Thursday, December 17, 2009

They're Done, They're Done, They're Done!!

I finally finished a knitting project. It has been awhile, so yes, I'm kind of excited. Also, I love the project that I finished so I'm doubly happy to have them done.

Here they are; my Faux Fairisle Fingerless Mitts.

I tried to be a little artsy with my photo, but ... not so much. The bottom mitt was the first one I completed and the top mitt is the one I finished last night after I got home from Knit Nite. I like the colors of the second one better, because it's more purple. But they both look great. And they are toasty warm. I've been wearing them today at work.

So happy and excited!!

Edited: I just looked on my Ravelry project list and I think I can get 2 more projects done over my Christmas Vacation. I'm going to work on the Pooling Scarf (which only has about 6" left on it) and the Felted Colorwork Bag (which only has 1 more repeat and handles). I'm slowly but surely getting some UFO's done. I have a little Christmas knitting to finish up too, but it's not on my rav list. Just in case people peak!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Knitting and Spinning

On Saturday, I meet up with a few friends for a day of knitting and other sundry crafts. We had great food and goodies too. Kathy made chili and Katie brought this Toffee Bar dessert. It was a first attempt at this new recipe and she figured we would all make great guinea pigs. It was very good. Thanks to Carlina for opening her home and to Devon for the nice bag pipe concert.

Kathy spearheaded the meet-up and decided we should have lots of different crafts to try out. She brought her weaving loom and knitting looms. I brought my spinning wheel, because she wanted to try it out. I was a little panicked by that thought though, because I hadn't done any spinning in a year. I mentioned that to one of my other spinning friends and she laughed. She said just think of it this way "They don't spin, so they won't know the difference!" I laughed and thought she's right. I practiced for a while, then turned it over to Kathy. She did pretty well. Then her niece Katie wanted a try. She had a little trouble coordinating the hand and foot motions. For a little while I spun the wheel while she did got used to spinning, then I turned her loose on her own. She seemed to really enjoy it and she did surprisingly well for a first try.

While she spun I knitted on my blue hoodie. I'm only 40 rows away from starting the sleeves. What I really need to do is dedicate myself to doing 4 rows a night for the next 10 days and I would have that part done.

But, last night after dinner, I decided instead of knitting I would do some spinning. The rocking chair was a little too low, so I got out my office chair. It worked just great after I adjusted the height. Here's a picture of my mystery fiber. Well, I do know it's wool, but other than that I've no clue. I got it as a gift from one of my spinning friends when I got my wheel.

I still quite a bit left to spin. I'm hoping I have enough after I get it all spun up to do a pair of socks or may a pair of fingerless mitts. Not sure if I will ply it or just knit it as is, but I will probably ply it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Merry Christmas To Me! Merry Christmas To Me!

My 'early' Christmas present to myself came in the mail yesterday. I'm so excited! Here it is:

It's the Knitpicks Options Nickle-plated interchangeable needle set. It comes with needles sizes 4 thru 11 US, 2 24" cables and 2 32" cables. I also bought an extra 40" cable and 2 extra needle tips in size 8 & 9. But those are the wooden Harmony needles. I really like metal needles, but I wanted to try out the wooden ones just because. I meant to play with them last night, but I got caught up in a book I was reading and didn't knit a stitch.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was pretty good. I went to my Parents house for dinner. This year since there were only going to be the 3 of us (everyone else was doing their own things) we had Rib-eye steaks instead Turkey. Boy were they yummy too! Along with the steaks we had oven baked potatoes (both white and sweet), sauted green beans with bacon, cranberry relish and rolls. It was all very good.

My Mom stayed at my house that night, so that we could get up at 3:30AM to go shopping. We weren't really planning on going shopping this year, but my friend Staci needed some help. She had a list from her 2 brothers and her Mom that she needed to get in addition to her own stuff. It was such a mad-house at Wal-marts that we took turns watching each others carts while the other one went after one thing or another. It was too hard trying to get the carts through the crowds. I got most of my Christmas presents bought and only have a few things left to get.

After Wal-Marts, we headed to Lowe's for the 99 cent Poinsettias. Staci asked me how many I wanted and I told her that I tend to kill them and just give them to Mom when I get one. And since Mom was buying her own, I didn't need any. Then we headed to Menards, but the checkout line was so LONG there and Staci was only looking for one item, we just turned around and left. Then we headed to Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and PetSmart. We parted ways after that. Mom and I headed back to Niles where we met up with my cousins Tracy and Erica for breakfast and a little more shopping. I was exhausted by the time we got back to my house around 3pm. After they left, I took a nap!

On Saturday, my friend Kathy J. came over. After a quick trip to the Red Purl and Moon Beads, we spent the rest of the day chatting and knitting. I made a pot of the Tomato Florentine Soup for dinner along with grilled cheese sandwiches. I got a lot of knitting done on my Hoodie. I am now 2/3 of the way done on the body. Only 45 more rows and then I get to start the sleeves, which should be much faster to knit since there are fewer stitches. I also worked on my fingerless mitts and my pooling scarf.

I forgot to get a picture of the Hoodie, but here are ones of the mitts and scarf:

I still have to weave in my ends on the first mitt, but the 2nd one is coming along nicely.

The scarf measures 44", so I only have about 16" left. I was having a little trouble lining up the colors after I added in the 2nd skein, but I'm getting used to it now.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Really Good Weekend

I don't know about you, but I had a really good weekend.

The weather was AWESOME! Sunny and warm and sunny.

My Mom and I made a day of it. We started out at Goodwill for their 50% off sale. I hit the mother lode too. I got 2 practically new pairs of jeans, 1 lime zippered cardigan, 1 brand new still had the tag on blue sweater, 4 scrub tops, 2 scrub pants, a small brand new Tupperware strainer and 4 wool felting sweaters. I spent $40, but new scrub tops alone cost $12.99 each. I wasn't expecting to spend that much, but I definitely got more than my money's worth of merchandise.

Then I took my Mom to the South Bend Farmers Market, where we got some dark espresso roasted coffee beans for my Dad, some herbs, loose leaf tea (darjeeling, french vanilla, chai), fresh pumpkin donuts (the yummy cake kind), broccoli (which I steamed on Sunday for dinner), tomatoes, garlic, yellow bell pepper. I got to taste a chanterelle mushroom, which was very good. We probably spent a good hour to hour and a half wandering around checking everything out. She's already making plans with her friends to come back for another visit.

