Tag Archive | shopping

AQS Quilt Show Charlotte, NC 2014 ~

I’ve been chalking up a lot of “new” things in my quilting world this summer especially.  New patterns, new quilt designs.  This past weekend I went to my first AQS Quilt Show, a national quilt show, in Charlotte, NC.  Despite the 13 hour drive each way, the 3 days spent in between the drives was very nice.  We stayed with family.

We went to the show on Saturday and stayed for about 3-4 hours, meandering through the exhibits and the vendors.  Being the last day of the show, it was not very busy, so there was plenty of room without getting bumped or having to wait.  Being held at the Charlotte Convention Center, it was H-U-G-E.  It was sort of a disadvantage for me, personally, as I have difficulty walking (even though I was using a rolling walker with a seat thingy).  I do think we (my hubby came with) got to see every display.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The photos in the slideshow are some of the favorites that both my husband I and took photos of.  There were many, many more on display.  At first it was overwhelming, then we settled in to a routine of going slowly, sitting for a few minutes, visiting the drinking fountains often, and continuing on.  We looked at ALL of the displays before ever going near the vendors!

The displays were gorgeous, as you can see by some of our photos.  One disappointment for me was there were considerably fewer actual bed size quilts than wall hangings.  There were approximately 50 quilts, but over 200+ wall hangings of varying sizes.  The groups of displays were spaced out so far for the quantity of quilts/walls hangings that were entered.  It seemed like the warehouse-size room in the basement of the Convention Center was way too big for so “few” displays… but then again, when we were there, there were much fewer people.

There were a LOT of vendors.  The entire center of the area was drowning in vendors.  It was fun to see all the things that I don’t ordinarily see in magazines or quilt shops.  Having very little money to shop with was a problem, but my husband did purchase a nice pair of Dresden Plate silver earrings for me, after knowing what I’d recently gone through to make a Dresden Plate of my own.  That made it that more special.  I had anticipated the vendors possibly dropping some of their prices, since it was the last hours of the last day of the Charlotte show.  That was not to be.  Indeed, I did not find any “deals” or price chops at any of the vendors.

By the way, remember that purple Dresden Plate quilted pillow I made for my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday?  She loved it.  After opening the bag it came in and enjoying it momentarily, she put it back in the bag and went to put it in her purse ~ which is where she puts everything that she especially loves and wants to keep close to her.  (Mom has dementia, and did not realize the pillow would most likely not FIT into her purse.  But that’s okay)

2014-07-26 20.58.30 1406436628216










So, that’s the story behind my first adventure to a national quilt show.  Thanks for stopping by and checking out my photos.  Hope you enjoyed your visit.

God bless ~ Tamara Eckstadt


Made to Crave: Learning to Shop Anew at the End of Week #1 ~


Garden Peas 7-14-13

First peas from our garden. Delish!

I started on Monday, and here it is Saturday.  Week #1, though it had its moments, was relatively easy and I prayed myself through the rough times like when the hunger pangs got a little intense two hours before lunch.  It works well for me.

I have received plenty of eating healthier advice from everyone I love this week.  I got hints on some … “unusual” to me foods to try, and I want to try them all.  I’ve been to nutritionists (PLURAL) in the past, and my brain knows what to eat and what not to eat, it’s just putting that into practice that’s hard for me.  I would say to myself, “Self, this McD’s mocha frappe is a lot of calories.  But you can cut back by eating just lettuce at lunch and it’ll all be good.”  I have not eaten fast food all week!  A huge accomplishment for me!  Much like when I stopped drinking anything carbonated.  And, THIS TIME, it was not that hard!

But kale?  Al and I went and did some “preliminary” shopping the other night at our local Price Chopper, which has been good to us.  I knew some staples that I wanted to purchase:  tomatoes, blueberries, bananas, broccoli florets, green/red peppers.  The grocery store, being 8:30 on a Wednesday night, was relatively empty and easily navigated.  So, in the produce aisle, I sought out the kale that my niece enthusiastically uses in a type of smoothie along with flax seed and other delights.  Once found, I tore a tiny piece off to test taste.  Ewwwww!  Very bitter.  (She later confirmed it should be BABY kale!  LOL!)  We moved on.  Almond milk?  I was looking forward to trying this, as I adore almonds.  I compared calories:  Almond milk has 70 less calories per serving than cow’s milk.  Optimistic!  Price?  More than twice the price of cow’s milk.  Couldn’t justify that.  Besides, I only “drink” about 1 1/2 cups of ANY milk on any given day ~ and I have it with my cereal.  Otherwise, I do not have milk.  Compromise.

We ended up with 2 1/2 bags of groceries for $64.00.  I usually spend $64.00 for an entire week’s worth of groceries in six bags!  Only $6.34 of that was very lean, healthy meat.  Okay, I bought batteries for my camera ($5.99).  The rest was healthy fresh fruit and veggies.  I need a new strategy for shopping cheaper.

My eating healthier has been pretty much a success.  I’ve made a couple of oopses, but who doesn’t?  God forgives, and I get right back on the wagon for Him and for me!  I ate salads each day for lunch, and a couple nights for dinner.  Last night I ate a hot dog (no bread) and a cup of beans… then Al took us out for an ice cream cone for dessert.  I do not feel guilty.  It was a special treat, not to be done every night.

Just for fun, I got on the scale last night.  Now, I do know better than to weigh every day, or even every week ~ as if you don’t see progress, you’re bound to get depressed and perhaps backslide.  Well, my progress was TWO LBS. lost.  And, yes, I know it may falter and go up and down for awhile before I start to see some serious loss.  I’m doing fine… God’s on my side.

