February Issue of CQ Magazine!

 The latest issue of Crazy Quilt Magazine is available for sale on MagCloud!  This issue has been a fun one to work on and I am delighted to share the wonderful work presented here!  

Crazy Quilt Magazine February 2021

By Lisa Boni in Crazy Quilt Magazine

40 pages, published 1/30/2021

February 2021 issue of Crazy Quilt Magazine Focus on Silk Ribbon EmbroideryFind out more on MagCloud



There was a cat-astrophe at our home a couple of days ago.  

To tell this story properly, you must know the back story behind “The Mirror”.  


My Mom brought this mirror home in the early 1970s.  She’d found it at a sale of old hotel stuff.  The entire family thought she was a bit nuts at the time.  It didn’t go with anything in the house.  It was huge.  It was heavy.  It was way over the top!  But my mom loved it and so my Dad worked out a system to hang it by adding a wooden cleat to the back that would hang from a matching wooden cleat on the wall.  They hung it in their bedroom above the dresser.  It stayed there until they moved to a new house in 2009.  I wish I had a photo of it in their bedroom as it really was the focal point! And truthfully, it grew on us and we all came to love that mirror! 


When they moved to new house after nearly 45 years in the same house, the mirror went with them and hung in the dining room. 


When my parents passed away, there was no question that I was keeping the mirror.  It hung on my dining room wall for several years.


I really loved how it went with the room. 


When I moved to my current small home, I hung it in the guest room.  Oddly enough, it fit really well despite the rooms tiny size!  It was a perfect complement to the black and floral trays on the wall and the black and gold floral rug. I loved it!


As noted in my last post, I have switched rooms around in order to create a storage area in my home.  The mirror no longer worked in my new office space where it had been hanging.  So, I made plans to move it to the end of the hallway, hoping it would bring light and still allow me to enjoy it.  Ironically, this photo, which I took as I was trying to decide if it would look ok there is the best photo I have of the mirror.


After a busy day of moving stuff, rearranging, installing shelving and new undershelf lighting, I didn’t have the energy to get the mirror hung that evening.  I marked the wall and had everything ready to go so I could do it first thing in the morning.  The mirror was propped up carefully and seemed quite sturdy and safe.  And since we were preparing for bed and the cat sleeps with me with the door closed, I thought all was well.

Suddenly, MuShu got the zoomies.  He went tearing into my bedroom on the opposite end of the house.  Then he rocketed out.  Towards the other end of the house.  And the hallway, and the mirror!

I could see it all happening and was powerless to change it.  I had no opportunity to stop him, nor could I reach the hallway in time to save the mirror.  


He rocketed down the hallway, hit the mirror like a missile hitting a target, bounced off of it even as it began to fall and managed to fly back down the hallway without getting crushed or impaled.  I think the glass actually began to break in that moment he hit the mirror, he hit it with such impact. 


The noise was astounding.  The mirror hit the floor with enough force that the heavy carved top broke off the rest of the mirror in two pieces, one of which ended up several feet away.  


I grabbed the cat, who was as spooked as I’ve ever seen him. (as he should have been!)  Right to the kitty carrier with him and locked him in as soon as I was sure he wasn’t injured.   


Then I took stock of the situation.  I put my shoes on as there was glass everywhere.  Crunch, crunch, crunch with every step, I gingerly lifted the frame.  Oh my.  What a pile of heavy broken glass was under the frame.  The glass mirror was ¼” thick and there were huge sharp shards and flakes of glass and glass dust everywhere.  I found glass not only in the hallway, but the office, the sewing room, the bathroom, and the kitchen and living room.  Also pieces of the wood frame.  It simply exploded when it hit the floor.  


The floor didn’t fare so well either.  It is peppered with little gouges from the shards of glass and there are several good-sized abrasions/dents from where the frame hit the floor as it fell.  


I knew those big shards would make mincemeat of a trash bag, so I found a box I could put them in and started cleaning up.  I swept.  I vacuumed.  I vacuumed again.  I swept again.  At that point, I called it a night.  It was now two hours later and after midnight.


The gratitude I wrote in my journal that night?  

Neither the mirror, nor I, killed the cat.  

I guess I don’t have to worry about downsizing the mirror at some point. 


Mushu was contrite after, and he slept like a baby, cuddling with his mouse.  I on the other hand couldn’t fall asleep for a long time.  


Next morning, I had to vacuum once again as I could see glass glittering across the floor in the kitchen.  I thought perhaps I could salvage the mirror frame and put new glass in it.  But upon inspection, I realized that it wasn’t possible.  There was little structural integrity in what remained.  It was trash day, so I got the box of shards and the lower frame in the trash and it is now gone.  I did save the upper carved pieces in hopes that perhaps I can reconnect them to use as a piece of decorative /architectural accent.  For now, the pieces are going into the shed to wait for warmer weather to work on them. 