Then we headed to Goshen to the Ewe-Knique Knit Shop, where I had to exchange a skein of yarn I bought when I was at the knitting retreat. While trying to find the end of the yarn from the center of the skein, I totally messed up the skein and had to re-wind it. In the process, I found 6 big slubby areas. 1 or 2 I could have lived with, but not 6. Well they didn't have the same color of mini mochi, so I got another colorway. And to be on the safe side I decided to go ahead and get an extra one while I was there. :o)

After lunch at the chinese buffet, I went home and took a nap. When I woke up, I did laundry. I had to wash my new scrubs, so I could wear a set to work on Sunday. And I figured If I was going to do one load I might as well do several. Not going to admit to how many loads I did; I let the laundry kind of pile up. I finished up the last load on Sunday morning before work.

All in all, a very good weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Recipe - Tomato Florentine Soup

A pizza restaurant here in town (Barnaby's), used to serve Tomato Florentine Soup everyday on their menu. I loved it! I don't know if they tried to do something different or what, but they removed it and replaced it with Italian Wedding Soup. Oh it was horrible! I stopped going there as often, because I was always getting the soup/salad combo and they didn't have any other soups that I liked.

Well I got to craving that soup last week. I looked up recipes on-line and found several that I liked "bits" of. So I combined them and WOW I loved it! So here it is:

Tomato Florentine Soup
Serves 6-8


1 lb ground Italian sausage

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 beef bullion cubes

1 cup boiling water

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 12 oz. Can V8 Juice

1 small can tomato sauce

¼ tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce

2 stalks of celery, diced

2 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. thyme

2 tsp. basil

1 tsp. dill

2 cups of water or milk

1 bunch of Spinach, julienne

1 to ½ cups cooked shell pasta

Salt and Pepper to taste

Brown sausage until it is almost done. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Add this and all other ingredients except the pasta to a crockpot. Cook on high for 1 ½ hours. Add cooked pasta. Cook for ½ hour. Serve with crusty bread/butter or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Note: I took this to work with me, that’s why I used the crockpot, but the original recipe(s) were geared towards making it on the stove. It was very good the first day, however it was awesome the next day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Knitting Retreat

Ok, I mentioned earlier that I would be updating everyone on the knitting retreat that I attended on Halloween. The South Bend Knitworks (Rav Group) held our first retreat. It was so much fun, I hope it isn't our last one. Thanks to Faith and Madalyn for organzing the whole thing. And thanks to Rachel for decorating the gift bags, Kelly for the neat stitch markers (SSK & K2tog), and to Carly for the cool name tags. They had small wound hanks of yarn. And thanks to all who brought snacks, Yum!

I had such a great time. Kallie tought us how to do Entrelac. I wasn't going to do it, because I thought "Why learn something else to become addicted to!", but actually it was quite interesting. Here's my sample:

Kallie went around the group giving everyone a little bit of extra help, for which I was glad. I learn better if someone is showing me what to do, instead of just plain reading/interpreting it on my own. Every time she got to me though, I would confuse her because on the purl rows I was knitting backwards instead of flipping it and purling. I think Entrelac would be a huge pain to do if you don't know how to knit backwards. All that flipping to the back side to purl 2, 3, 4, etc stitches would suck.

We also got in some great knitting time too.

Liz, Kallie and Shelley.

Shelley (again), KellyLynn, Megan, Christine, Carly and Madalyn.

Rachel, Susan and Jonel.

Kelly, Faith and Rachel (again).

It was kind of hard not to overlap photos, since there were not a lot of us. Personally I like the smaller sized group, because it was easier to talk to everyone and get to know some of the different Ravelry members. I just realized that I didn't get a picture of Danielle, because she had to leave early.

We all trickled through Ewe-Knique Knit Shop around lunch time. I got 2 skeins of Mini Mochi, that I just love. That's the yarn I'm using for the fingerless mitts from the previous post. Very soft!

Oh, lest I forget, Faith was responsible for getting us some great door prizes, none of which I won though. :o( But Jonel won a Sweater Kit from Berroco, KellyLynn won a kit from Spud and Chloe, Liz won a goodie bag from Lion Brand Yarn, Carly won Purple sock yarn donated by Red Purl. Sorry there were more winners, but I don't remember who won what.

Other donated prizes came from: Erica's Sewing & Craft center - a purple bag and books for our goodie bags and another kit from Spud & Chloe.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Wasn't Going to do it.

But I did. I told myself I shouldn't, but again I did. I started another knitting project! I have too many started already that I need to get done, but I just couldn't resist.

I attended a Knitting Retreat in Goshen on Halloween (details to come) and while there I bought some Mini Mochi yarn at Ewe-Knique Knits yarn shop. They had this wonderful sample made up of a hat. The pattern could be downloaded from Crystal Palace's website. It's for a fake Fair Isle design. I'm not real interested in the hat, but it also include a pair of mittens that would make perfect fingerless mitts. My hands are always getting cold and I've been planning to make myself a pair. I just never seem to get around to it. I have the ribbing done on Mitt #1 and am only 2-4 rows away from starting the thumb gusset.

I have been working on other things: I have 20 inches done on my pooling scarf and I'm more than 1/2 done on the body of my Hoodie Sweater. It's just that the sweater is getting to the point where it is not too portable and with it taking almost 1/2 hour to knit a row, it's a bit frustrating too.

I know, I know. It doesn't take much to justify starting a new project right? I really do need to get some things done though.

(11/9) Edited to add photo

Friday, November 6, 2009

Family Dinner Swap

Amy of Park City Girl is doing a Recipe Swap and I thought I would add my two cents to the list.

I love love love Thai food and stir-frys. I'm always hitting up my friend Lily (who's from Thailand) for interesting new recipes. Here is one of my favorites.

Chicken Basil (Gai Pad Gra Pow) This recipe was put together from info from both Lily and

2 Tbsp oil
4-7 Thai chili peppers (minced or crushed)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1-2 pkgs fresh Thai Basil
1/2 lb. ground chicken (or bite-sized chunks of chicken)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3Tbsp fish sauce

Mince garlic and chili peppers together. Clean and pick basil from its stems. It may appear like a lot of leaves, but they will shrink when cooked and this dish's flavor comes from the leaves. Fry garlic and chili in oil over high heat. When garlic starts to turn brown, add ground chicken. The juice will start to come out. Keep stirring until all the juice is gone. It might take a couple of minutes. Add sugar and fish sauce. Then add the basil. Quickly turn over a few times to mix the leaves with the meat and then remove from the heat and put in serving bowl. Serve with hot rice.

You can substitute ground turkey or pork for the ground chicken. Some people like the meat cut up in bite sizes pieces rather than ground. You can also add Sliced green peppers and onions just before adding the sugar and fish sauce.

PS: If you haven't tried the Thai Basil, you really should. It is much milder and more flavorful than the regular 'italian' basil that we tend to use here in the US. I've also done eggrolls and Coconut Chicken soup and you can get those recipes by clicking here.


