Friday, January 28, 2011

On a rolllllllllllllll

Hi everyone!

This year is going pretty well in the crafting department. I've shown you all a few of the things I'd been working on so far. Nothing fancy, nothing uber cool. But, stuff that I hadn't really tried to do in a loooooong time.

I've been really getting into sewing lately. And one of the many things I'm planning on doing this year is to make all the gifts that I plan to give to friends and family. And THAT is a tall order! I've always loved making things. But I have always been a bit embarrassed to give my things to others. Since I don't normally stick to anything for a long enough time to become proficient in that craft, most everything I make then becomes a bit of an experiment. But, this year, I've decided to just go for it.

So, the last couple of days I've started a little lap quilt. Not sure if I'm doing it right. But I do know that it is possibly the best quilt top and back, I've EVER made! (I've made three finished quilts and one quilt top. None of which was done with any direction. Just used pieces of fabric I had on hand and winged it all. And they look like it too.) I must give credit to my friends. Like Corinnea who makes the most beautiful quilts! Just whips them up. And maybe I don't get around much because she was the first one I knew that made the back of a quilt just as pretty as the front! So, having seen all the quilts that she's done, I took her idea and went with it. And I actually made one that I think is going to be nice enough to give away! (Well, if I can figure out how to do the binding. I may have already messed that up, cuz I have a feeling I should have thought about that part when I put the back together.)

So, I had planned on showing you my teeny-tiny sewing room and the mess that I deal with in order to do my sewing projects. But, I decided not to. That would be too scary! ;-)

So here's what i've been working on and now my plan is to hand quilt it VERY quickly since I plan on giving this to my friend on the 9th of February. YIKES!



Okay, everyone help me by, praying that I'll get this quilted and figure out how to put the binding or (fudging) a binding on as quickly as possible!

Thank you for your help! ;-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

All about Monday

So, I've been busy. Too busy to blog evidently, which is what I keep trying to get to. So today, I'm just here for a quick visit to say, I'm still knitting and still sewing. I knitted another cowl only this time it was for a friend of mine. And I'm making another hat for My Honey, because the first one , although he says he loves it, is a bit on the short side so I'm making one that has a nice wide band to go over his ears! And, I've advanced to something other than lined baby bibs & fleece baby hats! I've got three (non baby) projects going in the sewing department. Yay. Hopefully, I'll be showing those to you all soon.

We've had a bunch of snow around here lately. The good kind. All dry and fluffy and easy to shovel. And it's looking pretty outside. ;-) And the house looks good with the snow on and around it. I'm liking the color choice so far. It looks great in the Fall when things are turning colors and it looks good in Winter with all the snow. I hope it looks good in the summer when everything is green!

Mondays are especially busy for me. I try to cram in too much stuff to do. One of the things I do on Mondays is go to the church and water the plants and change the sign. Ricky LOVES to go with me because on Monday we get there before the cleaners do so there are always LOTS of little cookie/donut crumblies on the floor for him to suck up! He knows when it's Monday and he follows me all around the house anxiously waiting for me to say the word "church". And once I say that word he tears out for the front door! Seriously, he does!

He generally is a good walker. He doesn't pull on the leash. But on Mondays he's running up ahead of me trying to get to the goodies!

He won't even look at me when I call him. Normally I call his name while we're out walking and he'll look up (because he is normally right beside me. Mondays he's out in front of me) I got him to stop but he's still facing the church just barely able to keep still. I was trying to take a picture of him in his little fleece jacket that I made him a few years ago. But, he's not having any of that. All he can think about is the church that he's got his eyes on (literally)!

And then once we get through the doors and I unhook his leash.......

He's off and running! First thing he does is tears off running all around the place! He knows that there is not a single cat lurking about. That there are no Ethans lurking around the corner just waiting to pounce on him. Once he gets all the running out of his system (which isn't long because he's normally a lap dog so he only gets this kind of exercise on Mondays!) He buckles down to sniffing out the treats. He's like a little hound dog with his nose down on the floor and his little sniffing sounds going. Every now and then you'll hear little lip smacking sounds and then the sniffing continues. He'll do this the whole time I'm walking around watering plants. By the time I get to pulling letters for the sign he's settled down beside me waiting to head outdoors to change out the sign.

