Category Archives: Tu-Na Quilts

Tu-Na Quilts: Let’s Make Elephants

Here’s what my elephant quilt looked like when the project stalled in March.

 

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Here’s how it traveled to North Dakota with me so that it could be finished.

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I labeled each block and each row and used lots of Clover clips to hold the labels in place. Then all the sewn rows and the ones needing sewing were put into a new gallon Ziploc bag.

 

The trip took three days and I didn’t want any pieces getting lost or mixed up.

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I also clipped each row together and included my hand-drawn pattern. I had bought a package of 100 Clover clips when I was in Bismarck last summer (using a 50% off coupon from JoAnns) and took half of them to Arizona in the fall. Now they’ve come back to my ND home. I sure hope I remember to take them back to AZ with me or I’ll be buying more down there.

 

This quilt is for my best friend’s granddaughter. That baby just turned 6 months old and I might have to make it larger if I dawdle any longer.

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I’ve already got 7 rows sewn. See how I labeled these rows. for transport? I sewed the paper label with the row number on the end of each finished row using a large stitch length. It only took a couple of minutes to do this and it is better than using pins.

 

My goal for this week is to move this project forward by:

  1. Finish sewing the chevron rows.
  2. Deciding whether to make the quilt a tad wider. I have most of the blocks made already if I decide to do so. Currently it measures 40″ x 56″. By adding two more blocks to each row (which completes the next peak in the chevron), it would be 48″ x 56″. What would you do?
  3. Sewing up those three elephants and their background strip.
  4. Sewing the top together.
  5. Sandwiching the layers.
  6. Free-motion quilting it. I already have a plan.

This list may be a bit ambitious (realistically I may only get thru number 3) as I also have to sew up and mail the three May Bee blocks this week. In addition, I am Queen for one Bee next month so I need to sew up a couple of test blocks and prepare a post.

To motivate me and keep me going, I thought I’d link with Em’s Scrapbag for Moving It Forward (love the tag line for her blog—”When life falls to pieces, make a quilt”).

And in case any of you are transporting quilt blocks, I’ll link with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for Tips and Tutorials Tuesday since I have some tips on keeping your blocks and rows organized. (Button is on the sidebar).

What I Learned Today:

  1. I need something or someone to get me motivated.
  2. Cold coffee tastes really good. I have a habit of pouring myself a cup and finding it three hours later.

Question: Would you make this quilt wider or not?

Other linky parties that I’m attending: Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication and Let’s Bee Social on Sew Fresh Quilts and Works in Progress at Silly Mama Quilts.

Tu-Na Quilts: April Bee Blocks are Done and Mailed

My husband asked me, “Why do you participate in those Bees and then mail away your hard work?” So I thought I’d give you a list of the reasons why I choose to do so. Feel free to add other reasons in the comments sections why you participate, if you do so.

  • It gives me a good opportunity to try out block patterns to see which ones I’d eventually like to include in a future quilt. I can honestly say that most of the blocks I’ve sewn so far are ones that I probably would not have thought to use but now I see that many would make a beautiful quilt.
    13a

    Sherry from Tennessee received this 16 1/2″ block. Those 40 little blue squares were not so little as they started out at 2 1/2″.  She asked us to use any shade of blue including navy and turquoise but limit the use of pastels. I had to ask my mom for some of her blue fabrics to get a nice variety. Sherry’s daughter is getting married and these quilt squares will be part of her wedding quilt.

    You can read more about this quilt here and get the pattern and tutorial here. This envelope cost me 70 cents to mail because it was overweight.

  • I learn new techniques (such as improv when I made Kate’s trees and gnomes block) that I probably would not have tried on my own. Yes, it puts me out of my comfort zone.
  • These Bee blocks allow me to use colors that I’d never put together on my own.
    14a

    Lis from Nebraska asked for Tic Tac Toe using orange, pink and white.  I probably would never have chosen to use those color combinations but it did look really nice when it was done. This block was 12 1/2″ unfinished.