Friday, October 30, 2009

World Take Notice!

I giving the world notice right now. I'm in a good mood and I don't want anyone pissing on my parade today!

I got my hair cut and colored last night. I was long over due and while I'm kinda on the fence about the color (it's a little darker and a little on the coppery side) I do like it.

I also paid bills last night AND had money left over. And that didn't even take into account the fact that I got paid again today. Then I balanced my checkbook and was only 18 cents off. Whoo Hoo! Teresa (my Accountant friend) will be so proud of me. She shudders when I tell her I haven't ballanced my check book in ohh 6 months or a year. She'll be happy to know I only let 2 months lapse this time.

Tomorrow, my knitting group "South Bend Knitworks" is having our 1st Annual Knitting Retreat. Where I'll get to learn Entrelac knitting. I actually voted for crochet finishing techniques, but that's OK. And it just so happens that the place where we are having the retreat is right across the street from... yep you guessed it... a knitting store; Ewe-Nique Knits. I've never been there and I can't wait to browse their wares as I've heard really good things from other knitters.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Need to Vent!!

I really really need to vent right now. If I don't, I will explode. Please don't read any further if you don't want to hear me complaining about my family.

You all know that my Aunt Margaret passed away last week. BTW, Thank you all for your wishes and prayers.

Well, Aunt Margaret had a son, Stanley. I always looked up to him. He was the first one in the family to go to college. Well about 14 years ago he dropped off the radar. He stopped calling, visiting, etc. One day my Aunt ran into one of his friends in town and the friend asked her why she hadn't come to Stan's wedding the previous month. Well, she hadn't attended because she wasn't invited nor did she even know about the wedding. Same thing with her learning in the subsequent years that he had children. Not once did he call or even write her a letter.

A couple of us were looking for him to tell him about the death of his mother and also because a second signature was needed in order to have her cremated like she wanted. Well a message was left for him on Friday night by a family friend and another message was left on Saturday by my Mom. My mom was not feeling very charitably towards him and left a message that basically said the reason she was calling was that his signature was need in order to cremate his mother who just died. I don't think I would have put it quite that bluntly, but Mom and Margaret were extremely close and she was very upset by what she considered his abandonment of his mother. Anyway, he didn't call back. More calls were made on Saturday night and Sunday, but the answering machine had been shut off and the phone just rang and rang. So you know somebody was there. He didn't call until after the funeral home contacted the Charleston Police Department to go to his house to inform him of a death in the family.

Now I ask you, what kind of a person just turns their back on family, specifically their MOM. I could understand it if she had been an alcoholic or abusive. But she wasn't either of those. She was a single mother struggling to raise 3 kids. There hadn't been a fight or anything either. She was extremely proud of him and used to tell everyone about him going to college to make something of himself and the wonderful job he got in Ohio. She was so hurt and confused because she never could understand why he did what he did.

My Mom told me today that she heard he might be coming up this weekend. I told that I frankly didn't care and that I wouldn't be around this weekend. I have a knitting retreat on Saturday and I work on Sunday. Aunt Margaret was a very special woman in my life and I just don't think I can forgive him for the way he treated her. I told her I was afraid that if I saw him I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut and would probably just kick him in the knee. And I really didn't think the family needed any more animosity running through it than we already have had over the last couple of days.

The thing that set me off today was that I discovered through the wonderful world of the internet that his wife has a blog. And she was gushing over a visit from her Mom and Dad and how close they were to her kids and Stan. But did either of them ever even think about Stanley's Mom and how she would have loved to get to know her grandchildren. I just wanted to scream when I read her entry.

Stanley is such a shit. And you know they always say what comes around goes around. I just hope to hell none if his kids ever treats him like he treated his own mother. But it would be sweet justice if they did.

Thanks for listening to me vent. I just couldn't keep all this bottled up inside anymore and I didn't want to say this to Tracy (Stan's sister) or my Mom, they've been upset enough as it is. Surprisingly I feel much better after spilling all this.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sad News

It is with a sad heart that I let everyone know that my Aunt Margaret passed away on Friday.

She was doing so well after the surgery last Monday to move her feeding tube. But then on Wednesday or Thursday they said she aspirated some water while taking a drink and coughed herself right into a heart attack. Her body was just too weak to recover from that and she passed away Friday Morning.

I had a good cry this weekend when I realized that this Thanksgiving I actually get to have lumps back in the mashed potatoes. I'd trade all lumps in my potatoes for her to be there at the table with us. At least she's not suffering anymore. She was a great lady and I will miss her terribly.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pooling Scarf Class

Last night I took a knitting class at the Red Purl. It was for the Pooling Watercolor Scarf (Ravelry Link). The class taught us how to find the color repeat on the yarn and to knit it into vertical stripes. It was quite interesting. I had a little bit of trouble though and after having to rip back several times, I finally set my project on the table, crossed my arms over my chest and said "That's it. I'm done. I quit." Everyone kind of laughed and Kallie's response was something like 'That's really being adult about it.' :o) Heidi, the instructor, helped me out though and got me past my little snit. I was really having trouble varying my gage; either tightening or loosening a few stitches in order to make the color changes line up.

When I got home, I thought that I had figured out what was going on, so I decided to do a little more knitting. Bad idea, as I was tired and the lighting wasn't that great. I almost threw my scarf across the room in frustration. I did 2 rows and realized I had messed up my count. I should have just put it away, but I wanted to get it fixed before I went to bed. So I ripped, then re-knit. Still wrong, but for a different mistake. Rip/re-knit. Still wrong. etc. After about 45 minutes (yes I said 45 not 4 to 5) I finally got it right and was able to actually proceed ahead. I have a whopping 3 repeats done!

I must admit that I took a page out of my fellow knitter Kelly L's book and called the scarf a few choice words. I think that scared it enough to finally start cooperating. Or it at least temporarily shocked it into submission. We'll see what happens when I next pick it up.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Just wanted to let you know that Aunt Margaret is doing really well. However, they have rescheduled her feeding tube surgery until Monday or Tuesday. They want her infection to have a few more days healing time. Also, her bronchitis is trying to form into pneumonia. She's still in the ICU, but they are hoping to move her out this weekend, depending on her progress.

It's a small bit of border line good/bad news, but I'll take anything I can get.

PS. I'm off to the last quilt retreat of the year. I leave directly after work tonight. It's only about 30 minutes away. I had a whole list of things I wanted to get done. But I'm pretty tired after this week, so I cut back on the projects and am just going to take it easy.

