Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Yesterday when I mentioned putting pony tail elastics around my embroidery threads to keep them from unraveling, this is what I meant.

I'm not Type A about very many things, but these are my treasures, after all.

Some may be wondering about the Coats and Clark threads mixed in among the others, and yeah, I've seen the magnification pictures that show that it's a rougher thread. My machines don't seem to mind it, though, and it does cost a lot less. If I could have anything, I'd have a basket full of wonderfully silky Robison Anton (hard to find around here,) and I do use the big Sulky spools for the colors I use most often. I am fussy about metallics, though, and only use Yenmet. It's incredibly well behaved.

I have an assignment to make a sample using a pattern called Dots & Daisies. It's supposed to be flowers, but I've decided to see if it can translate into snowflakes. We'll see. Our next seminar is Christmas in July and that would fit right in.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Organizing Day

No sewing today - I just had to do some organizing/cleaning before I could be creative again. It takes a lot to get me to that point, but there it was. I still have a long way to go - I'm looking at a trashed desk right now - but I feel like I can breathe a little.

I got three of these plastic shopping totes at the Dollar Store,

one for dots, one for linens and one for stabilizers. They hold quite a lot - I was able to get all my stabilizers off the floor except for one 25-yd roll. Dots and linens are what I'm into right now and I wanted to keep them accessible.

My shelves of fabrics separated by color were ever so messy where I'd pulled out my selections. Better now. Do I really need all these? Yes, of course.

I spent ages in the basement, too. Put up two sets of shelving, the stuff that holds 900 pounds. One for paint cans, rollers, drop clothes, etc., and the other for all those little containers, spray bottles, buckets, etc. that I use for dyeing fabric. When I was at the $ store I got some dishpans to load them into. There's also space for my metal basket of dust masks, clothes pins, clips, rubber bands, etc. Between the shelving there is a space for plexiglass that I spread some fabric on.

I really meant to get some pony tail bands at the $ store to put around those Robison Anton-type embroidery spools that are always coming unwound, but I forgot. Another day for that.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Completed Projects

I'm sure everyone with a new serger makes napkins first to try out that rolled edge.
The next one's a work sample - Husqvarna Viking Embroidery Club 141.
The numbers are done on 4D software and the red piping has pretty green trim. The back is the same fabric as the napkins. After it's time in the store it will go to Nora and Aaron.

My next foot of the month class will use the Spanish hemstitch foot and here's the sample for that. Heirloom stitching, really easy. I didn't used to be a fan of the different sewing machine feet, but I've come around now that I've seen what they can do.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Aquarium Today

There was a visit to the Newport Aquarium today. I love living only 2 miles away.

Nora getting her season pass -

On past visits, Nora declared that she'd pet a starfish when she was four. Today, she amended it to when she was five.

Aaron and Aunt Tina -

This little blue-eyed boy was timid about nothing. He had his fingers in the shark-petting tank, but his arms were too short to reach one.

Steph and Aaron -

Nora - the scales said she weighs 40 pounds. Aaron was 30 pounds.

In the gift shop, Nora declared that this was like Gatlinburg. She liked the gems there, too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 130

It's late for me to be doing the fill-ins, but it's still Friday. Answers are in bold.

1. She had a great way of growing lovely flowers. I've never been able to even get Bells of Ireland to grow, but hers were fantastic. And the strawflowers and zinnias, wonderful. My mother definitely had a green thumb.

2. Happiness is by my side, always. I always think that the human spirit is like a cork, eventually, it bobs back up.

3. I know this: I've been blessed in life.

4. Be still. Be quiet. Just be.

5. These words apply to me: I'm dreamy. I live more in my head than I'd like. It's hard for me to pay attention.

6. This morning the sun was shining through a lovely rain shower. Somewhere, there was a rainbow. There were storms in the night but I slept peacefully and was surprised to find a big piece of a tree down in my back yard.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to working on an Advent calendar (it's a work project, but in the end it will be mine,) tomorrow my plans include an unplanned day off so I want to find something fun (goetta fest, anyone?) and Sunday I want to read scripture in church and maybe (and maybe not) clean in the afternoon.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bit of Happiness in a Red Box

Not too much conversation about this, since it's a bit of happiness for me that may not mean much to most of you. Maybe even in the "why do you need ANOTHER sewing machine" category.

But you should SEE to rolled edge and the four-thread overlock I did tonight. And this baby tells me how to set the tensions and adjusts for different fabric types. Tells me, as in I don't have to look it up in the book. And it's so easy to thread. Happy, happy dancing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Camping Withdrawal

Mind numbing embroidery - but, hey, isn't this cute. Ok, I admit it, I'm still having camping withdrawal. You can click on the design to enlarge it and see the marshmallows and the lantern and the walking stick and the backpacks . . all right, I'll hush up.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 21 Miscellaneous

Happy Summer Solstice to everyone. I'm always a little ambivalent about this day. I love the long day and the light, but after this it starts going the other way, and that seems sad.

Happy Father's Day to Mike. Great dad, great kids.

Nice ending to a frosting job - birthday cake for me.

Sunburned Aunt Tina with Nora.

