the box or boxes: some handmade items, personal items, fabric & quilting items. Everyone filled out a wish list, likes and dislikes and we kept a thread running to add anything you thought of that you might like. As I purchased or made items I posted them so the ladies would have some idea of what they should be doing. I made them check in each month. It sounded like they were doing just fine with making and buying and that they all understood what was expected in this swap.

My name was passed around so I wouldn't know who had me. I posted my gifts on here and they were wonderful! I seemed to have lucked out in the person, Deb51, who kept my name.

For many they recieved nice boxes with all the items that should have been in the box. Some were too light on fabric, some on quilting items, but still exceptable.

Unfortunately their were some VERY bad swappers who chose to go the CHEAP route. Some barely said Thank you and many didn't post photo's of the gifts. Photo's were the only way for me to know what they got. One of our swappers does beautiful handwork, Ely, but her pollyanna barely said thank you and didn't post any photos, of course this was one of the late senders too. Some people should just NOT join swaps.

Three people chose to change my rules. They all had until November 20th to shop. From the 20th to the 30th of November they were suppose to be wrapping and packing and all boxes in the mail by the 30th. Today, December 14th, we still have one swapper who is "finishing up" the items she is making. Such LIES. What she is doing is just starting her shopping and sewing..who does she think she is kidding? Now she is flooding her polly with gifts. SORRY, this does not makeup for being very late.

This same swapper right from the start was a problem. She didn't like the person she was given and wanted another person. I had to give over my name to her just to keep the swap going right from the start, without any problems. I had already bought one gift for my pollyanna so I sent it off to her to include in the box...the gift has yet to make it to it's new owner.

One of the themes was "sticky". One swapper sent glue sticks for this gift. Glue sticks is NOT a gift, it's a stocking stuffer. Many filled the themes with ornaments, too many ornaments and not special $2. junk from walmart. These ornaments were also stocking stuffers, not gifts!

Some boxes lacked fabric, some had none and one box had almost one yard..which tells me it was a used piece of fabric from her stash, not a new purchased gift.

One theme was chocolate. One candy bar is not a gift. I expected something unusal or special for chocolate, maybe a candy bar and chocolate or brown fabric might have made up a gift.

Some filled the box with all handmade items while others didn't make anything in the 6 months they had to do it. Another theme was spoolie. A roll of ribbon is NOT a gift nor is 2 spools of thread.

One theme was read/write. One marking pen is not a gift, it's a stocking stuffer. I expected them to buy a quilting book or a stack of patterns or even special note cards from the quilting shop.

Those that did post photos of the bad boxes are getting gifts from me. I have tried to fill in the items they were missing, some boxes needing total replacement. This is expensive to say the least. Good thing I bought 2 or 3 of everything along the way. I did expect 2 or 3 to not do the job right. I didn't expect 12 total bad boxes and 7 not so good ones! I have the gifts, but the shipping is killing me!

We have finally come to the end of the swap, well almost, there are still boxes either in the mail or promised to be in the mail. I thought I had finally come to the end of seeing bad boxes and at least knowing who I needed to send too, but then I got a message that really put me over the edge in anger.

Regifting..I'm sure we all have done this at one time or another, but how tacky to do it in the same swap! It seems that a swapper waited for her gifts to arrive before she sent out her box. Used the incoming gifts, kept the ones she liked and replaced them with $2. items..sent the gifts off to HER pollyanna who posted a photo of them. Of course photo's tell it all. The original gifter saw her gifts in someone elses pile and got very hurt feelings that her Pollyanna would do this tacky thing. Maybe the reason this low down swapper has the word "trouble" in her screen name is because she is! I have never had anyone do something this low before.

I have a right to post about this. I was swap mama. This should not have cost me an extra $500. to send out gifts to swappers who did a good job and got junk back. I still have one very special person who will be gifted in January when I have time to put a nice box together for her. She has spent the year filling in for those who did a bad job, sending her own gifts to someone who needed cheering up. This gift will have to wait because my own swappers have broken the bank!

I have been asked if I'll do this next year. Maybe after I weed out the bad, or maybe not.