PSS. I signed up for a knitting class last night at the Red Purl. It is for the Pooling Watercolor Scarf (Raverly Link). The basis of the class is to take a multi colored yarn (a.k.a. Lorna's Laces) and figure out the length of the colors and knit them so they all line up and for vertical strips. The class is being held next week. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good news

Yesterday I got the dreaded call that no one wants to get. That middle of the night call from my Mom saying my Aunt Margaret wasn't doing well and could I please come up to the hospital. My cousin wasn't there yet and Mom really wanted me to come up. She asked if it would be OK for me to take the day off. At that point, I realized I had perfect clarity on what she was saying and what she wanted from me, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember what day it was. I remember my brain thinking is today Saturday? So I asked her "What day is it?" She said "It's Wednesday" with a little hitch in her breath. I said of course, let me get dressed and I would be right up there. I called work and left several messages to let everyone know I would be out and then headed out.

As I was driving towards the by-pass, I saw a speed limit sign that said 25 and looked down to discover I was already at 45 and edging towards 50. I had to consciously make myself calm down and slow down. When I got on the bypass, I set the cruise control so that I wouldn't have a problem.

When I got to the hospital, I realized I couldn't remember what room my Aunt was in. All I remember was that Mom said 2nd floor. I felt so scattered. I asked and was told she was in ICU on the second floor and to take elevator A. My Mom and Tracy (Margaret's daughther) were in her room waiting for me. Tracy had gotten the call around 3:30 that her mom was having trouble breathing. Her oxygen level had dropped and her carbon dioxide level had risen. Her BP was sky high and they were having trouble getting it down. She was disorientated and delirious. She's lost so much weight over the last couple of years. She looked so tiny laying in the hospital bed. They had a B-pap mask on her that was helping her breath. Everytime she takes a breath, it would force more oxygen in, but she still wasn't getting enough.

She kept trying to take the mask off and pulling her blankets off to try to get out of bed. One of us took turns removing her hands and covering her back up. At one point when I was holding her had, she looked right at me with these huge panicked eyes. She tried to ask me something but with the mask on we couldn't understand her. If she took the mask off an alarm would sound. We got the nurse and they came in to check on her, but she had drifted back off. A bit later another nurse came in to do a breathing treatment. And once the mask was finally off, she was able to ask what was going on. That's when I realized that I think I freaked her out when she saw me at her bedside. I think she worried that we were all holding vigil for her to die and she was scared.

She was originally admited for an infected feeding tube. Then she got bronchitis. On Monday they did one of those throat stretching procedures, because she has a lot of scar tissue in her throat from Kemo/Radiation due to Laryngial Cancer. Her esophagus is only as big around as my pinky finger where the scar tissue is. Once past that it's wide open. While they were doing the procedure, I guess her throat started spasming and she almosted coded. But they were able to stop it by stoping the procedure and removing the anistheisia.

In essence we were sitting vigil, because the hospital didn't know what was causing her sudden lack of oxygen. But we sure as hell didn't want her to think that. We were expecting the Dr. to come in around 8:30, because that's when the nurse said he was coming, but we figured it out after that thas was when he started his rounds. He didn't get to her room until after 11am. In the mean time we figured out that when Aunt M. was pulling at the blankets and restlessly moving her legs that she hadn't been trying to get out of bed. The poor woman was HOT! And every time she tried to get rid of the blankets, we all covered her back up. Of course we didn't realize this and we all had a real good laugh over it after the fact.

In the afternoon they stuck a scope down her throat to see if there was a reason she couldn't breath. They were specifically looking for another tumor that might be restricting her airway.
Thankfully, there was no tumor; the reason she couldn't breath was because she had a mucus plug stuck near her lungs. Because her esophagus is only as big around as my pinky finger, she couldn't cough it up. They removed it and she is doing really well.

They are planning on doing surgery on Friday to install an new Feeding Tube and they will probably keep her in for another week after that to make sure everything is going OK.

I realized after the fact, that her Dr's obviously don't talk to each other, because the woman has been cancer free for 3 years and can't gain any weight. She's currently 91 lbs. The one Dr. decided she hasn't been getting enough calories because they thought she was getting at least 1/2 of her caloric intake by mouth and the rest through the feeding tube. However because she has been aspirating things that she eats/drinks into her lungs her other Dr told her not to take anything by mouth. But he obviously didn't think to let the other Dr's know that he told her that, so they could adjust her feeding tube feedings. So while she is in there over the next week or so they are going to be re-evaluating what she needs. About Time.

But I wanted to thank you all that kept us in there prayers and thoughts yesterday and let you know that she is doing well. I'll keep you posted if anything else happens.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Project Updates

I finally got around to updating my Ravelry Page with some pictures today. It suddenly dawned on me that I have 5 projects started and no pictures of any of them. Well 3 down, 2 to go.

Here is what I have on the needles right now.

1. Calypso Shrug - It will have long sleeves and button in the front.

The colors are much brighter than in the picture, though. This is my 4th try at knitting this yarn into a shrug. I've frogged the project (ripped it out for those of you who don't know the term) 3 times, because I didn't like the way it was looking. I'm pretty happy with the way it is going right now.

2. Felted Colorwork Bag - I wanted to learn how to do 'stranded' knitting, but since I was worried about my tension, I decided I would make a felted bag. Then no matter what my tension troubles may be, once it is felted (shrunk) you would never know the difference.
I'm half way done knitting the 4th repeat, which is supposed to be the last one. However since felted items shrink more from top to bottom than they do side to side, I'm thinking of adding another repreat. I don't want the bag to be too short once it is done. Also, the top is supposed to be bound off with ribbing, but I'm going to do an I-cord bind off to give it a little more stability. I'm also planning to put non-knitted handles on it. I haven't decided whether I want leather or wooden ones yet though. Leaning towards the leather, but it just depends on what I find.

3. Sandy Hoodie - A.k.a. Susie Hoodie. This is a Hoodie Jacket.

It doesn't have buttons or a closure, but I'm toying with the idea of adding some. Maybe 2-3 in the chest area, to hold it closed when it is cooler out. I thought it would go faster, but with 251 stitches per row, it's taking about 30 minute to do one row. And if I get distracted by the TV, that time goes down. Right now I'm averaging 4 rows per night, which doesn't seem like nearly enough.

Monday, October 12, 2009

2009 Internet Quilt Festival

Park City Girl started an internet quilt show last year, that I thought was just great. Everyone displays their favorite quilt and then links it back to her blog, where she has a list of participants.

So I thought I would post my fav's here today.