Every Monday I walk to the church and change out the sign (okay, there have been a few times when the weather is just too horrid to go out there.) But, for the most part, sign change occurs on Mondays. I get things to say from a couple books I ordered from Amazon and I also get contributions of sayings from various people in the congregation. But, if any of you have any good sayings or quotes, please share. ;-)

So, there you go. This is my monday. Work out - church - laundry - vacume - dust - water house plants - wind all the clocks and then, if I have time, I sit down and watch General Hospital and knit for an hour. Then it's off to finish the things I haven't finished and start dinner because Monday night is Bible Study night.

It's a busy day but I like it. And it's one of Ricky's favorite day! Next to Thursday. I'll have to tell you about Thursday some day.

Ya'll have a great day and I'll be back soon!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Knitting, adopting the Amish way....

I'm baaaack!

Firstly, (I think that's a word, but I'm too lazy to double check) I must thank all my friends who commented on my last post. You all are one of the main reasons I keep trying to make things! Your words of encouragement mean a great deal to me. And it keeps me from looking at all my hand made items as terrible or horrific failures! (I know, I tend to be a tad bit dramatic) ;-)

Yesterday I did go back to try my hand at the perfect bib. But, I was just not into thinking that hard so instead I made another hand warmer. Which was difficult enough, but not as difficult as working on the bib. That took me a good hour to make and then it was off to visit my neighbor across the street. Ms. Orlu is such a sweet lady and she makes coffee and we take turns making something yummy to eat with the coffee every Thursday afternoon. And as always, I stayed longer than I had intended so I didn't get back to sewing last night. And as much as I want to keep trying the "sewing" thing, I've got errands to run today and I need to get that done before we get another snow fall which is expected later this weekend.

So, I decided to post the knitted cowl that I made for myself. I made a cheater mobius cowl for dilly-girl and then I decided to try to do the real thing. I found this really delicious yarn

Art.#135 Color #098 Houston Cream Super Bulky

And, believe it or not... once again I forget where I got the instructions from. But it's super easy! And if you're interested, I can send the information out to you. Although, after having seen a You Tube video on Moebius cast on, this pattern that I used is still not technically a true Moebius.

So, in the interest of accuracy, I must admit that because I messed up the pattern as I was knitting, this is no longer an accurate design of the pattern. I actually put in two full twists instead of the one that is called for in this particular pattern. But, it's still fun to wear and I like how it sits on my shoulders. And I am taking to heart something one of the my wonderful blog friend told me. Which is... The Amish always include one mistake because only God makes perfection. So there you go.

As you can see, there are two full twists to this cowl. Thus, making this a non-moebius.

Now, as much as I like my cowl, I still want to make a Moebius Cowl. And I found wonderful directions on You Tube done by Cat Bordhi. She shows you exactly how to do a Moebius cast on. Check it out and if you decide you're going to make a Moebius or Infinity scarf, please share with us how it went!

Okay, so that is it. I must be off to run my errands. Have a great day everyone and meet you back here soon! ;-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just when I thought I was sewing ....

Hello everybody. Hope ya'll are doing well. Having a great day so far?!

All is well here. I did some sewing yesterday and hope to do some more today.

Now, keep in mind that I am not a sewer! I go through spurts of ambitious sewing energy which normally peters out after about half way into any given sewing project. The reason being, I'm not good at it. Part of my problem (most of the time) is that I tend to pick projects that are out of my ability level. And I must say that that is the (direct) result of having friends who are very talented in that department. (Ya'll know who you are!) I see their work, I get excited and I want to emulate them and sew fabulous things! And so I go out and get all the necessary items and proceed to mutilate the thing I'm trying to create. This time, I found a pattern that I thought I might be able to follow. It's a one piece pattern (how difficult is that? I tell myself.) So, I made a bib. I made a bib that has a piece of coated fabric that will keep drool from soaking through the bib. The pattern is all of one piece. All I have to do is cut three pieces of fabric. One front, one lining and one back. It has no zippers or button holes. Seriously, a small child could do it, right? Well, I had issues. Naturally. I made the first one. I will show it to you but please, don't laugh too hard.

As you can see... It looks pretty good. But then...

You can see the poor stitching on both sides. I did not like that.

Yikes! It's even worse on this side!

So then, I decided I could do better. So I tried again! But first, I made a simple blanket. It's just two flannel fabrics sewn together. But, I tried something new. I tried to overstitch with a fancy stitch design. (For me that was huge! HUGE!)

Blanket (background)

Blanket edge.
(don't look too closely at the corner on the green side. I forgot I don't really need to backstitch and automatically did that.)