    If you are interested in making some of these Tic Tac Toe Blocks, you can find the pattern here. The postal attendant brought out the slot to check for its size and it didn’t go through. Thus it cost me 98 cents to mail. If you’ve read about my other blocks I’ve mailed each month, you probably agree that there appears to be no rhyme or reason behind the postal rates.

  • I get to “meet” other quilters from all over the world. I’ve shipped blocks to Canada, England, Australia as well as many states in the U.S.
    40a

    Velda from Prince Edward Island in Canada asked for 4 crows for her block. She asked that we not sew them together so she could incorporate our crows along with hers in the quilt. Each little crow block was 6.5″ and really went together well. There were some improv parts such as the beaks. It was a good thing that I had already lifted the lid on my comfort zone box or these crows might have really been a stumbling block.

    41a

    Velda’s got some crazy crows living close by that have been causing her such consternation as they create such a cacophony and conundrum around her house that she decided to embrace the chaos and celebrate them by making an incredible crow quilt. But these are not just your typical crows; they are a colorful bunch.

    You can read Velda’s post here. Free downloadable patterns for birds or crows can be found here or here (this one is paper pieced but could be easily adapted to piecing).

    42a

    Velda graciously volunteered to take my Bee month for April so I thought I’d send her some extra crows. I don’t know what happened as I cut out enough for 8 but as you can count there were 9 when I finished. But I didn’t stop there, I had some fun with these crazy crows and let their personality shine as I named each one and sent Velda a letter introducing them. I will share more about my unruly crows in my next post.

    I put 4 crows in one envelope along with the letter and 5 in the other envelope. Evidently sending mail to Canada is expensive as each envelope was too thick to go through the 1/4″ slot (yes, they were checked), each was overweight (yes they were weighed), and each was leaving the country. Thereby, costing $2.50 to mail each envelope.

  • It allows me an opportunity to improve my sewing skills. I’ve become much better at matching seams and sewing an exact scant 1/4″ seam especially when it gets sent to someone else.
  • I get to participate in something bigger than just making a quilt for myself. I look forward to seeing those blocks I sent to others made into a quilt.
  • It’s fun!

What I Learned Today

  1. I miss those crazy crows. I will have to make some for myself.
  2. I need to sew up the May Bee Blocks early this week.
  3. I will be Queen for one of the Bees next month which means I have to decide on a block pattern, sew one or two blocks, and write a post.
  4. I do have a plan.

Question: What’s got you excited today?

Linking to:

Monday Making and Main Crush Monday. Buttons are on the sidebar, too.

I’m trying a new linky party this week. Show & Tell Monday with Bambi

Tu-Na Quilts: Catching up with the March Bee Blocks and the Continuing Postage Saga

I got a bit behind. Actually, I got a lot behind with making my Bee blocks. I had a family emergency earlier this spring which took me away from quilting and blogging. In fact, I was supposed to be the April Queen Bee for two of the Bees but I didn’t want to take the time to sew up a block and write a blog post. I asked for a volunteer in each of those Bees to take over my month. My hive mates were gracious and understanding. Two hive mates jumped right in and volunteered to post for April and I was assigned a month later this year. By the end of April, I was caught up with all the March and April (coming under a separate post) blocks.

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This block is called Checker. It went to Sherry in New Jersey.

Because it was already two weeks into April and this was supposed to have been mailed by the end of March, I decided to make two blocks.  To save on postage, I used a suggestion from one of my readers and wrapped each block in Saran Wrap instead of using a Ziploc bag. I also decided to send each block in its own envelope. It must have worked as each envelope went for 49 cents.

9a

Sherry chose orange and yellow half square triangles, gray rectangles with purple sashing. Yes these are purple. I think this block was 14.5″ square.

This was a fast block to sew. You can find the pattern for Checker here just in case you want to make some too. 