This is called Siamese Elegance. It was made as part of my Quilt Guilds Challenge, which was called the Paint Chip Challenge. What you do is take your initials and find 3 paint chip colors that start with the first letter of your initial. Then use those colors plus a background color, if you want, to make a quilted project. It can be any size or shape. My colors are: Stoney Fields (Taupe), Alpaca (Cream) and Magma (Black). I took a backwards approach to this, because I made the quilt I wanted with 3 colors and then found paint chips to match my colors. And let me tell you, trying to find one that was black that started with either a S, A, or M was extremely hard.

Yes, I said Fav's, which is plural. I thought I would add a second quilt to the show.

This is my Stack-N-Whack quilt. Although it is the only one that I have currently done, I had a great time doing it and I have bought other fabrics to use for more Stack-n-Whack quilts.

For more quilts, please click here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Was So Productive

I really can't believe how much I got done at retreat. I had 1 item on my list that HAD to get done, but the rest was in the 'want to get as much done as possible' list.

The one that I HAD to get done was Dawson's Colts quilt. Yes, Teresa if you are reading this it is done. So I need to know when you guys are come up next and if it is not anytime soon, I will mail it. Anyway, here it is.
Then I worked on my Temple Guardians Quilt. This is the Siamese Cat appliques that I have been working on for the last 2 years.
It has one more border that needs to be put on. The design on the fabric runs salvage to salvage , so I will have to do some fussy cutting as the the length is over 60" and the S to S dimensions are only about 42. Just in case you are curious, here is the fabric I will be using:

It is called Luminosity by Paula Nadelstern and printed by Benartex. I just fell in love with it when I bought it several years ago. I didn't know what I would do with it when I bought it, but I new I would find the perfect project for it and I think it will be great at the final border on my Temple Guardians quilt.

Then I worked on my Lillibet's Garden BOM. I didn't realize until I started working on it this weekend, but it was started in 2006. It was the retreat project that year and Kathy J. and I were the only two who attempted it. I had the blocks and sashing already done, but I had to finish the applique flowers in the center and then assemble all the blocks. This was one of the "want to get as much done as possible" projects, but I actually got it all done. It was close, but I finished it up around 11 am yesterday. We had to start packing up around noon, so we could be out by 1:30.
I was talking to my Mom one day and she said she would like to look for a new quilt for their bed. I told her I had a quilt top that I was working on that I would give her. It wasn't quite done, as I still had some applique to do, but if she wanted it, she could have it. Well 2 days later, she called to let me know that she had already bought the batting for it. So I thought it would be prudent to take it to retreat with me and get to work finishing it. She hasn't seen this, but I think she will be happy with it.

Here are a couple of other projects of note:
1. Marie's Dear Jane blocks. She was laughing, because she only got 7 of them done, but damn, I think they take 2-3 times as much time to make as regular sized quilt block. They are 6 1/2" squares. Click here to see what the finished quilt is supposed to look like.
2. Helen's Soduko Baby Quilt - There will be 6 puzzles on this quilt. The Baby's Mom is a Math major. I love the colors, but I want to make one with fussy cut pictures like 9 cats, 9 dogs, 9 oreos, etc. I think that would be a great I Spy project.

3. Deanna's Christmas Ball - This ornament is just beautiful. I have ideas for this. Deanna was my 'table mate' at this retreat and it was really fun talking to her.
4. Steve's Tribute to Oz quilt. I honestly don't know what he is going to call this quilt, but I thought that title sounded great for my blog. Anyway, last retreat we did a project called 'Mexican Tiles' (Here's mine). Steve decided to use Wizard of Oz fabric. I love the way he created Tornado's from the blue & black sky fabric. He got more of this done, before we left, but I didn't get an updated photo of it. I think it is just fabulous and I so can't wait to see the finished item.

5. Sharon's quilt for her granddaughter. I love the clean lines. It's great.

Of course there were plenty more great projects going, but I can't post them all. And I got too little sleep, because I was working so hard. I had wanted to take a walk, but the weather was too cold and wet for me. Luckily I wasn't driving, because I took a small nap in the van on the way back and then took a 2 hour nap when I got home last night. I'm still tired though. That's what staying up until 2 am every night and getting up for 8 am breakfast will do to you. Gonna go to bed early tonight though. Right after I watch Heros!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Oh my god, it's been over a month since I last posted. Things have been happening, just forgot to blog about it.

Here's a small recap sans pictures as I haven't any.

I went to Stitches Midwest in Schaumberg, IL at the beginning of September. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a HUGE Knitting/crochet/fiber convention. Lots and Lots of vendors and demos. They have classes too, but I didn't take any. This was my first trip to Stitches. I had only gone to the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan, MI before. Which seems like small potatoes compared to Stitches MW. Wow, there were 8 rows of vendors! I forgot my camera, but was told that's OK, since they don't allow photos to be taken at the show anyway. One less thing to cart around. I went with a plan. I thought that would be smart, since I didn't want to overspend by buying everything that I saw that I LOVED. Well.... my plan wasn't defined enough apparently. I thought I would get 1 or 2 skeins of sock yarn and then the yarn to knit a sweater. I had 2 different sweater patterns with me that I wanted to make. I wasn't sure what to expect from Stitches, so I thought whichever one I found the yarn for first would be the one I would start knitting the next week. As I said earlier Well...... I did find my 2 skeins of sock yarn. One in a yummy fall orange color, which is not normally my color but was just fabulous. And the other is variegated fall colors. Then I found the yarn for my Mirage Sweater (here's a link to someone's version), but Miss Babs didn't have enough of the yarn in the color I wanted (Kiwi), so I order it. Well, that I think might have been when I made my mistake. Oh, not buying the yarn, I'm anxious to receive it. But the thought that I wouldn't have anything really good to show for my trip. You know!?! Well, except for the 2 skeins of sock yarn. Whoopie! More sock yarn. Not to mention that I wouldn't be able to start my sweater any time soon, like I planned. I didn't realize it at the time that these thoughts were bouncing around in my head when I stumbled across the "WEBS" booth. I found this awesome blue yarn by Sheep Shop Yarn that would be perfect for my Susie Hoodie Sweater Jacket. So I splurged and got it. I started the sweater that week too.

I've got about 6-8 inches of the bottom done. I had to rip it out and start over once. I was supposed to start the bottom edging with a size smaller needles then what I used to knit the rest of the jacket. My cables were not showing very well either, and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I commented to a couple of people about it and they said give it time, cables kind of have to develop a little in order for you to see them well. I was getting very frustrated and agonizing over what I was doing wrong. I tried drawing out what the row would look like and still couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, because it matched what I had on the needle. That's when I realized that I was having a major "blond moment". Because the even numbers for the cables was printed on the left side of the chart, I was reading them from left to right instead of right to left. DUH!! (FYI, You are always suppose to read the charts from right to left) I've decided not to rip them out though, as that would mean I'd have to start over again. The messed up part lines up with the garter stitch edging, so it just looks like part of the bottom edging. Once I started doing the cables correctly they really popped out. I'm about 4 rows from the 1st waist decrease. I'm not planning on actually decreasing though, just knitting that row normally. The waist needs to be a little bigger for me as I don't have much of a waist.