Good box of gifts

Bad box of gifts

Swap update

I guess someone thought it was their bussiness to alert one swapper that her name was on my naughty list..for some reason she must think I was the bad guy in this swap. I just opened my email to this find this message. The name of the sender has been removed to protect her (and me from her)

[How dare you call me a liar. I sent all 20 items plus two or three more. I spent approximately $200 on this swap plus $90 for shipping. The gifts she got were expensive. And yes I said I live near a Lenox factory but they don’t give the stuff away for free as you tried to make it. And I am not still shopping! How dare you say that! And yes there are two things more I wanted to make for her but didn’t get to so I thought I would make them and send them to her, not because I had to but because I wanted to. So I am not flooding her with gifts! You also said in one post that if they got their packages by the 15th that would be okay. So I guess I wasn’t very late. One box was missent by the post office, not my fault. For some reason your on my case, why I don’t know but I don’t appreciate it. I am not your child nor am I irresponsible, you know nothing about me. Some of the gifts I’ve seen posted are a disgrace so go pick on those people. Why haven’t you put everyone’s name on your blog? Someone sends a packet of nail files and you don’t put their name out? Another person makes a felt snowman that a five year old can make and you don’t put their name out? What have I ever done to you?
If you didn’t want to give me a different name why didn’t you just say so instead of bringing it up now? Make a decision and stick with it, don’t wine about it after the fact.
Some of us don’t sit home all day to sew and play on the computer; we have responsibilities for other people and take it very seriously. My Power of Attorney for my husband’s 92 year old aunt is very real. Would you like me to send you the paperwork? And she is a problem child.
Put me on your naughty list, who cares, but to defame my name, that is where I draw the line. I would appreciate you taking my name off of your blog and Facebook, I consider this slander and I am not taking it lightly! ]

I responded to her with this reply;

[ALL boxes were suppose to be mailed by the 30th of November. If they were sent by federal express or UPS they might take 10 days. I never said it was "alright to send by the 15th of December". I said by sending on November 30th, no matter how you sent the boxes, they would all arrive before December 15th. It was not alright to send anything AFTER the 30th of November. How dare you change my rules. Had you packed up your FINISHED gifts by November 30th, you would have had them mailed on time.

YOU are the one who posted on November 30th that you would be in NY taking a class and wouldn't be able to mail until after the November 30th dead line. I couldn't understand why you didn't just mail them on the way to NY. Then your story changed to your Aunt. The swap sign up was in April. Names were given out on May 13th, 2009. You had 6 months to make anything you wanted to. What makes you think you should be the only one to get an extra month?

You are the one who whined that you didn't want the name you got. You are the one who are late, very late. When you join a swap you are expected to follow the rules. If you were my child, you would not have been late.

I am not defaming your name. Everyone knows you are the LAST person to mail. YOU are the one who is posting that you will finish the last few things and put them in the mail. It's way past November 30th. You did have a responsibility when you signed up to follow the swap rules. Instead you made your own rules.

I will take your "name" off of my blog, but that won't stop everyone from knowing you are last. You keep posting about when you are sending the last items all by yourself. I don't know who alerted you to my facebook and blog, but they are not doing any favors to swappers by making me out as the bad guy. Do us all a favor, don't join swaps because you are not special and you don't get special rules all for yourself.

Since I am the one who is replacing the poor swap items, I don't think it's your job to decide what gifts are bad. Many boxes had wonderful gifts and a few fill in items. Those boxes I considered to be fine. On the other hand, I haven't been able to match your gifts up with the 20 themes I gave out. It seems to me you bought what you saw and didn't even consider that this was a themed swap. I didn't even see any labels for your items like I saw for the other boxes. That also was one of the swap rules to label each item according to the theme.

I will be posting, without your name, this very important email you sent to me and my response to you. I think this should be read by all. ]

Swaps are suppose to be fun. If everyone followed the rules they would be fun. I had to remove my naughty list because of this threat. If anyone ever needs to know who the bad swappers are, just ask!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


The heart blocks are flying back & forth across the country, like Valentine's Day in December. It's just so sad that all of these blocks are going into quilts for ladies who have had a terrible thing happen to them.