11a

This 14.5″ square block went to Shauna in Texas.

Next up were some star blocks. I made one in pink and the other in purple. Falling behind with making the Bee blocks was so easy to do. However, these star blocks were so fun to make that I made another one as payment for being late (more quilting interest). I packaged each in a separate envelope and they shipped for 49 cents each. Evidently they fit through a 1/4″ slot at the post office allowing them to ship at the regular first class rate.

12a

Shauna asked that we use either a bright pink or a bright purple for the star. I think this quilt is going to look great!

 

You can find the patterns for these star blocks here or here. I bet you can’t stop with making just two.

The last blocks for March went to Kate in England. I have to admit I was a bit scared to tackle these improv blocks. When I bake, I follow recipes very closely. When I sew, I follow the pattern instructions closely. However, improv blocks allow for creativity and freely cutting without exact dimensions. Eek!! My brain doesn’t do improv.

Kate, who blogs at Smiles from Kate, started her tutorial post with this:  “If you haven’t done any (improv blocks) before you don’t know what you have been missing and the great thing about a Bee is it takes you out of your comfort zone and you never know you may just find your perfect quilting technique.” It did take me out of my comfort zone. I think they came out very nice. I think this quilt is going to look smashing.

30a

These blocks were 15 1/2″ square.

 

You can find the pattern for these trees and gnomes on Kate’s blog post here or in the original post where she discovered them here.

35a

Kate asked that we make any number of gnomes and trees as long as there were one of each for a total of 6 per block. She says all the bee members made the same number: 4 trees and 2 gnomes (except for my extra block). My original plan was to make one block with 1 gnome and 5 trees and make the other block with 5 gnomes and 1 tree. Well, something happened as I made 7 trees instead of 6. Not wanting to have an orphan block, I adjusted the number of gnomes I needed and came up with this layout. Only after viewing the pictures, did I notice that I had put the gnomes and trees in the same positions in each block leaving the plain blocks in the same location. Talk about my not being able to think outside the box.

 

I carefully packaged each block and put them in separate envelopes. My husband and I discussed that they might be too thick to fit through the 1/4″ slot if the post office attendant brought it out to test them. In an effort to flatten them, we put a pile of heavy books on top. In the morning, they seemed even thicker than the night before. Sure enough, the envelopes were too thick and it would cost $3.23 per envelope. Upon further questioning we found out that we could save money if they were bundled together. So my husband, who had taken tape along with him to the post office, whipped out the tape and taped the envelopes together. This package now cost $4.16 saving us $2.30.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Sewing an improv block is hard for me to do. Now that I have tried it, I might make more.
  2. The end of the month comes very quickly.
  3. Going to the post office to mail the Bee blocks can be entertaining.
  4. Sometimes, I can’t think outside of the box.

Question: What blocks would you like to try but haven’t yet?

Linking to Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? and Finished or Not Friday. Buttons are on the sidebar.

I’ll be back in a few days with pics and info about the April Bee blocks, You’ll agree that the post is really for the birds.

Karen

Tu-Na Quilts

Tu-Na Quilts: Welcome to the Fourth and Final Week of the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

We’ve come to the last week for this year’s New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.

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That means one final week to visit some new blogs and one final week to enter to win some wonderful prizes from our sponsors.

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This week’s line-up of Blooming Quilters hosted by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl are:

Raylee at Sunflower Stitcheries and Quilting  Meet this busy mom of 4 boys who also shares her Australian home with a dog, cat, chickens and a fish. She’s a longarm quilter and in a sewing/design business with her mum. Stop by here to see for yourself how fantastic Raylee’s quilting stitches really are.

Danette at Lucky Quilts Visit Danette’s blog post to find out how she came up with her blog name. This self-taught quilter uses quilting as a stress reliever and admits to being a magazine and pattern addict. Her tip involves how to find those patterns when you want.