So, the tale of my Mom’s mirror comes to an end.  My daughter won’t inherit it as she had hoped to.  We loved it while it was part of our lives, but it is gone now, and I have one less piece of “stuff” to take care of. 


I must say though that despite being in the middle of downsizing a lot of stuff, I’d prefer to do it on my own terms rather than have it forced on me involuntarily.  So I am definitely a bit frustrated.  I lost two cats and most of my belongings in a house fire 21 years ago.  It was not fun.  But I also lost my attachment to “things” as a result. While I will miss having the mirror, I recognize that it’s just another piece of stuff.  Neither the cat nor I were injured as we both could have been, and I am grateful for that.  It happened; I can’t change it; life goes on.  My burden of stuff is a little less.  It’s all good. 


After thought: If it’s bad luck for 7 years if a person breaks a mirror, what is it for a cat?  I’m certain he lost yet another of his “9 Lives”! 

p.s.  MuShu has his own instagram account where you can follow his antics.  @themushuchronicles


Making Changes


The process of getting rid of my storage locker has resulted in some big changes at home.  I needed to find somewhere to store seasonal decor, artwork, suitcases, and the genealogy research of my Mom's until I find a better spot for it.  But with tiny rooms, no garage, and an already packed garden shed, there didn't seem to be many options.  Then my sister made a passing comment about the possibility of turning the guest room into a storage room, that it might be a better use of space, since the guest room only gets used once or twice a year when she visits.  

That comment spurred some thought about possibilities and I spent  time sketching room layouts and trying to figure out how to fit the storage shelves into the guest rooms.  In the course of our discussion, we had noted that the guest room gets the best light in the house.  And so, to make a long story short, I decided to move my office/study into the room with good light, and turn the studio/sewing room into a three function room; sewing, guest, and storage.  

The above sketch is the final plan I came up with.  Note that the study is 10'-4" x 9'-0" at the largest and narrows to 8'-0" at the doorway. The Sewing/Guest/Storage Room is only 11'-0" x 12'-0" and that might be slightly generous.  

Here is the Studio's office wall as it started off last year.  I loved the lights under the shelves and having the printer on the shelf above.  It did get pretty cluttered as I worked on various projects.  

This is looking the other way, when it was nice and neat and clean.  I obviously wasn't working a project at the time!  

My son-in-law got me a new monitor to help me when working on the magazine. My small laptop screen was far too small.  While I have an iMac computer with a beautifully large screen, it is old and not up handling the multiple large programs I run simultaneously while working on the magazine.  At the moment, I use it almost exclusively for scanning slides and photos and organizing the family photo/genealogy archives onto external hard drives.  Eventually, my goal is to get down to ONE laptop with a large monitor and a couple of external hard drives and get rid of this mess of multiple computers/laptops/hard-drives and mouses that I currently have.  Regardless, the new monitor helps enormously but required a different desk configuration, so we tried this corner arrangement which has worked very well!  I loved being seated where I could see out the window when I worked.  

The guest room had beautiful light and though it was small, it was a lovely little room.  

I did move things around to make more space and my sister loved staying in this room.  The view isn't much though as the window looks out at the side of the shed.  Hopefully, that will change soon and if all goes according to plan and I can afford it, there will be a new garden this spring where the shed currently sits and the shed will move about 10' away.  I'll share more of that when the time comes.  

And so the move began.  Total chaos.  If you want to see just how much stuff you have, switch rooms or move.  Ugh!  I did get rid of about 1/3rd of my fabric and I have a dozen jars of sorted buttons to get rid of and hopefully more in the way of trims and ribbons and other bits I probably will never use.  

And so I shifted things into the new study/office space.  Here you can see the "Great Photo Project" taking up the entire tall shelf and the corner shorter shelf.  Someday, I'll finish getting all this scanned and we can get rid of all those boxes of photos and slides and I'll have lots more space!  The other shelf to the left has my watercolor supplies and now some scrapbook supplies in addition.  

Once we got the desks moved in, it started to feel a bit more like an office space.  I desperately need some wall shelves and better lighting over the desk though.  Right now, I am running back and forth between rooms to access the printer and needed office supplies on the shelves in the other room.  I also need to change the rug.  I love this needlepoint rug, but it's not sturdy enough to handle the office chair running back and forth over it.  And I don't like having the cold wood floor underfoot when I'm working all day at the desk.  