Made by DixieLady

Made by tisme

Made by McPatches

Made by Shogun

Made by NTquilter

Made by KeepYouInStitches

Made by Shawkl

Made by Nickilee

Made by Holee

Made by Holee

Sunday, November 29, 2009

HGTV Pollyanna swap

I started a swap on HGTV called "All I want for Christmas" about 6 months ago. I gave the ladies 20 themes to buy gifts for and swapped them out as "Pollyanna's". We began shipping out the boxes on November 20th. So I would be surprised, I gave my name to one person and she had the option of keeping my name or trading it with someone else. She traded and my gifter was Deb51. When my boxes came I was going to open one gift a day..but that didn't happen. It was just too tempting! This house has me down and I needed a lift.

Here are all the gifts unopened. I tried to think of a time in my life when I had 20 gifts to open. I did, at my first baby shower 46 years ago!

These gifts were for spoolie, shiney and chocolate

The shiney is a tote with my initals done in Gold metallic thread

This redwork table topper is fabulous!

The stitching is perfect

One theme was Santa's bag..she made a tote out of a santa hat!

and filled it with things to make bags with!

Stringy, heavenly, kisses for Misletoe and a cinnamon candle for the smells of Christmas

Coffee/tea, gingerbread & Santa's stocking were next

Cotton & jingle bells

Let it snow & apron book and fabric to make one of the aprons

Next came sticky, ouchie and snowman

A 4th box came today with Kitchen. Deb made coasters, pot holders, embroidered towels, cookie cutters and lots of candy cups!

In the bottom of the box...she made one extra #21..because I was good and not naughty! It made me laugh! Fabric crayons & markers, pretty holiday computer paper and now I can make hot pads to go with the other kitchen items.
When I started this swap I had no idea the position I would be in right now. I really needed this lift! Deb did a fabulous job filling my boxes and my heart. She must be a very special person! Thanks Deb!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

To end the day..A good thing!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

What fun!

Today we took a break from wiring the house and went off to meet Tisme and bluesnail at a local quilt shop. We did our shopping for fabric for an up coming project. I've never worked with homespun. It's very soft and country. It reminds me of chickens, homemade jelly, fresh cut hay..gee, it reminds me of Lancaster, Pa.!

Then off to lunch at the local truck stop with Tammy's hubby and my son in toe.
I bought the gals quilting books for a holiday gift. Unfortunately, the book I got for bluesnail is one she already has. But, this will give her a chance to exchange it for one she really wants.

You are sort of spaced out, as ugly as that sounds, when you take medicine for pain. So, the surprise they pulled off would become a little lost and confused until I was able to sit alone and sort out the day. This doesn't mean I didn't totally enjoy the day. It's rare when I leave the house. The last time I ventured out was this past summer when we first got together at this same quilt shop. These outings are so special to me that I would make it to them even if my son had to carry me!

For the past year or so I've been holding mini quilt swaps on HGTV quilting site. Lois and Tammy got together and asked the swappers to make me mini quilts or doll house quilts as a Thank You!!

I sure never expected this! I have just been so glad that for the most part all the swappers came through and with wonderful mini quilts. Along the road we all learned a lot about mini quilts and about each other.

Now that I am comfy sitting in bed, I am really enjoying looking at and touching each and every one, reading the cards that came with them and feeling so at peace to know how many true cyber friends I have. I would really love to cry with happiness, but that is one emotion lost to the medicine I take. Instead, I'll share all my wonderful treasures with you.

We have seen this one in the swap! I was very jealous to see that 2 swappers got one of I have my own along with some needles that are always needed.

This tiny one for the doll house was made by Mikol

Kathy, our expert stitcher made this pretty one. The stitches are so tiny I couldn't believe she didn't do it on an embroidery machine!

Donna in all her own personal grief took the time to make this wonderful red & white quilt which she wrapped in a pink FQ.

Lois did this sunshine one! picture the work gone into this!

Shogun made a doll house quilt and sent along FQ in red and birdhouses two of my favorite kinds of fabrics

This one was made by AngelC

This doll house quilt was made by Terri mae

This tiny one was made by abxkris

Tammy made this great mini tree skirt or table topper, coasters and added some pearl 8 which is always a great surprise! I think she knew our tree will be pretty small this year!

Tammy also made this tote. It even has a solid bottom so it sits nicely. What great colors!
I wish you all could have joined us for lunch! You're a great bunch of ladies and I Thank you all for this wonderful surprise. A special Thank you to Lois for getting this together to surprise me and to Tammy for taking the time out of her very busy life to meet me at the quilt shop!