Okay, so the stitching is a little wonky. But, I used a different stitch design, which I've NEVER done before! So, yay me!

Then I felt appropriately proud of myself so I went and tried again to make a bib. And this time I decided that I needed to figure out a way to show as little of the stitching on the velcro as possible. And in the process, I managed to make two mistakes!

First, notice how you can't see stitching on the front of the bib? I actually, thought ahead!

See? No stitching on this side either!

Alas, I forgot to change the thread to white which would have been less noticeable AND...

The fabric on the front of the bib was upside down! BLAH!

The really funny thing (to me!) was that I didn't even notice it until I finished top stitching. Because I was SO excited about the top stitching design on the bib! (And okay, because I may have been patting myself, prematurely, on the back.)

To me, the design of the top stitching makes it look "finished".

As you can see from this post. I worked nearly 5 hours on these items and I don't have a single thing that is right. BUT, I did learn something! Evidenced by the no stitching showing on the outside of the fabric that has the attached velcro! AND, the fancy design top stitching! Again "yay me"! ;-)

Now, I will go upstairs in my cramped little sewing/laundry room and I will make a perfect bib.

Wish me luck! ;-)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

This is more like it....!

Now this is what I'm talking about! The only problem is that it didn't look like this on Christmas morning! Ah well, at least we'll have some snow this winter.

We woke up to this after a long day in Kansas. We had a great time with Baby Girl and her Fiance. Had brunch at a place that My Honey and I used to frequent (waaaayyyyyy back when we had to save our pennies for a loooong time, in order to go and eat a meal out!) The Chef Cafe. And the food is still good even though (I believe) the place has new owners. So after a yummy meal of (Eggs Benedict for me, Breakfast Fajita for Fiance, Special of the day sandwich (some kind of chorizo thing) for Baby Girl and a I can't remember what my Honey got! We all headed back to Baby Girls place and let her open her birthday gifts and eat cake. I made her her special birthday cake, Paisley Cake which has crushed Candy Canes in the filling! This is what I made her for her birthday gifts...

Painted Bee pillow

Lavender infused hand warmers

And I also made her a calendar (a mini one) that had a picture of her and her fiance and their dog Cooper. It was a really good picture of the three of them taken when they were here for Christmas. I forgot to take a picture of that little gift.

SO! At this point I would normally give credit where credit is due. Because, these three gifts that I made were from ideas garnered from other Blogs that I read. Or possibly from blogs that I happened upon because of links that were given from the blogs that I normally read. Unfortunately, I did not write down the blogs from which these particular ideas came from. EXCEPT the mini calendar one. The mini calendar idea came from Mary at Very Merry Vintage Style! Click on her printables link and then you'll see her newest link which is the mini calendar tutorial. And fortunately, I have this information because the tutorial that I printed out had this on the printed page. Now, I need to say this as well. I got this link through yet another link. The bad thing is... I can't remember who linked this to their page. You know, it's one of those deals where you see something and you think "oh, this is a fabulous idea! I'm going to try to make one". So you print it out and then in the rush of getting to other things, you forget to mark where you actually got the idea from. SO, in the event that the person who actually linked this from their page, actually reads my blog. PLEASE don't be mad at me. Please write in my comments section and remind me it was you who gave out this fabulous link or idea! That goes for the Bee Pillow tutorial AND the Hand Warmers as well! And if I end up locating the information, I'll be sure to let everyone know about it in a later post!

Needless to say, Baby Girl loved her gifts. These were such great ideas and they actually turned out rather well if I do say so myself! ;-) And I must say this as well. There have been many times when I felt rather guilty for sitting here reading various blogs. I felt like I was wasting my time since most of the time I was getting all these fab ideas but not doing anything with them. But all those times of sitting around finally paid off for Baby Girl!

So, Thank you to all of you who put out great ideas and tutorials for all of us to share! And I PROMISE to write down or annotate from whence I get my information in the future!

Okay, have a great day ya'll! I'm gonna go out into the snow! ;-)

*added after posting: I found where I got the handwarmer idea from! yay! Click on my link then click on her "sewing" category and then you'll find it! Now, for the pillow case....

Friday, January 7, 2011

What I want to see.....

Hello everyone!