Then, last week I went on a quilting Shop Hop with my friend Patsy and 2 of her friends Judy and Joyce. For the shop hop, you bought a 'passport' at the first shop and then got it stamped at all of the quilting shops that were participating in the S-H. You turned the passport in to the last shop and your name is entered into a drawing for a really great prize. I found a nice pattern from Benartex for $1 and then at the next store I found the fabric to go with the pattern. I'm planning to work on it this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend. Tomorrow is the start of the River Bend Quilt Guild's Fall Retreat. I can't wait to get there. Although packing up all my sewing to stuff to get there will be a pain. But it's always worth it. I'm planning to work on Dawson's quilt (MUST GET DONE!), My Mom's quilt (which is another must get done) and then the new quilt for myself. I'm taking a few other small things in case I get bored with the new quilt. Like my Temple Guardians Quilt. I finished the last applique cat a couple weeks ago and can now start putting it together. I didn't realize it, but it took me 2 years to applique 9 cat blocks. Well, I wasn't working on them the whole time. I worked a little, then set them aside, then picked them back up; repeat. I'm not really into applique, but I really like these blocks. But I can't start on it until I get Dawson's quilt done! Which just needs to be quilted and the binding put on. I should be able to get that done on Thursday night.

Oh, and lest I forget, I got the news this week that I am back to full time. I have been working only 30 hours per week since January, because business has been slow. Either things are picking up a bit or it's the 'end of year must spend budgeted money before we lose it' rush. Either way, I'm good with it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nothing Much

Nothing much has been happening with me this week. How about you?

I did have another stupid car scare this week. I'm really beginning to dread the feeling of panic followed by anger that I get every time I hear or feel something off about my car. I had stopped at the stop light when all of a sudden my car starts shuddering like it wants to stall. {Instert Feeling of Panic} Then the emission light on the dash board starts to blink. It has come on before and I had to have a sensor changed, however it has never BLINKED. Now what the hell does that mean!?! {Still Panicing} Well, I'm only 2 blocks away from Automotive Plus, the place I always take my car. And since the car hasn't actually died I figure I should be OK to drive there. {Anger starting to take hold} I pulled into their parking lot, got out my manual and looked up the emission light. It basically says "Oh yeah, if this light is blinking, your engine is misfiring. Take it to a mechanic immediately, but don't accelerate fast as this might damage the cadilitic converter." {Anger Increasing} Just great! I just had it in for a tune up and spark plug/spark plug wire change. What the hell else is upstream from that that would cause misfiring; UGH! I went into the office and they were able to get my car right in. Turns out there was a piece of carbon stuck in the spark plug gap that wouldn't let it spark. The guys were so great and best of all, they didn't charge me. {Instant Relief WhooHoo!} I was only 1/2 hour late to work.

That night, I went to Quilt Bee. I finished the body of my last Temple Guardian Cat. I only have to applique 2 (yes, I said TWO) eyes and ALL the applique for that quilt is done. I would have worked on it last night, but it was Knit Night and I decided to work on my socks instead. I had a great time, even if it was a small group. With all the car trouble and my vacation time, I hadn't met up with that particular group in a couple of months.

I'd like to finish them tonight, but I really need to do LAUNDRY. You wouldn't believe the pile of laundry that needs to be done. Doing the laundry isn't so bad, but I wish it weren't in the basement. It's such a pain bringing everything upstairs. Note to self: Dream house will NOT have the laundry room in the basement!

Tomorrow, I'm going to the Taj Indian restaurant for lunch with my neighbor Althea. I've heard good things about it, but had never made it there.

This weekend is the Higland Festival and Scottish Games at the St. Joe Fair Grounds. I may go there on Saturday after work. I work until 12:30. I've always wanted to go, but I always miss it because I either didn't know it was taking place (which is most often) or I had something else already planned by the time I learned of it. If I go, I'll take pictures. If it's raining, I probably won't go though. I'm hoping the rain either clears up before I get out of work or holds off until evening.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What I did on my Summer Vacation....

Do you all remember having to write that essay during your first week or so of the new school year? I do. We never took any vacations though, so I never really had anything exciting to write about.

Anyway, I had a pretty good time on my vacation. First off it was mostly a working vacation, because I had a lot of things that needed to be done around the house, but I did through in a couple of fun things too. I asked around to find out what a "Honey Do" list is called when you make it up yourself and the predominant answer was "Crap that just needs to be done." So I worked on that and surprisingly I got a lot done. Here's some of the "crap" that got done:

1. My Dad and I changed the starter on my Car.
2. I cleaned up the basement storage room by putting in a few more shelves. Then organized the tools/paint/household items onto those shelves. Plus moved some of the stuff (mainly Xmas ornament/decorations & misc. tools) from the outer basement area into the storage room. I'm trying to clean up the whole outer area, but that is going to be slow going. In the process of all this lifting, I forgot the warning 'lift with your legs, not your back.' I ended up straining my lower back and was out of commission on Tuesday. I was going to rest it on Wednesday too, but I forgot to tell my mom (although I thought I did) and she came over at 8:30am to help me paint the kitchen.
3. So we painted and re-arranged the kitchen. I have to go back and do a lot of touch up on the trim, because I couldn't bend very well with my back hurting so much. And frankly, it needs to be touched up anyway. I also realized why I've never painted any of the other rooms in my house. I HATE painting. If I had painted before I moved in, it wouldn't have been so bad, but trying to move everything around to paint behind things was a real pain in the ass. We also sorted out some dishes that I didn't need/use. Some went to goodwill and some (extra plates and bowls) went to the basement storage room. I figured if I had fewer plates/bowls/glases, I would HAVE to do dishes more often; We'll see. I would really like a dishwasher, but that's not in the cards right now.
4. I borrowed my brothers power washer and washed the house. Of course I dropped the stupid thing and broke the hose quick disconnect. I bought a new one at Lowe's but I still couldn't get it to stop leaking. I was really upset, especially when I told my brother and he said "Man, I can't have nothing good around you." Honestly, this is the only thing of his that I can remember breaking!! Except maybe his Tonka Truck Semi-car carrier, but that was when we really young, and I'm sure it was his idea to lay on it and push my feet against the wall to zoom across the room. And it still worked afterwards, it only bent a little. Anyway, I told him repeatedly I would buy him a new one if he wanted, but he said not to worry about it, he would tear it apart and see if he could figure it out. I mentioned it in front of one of the guys here at work and he said he had the same problem and it has something to do with the washer have pipe threads while the quick disconnect has hose fittings and the two are not exactly 100% compatible. So I have to remember to tell my brother that.
5. Then my brother and I changed out my screen door, which was broken. That was kind of interesting. The instructions were a bit lame, but for the most part it covered everything. We put the old door out beside the trash can, and it was gone the next day. Not sure if the garbage company took it when they emptied the trash or someone else, but either way it's out of my hair.
6. I did some general pick-up & put away type cleaning on the rest of the house. It needs more, but the weather was getting hot and frankly I was tired of CLEANING.