The new sewing/guest/storage room is making progress as well.  Once I get the office shelves up, I'll put my stitching supplies on these shelves and neaten things up.  It still looks cozy and is functional for sewing.  I'll do another post once I get the storage shelving moved from storage to show you how that works.  I have a canvas or muslin curtain planned to allow the shelves to remain accessible, while still having a nice looking room.  I'm thinking those panels may actually make a nice design wall from time to time, something I've always wanted but never had space for! 

Mushu likes the new layout and it's now his second favorite place to nap (after my bed).  He also like knocking things off the shelves, which means he doesn't get to nap in here very often!  

So, other than getting the newest issue of the magazine ready for release on January 30th, this is what I've been spending my time doing!  Next update will hopefully show the new shelves in the office and the re-decorated shelves in the sewing/guest room.  Moving the storage shelves will take a bit longer as there are things there I need to get rid of before I can move them into this space.  But oh, how nice it will be to have everything here and not have to drive an hour to get my seasonal decor or a suitcase or a painting for the walls.  And to not have that additional bill each month will be a huge help as well!  


A New Year - A New Post!


I've been journalling for a while now. I've done it off and on since I was a teen.  In recent years, I mostly journaled my travels and came back from England the first time in 2012 with the idea that I needed to find a way to make journaling a part of my everyday life.  Working night shift with a  long commute on either side prevented me from doing that.  But since I "retired" in 2017, it has become a much more frequents pastime.  

I started off 2020 with a bullet journal.  I'd been watching lots of YouTube channels which produced lovely ones and I thought it might help me keep track of the many things I have going.  I made it through February 17 and then the detailed tracking of stuff stopped.  I'd made it too complicated and what I really wanted to do was write about my day.  

I visited my sister in March, and as I usually do, I started a trip journal, continuing on in the journal I'd been using since my trip to France, England, and the Netherlands in 2018.  I closed off each day with a few minutes to write about the things that had mattered in my day.  As the Pandemic lockdowns started, I began to keep it on a consistent basis and I find that it helps me sleep better at night.  I've "dumped" everything out onto the page and so my mind is at peace and rarely churns it all back up as I'm trying to fall asleep.

But I missed tracking a few things, and I wanted a place to keep my focus goals for the year and for each month in place.  And so, after watching dozens more YouTube videos on Bullet Journaling, I created my own hybrid.

I gathered my supplies and got to work.  In truth, it took several days of thinking and making lists before I was actually ready to put it together.  And now that it's in use, I wish I'd allowed myself an extra page or two in the front section!  All my supplies fit in a small pencil case.  I only need the case at the beginning of the year and at the beginning of each month. 

I slid a large Moleskine ruled journal into the slipcover I crazy quilted a few years ago.  I keep my everyday journaling pen inside the journal.  

Here is what is in the case.  
    Quick Clicker Mechanical Pencil
    Bic Atlantis Pen in black - my everyday journaling pen.  I really love these pens! 
    Sakura Micron Pens in black, sizes 01, 05, 08, PN (PN stands for Plastic Nib)
    Pitt Artist Pens with brush tip in #232-Cool Grey, and #272-Warm Grey
    Roll of double sided adhesive tape
    Elmer's Craft Bond Photo Stiks
    Art Gum eraser
    Tombow Mono Correction Tape
    Quilled Creations 6" roller with circle templates
    Tombow Fudeneskow pens in black, one soft tip and one firm tip
    Sakura Pen-Touch White fine point1.6 mm paint pen (Used to label the spine of my journal)
    Sakura Gelly Roll pen in white 0.4 medium line
    Zebra Mildliner in green.  
    Tombow ABt pens in #192, #158, #228, and #772
    Medium gator clip
I also wrote out a small card showing all the pens color and numbers so it's easier to find what I want. 

Inside the cover, I put information on how to contact me in the event I lose my journal somewhere.  Then I put a calendar list of major holidays and family birthdays, anniversaries and such.  I have covered a few areas of information I don't want really public.  

For the Cover Page, I cut up one of my practice watercolor pieces.  On it's own, it wasn't much, but once I cut it to this shape, it looked fabulous!  I used the Tombow Fudenski pens to write the year as well as my focus verse for the year.  

If I were to choose a word for the year, it would be Trust.  I have a stubborn habit of not trusting in God and instead relying on my own inadequate resources.  This year, I have much that I need to accomplish and I know that it will only occur if I place my trust where it needs to be! 

On the next page, I listed my primary or focus goals for the year.  I divided them up into categories and chose the ones out of much longer lists that were most important to me.  There are some big financial goals including paying off two debts this year and reducing a larger one by a significant proportion.  I also have a list of expenses that I need to eliminate.  Several of these involve a multitude of tasks in order to accomplish. 