I am sitting here just stymied by the fact that our weather here has been all kinds of strange! Very few here around these parts are complaining. Only some of us are! Because it is January and there is no snow! We've had nearly zippo in the snow department! And I'm sorry folks but one of the things I LOVE about living here in the midwest is that I get four different seasons every year! Unfortunately, this year, this winter, when I look out my window or go out for a walk, I see a winter more like the winters I experienced in Florida! And let me just say, I am not happy!

This is the kind of scene I've been witnessing!

Very UN-winter like for around here! Other than the porch swing being hung up for the winter, everything else looks like what you'd see in Florida. (Sorry, I keep picking on Florida because I wasn't too keen on the place when we lived there.) (Okay, okay, so I'm still not so keen on the place! There I admitted it!) Sheesh.

There's been talk of snow off and on for the last month or so, but nothing of any merit has fallen. What I want to see when I look out my window or go walking about is,

something like this....

Or this...

or this...

So this week end we will be going on a road trip. Just a short one to sing Happy Birthday to Baby Girl! And, wouldn't you know it... the forecast is for blizzard like conditions beginning Sunday afternoon. Not happy about that but, you never know. The weather people have been saying things like this for the last couple months and we've gotten only mild winds with a little bit of the white stuff. ('course we didn't have to do any traveling when they forecasted that all the other times....) Ah well, it'll be nice to spend time with baby girl regardless!

Well, I hope that the next time I show you pictures of our place, it'll be surrounded by lot's of white stuff! ;-) Have a great day!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lucky me with my new spice rack!

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to talk about my old & new spice rack.

First of all, it was a spice rack that probably sparked our (my honey and myself) first married argument. It wasn't too big an argument but big enough. And it was probably our first fight over money or lack there of. (I say probably because my mind is not what it used to be. AND because My honey and I tend to remember things a bit differently, if you know what I mean....)

So, I found this fabulous spice rack in a thrift shop and I talked the owner down from $20.00 to $10.00. (I was so proud of myself for saving my honey some money!) It was a really nice sized spice rack too! (That was back in the day when I only used the basic spices in my cooking!) I brought it back to the house (we were visiting my folks at the time) but there was no way we could take it on the plane with us so I brilliantly thought I'd mail it. Well, that fabulously inexpensive spice rack ended up costing us WAAAAY more than we could really afford! But, I got my way (my honey usually lets me get my way.) ;-P

Anyhow... once we got it back to our place the spice rack resurrected yet another fight. Because there really was no place to hang that large spice rack in our (extremely) small kitchen! At least not according to my honey. We finally did find a spot and all was well, until the next time we moved. And the time we moved after that and so on and so on, for most of our moves. A couple of months ago, I was in the kitchen when suddenly there was a HUGE crash! It was my beloved spice rack. The spice rack hung on the wall by a heavy gage wire. That wire held that rack up on walls all over Europe and the United States. But it was the screw that the wire was attached to that finally gave out. My honey came running out to see what had happened and (I think) may have had a little smile on his face when he saw the damage. I'm not exactly sure because I was just flat out devastated by the complete and utter destruction of my beloved spice rack! Fortunately, NONE of the bottles and jars broke when it all came down!

So, a few weeks ago, my father-in-law who is a brilliant carpenter brought over the shelf that he made for all my spice jars and bottles. I'm sure he's still not sure how he actually got talked into making it for me. But he did it and brought it over when they came over for the Baptism. I finally got it stained and my honey hung it up and it is......Ahhhhhhh


My bottles and jars, all mismatched.

Please ignore the rest of the kitchen! I still have to wait another three years before we tear it out and put in my dream kitchen! ;-)

I just LOVE my new spice rack! I still have a bunch of space but if I can find more of the those Jadite glass spice jars then the spice rack will be full! And much more visually appealing!

So, I am on the hunt for those spice jars! So far no luck. I'm looking for ones that don't have any writing on them at all since I do tend to have some rather unusual spices in my arsenal of recipes.

I have a request. If any of you out there know of or have seen this type of spice jars in the jadite color, let me know! Thanks!

Okay, gotta get some gifts completed for a birthday girl!

Have a great day everyone! And thanks so much for checking out my blog! ;-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

This time, too big!