In between some of the cleaning, I had a little fun.

1. I went to my 20th Class Reunion. Go Decatur Raiders Class of 1989! It was fun seeing all the old faces (LOL!). Surprisingly I didn't have too much trouble identifying anyone. (Except Paula. Sorry, she was half way across the parking lot and everyone knows my eyesight is crap! But as soon as I said the wrong name, I new that it wasn't her and corrected myself.) We had a great turn out too; 25 people were able to come along with a fair number of spouses. We only had a class size of 44 to begin with. There were a few people we were unsuccessful in finding and we also invited a few that moved away before graduation, but that we all still remembered and wanted to see.
What a good looking group!

We also had a family style picnic the next day. OMG! was it HOT! There was a small breeze, but by the end, I was wiped out. Thanks to Julie's quick thinking, the kids enjoyed a nice water balloon fight after lunch.
2. I laid out my Ocean quilt blocks to see which way I wanted to sew them together. And I decided I wanted to do them using a modified "quilt-as-you-go-method." I am going to sew the 5 rows together and quilt each row then put the whole quilt top together.

3. I went shopping with my mom one afternoon. I had a JCPenney $10 off a $10 purchase that was burning a hole in my pocket. And a 30% off coupon at Kohls. Happily for my pocket book I had a hard time finding anything at either stores that interested me. I actually didn't even use the Kohls coupon.
4. I attended the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan, MI with my knitting buddy Carly. Even though I didn't find anything that really interested me other then some lemon soap and a tape measure, I still had a great time. The one booth I was looking for that always has cheaper millend Socks that Rock sock yarn, didn't have any this year. That company kept all their inventory to take to the Sock Summit in Oregan. Carly said she was sorry I hadn't found anything, but I figured I hadn't been real happy lately with anything that I had been knitting (continious wripping out was effecting me) and I didn't have any particular pattern in mind that I needed yarn for. But like I said I still had a great time looking at everything and talking with Carly. She found some yummy superwash wool for a baby dress. The color was supposed to be Bubble Gum Pink, but to me it looked more salmon-ish. It was very pretty though and I can't wait to see it knitted up. Then we headed to the Grill House for lunch, where we had chicken salad sandwiches on soft pretzel buns (those buns were great!) with a fruit cup and homemade potatoe chips. Oh and we had pita chips and roasted red pepper hummus for an appetizer. It was all very good. It was hot enough the I voted for eating indoors in the A/C which gave us time to re-coup from the festival. And of course, we had to stop at St. Julien's Winery in Paw Paw for a little sample. After sampling 6 different wines, I decided that the Catawba (sweet blush wine) was still my favorite and bought a bottle.
5. And I surprised my Aunt Margaret with a visit. I tagged along with her and my mom to my Aunts' doctors appointment. I took a new pair of socks that I started knitting with along since my mom had warned me it might take a couple hours. She had to have one of those lying down stress tests. They have some kind of new medicine for it that gave her a headache. She asked me to rub her shoulders and neck for her to try to get rid of it. I could have cried. Her muscles are so tight and atrophied. She's recovering from throat cancer. At lunch she told me she's still having a hard time gaining weight. I said it looked like she had put some back on, because her face doesn't look so skeletal (I didn't say it that way to her though). She shook her head and said she just can't seem to get past 97lbs. Man! But she said, with a twinkle in her eye, that if she wears a BRA and her coat she actually weighs 100 lbs. I had to laugh, because really how much does the bra add. Except discomfort and agrevation. :o)

Well, that about covers everything I did on my vacation. Hope you had good week too!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Tonight is the big night. I am attending my 20th High School Reunion. It's going to be fun. We will be getting together at Big T's restaurant in Lawton. Lucky for Debby, it's only a 10 minute drive for her. This will be for Classmates and their spouses only. Tomorrow, we are having a potluck picnic at the Raider Romp Park in Decatur where everyone can bring their kids and show off. The picnic is not strictly just for the class of '89 though. That one if or +/- a few years and for out teachers. Everyone is supposed to bring their own meat and a dish to pass; except the teachers, they get to eat for free. The weather should be great, if not a bit hot (93 degrees), but there is supposed to be a breeze.

I'm planning on bringing my Aunt's Cowboy Beans recipe. Kind of like baked beans, but they are in the crockpot. I have to stop on my way home from work today and buy a bunch of hamburger/hot dogs buns and a few missing ingredients for my beans. Planning on taking a coconut cake also plus a pitcher of lemonade and iced tea.

I'm taking my camera along, so there will be photos. Just not sure when they will get posted. You know me by now. I'm kind of lazy about that. Although it really does make for a better blog.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Duck Races, Quilting & Knitting

And their off!

Here they are paddling along minding their own business. #5's in the lead, followed by #3 (pink) and #2 (green)

OK, so #5 may have been a little tipsy to begin with, but it looks like #3 & #2 were also. That's still no excuse for #4 to cheat.

I was so upset, I forgot to get a picture of the winner. HAH!

Oops, actually I did. He's over in the lilypads on the left, laughing at the floundering #3 & #2. The fish, thinking this is some new food are zeroing in on him. Luckily for him, Lu swished him out just in the nick of time. Isn't Lu's Pond gorgeous though?!? What a lot of work, but so peaceful.

Here is the cheering squad.
And the brave few who decided to brave the rain.

OK now for the quilting segment of our broadcast. :o) Last night, I finished all of my 4x4 blocks of my Ocean quilt. I actually got 1 turtle appliqued. Still 25 more to go, but I did get them all cut out. The thing I did discover is that you should never use a calculator with a faulty display to determine how many blocks you really need. I needed 144 blocks total. I had 8 different colors. So using my trusty calculator, I determined I needed 13 blocks of each. WRONG! That darn display wasn't working right. The 3 in the 13 was really an 8. I needed 18 blocks. Well, I don't have enough fabric and can't get anymore, since I bought this stuff several years ago and they were Hobby Lobby bandannas to begin with. Oh well, I finally decided that instead of 36 16" blocks, I settle for 25 and put a white border around the lot to make it the right size. The upside is that I don't have to do anymore triangles!!