Olivia at Pumpkin Hollow Quilting This mom of two comes from Oregon and reveals that Halloween is her favorite thing. Come here to see some fun Halloween projects as well as other quilts that she’s completed. Don’t leave until you’ve discovered who taught her everything she knows.

Debbie at Quilt Knowlogy Auntie D started her quilting career at the age of 8 or 9 by hand stitching quilts for her dolls. Wow! What a way to start! Find out other interesting facts about Auntie D and see some of her quilts including her masterpiece which is also hand pieced and hand quilted.

Also check out the other hosts for the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop, Leanne at she can quilt and Beth at Cooking Up Quiltsto meet even more new quilt bloggers.

Remember to enter the giveaway at one of our host blogs. Don’t delay as it remains open only for a few days.

What I Learned Today:

  1. 75°F feels cold after experiencing 109°F on Friday. I can see why the locals all wear winter coats in Phoenix in January when the outside daytime temperature plummets to 55°F.
  2. There was a time when I felt warm once the temp reached 40°F.
  3. My skin must be getting thin.

Question: Do you like it hot or do you like it cold? I prefer hot.

 

 

Tu-Na Quilts: Welcome to the Third Week of the 2017 New Quilt Blogger’s Hop

Come on in, sit a spell, and explore my blog for some fun stories and interesting photos as well as quilting goodness. Hi! My name is Karen but I also go by Tu-Na or Tu-Na Quilts or Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats if you want to get very formal. My name came about during a conversation with my grandsons. I wrote my very first blog post about that conversation last April and you can read it here. If you want, you can read more about me here or check out the introductory post that I wrote for last year’s New Quilt Blogger’s Hop here.

I’ve been very busy with family responsibilities the past several months and my first blogiversary came and went without my notice.  However, I’ve got some fun improvements and a belated party planned for my blog in the coming months so stay tuned.

I made my first quilt many years ago when I was 16 and wrote my second blog post about it which you can read here. Almost all the quilts that I make, I give away.

LH141a

This fun quilt went to live with one of my grandsons since he loves the Little House books.

You can read more about this Little House quilt here and see the block that I designed for it.

Speaking of designing, I designed this coneflower block for last years Cloud 9 Block Hop.

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I call this block “Anne’s Flower.” It is easy to sew using a method that I call piecelique–meaning some piecing and some applique. Don’t let that curved stem scare you; it’s easy.

The free pattern for my coneflower is still available on that post here. I am constructing a quilt gallery in the tabs at the top where you can see other quilt finishes including my mini laundry day quilt with this 4 inch mini-mini of a lighthouse.

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Twenty one years ago, I took a quilting class where I learned how to use a rotary cutter and ruler which revolutionized quilting for me. I wanted to make a quilt for me since I didn’t have a good quilt that fit our queen size bed. I remember attending that class and sharing my strips of fabric with other quilters as they shared theirs with me. This class taught me the importance of accurate cutting.

I took those strips and sewed them into nine patches. I sewed many nine patches and then stuffed them into my fabric cupboard. Every now and then, I’d let them come out to play. I’d sew a few more nine patches, arrange and rearrange them, and then reshelf them while family and work responsibilities took priority.

Four years ago, I rediscovered them and took them over to my mom’s house. This quilt was meant for me and I wanted to get it done. Mom drew up a plan for setting those nine patches and together we laid them out and I sewed.

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And then the top sat for another year until I rented time on a longarm and quilted it using a computerized program of hearts.  

8a

Sometimes I see the quilting as leaves or maybe heart shaped leaves.

Other quilts needed to be made and finished first and my quilt was folded and put away. When I was at my North Dakota home for Christmas last year, I unfolded it and machine stitched the binding to the top.

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At this point I was tempted to return it to the pile but decided to begin to hand sew the binding to the back.

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I didn’t get very far as I had to leave it behind when I flew back to Arizona on January 1st. Finally this spring, while I was on a quick trip back to my North Dakota house, I picked it up and finished hand sewing the binding. There you have the real story behind my quilt lovingly named “My 21 Year Quilt.”