For those of you who have been reading my blog for a little while, you'll know that I try my hand at hand made things. Lately I've been hooked on knitting and actually made a few things that I gave as Christmas gifts. Luckily for me, they were given to family members who love me enough to humor me and wear those gifts. They are such sweet people! ;-)

Anyhow, someone that I have had trouble making things for has been my sweet little grandson. I made him a few things before he was born only to find out that those items were far too small for our little chunk monster! Well, when our dilly-girl came for Christmas this year, she wanted to learn how to sew. Of course I told her that I am NOT the person to teach her anything in the sewing department. (I've been known to throw sewing machines over balconies in the past...buuuut, that is another story for another time.) Anyhow, I had purchased a pattern for a baby hats and I bought some fleece and the two of us proceeded to pin, scrutinize, cut and sew. She did the beginning of the project and then far too quickly it was time for them to pack and get ready to go back to their home. So, while they were doing that I decided to finish the project. I also made a different hat! Amazing! I actually made a hat AND finished at hat in one day! But, the problem was... It turned out to be way too big! Yup. Really, it was rather silly! Something that should not have happened at all since the child was on the premises! I could very easily have checked on his head size and adjusted accordingly, but...... nooooooo. I did not do that and so.... this time, too big!

This is the hat that his momma started and his Nana finished. At the rate he is growing he'll be able to wear it by next winter. I hope! You can't tell by looking at this picture, but I could make a fist and stick it inside his hat with his head in it!

But he is such an angel that he gave me the sweetest look while I took this photo. Kinda like to say... "it's okay Nana, I trust that you'll eventually get it right". ;-)

Well, I didn't get a picture of the other hat I made. At one point I put his hat on while he was in the highchair and turned around to call for his momma. I was standing behind the chair and when I turned around to show his momma what I had made I noticed that his head kept turning from one side to the other as if he were looking at something flying back and forth. (insert little giggle sound here.) We both walked around to see him from the front and guess what? It wasn't that he was looking at something... he was actually trying to see! His hat that I made had fallen down over his eyes and he was trying to find a way to be able to see again! :-)

So, I have more work to do before I actually make this poor child something that he can wear/use now. The good thing is, I know now that I can actually make things! I just need to make something that will fit him!

So, there it is. A little chuckle for you today. ;-) Have a great one you all and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 2011!

Happy New year everyone!

I'm a little late getting this out. Many reasons but probably the one I'm going to go with is... As much as I loved (LOVED) having our kids and their loved ones with us, it was also nice to have the house back to ourselves again! I was pretty tired AND I ended up catching a cold! First cold in a VERY LONG TIME! I must admit, I played somewhat more this last Christmas with them here than I have in the past. I didn't stress nearly as much about having the "perfect" Christmas. And that's huge for me! HUGE I tell you! The absolute best thing was that we were all together! My son and his wife and baby boy. And our daughter and her fiance. It's the first Christmas I've had my kids together since 2006 and I was a very happy Momma! It's the nicest thing to see your babies grow up and become adults who have a happy life sharing and growing with someone they love! And then to top it off.... They gave great gifts! Our Son and his wife (dilly-girl) gave me a Wii board! My honey, gave me a Wii system! And my daughter gave me the cookbook I've been wanting, Barefoot Contessa at home! And those were just a few of the bountiful booty of Christmas this year! Tonight we're having Eli's Asian Salmon and Herbed Basmati Rice recipes out of the book! Baby girl also reminded me that I should make more homemade soap. She gave me & dilly-girl a small bar of some lavender soap that she had picked up and it smells so good and it feels so yummy! So now I'm on the hunt for Lye. It's not easy to find these days at the grocery stores, but I hope to find some and then make my own soaps again this year! Anyhow....... I got tons of stuff, but the one thing I used alot (as far as Christmas gifts goes) was the Wii system. It was so, SO much fun to play with the kids! We even had our friends over (julie and jordan) and played a bit with them. But, alas, I did not get pictures of anyone playing the Wii. (although, dilly-girl did get a video of her fil and our son playing Wii doing the Hula-hoop game! And as entertaining as that video is... we will not be sharing it with the public!) ;-)

And now, I'll talk a bit about the New year, 2011. I have a feeling it's going to be just as busy as last year. But in a good way once again! The main event this year will be our daughter and her wedding in May. I am so, SO happy for her! Not that she is getting married, so much as her having found someone to share her life with. And he is such a great guy! And we are so happy for them both! I'll also be doing some traveling to visit with our grandbaby (every 4 months) and visiting my parents this summer. There may even be a road trip ahead this year with Dilly-girl and grandbaby and my parents! So... busy, busy, busy.

On that note... I'll leave you with some pictures of our kids and grandchild!

(My apologies for all the red-eye. I didn't realize I hadn't fixed those.)

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season and your new year brings joy and good health to you all!