Here is some knitting news I forgot to post. Go figure right! (sniff, sniff) Sheldon left me! (sniff, sniff) But only because he thought Dawson would be a much better pal to have around and play with. See here they are already getting acquainted.

I just knew what Dawson was thinking too. "Hello my new little friend! Now how do I get you in my mouth? And which part do I chew first?"

On the regular knitting front, I've been really struggling with not liking anything I've been knitting lately. I was working on a shrug. I've ripped it back 3 times because I didn't like the way it was looking and started a new pattern each time. I've settled on top down ballarina shrug that ties in the front. We'll see if I finish it or not. Still not 100% happy with it. On the bright side I've decided to start a new pair of socks. (Please forget the pomatomus ones that are still sitting on the sticks waiting to be re-sized) I found a new pattern on Ravelry called Komet (Ravelry Link) and I have the perfect light purple cotton yarn to knit them in. Going to start them this week.

Monday, August 3, 2009

An eventful Weekend

I don't know about anyone else, but I had a pretty good weekend.

On Saturday, I went to a picnic at Lu's house. It was for our Tuesday Night Quilt group. I had a real good time visiting with everyone and there was lots of yummy food. It started to rain just after we ate, but Lu has a nice big porch that we sat around chatting on. There was a duck race too! It took her a while, but Lu built this awesome pond in her back yard. It has a small upper pond that spills over a waterfall into a larger pond that contains fish. There is also a little river that gets fed from the waterfall and winds it's way around the pond and empties into it on the opposite side from the waterfall. Lu put 5 rubber ducks on the river and we all cheered to see which one got to the pond first. It was hilarious. Yes, I took pictures and yes they are still in my camera. I'll have to post them another time. Duck #4 cheats by the way. My Duck (#5) was in the lead until #4 rammed into him and knocked him over so that #4 could cross into the pond in first place. Wasn't the first heat #4 won either. I might have thought the race was rigged if Lu's number had been #4, but as it is I guess we'll never know. :o)

On Sunday I finished 2 more siamese cat blocks from my Temple Guardian BOM quilt. I have 8 done and ONLY 1 more to go. YEAH!!!! I glue-sticked the last one up today while at lunch. I want to get it appliqued this week. Then I can start assembling the quilt top. I'm so excited, I just can't wait!

Oh, I almost forgot. On Friday morning I got a call from the SB Medical Foundation. I donate blood with them and my name was drawn for their annual golf "hole-in-one" contest. You get a chance to hit the ball 150 yards for a hole-in-one. If you make it, you win $50,000. Yeah like that's gonna happen! I did have the option to elect to have someone else hit the ball for me. Since the only golfing I've ever done is either putt putt or Wii mini-golf, I asked Gary at work to do it for me. He told me he hadn't golfed in a long time and don't get my hopes up. Jeez, I didn't have a shot in the dark to begin with. He'll hardly do worse than I would have myself. I had asked my cousin Kevin to do it on the 4th of July if I got selected, but he said "They make it impossible for you to win, so No." The SBMF said there would be other drawings also. And that everyone would win something. So hey it's for a good cause and it should be fun. I found out that my friend Robin got selected also. So it will be fun to visit while we wait around. Registration is tonight between 5 & 5:30. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Busy Busy Bee

That is exactly what I have been over the last couple of weeks.

I have discovered that who needs a TV in the sewing room when you have access to Books on CD! Only 1 channel comes on the TV anyway. Although I do have a new 'homemade' antenna that works great, but I have to figure out a way to mount it somehow. I'll discuss that another time.

So far, I have listened to 3-4 books on CD while sewing my little heart out. My poor machine doesn't know what hit it.

I mentioned in a previous entry that I had stayed up until almost 4am one night sewing while listening to "The Keepsake" by Tess Gerriston. Well I have since finished: "Terminal Freeze" by Lincoln Child, "Silent Thunder" by Iris & Roy Johansen, "Dead Silence" by Randy Wayne ... (crap forgot his last name). And I just started "Deep Storm" by Lincoln Child on the basement CD player and "The Artic Event" by James Cobb in the car CD player. OK, I admit that I do occasionally read more than 1 book at a time, but the reason I have 2 books on CD going right now is that I was just too lazy last night to go out to the car for the 'current' book.

OK, so while listening to all of these very interesting books, I've been doing some serious sewing.

This quilt started out as a charity quilt project. It was only the striped center. Then I got the wise idea that it needed something, maybe a border or 2. Well non-sewers might not realize this but 'good' fabric is not cheap. I spent too much on the borders and binding (little bit of strip fabric peaking on the bottom right corner) that I don't like giving it to charity. I'm thinking of giving it as a gift to an un-named relative at this point. Don't want to blow the surprise ya know. I have other stuff at home that I can use for a charity project.

Then, while shopping for the border fabric, I saw a pattern for an apron. I've been wanting one, but haven't found one I want to either buy or make yet. This pattern was called "Four Corners Apron." Sorry don't know who it was by, because I didn't actually buy it. I looked at it, thought hmm that's just a big old square set on point. I can do that. So I went home fiddle around with some paper and wallah. I have made 2 so far and have 1 cut out. I have fabric for several others picked out also. Can you guess what everyone's getting for Christmas this year?!?

In between the quilt and the apron, I made this tote bag.

I bought the pattern and a charm pack at the Topeka Quilt Show. It went together very well, however I have discovered that I really do not care for the charm packs. Even though they say each square of fabric is 5 inches, it is NOT. I had to supply several of my own squares for the inside pockets as I was a few short and there was a noticeable difference in the sizes. I did like how the pattern used fusible fleece to stiffen the bag.

I like it so much in fact that I decided to make myself a purse using it. My friend Kathy got a Vera Bradley purse as a gift. The style was exactly what I had been looking for, but I'm sorry Vera's prices are just a bit out of my price rang. Especially for a purse that I will be be 'using' and not just admiring. Anyway, I made this purse patterned after Kathy's purse. It hangs across the body and sits on the hip.

I love knitting, but I really love the instant gratification of sewing. I never could have knitted all of these projects in 2 weeks.

I just have to pass this one along.

I recently received this forwarded email and I just had to share it with everyone. It is hilarious! I just love it!

Recently, in a large English city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tanned woman appeared in the window of a gym.


A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans). They have an active sex life; they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins, stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don’t have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex? Therefore they don't have kids either. Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store? The choice is perfectly clear to me; I want to be a whale.

P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a coffee with my friends. With time we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, "Good gosh, look how smart I am!"