9a

I failed to get a pic of the back or to measure it. It is a generous queen size. I put my extra nine patches on the back. I will post pics and stats when I get back home.

Just in case you missed it, I live in two places: North Dakota in the summer and early fall and Arizona in the winter and spring. I love Arizona in the spring.

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This Argentine Giant lives at the house next to us. It was loaded with blooms this year that open in the evening and last only 24 hours. I think I’ve convinced my husband that we need one of these in our yard.

I’ll be posting more pics of beautiful cactus blooms on Wednesday. Speaking of blooming, please visit my fellow Blooming Quilters this week. They know that company’s coming and are waiting for your visit.

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These Blooming Quilters are hosted by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl. Thanks, Yvonne!

Tami @Thrift Shop Commando Tami gives modern meaning to the phrase “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Go without.” She shows us a quilt that she’s making for her son out of some thrifted fabric. It’s going to be beautiful.

Sandy @Sandy Star Designs Sandy shows us some great eye candy as she puts it. She also shares a link to her tutorial on how to sew an accurate quarter inch seam. Since I can use all the help I can get, I’m going to have a look at that one.

Karen @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats That’s me. Thanks for stopping by.

Kathleen @Kathleen McMusing  Kathleen shows her quilt history through pictures of really beautiful quilts. Find out who taught her to sew and how she found her love for quilting. She’s got some great quilting tips and I should pay heed to #2 more as it’s the one that stalls my projects.

Sarah @Designs by Sarah J Sarah has a full basket of accomplishments: fabric designer, Aurifil thread designer, pattern designer, and author. You’ll be able to see some of her quilt designs and take a stroll through some of her other posts to see her Dandy Drive block patterns which you can download for free. I know I want to make some of them.

Also check out the other hosts for the 2017 New Quilt Blogger’s Hop, Leanne @she can quilt and Beth @Cooking Up Quilts, to meet even more quilt bloggers.

Remember to enter the giveaways found on our host blogs. There’s a bunch of prizes from some wonderful sponsors. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to win one so don’t delay as the giveaways are open only for a few days.

Quilting Tip: My quilting tip for you today is to strive to make quilts that are “good enough” and not perfect. If you want perfect, it may take you 21 years to finish.

What I Learned Today:

  1. It is better to have finished after 21 years than not to have finished at all.
  2. I like my 21 Year Quilt as much as I did when I first started it.
  3. My bedroom is still blue. It’s a good thing I don’t redecorate often.
  4. My 21 Year Quilt is still not perfect but it is good enough.

Question: Do you have any older quilts or projects begging to be finished? Here’s a chance to confess how long your project(s) has been shelved and whether you want to finish it or not.

Linking to Monday Making, and Main Crush Monday on Monday; Sew Fresh Quilts on Wednesday; Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, TGIFF, and Finished or Not Friday on Friday. Buttons on my sidebar. and Show Off Saturday on Saturday.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen

Tu-Na Quilts

Tu-Na Quilts: Welcome to the Second Week of the New Quilt Bloggers Hop

Hello, fellow quilters! I’d like you to meet a few more of my fellow Blooming Quilters this week as we jet around the globe. Just click on their blog name and you’ll be able to visit with them too and if you like what you read you might want to follow them to keep in touch. Thank you to Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for bringing us all together. Visit Yvonne’s blog to enter to win some fantastic prizes. Don’t delay the giveaway is open only for 4 more days.

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  • Olusola @Alice Samuel’s Quilt Co. We all strive for perfection in who we are and what we do. Meet Sola from Nigeria whose blog is perfect and she tells us at what point we or our quilts are perfect too. She’s displaying some fantastic quilts she’s either finished or in the process of making so you’ll get some major inspiration here.