Note to Grandma Janice and Pap - Nora's dress is absolutely great - so pretty.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday at work, this truck was parked in the parking lot. Inside were sewing and embroidery machines and all kinds of samples, including that wonderful red dress in the Designer Diamond ads. Very cool. If you're interested in this kind of thing, you can read more on the Husqvarna Viking website.
Today after work I met Steph and Aaron at TJ Maxx. Aaron was full of all kinds of comments, like "it's pink," "it's pretty," and "it's a coffee cup." It's fun to go shopping with an 18-month old.

Next we moved on to Panera for dinner. Steph and I had really pretty salads and Aaron had his Panera favorites: grilled cheese, a yogurt tube, and organic chocolate milk.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 129

Time for Friday Fill-Ins. Answers are in bold. Check out the site if you want to play along.

1. All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting that they might try what you used to do.

2. Show me a good loser and I will show you someone who has experience both losing and winning.

3. Eating any Graeter's chocolate chip ice cream is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs one at a time because Graeter's chocolate chips are really chocolate chunks. Yum.

4. Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy being business women and educators.

5. I have yet to hear a man ask for directions on how to combine driving and eating a Big Mac. It's innate.

6. It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without salt and pepper on it. Why do I have the feeling I won't be the only one to say that?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a relaxing summer evening, tomorrow my plans include getting the soda ash ready for some fabric dyeing (probably won't actually do any dyeing, but this is the first step,) and Sunday I want to babysit Aaron while Steph and Mike go to a Father's Day baseball game, then eat birthday cake.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Great Flowers, Too

Butterflies come and go, but there's always something pretty in the permanent exhibits at Krohn Conservatory, too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Butterfly Show

Every year around this time there's a butterfly show at Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati.
And every year I love it.

This year's theme is Butterflies of India.

The butterflies come as chrysalides and emerge here.
Volunteers check your clothes as you leave to be sure that one of these beauties isn't trying to hitchhike out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Trip to Town

After a few days' camping and hiking, a trip to town (Gatlinburg) is always fun.

Nora's in the striped shirt, watching the taffy being wrapped and dropped in the basket.
Sarah had to try out the "Psychic Sarah"

and so did Winnie.

Aunt Sarah is always up for giving Nora a carry.

On Nora's first camping trip to Gatlinburg at nine months old, she had her first ice cream at Kilwin's. She hated it. Not so this time - she loved the Superman ice cream.

Nora and Steph at Sugarlands Visitors Center on the way back to the campsite, reading "Who Pooped in the Park."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back from the Smokies

Back from camping at Elkmont in the Smokies - yes, it rained, yes, we got wet, yes, so did most of our stuff. But still - good times.
The campsite was on the Little River, which was really roaring. Nora is playing with two of Bridget's nephews. Those kids love the river and never seem to mind getting bone-chilling cold.

Helen's family was having a family reunion. Two of Helen's brothers shuttled the kids out to a big rock in the river.

Here's the hand-off, Nora coming back to her mom at river's edge.

Houses in Elkmont that we passed on the way to a hike. Wayne said the hike would be 0.7 miles. Wayne, are you sure? Did you forget to say that it was all up hill?

Winnie and Sarah getting a closer look at one of the houses These houses are just now getting some restoration.

If you're interested, look up "Elkmont" to see how the houses got here in the first place and when they came to the national park.
I always come back from the Smokies feeling a little sad, all the more so coming back to Cincinnati on the city expressways. I miss the mountain roads - and being together with my daughters. LaRosa's for dinner was a definite cheer-up, foccacia and lots of salad, with just a little nostalgic trail mix.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Going Camping

Yep, I'm leaving in the morning to go camping at Elkmont in the Smokies.

Sarah, I'll see you on Friday.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Miscellaneous Projects

For some reason, don't know why, I've been wanting to make pincushions lately. And the covered buttons are so fun to do. It was my first try at those. The flower on the red and white one was made from a sweater I felted. I had a great time felting about three sweaters, then I started worrying that I was going to plug up my washer with all that wool fuzz. I can think of any number of things to worry about.

I designed this little knitting basket to show off the embroidery design from Dakota. It's lined with the fish fabric you can see a little of at the top. The fish are all individual designs that you can put together any which way. Fun.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Banner

From my office floor and studio area late last night,

the banner made it to church this morning.

My promise to myself: to not be working late into Saturday night next time.

The pieced section was from a quilt I made probably six years ago, following the directions in a magazine. When it was finished I tried to free-motion quilt it and it was a disaster. I didn't really know how to do it, didn't secure it well enough, and used a fluffy batting. I put it into a bag and except for when I moved didn't see it again. I dragged it out a couple of months ago, picked out the quilting, and knew I wanted to incorporate it much like you see here. I tried to make the separating strips curved and that didn't work but I realized I got the same effect by not keeping the letters straight.

Then there were the letters - I didn't know how to do them until I actually did them. And there was that voice in my head again.

Once its life as a banner is finished, I'll put on a backing and free-motion quilt it, then bind it. Its quilting now is just some stitch in the ditch and the lettering. I think I like the idea of putting on the top, doing a little stitch-in-the-ditch, then putting on the backing. Working with just the top or just the back takes out some of the mistake-making potential.

Rookwood Commons for lunch -

a nice, cool patio and good company.