Until next time, thanks for helping keep me strong and headed towards my goals.  I’d love to hear from you, please feel free to leave feedback below or on my Facebook.  

TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt (two lbs lighter!  LOL!)


Share Your World 2013: Week 1


Cee is starting 2013 off with some fascinating questions… food for thought.

1.  Do you prefer shopping or going to a park?  How about shopping while at the park?  No?  Then I prefer going to the park as of late.  Best photo ops there.

2.  Music or silence while working?  Depends on the  mood, but I like music for the first few hours at work, then silence in the afternoon till quitting time.

3.  If you could have three wishes granted for you alone, what would they be?  Tough one!  Most would wish for better health, more money etc., but that’s all in God’s hands.  It may sound corny, but my first wish would truly be world peace.  This place is going to hell in a hand-basket, and I’m afraid to see what’s going to happen each day I wake up!  Next wish would be to feel joy ~ I’ve been through so much crap in my life, I’m not sure what true joy would feel like.  My third wish would be to have three more wishes!

4.  Are you a collector of anything?  Ummmm, yes… a few things.  Office supplies.  May sound weird, but I like designer file folders, staplers, mouse pads, etc.   *Confessions of an Office Accessory Junkie*    Since I’m an avid quilter, I do *collect* quilting fabric, piles of it!  I also collect Siamese cat memorabilia, state spoons and ceramic/metal collectable bells.

Thanks for starting the year off right, Cee!

Dickens’ Christmas in Skaneateles, New York ~

The 19th Annual Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles began Friday, November 24 and continues through Christmas Eve, December 24, 2012.  If you’re aware of the small, quaint town of Skaneateles, New York (pronounced locally as “Skinny-atlas”), you’ll know that during these weeks of Dickens characters walking animated throughout the village, it gets jam packed with people enjoying the interaction with them as they do their holiday shopping and sightseeing.  Indeed, it is quite a treat to weave in and out of the crowds, most dressed in holiday fashion, and see the Dickens characters portrayed by locals dressed in full Dickens regalia wandering the sidewalks, singing carols and wishing “Happy Christmas” to all. 

A group of Carolers sing Christmas songs in Skaneateles, NY

A group of Carolers sing Christmas songs in Skaneateles, NY

Today was rather cold as the village sits right on the edge of Skaneateles Lake (one of the Finger Lakes), and its blustery winds carried a chilling bite.  However, the cast of Dickens are a hardy crew.  They make their appearances from Noon to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays through Christmas Eve, despite the weather.

Delightful characters from Dickens Christmas

Delightful characters from Dickens Christmas

Dickens characters ring the bell for the Salvation Army.

Dickens characters ring the bell for the Salvation Army.










A woman pulls her toddler in an old fashioned wagon

A woman pulls her toddler in an old fashioned wagon

It is truly delightful to see every-one in such a holiday spirit as people crowd the streets and the shops between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

You can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit when you hear the carols, the hoofbeats of the draft horses that pull wagons for wagon rides, smell the fresh roasted peanuts and feel that “something special” in the air in Skaneateles at Christmastime!   Visit this link for more information and specific activites:  http://www.skaneateles.com/visit/events-a-attractions/dickens-christmas.

God bless us, every one!

My Adirondacks ~

 For as long as I can remember, our family spent one or two weeks each summer camping and visiting relatives in the Adirondacks, right through my teenage years.  So it should be no surprise that I’ve always thought of Long Lake, New York, as my second home.  My mother’s sister and her family lived there, so we would go and visit and camp at nearby Lake Eaton each July 4th for the local Independence Day festivities.  While there we would swim, ride our bikes, go shopping and sightseeing at local stores, then sit around the campfire at night and roast marshmallows and see what local relatives would show up for a visit.  We were never disappointed.  And, although I’m sure we had our share, I don’t remember any time when it rained during our stay.  All I remember is the fun. 

A church steeple rises above the fall foliage as taken from the deck of the bridge in Long Lake, New York

A lone kayaker paddles in the colorful splendor that is Long Lake, New York

Now, as adults, my husband and I have visited Long Lake and Lake Eaton over the past couple of years, both in summer and in fall.  I’ve been able to share with him the members of my family that still reside there, the places we’d go when I was a child, plus we’ve experienced new places together and made new memories to share with others.  I never remember the fall being so vibrant and colorful in my childhood, and I’ve been able to appreciate it much more now. 

A view of Lake Eaton, New York, through the trees on the beach.

Another view of Lake Eaton as the light shimmers on the water and the fall foliage across the way.

 Al and I visited the Adirondack Museum during one of our stays in the Big Woods.  I think I’d been there as a child, but didn’t really remember.  Now, seeing it as an adult, I can fully appreciate the history and beauty that is kept in the museum and its many outbuildings.  There is even a small section dedicated to my Uncle Bob Wallace, who was a fixture in Long Lake for his entire life, and well-respected as they come.  I only remember him as being “larger than life” and very generous with a great sense of humor.

Al sits on this “larger than life” Adirondack chair outside the Adirondack Museum.

A hand made Adirondack-themed quilt on display inside the Adirondack Museum.

I’m so grateful that I have such memories of growing up in the Adirondacks each summer.  And now I have photos and even more recent memories to enjoy.  These photos are just a few of my memories of my childhood, my family, my Adirondacks. 

Buttermilk Falls just outside Long Lake, New York.

A seaplane takes off from the placid waters on Long Lake, New York.