For instance, getting rid of the storage locker involves getting rid of a lot of stuff, such as my beautiful Eastlake Bedroom set that dates back to the 1870s.  I love it, but I don't have space for it in my little home.  I need to figure out what to do with my Mom's years of detailed genealogy research and accompanying "family mementos".  There are boxes upon boxes of this stuff.  I have boxes of canning jars and canning equipment.  Suitcases - 7 at last count!  How many suitcases can one person use?  LOL!  There are boxes of seasonal decor (11 tubs covering all holidays), the enormous car top carrier that I use on long road trips and is also used by some of my kids, and then there are the bits and pieces of furniture and lamps that don't fit in my current space, the artificial Christmas tree, and on and on.  It's only 10'x10' but it sure does hold a lot!  My little home does not have a garage,  so I need to figure out where to store the stuff I'm keeping.  So, as you can see, there are lots of tasks to do in order to eliminate this expense!  

I've also included a tracker for the 3 debts I have, and a couple of other trackers just to keep me focused and help me see where I'm at with projects. 

I love to read and I enjoy being able to look back at the end of the year and see what I've read.  I have a loose goal of reading one book a week.  I'm trying hard this year to decrease my time on social media, as I am finding it keeps me from being productive in the way that I would like.  To this end, I've deleted facebook from my phone and only look at it on the computer - usually when I'm done with my "work" for the day or if I need a quick break.  That allows me more time for reading as well, as I no longer have my nose in my phone all day!  I read 26 books last year.  One every two weeks roughly.  Hoping to see this improve!  

Then I have my Master List.  These are all the things I have listed at some point or another that need done.  I know they will NOT all happen this year, which is why I chose just a few to focus on.  But I wanted one spot with all the tasks broken down into their many parts, so I could go to it for reference if I needed.  And I can check off those smaller tasks as they are accomplished, and also use these lists for my monthly goals.  

As you can see, there are endless things on this list.  From painting the house to scanning all the family slides and genealogy, to the many crazy quilting and other handwork projects I have in the works.  I have so many ideas and start so many things... it's time to finish some of them! 

I have so many ideas, that I even have a master list of those! 

I decided to add in a wish list of big purchases I would like to make at some point.  And then there is the lifetime bucket list.  This is fluid, but these three main things have been on my list since the 1990s.  Something to work towards! 

At last we come to the monthly set up for January.  Once again, I used some scraps of practice watercolors to cut up for the top and wrote the month out with the Tombo Fudenesko pens.  I also made a small calendar of the month and listed the important dates of the month!  My birthday is one of them!  

I chose a verse as a complement to the yearly focus verse - another one on Trust to encourage me.  Then I listed out the months focus tasks.  Things I need to do this month to get me closer to checking off some of the yearly tasks.  Downsizing is ongoing!  More on that next week!  

A tracker for the month helps me keep track of some of the habits I'm trying to build.  I'd love to be able to quick snacking during the day.  I have an inordinate love of crunchy salty things.  It's a lifelong battle!  I'm trying to get better about walking or doing my PT exercises daily.  I'm working on a "no buy" month - where I can't buy new things for the house, no new decor, no new clothes, unless it's to replace something worn out that I can't do without.  Like a new pair of jeans to replace my 10 year old pair that finally gave way this week.  I'm also trying to eliminate my food waste and keep my grocery bill to $50 a week.  It's just me and I eat very small meals.  If I'm not buying things I shouldn't (like salty crunchy snacks and diet soda), I should be able to keep to this budget very easily! 

I'm also tracking Covid-19 numbers for my own interest.  World, USA, Colorado as well as the three Colorado counties where I spend most of my time.  If I had more room, I would track Arizona as well, where my sister lives.  Maybe it's just the nurse in me, but I really like knowing these numbers. 

I added a little tab of the practice watercolor sketches for the month.  It makes it easy to get to the tracker for the month.  After the monthly set up is my journal.  I write it out like this:

11January2021 Monday     Mostly Sunny 40 Degrees F
Daily Gratitude - 1 or 2 items I am thankful for that day
Journal entry.  I write about my day, what happened that was important to me, how I felt about something, etc.  Some days it's just about the normal routine of my day, so I can see that I DID accomplish something.  Other days, it might be a written prayer.  Sometimes it turns into a multi-page diatribe on whatever is bothering me at the moment.  Regardless, it helps me clear my mind and I can fall asleep in peace!  

As it gets close to the end of the month, I'll start preparing the next month's set up.  Let me know if you'd like to seen them as I create them each month!  

As you might have noticed, one of my goals this month is to post weekly.  I'm already a little behind, but I have a couple more in the works already, so hopefully there will a total of 4 posts this month!  I've missed blogging!