 

  • Liz @My Sew Called Life Meet Liz who lives in the dream location of Hawaii. Find out how she turned her life around to create happiness and quilts, of course. You’ll also get to meet her fur babies and read about her feathered friends. There’s quilt inspiration pictures here too. She finished her post with some quilting tips but I can’t follow the first one…Don’t buy fabric just because you like it.

 

  • Anita @Domestic Felicity Anita’s introductory post is still coming and I can’t wait to read more. I’ll come back and update this when it publishes. Update: Anita may have been a bit tardy for the party but her post is definitely worth the wait and she had a good excuse–life got in the way. This motorcycle mamma sold her bike and took up quilting. I hope you’ll stop over and visit her blog to get a couple of great quilting tips that I’ll definitely use and maybe you will too.

 

  • Cate @Chaos Theory Quilting Cate started to quilt as a way to ease her pain and leave something tangible behind. She tells us that she has many unquilted tops lying around–no surprise there as I think many of us quilters have them, too. Learn what she would like to do with them.

Also check out Leanne @she can quilt and Beth @Cooking Up Quilts to meet even more quilt bloggers from these hives.

Come on back in May for two more weeks of introductory posts and giveaways. I’ll be posting the first week. Oh, and remember to enter the giveaway found on any of our three host blogs (Yvonne, Leanne, or Beth) soon.

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What I Learned Today:

  1. Food feeds the soul.
  2. My sister is a great cook.
  3. So is my niece (her daughter).

Question: What did you do yesterday? After a beautiful Easter church service, I had a wonderful Easter meal prepared by my sister.

 

Tu-Na Quilts: Welcome to Week One of the New Quilt Bloggers Hop

Here they are all polished and shined up and ready for a visit. You’re all invited to pop over and visit and get to know these new quilt bloggers better. There are fun prizes to be won on our host’s blogs so don’t delay as there are only 4 days to enter.

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Meet some of my fellow Blooming Quilters this week by clicking on their link which will take you directly to their post for this hop.

  • Jennifer @Inquiring Quilter You can find out that Jennifer is a list-maker and a planner and discover why and how she chose the name of her blog plus see some fantastic projects she’s done. We are talking major inspiration here. Plus you will want to pop back each day but especially on Wednesday for a little wait loss.

 

  • Fi at living cloth Find out what the word cloth means in her blog name. Fi also shows us her first quilt she ever made and a fun improve tree mini quilt that I just have to make and maybe you will want to make one too. 

 

  • Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts This young mom of two boys is not going to let  her stash gather dust. She designs quilt patterns and completed 34 quilts last year. Now that’s some serious sewing partly made possible by a desire to set goals and achieve them. Oh, my, I do need some of her energy. But don’t worry, she will leave you with a tip on how you, too, can not only manage to get something done but also achieve some lofty goals.

 

  • Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting It’s a good thing that Bobbi loves snow since she lives in Montana. She shows us some of her quilts that she’s designed and tells us to spin our seams to make them lie flat. Well, I’ve tried and not been successful at spinning seams so I’ll just have to keep practicing it.

 

  • Amanda at Mommy’s Projects Another young mom tells us why she takes time to quilt or play with yarn. She’s got a great quilting tip that I plan to use and you might want to, too.

But that’s not all! Leanne at she can quilt introduces these new quilt bloggers

as part of  4

and Beth at Cooking Up Quilts introduces

Jess @ Sew Jess Handmade
Rachel @ Making a Beautiful Life
Amanda @ Quiltologie
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Rose @ something rosemade

as part of  3

You will want to visit Yvonne or Leanne or Beth to enter the BIG giveaway on their blogs.

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More new quilt bloggers are coming next week with another round of giveaways.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I have great readers who left me some great stress relievers. Thank you all so much!
  2. My brother suggests that eating a half a bar of chocolate each day is healthful. I haven’t even had time or the desire to eat any lately so I can’t tell you whether that would work for me or not.

Question: What are you craving to eat or do today?

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen